The advancement of technology has been of several advantages. The invention of computers, machines, and other gadgets like mobile phones has contributed to the economy’s development and has made life easier for humanity. But are we prepared to handle the health risk that comes along with this advancement?
According to estimates, mobile phone users worldwide are expected to reach 5 billion by 2030. This shows how the usage of mobile will keep increasing, the facts remain that mobile phones have become a necessity in our everyday lives and have become what many cannot do without.
That being said, with all these benefits attached to the use of our mobile phones, there are some downsides associated with regular phone use which can be detrimental to our health. You probably would have never thought that your mobile phone might be hurting you in the long run, if you were not careful.
Have you ever stopped to think about the harmful effects of mobile phones on your health? If you’re concerned about its detrimental impact on your health, you might be surprised by what you find out. Let’s go!
Radiation: The Truth
Our mobile phones are clever inventions that have changed our world—but they’re also giving us headaches, burning our ears, causing cancer, disrupting our sleep patterns, shortening our attention spans, stressing us out…and a lot more. Despite many potential dangers, we can’t seem to part with our beloved gadgets. Understanding just how serious these risks are may help us look at how radiation works through our bodies.
When mobile phones work, they emit electromagnetic waves in all directions—and some of those waves reach deep into our bodies and affect body cells. Studies show that mobile phone radiation can change brain chemistry, cause neuron damage and lead to memory loss.
And a recent study by researchers at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute concluded that mobile phone radiation causes stress proteins in humans, raising concerns about possible long-term biological damage from electromagnetic fields.
Studies also show that radiation exposure can occur even when there isn’t direct contact between the phone and ear canal. It’s also important to note that people who use their mobile phones heavily over long periods may experience symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, or nausea due to radiation exposure.
Frequency, Intensity, and Time Duration
The harmful effect of Mobile Phone Radiation is greatly dependent upon its frequency, intensity, and time duration.
The waves of the electromagnetic radiation given off by mobile phones are grouped in four categories of frequencies. The first three – Extremely Low Frequency (ELF), Very Low Frequency (VLF), and Ultra Low Frequency (ULF) – have low levels of ionizing radiation. The fourth category – Radiofrequency (RF) – carries much higher levels that can harm human tissue as they emit significant amounts of non-ionizing energy. This is why RF transmits information from one device to another. Exposure levels vary based on the distance from cell towers and antennas; urban areas tend to have more cell towers than rural areas.
The intensity of a radiofrequency field is expressed in units called watts per square meter (W/m2). The higher value implies a stronger signal and a more substantial implication for your health. For example, compared to a device that operates at 1 watt per square meter (1 W/m2), there would be ten times as much exposure from a device running at 10 W/m2.
It’s not just about how long you use your cell phone, it’s also essential to think about how often you use it. The average mobile phone user makes over 200 calls per month, so even if you check it all day, every day for a short time, there are still many hours of talking on a mobile phone per month.
It’s not just mobile phones themselves that can cause harm to your health; it’s the radio frequency (RF) waves that they emit, which can easily pass through your skull and skin and enter your brain, with potentially devastating effects.
Below are the significant damaging effects of mobile phone radiation on your health.
- Brain damage
Researchers have found that people who use their mobile phones frequently have a shorter than average-sized hippocampus. A study by Dr Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, used MRI brain scans to examine mobile phone users’ brains and found that mobile phone users had a smaller volume in an area called grey matter. Grey matter is responsible for memory, emotions, decision-making, and self-control. People with a smaller amount of grey matter are more likely to be impulsive or aggressive; they are also more likely to develop dementia when they get older.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
Research suggests that radiation from mobile phones may speed up brain aging, contributing to Alzheimer’s disease. A 2015 study published in Radiology showed signs of increased cortical thinning in the brains of mobile phone users. Researchers found mobile phone use was associated with a decrease in glucose metabolism within regions responsible for memory, learning, and emotional control. This is why researchers believe mobile phone use may lead to brain atrophy over time.
- ADHD & autism
Children exposed to high radiation levels (from any source) are twice as likely to be diagnosed with ADHD or autism as those with low exposure. This is especially true for children under age two and boys. While we’re still unsure exactly why some children experience behavioral issues following exposure, it’s safe to say that many experts believe that EMF is a contributing factor.
