In a surprise move, the California Department of Public Health warns the public that long-term smartphone use could have unintended consequences for their health, including radiation risk.
California authorities based their newly released guidelines on the years-long debate on whether mobile phones can give people cancer.
According to the report, long-term use of the gadgets is linked by multiple studies with brain cancer, learning and hearing impairments, and low quality of sperm. These risks seem to multiply in children.
Nevertheless, the jury is still out on the health risks of mobile phones. CDPH said they decided to warn the public on the risks of smartphone use because the risks could be real and people are increasingly concerned.
The Controversy Around Smartphone Use’ Health Risks
- The agency admitted that the science is not definite, but lowering exposure to radiation seems to be a good thing.
- CDPH suggests minor changes like keeping the phone away from the place you sleep at night or not keeping it in your pocket or in the heart area.
It is not the first time the department drafts guidelines on phone use. The first such document dates back to 2014. But it is the first time the state agency issues them. The government agreed to publish the draft this spring after losing to researcher Joel Moskowitz from UC Berkeley in court.
At the time, authorities argued that the release of the document would lead to “unnecessary panic”. Yet judges ruled that the public needs to see the guidelines since the data on cell phone use’s risks is of significant public interest.
This year’s guidelines are more detailed than the draft version, but the department said that the court ruling had nothing to do with the decision to release them this year.
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