1. Cellphone warning over radiation risk

    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.

  2. Do cellphones cause brain tumors?

    I remember 12 years ago a friend of mine was scheduled for thyroid cancer surgery. An acupuncturist had told him he just needed acupressure, so he called to get my opinion.

    I told him of course he needed the surgery.

    He was relatively young, had no strong family history of the disease and no exposure to any major source of radiation... except for one. As we spoke, I found out he was using his cellphone for buying and selling for 8 hours or more every day!

    Keep in mind the thyroid gland is in the throat region, right next to where he was holding that cellphone -- blasting it with electromagnetic radiation all day long.

    I presumed all that cellphone use played a role in his cancer, and the studies since then have only made me even more certain.

    Now, Britain's Health Protection Agency claims its own review of the research finds no link between cellphones and cancer -- but I just don't buy it. They don't seem to buy their own conclusion, either, since they also cautioned against excessive cellphone use by children.

    If cellphones are so safe, why would they need to caution anyone against using them?

    Answer: They're not safe. One major study found that people who use cellphones the most over a decade have a 40 percent increase in the risk of a potentially deadly brain tumor called a glioma.

    Another study found that cellphones change brain activity in the region closest to the phone. It's not clear what this means yet -- but it's proof they do something to the brain.

    There are enough question marks now that the World Health Organization added cellphones to its list of possible carcinogens.

    Despite all that, I know most people will give up their cellphones when they give up their cars, hairdryers, and credit cards. In other words, it's just not going to happen.

    If that's the case for you, then take a few simple steps to protect yourself (and make sure the rest of the family follows suit).

    First, never hold the phone right against the ear. I know some people use Bluetooth devices to separate the phone from the ear, but those give off their own signals.

    Instead, use the speakerphone or at least a pair of wired headphones with a microphone in them. Some new phones come with these.

    Don't keep them right against your body when you're not using them, since there's evidence they might actually weaken bone, which could increase your risk osteoporosis.

    And since studies have shown they can affect sperm quality, men should never keep them close to their privates.

    Finally, when you get to your office or home, turn the phone off completely and switch to the landline.

  3. Public toilets are crawling with germs

    Some studies offer surprising, even stunning conclusions. This isn't one of them: Public restrooms are every bit as filthy as you would have guessed... and maybe even worse.
  4. Bacteria love your cellphone

    I'm always a little grossed out when I see someone walk out of the bathroom with a cellphone in hand -- either checking messages or already mid-conversation. The thought alone is enough to make you sick, but the latest research shows how it could make you literally ill: Cellphones are crawling with germs, including the nasty bacteria that live in poop.

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