3 ways your smart phone might be bad for your health
New reports show the device that’s made your life easier—and, for some, more hectic—may also pose several health risks. Is it time for a return to landlines?
Michael Sebastian is the editor of Ragan's PR Daily. This post originally appeared here.
Remember the image of a harried businessperson charging down a city sidewalk, cell phone to his or her ear, barking demands?
That's been replaced by the image of everyone—teens, hipsters, homeless people, executives-fondling or talking on their smart phones. A report from 2010 found that 91 percent
of Americans use cell phones.
What is all that talk and texting time doing to our bodies? A handful of new reports suggest smart phones might be bad (even dangerous) for your health.
Here are three health risks they pose:
1. Cell phones may cause brain cancer.
Last week, the World Health Organization issued a report putting cell
phones on the list of carcinogens. The list includes pesticides such as DDT and gasoline engine exhaust. The report, which is based on published
studies, came from WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer. Though speculation about cell phones' negative effects on the brain have
persisted for years, some scientists are skeptical about WHO's report, saying published studies don't conclusively say whether cell phones can cause
2. It may cause infertility in men.
The good news for guys is that there's no link between that cell phone in your pocket and testicular cancer. Bad news that phone might be hurting your
chances for a family. Numerous studies of
mice, rats, and, yes, men, have found a link between cell phones and sterility. Might want to store that device somewhere other than your pants
pocket—even when it's turned off. Studies have shown phones that aren't powered up can cause damage, too.
3. Your smartphone is a germ magnet.
We reported that smart phones and tablets are home to some nasty germs, and
that's a big deal for many hospitals. According to a study in the
American Journal of Infection Control, cell phones carried by patients and visitors to hospitals were nearly twice as likely as the mobile phones of
health workers to carry pathogens. Patients' phones also showed higher rates of multidrug-resistant bacteria, including MRSA. Yikes! Might be time to
consider investing in one of these fancy UV machines for sterilizing your gadgets.