Phone warning issued by California Department of Public Health

(KGTV) - The California Department of Public Health issued a warning this week, indicating people should not keep their cell phones near their bodies to decrease their exposure to the radio frequency energy emitted by phones.

Cell phones emit radio frequency energy when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers. Research indicates long-term, high use may impact health, the CDPH said. 

"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," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. "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."

About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone. The average age when children get their first phone is 10 years old and many young people keep their phones near them most of the day and while they sleep, the CDPH said. 

"Children's brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use," said Dr. Smith. "Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night."

The CDPH has recommendations for safe use including:

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
  • Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.
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