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IntroductionToday mobile phones have completely
engraved into our lives. We all spend so much time with our mobile phones and
tablets that it is extremely hard to think without these devices in one single
day of our life. But with the ever-increasing number of mobile phones many
folks around the world have been attempting to ascertain whether or not these
devices are actually extremely harmful to our health. Is radiation emitted from
the mobile devices actually harmful for us? From
1st Sept. 2013, only the mobile handsets with revised Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
value of 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg) would be permitted to be
manufactured or imported in India. The limit for public exposure from cellular
telephones is an SAR level of.
Any cell phone at or below the SAR
level is a “safe”
phone. One can check Radiation level in terms of SAR of his or her smart phone
by dialing a USSD code *#07#. If a results show SAR below 1.6 W/kg
then it is OK otherwise he or she should change Smartphone immediately. The
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has informed that in a number of studies it has been reported that exposure to
radiation from mobile phones causes adverse health effects. But the data
available is not conclusive so far on this issue. However, many scientific
evidences indicate some possible adverse health effects of Radio Frequency
Radiation (RFR) which require further investigations. Even the World Health
Organization (WHO) (2011) classified the radio frequency electromagnetic
radiations emitted from wireless phone under group 2 B-carcinogen category after
reviewing the studies published between 2000 to May 2011. Due to this fact,
many countries have developed health based precautionary guidelines for
exposure of electro-magnetic frequency from cell phone towers including India.Review
of LiteratureSome of the studies
are being conducted in India on the issues related to Health effects of Radiations
emitted from mobile phone and mobile phone towers.1. Department of Human Genetics, Guru Nanak
Dev University, Amritsar has conducted number case studies in this area both on
animals and human volunteers. Study reported cytogenetic damage in tissues of
some individuals using cell phones over a period of time. The data revealed
increaser number of micro nucleated buccal cells and cytological abnormalities
in cultured lymphocytes indicating the genotoxic response from mobile phone
use. As exposure to radiofrequency radiations has been reported to affect
physiological, neurological, cognitive and behavioural changes and to induce,
initiate and promote carcinogenesis; threat to human health has been suggested
for mobile phone users (Gandhi et al.,
2005).2. The Indian Council of Medical Research
(ICMR) supported an animal study (2005-08) to find out the effect of RFR on
male reproduction at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) New Delhi. The results
indicated significant reduction in testicular size, weight and in sperm counts.
The data also indicated that the chronic exposure to Radio Frequency Radiation
(RFR) imitated from cell phone causes a significant decrease in protein kinase
C and total sperm count along with increase apoptosis in male rat. The study
suggested that decrease in sperm count and increase in apoptosis may be a
causative factor due to mobile radiation exposure leading to infertility
(Kesari and Behari, 2008).3. National Institute of Technology (NIT),
Calicut, Kerala, has reported headache, dizziness, numbness in the thigh, and
heaviness in the chest among mobile phone users. The results indicated an
increase in the both parameters when mobile phone is kept close to chest and a
decrease when kept close to the head. Mobile phone has caused changes in Heart
Rate Variability indices and the change varied with its position. But these
observations were not significant in comparison to without mobile condition
(Ahmed et al., 2008).4. PGIMER, Chandigarh, has conducted a study
(Panda et al., 2010) and reported long
term and intensive mobile phone use may cause inner ear damage and based on
their observations they have recommended following criteria’s for the release
of harmful rays from mobile phones.a)      Mobile
phones should not be used continuously for more than one hour in a day.b)      Hands
free technology to be used where excessive use of the mobile phone is
unavoidable. This includes use of microphones and Bluetooth so that the handset
remains away from the ear and thus avoids the direct impact of harmful
electromagnetic radiations on the ear and the brain.c)      People
to avoid long talks and discussions on mobile phones as far as possible.  DiscussionsRadiofrequency energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation can be categorized into two
types: ionizing (e.g., x-rays, radon, and cosmic rays) and non-ionizing (e.g.,
radiofrequency and extremely low frequency, or power frequency). The energy of
electromagnetic radiation is determined by its frequency; radiations high frequency, and therefore high energy, whereas
non-ionizing radiation is low frequency, and therefore low energy.The frequency of radiofrequency
electromagnetic radiation ranges from 30 kilohertz (30 kHz, or 30,000 Hz) to
300 gigahertz (300 GHz, or 300 billion Hz).  Electromagnetic fields in the
radiofrequency range are used for telecommunications applications,
including cell phones, televisions, and radio transmissions. The human
body absorbs energy from devices that emit radiofrequency electromagnetic
radiation. The dose of the absorbed energy is estimated using a measure called
the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is expressed in watts per kilogram of
body weight.Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as from
X-rays, is known to increase the risk of cancer. However, although many studies
have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from
radar, microwave ovens, cell phones, and other sources, there is currently
no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk.The only consistently recognized biological
effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. The ability of microwave ovens to
heat food is one example of this effect of radiofrequency energy.
Radiofrequency exposure from cell phone use does cause heating to the area
of the body where a cell phone or other device is held (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.It has been suggested that radiofrequency
energy might affect glucose metabolism, but two small studies that examined
brain glucose metabolism after use of a cell phone showed inconsistent
results. Whereas one study showed increased glucose metabolism in the region of
the brain close to the antenna compared with tissues on the opposite side of
the brain, the other study found reduced glucose metabolism on the side of the
brain where the phone was used.Another study investigated whether exposure to
the radiofrequency energy from cell phones affects the flow of blood in
the brain and found no evidence of such an effect.The authors of these studies noted that the
results are preliminary and that possible health outcomes from changes in
glucose metabolism are still unknown. Such inconsistent findings are not
uncommon in experimental studies of the biological effects of radiofrequency
electromagnetic radiation. Some contributing factors include assumptions used
to estimate doses, failure to consider temperature effects, and lack of blinding of investigators
to exposure status.Results
among investigations were inconsistent, and these investigations indicated
little or no association between exposure to Radio Frequency and microwave
radiation and cancer. It should be noted that the weak evidence on
carcinogenicity obtained from several epidemiological studies applies only to the
type of cancer studied and to the time intervals observed between exposure and
occurrence of disease. Also, experience with cancer in people indicates that,
in some cases, the period from first exposure to the development of clinical
cancer is seldom less than 20 years; moreover, latency periods substantially
shorter than 30 years cannot provide evidence for lack of carcinogenicity. Progress
and changes in mobile phone technology (such as analogue to digital signals)
make it difficult to assess exposure in the people studied. Furthermore,
because the use of mobile phones is relatively recent, it may be premature to
conduct an exhaustive epidemiological assessment of its impact on health. In
the case of cancer, for example, the information available does not rule out
the possibility of an association between the use of mobile phones and the
occurrence of this disease. Thus, it is advisable to monitor the incidence of tumours
supposedly associated with exposure to RF and microwave radiation, to assess
possible changes in trends.             



