“If you would like to take part in a study of the long-term health effects of cellphone usage, then don’t panic there is still time to sign up. News Flash: If you currently own a cellphone and use it, then you are already a part of the study.”
Are cellphones at all dangerous to our health? Certainly in the short-term there appears to be no obvious sign that cellphone usage is hazardous, but what of any long-term effects? Is there a possibility that bodily tissue exposed over time might sustain damage and that the process is so slow that we do not directly relate the cause with the effect?
Cellphones emit radio frequency energy, a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, which can be absorbed by the tissues closest to where the phone is held. The frequency and wavelength of the radiation emitted is in the microwave band (A similar wavelength to that used in Microwave ovens to cook your food). The amount of radio frequency energy that a cellphone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use of the phone, and the user’s distance from the cellphone tower.
Even though cellphones use microwave frequencies to send and receive, they use only very small amounts of power to transmit and therefore are considered safe to operate by most regulatory authorities. What most cellphone users don’t understand is that the manufacturers of the phones, publish their own safety guidelines, but bury them deep within the fine print of their phone’s operating manuals. According to the manufacturer’s warnings, cellphones are not meant to come within the proximity of a certain distance from the body (depending on the model of phone). For example here is the fine print from a Blackberry phone:
“If you do not use a body-worn accessory supplied or approved by RIM when you carry the BlackBerry device, keep the device at least 0.98 inches (25 mm) from your body when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to a wireless network.”
Translated this means: You are never supposed to hold this particular Blackberry device closer than 1 inch from your body when turned on.
This creates an obvious dilemma for cellphone users as it is often difficult enough to hear with the phone pressed firmly against your ear, let alone holding it an inch away. I mean how many people do you know that use their phones while holding it away from their heads – not many I would imagine? Also, how many people do you know that carry their phones around in their pockets? The “body-worn accessory” mentioned in Blackberry’s manual is supposed to offer the protection necessary when carrying the phone with you, because pockets are probably not recommended.
Now that cellphones have been with us for many years, is there any evidence to show that their use may pose any sort of a health risk? Here is a statement issued by the National Cancer Institute:
“Studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck. More research is needed because cell phone technology and how people use cell phones have been changing rapidly.”
I would imagine that we will never really know if cellphone usage is dangerous or not. The vested interests by telecommunications, manufacturing and consumer groups are unlikely to allow any sort of objective studies to be undertaken or for existing studies to remain unchallenged.
The following is an excellent documentary on the subject called: Resonance – Beings of Frequency