You’re probably guilty of multiple of these.
1. In your pocket
Keeping your phone in your pocket seems logical, but you could be doing more harm than good. According to Lilly Friedman, MD, this is actually the worst place to store your cell phone. “When cell phones are on, connected to a wireless network, and placed in a pocket, the radiation is two to seven times higher than if it were placed in a purse or holster,” she says. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer also found that cell phone radiation is additionally carcinogenic to humans. Merely sitting on your phone could cause health issues such as sciatica or other back problems as well.
2. In Your Bra
For the same reasons above, but for breast cancer. Plus, keeping your phone in your bra, especially a sports bra, is a bad idea due to the skin-irritating bacteria it could harbor, Muscle & Fitness reports.
3. Under Your Pillow
Sleeping with your cell phone is a bad idea for a few reasons. First, keeping your phone under your pillow could build up heat and present a potential fire hazard, especially if your phone is charging or has a defect. It’s also known that the LED light from phone screens can disrupt melatonin production and circadian rhythms, hurting your sleep quality, according to the National Sleep Foundation. And, of course, there’s also radiation to consider as well. The amounts of radiofrequency radiation cell phones give off are the same ones emitted from microwaves. There is also concern about the safety of cell phone use with respect to cancer and brain tumors, per the American Cancer Society.
4. Plugged in
Keeping your phone plugged in when it has a full battery causes damage to the battery itself, according to pcmag.com. It’s not that your phone “overloads” with power, but heat buildup, from stacking things on top of your phone or keeping it under your pillow, makes your phone hotter and battery-damaging—mainly if you use knock-off cables, reports.
5. To your face
Surprisingly, this one is not because of cancer. Keeping your phone close to your face means bacteria transfers to and from your phone, making your skin and phone dirtier. This combination leads to more acne, skin irritation, and even wrinkles, according to Allure. Try using ear pods instead to keep the surface of your phone at a distance from your face.
6. Anywhere in your bathroom
Although cell phones could arguably be the new newspaper, it’s not a good idea to take yours into the bathroom. Even if you keep your device on a counter or away from the toilet, anything within three feet of a flushing one could end up with bacteria or viruses in the air, according to a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.