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California Public Health Officials Issue Cellphone Radiation Warning

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California public health officials are warning people to keep their cellphones away from their bed at night and not to keep them in their pocket as two ways to reduce exposure to cellphone radiation.

The California Department of Public Health published the new guidelines on Wednesday, cautioning there is no consensus on the risks of cellphone use. However, they are concerned "long-term high use may impact human health."

Dr. Karen Smith takes her department's warning a step further by warning cellphones could be affecting teenage brain development. She cautions parents to limit their children's cellphone use, and even turn off the devices at night.

Before rushing out to buy something that claims to protect yourself from cellphone radiation, bear in mind, you could be making things worse. Products that claim to block cellphone signals may make phones work even harder, increasing the signal's power the product was meant to block.

Whether or not cellphone radiation is hazardous to your health has been up for debate in the scientific community. There is no consensus, but that hasn't stopped some cities from trying to require cellphones come with radiation warnings.

CDPH recommends consumers do the following to help reduce their exposure.

  • Keeping the phone away from the body
  • Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
  • Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
  • Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
  • Removing headsets when not on a call
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