Sunday, March 28, 2010

Does Excessive Cell Phone Use Have Harmful Effects?

By Chris Brancato

Ever since cell phones first became a demanded product, health concerns came quickly into question. Do cell phones cause cancer? What makes cell phones potentially dangerous? How can we avoid such damaging possibilities? These are all questions that are asked and answered by Larry West in an article entitled “How Safe Are Cell Phones?” on

The main fright of cell phone usage is the radiation that becomes exposed via the products antenna. It’s the same kind of radiation that can be found in microwaves or from traditional AM/FM radios. While high frequency radiation that is exposed in things such as X-rays have been undoubtedly linked to causing cancer studies say, lower levels aren’t exactly certain at this point.

Since cell phones are relatively new, scientists haven’t been capable of assessing or making such bold accusations such as radiation from cell phones having a direct link to cancer. In the article, Mr. West provides a link to some studies that state if a person were to use a cell phone an hour a day, for 10 years, that he/she would increase the possibility of developing a rare brain tumor. Yet, only in such extreme cases has the possibility of developing some sort of illness or disease been found.

The way a cell phone antenna works is through signals being sent to the nearest base station every time a phone call is made. Since this is the case, scientists have “theorized health risks from cell-phone radiation would be greater for people who live and work where base stations are farther away or fewer in number,” Mr. West said.

While direct threats haven’t been factually linked to cell phone usage just yet, there are many precautions that we can take to avoid the possibility of any sort of damage. The easiest way to steer clear the increasing threat of radiation would be to use hands-free devices such as a Bluetooth. Limiting cell phone usage on a daily basis is also suggested as well, viewing it as a device that should only be used when necessary as opposed to how often people tend to use them.

By following this link, the FCC has provided the amount of radio frequency that is typically derived from your specific phone. Manufacturers are required to report the amount of radio frequency that “absorbed into a users head, which is also known as the specific absorption rate, or SAR,” Mr. West explained in the article.

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