Right now, while we are working to maintain more physical distance from others, we may be finding ourselves more physically close to our phones and WiFi gadgets.
We are having to rely more heavily on technology, wireless devices, and cell phones to attend conference calls, chat with family, and to try to stay as sane as possible in a constantly changing -- and uncertain Covid-19 -- situation.
If you are quarantined at-home working to stay at safe physical distances, you may have more than yourself in your home with you. Maybe you have your spouse, children or other family members home with you right now -- and likely for a while longer. This could mean that each and everyone in your house also has their own cell phone or a wireless device right next to them too.
So, with everyone right next to each other, using their phones or WiFi devices, how do you continue to work, play, and connect with others while protecting yourself and your loved ones from the potentially harmful effects of EMF radiation coming into our homes for all of our devices to work? We have a few ideas.
10 Precautions You Can Take to Reduce Your (and your loved ones) Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation at Home
- Keep as much distance from each other as possible. When it comes to EMF exposure, the greater the distance between your body and your phone (and others’ phones!), the better. Staying home day in and day out, chances are you’ll probably end up sitting next to your family on the sofa while all of the phones or WiFi devices in the household are in use. Not only are you subjecting yourself to radiation from your own cell phone, but you are also more likely to experience secondhand exposure through your child or spouse’s cell phone too. If everyone must be on their phones at the same time, why not consider dividing and conquering? One person can take the living room, another can move into the office, and someone else can head upstairs to a bedroom. And, let’s be honest, you might wind up enjoying a little distance!
- Use speakerphone or computer audio. Whether your boss has scheduled the most important (virtual) meeting of the quarter or your child’s teacher just sent an invite for a Zoom session to connect with the rest of the class, there are times -- even while quarantined -- when you just have to speak with others. However, rather than putting a cell phone to your ear, use the speakerphone function or set up your meeting apps on a laptop or wired computer where you can use the computer’s audio instead. Using speakerphone allows you to keep your cell phone away from your body and reduce the amount of time you would spend with a phone against your ears and head.
- Use a corded headset. Whether you need to keep your hands free to take notes during an important conference call or Junior needs to strategize with his buddies during an intense game of Call of Duty, you’re likely going to need a headset. While Bluetooth and wireless headsets have their benefits, they also need EMF signals to work. In other words, while you’re still at risk of being exposed to some level of radiation, the amount is much less -- particularly for corded headphones that keep our phones farther from our bodies -- than if you were to hold a phone directly to your ear. Remember to remove the headset when you are finished with your call or game.
- Set a schedule. You have a virtual conference to attend, your spouse is speaking to a relative across the country, and your child needs to catch up on his online classes. Although it would be great if we could limit our use to one cell phone or electronic device at a time, that’s just not realistic for most families today. Instead, consider scheduling times for when phones get used or go down to reduce the risk of electromagnetic radiation within the home. Doing so also means that your kids won’t spend all of their time in front of a phone or WiFi gadget or have them attached to their hips as they do other things. This one may cause some protests but learning to schedule things is a useful life-skill [wink]!
- Keep WiFi devices on a table. Sure, it’s become a habit to curl up on the sofa or lay back in your recliner with a cell phone in your lap, but keeping a phone so close to your body increases the risk of EMF exposure to the soft tissues that connect, support, and surround the body’s organs. Instead, when you’re watching a movie with your spouse or playing a game with the kids, keep your devices on a table instead of close to your body or, even better, in another room entirely. And, let’s be honest, if the goal is to spend quality time with your loved ones, you probably don’t want to be on your phone, or at least checking it constantly, anyway!
- Use cell phones a little less. Over the next month or so, it’s important to try to not rely on our cell phones and WiFi devices 24/7. Instead, organize a scavenger hunt for fun, try a new recipe, take the dog for a walk through the neighborhood, play outside with the kids (at a safe distance and away from playgrounds!) or clean your house, if you’re feeling particularly motivated. There are also many ways to get moving that not only keep us active and healthy but also set a farther distance between our phones and bodies. Looking for ideas? Check out our monthly exercise calendar page for totally free exercise, health, and fitness events organized into a week-by-week format with classes for every day. While you could use your phone, you can also set these up on your smart TV or on a computer that is placed further away from your body while you engage in online activities.
- Avoid bathroom use. Before cell phones, we often found ourselves reading shampoo or cleaning product labels in the bathroom in order to pass the time. Nowadays, it’s much more convenient to bring our cell phones to check social media, watch videos on YouTube, or play games. Aside from the fact that you could drop your phone into the toilet or bathtub, using a cell phone while you’re doing your business also increases your risk of exposure to electromagnetic radiation. So, going back to some old-school pre-cell phone ways, like bringing in a book or magazine instead, can create a safer, better-all-around bathroom experience.
- Opt for a computer instead of a tablet or cell phone. Apps like Zoom, Seesaw, and Google Classroom are so easy to use on our phones. After all, that’s one of the reasons why they’re so popular -- it’s all about portable connect-ability. However, to get away from keeping your tablet or cell phone on or close to your body any longer than necessary, consider installing these apps (or any other games the family enjoys) on a larger-screen laptop or computer instead. While you won’t completely eliminate EMF exposure as laptops and some computers also rely on wireless technology to send and receive data, they can be placed further away from your body like on a table or desk! And sure, it might take a minute to learn the ins and outs of the desktop version, but you -- and your body -- will thank you.
- Turn off phones at night. If you’re a parent of older kids or teens -- or even a spouse that typically works third shift -- you’ve likely gotten used to keeping your phone close to you at night when your loved ones were out and about. However, it’s important to turn your cell phone off in the evenings, especially when you’re sleeping, since everyone (with the exception of essential personnel) is supposed to be at home right now anyway. Keep in mind when you’re charging your phone at night, you can reduce your exposure to cell phone radiation by putting it in another room entirely. If you absolutely need it nearby, place it as far as possible on a nightstand instead of by your head, under your pillow, or on your bed. Moving your phone even just a few inches away from your body can significantly lower your exposure.
- Avoid other wireless devices whenever possible. Looking beyond our cell phones, we also love to use our smart assistant devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home when we’re cooking in the kitchen. However, while these devices are fantastic for making calls, playing music, looking up recipes, and creating shopping lists, their WiFi wireless connectivity causes them to require electromagnetic radiation to work whenever they are sending or receiving data. This has EMF coming in and going through those devices. Instead, consider plugging in a good old-fashioned stereo system for tunes or pick up a pencil to create your grocery lists.
During this time of uncertainty, many of us are doing our part to slow the spread of the Coronavirus by staying in our homes. While it is not feasible for us to just turn off our phones or throw them away, especially when so many of us rely on our devices to work, study or play (not to mention to maintain our sanity!), there are a handful of ways we can help to reduce the risk of exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
If you have any other questions about cell phone radiation and exposure, we have compiled a Knowledge Base area for FAQ and Cell Phone Health & Safety Information to help you navigate the confusion, worry, and concerns associated with EMF and cell phone use. Stay safe!
Quick Links & Helpful Resources:
- >What is Too Close? Investigation Reveals People Don’t Know Cell Phone Safety Distances
- Find Your Safe Distance: Android Cell Phones
- Find Your Safe Distance: Apple iPhones