Safer Cell Phone Use

Safer Cell Phone Use

by | Apr 15, 2021

With over half the world owning a cell phone and the average time a person spends on their device being somewhere between 3 and 5 hours, the safer use of cell phones is a topic everyone should be made aware of. Many strategies can be implemented immediately and significantly cut down on your exposure to RF (Radio Frequency) Fields. For more information on why it’s a good idea to cut down on your exposure, check out my video here.

To give you an idea of what kind of RF Fields a phone gives off, check out these measurements from an iPhone 11. The first is a baseline reading of an average peak value of 5 μW/m2 (microwatts per square meter), with airplane mode on. The second few pictures show peak values being emitted from the phone once swtiched on – 14,300 μW/m2 to 16,600 μW/m2 (note the change in measurement, now showing mW/m2).

These pulses occur when the phone gets turned on and is connecting to cell towers and every time you wake it up with a touch. Cell phones are also constantly staying in contact with the cell towers they are near and sending beacon signals to signify their location.

Building Biology recommends a level of below 10 μW/m2 and ideally below 0.1 μW/m2 for sleeping areas. Anything above 1000 μW/m2 is considered in the “extreme concern” range. 

The distance you’re away from the source makes a huge difference when we’re talking about RF fields. You can get readings in the hundreds of thousands closer to the cell phone or even in the millions of microwatts per square meter right against it. This level drops off significantly as you move away from the source, even a few feet makes a huge difference. You’ll still be getting levels in the thousands, but it’s a reduction at the very least.

Switch to Airplane Mode When Carrying

With this is mind, the first tip is always put your phone on airplane mode when carrying it next to your body. Yes, you won’t be able to receive calls or texts, but switching it on to check every little while is a simple and free choice we can make to drastically reduce our daily exposure. If unwilling to put it on airplane mode you could always carry it in something away from your body. Every millimetre of distance helps! 

Keep Distance When in Active Use

When your phone is in active use, that is, calling, streaming or browsing apps or the internet, it is emitting significantly higher levels of RF radiation. Whenever possible, downloading videos or using apps that work offline is a great strategy. Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify are some companies that offer downloading options to watch or listen to offline. When talking on the phone, put it down somewhere, out of your hands while in use. If reading an article, or queing up a video, keep it away from you while it loads and then switch to airplane mode to read or watch.

Use Wired Internet to Your Phone

If you’re actively texting, calling, or browsing a site your phone is in transmission mode and constantly emitting high levels of RF. One of the ways around this is to wire your phone with an ethernet connection. With this you’ll be able to use all the features you normally would on data, like interent browsing and all your apps (including ones for calling and texting such as WhatsApp). The only thing that will not work is regular calling and texting using your phone plan. Using one of the connections I have listed here (Recommended Products Page) and switching your phone to airplane mode will give you great phone functionality without constant RF emissions.

Keep Phone Far Away and Use Shielding

If you need to have your phone on while at home, you can limit your exposure by keeping the phone as far away from you as possible. You can add an RF shield to put between yourself and the phone as a way of significantly lowering the power of the RF bursts that are reaching you. Again, this method comes with a word of warning to ensure that the shield is always between the phone and yourself (think line of sight, if you can see the phone without the shield between you, then it’s not working). The RadiaFence shields can be found at

Be Careful of Nighttime Exposure

The last tip is to be aware of your exposure in bed. Sleep should be a time of rest and rejuvenation, where your body gets to focus on repairing itself. If you are exposing it to bursts of RF from you phone all night, you are compromising this process. Ideally switching your phone to airplane mode and if it needs to be in the bedroom, keep it as far away as possible. If you need to have you phone on during the night, remember the more distance the better and you can also add in a properly used shielding device too.

With proper education and a little effort, we can make a big impact on the level of exposure our cell phones are giving us everyday. In practicing a safer use of cell phones we can help protect our bodies from unnecessary levels of radiation, something which continues to be proven detrimental to our body. The power lies within us.

About Me

Chris McPhie, B.Ed, BBEC, EMRS

Chris is a passionate educator on healthy living. Using the Guiding Principles of Building Biology he focuses on a wide range of aspects related to healthy living spaces. Chris is a specialist in assessing and cleaning up our electromagnetic environment.

Online Consultations

Have a question? You can book a 20 minute consultation with me on any healthy home related topic.