Cell phones can damage eyes: Study
Prashant Rupera, TNN, Jun 23, 2010
VADODARA/ANAND: While scientists across the globe are still debating whether usage of cell phones results in heart diseases, a new study carried out by scientists at Charotar University of Science and Technology (CHARUSAT) has revealed that mobile phones also affect eyes.
The scientists, who have studied the impact of electromagnetic waves on human eye, say that usage of mobile can also lead to early cataract in lens apart from affecting retina, cornea and other ocular systems of the eye.
“We are in ocean of electromagnetic signals and hundreds of signals are hitting human body every moment. It is affecting all our body parts, but we are not realising it,” says professor Ved Vyas Dwivedi, head of department of ECE at CHARUSAT, who along with dean of the faculty of engineering and technology Y P Kosta and lecturer Dhara Patel carried out the study based on a mathematical model.
“The wavelength of wireless signals (which is about 2 to 2.5 cm) used for mobile phones and other wireless terminals matches with that received by the human eye. The dielectric constant (absorption capacity) of eye tissues is around 70 which is greater than unity (above 50). This means that the eye can absorb electromagnetic energy very quickly,” explains Dwivedi.
During the study, scientists computed the specific absorption rate (SAR) and maximum temperature increase in the eye because of electromagnetic radio frequency fields generated by wireless terminals such as a mobile phones. SAR and temperature rise depend on the distance between eye and radio frequency transceiver (the mobile phone) and the angle between the line of sight and shortest normal path.
“The problem is not that the eye absorbs the energy, but that the heat absorbed by the eye does not get transmitted or radiated out of the body,” says Dwivedi, adding that prolonged usage of mobile phones can affect retina, sclera, lens, cornea as well as vitreous humour which are parts of the human eye.
These scientists have also recommended that a mobile handset should be kept as far as possible from the eye. “It should not be used more than is necessary. A user should avoid use of mobile in rural areas or a car where the cell phone uses more power and the SAR value can be ten or hundred times higher than the normal,” they suggest. This group of scientists is also planning to approach the government in collaboration with a hospital to get license to conduct tests on human to further study mobiles affect on human eye.
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