Cell Phone Radiation Exposure ‘May Impact Human Health’ Say California Health Officials

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Source: Dean Moriarty, pixabay.com, June 28, 2016

On Dec. 13, 2017 the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued guidelines on how individuals and families can reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation. The document addresses concerns that cell phone radiation may negatively affect human health.

The guidelines suggest a number of ways that people can reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation, including keeping the phone away from the body when not in use, sending text messages instead of talking, and using a headset or the speakerphone function. In addition, the guidelines recommend reducing or avoiding cell phone use when your signal is weak. The CDPH also recommended reducing or avoiding cell phone use while in a fast moving car, bus, or train, as this causes higher levels of radiation to be emitted as the phone switches connections from one cell tower to the next.

According to CDPH Director Dr. Karen Smith, “although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones.” These concerns include the possibility that long-term cell phone use may be linked to certain types of brain tumors and cancer, as well as lowered sperm count and negative effects on memory, hearing, behavior, and sleep.

In response to the release of the guidelines, the wireless telecommunications industry association CTIA stated that “Americans’ health is important to CTIA and the wireless industry, and we encourage consumers to consult the experts. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the World Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and numerous other international and U.S. organizations and health experts, the scientific evidence shows no known health risk due to the RF energy emitted by cellphones.”

However, according to Dr. Joel Moskowitz, Director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley, there is cause for concern. In a Dec. 13 press release, he argued that the document published by the CDPH “understates the health risks from long-term exposure to cell phone radiation because the preponderance of the research finds that cell phone radiation poses a major risk to human health.” Dr. Moskowitz had previously sued the CDPH to get them to release the guidelines on reducing exposure to radiofrequency radiation from cell phones.


Barbara Anderson, “Have a Cell Phone Against Your Ear? You Should Consider Putting It Down,” fresnobee.com, Dec. 13, 2017

California Department of Public Health, “CDPH Issues Guidelines on How to Reduce Exposure to Radio Frequency Energy from Cell Phones,” cdph.ca.gov, Dec. 13, 2017

KCRA, “Year After Lawsuit, California Health Officials Release Cell Phone Radiation Safety Guide,” kcra.com, Dec. 13, 2017

Tom Lochner, “State Cell Phone Exposure Guidelines Echo Berkeley,” eastbaytimes.com, Dec. 14, 2017

Joel M. Moskowitz, “Cell Phone Safety Guidance from the California Public Health Department,” saferemr.com, Dec. 13, 2017