- By Dr. Richard J. Churchill III - December 2007
Get the facts on the harmful affects of the cell phone's Electromagnetic Radiation, or EMR and its health hazards.
In September 2007, California legislature sent a bill to governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to outlaw the use of cell phones in automobiles, unless drivers use "hands-free" technology -- such as headsets or earpieces that keep their hands on the steering wheel. The state would join the ranks of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., which have all criminalized cell phone use while driving. Proponents point to a body of research, including a California Highway Patrol study from 2004 found that drivers using cell phones pressed against their ears caused accidents 25 times more than drivers using hands-free phones.
Using cell phone while driving is not the only concern about cell phones health hazards. The cell phone Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation is the biggest concern. In March 2007, a study by the Swedish National Institute for Working Life found that prolonged heavy cell phone use of 2,000 hours per year, or more will put people at increased risk of brain tumors and other adverse deadly genetic mutations. The Swedish study, which disputed the earlier study, done by the cell phone industries, is the biggest study yet to cover long-term mobile phone usage health hazards, involving 2,200 cancer patients and the same number of healthy individuals.
The above news might cause you to consider not using cell phones and urging loved ones, family and friends to stop using cell phones, and at the very least not to use cell phone behind the steering wheel while driving. There has been a lot of research time spent on looking at cell phone's radiation dangers from brain cancer, adverse genetic mutations, interference with medical devices, to causing thousands of deadly car accidents.
Here are the facts:
Cell Phones Causes Brain Tumors And Genetic Mutations:
Many scientists, such as the Swedish researchers, have found constant exposure to cell phone radiation can create cancerous brain cells and adverse genetic mutations in humans. In January 2007, the London-based Institute of Cancer Research and several other universities in Britain reported their results from a four-year study involving 1966 people with brain tumors and 1,716 healthy respondents.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA in 2003 found that Electromagnetic Radiation, or EMR, waves sent by cell phones are more powerful currents, than reported earlier by the cell phone manufacturers. "Very high levels of electromagnetic radiation, such as is found in X-rays and gamma rays, can ionize biological tissues," said the FDA's report. "The energy levels associated with Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation frequency, including both radio waves and microwaves, are great enough to cause the ionization of atoms, genes and molecules in human body tissues."
Cell-phone manufacturers, service providers and researchers are still in the labs trying to determine the answer to what is the safe way of using cell phone? In the meantime, more neutral experts recommend using cell phone as less as possible, or not at all.
The recommended use of a headset to minimize exposure to Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation waves is a myth, in fact headsets increase cell phone radiation substantially.
One universal warning is to avoid so-called "Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation blocking products", many of which have not been proven to work at blocking electromagnetic radiation at all. In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission charged two companies, Stock Value 1 of Boca Raton, FL, and Comstar Communications of Sacramento, CA, of making false claims that their EEB products could shield people from potentially dangerous waves. The products were called "SafeTShield," "NoDanger," "WaveShield," "WaveShield 1000," and "WaveShield 2000," which you place on your cell phone's ear or mouthpiece to allegedly keep the radio waves away from your head.
Cell Phones Interfere With Medical Devices:
EMR radiation from wireless cell phones can interact with some electronic devices. The FDA has developed a method to test the levels of electromagnetic radiation interference from mobile phones with cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators. The FDA test is now considered as a standard test by the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, a trade group manufacturers to use this as a guide to make sure that these medical devices are safe from wireless phone interference.
In addition, the FDA has conducted tests on hearing aids for interference levels from cell phones radiation. The agency helped develop a voluntary standard with the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers that includes testing methods and performance requirements for hearing aides and wireless phones to ensure no interference between "compatible" phones and hearing aids.
Cell Phones Cause Traffic Accidents:
A New England Journal of Medicine study from 2001 found that drivers using cell phones were four times more likely to get into accidents than non-cell phone users. A 2005 study by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that six percent of drivers actively used hand-held phones -- roughly one million people. A different group, making up four percent, used a hands-free phone. Another recent study, published in the journal Human Factors, found that cell phone users were more likely to get into an accident than individuals who were legally drunk.
Hands-free units, now being built into higher-end cars, are universally considered safer than handheld phones. In fact, like California, a growing number of states including are banning handheld cell phone use while driving. The American Automobile Association (AAA) advises drivers to: avoid talking while behind the wheel, let voice mail pick up calls, and pull over to a safe spot if you absolutely have to take the call.
The research and the recent study at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California shows strong evidence that even though use of cell phone headset substantially increases cell phone's radiation, but it can reduce neck, shoulder and upper back muscle tension as much as 41 percent.
Cell Phone's Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation Health Hazards:
Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation is a self-propagating wave in space which is the phenomenon sensed by the human eye as light. EM Radiation has an electric and magnetic field component, which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and to the direction of energy propagation. Electromagnetic Radiation is classified into types according to the frequency of the wave, these types include (in order of increasing frequency): radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays. Where radio waves have the longest wavelength and Gamma rays have the shortest
Mobile Phone Radiation And Its Health Hazards:
Mobile phone Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation health concerns have been raised, especially following the enormous increase in the use of wireless mobile telephony throughout the world. As of August 2005, there were more than 2 billion users worldwide. This is because mobile phones use Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation in the microwave range. These concerns have induced a large body of research, both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals as well as in humans. Concerns about the effects on health have also been raised regarding other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks.
The World Health Organization is expected to make recommendations about the mobile phone use, in the year 2009-10, based upon the consensus views and observations of the scientific and medical communities research, that radiation health hazards are very likely to be caused by cellular phone use, their base stations, and cellular phones transmission antennas installed on the rooftops of buildings all around us.
Mobile Phone Radiation Dangers & Hazards to Children:
However, some national radiation advisory authorities, including those of Austria, France, England, Germany, Finland and Sweden recommended to their citizens measures to minimize exposure. Examples of the recommendations are:
Cell-Phone's Electromagnetic (EMR) Radiation is far more dangerous and hazardous to children under the age of 20. The adolescents, teenagers and young people's health, under the age of 20 are highly vulnerable and susceptible by the cell phones' radiation, therefore cell phone use must be prohibited by all children under the said age group.
And if adults should use a cell phone they must be at least 4 feet (cell-phone's radiation kill zone) away from young people.
- Adults should use hands-free to decrease the radiation to the head.
- Keep the mobile phone at least 4 feet away from the body.
- Do not telephone in a car without an external antenna installed on the car.
- If you are not a cell phone user but standing, or sitting next to one make
sure to distant your self at least 4 feet (cell-phone's radiation kill zone)
away from the user.
However, the use of "hands-free" was not recommended by the British Consumers' Association in a statement in November 2002 as they believed that exposure was increased. Measurements taken by the UK Department of Trade and Industry and others for the French "Agence franÂŤaise de securite sanitaire environnementale showed substantial radiation increase.