10 Tips to Limit Your Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

Exposure to cell phone radiation is a constant for most of us.  Our phone is with us all the time and is our connection to the world. Cell phones emit radio-frequency (RF) energy. When you hold your cell phone next to your head or wear it on your body, you can absorb over 50% of the transmitted RF energy. While cell phones bring enormous convenience to our lives, the possible health consequences of exposure to cell phone radiation have aroused considerable public attention and scientific debate.

Here at Pong, we feel that it is important to take precautionary steps to protect yourself and minimize your exposure while the cell phone radiation studies continue to gather data. So how to limit your exposure to cell phone radiation? The most effective, practical and proven way to protect yourself from exposure to cell phone radiation is to use a Pong radiation protection cell phone case. If you don’t have a Pong case yet, or one is not available for your particular mobile device, I have put together the following tips for things you can do in your daily life to help protect yourself and limit your exposure to cell phone radiation.

Avoid Body Contact

Follow the phone manufacturer’s warnings found in your owner’s manual and avoid using or carrying your cell phone against your head or body at all times.  Most recommend having at least 10mm of space between you and your phone.  That means you shouldn’t keep it in your pocket and women shouldn’t keep it in their bra.

Text More

Whenever possible, text rather than talk. When texting your phone will be likely held in your hand and further from your body.  This distance creates a much larger buffer between you and the powerful near field radiation from the phone.

Use Speaker Mode or a Wired Headset

If a call must be made, use the speakerphone or a wired headset.  When holding the phone against your head for a call you are increasing the amount of radiation your head will be absorbing.  Near field radiation from the phone is most concerning when the phone is against your body.  The speaker or wired headsets reduce the amount of near field radiation you are exposed to.

Shorter Calls

Limit the length of your cell phone conversations. This one is simple math.  Less time talking with a phone against your head equals less radiation going into your body.  Use a corded landline phone if available. Do not use a cordless phone for long conversations.

Limit Kids Cell Phone Use Time

Children should only use cell phones for emergencies or strictly in speaker mode at a safe distance. A child’s body is still developing and cell phone radiation penetrates a child’s brain more deeply than an adult brain.  Very few studies have been completed on the effect of this radiation on children’s development.

Switch Sides of Head When Talking

Switch sides regularly during a cell phone call to reduce radiation exposure to just one side of your head.  Most of us use the same hand all the time to hold the phone when we talk.  Try to switch to your other hand and it will help so that one side of your head doesn’t always get all the radiation.

Avoid Use When Low Signal

Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train. These scenarios cause mobile phones to increase their transmitting power in an attempt to connect to the nearest cell tower. You get more radiation and your battery drains faster under these conditions.

Wait For Call Connection

When making a call, wait for the call to connect before placing the phone next to the ear. The phone emits the most intense radiation during the initial connection, then lowers its power once a connection is established.  A couple extra seconds will go a long ways here.

Be Careful About “Shielding” Products

Follow FTC advice to avoid using products on your cell phone that claim to “shield” cell phone emissions, because they may interfere with the phone’s signal.  This may cause it to draw even more power and possibly emit more radiation as it is working harder to communicate.  (Note:  The Pong case does not shield radiation.  Instead it redirects and redistributes radiation, to reduce your exposure.)

Be Careful About What Case You Use

Do not use a cell phone case unless it has been proven not to increase SAR or weaken your cell phone signal. Many standard cases can weaken the cell phone’s signal, shorten battery life, or increase radiation emissions.

Use Airplane Mode

Turn your cell phone off or put it in airplane mode when not in use. If you must leave your cell phone on at night, keep your cell phone away from your head and body while you are sleeping. Your phone continues to emit radiation even when you are not making a call.

 

Should Cell Phone Radiation be Re-classified as a Probable Human Carcinogen (Group 2A)?

Cell phones are an indispensable part of our lives. The potential human health consequences of cell phone / mobile phone radiation exposure have become a topic of debate worldwide. Because our heads and bodies absorb more than 50% of the radiation from a cell phone in normal use, scientists have voiced concerns over whether or not cell phone radiation can cause brain tumors or other cancers.

IARC Classifications

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) categorizes agents into five categories: Group 1: carcinogenic to humans; Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans; Group 2B: possibly carcinogenic to humans; Group 3: not classifiable as to carcinogenicity in humans; and Group 4: probably not carcinogenic to humans. Both Group 2A and Group 2B classifications mean that there is some chance that an agent can cause cancer but we are not completely sure yet. Compared to Group 2B, Group 2A means more evidence toward a higher chance of cancer risk. An example of Group 2A agents is UV radiation, and an example of Group 2B agents is lead.

