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Is That a Cell Phone in Your Pocket, or Are You Just Cancer to See Me?

The good, the bad and the ugly things we learned about our bodies today

Another year, another cell phone radiation scare. In a bid to overtake “don’t remove your mattress tag” for the most feeble warning ever, the California Department of Public Health has just issued an advisory not to carry your cell phone in your pocket. Good luck with that.

The warning comes in the wake of a lawsuit filed in 2009 by a UC Berkeley professor that prompted the agency to look into whether cell phones are actually carcinogenic to humans. The study — finally released in 2015 — doesn’t exactly conclude that cellphones are dangerous, but it does suggest the mere possibility that radio frequency (RF) energy has an adverse effect on human health. Namely, that RF energy may cause brain cancer, lower sperm counts and memory loss. Basically what they’re saying is, “we’re not sure about anything, but just in case keep your cell phone as far away from you as possible.”

Which is hilarious. There’s a better chance that everyone on planet earth will be simultaneously struck by lightning than stop carrying their cell phones in their pockets. It’d be one thing if there was a measurable danger — though, I suspect even that might not do the trick; people know cigarettes and junk food and booze are all bad, but that hasn’t stopped them from burning a heater while eating a cheeseburger and chasing it with a Bud heavy — but there is no definitive link between cell phones and cancer. The whole thing is an exercise in futility, like Sisyphus and his boulder.

Even more exasperating than this, however, is the concurrent advisory that you should avoid any products that claim to block this “harmful” RF energy. Because they can actually worsen your exposure.

I’m just gonna go ahead and pretend like none of this ever happened, okay?

A few other things we learned about our bodies today: