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Cellphone and Cancer - Debate goes on ...

Cellphone health risk awareness

Image credit: University of Calgary

Cell phone, one of the modern invention, is today's fad. The phones are becoming more smarter with ability to check emails, browse internet. take pictures, watch videos and play games and is adopted by people around the world with welcoming arms. However, is every one aware of the health hazard this small microwave based device can cause? This article provides you an insight into the origin and working of the cellphone and the various scientific experiments conducted around the world to understand its health hazards. Now, you are the judge to derive your own conclusions - Read on.

Origin of Cell Phones

In the early 20th century, Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio, which formed the basis of the mobile phone. Mobile phone relies on a radio signal in order to transmit and receive voice and data information. In this Graham Bell’s telephone principles were integrated so that mobile phone is a simple radio with a small transmitter.

Working of a Cell phone

The base station or the transmitter towers that we see are the electronic bridges between 2 cell phones. Each base station is a “cell” and that means each cell has a particular radio signal span radius. When we are on the move, the nearest base station will provide us the radio signal. When we are at a place where no radio signal is available, we are at a “dead spot” or cell phone is unable to operate.


Nowadays, it is the cell phone that wakes us from sleep, reminds of the “to do” jobs, shows the face of the caller or relays his/her voice as a caller tone, becomes a child’s game-toy often, serves as an instant video camera, acts as a radio/tape recorder, helps us to navigate unfamiliar paths, helps send instant messages. Last, but not the least a high-end cell phone acts as a computer with internet and e-mails access.

Cell phones are very handy during emergencies and in situations where it is absolutely essential to stay connected with someone.

In this scenario, no wonder that on a planet with around 6.8 billion people, we already have about 5 billion cell phone subscriptions this year.

Health Hazard

Questionable health hazards: With this big usage of cell phones worldwide, it has become necessary to analyze the safety of the gadget especially because now children have started to use them from a very young age.

Since cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy (radio waves), which is a form of radiation, it has been the subject of study for many years for its effects on the human body.

1. Research led by Dr Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist at Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Israel, found that heavy cell phone users had a 50% higher risk of developing a parotid tumor. Such tumors arise in the salivary gland near the ears and the jaw, a position where cell phones are usually held, and they can be malignant or benign. Interphone researchers reported that, overall, cell phone users have no increased risk for two of the most common types of brain tumor, namely the glioma and meningioma.

The limitation of these studies is their limited timeframe and cancer especially the brain cancer takes years or even decades to develop.

Advice: Use hands-free device. Do not use the cell phone for long durations. Use loud speakers when feasible. Remember, when you place a call, the farther you are from a base station, the greater is the radiation exposure from your mobile..

2. Dr Kheifets and researchers in Denmark looked at over 13,000 Danish children born in 1997 and 1998. The children were part of a study called the Danish National Birth Cohort.

The study found that children who used cell phones and whose mothers had used cell phones during their pregnancy had 80% higher incidence of behavioral issues like emotional issues, hyperactivity, inattention and having problems with their peers. Even those children who themselves did not have cell phone exposure except during their mothers' pregnancies had 54% higher incidence of such problems.

Advice: Usage of cell phones with respect to children must be controlled or avoided.

3. Research In 2007 at the Cleveland Clinic on male fertility found that though there was no damage to DNA, men who used cell phones for more than four hours per day had markedly poorer fertility than their counterparts.

Advice: Men, especially those who are yet to to start a family, better keep their phones away from their fertility parts - especially on belts or in pant pockets.

Radiation control measures

Mobile handset radiation guards are available, which work on the MRET (Molecular Resonance Effect Technology)

Unlike the mobile handsets, the base stations emit radiation that are continuous and are more powerful at closer distances. For this more than 80 countries follow the safety standards set up by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). There are separate standards for occupational purposes and general living.

Various countries have published a new rating known as Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) to inform the user about the expected radiation from the cell phone. The cell phone vendors are expected to publish it in certain countries. For your information, in United states the maximum SAR level rating must be less than 1.6 watts/kg, in Europe the maximum SAR level rating can be up to 2 watts/kg, in Canada the maximum SAR level rating can be upto 1.6 watts/kg.

Bottom line: While the debate rages on as whether cellphone is harmful or not, at least, protect yourself by buying a cellphone radiation guard and check the SAR rating on your cellphone.

Watch the Video: Cell Phone Dangers !

Long distance ...

What is the cheapest time to call your friends long distance?
When they're not home!

Who was that on the phone?
Oh, just a woman saying it was long distance from Africa. But I told her I already knew that!

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.