Health officials at the California Department of Public Health released guidelines for safe cell phone practices for the first time, citing radiation dangers as one of the main warnings.
The strategies for lowering cell phone-related health issue risks from the CDPH come from research that suggests long-term, consistent use might lead to disease and illness, although the department acknowledges that the scientific community is somewhat at odds over the effects cell phones can cause in people.
“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Karen Smith said in a statement. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”
To reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones, the CDPH recommends:
About 95% of Americans own a cell phone, according to the CDPH, and 12% rely on the device for daily access to the internet. The average age in the U.S. when a child receives his or her own mobile device is just 10 years old today, with the majority keeping them within arm’s reach at all times.
“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” Smith said. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.”