The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Cell Phone Radiation Risks: California Issues Groundbreaking Guidelines
By Olga Naidenko
This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children's developing brains could be at greater risk.
The state Department of Public Health was forced to release the guidelines in March after a lawsuit by University of California, Berkeley, researcher Dr. Joel Moskowitz. At the time, the department said the guidelines were only a draft, but they now are the state's official position. The Department of Public Health guidelines closely align with EWG's Guide to Safer Cell Phone Use, published in 2016.
In studies by the federal National Toxicology Program, male rats exposed to cell phone radiation had a greater chance of developing a brain cancer called malignant glioma, as well as developing a tumor found on the heart. Based on human epidemiological studies demonstrating increased risk of brain tumors, the World Health Organization has declared cell phone radiation a possible carcinogen. Meanwhile, the telecom industry continues to fight efforts to inform the public.
In a press release, Department of Public Health Director Karen Smith said:
Simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults ... Children's brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use. Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.
Now more than ever, Americans need real-world, relevant data on how much radiation is emitted from cell phones and the other wireless devices that pervade our lives. Until this information is publicly available, taking steps to lower exposure to wireless radiation is prudent.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
In a new report about how the world's coral reefs face "the combined threats of climate change, pollution, and overfishing" — endangering the future of marine biodiversity — a London-based nonprofit calls for greater global efforts to end the climate crisis and ensure the survival of these vital underwater ecosystems.
The world is using up more and more resources and global recycling is falling. That's the grim takeaway from a new report by the Circle Economy think tank, which found that the world used up more than 110 billion tons, or 100.6 billion metric tons, of natural resources, as Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
By George Citroner
- Recent research finds that official government figures may be underestimating drug deaths by half.
- Researchers estimate that 142,000 people died due to drug use in 2016.
- Drug use decreases life expectancy after age 15 by 1.4 years for men and by just under 1 year for women, on average.
Government records may be severely underreporting how many Americans die from drug use, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University.