Your Mobile Phone And Your Health
Mobile phones are connected with base stations through radiofrequency (RF) radiation but there is no conclusive or convincing evidence to suggest that the radiation level of mobiles is harmful to human health. There has been intense research on the effects of mobile radiation on human health but nothing harmful is found in mobile radiation.
Should We Consider Mobile Phones To Be Safe Devices?
The prevalent international consensus is that mobile radiation doesn’t cause cancer or affect the growth of existing tumors in any way. But the World Health Organization (WHO) classified RF radiation as ‘possibly carcinogenic for the human being in its May 2011 report. The theory is based on an increased risk for glioma, a type of brain tumor.
The latest WHO statement on the effects of mobile radiation calls for more research and a ‘precautionary approach’ to mobile phone use. But there is no further report by the world body. Also, there is a need to do more research on whether mobile radiation could be linked to cancer.
Let’s Understand Mobile Radiation
The electrical and magnetic energy released by all gadgets is referred to as electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Radiation travels through space at the speed of light.
Classification Of Radiation:
Ionising Radiation (IR): It can change cells and tissues in the body and cause cancers. Examples of IR include x-rays and gamma rays.
Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR): It only makes the cell molecules vibrate leading to a slight rise in temperature. Examples of NIR include ultraviolet radiation, light bulbs, infrared radiation, microwave energy, and radiofrequency. Mobile radiation comes in this category and for this reason, it is considered relatively safer than IR.
Your mobile has an antenna to communicate with the nearest base station mounted high off the ground on a tower or roof so it provides wider coverage to the mobiles. Whenever you make or receive a call, your handset sends signals through radiofrequency (RF) radiation via its antenna to ‘talk’ to a nearby base station. The base station receives the signals and connects the call to the dialed number through the landline phone system.
Both mobiles and base stations emit radiation but the RF radiation emitted by base stations remains constant all the time. On the contrary, mobile radiation varies depending on the following factors:
- How long has mobile been used
- How close a mobile is held to the body
- How close a mobile is to the nearest base station
Depending on the quality of connectivity with the base stations, mobile phones can adjust their radiation to compensate. For example, the radiation level is increased if the connection is weak and decreased when the connection is full. The radiation emitted by mobiles could be 100-1000 times more intense than from base stations. But thank god that this radiation isn’t harmful.
How Does Mobile Radiation Effect Human Health?
Everyone has an opinion on the effects of mobile radiation on human health. But research on mobile radiation has proved beyond doubt that mobile radiation isn’t as harmful to human health as projected by people. Also, the researchers have classified the effect of mobile radiation into biological and overall for a detailed understanding of mobile radiation.
The biological effect of mobile radiation is it increases the temperature in a localized area of the head by a fraction of a degree. But it doesn’t have any serious biological impact on the human body. Or it will be better to say that the human body is can remain safe from mobile radiation.
Is Mobile Radiation Linked To Cancer?
Studies and research conducted on mobile radiation have found no relation between cancer and mobile radiation. Also, the radiation from mobile is classified as non-ionising radiation that can never be carcinogenic. Your mobile heats the area of your skin it comes in contact with but this increase in temperature can’t cause cancer or accelerate the growth of a tumor.
Possible Health Effects Of Mobile Radiation
Mobile radiation will heat your skin if you keep your mobile close to your head. While the increase in temperature has no serious effect on your health, it can cause some discomfort. You will feel like the device is heating your skin.
Talking over the phone for a long time could impact your hearing ability. You can experience a decrease in the ability to hear sounds clearly. But it can be improved by reducing your phone use and exercises.
Talking over the phone while walking or driving could lead to accidents. Since you are hooked to your mobile, you won’t be able to watch your steps or vehicles and meet an accident. Also, mobile can keep you busy all the time. It will keep ringing every now and then.
Steps To Reduce Mobile Radiation Exposure
Researches so far suggest that mobile radiation isn’t harmful but there is no word on long-term exposure to mobile radiation. If you are concerned, you can take the following steps to reduce your exposure to RF radiation.
- Use a landline phone, if one is available
- Keep your mobile calls short
- Avoid making calls when the signal strength of your mobile is weak as your mobile will boost its RF radiation to compensate
- Consider communicating via text messages
- Use a hands-free kit for making/receiving calls
- Keep your mobile at a safe distance whenever possible
Myths About Mobile Phone Accessories
Claim that a mobile phone cover can reduce radiation has no scientific basis. On the contrary, it could lead to an increase in radiation levels by interfering with the signals coming from the nearest base station. Also, adding an accessory to your mobile could make it bulky.
There is little harm in using a mobile for as long as you are taking necessary precautions like using a mobile, only when necessary, keeping your calls short, and avoiding using the phone when the signal strength is weak. Also, you shouldn’t use a mobile while walking or driving as it could lead to distraction and result in accidents.