14. Clean your phone regularly. “Newsflash: Your phone is dirty. Like, really dirty. It’s crawling with germs and bacteria that can cause acne and even nasty rashes. And if you take your phone to the bathroom often, it could also be covered in fecal matter.” – Amanda Hawkins, 5 Ways Your Phone Is Ruining Your Skin, Good Housekeeping; Twitter @goodhousemag
Drivers that talk on cell phones while they drive may be at risk for accidents. A handful of states have made hand-held cell phone use illegal while operating a motor vehicle. Plug into a headset or hands-free device and then you’re safe, or so seems the message. But a growing stable of studies suggests that drivers engaged in complex conversations, hands-free or otherwise, are a leading roadway danger.
Recall bias, which can occur when data about prior habits and exposures are collected from study participants using questionnaires administered after diagnosis of a disease in some of the participants. It is possible that study participants who have brain tumors may remember their cell phone use differently from individuals without brain tumors. Many epidemiologic studies of cell phone use and brain cancer risk lack verifiable data about the total amount of cell phone use over time. In addition, people who develop a brain tumor may have a tendency to recall cell phone use mostly on the same side of the head where their tumor was found, regardless of whether they actually used their phone on that side of the head a lot or only a little.
Because these are complex diseases that develop over decades, it is difficult to conclusively show that the increase in wireless signal exposures directly cause the diseases. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers wireless radiation as a class 2B possible carcinogen due to limited evidence. These small number of studies are leaning towards showing that electromagnetic radiations, including WiFi, are not safe.
These articles and websites don’t exist because the threat is real, however. They exist because they are a vehicle for turning people’s fear into money. The more people share nonsense articles about the dangers of Wi-Fi (or other harmless modern things) the more people click on them, the more ad-revenue is generated, and the more motivation the people peddling these rubbish articles have to keep creating and promoting them.
Years later, a study that Leszczynski described as a “game changer” discovered that even phones meeting government standards, which in Europe were a SAR of 2.0 watts per kilogram, could deliver exponentially higher peak radiation levels to certain skin and blood cells. (SAR levels reached a staggering 40 watts per kilogram—20 times higher than officially permitted.) In other words, the official safety levels masked dramatically higher exposures in hot spots, but industry-funded scientists obstructed research on the health impacts.45
Also, every inch you put between yourself and your Wi-Fi router significantly lowers the strength of the radiation your body encounters. “Put it this way,” Foster says. “During a call, your mobile phone is transmitting steadily at a strength maybe 100 times more powerful than Wi-Fi, and you’re holding the phone right against your head, and we still don’t find any health issues with that level of exposure.”
To be sure, the industry could not have been pleased with some of the Interphone study’s conclusions. The study found that the heaviest cell-phone users were 80 percent more likely to develop glioma. (The initial finding of 40 percent was increased to 80 to correct for selection bias.) The Interphone study also concluded that individuals who had owned a cell phone for 10 years or longer saw their risk of glioma increase by nearly 120 percent. However, the study did not find any increased risk for individuals who used their cell phones less frequently; nor was there evidence of any connection with meningioma.36
An analysis of data from NCI's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program evaluated trends in cancer incidence in the United States. This analysis found no increase in the incidence of brain or other central nervous system cancers between 1992 and 2006, despite the dramatic increase in cell phone use in this country during that time (22).
The present study was carried out to investigate the potential combined influence of maternal restraint stress and 2.45 GHz WiFi signal exposure on postnatal development and behavior in the offspring of exposed rats. 24 pregnant albino Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups: Control, WiFi-exposed, restrained and both WiFi-exposed and restrained groups. Each of WiFi exposure and restraint occurred 2 h/day along gestation till parturition. The pups were evaluated for physical development and neuromotor maturation. Moreover, elevated plus maze test, open field activity and stationary beam test were also determined on postnatal days 28, 30 and 31, respectively. After behavioral tests, the rats were anesthetized and their brains were removed for biochemical analysis. Our main findings showed no detrimental effects on gestation progress and outcomes at delivery in all groups. Subsequently, WiFi and restraint, per se and mainly in concert altered physical development of pups with slight differences between genders. Behaviorally, the gestational WiFi irradiation, restraint and especially the associated treatment affected the neuromotor maturation mainly in male progeny. At adult age, we noticed anxiety, motor deficit and exploratory behavior impairment in male offspring co-exposed to WiFi radiation and restraint, and in female progeny subjected to three treatments. The biochemical investigation showed that, all three treatments produced global oxidative stress in brain of both sexes. As for serum biochemistry, phosphorus, magnesium, glucose, triglycerides and calcium levels were disrupted. Taken together, prenatal WiFi radiation and restraint, alone and combined, provoked several behavioral and biochemical impairments at both juvenile and adult age of the offspring.
There is a catch, though: The Internet of Things will require augmenting today’s 4G technology with 5G, thus “massively increasing” the general population’s exposure to radiation, according to a petition signed by 236 scientists worldwide who have published more than 2,000 peer-reviewed studies and represent “a significant portion of the credentialed scientists in the radiation research field,” according to Joel Moskowitz, the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, who helped circulate the petition. Nevertheless, like cell phones, 5G technology is on the verge of being introduced without pre-market safety testing.26
I've spent years tackling subjects from urban health to medical marijuana to behavioral science—both as a city reporter for my hometown public radio station in Tulsa, Okla., and as a freelance writer. Now I cover health and food at Consumer Reports. My hobbies include tinkering with computer code and watching trashy TV. Follow me on Twitter: @catharob.
