Cell phone radiation: Counteraction
Just in case the definition above doesn't mean much to you, here's our, easier to understand take on cell phone radiation: As you know, our phones maintain a constant connection with carriers' networks. This is done because we want to be able to make calls, or to be called, at any time of the day (or night). For this communication to happen, however, our phones have to transmit and receive a special signal, which carries the information that's to be communicated between the phone and the carrier's network. This process of transmitting and receiving the said signal happens through radio waves, or radiation. However, it so happens that radio waves have both an electric and magnetic fields, and there you have it - electromagnetic radiation!
For many years, scientists have believed that the type of radiation emitted by cell phones and towers is harmless to health, because it is non-ionizing. Ionizing radiation, such as the one emitted by x-rays and nuclear energy, is the dangerous one. So what has changed that we now have never-ending disputes as to whether or not cell phones cause cancer? Quite simply, cell phones have become so popular and ever-present that if there's even the slightest chance for them to be harmful, we better do some very serious research before we can decide that's it's completely safe to sleep with a phone right next to your head.
Unfortunately, as you may know, a final conclusion is yet to be reached. After numerous researches, some of which continuing for as long as 20 years, there is still no evidence that there's a direct link between electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones and cancer. However, even such large studies are considered inconclusive by some institutions. What's more, it is said that the effects of prolonged electromagnetic exposure can be observed at a much later period. In other words, we may or may not be doomed, it remains to be seen.
In general, one of the more serious effects that microwave electromagnetic radiation (such as the one emitted by cell phones) can have on us is the thermal effect. This type of radiation is generating a thing called dielectric heating (or RF heating), which is capable of penetrating living tissue. Why is this kind of heating bad? Because your body cannot cool down some of the parts that are typically exposed to phone radiation. Normally, when there are some overheated cells in your body, your brain simply orders more blood to go their way, which eventually disposes of the excess heat. However, as we said, there are some areas in your body that do not have such temperature regulation – like the cornea of the eye or the male testes. Because of that, it's markedly dangerous to expose those areas to significant heat. Now, just how biologically significant the RF heat that's coming from your phone is, is... you guessed it – not clear.
But just because there's no direct evidence linking cell phones with cancer found yet doesn't mean that we shouldn't take any precautions. Thankfully, governmental regulation agencies around the world have already set up specific standards with regards to the maximum power output a cell phone can have.
As it became clear, a part of the radiation that's coming from our phones is inevitably absorbed by none other but us. This is where the popular SAR, or Specific Absorption Rate, comes into play. What SAR measures is the rate at which radiation is absorbed by the human body, when the latter is exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic fields. SAR is defined as the power that is absorbed per mass of tissue and is measured in watts per kilogram. In the U.S., the FCC has set a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 1 gram of tissue, for the head. In Europe, the regulatory organs have set a SAR limit of 2 W/kg, but averaged over a volume of 10 grams of tissue. Because of this, when you're comparing SAR values, you should only compare American ratings with American ratings, and European ratings with European ratings.
In short, the lower the SAR rating of your phone is, the better. But, a lower rating would not necessarily mean that this particular model will be healthier for you. As a whole, it is great to have those SAR limits and to know that phone manufacturers aren't allowed to do whatever they want. However, it's still early to say if these precautions have been strict enough to ensue that our wireless devices do not hold any health risks.
All of this is what makes us believe that there's no reason to panic. At the same time, it also means that it'd be best if we start employing a number of tricks that can potentially lower the risk of any possible health hazards greatly. Dear readers, it's time to counteract cell phone radiation!
Counteracting cell phone radiation
1. Talk less
2. No phones in the pockets
3. Initiating a call
4. Low-coverage areas
6. Distance is king
8. Text more
So, guys and gals, what's your take on this issue? Do you fear cell phone radiation? Do you already employ some of the tips shown above? C'mon, don't be shy - share your opinion!
1. GALAXY-S (Posts: 701; Member since: 07 Jun 2011)
Great article! I guess im pretty much in a good zone when it comes to exposure to phone radiation.. i dont ever put it in my pocket (never near testis)lol, i dont even talk much on it, i text or email all the time..
14. cheetah2k (Posts: 869; Member since: 16 Jan 2011)
Just like everything, moderation is the key
2. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
i have the klipsch s4a headphones, they cut the amount of time my phone spends next to my head by 75%.
3. AndresJ (Posts: 48; Member since: 06 Feb 2012)
even if you get cancer and die from mobile radiation, it only accounts for very, very small percentage. 5 million people die from tobacco related diseases and about the same are the number for alcohol related diseases. Conclusion stop smoking and drinking rather than using cellphone.
4. Arpad (Posts: 39; Member since: 05 Jan 2012)
Sadly the SAR values are overrated they seldom peek at those values written in their specifications. When they do peek you are most likely not talking.
