For the first time ever, the state Dept. of Public Health is releasing guidelines about harmful cellphone radiation and how to avoid it.

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — California health officials have a new message for cellphone users.

For the first time ever, the California Department of Public Health is releasing guidelines about harmful cellphone radiation and how you can avoid it.

Dr. Karen Smith with the California Department Of Public Health said, “We recognize that there are a lot of people in the general public that have some concerns about their cellphones and whether using a cellphone is safe.”

Smith said, “When you sleep, you keep the cellphone at least arm’s length away from your body. And also, not carrying your cellphone in your pocket, having it either in your purse or not carrying it with you.”

The research suggests cellphones could increase our risk for brain cancer and tumors, low sperm count, headaches, as well as impaired memory, hearing, and sleep.

Dr. Joel Moskowitz at UC Berkeley said, “Currently we’re not doing a good job in regulating radiation from these devices. In fact, we’re doing an abysmal job.”

Moskowitz says this is a long-time coming.

He’s partially responsible for bringing this information to light. He sued the Department of Public Health for refusing to release information about the dangers of cellphone radiation back in 2009.

This spring he won that case.

“People are being injured and harmed by the delay in having this information accessible to them,” Moskowitz said.

So does the release mean that the state believes cellphones are dangerous?

“Not at all,” said Dr. Karen Smith. “Our position is that the science is evolving.”

The state said one of the main reasons they’ve decided to release these guidelines now, is that there are new numbers out showing that cellphone use is higher than ever, with 95 percent of Americans using them on a regular basis.

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