How To Check Cell Phone Radiation Levels

Cell Phone, Radiation Levels

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We show you how to check the radiation levels of your feature phone or smartphone
Published on May 24, 2010

Cell phones and smartphones are becoming more of a commodity with each passing day — it seems like just about everyone young and old carries at least one.

The unfortunate truth as many are aware, however, is that cell phones emit varying levels of radiation that can be harmful.
While the extent of the possible damage caused by cell phones is an ongoing debate with plenty of evidence on both sides of the fence, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. By simply using a Bluetooth headset, for example, you can ensure that the bulk of any radiation emitted by your phone stays away from your head.

Hands-free headsets aren’t always convenient however, so it’s good to be aware of the radiation levels emitted by a phone before you make a new purchase. Obviously, you should try to avoid purchasing phones with high levels of radiation.

It’s also a good idea to check the radiation levels of your current phone so you know if you should be extra safe.

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Roughly 270 million Americans do it several times a day: talk on a cell phone. Seems harmless. But when you make and re¬ceive calls, your cell phone emits low levels of radio-frequency radiation — a fact that has fueled heated and ongoing scientific debate on the health risks of mobile-phone use.

On Sept. 9, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a public-health advocacy, released a lengthy review of past research linking long-term or frequent cell-phone use with increased rates of brain tumors, migraines and kids’ behavioral problems. For their part, the phone industry and the Federal Government say cell phones are safe. The “majority of studies published have failed to show an association between exposure to radio-frequency from a cell phone and health problems,” states the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on its website. But concerns are high enough that the Senate on Sept. 14 held hearings – led by Democratic Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, a brain-cancer survivor – to examine the subject. The outcome: inconclusive. “The current [industry] safety standards are not sufficiently supported,” says Dariusz Leszczynski, a Finnish radiation researcher who spoke at the hearing, “because of the very limited research on human volunteers, children and on the effects of long-term exposure in humans.”

Despite the government’s view that cell phones pose no danger, some researchers note that most of us have been using them for less than a decade. If there is indeed a cumulative risk to using a mobile phone, it’s possible that users won’t be aware of it until it’s too late – just as it took doctors decades to connect cigarette-smoking with lung cancer. “We all wish we’d heeded the early warnings about cigarettes,” says Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at EWG and the author of the recent report on cell phones. “We think cell phones are similar.”

That theory is far from certain. While it’s clear that humans absorb weak radiation through handsets (the EWG report noted the particular vulnerability of children, whose skulls, according to a French study, absorb twice as much cell-phone radiation as those of adults), what’s not clear is whether that radiation causes harm. Scientists are waiting for the publication of a $30 million, 14,000-person international study called Interphone, which is meant to nail down the answer once and for all. But the study ended in 2006 and its authors are still squabbling over the interpretation of their data. To date, the “peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public health risk,” says John Walls, a spokesperson for CTIA, the international wireless-industry association.

Better, long-term research is needed – and it can’t come from the cell-phone industry. (Some scientists have suggested levying a $1 surtax on phones to fund new studies.) For now, you can use a Bluetooth or wired headset or simply talk on your cell phone less to reduce the amount of radiation that bombards your skull. You can also choose a low-radiation cell phone; the EWG has created a searchable online database that ranks the radiation levels of more than 1,200 models. (Sorry, Apple fans, your iPhone ranks pretty high.) And finally, take a cue from the nearest teenager: texting is safer than talking.

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Here’s one question that you almost never see asked when the experts like Lai are interviewed in the press about the cell phone-cancer connection: What are their best practices when it comes to cell phones? It’s like asking the mechanic in your family about what car he or she would buy. Said Lai, “I don’t have a cell phone.” But Lai cautioned not to read too far into that answer. Lai also said he doesn’t need one. But if he had one, Lai said he’d probably use a headset (but also admitted that the jury was out on headset effectiveness as well) with the idea being to keep the antennae as far away from your head has possible.

