State health officials have released a draft document outlining concerns about potential cancer and other health risks from cellphone radiation.
The two-page document – originally released to the San Francisco Chronicle by the Department of Public Health – was made public after a judge indicated she would order its release in response to a lawsuit filed in 2016 under the California Public Records Act, according to CBS San Francisco.
Marked “Draft And Not For Public Release”, the April 2014 fact sheet titled “Cell Phones and Health” (PDF) states health officials are concerned about the potential health impact of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) emitted by cell phones and other electronic devices.
According to the draft document, because cell phones are “used frequently and kept close to the head and body, cellphone EMFs can affect nearby cells and tissues.” The paper also cites studies suggesting “regular cell phone increases the risk of developing some kinds of brain cancer”, and links EMFs from cell phones to “fertility problems”.
However, the fact sheet also adds that recommendations may change “as more studies are done”.
In order to reduce exposure to EMFs from cell phones, the paper recommends using the speaker phone, sending text messages instead of calling, and keeping your phone away from your body – even while you sleep.
“A cell phone that is on can emit EMFs even when it is not being used. Do not sleep with your cell phone near you or carry it in a pocket or directly on your body unless the phone is turned off”, the document states.
Under a section marked “What about cell phone EMFs and children?”, the document states, “EMFs can pass deeper into a child’s brain than an adult’s” and recommends parents limit their child’s cellphone use to texting and only important phone calls or other emergencies.
The safety recommendations reflect a similar document (PDF) issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health in May 2015, which adds that “(c)urrent scientific research does not show a clear or consistent link between cellphone use and harmful health effects.
According to the FCC, there is no evidence of a “definite link between wireless devices and cancer or other illnesses.”