Practicing Safe Text: Cell Phone Radiation Safety

January 30, 2015
Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS

Award-winning nutritionist and New York Times bestselling author.

Forget The Birds And The Bees, This Is The New Tough Conversation

When you talk on your cell phone, are you holding it at least one inch away from your head?  Probably not.

When the conversation is over, do you carry your phone in an approved carrying case, or do you slip it into your pants pocket, maybe even your bra?

If so, you are like most people who are unknowingly violating the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) standards for cell phone radiation safety!

So, why the need for cell phone radiation safety standards?

Cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation that has major biological effects.

According to the scientific literature, RF causes the body to emit 20 different kinds of stress hormones, can trigger blood-brain barrier leaks, and is responsible for DNA breaks, chromosome aberrations, sleep disorders, calcium dysregulation of the cell membrane, jumbled neurotransmitters and reduction of melatonin and glutathione secretion.

In a nutshell, using a cell phone is like putting your head in a microwave oven!

Since 2011, electromagnetic radiation from mobile devices has been labeled a “possible human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Cell phone radiation levels have been clinically proven to increase localized glucose metabolism in the brain, which leads to the creation of free radicals that cause oxidative damage and increase our likelihood of cancer.

An investigative documentary, Mobilize explores the potential health impact from cell phone radiation levels.


Who sets the standards?

The FCC regulates all of the United States interstate and international radio, television, wire, satellite and cable communications.  They create and uphold communications law, regulation and technological innovation—which includes cell phone radiation safety standards.

How does the FCC determine the “safe” amount of RF exposure?

1996 was the last time the FCC evaluated cell phone radiation safety, when there were a mere 44 million cell phones in use.

Today, more than 300 million Americans are using cell phones—and they’re not just for making calls anymore. The way that we use mobile devices, as well as the technology involved has changed dramatically since the FCC’s assessment of cell phone radiation levels.

“Powerful industrial entities have a vested interest in leading the public to believe that EMF and RFR, which we cannot see, taste, or touch, are harmless,” notes Harvard Medical School pediatric neurologist Martha Herbert, PhD, MD.

But, “cell towers can exert a disorganizing effect on the ability to learn and remember, and can also be destabilizing to immune and metabolic function.”

The FCC uses Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to measure the rate at which the body absorbs RF radiation.  Currently, 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) averaged over 1 gram of body tissue is the allowable SAR in the United States.

The European standard is over 5 times more stringent at a level of 2.0 watts per kilogram over 10 grams of body tissue.  It’s time that our standards for cell phone radiation levels here in the U.S.A.  are reevaluated!

Even based on the FCC’s antiquated standards for cell phone radiation levels, mobile manufacturers are still required to include a safety statement with their phones, saying that users should not have the phone within one inch of their body while the mobile device is transmitting or receiving a signal.  FYI—your phone is ALWAYS transmitting and receiving signals!

But, of course, this statement is buried in the fine print of the owner’s manual, which is—you guessed it, available only online.

This is a direct quote from the manual of an iPhone:
“iPhone’s SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 15 mm (5/8 inch) from the body (e.g., when carrying iPhone in your pocket).”

Many studies of cell phone radiation safety have been flawed—either by sole funding from the cell phone industry, or by monitoring and self-reporting on short durations of cell phone use.

The long term implications of cell phone radiation levels need to be studied, as there are strong suspicions and many medical cases that point to a correlation of cell phone use with hyperactivity and anger issues in children, and even brain cancers like glioma and meningioma in adults.

Cell Phone Safe Handling Tips:

  • Use speakerphone or an air-tube headset for all conversations.
  • Do not carry your phone on your body! Use a purse or an approved carrying holster.
  • Do not take calls or use 3G or 4G while traveling in a vehicle, as the RF increases when the phone is constantly trying to connect to new cell towers for coverage.
  • Do not let young children use cell phones for entertainment.
  • If possible, turn off your cell phone at night, or at least keep it out of the bedroom.

Protective Dietary Precautions:

When it comes to RF protective nutrition, add all natural whey protein powder and a natural melatonin supplement to your current regimen.  Whey provides essential amino acids that act as precursors to glutathione—your body’s antioxidant powerhouse that is decimated by electromagnetic radiation.

Eating glutathione-rich broccoli sprouts will also help, as will taking a melatonin supplement to ensure optimum levels of this uber antioxidant hormone, especially at night.

RF diminishes melatonin production, impacting sleep and restoration of the body.  Unlike other antioxidants, melatonin is able to cross the blood-brain barrier and neutralize free radicals that are destructive to cell membranes.

Like it or not, cell phones are this generation’s cigarettes—it will take years before we realize the full effects.  Make sure you practice safe phone use now, so you don’t suffer the consequences later.