The jury may not be out for some, but the jury looks out to me. While I may not be willing to give up my cell phone altogether, I still feel as though there are some practical things that I can do to minimize any potential risk while we wait for mo’ betta conclusions. If, ten years from now, it turns out I was overprotective of myself, or my family members, so be it. What will I have lost? Actually, that’s a good question when it comes to what you should think about when buying a handset in the context of the radiation issue.

As it turns out, there’s more to getting FCC approval than just coming below the 1.6 W/kg maximum. Cell phone manufacturers must have their devices independently tested and the results are made available to the FCC, which in turn makes the actual results available through an online database on its Web site. In other words, it’s not a pass/fail test. We have access to the actual ratings. So, if we just buy phones because the FCC allowed them onto the market as opposed to comparing SAR ratings, aren’t we selling ourselves short?

Given two phones with the same features and the same price, shouldn’t we be considering the one with the lower SAR rating? Or, how much is your peace of mind worth? In true better-safe-than-sorry fashion, would you pay an extra $25, $50, or even $100 to have a phone with the same features as another, but with a 33 or 50 percent lower SAR rating? OK, maybe not for yourself. Maybe you’re 50 years old and you’re thinking cell phone-induced brain cancer isn’t what’s going to arrange your meeting with your maker. But what about your kids? I’ll bet there are a lot of parents out there who are on serious guilt trips about exposing their kids to second hand smoke. (Something almost no one stopped to think about 30 years ago when they were driving the kids to Grandma’s with the car windows rolled up.)

This brings us to the phone from Firefly Mobile that Mossberg reviewed. In the process of trying to learn more about that phone, I learned more about the system and it wasn’t pretty. For example, all I wanted was the SAR rating of the phone. Try finding it. It’s not printed on the phone, in its documentation, in the sales literature, or on the company’s Web site (at least not as of when I published this blog). Whereas the FCC should require that the rating be prominently published in product brochures, advertisements, and in the user documentation (which is often available for download before buying a product), all it requires is that the manufacturer add an “FCC Notice and SAR Statement” to the documentation that basically says the product complies with FCC regulations. Some cell phone manufacturers voluntarily publish their cell phone’s rating on this page. Others, like Firefly (as of the publishing of this blog), do not. (See page 25 of Firefly’s user documentation.) To find it, you either have to be a detective or with the press where you can get access to company executives like Firefly Mobile CEO Pat Marry.

Marry answered my question. For the “body test,” the Firefly phone has a SAR rating of .975 W/kg. For the “head test” (where the phone gets held up to your kid’s brain), the rating is a bit less: .945 W/kg. But getting this information from Marry couldn’t be done without getting lectured on why cell phones are safe and that it didn’t matter whether the phone was .5, .9 or 1.6 W/kg… that as long as the phone was below the FCC limit, it was safe. It took me almost an hour to get Marry to realize that I had no interest in debating the connection, or lack thereof, of cell phones to cancer. As long as the actual ratings are available, what is the harm in using them as a comparative data point? Personally, given two designed-for-kids phones with near identical features, knowing that the jury is still out, I’d be very happy to pay an extra $50 or $100 for a lower SAR rating. From my point of view, the only harm in making this sacrifice might be a few extra bucks. To the cell phone manufacturer, the harm is their business (particularly if a journalist with any sort of reach adopts such a conservative position).

Naturally, they’ll get defensive. And defensive Marry got. Marry told me “there’s no reason to imply that a lower number is a safer cell phone. To most consumers, it’s a number and they don’t know what it means.” In addition, Marry, who said he was with Motorola for much of his career, claims that it would be easy for any cell phone manufacturer to crank back their SAR rating by lowering the transmission power of the radios in their phones. Said Marry, “Can you even make a call with phones below .9? Any manufacturer can lower their SAR rating by changing the amount of power that comes out of transmitter but, the phone will drop more calls.” Fair enough. If a phone can’t hold a call (or a conversation), that should come out in the independent reviews of it by organizations like the cell phone reviewers at CNET who test cell phones every day.

