This week, the World Health Organization acknowledged what many health safety advocates had suspected for years — that using cell phones could carry a cancer risk. This stands in contrast to its previous statements, which emphasized that there’s no conclusive evidence that cellular phones pose health dangers.
Critics say there still isn’t conclusive proof. After all, there have been studies arguing both sides of this for years, and it’s not like WHO released any new findings here. Still, many users subscribe to the “better safe than sorry” ethos, and if you’re one of them, there are a few simple things you can do.
1- Use earbuds or headsets. On the road, you’ll want to use a Bluetooth car accessory or aux jack, but on foot, the higher measure of safety beyond Bluetooth products are the trusty old wired earbuds or headsets. If you continually forget them, think about keeping a spare in your jacket or purse.
2- Try a retro handset accessory. There’s something fun and quirky about wired, old school telephones. So no wonder accessory makers are increasingly catering to people who yearn for that shoulder-holding magic once more. For those concerned about cell phone radiation, products like Moshi Moshi’s Pop Phone (right) or the Retro Handset from Yubz Talk (vid below) aren’t just cute props, but could almost be considered preventative health products.
3- Turn on speakerphone mode. If you don’t have earbuds handy, and are somewhere private (like your bedroom), don’t forget about speakerphone mode. Since no one wants a speaker blaring into their face, it’s a pretty sure-fire way to keep that handset at bay.
4- Hold the phone at least an inch (or more) away from your head. There’s also the simple approach of just keeping the handset away from your face. (Tip: Most people naturally raise their voice when the device is further away. Don’t. Cell phone mics are generally sensitive enough that this isn’t required. And in fact, shouting into the mic could actually blow out the sound and make it harder for pals to hear that juicy story you’re telling.)
There are also anti-radiation cases on the market that promise to block harmful waves, and some definitely seem less dicey than others. Frankly, I’m not too sure how well they work. They seem like the cell phone–cancer studies themselves — the evidence doesn’t appear all that conclusive. But hey, if it gives you some peace of mind, that alone could be worth it.
Are you doing anything to minimize exposure? Let us know in the comments below.