We bring them everywhere with us and some of us don’t just have one, but lots of them. They allow us to connect to our loved ones, even to those in far away places. We capture memories with them and they entertain us whenever we get bored. These days, it’s almost impossible to live without them. No one can deny the convenience mobile phones have brought us, but through the years, research have shown conflicting results whether the use of mobile phones pose a serious health threat.
- at this time, there’s been an increase glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but associations to other type of cancer has not been established yet
- there’s more risk in contracting brain cancer for people who hold their cell phones against their heads compared to those who keep their handsets away from their heads.
- regular use of a cell phone doubles your risk of developing neuro epithelial tumours on the outside of your brain.
- radio waves from cell phones are known to cause damage to DNA and cells, effects that are passed on to the next generation of cells.
- other dangers include genetic damage, brain dysfunction, brain tumors and other conditions such as sleep disorders and headaches.
Currently, there are more than two billion cell phone users being exposed every day to the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). The danger mechanism is triggered within seconds, so the amount of time spent on the phone is irrelevant, according to Dr. Carlo. Researchers say that the safe level is low, we can’t even detect it.
Mobile phone manufacturers responded by issuing warnings of the possible effects of mobile phones usage.
Apple included the statement “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body.” in the Apple Iphone 4 safety manual.
Research in Motion, the makers of Blackberries advises users to “keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting.”
We can’t deny the convenience of using mobile phones but we can’t take these risks for granted. Here’s a few measures that we can do to minimize our exposure to electromagnetism radiation.
Use a headset or speakerphone . One study shows that using a headset lowers radiation exposure eightfold with the logic that the further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed.
Keep your phone out of your pocket. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery published a study in 2010 linking cell phone radiation to decreased bone density in the pelvis, and another study conducted in 2008 by the Cleveland Clinic found that it lowers fertility in men.
Limit children’s use of mobile handsets. They have thinner skulls, and their brains are still developing making them more vulnerable to any potential harmful effects of RF radiation.
Avoid talking while driving. Aside from the distraction it creates, using your phone in the car forces your cell signal to jump between wireless towers. Since RF is highest when a connection with a tower is first established, talking while traveling can increase exposure.
Don’t chat with a poor signal. Poorer signal means your phone will have to work harder to get reception, the harder it works the more radiation it emits.
Don’t use those so called radiation shields. Those shiny stickers that claim to block radiation don’t work; they actually force the cell phones to transmit at a higher power.
Don’t wear wireless headsets if you don’t use them. Earpieces don’t emit as much radiation as a phone, but they release some even when you are not in a call. Don’t wear such when you don’t need to use them.
Technology may make everything easier for us, but not without a price.