Environmental Health Trust –  December 14, 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) just issued long-awaited recommendations to reduce microwave radiation exposures from cell phones, especially for children. Spurred by a lawsuit and research suggesting that “long-term, high use may impact human health,” the CDPH press release includes guidance on why and how to reduce cell phone radiation. The CDPH drafted more than 27 versions of this advice since 2008, but December 13, 2017 was the first time CDPH published it online. The CDPH original 2008 guidance referred to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute 2007 Cell Phone Advice and also included recommendations for state employees to reduce exposures to microwave radiation from cell phones as well as home and office cordless phones. The newly released guidance focuses only on cell phones cautioning that “children may be more at risk”  because they will be exposed to cell phone radiation for a “lifetime”  and with radiation exposures deeper into their brain

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. The new three-page CDPH guidance includes practical steps to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, 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 videos and not sleeping with your cell phone. The guidance also states:

“Laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that long-term, high use of cell phones may be linked to certain types of cancer and other health effects, including: brain cancer and tumors of the acoustic nerve and salivary glands, lowered  sperm quality and inactive or less mobile sperm, headaches and effects on learning and memory, hearing, behavior and sleep.”

The new CDPH guidance includes practical steps both adults and children could take to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones.  
·       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.

Click here to see the December 2017 CDPH Cell Phone Advice



SEE ALSO – California’s Cell Phone Safety Guidance: Media Coverage (

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