Environmental Health Trust

Caution Is Key as More American Teens Use Phones as Primary Source of Internet Says Environmental Health Trust

New Pew Research Center survey found 63 percent of mobile phone owners now use their phone to go online.


Teton Village, WY -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/19/2013 --A majority of Americans use their mobile phones to access the Internet, and a growing number use their handsets as their primary online device says a survey by Pew Research Center. The survey found 3 out of every 5 mobile phone owners now use their phone to go online. And because nearly all Americans now own a cell phone, this means that half regularly use their phones to surf the internet. The proportion of mobile phone owners who use their phone to go online has doubled since 2009, Pew found. That may raise public health concerns related to exposure to cell phone radiation emissions says Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a group promoting safer phone use especially for non-adult users and for pregnant users.

The latest report is that nearly all younger mobile phone owners in the 18-29 age group use their handset as their primary device to go online. That compared with 3 out of every 4 owners in the 30-49 age group and half of the owners in the 50-64 age group. Approximately 3 out of every 4 African-American mobile phone owners rely on their phones to access the internet, as do 68 percent of Hispanics.

According to Dr. Devra Davis, EHT’s Founder, the large number of young people exposed to long periods of radio-frequency radiation directly emitted by their smartphones or other wireless devices is cause for concern. Davis advises young users as well as parents/guardians and educators to embrace what EHT has coined as “Practice Safe Tech”—using phones at greater distance from the body and avoiding use when network signals are weak as phones must therefore work harder and that drains batteries and exposes users to higher amounts of radiation.

The advice includes:

Avoid holding the phone directly ahead against your head or body: Use speakerphone, a headset, send text messages, or use another device that meets EHT guidance.

Beware of weak network signal: Your phone works harder and emits more radiation when the signal is weak or blocked.

Protect children and anyone who wants to be a parent: Children’s brains absorb twice as much radiation as adults, and sperm can be damaged in men who keep phones and other devices turned on in their pockets or laps.

Do not sleep with your cell phone on or near your head: Cell phones do not emit radiation when off or on airplane mode.

Corded landlines and wired internet are swifter, safer and more secure: Cordless phones and WiFi routers also emit radiation. If using wireless internet unplug your router when not in use.

Do not text or surf the internet while moving (driving, biking, blading, walking, skiing): Milliseconds can make the difference between life and death. Wait until you arrive to your destination and Practice Safe Phone.

For more information visit http://www.ehtrust.org.

About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. A recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and his team in 2007, EHT President and Founder, Dr. Devra Davis has authored a number of popular books, including WHEN SMOKE RAN LIKE WATER, a National Book Award Finalist, THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE WAR ON CANCER, and DISCONNECT: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What The Industry Is Doing To Hide It, And How To Protect Your Family, which was awarded the Nautilus silver medal award winner for investigative reporting. The foundation’s website is the go-to place for clear, science-based information to prevent environmentally based disease and promote health, and will have portals for the general public, children, and health professionals. For more information or to get involved in the numerous special projects spearheaded by EHT, please visit http://www.ehtrust.org and find EHT on Facebook