In 2011, the IARC classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B). The classification was mainly based on two lines of evidence at that time. The first was from a 13-country international study coordinated by the IARC known as the Interphone Study, which found a 40% increased risk of brain tumor called glioma for “heavy” cell phone users—which the study defined as an accumulated 1,640 hours or more life-time cell phone use, which is equivalent to about half-an-hour daily use for 10 years. (The proliferation of cell phone technology since the Interphone Study, of course, would consider this level of usage less than “heavy” by current standards.) The other line of evidence came from studies by Prof. Hardell in Sweden, which also found significantly increased risk of brain tumors for such long-term and heavy cell phone users.

The Debate

However, a 2015 mobile phone radiation study published in the International Journal of Oncology disagreed with the current IARC classification and believed that cell phone radiation should be reclassified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” (group 2A) instead.

The study based its Group 2A argument on new scientific evidence that strengthened the association between cell phone radiation exposure and brain tumors. The new evidence was from a 2014 French study known as the CERENAT Study published in the British journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine, which found increased risk of brain tumors for the “heaviest” cell phone users—which the study defined as those whose life-long cumulative duration of cell phone use is 896 hours or more, substantially below the level denoted as “heavy” use in the Interphone Study. Specifically, the CERENAT Study found an increased risk in those who had prolonged use, made numerous calls, whose use was especially occupational and more often in urban areas.

This study was not the first to argue that the IARC classification of cell phone radiation as a “possible carcinogen” should be raised to a “probable carcinogen” level. Last year, Dr. Dariusz Leszczynski, one of the 31 scientists invited by the IARC to classify cell phone radiation, also argued in his 2014 blog post that there were 3 independent lines of evidence (the Interphone Study, the studies by Prof. Hardell in Sweden and the CERENAT Study) reaching similar conclusions that long-term heavy cell phone use increases the risk of developing brain cancer and the evidence was sufficient to classify cell phone radiation as a probable human carcinogen (Group 2A). He further claimed that “three replicates of the epidemiological evidence makes human evidence strong and some might say that the human evidence is now sufficient to put the cell phone radiation in the category of human carcinogen (Group 1).”

New Study Underway

The best way to resolve the classification argument is through further research. A new international study (the COSMOS Study) is underway to address the important unanswered questions concerning the long-term public health risks from wireless technologies. The study started on April 1, 2008 and is currently in its second 5-year period (ending May 31, 2019). A total of 290,000 adult mobile phone users were recruited across Europe. The study plans to follow the participants’ health status for 20 to 30 years. The outcome from the COSMOS Study will provide further insight into the most appropriate classification of cell phone radiation.

Reduce Your Exposure

Here at Pong, we think cell phones are wonderful gadgets but remain concerned about the health effects of cell phone radiation. While waiting for more study outcomes, we expect a continuous debate on this subject. Meanwhile, we advise you to minimize your exposure to cell phone radiation. A Pong cell phone radiation reduction case can significantly reduce your cell phone radiation exposure in this regard.

Berkeley, California, Approves “Right to Know” Cell Phone Radiation Warning Ordinance

In California, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to require retailers to warn customers of possible radiation exposure when purchasing cell phones on Tuesday May 12, 2015.  The ordinance is expected to be challenged by the cell phone industry.

Read the full story »

International EMF Scientist Appeal For Protection from Non-ionizing Electromagnetic Field Exposure

On May 11, 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an “International EMF Scientist Appeal” to the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.N. member states requesting they develop more protective exposure guidelines, encourage precautionary measures and educate the public about health risks of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing scientific evidence of harmful effects and health risks.

Read the full appeal >>

How Do Cell Phone Cases Affect Your Radiation Exposure and Your Phone’s Performance?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a new report on the effect cell phone cases have on the amount of radiation your cell phone emits. The study speaks to the concern that cell phone cases can weaken the phone’s signal and actually increase the users’ radiation exposure as the phone tries harder to communicate.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released a new report on the effect cell phone cases have on the amount of radiation your cell phone emits.  The study speaks to the concern that cell phone cases can weaken the phone’s signal and actually increase the users’ radiation exposure as the phone tries harder to communicate.

The Pong case was born out of our concerns around exposure to cell phone radiation and the effects it may be having on us.   Through countless hours of testing and work by our team of scientists, physicists, and engineers, we invented a technology that reduces cell phone radiation exposure while maintaining the device’s signal strength.

During research and testing we found that any cell phone cases can impact the radiation properties of a wireless device in an uncontrolled way.  Our research indicates that badly designed cell phone cases can partially block a phone’s antenna, making the device work harder to transmit signals.  This means that in those situations there may be potentially more radiation coming from the phone as it tries to maintain its signal.

