In the latest installment of "cell phones are/aren't dangerous" series, the California Department of Public Health decided to throw its two cents on the matter, and what a coin toss that was. In a nutshell, you shouldn't carry your cell phone in your pocket, or keep it in your bed while sleeping, or even next to your bed. While those recommendations may sound like an overkill, they stem from a lawsuit that a professor at the University of California Berkeley filed way back in 2009.
Joel Moskowitz claimed that the Health Department is severely underestimating the danger from cell phone emissions, and the general public should know what they are up against. He won the case last year, hence the the California Department of Public Health update of their radiation emission guidelines. The crux of the recommendations came in a quote from the Department's spokesperson Dr. Karen Smith: "We recognize that there are a lot of people in the general public that have some concerns about their cellphones and whether using a cellphone is safe. When you sleep, you keep the cellphone at least at arm’s length away from your body. And also, not carrying your cellphone in your pocket, having it either in your purse or not carrying it with you
Our position is that the science is evolving
The spokesperson cites various studies that linked prolonged cell phones usage or exposure to increased chances for headaches, tumors, low sperm count, or generally bad things like memory skips, hearing loss, and disturbed night's sleep. The new guidelines were somewhat forced on the Cal Dept of Public Health by a person known for alarmist theories, and the recommendations even admit that there is no hard evidence for the harmful effect of mobile emissions. Also, given that most everything in California now carries a cancer warning for one compound or another, the cell phone "radiation" worries may be overblown, say cancer and other researchers
, so we wouldn't go out and buy a backpack to carry our cell phones with us at all times, though it may be prudent not to talk with them glued to your head for hours on end.