Cell phone radiation

A reader recently asked me to write a piece on the adverse effects of cell phone use, if at all.
Alline Akintore
Alline Akintore

A reader recently asked me to write a piece on the adverse effects of cell phone use, if at all.

I didn’t want to discover the truth because of my love affair with my phone but I was as objective as possible and if you hold similar feelings for your mobile device, well, the results of my hours of research yielded some interesting matter.

Cell phone radiation is the electromagnetic radiation radiated by the antenna of your cell phone; these radio waves are in the microwave region and are absorbed by our brain fluids. 

It is good to know that there are standards in place to regulate the maximum power output from a phone. But hear this: you know those phone masts (aka base stations) that dot every Rwandan hill?

They emit even stronger radiation. I could not find any resources about Rwanda’s regulatory policies on mobile radiation and how that affects the kinds of phones imported to Rwanda or the safety precautions in place for placement of base stations and occupational exposure of contractors who regularly work at these sites. But that is for another day.

Half of the world’s four billion cell phone users are under twenty. If it is true that the most popular gadget of our time damages DNA, breaks down brain defenses, reduces sperm count, increases memory loss and the risk of Alzheimer’s and causes cancer, then things don’t look too good down the road!

It doesn’t help matters that the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic. But is there evidence to support it? Apparently not…

Research published in Denmark concluded that there was no evidence that cell phone use increased the chance of developing a brain tumor: Mobile use results in higher glucose metabolism in the brain (even when the phone is muted) but as the brain uses glucose for energy, no conclusive results are out yet.

Scientists in one camp argue that the brain uses glucose in cell phone use like it does when, say, listening to music; the other camp argues that if the phone is muted, it is unusual for the brain to show activity.

A separate study, however, confirmed that exposure to phones affected cognitive functions,such as slower response times.

Mixed messages, right? Better safe than sorry.The most vulnerable group to radiation is children as their skills are thinner and contain more absorptive fluid therefore limit cell phone use by your infants. Invest in Bluetooth wireless headsets or use speakerphone instead. Always look up emission levels of your phone as not all antennas are of similar strength (Note that the further you are from good cell phone coverage, in remote areas, the higher the radiation)

Feel free to dial your friends’ numbers and share this information-on speakerphone of course!


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