1. Use the speakerphone
This was, without question, the favorite alternative of the experts I talked to. Nothing is near your head. “Hold it away from a minimum of a few inches. A foot or two is ideal,” said Magda Havas, an associate professor with the Institute for Health Studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.
Havas gives me a little math lesson. Every inch you can get away from your body, the radiation reduces very quickly. “Hold it out two inches, and the radiation drops by a factor of four. Hold it out four inches, and it drops by a factor of 16,” she says.
In other words, said Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, “every millimeter counts.”
2. Use a airtube headset with a ferrite bead
No, this is not a piece of jewelry. A ferrite bead is a clip you put on the wire of a headset. The concern is that the wire itself emits radiation into your ear. The bead is designed to absorb the radiation so you don’t. They’re inexpensive and available at stores or online.
These clips are a favorite of Slesin’s. “It’s the way to go,” he said.
Another fan: Lawrie Challis, physicist and former chair of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, a government panel in Britain. “They did tests at the University of York and found that under even the worst conditions, if you use a ferrite bead, you can’t even measure the radiation coming off the wire. This common device kills the radiation.”
Of course, if the phone is in your pocket or clipped to your belt, all bets are off, because the phone itself will be radiating into your body. So if you’re worried about radiation, keep the phone as far away as possible, and Challis adds to do your best to make sure the wire isn’t touching your body.
3. Get a phone with less radiation
Phone radiation is measured in specific absorption rate, or SAR. To look up the SAR for your phone, check this list on CNET.com.
You might think the experts mentioned above all use earpieces or a speakerphone. Not so. Several said they hold it right up to their heads because they use their cells so infrequently; they’re not worried about radiation.
Al Hamraniyah, United Arab Emirates, Al Hamraniyah, UAE
New York City, New York
Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo
Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain
Click on any of the pictures below
to learn more