Cell Phone Radiation

March 30 [Fri], 2012, 14:03
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors recently made a requirement for mobile phone sellers to provide information during the sale to inform the buyers on the amount of cell phone radiation that is emitted from a particular cell phone. In fact, this information is available if you read at the user manual of the cell phone that you purchase and it clearly states that we shouls always keep the phone at least one inch away from our body when it is turned on. But the law requires that the information about the SAR value (the measure of radiation level) should be displayed more openly before the consumer makes the purchase. Therefore, the situation is causing a stir and the there is a lawsuit between the city and the cell phone industry. Is the city right in making this decision? What does science have to say?

An example is a new study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. This research is about the comparison of the level of radiation that occurs by taking the measurement while the child is still in the womb and compare it once the child reaches seven years old. There was over 28,000 participants which consist of both the child and mother that took part in this research that was done in Denmark. It showed that those who were exposed both before and after birth to cell phone had a 50% more chance of displaying behavior issues. For the children who was only exposed in the womb and not after birth displayed a 40% of behaviour issues. And those who were only exposed to cell phone radiation after birth only had 20% chance of behavior issues.

Children are more prone to be affected in a more serious way because their skull is thinner and the tissues in their brain are still developing. With cell phone radiation, the latency for the human body to show signs of cancer could take up to ten years or more and any damage will only be known at that time. This issue is already something that the government is aware of and some countries are already placing bans for children below 18 years of age to own a cell phone. A study by Leif Salford, a Swedish scientist shows that teenagers that use the mobile phone frequently will have an earlier development of the Alzheimer's disease.

There are also studies that have shown that the radiation from cell phone can lead to eye cancer. The study, carried out by a team of German researchers, investigated uveal melanoma a form of eye cancer called in which tumors form in the layer that makes up the iris and base of the retina. They examined people with uveal melanoma and obtained details about their use of digital mobile phones. The data was then compared with another group of patients that do not have uveal melanoma. It shown that the cancer patients had a heavier cell phone usage.

It will take some time before there is enough accumulated evidence that establishes that mobile phones pose danger to human health. This issue is similar with the tobacco issue where after decades, the issue still remains as a debate. What we can do is hope that the improvement in technology can create safer devices for us in the near future. For now, the only thing we can do is to use the cell phone wisely.
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