What you should know about cell phone health hazard

 

Cell phone health hazard resulting from its electromagnetic radiation includes:

  • Cancer
  • Genetic damage
  • Brain and other neurological problems
  • Birth defect
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Impaired learning and short-term memory
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Headache
  • Stress
  • and other cell phone health hazard

 

Cancer

Radiation expert Dr Peter French, principal scientific officer at the Centre for Immunology Research at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney, led an Australian research on electromagnetic field and cancer. His research shows that cell phone frequencies well below current safety levels could stress cells in a way that has been shown to increase susceptibility to cancer.

The study, published in June 2001 issue of the science journal Differentiation, says that repeated exposure to cell phone electromagnetic radiation acts as a repetitive stress. This leads to continuous manufacture of heat shock proteins (HSP) within cells.

HSPs are always present in cells at low level. However, it is manufactured in larger amounts when cell is stressed by heat or other environmental factors. They repair other proteins adversely affected by certain conditions and are part of cell's normal reaction to stress.

However, if they are produced too often or for too long, they are known to initiate cancer and increase resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

An epidemiological US study found a 2 to 3 fold increase in a rare brain cancer where electromagnetic field exposure from handsets is greatest (JAMA, 2000: Vol. 284).

A large Swedish epidemiological study came to similar conclusions (European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2002: Vol. 11). Epidemiology studies are population-based studies that involve statistical analyses of health records.

A Swedish study found a 2 times risk of developing brain tumors among heavy users. Right-handed users developed right-sided tumors and left-handed users developed left-sided tumors (International Journal of Oncology, May 1999).

A 2002 study at National Research Council in Bologna, Italy, reported that radio waves from cell phones could promote growth of cancer cells. Researchers believed that cell phone electromagnetic radiation initially damaged DNA, which ultimately triggers the cells to multiply more rapidly.

A study by Professor Kjell Mild of Orebro University in Sweden indicates that analogue, digital and "cordless" DECT (Digital European Cordless Telecommunications) phones all seem to carry risk for brain tumor (International Journal of Oncology, March 2003).

A 1997 animal study at Royal Adelaide Hospital, funded by Australian telecommunications giant Telstra, found this: Mice exposed to microwave radiation similar to GSM digital cell phone antenna emissions for 30 minutes twice a day for 18 months have a more than double rate of lymphoma (cancer that develops in lymphatic system). However 4 other journals refused to publish the study because it "would cause a panic."

In an Australian Senate enquiry, a former chief medical officer for Telstra disclosed a case of altered nerve function in the skin around ear area of a cell phone user, (Sun Herald, 8 October 2000).

A study at University of Essen in Germany found that people who regularly use cell phone are 3 times more likely to develop eye cancer - uveal melanoma. This is cancer that grows in iris and base of eye retina (Epidemiology, January 2001).

 

More cell phone health hazard

Genetic damage
In an animal study, DNA breaks occurred in rat brain cells after acute exposure to low-level electromagnetic field (International Journal of Radiation Biology, 1997). Scheduled cell death (apoptosis) which may lead to cancer, was also noted.

Brain and other neurological problems
In 1974, US Army researchers reported that low level microwave radiation (such as cell phone electromagnetic radiation) may alter the functioning of blood-brain barrier, a mechanism within the brain that keeps out harmful proteins and toxins.

This warming was repeated by Swedish scientist in 1992, who also suggested a potential link with Alzheimer's disease and other neurological diseases.

In a study, adolescent rats were exposed to medium and high level radiation for just 2 hours. This radiation is equivalent to cell phone use. 50 days later, parts of those animals' brain cells important for memory, movement and learning were destroyed. They had many dead neurons. (Environmental Health Perspectives, the journal of US Government's National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, February 2003)

The young rats were chosen because their brain cells were still developing in a similar way to teenagers and younger children.

"If this effect was to transfer to young mobile users, the effects could be terrifying. We can see reduced brain reserve capacity. Those who might normally have got Alzheimer's or dementia in old age, could get it much earlier", says Professor Leif Salford of Lund University Hospital.

Birth defects
Studies of cell phone health hazard using pregnant mice suggest that high electromagnetic radiation exposure can affect intra-uterine development (Sunday Telegraph, Australia, 2 May 1999).

Increased blood pressure
A German study found that cell phone health hazard includes a 5-10 mm Hg increase in blood pressure (Lancet, June 1998).

Impaired Learning and Short-Term Memory
An American study found that learning and short-term memory were impaired in rats after 45 minutes exposure to cell phone electromagnetic radiation.

Disturbed sleep
A University of Zurich study found that cell phone electromagnetic radiation disturbs sleep patterns. Electromagnetic fields from cell phone used in bed for 30 minutes increases brain activity for up to 50 minutes during early, non rapid eye movement sleep (Sunday Mirror, 15 October 2000).

Stress
A study at Nottingham University, UK found that female nematode worms exposed to cell phone electromagnetic radiation produced stress hormones, grew 10% larger, and produced more eggs (New Scientist, 7 February 2002).

Headaches
This is also one of the common cell phone health hazard affecting many people worlwide.

"Microwave hearing" research done over 35 years ago proved that exposure to low density microwave energy (similar to the energy in modern cell phones) affects the blood-brain barrier and dopamine opiate systems of the brain, both of which are involved in headaches. (Allen H. Frey in an article in Environmental Health Perspectives, March 1998).

Other cell phone health hazard
Slows reaction time, thus can cause accidents or even death if used while driving.

Body contact with a mobile phone can also knock down brain speed in people sensitive to electromagnetic radiation.

 

How to reduce cell phone health hazard

World Health Organization's recommendations:

1. Make short calls
2. Use hands-free devices

Here are more useful tips to reduce cell phone health hazard:

1. Don't use cell phones.

2. If you have to, make your calls short.

3. Avoid using cell phone in areas where the signal is poor. A weak signal from base station causes modern handsets to increase its broadcast power.

4. Use an external earpiece that keeps the phone away from head.

5. Hands-free phones also emit radiation. If you use a hands-free phone, let the cable hang loosely instead of tight. This reduces the radiation's aerial effect.

6. The best choice is using speaker-phone handset.

Next > What cell phone towers radiation does to your body

 

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