Is your Smartphone really killing you

Posted by The Open Page | 8th May 2018

Is your Smartphone really killing you?
An examination of the relation between cell phones and cancer
The age of technology is here - and smart phones have become our most constant companions. The Smartphone you use to call your friends and scroll through social media is tens of thousands of times faster than the computers that got man to the moon. As the world moves forward, technology keeps getting more powerful and more accessible. However, with this rapid growth in tech, also come various concerns. 
Concerns started to rise when the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified Radio Frequency- Modulated Electromagnetic Fields (RF-EMF) emitted by cell phones, cell towers and Wi-Fi networks as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans’. Sounds scary right? 
Radiation are divided into two types - ionizing (x-rays, gamma rays and ultraviolet rays), which are high energy waves, and non ionizing (microwaves, infrared, radio waves and visible light), which are low energy. While exposure to ionizing radiation in high enough doses can definitely cause cancer, there is no definite evidence in support of the claim that non ionizing radiation, such as radio waves from cell phones, can cause cancer. Non-ionizing radiation also does not damage DNA, which is one of the primary causes of cancer. 
Multiple studies have been conducted to try to determine whether cell phone usage is linked to increased cancer risk. While there has been no final decision on this issue, no large scale study has shown a strong relation between cell phone usage and cancer. The Million Women Study, in Britain, a Danish study of more than 350,000 cell-phone users, and studies examining the effects of radio waves in animals and cells growing in Petri dishes indicated that there is still “no convincing evidence of any link between cell phone use and cancer or any other disease. Also, the incidence of brain cancer in the United States has remained steady since 1992, despite the stark increase in cell phone use.” 
The only consistently observed effect of radiofrequency energy on the human body is heating. Radiofrequency exposure can cause heating of the area near the location where the source is held (the ear, head, etc). However, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature, and there are no other clearly established effects on the body from radiofrequency energy.  
Other effects, such as adverse effects on glucose metabolism, are yet to be studied on a large scale, with small scale studies showing inconsistent results. 
Although research is inconclusive, it is still smart to regulate Smartphone usage, as it can hamper your ability to focus, and even make the quality and amount of your sleep worse. With regards to cancer however, we are in the clear for now. Using your phone on speaker, calling using a wireless headset and perhaps just switching to texting can reduce the threat to your well being to almost nothing. 
Shourya Naik 

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