While smartphones have made our lives easy, they have outsmarted the people essentially in metropolitan cities like Delhi where one caries a cell phone like a life saving jacket. On the World Brain Tumor day, doctors have warned that the major cause of this deadly disease is the machine that we keep fidgeting in our hands all day. Cell phones emit a type of radiations known as radiofrequency radiation (RFR), which is also used to transmit wireless internet signals. This is different from ionising radiation (such as from X–rays), which is known to cause damage to human DNA and cancer.
“In 2011, the World Health Organisation (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,” Dr Ak Sahani, Head of Department, Neurology, Indian Spinal Injuries Centre told The Pioneer.
The carcinogenic effects of mobile phone radiation have been researched world over now. As cell phones are usually held near the head, the main concern is 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, “added Dr Sahani.
Environmentalists suggest to take measures to prevent over-exposure to such radiation through cell phones.
Bollywood actress Juhi Chawla‘s video on social media is the best for awareness on how to prevent exposure to radiation through cell phones. Chawla suggests that measures like keeping cell phone few inches away from the ear and use of ear phones instead of the device and bluetooth connection could help in prevention.
“Keeping smart phones away while sleeping or turning them to airplane mode and using a landline would also help.”