Dr Oz: Can Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?
Could our cell phones actually cause brain cancer? Dr Oz wanted to find out for himself if our cell phones could actually be putting us at risk, even more than originally thought. Americans spend an average of 195 minutes a day on their phones. Recent headlines and new information from Consumer Reports got Dr Oz a little concerned, so he wanted to put it all out there for his viewers.
Dr Oz: Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation
Recently, 190 scientists from 39 countries issued a health crisis warning, calling on governments all over the world to reduce human exposure to radiation from cellphones. In March, a German study found that cellphone signals can promote tumor growth in mice. Other studies, such as one in Denmark, found no cancer risk from cellphones.
The U.S. government has said that cellphones are essentially safe, but in Berkeley, California, a new law requires stores to put new packaging on cellphone packaging that says “If you carry or use your phone is a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is on and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation.
Deep within the settings of your phone, you’ll find statements that advise you to keep your phone at least one inch away from the body when carrying or using it. According to a Dr Oz online poll, 70% of consumers are concerned about cell phone radiation. So just how safe are our cell phones?
Dr Oz: Potentially Dangerous Cell Phone Waves
Dr Oz then explained that when you make a phone call, you phone sends and received a signal. The radiation waves from cell phones aren’t as strong as those from a microwave or radio, but the waves come from your cell phone can heat up water, which is what the human body is made up of. So exactly how much of these waves are coming from your phone?
RF Exposure is based in San Diego and is one of the few labs that does testing on cell phone radiation. Dr Butch Rosser visited the lab to find out how the testing is done. There’s a robotic arm that can test radiation exposure. Dr Rosser wanted to test how much exposure there was when a cell phone was held directly against the ear, about an inch away from the ear, and then down in front of the body.
Dr Oz: Testing Cell Phone Radiation
The phones were attached to a model of the human head at the exact testing spot, where the ear would be located. The model was the exact size mandated by the government for testing cell phones, but it turns out that only about 3% of the population has a head that size. The head was pretty large!
The mold was then filled with a substance designed to simulate human tissue. The model represents the electrical properties of the human head, so that they can see how much energy will penetrate through the tissue. A phone call is simulated while the probe moves through the mixture to measure radiation emitted by the phone. The radiation levels then show up on a computer.
Dr Oz: Reduce Exposure To Cell Phone Radiation
What the tests confirmed was that when you hold your phone just one inch away, you drop the radiation level by 70-80%. It drops even further the farther away your phone is held. Basically, the closer your phone is to your head, the more radiation you’re exposed to. When you hold your phone just 1 inch away from your head, you’re only exposed to 15% of your phone’s radiation. Three inches away, you’re only exposed to 5%. Both phones tested were well below the FCC radiation limit, but there’s a lot of variables that go into how much radiation you’re exposed to.
Dr Rosser then explained that another factor that determines your radiation level is how much service you have. If you have very little service, that means your phone is working harder, so there’s more radiation exposure. Technology is always changing, so it makes it even harder to really understand how radiation exposure affects our health.
Dr Oz: Are Cell Phones Dangerous?
Dr Rosser also explained that the antenna is where most of the radiation is emitted. In newer smartphones, the antenna is lower in the phone, which is farther away from your brain than in older phones. Plus, some countries have no begun banning cellphone advertisements to kids. Radiation affects kids’ brains different because their head is smaller, the bone is thinner, and the depth of penetration goes a lot farther.
Dr Oz reached out to the Wireless Association and they responded by saying “The FCC has determined that all wireless phones legally sold in the United States are ‘safe.'”