We all know about the dangers of smartphone radiation. But let’s face it: we’re not willing to return to the times of land lines and pagers, and it could take years before cell phone manufacturers and public health officials are incentivized to change. In the meantime, here are 10 proven (and not-so-proven) ways to reduce your exposure to radiation caused by smartphones.
1. Stay in range
Radiation is highest when your phone is searching for a signal. Avoid making calls in an elevator or the middle of the desert.
2. Carry a purse / murse
This precaution comes to you via Apple itself. The iPhone manual’s fine print stipulates,
When carrying iPhone, keep it 1.5 cm (5/8 inch) or more away from your body to ensure [SAR, or specific absorption rate] exposure levels remain at or below the maximum levels.
3. Text, don’t call
You probably don’t hold your phone right next to your head when you text, do you? Texting is a safer alternative to calling, but for the love of all that’s holy, don’t do it while driving.
4. Use a headset
This is an obvious one: a headset puts even more distance between you and your phone.
5. Put it in airplane mode
When your phone’s in airplane mode, it doesn’t emit radiation – and because we often sleep with our phones next to our heads to use them as alarm clocks (and you don’t need 3G or wifi for your phone’s clock) take an extra 3 seconds before you go to sleep and put your phone in airplane mode.
6. Buy an alarm clock
Another simple solution in addition to #5 – you won’t have to worry about forgetting to put your phone in airplane mode.
7. Move to West Virginia
There’s a 13,000 square mile area that straddles Virginia and West Virginia called the National Radio Quiet Zone. There, scientists need radio silence to, among other things, “listen to [other] galaxies,” which means cell phones and wifi are forbidden.
8. Get more devices
It may seem counterintuitive, but there are plenty of devices that claim to “shield” you from the radiation coming from your devices.
9. Face the antenna away from you
Your phone’s antenna emits the most radiation. When possible, face it away from you.
Not sure where your phone’s antenna is? These tips can help you find it.
10. Disable Bluetooth
You should probably be doing this anyway to save battery life. Disabling Bluetooth will also prevent your phone from sending out “electronic handshakes” – a cute way of describing how one device tries to reach out and connect with another.