If you think that your brassiere is the safest spot to stowaway your smartphone, you might want to reconsider.
Aside from the fact that bras were not created to carry items such as small coins or big smartphones - there may be negative health effects in tucking these electronic devices between your breasts.
Some studies have correlated tumor growth in breasts with non-ionizing radiation commonly found in wireless devices, such as mobile phones.
Should You be Worried?
A research from the University of California linked multifocal invasive breast cancer with carrying phones through bras. Four women aged 21-39 developed tumors in the areas where the smartphones were kept. The study revealed that these women have no family history of breast cancer and tested negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2, or other genetic risks.
Another research involving meta-analysis of 16 case-control studies on cell phone radiation and breast cancer from 2000 to 2007 showed that low-level radiation from wireless devices may increase the likelihood of breast cancer development in women.
In a study published by Monash University, a quarter of their female respondents revealed that they keep their phones in their bras despite their concerns on the health implications of this habit, such as sleep issues, dizziness, and cancer. While further studies are required to clearly establish whether exposure to radiofrequency (RF) radiation from smartphones can lead to breast cancer, women should still play it safe and refrain from converting their bras into purses for their phones.
What You Can Do
- Always bear in mind that mobile phones incessantly emit electromagnetic radiation, even when you are not actively using it, due to applications that run in the background. It has also been found that our body can absorb the RF radiation from cell phones, so you should dial back in using these devices.
- As much as possible, use the hands-free option when fielding or receiving calls. It should be noted that smartphone manufacturers have written in fine print to avoid the devices from touching your skin. For instance, Apple recommends its users to maintain at least a six-inch distance from their body to ensure the safety limits of the devices.
- Refrain from using your device when the signal is weak or when you are in transit at high speed. This leads to a dramatic increase in power usage since the phone tries to connect to a new relay antenna.
- Be smart in choosing your smartphone. Manufacturers are required to detail the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) of their devices. SARs measure the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body. As a wise consumer, opt for devices with low SAR.
- Use phone cases and laptop sleeves that are laboratory tested to shield you from the harmful effects of RF radiation. You can find FCC accredited lab tested products by SafeSleeve here
- Lastly, accept the fact that your bra is not meant to store things. As per Esther Labi, founder of an Australian-based bra store, “When you put things in your bra, you are not only risking damaging your bra, but your breasts as well.”