Wednesday, 25 May 2011 02:30
By caribarena news
How many cell phones do you have? Many people in Antigua have two, some even three. Several are confessed “Crackberry” addicts. But fun and jokes aside, is using two or three phones at the same time putting you at risk?
Yes. Many studies have already linked heavy usage of a single cell phone to brain tumours and other forms of cancer. For instance, take the Blackberry. If you read the fine print in the Blackberry manual, you might find this passage:
“When you wear the BlackBerry device close to your body, use a RIM approved holster with an integrated belt clip or maintain a distance of 0.98 in. (25 mm) between your BlackBerry device and your body while the BlackBerry device is transmitting.”
The iPhone manual also presents similar warnings, such as this one, “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) separation between iPhone and the body.”
Now why would Blackberry and iPhone be warning us to keep the phones away from our bodies?
The answer may lie in another iPhone manual warning: “iPhone’s SAR measurement may exceed the FCC exposure guidelines for body-worn operation if positioned less than 15 mm (5/8 inch) from the body (eg, when carrying iPhone in your pocket).”
Bear in mind that Blackberries and iPhones are constantly transmitting data over the network. Modern smart phones are connected using GPRS, which is basically internet on-the-go. Although it is fun to browse the web while in town, your phone works very hard to transmit data over GPRS, and working hard means radiating energy.
Even if you are not browsing, or calling, or doing anything at all with your cell phone, it is still syncing to check for emails and other online apps. To summarize this, your body is constantly under attack by cell phone EMF waves.
Cell phone radiation testing is conducted in a very specific way. A human adult dummy is exposed to the cell phone for a given number of minutes, and the amount of energy it has absorbed is converted to the SAR, which also accounts for the mass and size of the dummy. But what about children?
A study using child models had this to say, “Results show that for adults, compliance with reference levels ensures compliance with basic restrictions, but concerning children models involved in this study, the whole-body-averaged SAR goes over the fundamental safety limits up to 40%.” Basically, what’s safe for you is not safe for your children, and many cell phones that we assumed are safe for our children, really are not.
Ashworth Azille, general secretary of the Antigua and Barbuda Teachers Union, has opined that a cell phone would be a good technological tool for children in school. He voiced concerns about children using cell phones for recording fights and sexual activities, but there was no mention of health concerns.
What he is forgetting, or unaware of, is that countries such as India, Israel, Japan, France, Russia, the UK, Tajikistan, and others have all banned children and adolescents from owning or using cell phones, unless in an absolute emergency.
In Central Asia, bans against mobile phones in schools and universities have been in place since March 2009 to “boost education”. These countries have banned cell phones from children to protect them from these harmful EMFs.
There are ways of protecting oneself and children from cell phone EMFs. Firstly, limit talk time. You may notice that you or people around you use their cell phones unnecessarily. A cell phone has become a tool which we cannot just throw away, but we can use it less often, reducing our exposure.
Secondly, if you have a child younger than 16, it is highly recommended that s/he does not use a cell phone at all. Studies have shown that children who begin use before 16 may become five times more likely to develop cancer later in life.
Another way to stay safe is to keep the phone off your body. Keep it in a bag or holster, and do not place the phone in your pocket. There are many other methods listed outline which can reduce the impact of cell phones on the body."
For any parent, the message should be clear; cell phones are not safe for children. For anyone who owns a cell phone, especially multiple cell phones, the message should also be clear; FCC and ICNIRP standards may not be adequate. It is important that we educate ourselves about the risks that this technology poses, rather than diving into it head first, blindly.
In 1927, small groups of scientists made a link between asbestos and cancer. In 1964, it was put on people’s homes. It took thousands of cancer deaths for people to listen to these scientists, and by 1989, asbestos was banned in 50 countries.
In the 1950s, small groups of scientists warned us about cigarettes. In the 1980s, everyone was smoking. Today, we know about the dangers of cigarettes.
Right now, small groups of scientists are warning us about cell phones. People do not need to get cancer before we start realizing that cell phones are dangerous. We need to act now, before it is too late.
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