They peek when you leave the coverage of you local broadcasting station and are entering into a new one. When this happens the phone emits a weary strong search pulls so that it can find and establishes a new communication with the new station.
If you travel a lot on long distances then your phone will keep doing this as you leave and enter new cellphone tower coverages. This is also the result why battery drains faster when travelling long distances.
So when will the SAR value peek? When you are outside mobile phone coverage and it is constantly sending out strong search pulses.
This was just a side note, the article is well writen Ray S, thanks.
6. chapizzo (Posts: 116; Member since: 13 Sep 2011)
Great artifical. I figure i should go get myself one of those mobile phone radiation things then!
9. Ray.S (Posts: 263; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)
While I was doing the research for this article, I found out that those phone radiation shields aren't really protecting you. Some are even saying that they may have a negative effect, as they work against the signal reception of the phone, causing it to try harder to establish a stable signal... ultimately emitting more radiation. So I wouldn't really try this out.
7. illiad (Posts: 113; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
the problem with all this radiation, is that it is led by hysteria generated by many without information... eg the old wives tale about 'you lose most heat through your head' .. think about it!! this is usually the ONLY thing not covered!
If your arms were not covered, they would lose a lot more heat... :)
we need another 'double -blind' test, to show the real story...
A few years ago this was done, with the residents told the time-table that the transmitter was switched on and off...
so the residents stated complaining about 'discomfort' etc, when they thought it was switched on, even though it had NOT been on for 5 days...
the same happened another time, when they thought it was switched off, they said they felt much better.. even though :) it had been on for the past few days.... :P
8. mills0806 (Posts: 37; Member since: 13 Nov 2011)
Ishmael: "You really should try to quit Mr. Munson. They say it's bad for your heart, your lungs, it quickens the aging process."
Roy Munson: "Is that right? Who's done more research than the good people at the American Tobacco Industry? They say it's harmless. Why would they lie? If you're dead, you can't smoke."
I feel this could be said about the cell phone radiation. LOL
15. droidnator (Posts: 87; Member since: 10 Mar 2011)
I love Kingpin, lol! Still, you are right to the point. One can only laugh at people who willingly blindfold themselves and close their eyes to the (possible) truth!
10. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)
Good read Ray! Props.
Expanded my knowledge about cell phone radiation and the tips were cool to :)
11. illiad (Posts: 113; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
mills0806: um noooo.. :) smoking leaves **visible** residue, just look at your brown fingers, where you hold that cigarette...
have a close look at your *white* ceiling, that is now a brownish color...
sure, many old smokers live, but hey you have a choice... spend lotsa dollars on this legal drug called nicotine, hoping you are as resistant as those guys, or not.. or use the money to buy a new car, new house, etc... how much is a pack in the US??
20. axllebeer (Posts: 266; Member since: 05 Apr 2011)
I feel much safer with a cell phone in my pocket than with a burning cigarette standing a few feet away. And as unrelated as what I'm about to say is, nicotine is prob the safest thing in a cigarette as it really isn't any worse for the body than Caffeine. But the thousands of everything else thats in there will most likely kill the user off sooner or later.
I enjoyed the article and thought it was well written by the way :)
12. InspectorGadget80 (Posts: 6736; Member since: 26 Mar 2011)
My Atrix that i read on SAR site says have 1.45 so i dont know if thats good or bad. Just wondering.
13. solidsnakeduds013 (Posts: 218; Member since: 20 Oct 2010)
Interesting. Nice article. I always knew cell phones gave off radiation but its always good to know more: )
16. illiad (Posts: 113; Member since: 07 Feb 2012)
hmmm, you will be worrying about the masses of EM radiation that your TV and wireless land-line gives off next....
17. rpmccormick (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Feb 2012)
I believe the picture tips are propaganda. Why are you even worried about the tiny amount of power the phone emits compared to the vast amount the Cell Tower is constantly emitting. The cell tower doesn't send data to the phone in a nice little strait line, it broadcasts that data out in all directions, through your head and reproductive organs, no matter if you even have a cell phone in your house or not. Having a phone in your pocket uploading a picture does not expose you to half of the radiation you are exposed to just living in any place with cell coverage, which is every place, so just give up or try to change the corporation practices and FCC rules. Stop using scare tactics to make concerned people do silly things that don't help anyone.
19. rpmccormick (Posts: 2; Member since: 08 Feb 2012)
Here is a lot more info: transition.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/rf-faqs.html I maintain that the FM/AM/UHF/VHF/Cell/PCS towers all around us 24/7 are worse then any cellphone, bluetooth, or RF headset used for 4 hours a day.
18. hobble (Posts: 130; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)
I think this "article" needs to be re-titled. It gives the impression that cell phone radiation exists and/or is a threat then ends begging the question. Penn & Teller have an episode about this very topic and much like this article, it was bullsh*t.