While cell phones have only been widely used for about 15 years now -- meaning it may be too early to tell what effects they might have on our health -- there are some precautions you can take.
In Thursday's Healthier Me, Holly Firfer has details about the concerns and tips to staying safe.
The main question is a simple one: are cell phones safe or harmful?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which sets guidelines for how much radiation a cell phone can emit, says cell phones are safe, but others aren't so sure; the World Health Organizations, for example, has labeled cell phones a possible carcinogen (cancer-causing agent), putting them in the same cancer-risk category as lead paint and diesel exhaust.
Cell phone safety manuals, too, actually recommend keeping the phone about 1/2" - 1" away from the head.
So, how does cell phone radiation affect us?
What has many scientists concerned is cell phones' potential ability to "heat up" the brain, and children's brains may be more vulnerable; because their sculls are thinner, it's easier for radiation to get through.
Here's the good news: it's really simple to lower your exposure.
Never talk with a phone directly against your head, and don't keep the phone directly on your body. Instead, use an earpiece or a hands-free kit; both reduce your head's exposure to radio frequency energy because the antenna -- the source of that energy -- is not placed against the head.