Mobile phone safety - Recommendations 

Recommendations for the safe use of mobile phones 

Current evidence suggests it is unlikely that mobile phones increase the risk of health problems. However, there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of radio wave radiation you're exposed to if you have any concerns.

Below are some measures you can take to lower your exposure to radio waves produced by mobile phones:

  • Only make short calls on your mobile phone, and do not use it more than necessary.
  • Children should only use mobile phones for essential purposes and keep all calls short.
  • Keep your mobile phone away from your body when it is in standby mode.
  • Only use your phone when the reception is strong (this is often indicated by bars of energy on your phone screen). Weak reception causes the phone to use more energy to communicate with the base station.
  • Use a hands-free kit to keep your phone as far away from your head as possible.

You may also want to consider the specific absorption rate (SAR) of a mobile phone before you buy it. This is how much radio wave energy is absorbed into the body from the mobile phone and it can vary between different types of phones. Mobile phone retailers have a responsibility to make this information available to you before you buy.

Driving

It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving or riding a motorbike because it can increase your chances of having an accident.

The Department for Transport recommends the following guidelines for safe use of mobile phones in cars:

  • Keep your mobile phone switched off when you are driving. You can use voicemail, a message service or call diversion to pick up your messages at the end of your journey.
  • If you need to use your mobile phone, stop in a safe place. Do not stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway unless it is an emergency.
  • Avoid using a hands-free device. These can be just as distracting as using the phone itself.

Page last reviewed: 15/04/2014

Next review due: 15/04/2016

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