We need to start with a disclaimer here. We are not doctors or professional nuclear physicists. We spent a week researching this subject when the World Health Organization released their report in May 2011. This article is simply to convey what we have found in our research.
There has been a great deal of talk in the last few years regarding the health hazards that cell phone usage may generate. The words cell phone radiation have been bandied about to a great extent. Due to the lack of information that most people provide regarding this phenomenon consumers do not realize the reality of the situation. The cell phone radiation that the health experts discuss in their articles, blogs, the radio, and on television are not the same kind of radiation that most people immediately think of. There is no nuclear component to this type of radiation effect.
What is radiation?
Radiation is an effect that occurs when a frequency of energy is transmitted through space. This can be x rays, radio waves, electromagnetic waves, and sound waves. Any sort of energy that radiates will generate a form of radiation. Radiation occurs in frequency ranges from short wave-length to longer wave lengths. The short wave lengths are high-frequency emissions and these can be quite dangerous. Longer wave lengths do not have the force that short wave emissions have.
What are the three types of cell phone radiation?
Cell phone radiation is generally expressed in three various terms that normally reference the same concept. Sometimes they are referenced as microwave radiation. At other times this radiation is known as a continual EMF pulse. At other times they are called RF. EMF stands for electromagnetic frequency. The entire electromagnetic spectrum includes low-frequency and very high-frequency radiation as well. Visible light, ultraviolet light, x rays, infrared waves, and radio waves are all included in this spectrum.
The type of radiation effect generated by cell phones is known as non-ionizing. Non-ionizing frequencies are frequencies that do not have enough strength to disrupt the chemical bonds within cells that cause genetic damage. Ionizing radiation is a type of radiation that does have the strength to damage chemical bonds. A typical ionizing radiation type is the x ray. The x ray has a frequency of over 1,000,000 MHz. In comparison a cell phone has a frequency that typically waivers between 860 - 900 MHz. A PCS phone produces slightly higher frequency ranges of about 1800 - 2200 MHz. In order to further compare the kind of frequency generation that a typical cell phone produces, a microwave often often ranges at around 2450 MHz.
There are regulations in place to keep the amount of energy the body is forced to absorb by these devices in check. This regulation is known as SAR in many countries, such as the US. The rules change slightly from one country to another but the formulas used are similar. This means that no mobile device in the US can force more than 1.6 watts of power per kilogram, also known as W/kg, into a given area of body tissue that equals 1 gram. There are separate level requirements for this formula for specific body areas such as the head.
What are the suspected health risks and dangers?
There is no hard evidence that definitively supports either side of the cell phone danger debate. On one side of the debate there are hard-line health advocates that are quite alarmist in reporting their findings. On the other side of the debate individuals and research teams believe cell phone radiation concerns should be minimal at best.
The biggest health concern most people take into account is the possibility of developing cancer. There are incidences of people developing brain cancer on the side of the head that they use their cell phone. However, it has not been proven that the radiation from the device actually causes cancer.
It should be noted that after exhaustive studies the World Health Organization has decided that cell phone usage might prove to have a possible carcinogenic effect on human beings. This type of generalization means that they lump cell phone radiation into the same possible cancer causing category as coffee.
However, there are studies that show this type of radiation does effect the brain. It has been proven beyond any form of doubt that cell phone radiation does cause the brain to become more active in the regions that the phone has been pressed against. The heat alone may cause cellular degradation due to its effects on the calcium within these cells. This degradation may lead to potentially harmful side effects and toxic buildup.
On the opposite side of that health issue there is the belief that the radiation generated by cell phone usage would be largely absorbed by water in the brain and that it would have trouble passing much beyond the skull. The heat can travel through the skull, however. If the heat from a cell phone can destabilize the molecular bonds inside the cells of the brain then people would be developing brain cancer from minimal sun exposure every day of their lives.
While there is no truly conclusive evidence that holding a cell phone directly to your ear may cause cancer, there is always a mild possibility that it may occur. Please note that each human body is a unique organism and some people will have greater sensitivity to electromagnetic frequencies.
How do you avoid cell phone radiation?
The easiest way to avoid radiation of this type will be to simply stop using cell phones. However, if this is not a possibility the next best answer to this problem will be to switch over to wireless headsets. There are many high quality headsets available for purchase currently. There is some concern regarding the possibility that items such as a Bluetooth or other hands-free headsets might simply be trading lower EMF emissions for closer proximity to the skull. If this is a concern for you then it may be best to use a headband style hands-free device.
There are other methods to help reduce the radiation effects from cell phone usage with Droid.Android.IPhone and similar devices. These methods include using the phone primarily outdoors, limiting inside usage of a cell phone, purchasing a phone that has the antenna as far from the skin as possible, and extending the antenna outward to help the signal flow away from the head region. It is also a good idea to limit the use of a cell phone by children.
Beyond these methods there are cell phone EMF protectors to defend your brain from the RF radiation of these devices. Wireless headsets are required to have their wired portions covered with specific materials by law in many countries such as the US.
An individual who wishes to reduce their exposure to potentially harmful EMF radiation as much as possible will combine these efforts. They will primarily use their phones when they are outside. They'll use a hands-free headset. They will also be certain that the headset is not placed directly inside the ear. Further, they will not keep their cell phone in their pocket. An external holster or pocketbook will be a better place for the device.