It's become second-nature for many Koreans to reach for their cell phones as soon as they board the subway.
However, only a few seem aware of the risks associated with their mobile devices.
"When I'm in the subway, I don't normally use my cell phone and only when I need to make an urgent call. "
<SOV> "Are you worried about electromagnetic waves?"
But it's a concern that cell phone users shouldn't take lightly, according to Korea's National Institute of Environmental Research.
A new government funded study measured the amount of radiation emitted by various cell phones when traveling on subways and other forms of high-speed transportation.
The results of the research found that mobile phones produced electromagnetic fields that were more than five times stronger when in transit, compared to when in operation at a stationary position.
That trend was also apparent when cell phones were used within confined spaces such as elevators.
"Inside subways, the radio waves coming out of cell phones are constantly trying to connect to base stations. This process requires a large amount of electromagnetic energy. Also when in a sealed elevator, these waves bounce off you."
The World Health Organization has classified cell phones as a possible carcinogen, meaning that the use of mobile phones may increase the risk of developing certain brain cancers.
Therefore, it's important to take precautions.
"When you have to phone someone, make sure your calls as short as possible. And in order to reduce your exposure to radio waves, use earphones when making calls for an extended period of time."
Pregnant women and young children are especially vulnerable to cell phone radiation as developing bodies have thinner skulls and weaker immune systems.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.