10 tips to reduce to reduce cell phone
radiation1. Distance is your friend While
talking on your cell phone, prefer to position the cell phone away from your
body as far as possible. Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or an
air tube wired headset (not a Bluetooth). The electromagnetic field (radiation)
is one fourth the strength at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at
three feet. 

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Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak Avoid using your cell phones when the signal is weak or when
moving at high speed, such as in vehicles (car, bus, train or airplane) and
elevators as automatically power increases to emit a maximum amount of
radiation because the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to each nearest
network antenna.3. Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body
at all times Do not carry a powered on
cell phone in your pocket or bra. Cell phones emit radiation constantly, even
when you
are not actively using them. Power those 100% off before you carry them near
your body.  

4. Children should only use
cell phones for emergencies. Children’s
skulls are thinner than adults’ and their brains are still developing. Hence,
radiation from cell phones penetrates more deeply into their brains and is
likely to cause more damage.  5. Do not sleep with your cell phone powered on

Research shows that sleep is disrupted by
cell phone radiation. Need an alarm clock? Simply put the phone on “airplane”
or “flight” or “off-line” mode, which will stop “wireless” electromagnetic field
emissions. 6. Use your home and office corded landline for
most conversations

your cell phone to landlines whenever you are at home so you can turn the cell
phone off without missing a call. Biological effects can be related to both
strength of cell phone radiation dose and duration of exposure, so consider
whether or not your communication is urgent. Remember: Use a corded home
landline, not a home cordless phone, because those use electromagnetic
microwave technology just like cell phones. Most cordless phone base stations
constantly emit microwave radiation regardless whether or not any connected
handset is in use. The cordless phone handsets also emit microwave radiation.
Corded landlines have no radiation emissions and are the best choice.7. Avoid using your cell
phone in metal contained spaces like a car, elevator, bus, train or airplane

metal surroundings reflect the waves inside the vehicle, often increasing your
radiation exposure. Your use also passively exposes other persons near you
(children, pregnant women, and other adults) to your phone’s electromagnetic
radiation fields when you are in an enclosed space. 8. Whenever possible,
minimize talk time and choose to communicate via text messaging rather than
making a voice call

Whenever possible, minimize talk time and
choose to communicate via text messaging rather than making a voice call to limit the duration of exposure and
the proximity to the body. Hold the phone out, away from your body, when you
press “send” and do not rest your phone against your abdomen as you text.9. Protect your fertility

radiation has been shown to damage sperm and the ovaries. Many people move the
phone away from their head to reduce exposure but down to their torso
forgetting that a cell phone or laptop to the abdomen results in higher
radiation absorption to the reproductive organs.10. Read your cell phone manual

