Is Having a Cell Phone in Your Pocket Detrimental to Your Health?

No one knows for sure. Why? Because the FCC didn't exactly perform their due diligence when testing cell phones to determine the impact of radiation.

Well, the fact is…no one knows for sure. Why? Because the FCC didn’t exactly perform their due diligence when putting cell phones through a variety of tests to determine the impact of cell phone radiation on the body.

Time recently reported that, in 2001, the FCC released a set of guidelines to manufacturers that required all cell phones sold in the United States to emit a specific absorption rate of “not more than 1.6 watts of radio-frequency energy per kilogram of body tissue, a standard deemed safe given the state of scientific knowledge about thermal harm from radio-frequency waves.” However, the FCC, in a very peculiar decision, decided not to conduct any tests regarding radio-frequency emissions while a cell phone was in a user’s pocket. Given the habits of many cell phone users, it would stand to reason that this would be a necessary test.

Several studies were conducted by the FCC that test the safety of having a cell phone in a holster or belt clip; however, not everyone uses these accessories, and, for that matter, many phones do not come standard with them.

So…does this mean you should avoid keeping your cell phone in your pocket? The answer right now is that there really isn’t enough info to say either way. Time notes that “both U.S. and international regulatory bodies like the World Health Organization have found that available scientific evidence does not demonstrate an increased health risk due to the radiation that is emitted by cellular phones,” but that is based on “large studies looking for increases in conditions like brain cancer, do not rule out the possibility that future studies might reach a different conclusion, as more data is collected over longer periods of time and the general use of cellular phones increases.”

Around the Web:

Cell-Phone Safety: What the FCC Didn't Test [TIME]

VIDEO: Cell phone in your pocket a risk? [ABC]

Cell Phones in Pockets a Health Risk? [CBS]

Cell phones pose health risks, says Devra Davis at UCSF seminar [PhysOrg]