Keeping Cell Phone in Back Pocket May Reduce Long-Term Radiation Says CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta [AUDIO]

March 30, 2011 8:54 am

(Photo: Sadao Turner/Ryan Seacrest Productions)

CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta visited “On Air With Ryan Seacrest” to discuss the radiation risks of cell phones, the effects of “Facebook Depression,” and the current state of Japan earthquake and tsunami recovery efforts.

In recent years, much discussion has been made about the long-term effects of cell phone radiation, and the placement of the phone on one’s person throughout the day.

“I put [my cell phone] on the coffee holder if I’m driving,” said Dr. Gupta who is a frequent Blackberry user. “I use a wired earpiece, not a Bluetooth. I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it does release a certain amount of radiation. There are certain parts of your body that are more sensitive. Your brain, bone marrow, your crotch for both men and women.”

He goes on to cite research stating, “At the doses that they’ve studied, they’ve never found that it has a health effect, but the average user they studied was a person who used their phone once a week for six months. That’s not most people. So I don’t think those studies mean anything. It’s easy to be safe. I keep it in my back pocket, and I use my wired earpiece. I don’t want to find out in 30 years to find a study that says there was a problem.”

Dr. Gupta explained that children and teens are who he is most worried about receiving cell phone radiation.

“My oldest is five now, and she uses the cell phone to talk to her grandparents. She’s going to use the cell phone her entire life, and that just hasn’t been studied. Her brain is so much more malleable to potential problems.”

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In the inteview, Ryan also asked Dr. Gupta about an issue that has been making headlines recently — “The Facebook Depression.” The symptom is described as a feeling of loneliness and depression when a Facebook user compares their number of “friends” and the quality of their “status updates” to others in their online community.

“The biggest risk is about isolation,” said Dr. Gupta. “As connected as we are around the world, we are becoming increasingly isolated as a result of a lot of these social tools. There should be a real push to integrate people more into society so that there actually meeting real people.”

The neurosurgeon turned medical correspondent also talked about how he learned about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

“[My family and I] were on a very rare vacation… we were down in the Bahamas,” said Dr. Gupta. “I was there for thirty hours, woke up, looked at my Blackberry as many people do and saw that this had happened in Japan. Three hours later I was on my way.”

Listen to Dr. Gupta’s entire interview above!