Apple is one of the pioneers of mobile phones, selling millions of devices around the world. In the brochures that come with cell phones, the tech giant explains why it shouldn’t be kept close to the skin. Apple explicitly states that the phone shouldn’t touch your body too much, if at all. Here’s why!
How long should you keep your phone?
According to the manufacturer, the iPhone should always be at a distance of 10 mm from the user’s body. So if your device is in your jeans pocket, it’s pretty close. In the brochures, it is explained that radiation exposure can exceed the standards during “operation” if the phone is “placed within 15 mm of the body”.
Mobile phone radiation, which is measured as radiofrequency exposure, is regulated in the United States by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All phones must be tested to ensure they emit a specific absorption rate of 1.6 watts of RF energy per kilogram of body tissue, a rule designed to prevent heat damage from radio waves.
In Europe, the limit recommended by the Council of the European Union is 2.0 W/kg with an average of 10g of tissue.
While cell phones are tested against a human head in the “talking” mode, they are not tested against the body in the “carry” mode. Instead, the tests assume that the user wears the phone in a case, further away from the body, whenever the phone is transmitting at full power. And because exposure to radiofrequency energy increases sharply the closer your phone is to your body, some people worry about not having the FCC tested on actual exposure.
In addition, the FCC test does not take into account biological effects caused by anything other than heat from radio frequency energy, such as altered protein expression or DNA damage.
Experts and organizations such as the Environmental Working Group have expressed concern about cell phone testing rules, citing studies showing links between cancers and exposure to cell phone radiation.
Studies show why it’s not a good idea to keep your phone in your pocket
In 2011, a report by the World Health Organization classified mobile phone radiation as a “probable human carcinogen,” especially since mobile phone use indicates an increased risk of glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer. Then there are loopholes in cell phone radiation testing. For example, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to start thinking about children who use cell phones.
“Children are not young and are affected by all forms of environmental exposure, including mobile phone radiation,” the FCC says.
However, the science is not conclusive. The National Cancer Institute has reported in several studies that they fail to establish a relationship between cell phone use and cancer.
Cell phone radiation is of course not a problem unique to Apple. Other cell phone manuals also mention it.
Another thing to keep in mind, users should not try to use the phone where there is no good signal, because the radiation emission increases more and more as the phone has trouble connecting to the tower.
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