New warning over cellphone radiation
Even here in liberal California, Berkeley -- a.k.a. "Berserkley" -- has a reputation for being more out-there than an astronaut.
The city has either banned or is trying to ban plastic straws, fur coats, roosters, and -- I'm not even kidding here -- space-based weapons.
But every now and then, it's ahead of the curve.
Back in 1977, Berkeley was the first city in the nation to restrict smoking in restaurants, sparking a nationwide movement that has made dining out a better experience for everyone.
And now, the city has just won a major court battle over another issue that could become the next great national trend -- and one that could protect you and your loved ones from a hidden radiation threat.
A federal court has ruled that the city's law requiring radiation warnings on cellphones is legal.
The telecom industry has fought it tooth and nail. Of course it has.
It is terrified that this law will quickly catch on and other cities -- and maybe even entire states -- will require similar warnings.
The industry has every reason to be worried -- because it's been working furiously to cover up the true risks of radiation from cellphones, including an alarming link to brain tumors.
A 2014 study out of the UK found that using a cellphone for just 15 hours a month can double or even triple your risk of developing a brain tumor over five years.
Another study found steady use over a decade boosts the risk of developing a glioma, a potentially deadly brain tumor, by 40 percent.
Still another study found brain activity changes in the region closest to the phone when you hold it up to your head. It's not quite clear what that means, but it's solid proof that the industry claim of "no effect" from this form of radiation is an out-and-out lie.
Now, I know being asked to give up a cellphone right now is like being asked to give up shoes.
It's just not going to happen.
But you can take steps to protect yourself, limit your exposure, and cut your risk... without losing your phone.
First, try to keep it in a bag and not on your body when you're not actively using it. Your phone can emit low levels of radiation even when it's idle.
Second, don't hold it up to your head. Keep the radiation as far from your brain as possible by using either wired headphones or speakerphone mode for calls.
And third, don't give up your landline. When you're at home, keep the cellphone away from your body and make your calls on your house phone.