in Mobile, Offbeat, Technology

Phone-y Matters: Is there a Downside?

We have all gone wireless and de-cluttered life, but it is essential to stop and smell the grass, and test it for poison. These wireless devices might cause irreparable damage to us humans who are inseparable from it. And the list of ailments is much beyond a crick in the neck from constant bending.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, on February 22, published a report in this regard. Researchers found that in healthy volunteers, cell phone contact (50 minutes or more) was associated with increased metabolism of glucose in the region of the brain closest to the antenna. Although the researchers mark these findings as “unknown clinical significance”; it is a matter worth probing into, at least for the users.

A 2007 assessment published by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) concludes, “exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans.” Trapped between scientific findings and wireless company advertisings, the consumers need to make informed choices. Lots of things affect brain activity like food, weather, stress, emotions, but they do not insert electromagnetic radiation into the brain, and the device that does, needs to be thoroughly examined.

CTIA, the International Association for Wireless Telecommunications Industry, explains that the study is inconclusive, and elementary, and does not declare wireless phones to be a potential safety and health hazard. Dr. Devra Davis, an epidemiologist, environmental health researcher, and founder of Environmental Health Trust, characterizes the finding as stunning.

“This demonstrates that cell phone use affects brain activity”, she told CNET. “The study used real people and was as close as you can get to a biopsy on a living brain”, she further added. She also wrote the book “Disconnect – The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation”, wherein she mentions about what the Industry has done to hide it and how to protect one’s family; in which she cautions that we are not armed with enough information to form an educated opinion.

It is general knowledge that the radio waves emitted by a mobile phone are absorbed by the human head. This rate of radiation is measured by Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and each nation’s governmental regulating agencies set a safety limit. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a law in 2010 requiring cell phone manufacturers to show the SAR for each sold handset.

The CTIA, on the other hand, argued that San Francisco didn’t have the authority for such legislation, but such protests can also be seen as an attempt to save one’s own skin. SAR standards need to be revised in this new decade of rampant mobile phone use by all class, race, and cultures of human beings. These studies will not only benefit users, but also telecommunication workers who spend most of their time exposed to radiation.

Meanwhile, there is a need for serious examination of the effects of excessive use of mobile phones. It is essential to delineate whether they are a cause of Cancer, slowing of brain reflexes, sleep disturbances, digestive imbalances, and harm to other living beings on earth. We shouldn’t wait till all the birds vanish from the horizon to get our act together.