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More data emerges about radiation risks and smartphones

The new warning comes from the California Department of Public Health. The government agency has issued a warning to people in the state about risks relating to the electromagnetic radiation emitted from smartphones.

Reports about the long-term risks relating to smartphone use include one from the journal Scientific Reports titled “Exposure to Magnetic Field Non-Ionizing Radiation and the Risk of Miscarriage: A Prospective Cohort Study”. This study found increased risk of miscarriage associated with high magnetic field non-ionizing radiation generated from smartphone devices.

In the new notice reference is made about the radio frequency energy that cellphones produce. This report was issued in response to a lawsuit from UC Berkeley professor Joel Moscowitz who knew of the document’s existence and the fact that the California Department of Public Health had never issued it. The document dates back to 2009.

The professor, according to Laboratory Manager magazine, was concerned about the document’s findings which relate to the levels of RF energy and radiation from mobile phones. The researcher felt that the issues contained within the document warranted public attention.

Professor Moskowitz believes, as the New York Post reports, the research points to health risks of cellphone use. Of particular note, the researcher says, are instructions from cellphone manufacturers that advise users to keep the devices far away from the body. In addition, many device manufacturers advise against users storing devices in their pockets or keeping them near their bedside at night.

Commenting on the release of the information, California Department of Public Health director Dr. Karen Smith stated: “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones.”

She adds: “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”

The department indicates that the information is intended to help people who are concerned about health risks, such as brain tumors, lowered sperm counts, and effects on learning, memory, and sleep.

The issues concerning smartphone risks remain disputed, as this video from Wochit News indicates:

Backed by the World Health Organisation one major long-term study is underway to look at smartphone use and health risks. This is called COSMOS (“Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Use and Health”) is an international cohort study investigating the possible health effects of long-term use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies.

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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