Laura from Indiana is phoning in her burning question for Dr. Oz. "Recently there have been headlines all over the news and papers about possible risks associated with cell phone use," she says. "What is the truth about cell phones and their possible risks?"
Approximately 85 percent of us use cell phones—including Dr. Oz. While there's been no study linking cell phones to brain cancer or other health issues, Dr. Oz says it can't hurt to be careful. "Cell phones get hot, which has an impact, but they also release these electromagnetic fields. And we know that those electromagnetic fields can change the way brain cells work," Dr. Oz says. "We don't know if they make them cancer cells, but we know they can change how they function, especially in kids."
Dr. Oz says there are simple things you can do to reduce your cell phone use without giving it up completely.
- Don't keep your cell phone on you all the time. "Even if it's a little bit away from your ear, it dramatically drops the power that it has on you," Dr. Oz says.
- If you're getting bad reception, make the call later. "When the cell phone doesn't have good reception, it has to jack up the amount of electromagnetic field that it's releasing, so it actually has to affect your brain more."
- If you use a wireless headset, take it off when you're not using it. "That's an antenna too," he says.
- Only allow your kids to use the phone in case of emergency. "Kids' brains are more sensitive, and their skulls are thinner, so why expose them until we really know for sure?"
- Don't sleep with the cell phone next to your head. "No one's going to call you at 2 in the morning that you can't get to it if it's 5 feet from you."
- If you're talking for a long time, switch sides every few minutes. "That way you're releasing your brain cells from being exposed to that field for a period of time."