Established in 1996, current FCC testing standards already account for accessories such as belt clips and holsters, which were pervasive in the 1990s, but not for cases, which did not exist then. Today, most consumers use cases, while belt clips and holsters are much less common.  Due to gaps in the FCC’s cell phone regulations, a phone worn right next to the body and enclosed by a case that obstructs the antenna could expose the user to more radiation than the FCC’s legal limit.

Pong urged the FCC to take into account cell phone cases during its compliance testing process to ensure that consumers are protected under normal operating conditions.  We have been concerned about this and we are happy to see that we are not alone.  The new article from EWG was done independent of Pong but resonates with Pong for concern on this issue.  EWG conducted its own research and drew data from published information including Pong’s filings to the FCC.

We encourage you to read their article found via the link below.

Does Your Cell Phone Case Raise Your Radiation Exposure?

 

Study Shows Blood Abnormalities from Short-Term Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation

We use our cell phones every day. As we talk on our phones, hold them, or just carry them in our pocket, cell phones are constantly emitting RF radiation – – and we are constantly absorbing some of that radiation. Is that radiation having an effect on us? Should we be concerned about what cell phone radiation might be doing to us? Yes, we absolutely think so! Cell phone radiation is something we take very seriously here at Pong. We are closely monitoring new studies on how cell phone radiation affects our bodies.

What could cell phone radiation be doing to our blood? You may be surprised to find out, but to date very little research has looked into this effect. A new study released in January 2015 focused very specifically on the effects of cell phone radiation on human blood. This study comes up with some startling information about the impact that short-term cell phone radiation can have on our blood cells. We found this very concerning so we asked our chief scientist Dr. Rong Wang to review the study and give us her thoughts on it.

We use our cell phones every day. As we talk on our phones, hold them, or just carry them in our pocket, cell phones are constantly emitting RF radiation – – and we are constantly absorbing some of that radiation. Is that radiation having an effect on us? Should we be concerned about what cell phone radiation might be doing to us? Yes, we absolutely think so! Cell phone radiation is something we take very seriously here at Pong. We are closely monitoring new studies on how cell phone radiation affects our bodies.

What could cell phone radiation be doing to our blood? You may be surprised to find out, but to date very little research has looked into this effect. A new study released in January 2015 focused very specifically on the effects of cell phone radiation on human blood. This study comes up with some startling information about the impact that short-term cell phone radiation can have on our blood cells. We found this very concerning so we asked our chief scientist Dr. Rong Wang to review the study and give us her thoughts on it.

Continue reading “Study Shows Blood Abnormalities from Short-Term Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation”

New Study Found Tripled Brain Tumor Risk for Long-Term Cell Phone Users

A 2014 Swedish study involving 1498 malignant brain tumor patients and 3,530 controls (people without a brain tumor) found an increased risk of malignant brain tumor associated with long-term use of cell phones and cordless phones. The study analyzed data from two previous studies with patients diagnosed between 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 in Sweden. The pooled analysis showed a clear trend of higher risk with longer wireless phone use. Specifically, the risk was 3 times higher for people who used wireless phones for 25 years or longer. The results resonate with a 2014 French study which found that heavy cell phone users (with 896 hours or more cumulative call time, or about half an hour daily use for 5 years) were 2-3 times more likely to develop a glioma (the most common type of malignant brain tumor), compared to non-regular users.

Continue reading “New Study Found Tripled Brain Tumor Risk for Long-Term Cell Phone Users”

How to Understand and Find Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of Your Mobile Device

Hi Pong Friends,

One of our most popular blog posts – How to Find the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of a Cell Phone – dates way back to October of 2012. Everyday, interested people find that article in the hopes of learning about SAR.

With that, we felt that the article needed updating to ensure everybody has the latest information. So, we tasked our resident expert Dr. Rong Wang to revisit her popular post and freshen it up with the most update-to-date SAR-related facts and figures for the newest devices.  Take it away to Dr. Wang:

How to Understand and Find Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of Your Mobile Device

By Rong Wang, Ph.D.

What is SAR?

Cell phones and other mobile devices emit radiofrequency (RF) waves, a type of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (commonly called “cell phone radiation”). When you hold or carry a mobile device close to your head and body, you can absorb over half of the transmitted RF energy.

Cell phone radiation level varies from device to device and is measured by the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). A mobile device’s SAR rating is used to estimate the maximum rate of RF energy absorption by a user’s head and body when using the device. In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sets the exposure limit for the general public to be an SAR level of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg). A mobile device’s SAR rating must not exceed 1.6 W/kg in order to receive FCC certification and be sold in the United States. SAR is measured for placement of the phone next to the head and on the body. For example, the iPhone 6 has a Body SAR of 1.14 W/kg and Head SAR of 1.08 W/kg.

How to find the SAR of your device?

There are several ways to find the SAR rating of your device.  We have listed our top choices below.

