Do mobile phones adversly affect our health
I am doing a case study for physics with the hypothesis “Using a mobile phone affects our health negatively”. I have begun by looking at different websites for the facts. For example The Times article says that “The number of mobiles in Britain has doubled to 50 million since the first government-sponsored report in 2000” and the International Communications Union tells us that “About half of the world’s population has a mobile phone today with mobile phone ownership worldwide topping 3.3 billion at the end of 2007”. This is confirmed below.These are just a few figures that explain how serious this hypothesis is. If it does affect your health negatively, then 3.3 billion people could be at risk. I have also stated my own opinion in a conclusion and
On the electromagnetic spectrum, a mobile phone uses radio waves to transmit signals and send and receive calls, messages, etc. Radio waves are the second weakest type of wave, so would not create much of a risk to the human body, albeit affect the tissue slightly. There is a diagram of the electromagnetic spectrum on the next page. “Mobile phones connect to the base station providing the best signal – usually the nearest. As a person moves away from the base station the signal becomes weaker, so the mobile phone automatically adjusts its own RF field strength to maintain the minimum level needed to communicate with the base station.” – Source: Vodaphone. This means that, according to the argument that mobile phones are dangerous, the farther away that you are from the station the more danger. However, it is not proven whether they are dangerous or not.
Many people believe that mobile phones really are dangerous and Professor Khurana, a leading neurosurgeon, thinks that they are more dangerous than smoking is. This assumption comes from the fact that 3.3 billion people own a mobile phone worldwide, which is approximately 3 times more than people who smoke. This article is on the independent’s website. Tech-FAQ has a section in one of their articles with a few points on the argument which supports the belief that mobile phones are dangerous. For example, mobile phones operate using electric fields which have been known to damage living tissue, and people who spend long periods of time on their phones have mentioned that they get fatigue and headaches. An article on the BBC’s website claims that mobile phones also increase the damage done if you are struck by lightning, but the real risk is that you wouldn’t have a mobile phone to call for help in an emergency!
However, Tech-FAQ also has a section which supports the belief that mobile Phones are safe, claiming that the electric fields are small and cannot harm living tissue and the fatigue and headaches are likely false because they cannot be proven. There is another article on the BBC stating that mobile phones have not been proven to pose any risk to health, but there is the growing concern of the possibility. It also states that there is an upside to using a phone for long periods in which it speeds up the reaction time to answering questions with a yes or no answer. When it was studied in Bristol on 36 healthy people, there were no signs of effects. Only when there was little signal on their phones did it affect their yes and no answers positively. Cancer Research UK even says that there isn’t a proven link between cancer and mobile phones, and they’re the leading cancer charity.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding this topic. A lot of people believe that the phones will cause damage, but the opposing side proves them wrong, no matter what. It reveals that the fact that mobile phones adversely affect our health cannot be proven. Professor Khurana’s research has been dismissed as “a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual” by the Mobile Operators Association.
I believe that using a mobile phone does not affect your health in a negative way. There appears to be a small risk if you have it on you in a lightning storm, or if you answer your phone when it’s charging (there was a news report of somebody getting electrocuted by this). I would prefer to wait until I could see concrete proof and evidence before I stop using my mobile. There is no scientific proof that mobiles affect your health negatively, and the risk appears to be all psychological. However this is a topic that will continue to grow and is important to nearly every one of us. I imagine that further studies will be carried out and maybe one day we will get a definitive answer without scaremongering from opposing parties.
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