The age of smartphone and 24 x 7 hyper-connectivity is truly upon us. Our smartphones have become a reflection of who we are – our choices, our tastes, our interests and insecurities. Smartphones have become miniaturized microcosms of lives. In our line of work of EMF radiation assessments, we are faced with multiple requests for cell tower audits – and yet we see people carry a mini cell tower on them 24 hours in a day – their own smartphones. By our estimates, your radiation exposure from the cell tower outside your home is less than 20 per cent of the radiation excesses – your smartphone is responsible for 50 per cent or more of your excess exposure to EMF radiation.
While cell towers are the most “visible” sources of EMF radiation, the cell phone is the “highest exposure” source of your radiation exposure (on a general basis, exceptions apart). No wonder that universally smartphones have to adhere to a threshold limit of radiation – called SAR value. All mobile phones must be lower than 1.6Watt/Kg at the head-side (i.e when you are holding the phone by your head near the ears). Many phone manufacturers (notably Apple) advice a minimum distance of separation between the phone and the head (typically 5mm to 15mm).
Here’s a list of mobile phone hacks that will reduce your EMF exposure.
1. Text, Use an earphone or a Bluetooth especially for longer conversations.
Reason: Radiation exposure falls exponentially as you increase distance between source (your phone) and the subject (yourself).
Effect: This one hack itself reduces your cell phone radiation exposure by 55 per cent- 98 per cent.
2. Limit calls in a low network area
Reason: In a low network area, your phone is working multiple times harder to reach out to cell phone signals and thus radiating much higher.
Effect: If you have a lot of phone call drops at your home or office, limiting mobile calls can reduce your exposure by 20 per cent - 50 per cent. Follow Step 1 for better results.
3. Use airplane mode for gaming (for your child)
Reason: Children are more susceptible to mobile radiation. Airplane mode while gaming cuts off excess radiation exposure for your kids.
Effect: Depending upon the gaming number of hours – this hack can reduce radiation exposure for your kids from 15 per cent - 60 per cent or more.
4. Sleep without your phone
Reason: Your body’s defences are the weakest when you are sleepiung. Biological repair processes precede during the state of sleep. Cell phone radiation and EMF can disrupt biological repair and cause restless sleep.
Effect: Reduces radiation exposure by 25 per cent - 40 per cent or even more.
5. Your trouser pocket is the worst place for your phone (Men)
Reason: Phones were never intended to by carried in trouser front sockets because of the effect of EMF radiation of male fertility.
Effect: According to recent surveys, 25 per cent-30 per cent males in the productive age have reduced semen count. This hack is a preventive one.
6. Avoid use of phones while driving or in trains.
Reason: Not only do cell phone calls cause accidents while driving– the vehicle metal structure concentrates RF/ cell phone radiation, intensifying RF effect on your body
Effect: Vehicles (cars, trains) keep moving in and out of networks. Therefore a cell-phone used in such a scenario is high on radiation.
7. Use a desk phone where ever possible (Welcome back to the 90s)
Reason: Desk phones have minimum radiation. There-fore call from deskphones while on your desk. Even if someone calls on your mobile, try calling back through deskphone.
Effect: Significantly reduces radiation exposures depending upon how long you speak on your mobile phone while at work.
8. Maintain distance even while using data
Reason: YouTube is great – but hold the phone at a distance. (Refer to point 2)
Effect: 10 per cent - 35 per cent reduction in radiation exposure depending upon your online video habit.
9. Carry your phone face inwards towards your body
Reason: The ante side of the phone usually houses the antenna. By keeping the backside positioned away from the body, we can create a distance differential that partially reduces EMF radiation absorbed by the body.
Effect: Key criteria if you are carrying the phone in your breast pocket. Important otherwise as well.
10. In Pregnancy, minimize usage, carrying and exposure to cell phones.
Reason: The baby inside the mother, is most vulnerable to any non-natural EMF and radiation.
Effect: There are multiple effects related to EMF on the baby including Autism. Lower and limited degree of EMF exposure helps the baby grow better.
11. Switch of the WiFi when not required
Reason: Always on WiFi network is like replicating a cell tower scenario at home.
Effect: Leads to decrease in WiFi and could reduce in radiation exposure by 10-40 per cent
12. If Bluetooth or WiFi or hotspot is not required on the phone – switch them off
Reason: All these functions are radio functions i.e they are transmitting EMF radiation and creating unnecessary exposures.
Effect: When you take a call with all these radios working together, the SAR threshold of exposure is routinely violated.
13. Carry your cellphone on a belt clip purse or the hip pocket
Reason: Of all the pockets in the body, breast or trouser front, the trouser back pockets are the places of least damage. We would however, insist wearing your phone a belt clip purse.
Effect: 10-20 per cent reduction depending basis network conditions.
On an end note, if all of this is not convincing enough – you may want to consider your cell phone as a mini microwave that you carry on yourself at all times and therefore, you may choose to act a little more responsibly about it.
Disclaimer: We are not against carrying cellphones. However it is important to know salient facts about the cell phone radiation – which can enable healthier habits and usages.
— Manas Ganguly, Founder, Brightsandz...