Health Life Style Technology

December 19, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The health dangers of a mobile phone

We live in a world where mobile phones are our universe. Cell phones are revolutionary, they enhance our lives in a multitude of ways and we can’t begin to imagine how past generations managed without them. They help us connect with family, friends and colleagues, keep us online and able to access the internet as well as keep us from dying of boredom via games and social media.

Adverse effects of cellphoneThe biggest health threat to people from mobile phones is the possibility of getting cancer, but so far studies are inconclusive. Mobile phones emit non-ionizing radiation, also called ‘RF’ or radiofrequency waves. Only ionizing radiation for e.g. X rays and gamma rays can lead to cancer, non-ionizing rays are totally safe in this regard. However, we must be on our guard, as these studies have only been conducted in the last few years while cancers are known to develop over many years or decades.

Other possible adverse effects are:

  1. Causing a road accident – If you drive and use your handset at the same time, you are courting danger, even disaster. You need both hands while driving to maneuver the car and drive safely. Cell phones distract you, so do not attempt to send messages or call a friend while driving. If it is absolutely necessary to speak to someone while you are driving, remember to use the hands free kit and connect it before you begin driving.
  2. Spreading germs – Most cell phones have bacteria on them and the bad news is that some of these bacteria are superbugs, that means they are resistant to the regular antibiotics and need very powerful antibiotics if they infect a person. Healthcare workers and people working in hospitals are more likely to be carrying around germs via their phones.
  3. Increases stress levels – Having constant beeps, alerts and calls on your phone can increase adrenaline in your body and keep you on edge all the time. This means that you are unable to relax and your mind is always wandering to what’s on the phone. This is counter productive to good health and can be a cause of depression, anxiety and mental stress.
  4. Decreases productivity  – Let’s face it, cell phones do not allow us to focus on anything other than them. You can get work done faster and better if your cellphone is off or on silent mode. This is because the brain cannot function optimally when there are constant distractions. If you have to complete a difficult assignment or are studying for an exam, keep the mobile phone off or far away from you.
  5. Affects interpersonal interactions – Studies prove that when two people are talking, even the presence of a cell phone belonging to the other person alienates him/her from us.
  6. Radiation risks – If you are afraid of the radiation risk, install a landline and use it often. Also do no use shields or guards on a cell phone.
  7. Eyestrain and overuse of hand tissues – A phone with a small screen may cause eyestrain if you use it for many hours in a day as your eye muscles have to work harder or make out the small print. Also typing and playing games involves the hand muscles, tendons and joints which may get inflamed and be painful. And keeping the phone cradled between your ear and your shoulder can lead to neck strain and an aching back due to unnatural posture.

What you can do to minimise potential health effects:

  • Use a landline when at home
  • Keep cell phone conversations brief
  • Avoid letting children talk or use the cell phone
  • Keep the handset as far away from your body as possible.
  • Do not carry the handset on your person
  • Keep your phone off when you are sleeping
  • Do not drive and use a handset, use a hands free kit if required
  • Use a towel dipped in disinfectant solution and wipe down your phone to keep it germ free. Repeat every week.