On May 11, 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an “International EMF Scientist Appeal” to the United Nations, the World Health Organization (WHO) and U.N. member states requesting they develop more protective exposure guidelines, encourage precautionary measures and educate the public about health risks of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing scientific evidence of harmful effects and health risks.
A 2014 Swedish study involving 1498 malignant brain tumor patients and 3,530 controls (people without a brain tumor) found an increased risk of malignant brain tumor associated with long-term use of cell phones and cordless phones. The study analyzed data from two previous studies with patients diagnosed between 1997-2003 and 2007-2009 in Sweden. The pooled analysis showed a clear trend of higher risk with longer wireless phone use. Specifically, the risk was 3 times higher for people who used wireless phones for 25 years or longer. The results resonate with a 2014 French study which found that heavy cell phone users (with 896 hours or more cumulative call time, or about half an hour daily use for 5 years) were 2-3 times more likely to develop a glioma (the most common type of malignant brain tumor), compared to non-regular users.
With worldwide mobile subscriptions estimated to be around 7 billion in 2014, cell phones have become a universal and indispensable tool for modern life. With a cell phone, you can talk to anybody on the planet from almost anywhere. But do you really know how your cell phone works?
In the most basic form, a cell phone is essentially a two-way radio, consisting of a radio transmitter and a radio receiver. When you chat with your friend on your cell phone, your phone converts your voice into an electrical signal, which is then transmitted via radio waves to the nearest cell tower. The network of cell towers then relays the radio wave to your friend’s cell phone, which converts it to an electrical signal and then back to sound again. In the basic form, a cell phone works just like a walkie-talkie.
In additional to the basic function of voice calls, most modern cell phones come with additional functions such as web surfing, taking pictures, playing games, sending text messages and playing music. More sophisticated smart phones can perform similar functions of a portable computer.
Cell phones emit radiofrequency (RF) waves, a type of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (commonly called “cell phone radiation”). When a consumer holds or carries a mobile device in close proximity, the user’s head and body can absorb over half of the transmitted energy.
The FCC’s inquiry into radiofrequency (RF) exposure limits and policies has generated broad response, as well as debate. Pong continues to play an active role in this process, weighing in on several topics of concern to users of cellphones and cases.
Although there is still no definitive answer whether cell phone radiation is harmful to human health, Pong, along with many other experts and health organizations around the world recommends the adoption of the “Precautionary Principle” on this matter. So what does this mean?
The Precautionary Principle
The Precautionary Principle is a policy of social responsibility aimed at protecting the public and environment from possible harm when the scientific community has validated a plausible risk. It is essentially a common sense based “better safe than sorry” approach suggesting that action should be taken to avoid harm even when it is not certain to occur. Continue reading “Application of the Precautionary Principle to Cell Phone Radiation”
As cell phones and other wireless devices become increasingly popular, there is a growing concern over the possible health impact of wireless technology. Science is still inconclusive on whether cell phone radiation is safe or harmful to humans. Consumers are often confused by conflicting study results and mixed media messages. This article is intended to explain the primary causes of the scientific dilemma and offer some suggestions on how to interpret scientific findings in the field of cell phone radiation and human health.
As global cell phone subscription soared from 12.4 million in 1990 to 7 billion in 2013, cell phones have become a universal and indispensable tool for modern life.
Cell phones emit low-intensity radio-frequency (RF) energy, a type of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (EMR). When you hold your cell phone next to your head or wear it on your body, you can absorb over 50% of the transmitted RF energy. While cell phones bring enormous convenience to our lives, the possible health consequences of exposure to cell phone radiation have aroused considerable public attention and scientific debate.
The mobile device landscape has dramatically changed during the past ten years. As a popular wireless technology, Wi-Fi uses the radio-frequency bands of 2.4 and 5 GHz for data exchange among wireless devices. Devices that transmit Wi-Fi signals are not just commonplace, they have become an essential part of our lives.
So, it’s only natural that the biological and health effects of these devices have become the subject of many on-going scientific studies. While the research community is performing scientifically rigorous studies and carefully weighing the evidence, five Danish ninth-grade school girls have taken matters in to their own hands.
Google Glass ushers in a new trend in wireless devices. A wearable computer with head mounted display, Google Glass captures a lot of attention with its design, functions and life-style implication. Though it is not yet on sale, some people have raised concerns that Google Glass introduces new types of radiation exposure risks due to the way in which it is worn. This article explores the implications of on-body wireless devices on radiation exposure.
Like all wireless devices, Google Glass emits electromagnetic radiation, called non-ionizing radiation, in the radio-frequency (RF) range in operation. The prototype Google Glass has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth antennas but no cellular antenna. Although there is still no consensus on whether this type of radiation is harmful to human body, growing scientific evidence shows correlation between wireless radiation and adverse health effects, including but not limited to brain tumors, impaired brain function, sperm damage and behavioral problems in children. In May 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” based on increased risk of brain tumors.
According to a May 2013 news release in The Economic Times, India may ban import of mobile phones that don’t display their radiation emission levels in September 2013. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) will shortly issue a notification calling for mandatory disclosure of specific absorption rate (SAR) as a pre-condition for future handset imports.
In September 2012, Indian government issued a new mobile radiation law that lowered the exposure limit of mobile handsets from a SAR of 2.0 W/kg to 1.6 W/kg and made it mandatory for wireless device manufacturers to display the SAR values on their handsets.
To understand the rationale behind Indian government’s new regulation, let’s start by understanding what SAR is and what wireless radiation can do to us. Continue reading “Indian Government’s New Regulation on Wireless Radiation & Worldwide Call for Precaution”