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When Do Cell Phones Give Off Higher Radiation?

Cell phones and smartphones emit radiofrequency (RF) radiation.  In certain situations they go to higher power- emitting much higher levels of RF. A California Department of Health study found the density of the RF radiation can increase by 10,000 times in some higher power situations.

Here are some situations when cell phones go to higher power. 

When the cell phone is on your body

The closer the cell phone is to your body, the higher the amount of RF that will penetrate into your body and brain.


  • Do not hold the phone up to your head. Instead use a speakerphone or airtube.
  • Keep cell phones and wireless devices at a distance away from your body. 
  • Do not carry a phone in your pocket, bra, or sock. Power off the phone more often. 
  • If you want to take pictures or video, set the phone to airplane mode with Wi-Fi OFF and Bluetooth OFF. 
  • Use a corded phone whenever possible (instead of a cell phone). 
  • Turn OFF antennas you are not using, and only turn on individual antennas.


When your phone is connecting in areas of low network signal

If the connection is weak, and when there are less than two bars on your phone, the cell phone must work harder to connect to the network (cellular antennas) and therefore emits stronger RF.


  • Unless it is an emergency, wait until the signal is stronger before using the phone. 
  • Better yet, find a corded phone to make the call. 
  • Power off the phone or at least set it to airplane mode.


Traveling in a moving car, bus, or train

The phone emits stronger RF to avoid dropping calls because all the while it is traveling it must seek to make a connection with each next cell tower it will pass. The metal surroundings of a vehicle (also including elevators, aircraft and watercraft) can cause the radiation to bounce around, which increases your exposure. Research finds that if one passenger is using a cell phone or other wireless device, the radiation penetrates into the other passengers in the vehicle. 


  • Before you enter a vehicle or elevator, set your phone to airplane mode and turn OFF Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. 
  • Choose a non-wireless GPS model for navigation. 
  • Do not stream inside vehicles. Passengers can use electronics with pre-loaded movies and applications (instead of streaming).

When your cell phone or device is streaming audio or video, or downloading large files

The larger the amount of data moving wirelessly, the more RF exposure. The more apps, the more updates, which means more RF activity. 

Wireless Internet connections for transferring data files (instead of streaming) are slower than corded connections, and slower is also longer RF exposure. (Also, wireless connections are less secure than corded connections.) 


  • Learn how to use ethernet cords to connect laptops, tablets and cell phones to networks with wireless turned OFF, so that you can listen to audio, watch video or download large files for use anywhere.
  • Video chat only when you are at a computer with a corded Internet connection (with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth turned OFF).
  • Get accessories to connect your cell phone to ethernet. Yes, this is possible for many cell phone models. You just need to ensure you have the correct adapters. 
  • If you want to listen to music or watch a video, first download the files (preferably by using a corded connection) onto your device (instead of streaming) so that you can watch and listen without continuous RF.
  • Prefer to use social media (with photos and video) when you have a corded Internet connection.  

When several apps are active

The more applications open or running in the background on your device, the more connections and RF radiation the device is making. Apps are always updating (even when you are not actively using them), and social media is always sending you notifications.


  • Turn OFF social media notifications.
  • Delete apps you do not use.
  • Close apps whenever you are not using them.


Next Step: Get a Corded Landline.


Corded landlines have no wireless radiation emissions.  

If you cannot get a copper landline you can use a Voice over Internet Protocol system or purchase a telephone line connection from your Internet provider. 

This is the way forward.

Here are some things that emit wireless in a house.

Top Resources to Reduce Exposure at Home

Click HERE for more printable factsheets and flyers to hand on your fridge and share with neighbors.