Once I got through Marry’s lecture though, I was still curious as to why I had to call him to get the SAR rating. He told me I didn’t have to and pointed me to the FCC’s Web site where the SAR rating for any telephone is supposedly easy to find. To this I say, write your congressman.

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Measurement of the emissions from cell towers presents particular technical challenges beyond those encountered for broadcast antenna sites. To understand these challenges, a few comments about radio frequency measurement are required.

Protocols for the measurement of RF energy for the purpose of human exposure assessment often recommend the use of an “isotropic broadband probe” because this type of sensor responds equally to energy arriving from any direction, and over a broad frequency range, as does the human body. These instruments are commonly used because they permit a quick and simple measurement. Unfortunately, some of the meters used for typical RF compliance surveys are unable to accurately measure the low power densities present at some cell sites. An alternate approach is required.

A related problem involves the concurrent presence of other signals besides those from the cell phone system. The “broadband” characteristic of the isotropic broadband probe means that it will measure any signals across a wide range of frequencies. The reading produced by the instrument will be the combination of all signals present. In a large number of cases, the other signals present near a cell tower will be as strong as the cellular signals that one is trying to measure. Realistically, this composite measurement of all signals may be the most relevant exposure metric, but an interpretation of the significance of a reading sometimes requires that one know the frequency of the signal that produced it. For instance, is it FM, TV, cellular, or something else?

One of the most significant RF measurement problems, and one responsible for some of the greatest inaccuracy, involves an instrument erroneous response that can occur when there are two or more strong signals present at the same time. A very large proportion of antenna sites (cell and broadcast) now have multiple strong signals. Instrument design can minimize this problem, but many of the commonly used isotropic broadband meters perform very poorly in this multi-signal environment. The result is a reading that is much higher than actual, sometimes double (100% error).

An additional challenge results from the fact that power density levels at a cell tower site are not always constant, as they usually are at a broadcast antenna site. People use their cell phones more at some times of the day, and on some days of the week, than at others. The cellular service providers maintain additional capacity in the form of multiple channels which will become active as needed to meet demand. Each active channel adds to the measured power density at the cell site. The variable nature of power density levels at some sites must be taken into account. When necessary, we employ timed signal averaging or data logging to produce an accurate assessment.

RF measurement surveys conducted by EMF Services employ procedures and equipment to address each of the challenges noted above. A spectrum analyzer is used for identification of RF sources, and for assessment of the relative magnitude of signals in different frequency ranges. The use of this instrument with a calibrated antenna will allow a sensitive and precise “channel power measurement” across selected frequency ranges, or measurement of the strength of an individual signal. In some cases, we also use a high sensitivity isotropic broadband probe for measurement of the composite power density. Our comprehensive analytical report summarizes all this data in a concise and understandable format, but includes an Appendix with detailed site data, such as the spectrum analyzer plots shown below.

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Cell Phone Towers Health Effects

The popularity of cell phones and wireless communication devices has resulted in a proliferation of cell towers across the American landscape. Opposition to the placement of these towers has sometimes developed among segments of the population, usually based upon aesthetics, concern over the electromagnetic radiation, or both.

EMF Services can conduct testing and site assessments for individuals, schools, building managers, or municipalities who wish to become aware of the RF levels at a location near cell phone or broadcast towers. The report that we provide will permit comparison of measured levels with FCC Maximum Permissible Exposures (MPEs), precautionary guidelines, and routine background levels for comparable environments. If new antennas or towers are planned for your location, our site survey can be used to establish a baseline RF level for later comparison (before and after testing). Follow-up readings are provided at substantially reduced cost compared to the initial survey.

The purpose of this testing is to empower you to make responsible, fact-based decisions about the RF environment surrounding your community, facility, home, or school. We use advanced equipment to perform the most accurate and comprehensive RF exposure assessments in the industry. All services are delivered by personnel with several years of experience in planning and directing the installation of radio communication facilities, using equipment with current factory calibration certificates. If exposure reduction measures are desired, recommendations will be included in the report. The greatest advantage of our surveys over that of other providers is the ability to address the issue of low-level, long-term, non-thermal exposures, and to articulate the scientific rationale for a precautionary exposure guideline.

