Electromagnetic radio frequencies emitted from cell phones and other electronic devices remains a topic of debate due to possible health concerns. Cell phones produce low levels of non-ionizing radiation. Thus far, “extensive research into the health effects of these devices has only produced inconclusive evidence,” according to VOA News.
The wireless industry and other professionals do not believe electronic devices are dangerous.
“The scientific evidence shows no known health risk due to the RF energy emitted by cell phones. As the FDA states on its website, ‘the weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems,’ VOA News reports.
Even though CTIA – The Wireless Association declined an interview with TECHtonics, it supports further studies.
“If any person or organization has any information that is not currently available to the wide array of public health organizations and agencies with well-documented conclusions in this area, we encourage they make that information available to those groups for their expert review,” CTIA stated.
Not all professionals and organizations in the industry are in agreement. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies electromagnetic fields emitted from cell phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans. IARC “will conduct a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from radio-frequency fields exposure by 2016,” according to VOA News.
Other health advocates and consumers also believe cell phones are detrimental to human health. Some even believe cell phones can cause tissue heating if held near the head for a long period of time, thus resulting in brain cancer.
Jonathan Samet, M.D., Director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Southern Californian’s Keck School of Medicine, touches on short-term effects of emitted radiation, while many other professionals focus mainly on long-term effects (cancer).
“People who are concerned about the health risks of electromagnetic radiation will say that there are short-term effects as well as longer-term disease risk. So they’ll talk about effects on, for example, sleep or possible heart rhythm or other problems … But the scientific evidence is mostly focused on long-term and potential cancer risk,” Samet said.
“When we use a microwave, that’s a form of non-ionizing radiation that has enough energy to heat things. So with cellphones, there’s a possibility that there could be some heating, although most people who understand the physics of this type of radiation say there is not enough energy to really heat tissues that much,” Samet added.
“Unlike higher-frequency ionizing radiation, we don’t think it directly damages DNA. And it is the direct damage to DNA by ionizing radiation that leads to cancer. Ultraviolet Ionizing radiation can generate enough energy to break chemical bonds, cause cancer and have other effects,” Samet said.
Some organizations have already taken action against the possible health hazard. “The city council in Berkley California recently passed a law that requires retailers to tell consumers how far their cell phone should be held away from their body, VOA News reports.
Organizations and professionals will continue to study the long-term effects of exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted from cell phones.