Your cell phone may be killing you silently

 

If you have a cell phone, you’re probably aware of all the apps that offer useful features and convenient ways to stay in touch with friends and family. However, did you know that these same apps can also have a hidden danger? While most of us assume that the radiation we are exposed to is only when we make or receive a call on our phones, new research suggests this assumption may be wrong. In fact, some studies show that exposure to cell phone radiation could be harmful at lower levels than others.

The introduction of cell phones into modern society has revolutionized how people communicate. Unfortunately, it has also had an insidious effect as almost everyone now carries a device that emits electromagnetic radiation whenever it’s on (and depending on the model, always keeping pace). In other words, your cell phone is constantly emitting low-level EMR regardless of whether it’s turned on or not. As expected with any type of radiation, prolonged exposure to EMR can cause harm—especially over time.

What is cell phone radiation?

Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is any type of radiation given off by electronics—from microwaves to your computer monitor. While frequent warnings about the dangers of radiation from cell phones and other devices aren’t new, a recent study conducted by researchers at the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University College London has drawn attention to the potential dangers of low-level EMR exposure. High-level EMR, like that emitted by a cell phone, can be harmful over time, but lower amounts of radiation can have a negative effect on your health as well.

The researchers looked at the health records of 2,115 adults who were participating in the UK Biobank study between 2006 and 2010. The researchers found that those who had used a cell phone for more than one year had a 40 percent higher risk of developing brain tumors compared to those who had never used a cell phone. The reason for link between cell phone use and increased risk of brain tumors isn’t completely understood, but it might be due to the fact that the phones emit EMR.

How does cell phone radiation cause harm?

Despite the common assumption that cell phone radiation is harmless, there are actually a number of health concerns related to cell phone use. First and foremost, there is the potential for radiation to cause cancer. As mentioned, there is evidence that EMR can cause tumors, and this would be especially dangerous for your brain. In fact, the researchers found a link between brain tumors and more than one year of use in their study.

There is also a link between cell phone use and hearing loss. While less serious than the potential risk of brain tumors, this is still a problem as it limits your ability to communicate with loved ones and participate in daily life. Recent studies have even shown a link between long-term cell phone use and tinnitus—a constant ringing or buzzing in your ears.

Cell phone radiation dose-response curve

EMR is a form of radiation with a specific dose-response curve. In other words, the more you are exposed to, the greater the potential harm. At low doses, it may even have some benefits, but at higher doses, it can be dangerous. The most worrisome thing about EMR, however, is not just the potential cancer risk but also the fact that the effects of this radiation are cumulative over time. While the risks at low levels are still not high enough to cause immediate problems, they become elevated as you continue to be exposed. Regular exposure could ultimately lead to long-term health problems, with no early warning signs.

Should you be worried about cell phone radiation?

Studies like these are valuable because they provide a better understanding of how EMR affects the body. However, we must remain cautious about drawing conclusions about the effects of cell phone use based on these findings alone. It is difficult to conduct research like this on a large scale, and it’s important to remember that this was a study of people who were already participating in the UK Biobank study. As with any technology or product, there are pros and cons to using a cell phone.

In general, you should use your phone only for essential calls and emergencies. Ideally, you should also keep it out of your bedroom or turn it off before going to bed. If you have to use it while sleeping, keep it on speaker and use a hands-free device. If you feel that you need to have a cell phone, it may be best to choose one that emits lower levels of EMR. However, you should be aware that this may come at a slightly higher cost.

Summary

The introduction of cell phones into modern society has revolutionized how people communicate. Unfortunately, it has also had an insidious effect as almost everyone now carries a device that emits electromagnetic radiation whenever it’s on (and depending on the model, always keeping pace). In other words, your cell phone is constantly emitting low-level EMR regardless of whether it’s turned on or not. The researchers looked at the health records of 2,115 adults who were participating in the UK Biobank study between 2006 and 2010.

The researchers found that those who had used a cell phone for more than one year had a 40 percent higher risk of developing brain tumors compared to those who had never used a cell phone. The reason for link between cell phone use and increased risk of brain tumors isn’t completely understood, but it might be due to the fact that the phones emit EMR. Studies like these provide valuable information about the potential dangers of cell phone use, but we must remember that these findings can’t be applied to the general population. The people in this study were already highly educated and in general health. Overall, cell phones appear to be very safe, but it’s important to remember that they can also cause harm if you aren’t careful.

 

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