Montgomery doctor reacts to cell phone radiation concerns

Dr. Michael Ingram
Dr. Michael Ingram

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Whether it's texting or talking, people are constantly on their cell phones.

"Probably at least every 15-30 minutes if I'm not at work or something. Pretty much for everything from scheduling to text messaging to Internet and everything else," says Montgomery resident, Coty Hall.

Hall will admit, his habits probably won't change even after hearing news from the World Health Organization that cell phone radiation is in the same category as lead, engine exhaust, and chloroform--all carcinogens.

"In today's day and age it's not something I really think about."

"Well, you have to give attention to it because it's coming from the World Health Organization," says Dr. Michael Ingram at the Montgomery Cancer Center.

He doesn't think cell phone users need to worry quite yet.  Rather, be aware.

"I think there are things people can do if they're concerned about it to help limit their exposure," adds Ingram.

He suggests getting a Bluetooth earpiece, limiting time on the phone, checking to see how much radiation your phone puts out, and limiting phone use for children.

"These are effects you may not see for 10, 20, 30 years down the road."

Ingram believes it will be hard to tell whether radiation does, in fact, lead to cancer until more studies are done.

"I don't think it would deter me from using the cell phone as much as I do," says Hall.

But, others are taking precautions and playing it safe as cell phone risks rise.

"Once or twice a week and for very short calls," says one woman who says she isn't an avid cell phone user.

Experts say if you're going to wear a Bluetooth device, take it out of your ear as often as you can and also switch ears regularly. They recommend reading your phone's manual. It will tell you how far to hold the phone from your ear to limit radiation. Cell phones emit more radiation when you are in an area with low cell service. Experts suggest texting at those times.

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