Full Recommendations for Educated Use of Cellphones


The Tnuda Center updated the recommendations for educated use of cellphones from 2008, following its review of the current international recommendations. The updated recommendations refer to limitation of exposure to radiation emitted from cellphones, but also to other effects related to technology use.





Recommendations for limitation of exposure to radiation from cellphones

  General information    Recommendations for children  

Additional recommendations (not related to radiation exposure)


Exposure to radiation emitted from cellphones may be reduced by simple means, according to the following principles:
Distance, Time, Power




The most important principle for limiting the exposure to non-ionizing radiation is distancing the radiation source from the body, as radiation decreases significantly the more the distance from the radiation source increases

  • It is recommended that the cellphone should be distanced from the body, especially from the head (refrain from carrying cellphones on the body, for example in pants belt or in a pocket)
  • It is preferable to use speakers / hands free device or headphones (not wireless) during the call
  • Sending messages is preferable to cellphone conversation
  • It is recommended to distance the cellphone from the body when sending large files or during video calls or other applications involving prolonged transmission
  • When the cellphone is used as an access point to other mobile devices, it is recommended to distance it from the body
  • When the cellphone is charging, it is preferable to distance it from the body






Reducing / shortening the duration of cellphone use leads to reduction in radiation exposure

  • Limiting the amount and duration of cellphone conversations is recommended in order to reduce radiation exposure







reducing use under conditions of weak reception

  • Reducing cellphone use in areas of weak reception is recommended. The Reception level is marked by special indictor bars on the phone screen, and may be checked (comment: modern phones are able to markedly reduce transmission power when there is good reception)
  • In circumstances where it is necessary to use a cellphone despite weak reception, use of Wi-Fi network rather than cellular network is recommended
  • Use of radiation shields is not recommended






General information

The guiding principle for the subject of exposure to non-ionizing radiation in general and to cellphones in particular, is the precautionary principle. This principle, which has been adopted by most international bodies, calls for limiting the level of non-ionizing radiation that the population is exposed to, while striking a balance between technological advances and health preservation.


General information for cellphone users

Considerations when purchasing a new cellphone consumer protection regulations (information about non-ionizing radiation from cellphones) from 2002, stated the obligation to mark the specific level of radiation of the cellphone model and the maximal permitted level of radiation. This regulation allows the comparison between levels of radiation emitted by various devices. The maximal level of radiation of a cellphone device is expressed in SAR. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) refers to the amount of energy absorbed by a biological tissue (such as in the human body). It is measured in watts/Kg or milliwatts/g.


  • Amongst other considerations in purchasing a new cellphone, it is recommended to consider the maximal radiation level of the chosen device


Flight mode” activation for most devices, activation of “flight mode” turns off the cellular communication and the Wi-Fi function, so the cellphone is not transmitting or receiving, and therefore not emitting radiation. In this situation the cellphone turns into a closed, passive electronic device.


  • When there is no need for communication, the cellphone can be put into flight mode

At the same time, there may be devices which do not turn off the Wi-Fi when flight mode is activated. Therefore, when radiation prevention is desired, after flight mode activation, check whether the indicator bars for communication (cellular and Wi-Fi) do indeed show that the functions are turned off.






Recommendations for Children


In general, all the recommendations for educated use of cellphones are also valid for children. At the same time, children and adolescents are considered population at-risk for everything relating to health effects of exposure to radiation. The physical and mental characteristics of the young population are different from those of the adult population; therefore exposure to radiation may also affect their health differently.

Taking into account the health sensitivities and high life expectancy in the young population (almost certainly dependent on accumulation of significant exposure and long duration for developing morbidity) obligates extra care for them.


  • Limiting children’s exposure to cellphones as much as possible is recommended. Age of starting use should be considered, exposure should be reduced in the ways detailed above, mainly by reducing duration of exposure and distancing from the body, limiting the degree of usage and using hands free devices or headphones (not wireless)






In addition to the recommendations for educated use regarding exposure to non-ionizing radiation emitted from cellphones, consideration should also be given to other effects of technology use






Good, continuous and sufficient sleep is important for daily function and human health, both physiological and cognitive. Amongst children and teenagers – who are growing and developing – sleep is especially essential.


There is an association between use of digital media around lights out time and at night, and between sleep disorders. Night time use mainly causes delay of sleep onset, but also disturbs sleep quality and causes daytime sleepiness. Several biological, physiological and social mechanisms have been suggested for the way use of digital media may impair sleep duration and quality.

The below recommendations refer to additional possible health effects besides exposure to radiation, such as impairment of sleep continuity and quality because of beeps and sounds from the phone. Their aim is to establish “sleep hygiene” which will have a positive influence on falling asleep, staying asleep and on sleep quality, quantity and sleep environment


  • It is recommended that phones should be distanced from the bed and / or turned off when sleeping. Removal from the room during the night should also be considered
  • Regarding children: It is recommended to refrain from night time cellphone use. Allowing for “no screen time” before lights out time is also recommended




Driving is a complex task demanding that the driver activates several senses, physical capabilities and cognitive skills simultaneously. Performance of a secondary task – such as eating, listening to the radio or telephone conversation – creates excess load and might distract the driver from his main tasks: driving. The limitation on cellphone use while driving stems primarily from fear of traffic accidents, which may be caused by reduced concentration and distraction.

In Israel, according to the traffic regulations while the vehicle is in motion, the driver may not hold a phone, whether fixed or mobile and may not use it inside the vehicle, except with a hands-free accessory/handset (defined in the law as an accessory that enables using the phone without holding it). Also, while the vehicle is in motion, it is forbidden to send or read text messages.


  • While driving, it is advisable to reduce cellphone conversations, and under all circumstances to follow traffic regulations





    • BFS, The Federal Office for Radiation Protection, Recommendations from the BFS for making telephone calls on mobile phones (Germany)
    • California Department of Public Health, Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones
    • The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), How to reduce exposure from mobile phones and other wireless devices
    • NHS, National Health Service  in England, Mobile phone safety
    • The official website of the Government of Canada, Safety of cell phones and cell phone towers
    • Ministry of health, Cellphones (New Zealand)
    • FDA, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Reducing Exposure: Hands-free Kits and Other Accessories
    • Connecticut Department of Public Health, Cell Phones: Questions and Answers about Safety
    • AAP, The American Academy of Pediatrics,  Cell Phone Radiation & Children’s Health: What Parents Need to Know
    • STUK, Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Mobile telephones and base stations (Finland)
    • FOPH, Federal Office of Public Health, Mobile phones & Smartphone (Switzerland)
    • ANSES, French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, Radiofrequency radiation, mobile telephones and wireless technologies