Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, which may be harmful to human health. They communicate by transmitting radio waves through a network of fixed antennae called base stations.
Radio frequency waves are electromagnetic fields, and unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, cannot break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body. In response to public and governmental concern, WHO started the International Electromagnetic Fields Project in 1996 to assess the scientific evidence of possible adverse health effects of electromagnetic fields give the immense number of people who use mobile phone eve a small increase in the incidence of adverse effects on health could have major public health implications. because exposure to the RF fields emitted y mobile phones is generally more than a thousand times than form base stations, there is a greater like hood of any adverse effect of handsets.
A Large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. An assessment was published in 2007 by the (SCENIHR). The research clearly showed an increased risk of traffic accidents when mobile phones are used while driving. other health effects of using mobile phones include changes in brain activity, reaction times and sleep patterns.
- Radiation absorption:
part of the radio waves emitted by a cell phone is absorbed by the human head. The rate at which the radiation is absorbed by the human body is measured by the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and its maximum levels for latest handsets have been set by governmental regulating agencies in many countries. SAR is defined as the time derivative of the incremental energy absorbed by or dissipated in an incremental mass contained in a volume element of a given density. SAR values are heavily dependent on the size of the averaging volume. FCC has set an SAR limit of 1.6W/kg, averaged over a volume of one gram of tissue, for the head. In Europe, the limit is 2W/kg, averaged over a volume of 10 grams of tissue.
- Thermal effects:
Tissue heating is the principal mechanism of interaction between radio frequency energy and the human body. Tissue is a dielectric material which is heated by the rotations of polar molecules included by the microwave radiation. At the frequencies use by mobile phones, most of the energy is absorbed by the skin and other superficial tissues, resulting in negligible temperature rise in the brain or any other organs of the body. In the case of a person using a cellphone, most of the heating effect occurs at the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increases by a fraction of a degree. The local blood flow mechanism of the brain is capable of disposing of excess heat.
Long duration cellphones usage also causes burning effects to the ear and earaches, or sharp points inside the ear. to the same side of the head as the phone is held, some even experience pain descending down from just behind the ear onto the jaw. Eye problems may include fluttering of the eyelids, blurring of vision and bloodshot eye.
- Non Thermal effects:
Some biophysicists argue that there are several thermo receptor molecules in cells which activate a cascade of second and third messenger system, gene expression mechanism and production of heat-shock proteins in order to defend the cells against metabolic cell stress caused by heat. some studies proved that stress portions occur for extremely low frequencies and radio frequencies which have very different energy level.
- Cognitive effects:
The impact of cellphone radiation on cognitive functions of humans has been studied by several researchers. These studies confirmed slower response to a spatial working memory task when exposed to cellphone radiation. the defense Evaluation and Research Agency, the UK’s largest science and technology organization, has conducted research on cell phones EM radiation on the brain cells of rats and showed loss of memory for short periods. Several users of mobile phones also reported short-term memory loss.
- EM allergic reaction:
A number of studies have investigated the effects of mobile phone radiation specifically during and after its use. The user reported several unspecific symptoms like burning and tingling sensations in the skin of the head and extremities, sleep disturbances, dizziness, fatigue, loss of mental attention, reaction times and memory retentiveness, headaches, heart palpitations, blood pressure and disturbances in digestive system.
- Genotoxic Effects:
Cellphone RF radiation at both 900 MHz and 1800 MHz and SAR of 0.4-27.5W/kg showed a correlation between increasing SAR and decreased motility and vitality in sperm, increased oxidative stress, stimulation DNA base adduct formation.
A multination case control study on adults, INTERPHONE, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), investigated whether the RF fields emitted by Cellphones increased the risk of Cancer. The study focused on tumors arising in the tissues most exposed to RF fields from mobile phones glioma and meningioma, acoustic neuroma and parotid gland tumors. It found no increased risk of glioma for those who reported the highest 10 per cent of cumulative hours of cellphone use. it has been suggested that EM fields associated with Cell phones may play a role in speeding up the development of an existing cancer.
