When flying on an airplane, flight attendants always request that customers either put their phone in airplane mode or switch it off. They claim that the electromagnetic field (EMF) from the phones interferes with the operation of the plane’s systems.
You have probably wondered, does putting your phone on airplane mode really reduce EMF?
So, does using airplane mode reduce EMF? When you connect your phone to the wireless internet or any cellular network, the phone emits radio frequency signals while sending and receiving data. The sending and receiving of signals generates electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. When you set the phone on airplane mode, it disables the radio signals hence reducing EMF radiation since it can’t receive or send signals.
Using airplane mode is recommended while travelling because the radio frequency signals from the mobile phone can interfere with sensors and equipment on the airplane since they also depend on radio frequencies. Therefore, putting the phone in the airplane mode will disable the transmission of RF signals and also reduce your exposure to EMF radiation.
Cell Phone Radiation
All cell phones emit electromagnetic field radiation in the form of radio frequency (RF) and extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation. Any electronic device using a battery emits ELF. Cell phones and other devices such as a Wifi routers or Bluetooth devices connecting to a cell phone tower emit radio frequency radiation.
Cell phones emit EMF when sending and receiving calls or texts. Other sources of radiation from phones include the Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, and the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) which is usually used when making payments via your mobile phone. The latest phones with Ultra-Wideband (UWB) feature that is used to pinpoint the location of your tagged objects like laptop, car keys, and others is another source of increased EMF.
According to research by Pew Research Center, 77% of people in America use smartphones. Therefore, almost everyone is being exposed to RF and ELF radiation via thire cell phones.
The constant use of mobile devices next to your body for a long period of time may expose you to electromagnetic field radiation. There are links between long term exposure to EMF and health issues like headaches, hearing problems, brain tumors, fertility issues, and other health concerns. For example, in a study by the National Toxicology program, high frequency exposure to EMF radiation indicated a clear evidence of brain and adrenal gland tumors.
Cell phones are here to stay, and therefore we must find ways to protect ourselves from the dangers of EMF radiation. Putting the phone in flight mode when not in use, especially while you are carrying it on your body, or sleeping, will reduce the risk of exposure to EMF radiation. It also reduces the emission of RF radiation which lowers the overall amount of electromagnetic field radiation emitted.
Airplane Mode and EMF
EMF radiation emitted by phones is a type of radiation categorized as a Class 2B Carcinogen by the World Health Organization (WHO). This type of radiation is linked to cancer, DNA damage, infertility and also a high risk of miscarriage, among other health problems.
Putting the phone or tablet in airplane mode disables all of its wireless communication. Therefore, when you set the phone to airplane mode, no wireless EMF radiation is emitted. This feature was initially used to keep a phone on during a flight while preventing interference with the wireless communication of the airline navigation system.
Nowadays, the airplane mode is used everywhere, often when the phone is not in use, or when you want to reduce the amount of EMF radiation emitted by the phone. It is essential to turn your phone to airplane mode for your own safety.
When to Turn the Phone to Airplane Mode
You can use the phone in airplane mode not only while on a flight, but also in other situations. This will ensure you’re able to obtain the many benefits of less EMF exposure.
1. During the day
Putting your phone in airplane mode any time you’re not connected to the internet helps you reduce exposure to electromagnetic field radiation. For example, when you’re in a meeting, studying, watching movies or even driving. You can still use the phone GPS to track your location without the internet. Therefore, enabling airplane mode helps reduce the risk of exposure to wireless radiation.
You can even set reminders to help you enable airplane mode. Always putting the phone in flight mode when not in use is a healthy habit.
2. At night
When going to sleep, enable airplane mode to ensure you avoid receiving any notifications or messages that disrupt your sleep. This will also reduce your exposure to EMF radiation at night if you keep your phone in your room when you sleep. This will promote a good sleep which makes you feel refreshed in the morning. A night of good sleep is essential for good health.
If your phone has to remain on during the night, always make sure it’s 3 feet from you. Avoid keeping it under your pillow or next to you on the nightstand.
If you have a Wifi Router in the house, turn it off when going to sleep so as to eliminate RF generated by the Wifi connections.
3. Around children
Parents often leave their children to use cell phones and other electronic devices without monitoring them. These devices are a great distraction to the kids and they can spend the entire day browsing or playing games.
Enabling airplane mode when the kids are playing games or just having fun with the screen will reduce the amount of EMF radiation they’re exposed to.
