We use mobile phones everyday as this is one of the most useful means of communication. However it doesn’t mean that cell phones are really safe. On the other hand there are almost no straight confirmations of the danger these devices provide. So what is true and what is false? Let’s try to dwell into this topic a bit.
“Do not use your cell phone a lot or you will get a cancer!” Such a scary story will be actual one for children in XXI century. Though may be not only for the children but adults as well.
Cell phones as well as computers, Internet, satellite TV are probably the brightest sine qua non of the information epoch – its indispensable condition. To be a contemporary person means first of all “to be well informed” and “to stay connected” and the rest will be obtained. However any technological innovations enabling us to correspond to the time we live in may have reverse side as well. Headaches, memory troubles, disorders of the natural functioning of the body may seem to be common hypochondria to someone. But another considers them as the consequences of the attachment to cell phone talks.
The danger that the cell phones may have was first time discussed massively in the beginning of 1990-s when a man whose wife died because of head brain cancer started a suit against the company-manufacturer of the mobile phones. He had lost the suit due to insufficiency of the scientific reasons required for his charge. Several next followed suits had also no end.
The single cases of the experimental confirmation of the fact that radio waves used in cellular communications may provide negative affection onto the human health cannot be repeated within the other conditions and consequently cannot be a considerable argument within court examination and national standards determination as well. In other words the safety of the cellular communication is confirmed by the absence of its damage today.
Though according to American lawyer Joanne Suder there is a way out for the victims even in such situation. Nowadays she protects the interests of those who as she supposes got brain damages due to the cell phone usage. As the independent examination in unable to confirm this fact she decided to make her indictment basing on the patents for the radiation protection means issued by the cellular devices manufacturers themselves.
So, Nokia has patented “the device that would protect brain cells of radiation affection” in 1998. To say truth we have to mention that there is also noted that there is no considerable scientific confirmation of such device necessity. Motorola and Ericsson have similar documents. However does it mean that manufacturers approve that safe radiation of the mobile phones may turn to be quite harmful one? It seems that to get the answer for this question we’d have to wait until the court process will end.
However even without official response to the question whether cell phones are harmful for the health or not the doctors in several countries start point to the new syndrome associated with excessive attachment to mobile communication. Here is its description by Roger Coghill who is one of the leading experts in magneto biology area based on the research results of over 500 cell companies consumers’ health condition in his interview to BBC. 40% of permanent cell communication consumers are complaining for the severe headaches. They are characterized by the increased fatigability and slowed reaction. Moreover the study has showed that the most of the mobile communication consumers experience considerable decrease of the number of the white corpuscles. In 1.5 – 2 years of the mobile phone constant use the leukemia may develop.
Of course such gloomy prospect is not for all those fans of cell phones but only for those using the mobile over 20-30 minutes per day.
Let the scientists speak
And what are the causes enabling us to presume that the mobile communication may negatively affect the human health condition? Mobile phones use several frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum: 850 MHz and 1900 MHz (USA), 900 MHz and 1800 MHz (Europe). The energy transferred in this frequency range is “nonionising” one as due to such radiation the knocking out of the electron from the atom doesn’t occur. Such situation may cause serious damages of the living tissues as it commonly happens within the use of X-rays for instance. The only effect that the radio-frequency radiation of the mobile phones may cause is the heating.
However such low-powered sources as cell phones cannot “heat” the cells of the living creatures to such degree that will cause its decay or lead to DNA disorders. According to the experts estimates modern mobile phones provide the heat affection that doesn’t increase the natural fluctuations of the environment temperature.
Certain danger may be provided by the basic stations that regularly exchange the “identifying” information with the mobile phones connected to the network and consequently are the sources of the intensive radiation. But according to the generally accepted version the dangerous affection may take place only in case the person spends a lot of time close to the transmitter.
On the other hand nobody will deny that there are not all biophysical features of the radio frequency radiation known to the science today. Moreover the science is aware only of its smallest part. Besides many studies have being spent during the first years of the widespread use of the mobile communication when people used cell phones not too often, not regularly and what is the most important only within a couple of years. Thus it is at least prematurely to make global conclusions about long term consequences of the mobile communication use basing onto such data.
This is also testified by another interesting fact: this February the British scientists from the Nottingham University managed to reveal that the radiation similar to one provided by the cell phones increases birth rate in worms without increasing cell temperature. It still doesn’t mean that those talking a lot via mobile phone will show astonishing fertility. But it is the first straight confirmation of the fact that radio frequency radiation provides also other effects besides heating ones even at the lowest intensity. Doesn’t it mean that certain part of the constituents of hypothetic “mobile communication syndrome” is the real nevertheless?
What shall we do?
According to the World Healthcare Organization forecasts there will be up to 1.6 billion mobile communication consumers by 2005. And it will provide not only “voice communication” but TV, multimedia, Internet services and etc. The time that consumers spend with the phone will increase. Furthermore it is quite obvious that the considerable part of these 1.6 billion will be children.
The doctors suppose that large companies-manufacturers of the cell phones as well as cell communication providers should hold wide-ranging researchers of this communication type safety on their own. However considering that any mentioning of non safety of mobiles use leads to the decrease of new phones sales this is not welcomed by its designers. Thus this social appeal most likely will not be supported.
So the similar project cost $27 million and supported by the American manufacturers in the end of 90-s brought no results: several articles presenting no clear facts were published but no official report was issued.
On the other hand the responsibility may be taken by the state – for instance the UK started the program including 14 projects in the beginning of this year. The main aim of these projects is to hold a long term research of long term consequences of the mobile communication use. British doctors and scientists will look for the answers for such questions as: does the radio frequency radiation provide any cancerogenic effect. They will have to determine how the use of the mobile phones affects the functional condition of the consumers’ brain cells.
The scientists are planning to define what effect the cell phones have over the still undeveloped child body. This is the principle question as previously only adults were considered as the research objects and as a result there is almost no data about the affection of the electromagnetic radiation onto the forming nervous and immune system today.
Moreover such problems as mobile phone use when driving a car will also be studied. The accidents occurring as a result of such driver behavior are also considered to be “mobile” ones.
Your own magneto biologist
But this British project as well as other ones that are similar requires several years to provide any results at all. And we use cell phones today. How can we safeguard and what should we beware of?
Even the most furious adepts of the idea that the cell communication is dangerous for the health commonly agree with the fact that the seldom use of the mobiles the risk to get any disease is quite low at least it doesn’t increase the possibility that the brick will fall on you head. However certain safety precautions are to be taken.
For instance when you talk via your mobile phone it is better to hold it within few centimeters from you ear instead of pressing to it. First of all this will decrease the intensity of the radiation affecting your head (and brain as well), secondly – in such position your hand will get tired faster and thus your conversation will last long.
According to certain experts the optimal time to talk via your cell phone shouldn’t increase 5 minutes per day. Moreover it’d be better to use hands-free device – in such situation you head will not “contact” with the radiation source. It is better not using the phone in the places when communication troubles may occur.
And the reason is not that the audibility is low one. When the mobile device fails to establish the connection it increases the radiation intensity – and this is not too good for your health. This is also the reason for not using the radiation protection facilities that producer/manufacturer remains unclear one – these means may only complicate the mobile device functioning that “has to” increase the power of the outgoing signal (and radiation as well).
Finally you’d better not come close to the basic stations that build cells. The radiation they provide may cause negative consequences for you health even without additional medical researches.