The director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) recently issued a memo warning faculty members and staff about possible dangers associated with long-term cell phone use. The memo is based on the UPCI's analysis of the existing data. Rey points…

  • Use the speaker-phone mode, whenever possible, or a wireless Bluetooth headset, which produces significantly less electromagnetic emission than a normal cell phone. Use of an earpiece attachment (with a wire) also may reduce radiation exposure. (More research is needed on such earpieces) cell phone's keypad is positioned toward your body so that the transmitted electromagnetic fields move away from you. (Even when not in use, cell phones continue to connect to relay antennas. This will expose the user to electromagnetic radiation.)
  • Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body. If you must do so, make sure that the

*To read the complete list of recommendations, go to the UPCI Website,

  • Use text messaging rather than making a call, whenever possible. This limits the duration of exposure and the proximity to the body.
  • Do not keep your cell phone near your body at night—for example, under the pillow or on a bedside table-particularly if you're pregnant. Keep the phone at least three feet away.
  • Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train-this automatically increases the phone's power as it repeatedly attempts to establish a connection to a new relay antenna.
  • Choose a cell phone with the lowest possible Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body. (Check the phone manual or Web sites, such as, that review technology products. In the US, the SAR value limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram.)

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