Share this blog with friends and family, and make sure to view the movie Mobilize to start the conversation about cell phone radiation safety!

Related Articles and Podcasts

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, is an award-winning New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty books including The Fat Flush Plan series and her latest book, Radical Metabolism. She’s been rewriting the rules of nutrition for more than 40 years and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of diet, detox and women’s health issues. 

For a FREE daily dose of tips and strategies for maintaining healthy weight, conquering insomnia, and much more…check out my Radical Health Tips.

I’d like to meet and greet you on my Facebook groups, so won’t you check us out at the Radical Metabolism RevolutionFat Flush Nation, or my Inner Circle!


  1. Michele

    Thank you for raising awareness of this issue. Our whole family is electrically sensitive having been over exposed to wi-fi radiation. We have experienced first hand the mood issues you describe above but also many other health effects of emfs. These issues cleared up when we got away from the constant radiation. Recently our 6 year has been doing an after school class and after each class he has come out cranky and irritable saying he doesn’t feel good but he doesn’t know why. The teacher had noticed the same behavior in him and noted it in his report card. Happy on arrival and half way through miserable and irritable for no reason. I investigated and found a lot of wireless devices in his classroom, including a cordless phone, a computer on wifi and the teacher’s cell phone plus whatever was coming through from the other rooms in the school. We had to stop taking the class. We often have to leave restaurants and stores because we feel unwell. This is a difficult condition to have but I believe many, many more people will have it soon. I wonder if it is better to be sensitive and to feel it or to not feel it and just get sick from it…

  2. Craig

    Two new studies in Austria and Egypt have linked daily cell phone use to erectile dysfunction (ED).
    The researchers believe the damage could be caused by the electromagnetic radiation emitted by handsets or the heat they generate.

  3. Ann Louise

    Thank you Michele and Craig for your comments. Electropollution is definitely the “invisible” threat that impacts all of us and electrophypersensitivity is becoming more and more common as health care practitioners recognize the diverse symptoms. Irritability, ADD, disorientation, headaches, sleep disorders and a whole slew of neurological conditions can all be related. To me, EMFS are the “straw” that broke the camel’s back and have added to our already increasing toxic load from heavy metals, chemicals, and GMOS and the like.

    The answer is clearly in more awareness and avoidance of wireless as much as is humanly possilbe. With the growing prevalence of smart meters, cordless phones, and Ipads, this challenge is quite formidable. This is why my bedroom has become my “safe haven” in the home free of all wireless and electrical devices. We shut off the power at night to simulate the most natural and healing environment.

    Both of you may find my book “Zapped” a good resource for protecting your family, home, and workplace from the growing menace of unrelenting EMFs. I present special EMF-protective food and supplements to help prevent and offset the damage.

  4. Craig

    Thank you, Ann Louise and Michele for your thoughtful comments. Do you have any advice or experience treating the ED caused by the cell phone radiation?

    • Team ALG

      Hi Craig, a Salivary Hormone test and Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis would be recommended to uncover underlying nutrient imbalances and glandular disturbances.

  5. Ann Louise

    Craig: My book “Zapped” has an entire section on prevention and EMF-protective nutrients, supplements and foods that will fortify your system on all levels. Definitely consider a TMA and hormone test that I make available through UNI KEY.

  6. Liz

    This is such important information. Anything we can do to lighten the burden is an improvement. I’m sending this blog to my son because his 2 year old daughter watches cartoons on the phone all the time. It’s amazing when people can’t see immediate ill effects from this radiation, it is easy to ignore the danger.

  7. Verna McGregor

    Where can I get an air-tube headset?

  8. Ann Louise

    Verna: Go to and click on the products section.

  9. Team ALG

    You can also call or check out online catalogue of 🙂 Do tell them that ALG sent you!

  10. Marina

    Dear Dr.ALG,
    Thank you for this excellent blog. With your research and reporting, we are receiving critical information that is not coming from other sources. I cringe to see a baby or toddler holding a cell phone…or a teen with a cell phone tucked into clothing. Their generation is at great risk as they are having exposure across their lifetime. As you write, cell phone usage will be like that of cigarettes –life saving information and warnings coming far too late. Cell phone and other electronic devices should carry warning labels and RF dangers should be part of school curriculum. And we adults/parents should protect our children from RF dangers as we do from drugs and alcohol. Your excellent book Zapped is part of my home library. In a world of invisible dangers, inadequate safety standards and dazzling gadgets leading us to ignore an “inconvenient truth”, your blogs and books are truly health promoters and life savers.

    • Team ALG

      Thank you for the kind words! So glad you enjoyed the information.

  11. Kenny

    Thank you Ann Louise for sharing such accurate information. This note is to inform you that, through a totally new type test, I have proof that any cell phone will instantly kill living human tissue. I am careful what I say here. Very interested in talking with you!!


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