Whether you prefer a good baseball cap or you’re more of a beanie person, hats are…
*We may earn a commission for purchases made using our links. Please see our disclosure to learn more.
Cell phones are a nearly inescapable part of modern society. All the information we could need is available at a moment’s notice, and the details of our lives are uploaded to the cloud. Many jobs require you to use a cell phone, so even if you can avoid having one for personal reasons, the odds are good that you have to use one at some point.
All that cell phone usage may come at a price, however. It turns out that cell phones emit a form of EMF radiation that has been linked to numerous health conditions. Furthermore, the long-term effects of exposure haven’t been studied, so it’s possible there are health consequences that won’t be revealed for years to come.
As tempting as it may be to swear off all cell phones, that’s not a realistic solution for many Americans. We rely on our phones to keep track of our schedules, our finances, and even our health. To exist in society without one is unthinkable for many.
Fortunately, even though you may not be able to avoid cell phones altogether, there are things you can do to limit your exposure to their radiation.
Cell Phone Radiation and Why It’s Harmful
Cell phone radiation is a form of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. It is especially hazardous to humans because it comes at us from all directions. We are surrounded by cell phone towers and by cell phones being used nearly everywhere we go. We even carry them on our bodies.
In November 2018, the federal Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program announced the results of a study that concluded that there was “clear evidence” that cell phone radiation (2G and 3G in the study) caused DNA damage and cancer in mice.
Other studies have examined the effects of cell phone radiation, as well. A 2011 Swedish study, for example, looked at instances of malignant brain tumors compared to cell phone usage trends. Researchers found a statistically significant correlation between usage and malignant brain tumors, a risk that was particularly increased if the subject first used a cell phone prior to the age of 20.
There are two primary types of EMF radiation emitted by cell phones: ELF-EMF and RF-EMF radiation. RF-EMF is emitted by many wireless communications devices, and it radiates at a much higher frequency than ELFs. RF-EMF radiation has been linked to breast cancer, sperm damage and male infertility, and even gliomas, the deadliest of brain tumors. ELF-EMF radiation is emitted by electricity and has been linked to childhood leukemia.
What To Do About It
Unless you work a job where you’re on call 24 hours a day, you may want to consider turning your cell phone off at night. If you can’t stand the thought of going off-grid for a few hours, or if you use your cell phone as an alarm clock, at least keep it across the room at night. Strive for a minimum of six feet away from your bed to help minimize your absorption of EMF radiation.
Another step to take is to go into airplane mode whenever possible. By turning off your data and WiFi, you will be lowering your phone’s overall EMF output. Most games, music, and movies can be easily downloaded onto your device so you don’t require a constant internet connection. If you don’t need to be connected to data, turn it off. The sending and receiving of data signals generate RF-EMF.
Of course, these measures will not protect you when you are actually using your phone. The best solution would be to not use a cell phone at all. But that’s no longer feasible for most of us. Those work emails won’t answer themselves, and you can’t miss your weekly call with mom.
So, what does that mean for those of us who feel we can’t live without our cell phones?
It means we need to protect ourselves.
Minimizing your cell phone usage is one key thing you can do to reduce your EMF exposure. Many times, cell phones are used as time wasting devices. We scroll through social media, check the news, and play games while waiting in line at the grocery store or winding down before bed. If your goal is to be around less cell phone radiation, however, the aim should be to use your phone only when necessary.
1. Get a case
EMF protection cases slide over your phone and help reduce the amount of radiation that reaches the user. They don’t usually cover the entire device– in order to allow a signal to pass through, most cases just go over the phone’s screen. Nonetheless, this does result in a reduction of EMF, making it safer to handle the device. One option is DefenderSheld’s EMF radiation case, which is lab tested and FCC certified to block nearly 100% of your phone’s EMF output.
2. Locate and protect against nearby towers
Cell phones and towers go hand in hand. If your phone has a strong signal strength at your home, there is a good chance that there is a tower nearby. Depending on your area, it may be a 5G tower, 4G, or both. Just like a cell phone, towers produce RF-EMF radiation, and if your home is in close proximity to one, it could be increasing your levels of exposure. If you find a tower nearby, you can apply a layer or two of EMF protective paint on the wall facing said tower. Or, if painting isn’t an option, an EMF shielding fabric could be hung on the wall, as well. For help locating towers near you, see our guide to locating 5G towers.
3. Use a headset
Talking on your cell phone requires putting the phone up against your head for the duration of your call. Unfortunately, the closer you are to an EMF-emitting device, the more radiation you’re exposed to. So when you put your phone next to your ear, you are blasting your brain with radiation. To create more distance between you and the device during phone calls, try using an air tube headset. These are wired headsets that plug into your phone and allow you to continue your call from a distance. SYB’s Air Tube Stereo Anti-Radiation Headset is one example– it simply plugs into your phone and you’re ready to either listen to music or chat away. For other headset options, head over to the Ten Best Air Tube Headsets of 2020.
4. Turn Bluetooth off
If your car automatically pairs with your cell phone or you regularly use another Bluetooth device, it can be tempting to leave your phone’s Bluetooth turned on. Not only does this drain your battery, however, but it also exposes you to higher levels of EMF radiation. When your phone’s Bluetooth receiver is powered on, it’s constantly searching for a signal to pair with. Turning Bluetooth off lowers your phone’s overall EMF output.
5. Don’t store the phone on your body
It’s easy to slip your cell phone into your pocket and go. Remember, however, that decreasing the distance between you and your device increases your radiation exposure. So when you have your phone in your pants pocket, you are exposing your sensitive reproductive organs to potentially harmful EMF radiation. In men, this has been studied and shown to cause problems with sperm motility and quality. Try and store your device away from your body if at all possible. And if not, consider shutting the phone off– or at least putting it on airplane mode– prior to putting it in your pocket.
6. Hold the phone back
If you’re texting or playing a game on your device, it’s common to rest it on your lap or at least hold it in close proximity with your body. Now that you know about the relationship between proximity and EMF exposure, however, you may be able to imagine why that’s problematic. To get around this, try and hold the phone as far away from you as possible while in use. Of course, you still need to be able to see and reach the screen, but it doesn’t need to be resting on or directly next to you. The more distance you can keep, the better.
Although researchers are continuing to study the harmful effects of cell phone radiation, it’s becoming increasingly clear that EMF protection makes sense. There are things you could and should do to guard yourself against EMF radiation. Keeping your phone away from your bed, turning it in airplane mode whenever possible, and even shutting it off from time to time are all great steps toward lowering your overall EMF exposure.
In addition to lifestyle changes, an EMF-proof case is another great tool in your arsenal. If you’re concerned about exposure to EMF radiation from your cell phone, an EMF-proof case is a must-have purchase. We scoured the internet to find some of the best cases out there and compiled them in one convenient list. The options recommended here all offer at least 87% EMF protection, and many are available for under $100.
If you’d rather find your own case, an EMF meter is a great way to verify that it does what it promises. If your case is advertising 99% EMF protection, measure the output yourself to ensure that you’re getting what you paid for. Just make sure you have an EMF meter that is capable of recording both ELF and RF-EMF.
Cell phones aren’t going anywhere. We will be using them for the foreseeable future, so it’s important to safeguard yourself against their potentially harmful effects. Common sense lifestyle modifications and the purchase of an EMF resistant cell phone case can go a long way. Your health is worth it.