How to Limit Radiation Exposure to Minimize Cancer Risk

Radiation exposure is a known risk factor for cancer. One potential source of radiation that has been receiving quite a bit of press are cellphones. But studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cellphone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck.

Still, if you want to take every measure to protect yourself, the Environmental Working Group makes the following recommendations:

  • Use wired or wireless headsets. They emit less radiation than phones.

  • Hold the phone away from your body.

  • Text rather than talk.

  • Call when the signal is strongest. Avoid calling people when you have only one or two bars.

  • Skip radiation shields (adhesive stickers applied to certain areas of the phone that are marketed to reduce radiation exposure). They reduce connection quality and subsequently expose you to more radiation.

A lesser-known source of radiation exposure, but one that poses a tremendous risk, is radon, a colorless, odorless, toxic radioactive gas that results from the natural breakdown of uranium in rock and soil. Radon causes thousands of deaths each year, but the only time you may hear of it is when you’re buying or selling a home.

If your home hasn’t been tested for radon recently, you should test it, because radon mitigation can be undertaken to eliminate this risk if your levels are found to be high. Even if you live in an apartment, unless you live above the third floor, radon testing is warranted. Radon test kits are inexpensive, costing between $15 and $25. You can order a test kit online.

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