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EMF Services no longer performs standard RF compliance surveys. We provide only enhanced testing services that involve more detailed data collection, and a more extensive and broader coverage report, than a conventional compliance survey. Our surveys incorporate procedures and equipment to separately measure cellular power density, in addition to the composite power density (the combination of all RF signals present). We use top quality professional equipment, and extensive procedural safeguards, to ensure the highest degree of RF measurement accuracy.

The purpose of our testing services is not to provide a basis for contesting the siting of cell phone towers or to seek their removal once sited. This position is not the result of an alliance between EMF Services and the cellular service providers. They are not our clients. Rather, it represents an effort to avoid leading you down the path toward a disappointing result. The RF levels near a cell tower will not approach Maximum Permissible Exposures at ground level where people are present. Therefore, from a legal perspective, grounds for such an action do not exist. Further, a court of law is not the best venue for a challenge to the science on which existing standards are based. The likely result is disappointment and a wasted financial expenditure. The best reason for testing and measurement services is to understand the field levels that exist, and what can be done to reduce them.

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Already, thanks to the introduction of mobile phones, computers, CCTV cameras, satellite televisions and digital radios, our lives are enveloped in electronic radiation.

About 1,400 access points will be installed on lampposts across Swindon, creating an electronic mesh
This phenomenon has been described as ‘electro smog’, so all-pervasive are the pulsing microwave signals that surround us on a daily basis.

Of course, we cannot see all this electronic activity, but if we could, the sight would be dramatic.
Stepping from somewhere free of modern electronic gadgetry into a Wi-Fi active zone would be the equivalent of walking from a peaceful country lane onto the hard shoulder of Spaghetti Junction.

And it is absurdly complacent to pretend that these electromagnetic fields are not going to have any impact on our health.

Far from doing no harm, some studies suggest that as much as five per cent of the population may already be suffering from headaches, concentration difficulties, chronic fatigue, irritability and behavioural problems because of this electro smog.

The computer industry airily dismisses any concerns, claiming that Wi-Fi uses only a few watts of energy – ‘less than a lightbulb’.

But this ignores the fact that light and microwaves are different kinds of electromagnetic radiation, so the analogy with the lightbulb is meaningless.

The truth is that there have not yet been any major, comprehensive studies into the impact of Wi-Fi radiation on our health, so such reassurances are unjustified.
No one can state with any confidence that Wi-Fi is safe. The industry also likes to point to mobile phones, pretending- – wrongly – that this technology has been given the all-clear by recent scientific assessments.

But the truth is that mobiles have been widely used only since the early 1990s, so it is far too early to say with any confidence what the long-term impact of them is – particularly because some cancers take more than a decade to develop.

Nevertheless, some studies are already indicating that those who have used their mobiles for ten years are twice as likely to get rare but incurable brain cancers on the same side of the head as they hold their phones.

David Carpenter, the director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany in New York, has warned: ‘Based on the existing science, many public health experts believe it is possible we will face an epidemic of cancers in the future resulting from the uncontrolled use of mobile phones and increased population exposure to Wi-Fi and other wireless devices.’

It is perhaps no coincidence that since the advance of Wi-Fi in schools in Britain (from 1997), the number of cases of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has increased four-fold.

One study, by a group of German doctors in Bavaria, into the medical complaints of 356 people who have had long-term radiation exposure in their homes, revealed that the pulsed, high-frequency signals led to symptoms such as sleep disturbance, giddiness, nose bleeds, tissue pain, hearing loss, depressive moods, forgetfulness and nausea.
It is no coincidence that Germany, despite its prowess in electrical engineering, has been much more circumspect about allowing the spread of Wi-Fi.
There, the country’s health protection agency has recommended the removal of cordless phones, the installation of Wi-Fi away from public areas and the use of cabling rather than wireless for internet access.

Similarly, the authorities in Frankfurt and the Bavarian Parliament have both recommended against the installation of Wi-Fi in schools.

