The controversy over the dangers of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones has been in the news recently. Several studies have now confirmed that young people and children are much more vulnerable to than adults. Their skulls are thinner and their brain tissue is softer, and as a result these waves penetrate much deeper, and can therefore do more damage. Because of this, a committee of European leaders has called for a ban on cell phones in schools.
The European committee pointed out that it took years (too many) to recognize the dangers of smoking, asbestos, and lead poisoning, and we should not make the same mistake in respect to cell phone radiation. Indeed, several European countries, including France and Germany, along with Canada and India have already issued recommendations for limiting the exposure of electromagnetic waves from them.
Although some studies have shown that cell phones appear to be completely safe, others (particularly in Europe) show that this is not the case. The conflicting reports are no doubt a result of the fact that it is very difficult to prove that they do (or don’t) cause cancer, and the reason is that cancer doesn’t appear in your body suddenly– it usually takes decades to develop. Another problem is that most of the studies have been surveys of people who have used cell phones for only a few years; they are asked if they have developed cancer, and the result is compared to the general population. Needless to say, it’s difficult to find a large, general, population nowadays that doesn’t use cell phones.
Because several of the US studies have shown that cell phones do not pose a hazard, research on the topic in the US has decreased significantly in recent years. Interestingly, though, research in other countries is still going on, and it continues to show there is a problem, and it is worth a closer look. One of the reasons it is important to take a closer look is that the incidence of brain tumors in the US has increased dramatically in recent years. In 2001, for example, 185,000 Americans had brain tumors, but this has increased significantly, and by 2015 it is expected to be several hundred thousand.
It is also worth pointing out that brain tumors are not the only worry. Cell phone radiation also has the potential to cause other problems such as:
Nerve cell damage.Damage to the eyes.Damage to blood and brain cells.Damage to DNA.
What can you do to protect yourself? The following are helpful:
When using a cell phone, keep the antenna as far away from your head as possible. Extend it out and hold it away from your head. (The intensity of radiation drops off rapidly with distance.)Limit the time of your conversations. If possible, use conventional phones for longer conversations.Also, limit the time you use them in a car or when the signal is weak. (The power is increased significantly in this case.)Check their SAR level (a measure of tissue heating). Make sure it is as low as possible.Stay away from cell phones communications towers. They’re particularly dangerous.Keep your distance from people talking on cell phones (it’s like second-hand smoke).Of particular importance, young children should avoid them completely.Don’t carry them in your pocket. A front pocket near your heart is particularly bad.
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