New Delhi, 21st June 2017: With instant access to text messages, emails, social media, games and practically everything else we could want, the obsession with cell phones is starting to resemble an addiction among youth in Delhi-NCR. People use their phones when they are walking, driving, hanging out with friends, waiting for a bus, standing in line, and even using the restroom!
Unfortunately, this cell phone radiation has the ability to penetrate our bodies and cause untold damage. Cell phones emit a type of radiation known as radiofrequency radiation (RFR), which is also used to transmit wireless internet signals. This is different from ionizing radiation (such as from X-rays), which is known to cause damage to human DNA and cancer. As we observe World Brain Tumor Day this year, Doctors at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre say that extensive use cellphones and other electronic gadgets could be acting as a major risk factor behind the increasing incidence of brain tumor and other types of cancers in the city.
“In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified cell phone radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen. Handheld cell phones emit potentially harmful radiofrequency (RF) waves. Tissues nearest to the cell phone antenna absorb this wireless energy, which can result in several types of neurological issues including neoplasm, acoustic neuroma, glioma, and increase the risk of various types of cancers. Unfortunate but true, cell phone radiation has the ability to penetrate our bodies and lead to brain damage. Apart from that, over-use of cell phones also affects overall energy levels, attitudes, emotional and psychological behavior, and body metabolism,” says Dr A K Sahani, Head of Department, Neurology, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj New Delhi.
The carcinogenic effects of mobile phone radiation have been well-documented now, and that they can accelerate development various neurological diseases is also explained clinically. As cell phones usually are held near the head when being used, the main concern has been whether or not they might cause or contribute to tumors in this area, including malignant (cancerous) brain tumors such as gliomas, non-cancerous tumors of the brain such as meningioma, acoustic neuromas, and tumors of the salivary glands.
“There are many factors that affect the amount of RF energy to which a person is exposed, which include whether you use the speaker mode on the phone or a hands-free device while on a call, the distance and path to the nearest cell phone tower, among others. Different phones give off different amounts of energy. While the most effective method of protection from cell phone radiation is completely avoid, this may not be possible always. We must encourage healthy usage for every electronic gadget, and mobile phones in particular, to allow the body to stay in the real world, establish natural sleep patterns and last but not the least help in reducing the risk of getting brain cancers early, “adds Dr A K Sahani
Here are few other tips to make safe usage of your cellphones:
- SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) ratings of mobile phones are nowadays available by different manufacturers. Buy one with the lowest SAR.
- Limit your daily mobile phone calls to ones that are absolutely necessary. Make use of your office landlines, if required.
- Do not keep cellphones in your pockets or very close to any vital organs in your body. Switch sides and ears regularly while communicating on your cell phone.
- You should choose to text instead of calling, whenever possible.
- Use your earphones whenever you speak to someone, and preferably an airtube headset.
- Switch to flight mode when you are not using your cell phone’s wireless function.
- Avoid using cell phones a couple of hours before going to bed and as soon as you wake up.