Meanwhile, the French National Library last year imposed a moratorium on installing Wi-Fi in libraries, and the education authorities in the Sorbonne in Paris have done the same after university staff complained of nausea, dizziness and problems with memory.

In the Normandy town of Herouville Saint-Clair, Wi-Fi networks are being removed from schools to ‘protect people’s health’.

What we need is not more Wi-Fi installation, but a proper study of the real effect of this technology. Until that is done, we should proceed with caution.

• Alasdair Philips is the director of Powerwatch, an independent organisation researching electromagnetic fields and health.

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Cell phones of today may be a health problem of tomorrow. Many leading medical experts and scientists claim. Yet around the world governing bodies have been cautious in their warnings and restrictions in relation to the use of mobile phones.

Are we caught in a tug-of-war between environmental alarmists on one side and susceptible officials on the other? Who should we believe if anyone at all? http://www.cellphoneradiationprotection.com/reports/cell-phone-and-brain-cancer-02.shtml

“Given the immense numbers of users of mobile phones, even small adverse effects on health could have major public health implications,” states an World Health Organization fact sheet.

Cell Phone Cancer?
According to WHO there are an estimated 1.6 billion mobile phone subscribers worldwide today. In Trinidad and Tobago recent figures put mobile phone users at over 300,000.

A few of the adverse affects that scientist have identified in relation to cellphone use include a variety of cancers, brain tumors, diabetes and Alzheimer. More common, less mortal, health risks like headaches, fatigue, increased blood pressure and sleep deprivation have also been cited.

Yet as scientific evidence is brought forth to support such theories, evidence is also being brought forward to negate such conclusions. What both sides have agreed upon is that, “nobody knows with certainty what long term health consequences” can be caused by the use of cellular phones.

“It all depends on who you listen to, you will get an finding for or against,” said Eugene Young, managing director of Sales and Marketing Inc., Barbados.

“It is a very political thing,” stressed Young who happens to be in the business of “environmental protection solutions” which makes it rather easy to see what side of the fence he is standing on.

“Don’t count on the World Health Organization or a government holding to tell you that the use of the cellphone can cause problems,” stated Young who recently visited Trinidad as a guest of Victor Industries Limited.

WHO has yet to decree that mobile phones are harmful to your health. In fact WHO has stated that there are certain gaps in the various research conducted (this was in 2000) and that it would take another three to four years of required research to evaluate any findings.

Cell Phone and Brain Cancer
In answer to public concerns WHO coordinated a large study in over 10 countries by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (a specialized cancer research agency of WHO) to identify if there are links between use of mobile phones, cell phone and brain cancer and head and neck cancers.

The findings of that study have yet to be published. Yet, George Carlo a public health researcher who spearheaded a three-year, $27 million research program for the cellular telephone industry insists that the danger of cellphone use is very real. The cell phone industry has disavowed his findings. According to Carlo radiation from wireless phone antennae “appears to cause genetic damage in human blood,”.

Young along with his Trinidad counterpart Brian Richardson, are advocating that the individual must decide if a cellphone is harmful to his/her health.

“Who studies do you go by? That is what it all comes down to, the individual. Who do you believe? What is you body saying?” According to Young, “if you are getting headaches stop using your cellphone. If you have an hard time sleeping stop using your cellphone. If you are having memory loss stop using your cellphone….”. In other words if you are unhealthy and a doctor rules out all other possible reasons why, then take a good look at your cellphone.

The reason cell phones have become suspect is because of their ability to emit electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio frequency radiation (RF), it is this health hazard that is believed to be a cause of cell phone and brain cancer.

Whenever electricity is conducted through transmission lines, distribution lines or is used in appliances both electric and magnetic fields exists close to the lines or appliances. Therefore electromagnetic fields are found wherever there is electricity and around any object that has an electrical charge, like a cellphone.

