10 Medical rules for a safer use of mobile phones

The radiation from mobile phones or smartphones is most likely not as safe as cell phone providers claim it to be. Therefore, the Ärztekammer Wien (Vienna Medical Association) has decided to do the responsible thing and inform the Austrian public about possible adverse effects from a medical perspective.

  • In general, keep calls short and as few as possible. Use a landline or write an SMS. Children and teenagers under the age of 16 should carry mobile phones for emergencies only!
  • “Distance is your friend.” Keep the phone away from your body and head during dialing and maintain at least the minimum distance recommended in the user guide. Take advantage of the built-in speakerphone or use a headset!
  • Do not keep the phone directly on your body when using a headset or the built-in speakerphone. Pregnant women should be especially cautious. In men, mobile phones are a risk to their fertility when carried in the pant pocket. Persons with electronic implants (pacemaker, insulin pump, etc.) must pay particular attention to distance. If no other option is available, use the outer coat pocket, a backpack or a purse/handbag to carry the phone!
  • Do not use in vehicles (car, bus, train). Without an external antenna, the radiation inside the vehicle is higher. In addition, the user is distracted and becomes a nuisance to others on public transport! No texting while driving – ever! The distraction causes you to become a danger to yourself and a danger to other road users!
  • Make phone calls at home and at work via a hardwired network. Internet access via a hardwired connection such as LAN (e.g. via ADSL, VDSL, fiber optics) does not emit radiation: it is fast and secure. Constantly radiating DECT cordless phones, Wi-Fi access points, data sticks and LTE modems should be avoided!
  • Work offline more often or put your phone in airplane mode. For functions such as listening to music, camera, alarm clock, calculator or offline games, you do not always need an Internet connection!
  • Fewer apps means less radiation. Minimize the number of apps and disable the most unnecessary background services on your smartphone. Disabling “mobile services”/“data network mode” turns the smartphone into a conventional mobile phone. You can still be reached, but you avoid a lot of unnecessary radiation from background data traffic!
  • Avoid making calls in places with poor reception (basement, elevator and the like). In such instances, a mobile phone increases its transmission power. When there is poor reception, use a headset or the speakerphone instead!
  • Buy mobile phones with a very low SAR value and an external antenna connector, if possible!

Added note by EMFSA: install blue light filtering software on all screens.

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