Like many people, when the World Health Organization announced in May that cell phone radiation was now classified in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as car exhaust and chloroform, I was alarmed. I suppose it doesn’t help that radiation seems to be a complicated matter, with conflicting studies and corporate spin making a lot of noise. At any rate, there seems to be a pretty good reason to start being more careful.
In the past year or two, I’ve found out that two friends of mine have been diagnosed with brain tumors (brain lesions). Because of that, the subject brain cancer–and the cell phone’s potential role in causing it–has been coming up more and more often.
I use an iPhone, which is constantly pulling information down from a 3G network. I wanted to put a little more distance between me and the phone. At first, I tried taking my phone out of my pocket every time I’m not driving or traveling…but I kept forgetting it in random places. Since then, I’ve been trying to remember to turn my phone to “airplane mode” at home and at the studio. But it’s hard to remember sometimes; and on top of that, the iPhone actually makes it cumbersome. If I want to keep it connected to my WiFi network, I have to go to the settings, turn on “airplane mode,” then exit that screen and go to a different screen to turn WiFi on (and yet another screen if I want bluetooth).
With that said, I have a request for Apple. Give us a “3G Auto-Off” mode. When my phone detects its familiar WiFi network (home, office), it should automatically switch off 3G, but leave on the WiFi and/or bluetooth. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s better than keeping a “hot” phone in my pocket all day.
I realize that I’m not that well-versed on this subject, so if any of this is incorrect or needs updating, please feel free to let me know in the comments. And feel free to continue the discussion below.
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EDIT: Thanks for all the great comments. For the record, I know the link between cell use and cancer is still being researched. Furthermore, I’m no extremist, I simply fall into the “better to be safe than sorry” category. I’d rather do some simple things that keep me more protected. Feel free to keep discussing, below.