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Mobile Phone Radiation - An Urban Myth Or Serious Health Hazard
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Hi there,

For several years there has been an argument about the dangers of mobile phone radiation going on between various scientists and health experts and the telecommunications industry.

The argument is not about whether or not cell phones emit electro-magnetic radiation, the radiation is measurable with a special meter, so we know it's there. No, the argument is about the amount of potential danger caused to your health from exposure to these radio waves.

The phone companies say that the radio waves are non-ionizing and therefore harmless, and anyway the amount of radiation emitted is too low to be a concern.

The scientists are saying that it's too early to tell definitively whether cell phone radiation is harmful because it takes at least 10 years for a cancer to develop so they need more time to perform a proper scientific study. I say that by that time it's a bit late. What cannot be argued with is that with frequent cell phone use the area of the brain closest to the phone gets hotter and this could cause health problems.

We are bombarded with all kinds of radiation every day. TV, radio, the microwave, wi-fi, metal-detectors, telecom antennas and mobile phones. But cell phones are the only device you put next to your head and aim the waves directly into your ear. This is especially important in kids, as the tissue in the inner ear of people under 20 is more delicate than in adults.

Europe and Canda have been conducting tests since the mid-nineties and coming out with worrying results.

In 2000 The Guardian wrote about a report by the Consumers' Association that said hands-free and Bluetooth sets were more dangerous than the handset alone. The same year the Toronto Star published a list of ways to avoid as much cell phone radiation as possible.

The Times in London was reporting on this in 2001, saying the phone companies had angered consumer groups by applying for patents on 'irradiation-reducing components'. Radiation they said was safe.

The Unitika Hospital in Kyoto linked skin problems and allergies, such as eczema, asthma and hayfever to mobile phone use.

More recently the USA has also become concerned about the problem.

Last year, the city of San Fransisco got into a fight with the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association) because the city passed a law that required cell phone makers to reveal the amount of radiation emitted by their phones. That's all, just a sticker on the phone with the emitted radiation levels given, a bit like a car's emissions sticker. Shows how sensitive the phone companies are about this issue.

So what can we make of all this squabbling? It seems to me that there is probably at least some truth to the story that mobile phones give out harmful radiation. There has been credible research done in too many different countries for them all to be totally wrong, coupled with the fact that it's not hard to figure why the phone industry would want to play this down.

It may take 10 or 20 years before scientists have studied a sufficient cross-section of people for long enough that we know for sure. In the meantime I'm not going to sit around waiting until all the facts are out. I'm adopting an 'it can't hurt to be on the safe side' attitude. I did some research and bought myself a radiation protecton shield.

They weren't very expensiive and came with credible endorsements, so I bought several. For a couple of hundred bucks I could give one to my girlfriend, one each to her parents and brother, and give the others as birthday gifts to my close friends.

Whether you believe that your phone is dangerous or that the whole subject is fear-mongering is up to you, but it's something we should all be aware of.

Be safe ..

McGarrett


Street Talk

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