Cell phone gadgets have become an important aspect of day to day life owing to their ability to ease communication among individuals. Despite their importance, there arise several queries relating to the safety of the device. One such reservation regards the dangers posed by electromagnetic waves produced by the gadget. Cell phones make use of electromagnetic radiations that operates in a microwave range of between 450 – 2,100 MHz (Megahertz). Megahertz is a multiple of hertz (Hz), which is an SI unit of frequency. Hertz represent a singular cycle per second in a frequency, or simply the number of times the waves occur. Although several research works have shown microwave radiations have low levels of adverse biological effects, long-term exposure have been thought as a possible cause of carcinogenic effect (Brun, 2003). That means the radiations emitted by the device when being used may cause cancer over time.
The paper will thus seek to explore the findings of various studies that would require individuals to cautiously make use of the mobile phones due to cancer threat. Although, cancer may be a major concern, other areas that will be under scrutiny include low sperm count in case of men, cognitive impairment, as well as other possible effects such as on a person’s DNA. The information collected regarding the challenges will be posed against other contrasting studies such as one by Cellular Telecommunications and Industry Association (CTIA), that indicated that cell phone were completely safe.
Studies on Health Complications Posed by Cell Phones
Since the inception of the mobile phone technology and the subsequent growth in the number of users, several research works have been performed to ascertain the health status in their use. Although there had numerous fears of the gadget causing health complications such as cancer, no substantive evidence has come forward in regard to this. One such big study was performed by Danish researchers among a group of mobile phone users comprising of 358,403 cell phone subscribers. The investigations were performed over a period covering 18 years, thus thought to account for the latency period that cancer would have been expected to develop.
The findings of the research indicated that there was no any link showing the possibility of having long-term users of cell phones develops brain tumors, or cancerous central nervous system for that matter. The research has been argued to be one of the most successful and resourceful to date owing to its huge sample as well as the long period over which it was conducted. However, there have been criticisms from certain quarters over the findings with some pointing out possibility of biased results. For instance, Dr. George Carlo has refuted the findings claiming the fact that the study was funded by industry’s operating within the mobile phone sector, there was a possibility of interference. In Dr. Carlo’s own vie, the devices were gradually prompting an enormous danger to human health.
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Dr. Carlos believes that such health problems include brain dysfunctional, genetic damage, brain tumors, as well as other defects such as headaches and sleep disorders. Further, he argues that the period of time over which an individual may use the device is highly irrelevant as the damage happens in matter of seconds. Furthermore, his opinion should there exist safer exposure levels; they should be low enough not to be detected. That is quite true owing to the dangers that radiations poses to body tissues. Again, Dr. Carlo’s assertions on the interference on the findings could have some basis. It is an obvious fact that the involved firms did not wish for a conclusion that portrayed dangers posed by their products (Kovach, 2007). As such, an own research would be manipulated to fit the interests of this group. Hence, the results were to act as assurances to the public that they face no health hazard in the use of cell phones.
Another doctor, Lennart Hardell, also arrived at the conclusions that there were health issues in the use of cell phones that required more research works. He goes further to pressure the mobile phone industry manufacturers and service providers to recognize that fact. According to a study he had conducted, he found a linkage between cancer and the phone users (Ghosh, 1999). His findings showed that while using the gadget, the risk of having a tumor rose by about two and half times.
Beside the Danish research, there have been other numerous research works such as with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). The global organization classified radiofrequency field as being likely carcinogenic to humans. However, the study involved a small number of respondents and thus could not be considered as being effective as the Danish one. Other researchers include American Cancer Society, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Although these agencies admitted the likelihood of electromagnetic waves being released, but denied that they were high enough to cause harm.
Nevertheless, in some instances, it was recommended that young children as well as other individuals below the age of 20 should limit their use of the demise as much as possible. The core reason behind that was that they bore the greatest risk of developing health complications in the rare instances that the radiations were thought to likely cause the problem. Similar observations were also made by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (Institute, 2013). Both institutions concluded that there was no clear scientific evidence to prove the wireless devices were in any way causing or increasing the spreading rate of cancer.
Dr. Devra Davis explains that phone signals get to be absorbed into the brain, and is much worse for the kids than it could be for an adult. According to her, although not much can be provided on the long–term effects of the emissions, she quotes a 2008 research at Swedish Royal Society by Professor Lennart Hardell. In Professor Handel’s study, the results showed that individuals who started using the cell phone before attaining the age of 20 increase their rates of acquiring cancer by about five times (Davis, 2008). That meant more children were at risk as opposed to adults.
Dr. Davis thus recommends that other than wait for actual effects, more research work should be done to ascertain the dangers posed by the radiations. She further recommends adoption of necessary preventive measures to ensure than the health risks could be avoided before harming mobile phone users. As such users of the device should be provided with clear information on the level radiation emitted from the device at the time of purchase to understand the risks they are getting exposed to. Different cell phone devices have varying levels of radiations and hence necessary for each to state them on the hardware independently.
In summary, though there is no scientific evidence on the likely health hazards from the use of mobile devices, there are real concerns that need to be adequately addressed. Despite the disagreement among different researchers on the dangers posed, there is an agreement that persons below the age of 20 are at a higher risk than those above. Further, the two groups agree that the device produces electromagnetic waves although their connection to cancer in humans cannot be ascertained. Thus, mobile phone users are advice to take precaution while using the gadget and limit its use to sending messages as opposed to talking.