Everyone is exposed to a complex mix of EMFs. RF fields which are also given off by microwaves in higher frequencies than cell phones can penetrate tissue. The RF energy is absorbed into the body and produces heat. All established health effects of RF exposure are related to heating. In an effort to reduce the causes of cell phone and brain cancer, cell phone radiation shields are one device which can help to reduce the electromagnetic radiation emitted by you cell phone which will also effectively reduce heating.

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The Russian Government has issued a health warning regarding cell phone use in children. The Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection has produced a statement that “”the potential risk for the children’s health is very high.””

The Russian Ministry of Health has previously recommended that children under 18 not use mobile phones.

Their report states the following:

─ the absorption of the electromagnetic energy in a child’s head is considerably higher than that in
the head of an adult (children’s brain has higher conductivity, smaller size, thin skull bones,
smaller distance from the antenna etc.);
─ children’s organism has more sensitivity to the EMF, than the adult’s;
─ children’s brain has higher sensitivity to the accumulation of the adverse effects under
conditions of chronic exposure to the EMF;
─ EMF affects the formation of the process of the higher nervous activity;
─ today’s children will spend essentially longer time using mobile phones, than today’s adults will.””

“”According to the opinion of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection,the following health hazards are likely to be faced by the children mobile phone users in the nearest future: disruption of memory, decline of attention, diminishing learning and cognitive abilities, increased
irritability, sleep problems, increase in sensitivity to the stress, increased epileptic readiness.””

A child’s scull and tissues are significantly softer than those of an adult. This results in a greater penetration of electromagnetic and rf energy into their brains, causing a greater disruption of their nervous system.

There is not enough awareness about how harmful exposure to cell phone radiation can be for children.

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Every living has its own the habitat. This is justified for a human too. Light, temperature, air composition, pressure, Earth magnetic field, the space radiation, gravity and others are abiotic factors that accompany the lives of people during thousands and thousands years. The absence any of these factors may adversely affect the living organism, until death. For example, the partial shielding of electromagnetic fields, including Earth magnetic field, leads to significant changes in regenerating abilities of animals.

But besides them there are still biotical and anthropogenic factors. Man-made – are all forms of human society, which change nature as habitat of living organisms, or directly affect their lives. Allocation of artificial factors in a separate group due to the fact that at present the fate of Earth’s cover and all existing species of organisms is practically in the hands of human society.

Let us now man-made magnetic and electric fields, those surround us everywhere, but not visible to the naked eye. Currently, a lot of research on this subject, increasing the level of awareness on this the electromagnetic field problem, that electromagnetic fields may be negatively impacting the health and well-being of millions of people. Electromagnetic fields are created by any device in our home, at work, in public transport. This are smoothing-iron, microwave ovens, mobile and cordless phones. If an electrical appliance is plugged in, then its wires is surrounded by an electric field, even if he does not perform its functions. But the magnetic field appears only if the device is switched on, and the higher the current, the higher strength of magnetic field.

The magnetic and electric fields interact differently with building materials. Materials used in construction, are a shield the electric fields, but the magnetic fields are weakened to a much lesser extent. That is to say, means that your house is not shielding you against the magnetic fields of for instances, a high voltage transmission line. The only solution in this case – have house at a safe distance – several hundreds of meters.
The widespread use of electricity leads to the fact that we are exposed to electromagnetic exposure 24 hours per day. This impact was not foreseen by nature and is not natural to the human environment.

The electromagnetic wave radiation has an influence effect on everything from plants grown for our dinner, and to the weather. Numerous clinical trial results show electric and magnetic field interaction with biological objects. Earlier, it was thought, that such useful things as electricity, microwaves oven and radio frequencies, can not affect the human organism. Electrical equipment mainly radiate at low frequencies (up to 300 Hz). There are technologies that use LF= Low freq, MF= Medium freq, HF= High frequency, VHF= Very high frequency, UHF= Ultra high frequency, SHF= Super high frequency, EHF= Extremely high frequency radiation.

