Who is not attached to their mobile phone? It is the ultimate lifestyle device used for communication, information, entertainment, networking, banking, record keeping, business, relationships, etc.
I cannot exhaust all the uses of the mobile phone or a Smartphone and the importance of this device has made us Phone addicts.
I write articles from my phone. I do not use a Computer often. The applications exist on my device to write and edit, so I am a Phone addict myself.
By itself, being attached to your phone should not be a bad thing, but the addiction is where the problem lies, because there are many negative health implications if we fail to handle our mobile phones properly.
In conducting the research for this article,the most disturbing thing I discovered was the effects of having base stations or cell phone towers in residential areas. On some level, I believe the average person is aware of some of the dangers of cellphone radiation but not so much about cell phone towers.
In India, it was concluded that people living within 50 to 300 meter radius of cellphone towers are at higher risk of diseases due to electromagnetic radiation.
A resident of New Delhi (India) filed a petition to ban cellphone companies from erecting any cellphone towers within 50 meters of schools, hospitals and residential areas.
According to him, his son got cancer due to a cellphone tower that was erected on his house. He says within a year of the tower being installed, everyone in his family gained weight and started suffering from sleeping problems. I believe we should make this kind of demand on the Telecommunications Companies in our Country .
Scientists and researchers blame the electromagnetic radiation from radio waves as responsible for alterations in biologic cells and tissues thereby increasing the risk of cancer in people using cellphones – especially in children.
The major problems found in people living near cellphone towers are;
– Dry eye
– Muscle problems
– Damage to brain – depending on how many cellphone companies are using a particular cellphone tower. There is a claim that the more number of cellphone companies sharing a single tower, the greater the hazards of that cellphone tower.
Cellphone towers are dangerous but still not as bad as normal cellphone use. This is because exposure to the radiofrequency (RF) fields emitted by mobile phones is generally more than a 1000 times higher than from base stations.
Specific Absorption Rate
The specific absorption rate – or SAR as it is known – refers to the rate of electromagnetic energy that is absorbed by the human body when using cellphones and other devices emitting radio waves.
It is measured in Watts per Kg of human tissue. If the SAR limit of cellphones is 1.6W/Kg (as in the US), the total time that a person can use cellphones is maximum 6 minutes. Given an error margin of 3, the total time a person can use cellphones translates to only 20 minutes per day.
While some countries have now made it mandatory to display the SAR value of cellphones on their handsets, others like Nigeria have not yet woken up to the dangers of using cellphones.
Research has shown the negative effects of excessive cell phone use, They include;
Based on mixed epidemiological evidence on humans regarding an association between exposure to RF radiation from wireless phones and head cancers.
– Other health effects
Scientists have reported other health effects of using mobile phones including changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. These effects are minor and have no apparent health significance.
– Traffic accidents
Research has shown an increased risk of traffic accidents, some 3-4 times greater chance of an accident, when mobile phones (either handheld or with a “hands-free” kit) are used while driving due to distraction.
It has also been found by studying rats that prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation can lead to severe brain damage. People using cellphones to a particular brain side have more risk of damaging that side of the brain – leading into complex disorders that may or may not be reversible.
According to Dr. Keith Black, Chairman of Neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles:
What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.
Due to the changes in electrical activities of brain, people can suffer from the following problems:
– Cardio-vascular problems
– Damaged blood vessels that translate to loss of protection to brain
– DNA damage – resulting into tumors and cancers
– Sleep disorders
– Irreversible infertility
– Skin problems – caused mainly by overheating of cells and include rashes, sores and even skin tumors
– Hearing loss due to overheating of ear drums
– Damage to red blood cells – slowing down blood circulation and thereby exposure to other diseases.
Dangers of Using Cellphones in Children
Children are at greater risk of acquiring diseases from excess usage of cellphones because their skull is thin compared to adults. Children using cellphones beyond limits run into major risk of brain damage – due to increased heating of brain cells – other than risking loss in hearing and vision.
The World Health Organization said in May 2011 that mobile phones may cause Cancer and other health hazards and urged phone users “to limit their use and take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure to mobiles”. It concluded that mobile use is “possibly carcinogenic to humans’, a term that places mobiles in the middle of the rating scale that contain 5 levels of carcinogens, and ranked mobiles just below things definitely known to cause Cancer such as smoking!
Mobile phone Safety advice:
– Use hands-free devices such as earphones or Bluetooth while communicating.
– Do not keep cellphones on body while talking.
– Monitor and supervise children’s cellphone use. Children absorb twice as much radiation as adults.
– Never place a cellphone near a pregnant woman’s abdomen. People who want to be parents have to be careful of phone radiation, sperm is vulnerable to radiation.
– Use more of landline phones as they use analog signals.
– Beware of a weak network signal, cellphone work harder and emit more radiation when there is the signal is weak or blocked.
– Try texting as an alternative to talking over cellphones.
– Try not to talk on the mobile phone for more than 15 minutes at a time
– Do not use your phone while moving.
– Do not go to sleep with your mobile phone beside. Put it on a nightstand or stool away from your body when sleeping.
– When you can, switch off your phone. Your phone emits no radiation when it’s off or on airplane mode.