Are phones dangerous for health?
To some of scientists, phones are deadly but to others, they are harmless. But do scientists really know everything about phones and health? Who should we trust?
The debate on the dangers or lack thereof of phones is a controversial one. However, it is irrefutable that the greatest health danger resulting from phone use is accidents caused by drivers using the phone while on the wheel.
Technology has become an important part of modern life. Phones in particular have been very widely used for the last 20 years. Statistics show that there are more than 5.3 billion mobile phone users out of a global population of 7 billion people. As such, mobile phone safety is not something we can afford to bury our heads in the sand from.
Health dangers of phones is a legitimate concern not just the product of a paranoid mind even though most of the vociferous anti-phone activists belong to the subset of humanity who brew conspiracy theories about everything.
Just like any other electrical appliance and power lines, mobile phone handsets as well as tower-based antennas produce electromagnetic radiation (EMR). Scientific studies have linked EMR exposure to a variety of health conditions which include genetic damage and cancer. EMR from phones has a frequency too low to heat human tissue but research has shown that it could in fact damage the protective barrier between the brain and blood thus allowing entry of toxins into the brain. Mobile phones have also been shown to have a hand in reduction of sperm motility, immune system damage, autism, Alzheimer’s and strokes.
The phone industry is a multi-trillion-dollar industry and it comes with a sizable lobbying arm. The industry strenuously denies any links between phone use and cancer and there are studies which back their claims. However, almost all these studies that disprove the health dangers of phones have been funded by them and as such there is no way of telling if they are legitimate or deceptive studies.
The studies such as Mobile Telecommunications and Research Programs (MTHR) have shown that there is no evidence of dangers to health from the EMR emitted by phones. They however acknowledge that there could be possible effects due to long term use since phones have been around for only about 20 years and such research is yet to be conducted.
However, some manufactures like BlackBerry advice their users to keep phones away from the abdomens of teens and pregnant mothers and to maintain a distance of at least 25mm between the phone and the ear while making a call. This is seen by many as an admission of the potential harm of phones. More advice is given by governments and other bodies about safe use of phones since it is better to be safe than sorry.
Studies that show the dangers of phones to human health are balanced out by those that disapprove those findings. The overall results remain inconclusive so what really is the truth of the matter? Are phones dangerous for health?