Safety Tips and Recommendations:
To date research does not suggest any consistent evidence of adverse health effects from exposure to EM fields at levels below those that cause tissue heating. the WHO has issued a precautionary principle applied in circumstances with a high degree of scientific uncertainty, reflecting the need to take action for a potentially serious risk without awaiting the result of scientific research. Some recommendations to minimize the possible health hazards are:
- Keep the cellphone as far away from your body as possible. By moving the cellphone just 56cm away from your head while talking on it, electromagnetic radiation that reaches to head is reduced by 75 percent.
- Turn your cellphone off at night because EM radiation emitted by the cellphone can disturb sleep quality.
- Avoid carrying your cellphone in your pocket, on your belt or in your hand. if your do carry the cellphone in your pocket of hand bag, always position it such that the keypad faces towards you. this way the antenna faces away from you. body tissue in the abdomen absorbs radiation more quickly than the head. The Hip produces 80 percent of body’s red blood cells and is especially vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation damage. close proximity may also damage fertility.
- Consider using your laptop computer to make cells or send and instant message.
- avoid using wired headsets. headsets including the ear buds that come with most cellphones today, act as an antenna, channeling electromagnetic radiation directly to the ear canal. when you use regular ear buds or ear pieces, you get three times more EM radiation than if you held the cellphone against your ear. Also you get it directly into your ear canal, and ultimately to your brain. so it is recommended not to listen to music on a cellphone using headsets.
- Use Air-tube headsets with ferrite beads. Air-tube headsets are believed to be safer because those don’t work as antenna and EM radiation cant travel up the air tube like it does on a regular wired earphone, further ferrite beads suppress EM radiation and dissipate it as Heat. so it is recommended to use air tube headsets with a ferrite bead placed as close as possible to the cellphone.
- Use the speaker phone as much as possible. EM radiation decreased in direct proportion to the distance of the source from your body. so never hold the phone directly gains your head.
- avoid making calls when traveling fast. cellphone automatically increase output power when moving fast as these attempt to connect or handover to the next cellphone base station.
- When purchasing a cellphone get one with low SAR.
- Avoid using a cellphone in metal enclosures like lifts, elevators, vehicles, subways and airplanes. metal enclosures act like Faraday cage, trapping some of the radiation and reflection it back upon you and others. so turn off your cell phone inside all metal enclosures.
- make calls when and where you have a strong signal. In most systems the cellphone and the base station check the reception quality and signal strength, and increase or decrease the power level automatically within a certain span, to accommodate for different situations such as inside or outside buildings and vehicles. When the signal is weak, cellphones automatically increase the power output, exposing you to greater EM radiation.
- Limit the amount of time you talk on cellphones. just a two minute call on a cellphone may disturb the electrical activity of the brain for up to an hour. the more time you spend on mobile phone the greater your risk of developing brain cancer. so keep your talking brief. you may be saving not only money but a life quite possibly your own.
- use hands free kit to decrease the radiation to the head.
- Do not use telephone in a car without an external antenna.
- the base of a cordless phone emits high levels of EM radiation, even when it is not being used. So use a regular phone as much as possible. Regular phones are the safest bet for conversation and work.
- Avoid using a cellphone when you are pregnant. The developing organs of the fetus are most sensitive to any possible EM radiation exposure. Moreover, cellphone generate low levels of non ionizing radiation, which are more likely to cause behavioral issue in children after birth, High amount of these waves can disrupt body tissues that’s one reason why it is suggested to wear protective shielding when getting an X-ray done.
- Don’t allow children to use a cellphone, except for emergencies. Children are at a greater risk because their skulls have not completely thickened. Children’s skull are thinner and their brain contains more fluid than adults. Exposure of young children to cellphone radiation may be more detrimental to their health, especially during the development and maturation of the central nervous system. immune system and critical organs. Electromagnetic fields easily penetrate through the brain of children, increasing the risk of cancer. The electromagnetic field penetration in an adult and a child clarifies it.
- use a Bluetooth headset in order to minimize EM radiation. it has been found that Bluetooth headsets emit 1/100 the the EM radiation of a normal cellphone. But whatever is radiated by this type of headset directly enters the ear canal and ultimately disturbs the electrical activity of the brain.
- Use a cellphone radiation protection device which has a patented shield technology that superimposes a low frequency noise-field onto the radio frequency to make it harmless to the body.
©Info by Rajiv Kumar Singh