cell phoneUp until 2005 I did NOT have a cell phone. My friends and family would complain, “When are you getting a cell phone? Join the modern world already!”

But, I was a holdout. I had no desire to be reached while I was taking a stroll in Central Park or chilling out somewhere enjoying some down time. Which we all need, but many of us do not get.

In 2005 I was picked by NBC/Bravo to try out for a new show that was casting chefs: Top Chef. It was a very hush hush audition. Everything about it was secretive. I didn’t know where I was going or what was going to happen when I got there. The only thing I knew was that I would be picked up at LAX airport and taken to a hotel for testing.

My brother-in-law yelled, “You can’t just take off to California and not be able to contact your family! Enough is enough with this ‘no cell-phone’ nonsense!”

I said, “Okay, I’ll get a cell phone.” And, within a few hours I had one. That’s how fast things happen in our modern world.

In California, I was sequestered in the hotel room for seventy-two hours while being subjected to various forms of testing: psychiatric tests, cooking tests, and an overall evaluation by the producers.

During that seventy-two hour period I had the opportunity to use my cell phone. After speaking with my sister for about thirty minutes, I noticed the side of my face where I held the phone was feeling hot. I had to keep switching the phone to the opposite side. It felt uncomfortable.

The second day, during my call home, I started developing a slight pain in my jaw and on the side of my neck where I favored holding the phone. It was a weird ache. I thought maybe it was from the way I was tilting my head while on the phone. So I made sure to keep my head in a straight upright position and not tilt to one side or the other.

By day three of using my new phone for approximately thirty minutes, I felt constriction in my neck and a definite pain developing in my thyroid. It was intense! I didn’t have a cold or a sore throat, but I was clearly feeling the effects of holding a cell phone on my face, near my neck.

The thyroid gland is damaged by radiation. The cell phone emits low-levels of non-ionizing radiation.

When I got home from California, I made a mental note to use the cell phone infrequently or for emergencies only. Plus, I got a set of ear buds (earphones), so I would NOT hold that darn thing anywhere near my face. And especially, not near my thyroid!

Two years after that initial cell-phone experience, I met a man who worked for one of the largest phone companies in the United States. We got to talking about, of all things, cell phones. He told me that he never EVER puts a cell phone up to his face. He also said that cell phone tower repair contractors are warned not to spend more than one hour inside the cell phone tower. One hour? I was shocked!

I don’t know if what he was telling me is documented – I don’t have any facts to back up his statement about the workers, but I cannot deny my own experience with a cell phone. I couldn’t imagine being near or inside a cell phone phone tower that emits much higher radiation frequencies. What effect does that have on the contractors working those towers?

I read an interesting article that stated working on a cell phone tower is one of the most lethal jobs in the United States with between one and four casualties per month.[1] Those casualties are due to “falling.” I can’t help but wonder why these workers are falling in such large numbers (much higher than loggers). Is something happening to their brain and nervous system while they are up there near the cell phone tower?

Radiofrequency and electromagnetic frequencies (EMFs) are directly responsible for the heating effect that happens to human tissue; the same heating effect I felt on my face when using a cell phone for the first time. Maybe the towers are frying the workers brains and disorienting them. They may need to wear protective gear and radiation suits before climbing up there to work.

Back here on the ground, people talk on cell phones for hours. Most of the people I know have even gotten rid of their landlines and use their cell phone for all communication. Some folks even use those blue tooth thingies that concentrate ALL of that low level radiation and EMFs onto the side of their head. Egads! It may look cool, but I don’t think its smart.

The National Cancer Institute says, “Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held. A recent study showed that when people used a cell phone for 50 minutes, brain tissues on that same side of the head metabolized more glucose than did tissues on the opposite side of the brain.”[2]

The researchers noted that the results are preliminary, and possible health outcomes on brain cells are still “unknown.” The National Cancer Institute says, “more research is needed.”

Really? That’s enough research for me to NOT put a cell phone to my head, but for those who are not yet convinced, keep reading.

A recent study in the Journal of Experimental Biology shows that EMF exposure impacts both the structure and function of the thyroid. For example, animals exposed to cell phone radiation produce lower levels of thyroid hormone, a marker of hypothyroidism.[3]

Keep in mind that doctors use radioactive iodine to STOP the thyroid from functioning. The cell phone emits low levels of non-ionizing radiation. That means… do NOT put a cell phone anywhere near your thyroid!

Use the speaker option or get a pair of ear phones. I know those earphones are a pain in the butt and they always get tangled, and they are constantly breaking, but who cares? We’re talking about your health here.

I’m not telling you to stop using your cell phone, just be smart about how you use it.

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[1] http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070921/NEWS/709210477?p=1&tc=pg

[2] http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

[3] http://www.annlouise.com/blog/2013/01/08/is-your-cell-phone-zapping-your-thyroid/