Mobile Phone Radiations and their Effects on Health
There are more than 2 billion mobile phone users. In the recent years consumer concerns about the consequences of these radiations on human health have risen considerably. Some users believe that these electromagnetic radiations are harmful to human health. According to WHO (World Health Organization) health effects, such as headaches are not likely caused by cell phone radiations. Nevertheless some European countries including Sweden, Germany, France and Austria have recommended their citizens to minimize exposure to cell phone radiation.
Electromagnetic and Radio Waves
Electromagnetic (EM) Waves that have electric and magnetic properties and can propagate through vacuum or matter. EM waves are divided into several classes or types on the basis of their frequencies. Visible light from sun is a class of electromagnetic waves. Microwaves are also a class of EM having wavelength between 1mm to 1m. Radio waves are a type of EM waves having frequency lower than microwaves.
Health Effects of Microwaves
Portion of radio waves emitting from a cellular device gets absorbed by human body parts nearest to the device. The radiations emitted by a cell phone vary with headset model and technology. TDMA and CDMA have lower radio emissions than GSM.
Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) measure the absorption rate by the human body. SAR levels limits are been set by the concerned authorities. For example FCC (in USA) has set the limit to 1.6 W/kg.
Thermal and Non-Thermal Effects
Microwaves heat up the molecules on which they strike. A common example is a Microwave oven. When a person is talking on the phone his brain cells get heated up ay only a fraction of a degree. This temperature increase is even considerably lower than the increased attained by direct exposure to sunlight. Moreover the brains blood circulation mechanism can safely reduce the heat. Hence this aspect of cell phones poses no harm. However unlike the brain cells, cornea cells of eye do not have such mechanism. Hence prolonged and intense exposure can lead to serious consequences. However the intensity is below the SAR limit, you are safe!
Some researchers say that prolonged exposure to microwaves can lead to DNA rearrangement (change in structure of DNA). However it is still not clear whether it is true or nor for the human DNA.
Effects on Reproductive System
According to a research by a team from University of Athens, 6 minutes daily exposure to 900 MHz radiation for five days reduced the reproduction capacity in fruit flies. A similar research in 2007 showed higher frequencies (1800 MHz) lead to the same result. However implication of these experiments on humans is not clear yet.
Can Mobile Phones Lead to Cancer
Several researches had been conducted by different countries like Britan, Germany, Sweden and Denmark. All of the studies suggested that under the safe SAR limits there is no evidence of cell phones leading to cancer.
Some people also claim that the waves emitting from cell phones lead to sleep loss and anxiety. However as usual they have no hard evidence and these symptoms are too generic to link them to cell phones. I think the prolonged and tense business conversation on cell phones themselves lead to more serious consequences. So for all the mobile phone users out there, feel safe and enjoy talking on you cell phones! Even if there were some serious incident of cellular radiations in the first place at all, they would have been strongly reported.