From Manufacturers
Most manufacturers provide SAR information in their product’s manuals and on their websites. For example, the RF exposure of Apple devices can be found here http://www.apple.com/legal/rfexposure/

Mobile Manufacturers Forum
The Mobile Manufacturers Forum provides a database of SAR values for popular devices by Apple, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson.

The FCC
The FCC maintains a SAR database. To find the SAR rating of your device, you’ll need its FCC ID number. It’s usually shown somewhere on the case of your device or specified in the “About” data on the device itself. For some devices, you might have to remove its battery pack to find the number. Once you have the number, you can go to the FCC website and follow the instructions.

Other Sources
CNET maintains a list of the 20 cell phones with the highest SAR.

Is my cell phone safe?

While cell phones bring enormous convenience to our lives, the possible health consequences of exposure to cell phone radiation have aroused considerable public attention and scientific debate. The results of thousands of scientific studies are mixed and contradictory. The reported health effects include cancer, impaired brain and nervous functions, sperm damages, behavioral problems in children, to list a few. In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.  Read more in our blog to learn about cell phone radiation studies.

Just because your device’s SAR rating is below the regulatory threshold doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe. As a matter of fact, cell phones were introduced to the market without any safety testing on humans in the first place. Although the FCC enforces SAR limits on exposure, the standards have not been updated since 1996, and were based on a couple of animal behavioral studies in the 1970s. As of today, cell phones have been in widespread use for more than 15 years, and there is still extremely limited research data on its long-term health effects and the effects on children.

Furthermore, you may not be aware that the current FCC guidelines allow a device to be tested up to 25 mm away from the user’s body. Distance is a key factor in determining the amount of exposure from a device – the intensity of radiation increases rapidly as you get closer to the device. As a result, when you carry your device directly against your body, you may be exposed to radiation levels that exceed the device’s SAR rating and even the FCC exposure limit. For instance, if you place an iPhone 5 in contact with your body, your body exposure may exceed the FCC’s limit by more than 4 times. That’s why all cell phone manufactures include warnings in their user’s manuals to keep the cell phone a certain distance away from your body for safety concern. For example, you can find RF exposure information for Apple devices here. Apple even includes a proximity sensor in its iPhone 5S, 6, 6Plus and iPads to detect the presence of a user’s body and subsequently reduce the device’s transmitted signal in order to comply with the FCC’s RF exposure limit.

In March, 2013, the FCC commenced a formal Inquiry to determine whether there is a need for reassessment of the Commission radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits and policies.

How does a Pong Case affect SAR?

The Pong radiation redirection case offers a science-based solution to reduce the SAR of your device and therefore your RF exposure. Pong does not assert that cell phones are “unsafe” but believes that less exposure is better than more before we have a definitive answer. Pong’s built-in antenna technology reshapes the electromagnetic field pattern of your device’s transmitted signal to direct RF energy away from you while optimizing your device’s outbound signal. Specifically, micro-thin, gold-plated antennas, precisely engineered in size, shape and location, are imbedded in each Pong Case to achieve optimum coupling with the mobile device’s own antennas and maximum protection to you. Pong is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce RF exposure. Pong’s claims were further verified by the Wired Magazine.

How Do Cell Phones Work?

With worldwide mobile subscriptions estimated to be around 7 billion in 2014, cell phones have become a universal and indispensable tool for modern life. With a cell phone, you can talk to anybody on the planet from almost anywhere. But do you really know how your cell phone works?

In the most basic form, a cell phone is essentially a two-way radio, consisting of a radio transmitter and a radio receiver. When you chat with your friend on your cell phone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted via radio waves to the nearest cell tower. The network of cell towers then relays the radio wave to your friend’s cell phone, which converts it to an electrical signal and then back to sound again. In the basic form, a cell phone works just like a walkie-talkie.

In additional to the basic function of voice calls, most modern cell phones come with additional functions such as web surfing, taking pictures, playing games, sending text messages and playing music. More sophisticated smart phones can perform similar functions of a portable computer.

Continue reading “How Do Cell Phones Work?”

There’s More Than Just RF to Worry About When You Sleep with Your Phone

Hi Pong Friends,

Check out this great little story from CBS affiliate KXII News 12 out of Texoma on the woes of sleeping with your phone.

Cell phones believed to cause serious sleep problems

DENISON, Texas — Checking your phone before bed and keeping it close by as you sleep is now believed to cause serious sleep problems, which could lead to poor health.

Wayne Conn, a sleep coordinator at Texoma Medical Center, said using your phone right before bed is unhealthy.

“It wakes the brain up. It gets you overstimulated and… Continue reading “There’s More Than Just RF to Worry About When You Sleep with Your Phone”