Top Tips to Avoid Wireless Radiation

By Leah Zerbe

Kids using cell phones is the norm. But is it safe?

Last year, the World Health Organization named cellphone radiation a possible carcinogen, putting it in a class with DDT, lead, and tailpipe exhaust in terms of potential to cause cancer. Because the technology is still relatively new and cancers could take decades to develop, researchers haven't been able to definitively prove or disprove that cellphones, or other wireless devices like iPads, cause cancer.

The latest evidence suggesting you might want to practice the precautionary principal to protect your family from cellphone radiation? A new animal study out of Yale University found that prenatal exposure to cellphone radiation increases the risk of a child's developing ADHD symptoms. This isn't the first study to link cellphones to behavioral problems in kids. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found that children born in the mid- to late-1990s, the early days of cellphone use, were more likely to experience behavioral problems by age 7 if their mothers used a cellphone on a regular basis during and after pregnancy.

Another recent study found that a child's growing body can absorb up to 10 times the radiation an adult's body absorbs, another reason to limit exposure.

Aside from an increased risk of behavioral problems, cellphone radiation has been linked to ringing in the ears, bone loss, concentration problems, and sometimes, rashes.

The good news is you don't have to totally abandon your iPad or smartphone to protect yourself from cellphone radiation.

Use these tips to drastically reduce the amount of radiation your absorb from cellphones and similar gadgets.

Put your phone in a safer mode. If you're using your phone for certain tasks, you may not even need the wireless transmitters turned on. "Teach your kids to keep their phone or iPad on Airplane Mode as much as possible," Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, author Zapped: Why Your Cellphone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution. "Switching off the Wi-Fi and 3G transmitters reduces radiation exposure but still allows access to music, movies, apps, and games."

Don't sleep with your phone. Make sure family members, especially children, turn off radiation-emitting devices every night, and never allow them to sleep with the devices on or near them. Use a good old-fashioned alarm clock, not a cellphone version, near the bed.

Pick a Pong. Pong cellphone and iPad cases were developed by MIT, Princeton, Harvard, and UCLA scientists, and have been tested in labs to ensure they reduce radiation exposure by up to 95 percent below the FCC limit. Even celebrities like Jillian Michaels and Mila Kunis have been spotted with Pong cases.

Establish some headroom. Use speaker phone instead of talking with a cellphone up against your head, and favor texting versus talking whenever possible…it creates more space between the device and your body. (Just don't text while driving!)

Gittleman suggests putting your iPad on a stand instead of on your lap, especially when using it for long periods of time, such to watch a movie.

ABC News, Author Ann Louise Gittleman PhD
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Note: The Rodale Research Feed features new research findings that may include preliminary or unconfirmed results. Check with a healthcare provider, or an appropriate advisor you trust, before making any significant changes based on these reports.

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