All these sources were previously considered non-ionizing, do not destructive the chemical bonds. However, studies have shown that these electromagnetic fields can alter normal cell polarity and thus disrupt the functions of blood. This is due to the fact that a our organism contains up to 90% water, and the cells also contain 97% water and about 3% of various salts. Such a solution is a good conductor. It turns out that our body is a kind of electrical system and all its functions and reactions are controlled by bio-electromagnetic waves of the brain, and all our cells and tissues generate EMF. Only in the nature and free from external magnetic and electric fields of environment, such bio-electric system is capable of self-regulation and performance of their actual functions most efficiently.

Most biological and clinical trials studies on the health radiation exposure effects are focused on cancer. Much more likely that radiation electromagnetic waves may be an stress-factor of the immune system and lead to some health problems, depending on the initial state of the human organism and its genetic predisposition. Each organism reacts individually at the external effects, that’s has a so-called individual sensitivity. People sensitive to electro magnetic field have various symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, irritability, depression, anxiety, changes in heart rate, changes in blood sugar, immune disorders, hair loss, pain in teeth, the violation smell or ringing in the ears.

More and more people living near high-voltage lines have reported severe symptoms and even life-threatening diseases. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency publicly acknowledged in its report that “Evaluation of the Potential Carcinogenicity of EMFs”, that electromagnetic pollution is a serious threat to health.

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Mobile Phones and Electromagnetic Pollution

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Most of us have one and many of us couldn’t do without one – but what if you were allergic to them?

We’re talking mobile phones. A 40-yr old Debbie Bird is allergic to them. But why? Could they be damaging the health of the rest of us? http://www.pollutionissues.co.uk/mobile-phones-electromagnetic-pollution.html

Mobile Phones And Health
People like Debbie are hyper-sensitive to the rays which mobile phones emit. She is part of what is thought by some, to be a growing number of people who produce a reaction to electromagnetic pollution.

Long highlighted as a problem by environmentalists and sufferers, such reactions are still largely ignored or seen as exaggerated.

However, exposure to electromagnetic fields and the radio frequencies from mobile phones has been linked with the development of cancers, early onset dementia, brain tumours, lack of concentration, and interruption of sleep.

The Jury Is Out
While the studies that have made these links are not conclusive, the scientists say that neither would they expect them to be at this stage, since mobile phones have only been in extensive use for about a decade, whereas many cancers can take longer than this to develop.

However, it is believed that the current trend in their findings would point to taking precautionary steps to avoid over-exposure.

So What Are Electromagnetic Fields?
Electromagnetic fields are areas of energy emitted either naturally (from positive and negative electrical charges in the atmosphere) or by man using electric and magnetic energy. Electromagnetic fields are present everywhere, are invisible to the human eye, and can vary in strength depending on frequency or wavelength.

Radio Frequency
Mobile phones (and other forms of telecommunications) use high frequency radio waves in order to send messages over long distances. These are radiofrequency fields (RF) and emit waves of between 10MHz and 300 GHz.

These non-ionising radio frequency fields can penetrate about a centimetre or so into the body, depending in the strength of the frequency, generating heat which in most people, is resolved.

This thermal effect has previously not been thought to cause any harm, but studies are only now beginning to look more specifically at consequences of heating areas of the head (and brain), where most mobile devices are held.

Government Practise
Current guidelines from the government and the World Health Organisation are that there is little cause for concern over exposure to electromagnetic fields or radiofrequency fields from mobile phones and similar such devices. However, they advise taking the following precautions if you are at all concerned.

Reducing Exposure
Keep your exposure to RF waves to a minimum. So that when you are making a call or sending a text message on your phone, hold the phone away from your body as this is when the unit will be actively sending strong signals.

A phone will also maintain connectivity with nearby base stations at regular intervals when in standby, so keep it in a place which is not near you.

Using a hands free device is a safer option than holding a phone next to your ear. This is because the RF field strength gets weaker the further away from the handset it is and so if your handset is away from your head, the RF field you’re exposing yourself to will be less.

A child below the age of 16 is advised to only use a mobile phone for emergency calls only and if you want to reduce your own risk, then keep calls to a minimum and even try to do without it!

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