Monday, 23 October 2017

Is sleeping next to your phone dangerous? Does the radiation really cause cancer?

Renee Hartsook PhD DABT
First, let’s understand the facts about mobile devices and this perception of risk of harm:
  • The type of energy emitted from mobile devices is radiofrequency and it does not have the ability to damage to DNA like ionizing radiation (such as an x-ray).
  • Several large epidemiology studies were conducted on mobile phone use and the risk of central nervous system cancers. The studies do not establish an association between mobile device use and the risk of central nervous system cancers.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, is the predominant public health authority on identifying and labelling carcinogens as such. Their working group concluded that it was possible that radiofrequency exposure from mobile devices is associated with cancer risk.
However, all of US health agencies (Centers for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences) make strong statements for mobile device safety and find no link between radiofrequency energy and cancer risk.
Bottom line: As a toxicologist do I believe that there is a risk? No.
That said, common sense is a good thing. I would not advocate sleeping with your phone next to your head, primarily because you will benefit from uninterrupted sleep.

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