It has been proven that radiation from mobile phones decreases metabolism and leads to obesity. The radiation emitted from these devices can also cause DNA damage, leading to an increased risk of diabetes. Furthermore, frequent use of a mobile phone can increase insulin resistance and, in some cases, provoke Type 2 diabetes directly.
One Australian study suggests that mobile phone radiation disrupts melatonin production and may cause sleep disorders. They also found a correlation between elevated oxidative stress in cells and reduced melatonin levels caused by mobile phone radiation. This same study also found increased mitochondrial DNA damage among participants exposed to mobile phone radiation. It’s only one small study, but it’s certainly an area worth looking into further.
- DNA Damage
One study conducted by researchers from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute showed that mobile phone radiation could damage human DNA. The research published in Pathophysiology found that radiation from a mobile phone held close to your head can cause genetic damage. While more research is needed, it is prudent to reduce your exposure to mobile phone radiation.
Here are some ways you can prevent your exposure:
7 Ways to Prevent Mobile Phone Radiation
Avoid carrying it in the pocket front pocket of your pants can be one of the most dangerous places to have your phone, particularly if you’re right-handed. Mobile phone screens tend to be on the left side of a phone (because users typically are right-handed). On the other hand, if it’s in your back pocket, there may be less radiation exposure because it has less contact with your body than a front pocket does.
Research does show that human tissue is sensitive to even low levels of radiation.
- Switch Off Your Phone at Night
If you sleep with your phone under your pillow or next to your head, you expose yourself to more radiation than you would if you kept it in another room. The closer your phone is to you, the more radiation you absorb. Turn off your phone before bedtime and put it in another room so that when you wake up in the morning, it will be far away from your body.
- Don’t Use a Mobile Phone as an Alarm Clock.
Most people keep their mobile phones right by their bedsides so they can use them as alarm clocks. Unfortunately, every time you do that, you get a dose of radiation directly into your brain while you sleep. A safer alternative is to get an old-fashioned alarm clock and place it across the room from where you sleep. When you wake up in the morning, you will have to physically get out of bed and walk over to turn off your alarm instead of just hitting a button on your phone.
- Do Not Sleep with Your Phone Charged
Many people charge their mobile phones every night to use them in case of an emergency. Unfortunately, doing so is exposing you to high levels of radiation. A safer alternative is to plug your phone in and let it charge while you sleep, then remove it from its charger before going to bed at night.
- Use a Headset
Whenever you use your mobile phone, always use a headset or earphones so that your head is not in direct contact with any part of your phone. This will reduce your radiation exposure by 90% or more.
- Do Not Use Your Phone in Poor Reception Areas
A mobile phone’s radiation powers are most potent when connected to a network. If you are in an area with poor reception, your phone will work harder than in a room with good reception. This means that your phone will emit higher radiation levels because it works harder for more extended periods, so try not to use it if you are in an area with poor reception.
- Make Sure Your Phone Has a Safe SAR Rating
Some mobile phone models are better than others when reducing your radiation exposure. When buying a new phone, check its rating for Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). Ideally, you should choose a phone with a SAR rating as low as possible to reduce your exposure.
More detailed information about SAR ratings can be found here https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/specific-absorption-rate
Mobile Phone Radiation Test
You might be curious to find out how much your body cells have accommodated radiation even before an affected body cell symptoms.
You can order an Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) meter. When using a meter, be sure you get close enough to your body to pick up your EMF from these sources rather than ambient EMFs in your home. Stand with one foot facing toward a window for about 10 minutes, then switch feet and repeat for about 10 minutes. These meters are simple devices that measure exposure to radio-frequency (RF) radiation such as that given off by mobile phones.
In conclusion, if you suspect your exposure level is higher than average, a mobile phone radiation test can help confirm whether or not that’s true. If there’s an unusual spike in your results, you might have reason to be concerned about cellular (or Wi-Fi) radiation emissions. So you may want to take additional precautions to limit your exposure. If you notice unusually high EMF levels for a prolonged time—especially if they seem related to specific symptoms like headaches or insomnia—you should consult your doctor.
Graphic created by trufyx