Health Risks Cell Phone Radiation Edition
Cell Phones, are they a risk? What are the long term effects? Over the past years, the mobile phone or cell phone has become one of the most prominent sources of communication in our society. At the end of 2009 there was an estimated 4.6 billion subscriptions globally. Is this useful piece of technology a hazard to our health? This is a very controversial topic. There have already been a lot of studies done, and some say they do pose a health risk and others say they are safe.
chemical bonds or ionize the body. The only known biological effect to cell phone radiation is heating. Cell phones are low powered, operating at 450-2700MHz with peak powers in the range of 0.1-2 Watts.
How do cell phones work?
Only known biological effect of cell phone radiation is heating. When talking on a cell phone, the cell phone acts like a microwave, heating your brain tissue. This is because of the law of conservation of mass and energy, which states energy cannot be created or destroyed. Therefore, when talking on the phone the energy from the phone is not disappearing instead it is being absorbed by the skin and any other tissue in the area causing rising temperatures in brain or other organs. To date there is not enough research to show any affects to brain electrical activity, cognitive function, sleep, heart rate and blood pressure. A recent study showed that when people used a cell phone for 50 minutes, brain tissues on the same side of the head as the phoneâ€™s antenna metabolized more glucose than did tissues on the opposite side of the brain. The researchers noted that the results are preliminary, and possible health outcomes from this increase in glucose metabolism are still unknown.
When talking on a cell phone the transmitter takes the sound of your voice and converts it into a continuous sine wave the transmitter sends the signal to the antenna which sends the signal out. Cell phones emit radiofrequency radiation. Which are a form of electromagnetic radiation. There are two types of EM radiation; ionizing (like in X-rays) and nonionizing (such as microwave ovens). Radio frequency radiation is not an ionizing radiation, therefore it does not break up the
Health Effects: What are the short term effects?
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has listed cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen to humans. Among the list are lead, engine exhaust, and choloroform. Generally, cancer happens due to a mutation in the DNA, however radiation from cell phones does not do that. The reason is because it uses non-ionizing energy. Another group of researchers beg to differ. Studies have shown that use of cell phones for 10 years or more than doubles the risk of brain cancer and acoustic neuroma (a tumor on the acoustic nerve). Results from an international study showed people who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma. However another research group found that there was no connection. The World Health Organization (WHO) has promoted further research on the link between cell phone use and brain cancer because they lack the data of cell phone use for over periods of time longer than 15 years.
What are the effects on kids? Children have the potential to be greater at risk than adults for developing brain cancer from cell phone radiation. The radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are diving at a faster rate, therefore the impact is much larger. Children absorb twice as much radiation from phones than adults, and exceed
the guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) when the phone is in a pocket. Health Canada urges parents not to give cell phones to children under the age of 18. Children are more at risk because their bodies are smaller and their skulls are thinner. They are also vulnerable because they are still developing. Pregnant women should be careful because cell phones have negative effects on the development of embryos.
How can you reduce the amount of radiation your body absorbs? Keep cell phones away from the body; carry them in holsters, purses or in bags. Avoid direct contact with your head; try handsets or other hands free methods. Talk on speaker phone. If you have to talk on your cell phone, keep it short. Try texting. Use your phone in areas of good reception because it allows the phone to transmit at reduced power.
In conclusion, cell phones are new products, and there hasnâ€™t been enough studies on their possible long term effects, due to the fact that it takes a long time for cancer to develop. There is so many different findings due to bias, inaccurate reporting, participation bias, and changing technology and methods of use. Since it is labeled as a possible carcinogen take some precautions and limit your exposure to radiation. Hopefully in the future we see a world were cell phones do not pose any health risks.
References: - http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/
fs193/en/ - http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/ Risk/cellphones - http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/cell-phone -radiation1.htm - http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/05/31/ who.cell.phones/index.html -http://environmentalhealthtrust.org/ -http://healthychild.org/blog/ comments/011812_cell_phones_radiation_your_child s_health/
Published on Jun 15, 2012