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Mobile Phones Are A Danger To Health, California Warns

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The California Department of Public Health weighed in on the controversial subject of how mobile phones might be harming human health, warning people to stay away from the devices, especially children.

Since mobile phones came out – the pre-smartphone years – scientists, environmental activists and other conspiracy theorists have waxed dire about how the radio frequency cellphones use to communicate with cell towers could have damaging consequences, Gizmodo reports. The primary fear was that the non-ionizing radiation would penetrate human cells and raise the risk for certain cancers. Scientists have largely dismissed these potential links as unproven or improbable.

Now, not only is California warning against too much cellphone use, the agency has also issued guidelines on how people can reduce their exposure to radio frequency energy.

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

In addition to brain and head cancer, radio frequency energy has also been associated with infertility, headaches, memory loss or learning problems, CDPH said.

The CPDH guidelines went through two drafts, the first of which had its fair share of controversy. This new set includes more steps on how to avoid radio frequency exposure, such as keeping cellphones away from the body while asleep, removing headsets when not on a call, avoiding cellphone use when the signal is weak, or not using phones to stream music or video, or to download large files. The guidelines also warn people not to use so-called radio frequency blockers, as these might actually increase exposure levels.

A debate remains on how harmful radio frequency energy actually is, however. The World Health Organization categorized radio frequency energy as a Class 2B environment agent, meaning it is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The Food and Drug Administration, on the other hand, says that “the weight of scientific evidence does not show an association between exposure to radio frequency from cellphones and adverse health outcomes.”

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