What can be done to reduce exposure to RF energy by cell phones?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have suggested some steps that cellular telephone users can take if they are concerned about potential health risks from cellular telephones:

     • Reserve the use of cellular telephones for shorter conversations, or for times when a conventional phone is not available.

     • Switch to a type of cellular telephone with a hands-free device that will place more distance between the antenna and the head of the phone user.

Hands-free kits reduce the amount of RF energy exposure to the head because the antenna, which is the source of RF energy, is not placed against the head. However, most studies conducted on cellular telephone use and cancer risk have focused on hand-held models not equipped with hands-free systems because they deliver the most RF energy to the user's head.

This answer is based on source information from the National Cancer Institute.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

You can reduce your risk of exposure to radiation from your cell phone by following these steps:

1.      Put it on speaker. Because your exposure drops exponentially as you move the phone away from your head, you don't have to keep the phone very far away to reduce your exposure by 1,000 to 10,000 times.

2.      Go wired. In crowded, noisy areas, use a wired headset instead. If you must use a wireless headset, turn it off when you're not using it.

3.      Store it. Unless you're on it, stow the phone in your purse or bag. If you keep it on your waist, keep it turned off. Studies have shown that keeping a cell phone in your pocket can decrease sperm count.

4.      Save it for a strong signal. When reception is bad (such as in a rural areas or when you're driving), use your phone for emergencies only. The weaker the signal, the more the radio frequency has to boost itself to get connected, increasing your exposure.

5.      Protect the kids. Do not let children use cell phones next to their heads. For older kids, it shouldn't take much encouragement to get them to text more than they chat.

This content originally appeared on

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.