By B.N. Frank
Many products we buy for personal use are sold with a separate manual booklet or pamphlet that includes guidelines for safe use. Some digital products include this within the device itself instead of separately.
Since many of us don’t bother to read the manuals and the guidelines thoroughly (if at all), here are two examples of guidelines for safe use provided by cell phone manufacturers in 2011:
The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says users’ radiation exposure should not exceed FCC guidelines: “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body.”
BlackBerry Bold advises users to “keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting.”
CNN explains these recommendations by quoting experts:
The logic behind such recommendations is that the further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed.
Finally, cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A moving phone, or a phone in an area with a weak signal, has to work harder, giving of more radiation. So users can avoid using their cell phones in elevators, buildings and rural areas if they want to reduce their exposure, experts say.
Similar expert recommendations have been provided over the years. From Consumer Reports in 2016:
And whenever you are gaming or reading on your phone, try to hold the device an arm’s length from your face. (Most of us keep it just 8 to 12 inches away.) If you find this makes onscreen words too hard to read, try making the font larger. Not only does holding the phone farther away from your eyes reduce the likelihood of eye strain, but it also cuts your exposure to the low-level radiation the phone emits. This is important because a recent study by the National Toxicology Program suggests a link between cell phone radiation and cancer in rats.
So the question is again – if wireless radiation exposure is no big deal – why the guidelines at all – or the recommendations? Makes one think…
Digging deeper – according to some scientists, U.S. federal safety standards and guidelines are outdated and inaccurate in regard to electronic and wireless products. From EHTrust:
Currently there are no national or international “standards” for safe levels of the radiation emitted by wireless or microwave devices. Instead, the US government adopted “guidelines” developed by industry based on decades old research.
… proper long term safety testing was not done to ensure the public was protected from all possible harm.
In fact, no “safe” level has been scientifically determined for children or pregnant women…
Compliance with “federal safety standards” does not assure your nor your family’s safety.
Coincidentally “safety” testing on these products is done on plastic mannequin heads and bodies. D’oh!
There have already been hundreds of studies and many have proven harm. But disputes as to how much wireless radiation exposure is safe or unsafe will likely continue. For those of us old enough to remember, this is like cigarettes all over again.
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It also doesn’t change the fact that all of these personal products include user guidelines and warnings. It’s hard to dispute that there must be a reason for that.
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Additional related links:
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