All electronic devices emit electromagnetic radiation. Your personal radiation exposure depends on three things:
- Strength: The strength of the radiation sources around you
- Distance: Your distance from those sources
- Duration: The time you spend exposed to those sources
Below are the most common everyday radiation sources. Your personal exposure depends on the specific sources in your environment and your personal habits.
For quick tips on how to reduce your overall radiation exposure, read our 5 Easy Tips.
Cell phones are one of the primary sources of everyday radiation. They operate at high power microwave frequencies, especially while in use and even more so while searching for signal.
There are now more cell phones in the US than people – the result of very fast growth over the past 10 years. Globally, while there were only 12 million cell phone users in 1990, there are now more than 4.5 billion. Because of the explosive and recent growth of cell phone usage, there is much uncertainty around their long-term health risks and truly no precedent for the amount of low-level radiation exposure we receive today. However, there is emerging evidence of the adverse biological impacts such that health experts and governments are advising precautionary measures, particularly for pregnant women and children. Learn more.
- Use earphones and speaker phones to increase distance of the phone from your body
- Use corded landline phones or texting as alternatives to cell phone conversations
- Set cell phone to airplane mode when possible to stop cellular and wireless signals, especially when used by children
- Limit use while cell phone is searching for signal or sending/receiving a call or data (there are higher levels of radiation at these times)
- Carry your phone in a bag instead of your pocket
- Do not sleep with your cell phone under your pillow or close to your body
- Buy cell phones with lower SAR (specific absorption rate) levels
- Limit children’s use of cell phones to emergencies
- Shield using Belly Armor products while you are using your phone
Laptops, computers, and tablet computers are major sources of everyday radiation exposure due to high frequency and long duration of use. The wireless signals, cellular signals, electronics, and power adapters are all significant sources of radiation. The heat from laptops that are used directly against the body is also a health concern.
- Avoid placing laptops or tablet computers directly on your body. If you must rest them against your body, use a pillow, cooling pad, or another barrier.
- Maintain distance from other people’s monitors and laptops at the office, coffee shops, or at home
- Use an attached mouse and keyboard while on your laptop
- Shield using Belly Armor products while you (and especially your children) are using a laptop, computer, or tablet computer
There are many sources of ambient radiation in our environment that were not present even 15 years ago. Most of us are exposed to radiation from cell phone towers and wireless networks 24 hours a day, everyday. These levels are growing every year as wireless networks play a larger role in our lives.
Radiation from cell phone towers and power lines is very high at the source, but drops off dramatically with distance. These sources are of particular concern when in close proximity to work or home where there will be extended periods of exposure.
- Be aware of the cell phone towers, radio transmitters, and power lines around where you live, work and play
- When possible, maximize distance from and avoid spending prolonged periods around places with high concentration of cell phone towers and power lines
- Use LAN cables instead of wi-fi networks or turn off home and office networks when not in use
- Shield using Belly Armor products to limit the ambient radiation exposure
All electronic devices emit some level of radiation and a growing number of devices are incorporating wireless and cellular capabilities. The amount of exposure from most devices and appliances is lower than that of cell phones and laptops because either the duration of exposure or proximity is low.
Microwave ovens emit very strong levels of radiation (this is how it cooks food so quickly), but now the casing of all microwaves has built in shielding that blocks most of this radiation. However, it is still advisable to check for leakages and take a precautionary approach by maintaining some distance while operating.
- As a general rule, keep usage to a minimum and maximize distance from devices and appliances
- Turn off devices and appliances while not in use
- Avoid standing next to microwave ovens while in use
- Keep baby monitors at least 5 feet away from the crib and choose technologies which emit less radiation
- Shield using Belly Armor products when possible