The Mobile Phone

Prestige issue 275, June 2016

The effects of radiation on your health

The mobile phone is a must in our everyday life. The number of subscribers to mobile networks is now estimated at around 7 billion worldwide. Many have two or even three mobile phones. Given the growing number of users, researchers focused on the problems of public health that can be caused by this technology.

 

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How does the mobile phone work?

Mobile communication is done by transmission of radio waves through a network of fixed antennas, the base stations. Mobile phones are low power radio frequency transmitters when the device is on. This energy or radiofrequency exposure of the user decreases with distance. Using the phone in conditions of good reception can limit the exposure time since the phone can transmit using less energy. The efficiency of commercial devices that claim to reduce RF exposure has not been demonstrated. That said, as the radiofrequency signals may interfere with certain electro-medical devices and navigation systems, mobile phones are often prohibited in hospitals and on airplanes.

 

Radio frequency index

SAR, This is the Specific Absorption Rate, or index that measures, in watts per kilogram of tissue, the radio frequency level emitted by a mobile phone on its users when operating at full power. Ensure, when buying your mobile, the SAR is low, that is to say less than 1 W / kg. The stronger the SAR of your mobile is, the more one is exposed to waves during operation.

In bad reception conditions, the amount of waves emitted to connect is double, it is better to then focus on SMS because the SAR value may be much higher than normal.

 

The energy and the brain

Many studies have been carried out since the creation of the smartphone to determine whether mobile phones represent a potential risk on the health. In the short term, the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency energy and the human body is tissue heating. The frequencies used by the mobile telephones, most of the energy is absorbed by the skin and other superficial tissues, which results in a small increase in temperature in the brain or other organ of the body.

 

Let’s remain vigilant

Other studies focused on the effects of radiofrequency fields on brain electrical activity, on sleep, cognitive function, heart rate and blood pressure on voluntary guinea pigs. They revealed a link between brain tumors and mobile phone use. In fact the debate on the possible dangers of using mobile existed for years, and yet countless scientific reports advise caution because the consequences of these waves on the brain, DNA and the development of nerve pathologies could be involved. It took decades to recognize that lung cancer could be caused by smoking, and that the asbestos fibers are associated with mesothelioma, so let’s remain vigilant. Many reports on mobile phones and antennas are done frequently without ending the controversy.

 

Even if your mobile phone is on standby or being loaded, it emits waves.

We should know that we are surrounded by waves, yet we ignore their risk and we constantly use our mobiles close to our head. Let’s remain cautious, say experts who, with the rapid development of mobile phones, have been forced to do more research on the effects caused by the telephones on human health, causing cancer, headaches and other problems. The risk of a particularly aggressive type of brain cancer, glioma, would be increased with intensive mobile users, an important argument to keep our distance and not abuse of our mobile phones.

 

What about the anti-radiation chips?

There are now on the market many gadgets and items like covers for cell phones or as chips that we stick on the back of the mobile, and that can be obtained via the Internet to protect ourselves against electromagnetic radiation. It is better to use them even if the opinions on these new items are still controversial.

A person holding his mobile next to his ear is much more exposed to electromagnetic fields than another using his cell phone to send an SMS or connect to the Internet.

Laptops, battery-powered devices, fluorescent and halogen lamps, high and very high voltage lines, refrigerators, are also responsible for electromagnetic radiation.

 

The environmental risk of the mobile phones

The mobile phone causes a big problem for the environment because of the heavy materials that compose it. Developed countries use specific systems to collect used batteries for recycling. These methods are lacking in less developed regions, the batteries are discharged into the environment posing a serious environmental problem. On the other hand, CO2 emissions from the production of 7 billion mobiles in constant circulation around the world are estimated at 40 million tons!

 

How to protect yourself?

To avoid problems that may be due to the intensive use of mobile as headaches, tingling skin, eye blinking, memory loss, hearing loss, tinnitus, it would be good to consider a few precautions for a profitable use of your cell phone.

  • Never sleep with your mobile switched on, it is better to keep it off.
  • Always keep the mobile phone over a meter from the body including the head, hips, genitals. Holders of heart or metal implants should keep a distance of 20cm with their mobile.
  • Do not call in confined places or in a car, the waves trapped in a «metallic» location are harmful to your health.
  • Do not use the mobile in places crowded with people, exposure to radiation is also passive.
  • Equip yourself with wired headsets or bluetooth during conversations, if not remove your earrings, glasses or any metal object that would be close to the head. Brain cells in these cases receive many more waves.
  • Take at least breaks of one hour between each call, and avoid long conversations.
  • Protect young people and teenagers, they are more vulnerable to mobile radiations.
  • Keep the phone away from the belly of a pregnant woman in order not to expose the embryo to radiation.