While traveling this summer, I opted not to do the body scanner at the airport. Since I had gotten to the airport early, I figure I would take my time and even endure a physical pat down instead. At a busy Atlanta airport, one could only imagine that the TSA officers were not pleased that I would interrupt their robotic assembly line for one of them to do a human body scan.

The mildly annoyed TSA female officer who was clearly in charge asked, “Why do you want a pat down. Don’t you know the cell phone you use every day has more radiation than the body scanner?”

That was news for me. Being the curious type I was, I mentally stored the information away for a later time until I was able to research it. Months had gone by and I had totally forgotten about cell phones and radiation until my husband came to me this Saturday, complaining that his cell phone was irritating his ear. The ear where he was using his phone had turned beet red and was soar.

Thus began my research…

The health risks of radiation from cell phones

Mobile phones, which are used by approximately 6.9 billion subscribers around the world, use electromagnetic fields. These electromagnetic fields are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic to humans.  That means radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer although no adverse health effects have been established. However, some scientific studies have shown the following conditions as a result of heavily cell phone usage: sperm count and sperm damage, altered brain metabolism, sleep disturbances and behavioral changes in children. Findings continue to be inconsistent, but ‘”the biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences, “ says Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,  in a CNN health report.

Mobile phones act like a microwave oven. What microwaves do to food is what cell phones do to the brain.  In its most simplistic terms, these phones are slowly cooking the brain, says Dr. Black. In addition, to cancerous tumors, “’there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones,’” says Dr. Black.  However, there are some who may feel that this is another case where the situation is being blown out of proportion. Some state that the heating effect of cell phones occur at the surface of the head only, which is far less exposure of the head to direct sunlight.

Ways to prevent radiation exposure from cell phones

Well, we all know what eventually happens to a grape in the sun. Or, perhaps, the frog being slowly cooked under low heat may be a better analogy here. There are reasons to be precautious as the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have continued to advise. Hence, it is wise to pay heed to their guidelines:

  • Use “hands-free” devices, which keep mobile phones away from the head and body during phone calls.
  • Use the speaker phone more often.
  • Limit the number and length of calls.
  • Use the phone in areas of good reception as it decreases exposure to radiation by using reduced power.

Many health problems are like seeds in the ground that manifest after many years. Do we really need a government agency to define our limits? For some, it may be needed. But remember as believers, we have the Holy Spirit as our guide who lives in our mortal bodies called the temple of God. As our society becomes technologically driven more and more each day, it becomes also crucial for us to “come away” and find quietude in order for our bodies to be healed, our souls to be restored and our spirits to be renewed.  We should be mindful that technology has the power to affect our physical, mental and spiritual health and well-being.