Always exercise some parental control on the devices that kids have access to. You can also set notifications to limit the radiation emitted via messages when kids are playing games with the phone or watching a movie.
In addition, kids are more susceptible to EMF radiation than adults, therefore, putting the phone in airplane mode will protect them from RF radiation that may cause more damage in their vulnerable stage.
4. Low battery
If your phone is on low battery, and you have no charger or power outlet around, enable the airplane mode to help you save battery power. When the phone is left on, it will continue searching and maintaining the cellular network connection even when the screen is off or you have locked the phone. This drains it faster.
Constant searching for cellular networks and maintaining connections emits harmful EMF radiation. When the battery is low, it emits more radiation because it is working harder to make a connection.
Airplane mode will disable the constant searching for cellular networks, thus saving battery power as well as minimizing the risk of exposure to EMF radiation.
5. When traveling
Putting the phone in airplane mode when traveling, especially abroad, is a smart move and will save you a lot financially. Because the phone is not connected to a cellular network, you will not incur any roaming charges. You can choose when to connect to the Wifi, which will save you a huge amount of money when using data away from home.
What Can You do While the Phone is in Airplane Mode?
When your phone is in airplane mode, you can do anything that doesn’t require the use of a cellular Wifi network. Some of these activities include:
- Reading materials, eBooks or audiobooks already downloaded on the phone.
- Taking videos or pictures, looking at or sorting photos and videos.
- Playing games that don’t need an internet connection to operate.
- Listening to music or podcasts already downloaded on the phone.
- Setting alarms and reminders on your phone.
- Taking notes or making a list.
- The recent Android and iOS devices allow you to use GPS in offline mode.
- If you’re using an Apple device, you can use the AirDrop app to send files, photos, and videos.
When the device is still in airplane mode, you can manually turn on the Wifi feature which allows you to use apps that need an internet connection. Turning on Wifi when the cell phone is in airplane mode reduces exposure to EMF radiation because the cell phone network and Bluetooth signals are still off.
Therefore, you can access your social network accounts, email account, stream movies or videos and video chat or make video calls when the phone is in airplane mode if the Wifi network is switched on. You may want to confirm with the airline staff if it is okay to use the phone settings this way.
How to Enable Airplane Mode
When airplane mode is enabled on your phone, you will see an airplane icon on the notification bar. The airplane mode indicates that you have disconnected cellular networks, Bluetooth, and Wifi connections on your phone.
If you are using an older Apple device, from the bottom of the screen swipe up to open the control center, then tap on the airplane icon to enable airplane mode. If you’re using iPhone X or a newer model or an iPad that uses iOS 12 or later, then you can access the control center by swiping down from the upper-right corner, then tap on the airplane icon. When you enable the airplane mode, the airplane icon will be orange in color. You can also do this via the Settings. Open the Settings menu, then tap the slider to turn the airplane mode on.
For Android devices, you can turn on airplane mode using the quick panel. You can swipe down from the top of the screen, then tap on the airplane mode to turn it on. It will turn green in color. You can also use the settings menu. If you are using a Samsung device, go to the Settings menu, select Apps> Airplane mode, and swipe to turn it on. Other Android devices require you to go to the Settings menu then tap on the airplane icon to turn it on.
If you still want to be connected to your cell phone device, and airplane mode is not an option, you can consider using EMF radiation protection cases for your phone or tablet. These cases will help you reduce the EMF emission rate.
Smartphones have become a massive part of our daily lives. Continuous use of cell phones for long hours per day results in significant exposure to EMF radiation. Cell phones emit radio waves, light, and EMF radiation when sending and receiving calls and messages via the cellular network.
The increased use of cell phones is linked to negative health effects such as headaches and even brain tumors, and kids are at especially high risk if exposed to these types of radiation. Putting the phone in airplane mode will limit the risk of exposure to EMF to those that use it, and those that are around it.
When airplane mode is enabled, the cell phone will not connect to the cell phone tower or any cellular network. This eliminates the EMF radiation that occurs as a result of the propagation of radio waves.
Though the light on the display may emit a small amount of EMF, it is safer for your children to use a phone in airplane mode rather than using phones connected to cellular networks that emit a higher amount of EMF radiation. You should also restrict cell phone usage to children even if the cell phone is in flight mode, as they are more sensitive to EMF radiation.
Apart from putting the phone in airplane mode, always ensure Wifi is switched off at night to minimize the risk of exposure. You should also avoid putting the cell phone under the pillow or on the bedside at night.