In today’s world, cell phones are part of a life. As the technology improves more and more people are buying cell phones. Many new cell phones are like a small computer, as they have a picture and video camera, web browsing, music player, internal storage, and many other features. “Statistics show that 79% of the U. S. population and 90% of European and Asian teens own a cell phone” (O’Keefe, 2008, p. 671). In some countries around the world such as Israel, Hong Kong, Italy, and the Czech Republic, there are more cell phones than people (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. ). In 1993, a man named David Raynard from Florida appeared on the Larry King Live and accused a cell phone industry that his wife died because of cancer that was caused by a cell the use. From that time cell phone radiation has been one of main concerns to people (Park, 2001, p. 166), but since then several studies have proved that cell phones do not cause any health problems. There are two types of radiations, ionizing and non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation consists of Gamma rays, X-Rays and ultraviolet radiation.
Ionizing radiation has enough energy to damage the nucleus of atoms causing damage to DNA which could lead to changes in chemical reactions in the body (How Cell-phone Radiation Works, 2001). Cell phones function at 900 or 1800 MHz frequencies. These frequencies fall within the same part of the radiation spectrum as the radios and televisions which are referred to Radio Frequency Radiation. Radio Frequency Radiation falls in the range of non-ionizing radiation (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 6). Non-ionizing radiation consists of radio, television, cell phones, microwave, and visible light (“How Cell-phone Radiation Works”, 2001).
Non- ionizing radiation has enough energy to change the energy levels of the electron, but doesn’t have enough energy to destroy or move any part of an atom. This causes increase in heat level of the area that could be close to source of radiation. This states that RFR from cell phone does not harm the human tissue from heat. Besides the heating of the tissues, there are some other theories that say “extremely low frequency magnetic fields” might affect the production of some antioxidants and/or stop the production of the chemicals that stop cellular mutation.
There is also another theory that says low frequency electromagnetic fields change the structure of DNA, but these are just theories for now (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 6). For the electronic devices not to cause harm, the law requires safety standards to limit and periodically update the maximum amount of exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued standards for general public and working people. Working people refers to those people who are working in an area where they are exposed to Radio Frequency Radiation.
Exposure limit for working people is higher than the general public, because working people are aware that they are being exposed to the radiation unlike the general public that is not aware of the exposure and cannot avoid or decrease the exposure (Barnes, 1999, p. 21). The limit for exposure for working people is 0. 4W/kg and for the public is 0. 08W/kg. Effects of Radio Frequency Radiation from cell phone and cell phone stations are investigated by the World Health Organization (WHO). “According to WHO, exposure to [Radio Frequency Radiation] from base stations is actually only 0. 002% to 2% of the levels of international exposure guidelines, lower or comparable to exposure from radio or television. ” (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 7). WHO is also helping the researchers to fully understand Radio Frequency Radiation exposure. There have many researches that have been done trying to look for a link between cancer and cell phone radiation. Some studies have been done by collecting data from records and looking for any links between cell phone and cancer. While other actually test at affect of cell phone on living beings.
These researches test to see how much radiation was absorbed and even after that if increases the chances of having health problems One of biggest researches included a study that was done in Denmark. IT included a list of cell phone users that subscribed from January 1982 until December 1995. The list was obtained from the two cell phone companies that provided service to the user in the Denmark. The list also contained contact information of the cell phone users, and what kinds of cell phones they were using at that time.
Many of the users had to be excluded because there was not enough information to support the research. The final list had about (420,000 users) 80. 3 percent of users that were on the first list obtained from the cell phone companies. The median age for cell phone users was 37. 4 years and 38. 4 years for female cell phone users. Another list was obtained from Danish Cancer Registry that was used to determine the number of cancers from January 1982 to December 1995. The cancer list contained many different types of cancers including brain tumours and urinary tract papilloma that occurred to cell phone users.
That list also separated sex and five year groupings. Most of the cell phone users subscribed to the service during the years 1994 and 1995. Using the statistics from the cancer report, expected numbers of cancers were predicted. The results from the study showed that the usage of cell phone did not increase the number of cancers to be found in male cell phone users. For female cell phone users the results were similar as males and did not show any increase in number of cancers.
The number of people with brain cancer actually decreased even when the number of cell phone users increased dramatically; however there was increase in a few types of cancer, but the increase showed no relationship between the cell phone and cancer. The study also showed decrease in lung cancer after 1992 because of the decrease in prices of cell phones in Denmark. The usage of cell phones showed decrease in lung cancer because users were more likely to use a cell phone than some cigarettes. Many young people were spending more money on cell phone rather than buying cigarettes.
In conclusion of this study, the results show no increase in any type of cancer that was related to cell phone use. (Johansen, Boice, McLaughlin, & Olsen, 2001, p. 203-207). Another research was done in India to determine the neurological effect of electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phone, when cell phone is kept at different positions close to the body, by analysis of heart rate variability (sample entropy and scaling exponent). The study included fourteen male aged between 24 and 46. Electrocardiogram was used for 30 minutes on each volunteer to obtain recordings with three different situations.
The heart rate of the volunteers was also recorded during all three situations. First situation was to get normal recordings without a call phone. Second situation was to have the cell phone in the left pocket so that it is closer to the heart. In the third situation, the cell phone was placed near the left ear. A thirty-minute break was given between each recording. Dame cell phone was used for the recordings. The results determined sample entropy and scaling exponent indicated an increase when cell phone was placed near the chest and a decrease when cell phone is placed near the head.
However, the differences were not that high enough when compared to recordings from without using a cell phone simple because cell phones emit very low power to cause any significant change to heart rate that can be detected. (Ahamed, Karthick, & Hoseph, 2008, p. 709-711). There have been several studies that found that cell phone radiation increases the risk of cancer, but later when some of those studies were studied again, it was stated that cell phone radiation does not increase the risk of cancer.
A study in Australia in 1996 found that FM and TV towers increased the rates of leukemia in children, but in a later study it was determined that towers showed no increase of risk from the exposure. Two different studies were done in Sweden and found the increase in number brain tumours from cell phone radiation, but when the one of these studies was repeated, it found no increase in brain tumours. Once again when the same study was done later on, it found increase of risk developing tumour. After International Agency of Research in Cancer sponsored the research and no evidence was found that cause increase the risk of tumours. Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 8). The studies about cell phone radiation have many limitations that prevent them from completely accurate answers. Several factors contribute to this such as there are not that many researches that researched for more than ten years, documents that show amount of cell phone usage are possibly to be bias, amount of Radio Frequency Radiation depends on type of cell phone and the location of the cell phone, and also it is almost impossible to test Radio Frequency Radiation exposure in an isolated area because there are always other objects emitting Radio Frequency Radiation.
These types of limitations produce different answers sometimes to a study when it is repeated. It is possible for some researchers to bias to state their point. (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 7). In conclusion, there been many researches trying to find the answer to cell phone radiation and its possible effects. Some state that there is an increase in risk of cancer and other health problems, however some researches state that there no increase in risk of cancer and other health problems. (Kohli, Sachdev, & Vats, 2009, p. 7).
To have improved future researches, the studies should be longer, ongoing for at least ten to fifteen years. There should be a study that is done throughout different countries in the world in both rural and urban areas. In my opinion, cell phone radiation does not increase the risk of any disease. If that was not the case then anybody who uses a cell phone would already have brain tumour and there would been a dramatic decrease in population. For at least now I think there are enough studies that support the no increase in risk developing health problems and everyone should believe those studies.
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