MIAMI, Fla. - According to a Pew research study 87 percent of American adults own a cell phone. With the growing use of this technology come concerns about possible health effects. Entrepreneur David Schottenstein says he is constantly on his smart phone.
"Thousands and thousands of minutes I used a month," said Schottenstein.
Schottenstein couldn't help but wonder what effect radiation from the phone might be having on his brain.
Dr. Nestor Galvez, a neurologist with the Cleveland Clinic Florida, said cell phones emit a type of radiation similar to that of a microwave or MRI.
Galvez said studies have shown that extended cell phone use, more than 50 minutes, increases the metabolic rate in the brain.
"The question is 'What does that mean?'" said Galvez. "Nobody really knows what it means, but it was enough to say if something is happening there, maybe we should be more cautious."
In 2011, the World Health Organization classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by cell phones, as possibly carcinogenic to humans.
"They even themselves have expressed the fact that more studies are needed, but we want to be on the cautious side," said Galvez.
Erring on the side of caution himself, Schottenstein recently bought more than two dozen Bodywell Chips.
When attached to the back of a cell phone, the tiny adhesive patches can purportedly reduce the risk of radiation exposure by up to 80 percent.
"I said, look. If it does nothing, it's a little chip on the back of the phone. If it works, it reduces radiation by 80 percent, so it can't hurt," said Schottenstein.
Haim Einhorn, CEO of Bodywell, recently brought the chip to market.
"My biggest concern is the children. Their brain, their skull is not as developed as an adult," said Einhorn. "It contains more water than bone and water absorbs more radiation than anything."
The Federal Communications Commission sets a standard for radiation from cell phones called Specific Absorbtion Rate, or SAR.
Einhorn said independent tests showed a significant reduction in the amount of radiation absorbed from cell phones with the chip.
"The problem is we can have so many factors that can be related to SAR," said Galvez. "Things related to the type of phone, to the distance of the phone from the ear, how long you speak on the phone, and even whether your standing still or moving."
Because the effects of radiation are cumulative, Einhorn said it maybe years before we know the real health consequences of long term cell phone use.
"I believe the more exposed you are, the more we will find out things with new research that we didn't even think about," said Einhorn.
Schottenstein isn't waiting to find out.
"It's comforting to know that I have some sort of protection now on the back of my phone," said Schottenstein.
The Bodywell Chip costs $29 and can be purchased through the company or on Amazon.com.
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