In the early ‘90’s when cell phones the size of walkie-talkies were common-place (but still a sign of status), there was a lot of concern surrounding the dangerous radio waves emanating from them, and what the long-term effects of said waves would be. Many early adopters felt that the risk was minimal, while others (who have since caved in) said they would never use a cell phone because of the possible risks. There are still those that insist cell phones are dangerous, and some science has been found to validate some of their concerns.
Science and Scares
For many people, using cellphones is just an everyday basic occurrence that doesn’t warrant much thought. Some of us even sleep with our phones next to us on the bed or nightstand (addicted much?). However, the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom has found no immediate effects from the exposure to radio waves found in any type of cell phone. They have found that being near a phone increases temperature in people, on average, about 0.2 degrees Celsius- hardly enough to raise alarms. However, none of these studies can explain or predict long-term effects from daily use of cell phones- nobody knows because cellphones are still a recent development.
Children and Cell Phones
What scientists do know is that children are more affected by radio waves and any sort of electromagnetic field put off by any number of devices. This has even been linked to higher instances of childhood leukemia in neighborhoods with poor wiring. While this isn’t the same as how cell phones affect children, smart phones do emit some electromagnetic fields and radiation. To be safe, NHS and a number of organizations recommend that children are limited in their access to cell phones, tablets, and even television.
In connection with the electromagnetic fields that emit from cell phones (albeit in small amounts), many people with pacemakers and epilepsy implants have noticed a lot of interference when using their mobile device. Because these things work on an electrical wavelength of some sort, their waves tend to interact with one another, and sometimes not in ideal ways. If you have a pacemaker or an implant for your epilepsy, make sure to evaluate how your device works when it’s around your body while you’re in the care of a doctor (just for the first time exposing yourself) just make sure nothing goes wrong.
Since the 1970s, many people have been predicting that cell phones will be linked to brain cancer (or other types of cancer) due to overexposure to radiation. So far, there is no study that has found an increased phenomenon of any type of cancer in anybody or group. In one study, a small increase in salivary gland tumors was found in heavy cell phone users (people who are talking on them nonstop), but the data was not found to be statistically significant. At the moment, the scientific community remains unable to claim the long-term effects of cell phone use are detrimental.