EMF Exposure and reading the fine print: The devil is in the details.
Posted by GreenSwanStaff at November 18th, 2014
Every doctor will tell you that the primary keys to good health include eating right, getting enough exercise, rest and maintaining healthy relationships. Most of us go about our lives trying to avoid circumstances which could adversely affect our health. We expect that we have the information we need to make informed decisions as consumers when we use manufactured goods to enhance our lifestyles. Did you know that you are not supposed to hold your cell phone closer than roughly one inch away from your body when it is connected to a wireless network? Doing so may expose you to emissions which exceed the manufacturer guidelines.
Two years ago, the US Government Accounting Office issued a report on the need for the FCC to reassess the exposure standards for cell phones. In the report they said the following:
“Some consumers may use mobile phones against the body, which the FCC does not currently test, and could result in RF energy exposure higher than the FCC limit.”
Most likely, consumers remain woefully unaware of the fact that they should not put their phones in their pockets. Studies have linked cell phone emissions to a variety of potentially harmful conditions which range from tumors (both benign and cancerous) to low sperm count.
Cellular phone manufacturers do include information about keeping the phone away from the body but their messaging remains largely hidden from plain view. Consider two examples which should encourage consumers to carry their phones more safely:
The BlackBerry cell phone’s user manual has the following separation distance warning hidden in the fine print:
“….keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.59 in (15mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers) when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to a wireless network.”
The Apple iPhone 5 buries the following language on its website and in the phone’s data under “legal”:
“To reduce exposure to RF energy, use a hands-free option, such as the built-in speakerphone, the supplied headphones or other similar accessories. Carry iPhone at least 10mm away from your body to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the as-tested levels. “
Many consumers become alarmed when they first encounter this information. There is nonetheless a tide of public awareness of the horizon. As additional science is published which continues to demonstrate a link between non-ionizing radiation and pathology, more consumers will be informed and interested in sharing their concerns with a wider audience. Numerous “Right to Know” groups have advocated legislation which would help educate cellphone users about the distance requirements. Litigation is also moving forward, the outcome of which may well demand better consumer education concerning safer cell phone handling. Medical organizations such as The American Academy of Pediatrics are also advocating updated safe handling information and testing parameters to include the size of children’s bodies and skulls when evaluating the potential hazards of cellular emissions.
EMF emissions, while perhaps a necessary byproduct of the wireless age, may well be contributing to health issues which hitherto have gone unrecognized. It is interesting to note that key international insurance underwriters are closely watching the EMF issue and have placed it in the “High Risk” category for emerging concerns over the next ten years.
Category: Cellphones and Health Consequences