California Warns Residents of Possible Risk From Cell Phone Exposure

State and local governments continue to assess the potential public health risks of prolonged exposure to radio frequency (RF) energy, the type created by cell phones. In December 2017, California’s public health agency issued new guidelines on the subject, advising parents to consider limiting their children’s exposure to cell phones, as the scientific community continues to study the long-term effect of RF energy on developing minds and bodies.

The guidelines, published by the California Department of Public Health, explain that RF energy generated by cell phones “goes out from the phone’s antenna in all directions,” including the user’s head and body. And while the RF energy produced by phones are not as powerful as other sources, such as X-rays or even the sun’s natural radiation, the Department acknowledged that “there may be increased health risks from exposure to RF energy” at lower levels.

The Department also pointed to a number of clinical studies and laboratory experiments that strongly suggest a link between prolonged RF exposure via cell phones to the following conditions:

  • Brain cancer and brain tumors;
  • Lower sperm counts in men;
  • Headaches;
  • Impairment of memory and learning;
  • Negative effects on hearing; and
  • Disruption of sleep.

Although the Department notes that some scientists disagree with the premise that these conditions can be definitively linked to cell phone usage, the agency nonetheless says guidance is necessary to help families reduce their RF exposure “despite this uncertainty.” Among the steps advised by the Department:

  • Do not hold a cell phone directly against your head when speaking; instead, use a headset or the speakerphone setting on your device. But remove a wireless headset when not in use, as it also emits small amounts of RF energy.
  • Send a text message when making a call is unnecessary.
  • Do not carry your cell phone in your pocket, bra, or belt holster; keep the device in a backpack, briefcase, or purse instead.
  • Do not take your cell phone into bed with you.
  • Avoid products that claim to block RF energy or serve as a “radiation shield.” Such products do not work and can, in fact, lead your cell phone to emit higher amounts of RF energy as it struggles to stay connected to the cellular network.

Are Cell Phones Harming Your Children’s Health?

In a separate statement accompanying the new guidelines, Dr. Karen Smith, California’s chief public health officer, said that parents should also “consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.” Smith noted children’s brains remain in development throughout their teen years and “may be more affected by cell phone use” than more mature adults.

Indeed, there is still much we do not know about the severity that RF energy has on our children. If your child or another family member has developed a serious health problem and you suspect RF exposure may be the cause, you should speak with a qualified cell phone cancer attorney who can review your case and outline your legal options. Call the offices of Frasier, Frasier & Hickman, LLP, at (918) 584-4724 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. January 11, 2018


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