7. Keep it locked. “Make sure that you have a secret PIN (personal identification number), a password, fingerprint setting or other security measures in place so that only you can access your phone.” – National Cyber Security Alliance, June is Internet Safety Month! The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and ConnectSafely Share Tips to Ensure Online Safety and Summertime Fun, PR Newswire; Twitter: @PRNewswire
Bluetooth allows your phone to communicate with other devices, such as the hands-free option in your car or your printer. If accessed by someone else though, they could misuse it to access your information or intercept your calls. Turn off the Bluetooth on your phone and turn it on only when you need to connect with other device. Many phones also allow users to set passcodes or additional security levels on their Bluetooth as well. Use all available options to increase your privacy.
Conclusions: Based on the extensive body of research and the adverse health effects demonstrated in the majority of the studies, it is recommended that steps should be taken to minimize RF radiation exposure in accordance with official recommendations. Wired solutions should be given preference. Current exposure limits and SAR values do not protect from health risks associated with Wi-Fi radiation. The adverse effects on learning, attention, and behavior serve as a basis for educational institutions of all age groups to forgo the use of Wi-Fi applications. Due to cytotoxic effects, Wi-Fi technologies are not suitable for hospitals and telemedicine. Wi-Fi technologies should not be used in bedrooms, work spaces, common lounges, hospital rooms, lecture halls, classrooms, and public transport. The possible risks associated with Wi-Fi radiation could be avoided by testing alternative technologies at other frequency bands like optical VLC/Li-Fi technologies (visible light communication). When Wi-Fi cannot be avoided as a transition solution, the ALARA principle must be applied: no continuous transmission, instead Wi-Fi networks that can be turned off and feature dynamic power management.
Another place that you want to use your cell phone hands-free is in your vehicle. Driving and texting or driving and talking on a mobile device that you hold in one of your hands is dangerous and one of the leading causes of traffic accidents and deaths. However, there are times when it's necessary to use your cell phone while driving, such as when you're using a GPS app. For these times, a car-mounted mobile device holder is the answer. These attach to your vehicle's dash or windshield in several ways, including suction cups, magnets and double-sided adhesive tape. These devices allow you to rotate the cell phone so you can see it vertically and horizontally, and some make it so you can adjust the angle of sight.
“The absence of absolute proof does not mean the absence of risk,” Annie Sasco, the former director of epidemiology for cancer prevention at France’s National Institute of Health and Medical Research, told the attendees of the 2012 Childhood Cancer conference. “The younger one starts using cell phones, the higher the risk,” Sasco continued, urging a public-education effort to inform parents, politicians, and the press about children’s exceptional susceptibility.28
This investigation concerns with the effect of low intensity microwave (2.45 and 16.5 GHz, SAR 1.0 and 2.01 W/kg, respectively) radiation on developing rat brain when exposed for 35 days. Results showed that the chronic exposure to these radiations caused statistically significant (p<0.001) increase in DNA single strand breaks in brain cells of rat.
Finally, if my phone is NOT in airplane mode… and I turn it off, are the RF signals still going?? I was thinking that turning the phone off is not enough.. you must have it in airplane mode (when phone is off or on) for the RF signals to stop. But #5 says “Make it a habit to either switch to flight mode or turn it off altogether when not in use.” Thanks for clarifying this; I am not a techie, so I just don’t know…
The use of Wi-fi has increased rapidly in recent years. Through the use of this technology, electronic devices are connected to a computer network wirelessly using radio waves, or radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic energy (EME), thereby eliminating or reducing the need for network cables. A common example is a laptop connected to the internet using a wi-fi modem at home. Wi-fi access points can also be found in schools and many public areas. People in a wi-fi enabled environment will be exposed to low level RF EME from time to time when using the network on computers and also from the access points. There is some public concern about potential health effects associated with RF EME emissions from wi-fi in homes, schools and other places.
The present work investigated the effects of prenatal exposure to radiofrequency waves of conventional WiFi devices on postnatal development and behavior of rat offspring. Ten Wistar albino pregnant rats were randomly assigned to two groups (n=5). The experimental group was exposed to a 2.45GHz WiFi signal for 2h a day throughout gestation period. Control females were subjected to the same conditions as treated group without applying WiFi radiations. After delivery, the offspring was tested for physical and neurodevelopment during its 17 postnatal days (PND), then for anxiety (PND 28) and motricity (PND 40-43), as well as for cerebral oxidative stress response and cholinesterase activity in brain and serum (PND 28 and 43). Our main results showed that the in-utero WiFi exposure impaired offspring neurodevelopment during the first seventeen postnatal days without altering emotional and motor behavior at adult age. Besides, prenatal WiFi exposure induced cerebral oxidative stress imbalance (increase in malondialdehyde level (MDA) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels and decrease in catalase (CAT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities) at 28 but not 43days old, also the exposure affected acethylcolinesterase activity at both cerebral and seric levels. Thus, the current study revealed that maternal exposure to WiFi radiofrequencies led to various adverse neurological effects in the offspring by affecting neurodevelopment, cerebral stress equilibrium and cholinesterase activity.
Reading the last paragraph of the previous section you might be saying “Ah hah! Microwaves! Microwaves are bad, they make things very hot and they could burn you!” That’s absolutely true. You would not want to build a human size microwave oven and stand inside it. Nor would you particularly enjoy being the target of the crowd-dispersing microwave cannons built and deployed by the U.S. military.
4. Erase your data with a swipe. “Apps like Find My iPhone and Lost will…allow you to remotely wipe the phone, erasing your personal data and restoring it to its original settings should it become stolen. This will help keep your passwords, logins, and online accounts safe.” – Amanda Perez, Cell Phone Safety Tips For Stolen Devices, ABC30; Twitter: @ABC30