COVID-19: the latest information for testing, screening and visitors >>
COVID-19: vaccine information and Q&As >>
Are you one of those people who always has a phone attached to your hand or in your pocket? A 2015 study released by Deloitte found that people in the United States across all age groups check their phone 46 times per day. That number does not include the amount of time we spend playing, talking and texting others.
Because we spend so much time on our phones, researchers are working to determine if there is a correlation between the amount of time we spend using our device and an increased risk for cancer.
Cell phones work by sending radiofrequency (RF) waves to nearby cell towers. Like FM radio waves and microwaves, RF waves are a form of non-ionizing radiation and give off low energy or low frequency.
Though RF waves do not have enough energy to cause cancer by directly damaging the DNA inside our cells, it can heat up our body tissue.
The amount of RF energy a person is exposed to depends on a number of factors, including:
Many studies have examined the use of cell phones and cancer. Currently, there is no consistent evidence that cell phones and non-ionizing radiation increases our cancer risk.
If you are concerned about exposing yourself to RF energy, the Federal Drug Administration recommends users:
Researchers have also examined whether working or living next to a cell phone tower increases the risk for cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, there is very little to support this idea due to the low energy towers give off when compared to other types of radiation, like gamma rays and X-rays, known to increase cancer risk.
If you are concerned whether you have been exposed to RF radiation from a cell tower, you can ask a government agency or private firm to measure the RF field strength near the tower.
How do you limit your cell phone use? Tell us in the below comments.
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.