find the minimum distance the federal government recommends that your cell
phone must be kept away from your body. Keeping it closer than the designated
distance can result in a violation of the FCC Exposure Limit. Exceeding FCC
levels is proven to result in burns, sterility, and brain damage. Learn more
about fine print instructions at Show the Fine Print.Org.Special
Note for Pregnant Women: It is especially
important that pregnant women reduce cell phone exposures because research has
shown cell phone radiation can damage to the brain and reproductive system in
developing pregnancies. To learn more, please go to the Baby Safe Project.WHAT DO WE DO? BE SMART ABOUT THE SMARTPHONESmartphones
are an indispensable part of our work and social lives. Business,
entertainment, and social interaction, all are driven by mobile technology in
this day and age so it’s not easy to weed this out. WHO has announced
for this year a formal risk assessment of all studied health outcomes from
radiofrequency fields. In the meantime we can definitely take these
6 precautionary steps to reduce the effects of radiation from cell phones:1.     
Restrict use of the phone,
keep calls short and use landlines to make calls as far as possible: We’re
too addicted to this lifestyle of constantly being on the phone. Apart from
physical risks this poses many psychological risks as well. Let’s spend some
time away from the phone and smell the roses and the coffee! Trust us, the
world will not come crashing down if you’re away from your phone for more than
10 seconds.2.     
Keep device away from body: Keep
a distance with the device and keep a distance from the radiation. So use
headphones or speaker mode while speaking on the phone. Don’t store it on your
person in pockets etc. Keep it in bag, table or special kits created for this
purpose. Also, instead of tucking phones under your pillow with love just turn
off or put airplane mode. This is especially crucial for children as their
bodies are especially porous to radiation.3.     
Texting is better than
calling: Again the idea is to keep device away
from body so text away to glory busy bees.4.     
Make calls when the signal
is strong: Research shows that radiation exposure
increases dramatically when cell phone signals are weak. Besides what’s the
point of putting up with broken voices and screaming to make the other guy hear
you properly?5.     
Replace your current phone
with a low-radiation one: Yes, this is possible.
Check out the emission levels of phones brand and model wise here and
make a smart buying decision.6.     
Switch off the wifi box at
night: This is not only good to decrease
exposure to radiation from wifi devices, but it’s also more ecological to shut
down electronic device when not in use. Also wifi source should be at least 2
meters (7 feet) away from where we sit and sleep. Recommendation and ConclusionsBased
on review of available literature, the following cautions/ recommendations are
suggested: a.      
Shortening the duration of use of mobile phones per day may reduce any
risk associated with exposure to radiations from mobile phones. Therefore, it
is highly recommended to limit the duration of conversation on mobile phones.b.     
Since in vitro studies suggest that mobile phones may have thermal
effect on sensitive parts of the body, such as, eyes and testis, it is
recommended to minimize exposure to such body parts to be on safe side. c.      
c. Another in vitro study, also, suggests that growing and highly
proliferating cells are much more prone to the effect of mobile phones.
Therefore, it is recommended to keep children from getting exposed to
radiations of mobile phones. d.     
d. Furthermore, more researches are required to address the conflicting
reports of health risks from mobile telephone use, and to set clear guideline
regarding the exposure thresholds permissible to radiations from mobile phones.The
evidence available does not provide a clear pattern to support an association
between exposures to RF and microwave radiation from mobile phones and direct
effects on health (such as increasing the risk of cancer). However, the quality
of this research and the relatively short-term data do not allow ruling out
adverse effects on health completely. In other words, the absence of evidence
of detrimental effects on health associated with mobile phone use is not
evidence of absence of such effects. At the moment, it is impossible to state
that exposure to RF or microwave radiation (even below the permitted levels)
does not have adverse effects on the health of the general population. The
current evidence, however, does suggest that if there is a risk, it is small.
Therefore, a precautionary approach (as recommended by the EU) to the use of
this communication technology should be adopted until more scientific evidence
on effects on health becomes available. Finally, evidence shows that the use of
a mobile phone while driving translates into a significantly increased risk of
a traffic accident. References1.      Gandhi
G, Singh P (2005). Cytogenetic damage in mobile phone users: Preliminary data
titled Hum Genet 5(4): 259-265. 2.      Gandhi
G, Anita (2007). Genetic damage in mobile phone users. Some preliminary
findings Int J Hum Genet 11(2): 99-104. 3.      Kesari
KK and Behan J (2008), Comparative study of 900 MHz and 2.45 GHz radiation
effect on reproductive system of male rats. In Recent Advances and Challenges
in Reproductive; Health Research, eds. R S Sharma et al, pp 363-377. 4.      Ahamed
VI, Karthick NG, Joseph PK (2008), Effect of mobile phone radiation on heart
rate variability, Comput Biol. Med. 35(6): 709-12. 5.      Panda
et al (2010). Audiologic disturbances in long-term mobile phone users, J
Otolaryngo Head neck Surg., Chandigarh, 1; 39(1):5-11. 6. Cell
Phones and Cancer Risk. (2017, August 28). Retrieved from Side-Effects of Harmful
Radiation from Mobile Phones and Towers. (2017, August 28). Retrieved from Sánchez E (2006). What effects do mobile phones have on people’s
health? Copenhagen, WHO Regional Office for Europe (Health Evidence Network
report;, accessed on 28th
August 2017. 9.
Abeshu MA, Geleta B (2015) Physical Health Hazards of Mobile Phone Use. Health
Care Current Reviews 3: 153. doi: 10.4172/2375-4273.1000153. 10.
Specific absorption rate. (2017, August 28). Retrieved from 

11. Are smartphones really harmful to our health?. (2017, August 28). Retrieved from

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