Among the many considerations you make when buying a smartphone, I’ll bet its level of radiofrequency or electromagnetic radiation are not high on your list. But if you’ve found yourself beginning to glow in the dark then perhaps you should read on.
All smartphones emit a level of radiation. This is not disputed. This is generally through wifi, Bluetooth and LTE connections. But then so do TVs, radios, microwaves and many other devices.
While, as yet, there is no evidence of any short-term effects, it is still unclear if there are serious long-term effects. While the World Health Organisation acknowledges this, they do nevertheless categorise emissions as ‘possible human carcinogens.’
Let’s do the science. Considering our phones, we need to differentiate between ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. Non-ionizing includes microwaves, sound waves and visible light. It produces enough energy to move atoms around but not enough to remove electrons completely.
In contrast, ionizing radiation does have enough energy to move around tightly bound electrons from atoms, which in turn creates ions. This form is found in ultraviolet, x-rays and gamma ray devices.
Our smartphones emit non-ionizing radiation but at extremely low frequencies. These frequencies have been found to be harmless to the human body but has everything to do with why your phone gets hot.
It has been found that any increase in radiofrequency can be harmful to your body by means of tissue heating. Your skin absorbs the energy produced by your phone and can result in rises in temperature in the brain and other parts of the body.
So, should we be worried – probably not but it is a good idea to take care over and consider things we could do to reduce the potential harmful impact of the radiation.
Using a headset helps you to maintain a distance from your phone when you are on a call. Experts suggest keeping your phone at a decent distance when it’s not in use and a minimum distance of one foot when using headphones.
Limit the phone usage while in a car or plane or any vehicle because these are surrounded by metals and this increases the radiation effect.
Avoid keeping your phone close when asleep and it is recommended you should turn it off when not in use.
Try to limit call times. With prolonged calls the exposure to radiation increases continuously. And radiation emissions increase as the battery gets warmer when used over a long period.
Likewise, avoid calls when the battery is low because, again the level of radiation emissions increases in this condition.
Finally, don’t place the phone to your ear when a call is connecting. It has been found that when waiting for a person to pick up your call, your phone is emitting its strongest signals.