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Jessica Griffis

English 11

5/19/09

Are Cell-Phones Dangerous?

Today, almost everyone owns a cell phone. Kids in middle school to grandparents are cell phone users. They have allowed our lives to become much more organized and have opened up a whole new world of technology, but their effects may not all be positive. I believe that cell phones have been linked to causing brain tumors, deadly car wrecks and even hurting sleep patterns.

Cell phones and brain tumors have been linked since they first came out. Is this an urban myth or fact? Many people have argued about this topic, but research shows that they can cause serious health problems. Like televisions, computers and all other electrical devices, cell phones are radio devices that emit electromagnetic radiation. Cell phones operate at a very low power and are made to be harmless to its user. But because the phone and its antenna are held so close the head, the brain is subject to absorb higher radiation. With years of use, studies have suggested that this can be a direct cause of a brain tumor. The National Cancer Institute’s study supports this. There have also been claims that people have had brain tumors in the exact size, shape and position as the antenna on their cell phone. Dr. Vini Khurana has concluded that cell phones may be more deadly than smoking cigarettes or being exposed to asbestos. Part of his reasoning is that there are three times as many cell phone users as there are smokers. He stated that “there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumors.” While many people still disagree with this argument, they believe that there isn’t a clear link between cell phone use and brain tumors.

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Some studies show that this is true, like the Danish Institute of Cancer Epidemiology found no cause to worry. Even though no study has fully proven that cell phone use is a direct cause of health problems, I still believe precautions should be taken. Limit cell phone usage, use an earpiece that doesn’t emit radiation, use speaker phone instead of holding it to your ear and now there is a device called an RF Raider that will limit the radiation up to 60% if you cannot do any of the above.

Besides from causing health risks, cell phones are quickly becoming one of the leading causes of car accidents. People have become more focused on their conversation than the road. Studies have shown that mobile phones cause 1000 car wrecks daily making up for about 30%. Texting is now become one of the biggest issues with cell phones and driving. People are taking their eyes off the road and typing messages. This is driving blind and is extremely dangerous. Would you want the person you’re passing on the road to be focused on a message rather than the road? Law Enforcement across the country has been debating laws to limit the use of the phone while driving. While some states have already put this law into effect, enforcing this law is the hard part. But on the other hand, some people disagree and say that not just cell phones are the only thing distracting drivers. Some people are messing with their radio or trying to get something from their backseat. This can be prevented though if everyone would limit their use of cell phones while driving and avoid distracting behavior.

Not only are cell phones believed to be the cause of health risks and car accidents but they also are hurting the way its user sleeps. Studies have shown that if a cell phone is used 30 minutes before sleep that electromagnetic fields emitted from the phone increase brain activity dramatically. This happens during early non-rapid eye movement. So in turn, falling asleep after cell phone use is much harder than it would be without. Disrupted sleep patterns can lead to a number of other problems that the common person would never relate to the use of their cell

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phone. Some people argue that measuring brain waves before sleep is not a reliable source for blaming it on cell phone usage. Any electronic device could have this effect. Brain waves are very sporadic before and during sleep. Either way I believe avoiding cell phone usage before sleep would help you relax and would lead to better sleep.

In conclusion, while cell phones are very useful and have made life a lot easier, they shouldn’t be overlooked as a danger to its user. Cell phones have long been argued as a cause of health problems such as brain tumors. They are a direct link to fatal car crashes and have been a suggested cause of irregular sleep patterns. While there are 2 sides to this argument, precaution should still be taking in all of these cases so we can make cell phone use both helpful and a healthy part of our lives.

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Earnhart, Mark W. "ARE CELL PHONES DANGEROUS?" Journey to Wellness (2008).

EHSO. "Cell Phones, Cancers and Brain Tumors. What is the REAL story?" Environment, Health and Safety Online. 8 Feb. 2009. EHSO ( Benivia, LLC ). 15 May 2009 <http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/cellphonecancer.php>.

Gruber, Frank. "Are Cell Phones Dangerous?" Somewhat Frank. 29 June 2005. Somewhat Frank, LLC. 20 May 2009 http://www.somewhatfrank.com/2005/06/are_cell_phones.html.

Heiden, Kalista. "Cell Phones: Helpful or Harmful?." Creative Kids 23.1 (Winter2004 2004): 8. MAS Ultra - School Edition. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 21 May 2009 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ulh&AN=15457466&site=ehost-live>.

Hughlett, Mike. "Cell-phone dangers still argued." Chicago Tribune (IL) (16 Feb. 2007). Newspaper Source. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 21 May 2009 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W62W61126670398&site=e host-live>.

Soller, Kurt. "Kids, Put Down Your Cell Phones!." Newsweek 152.0 (18 Aug. 2008): 63. Middle Search Plus. EBSCO. [Library name], [City], [State abbreviation]. 21 May 2009 <http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx? direct=true&db=mih&AN=33725612&site=ehost-live>.


Dangers of Cell Phones