With an estimated number of over seven billion users of the cell phone around the world, it has become pertinent to look into the potential negative health effects of the use of mobile phones and possible health risks of exposure to radio frequency energy it generates to mankind in the long run.
Mobile phones function by transmitting radio frequency waves (RF waves), and according to research and studies, exposure to these RF waves pose a potential health risk. In the process of communication with mobile phone the base station network is connected such that it transmits radio waves.
Radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum ranges from high energy frequency waves such as the ones for medical examinations e.g gamma rays, X rays and other forms UV radiation to low frequency/energy radiations from natural and manmade sources i.e Signals from Broadcasting radio, WiFi, Bluetooth, security scanners, satellite phones, cell phones, radar etc Generally the RF waves from mobile phones fall under the low-frequency radiation
How The Mobile Phone Exposes Us
Several research and studies have been carried out on the risk potential of using mobile phones but there has been no conclusion on a probable health effect of the mobile phone to man.
A meta-analysis was carried out from information gathered from an international project known as the Interphone study. The study involved 13 countries, who researched the potential of mobile phones to cause cancer. The study in Japan revealed a high possibility of a benign tumour of the head called Acoustic Neuroma. These researchers propounded that this tumour was associated with the maximal use of phones twenty minutes a day. A study in Sweden also showed that frequent use of phones daily exposes one to the risk of these tumours.
Preventing Exposure To Rf Energy
Since mobile phones emit Rf waves from its Antenna when a call is made from a wireless phone. It is advisable to use hand free devices when receiving calls to avoid frequent exposure of these RF waves. This is because the closer a body part to phone the more the body tissues absorb RF energy. There are certain factors that are put into consideration to determine how much an individual is exposed, so to be on a safer side certain measures should be put in place to checkmate constant exposures. The handset has a relatively low power radio frequency transmitter. These range from 450 to 2700MHZ which at its highest level powers in the range 0.1 to 2 watts. It has been researched that since the mobile phone only transmits power, its radio frequency exposed to a user quickly falls off when distanced from the handset. When a mobile phone is used for texting or accessing the internet or when a hand free device is used in making calls the rate of RF exposure is relatively reduced. Another way in which RF waves are reduced is when a phone is been used in an area with good reception. Little wonder mobile phone usage is prohibited in places as hospitals and on aeroplanes because of its RF waves are bound to disrupt some electro-medical devices in hospital wards and navigation system of the Airplanes.
Possible Negative Health Effects?
For almost a decade now it has been feared that phones have a potential threat to man’s health. Although certain research agreed that phones pose a health threat, the majority of the researches proved otherwise. Rumours of Cancer and tumours in the head and brain has spread in time past but these have not been verified or confirmed as caused by phone electromagnetic energy. Fortunately, no record has been established that phones have caused negative health effects to human.
On the short term effects of Radiofrequency waves exposure, the human body experiences tissue heating. Since most of the energy from the Rf waves are absorbed by the body and its tissues, which could cause a high temperature in the brain or other body vital organs. Despite the fact that numerous studies have been carried out to investigate the negative effects of the RF energy in cognitive functions of the brain, the heart, possible increase or reduction in blood pressure. There has been no research of such that established these as facts.
Several Epidemiological researchers have examined the possible long term damages of RF energy, especially in its association with brain tumours. But because cancer is an ailment that takes long years before it is finally detected and doesn’t develop overnight These studies are carried out based on the short time period of the popularity of phone use. Ten years ago the usage of the phone was not as common as we have today. Animals which were tested on RF exposures had shown no sign of cancer risk. As a matter of fact, the possibility of the electromagnetic wave in mobile phones to cause cancer has not been scientifically verified despite the fears. Although a meta-analysis data gathered from 13 countries who participated in the Interphone research found no risk of feared tumours such as Glioma and Meningioma the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the RF electromagnetic field as prone to be carcinogenic to man. Notwithstanding, international research bodies are not relenting in carrying out studies on the negative effects of mobile phones. With the popularity of its use among today’s younger generation, studies investigating the risk potential of the phone is very needful. The World Health Organisation among other international health organisations plays a very vital role in researching the possible health risk of mobile phone usage to date.