Could Your Smart Phone Hurt You?!?

Electricity is all around us, all the time. It makes our lives easier, safer, more fun and most of us never think about it. But is there such a thing as too much electricity? Could that thing that is the foundation of a modern world slowly be killing us?

Electronic devices emit an electromagnetic field, which is suspected to cause cancer. We read countless sources on this topic to summarize the results of the latest research for you.

Before we dive deeper lets try to understand what electricity is and how it affect us. Electricity is the movement of electric charge this movement generate electric and magnetic fields that spread out to space and carry energy, we call the phenomenon electromagnetic radiation.

Radiation is a word that makes a lot of people nervous, but to radiate means just to Giving off like the radiation in your house gives off heat in a form of infrared radiation. Different parts of Electromagnetic spectrum correspond to different types of radiation and many of them are perfectly harmless. 

Some of them can be dangerous thought radiation with very short wave lengths like UV lights, x rays and Gama rays are strong enough to rip electrons out of their atoms which can cause burns and genetic damage. This is what many people have in mind when they hear the term radiation. The rest of the spectrum covers a large range of long waves from visible lights, infrared, microwave to radio waves. This is the kind of radiation that is admitted by all sort of human technology, mobile phones, WiFi routers, electrics power lines and household appliances. 

This radiation doesn't disrupt molecules in our body however some kinds of radiation can stimulate muscle and nerves and can also make the hair of your body vibrate which can sometimes can cause a tingling feeling.

Other kinds are useful for making dinner, microwaves push the water molecules in your further around which warms it up. This happens to us all the time for example the pleasant warmth you feel at the beach is your skin heating up from the exposure to electromagnetic infrared radiation from the sun.

We are surrounded by natural and generally harmless sources of electromagnetic radiation all the time and always have been, but since the industrial revolution we have added a lot of it in our environment.

The question that this is actually dangerous first got the public attention when in 1979 study linked leukemia with living nearby power lines. This study was quickly discredited thought, the connection couldn't not be explained and not direct cause or link was confirmed, but once this was proposed the idea persisted and they were thousands study's for possible dangerous illustrate that it is still seen as a real threat.

A lot of people claimed that they are sensitive from the radiation that comes from our cellphones. They report symptoms like headaches, nausea, skin reactions, burning eyes or exhaustion, but those are just effect reported on a day to day bases, a few studies have found much more uncertain results like possible connection between the side of the brain which people use when they are on their phones and appearance of brain tumors.

The question that science is trying to answer is not so much about the accuse effect of radiation, we know for example that X rays cause immediate damage to the cells in your DNA but the same doesn't happen with radio waves. The question is rather is the sort of weak electromagnetic radiation we are constantly surrounded by harmful in the long run as a result of some as jet unknown mechanism.

Answering this question was much harder that we thought, they are thousands of primary sources reports and statements by different organizations, so we read a lot for this post.

What we found is that this debate is a good example how science should be communicated and how it shouldn't. Many of the much studies that spread panic about the electromagnetic radiation are highly controversial for example a series of population studies based on surveys and self reporting, what this means is for example asking brain tumor patients how much they think they use their phones in the last few years. The problem is that people are unreliable we tend to miss remember things or can be influenced easily.

On top of this studies or media reports may be cherry picking the findings that best suit their opinion or make the most exciting headlines. For example a study looking for cancer in rats and mice for cell phone radiation, the result seem to show a connection but for some reason only in male rats and not at all in mice, but it was reported as if this study did prove that mobile phone radiation causes cancer. 

Unfortunately this is the case for study's with both positive and negative findings on the issue. Another aspect is that the WHO did officially classified radio frequency field as possibly carcinogenic but what this actually means is that there are some hint that might cause cancer but we can't prove it and we will keep an eye out.

So if we zoom out a bit what's the big picture??? 

On the whole there was no consistent evidence in human studies that electromagnetic radiation below exposure value limit causes health problems. There are some statistical associations but they are mostly weak and inconsistent. If they were any definite cause relations we will know by now because of all the data we have. 

So biased of the current state of science should you worry about the radiation from your laptop or cell phone or TV.... The ANSWER IS NOT YOU SHOULDN'T..

But what about the people that say that it is harming them. Research show they could be experiencing whats known as the NOCEBO EFFECT.

If you have a headache and happen to feel better right as you switch your laptop you might see the connection between those two things. Once you get this suspicion the idea alone that weak radiation might harm you could be the very thing harming you. It's easy to belittle this people most of them believe and feel they are not been taken seriously which makes the situation even worse for them, they should get support but it is important to be aware that so far we have no road bast evidence that electricity below safety limits has any negative effect on humans. 

In the attention economy we live in talking about unproven dangers can make us neglect things that we know for sure are bad for us, just one example...outdoor air pollution is linked to 4.2 million premature deaths each year and it is definitely something we could have a real impact on today, still to make people feel safe and just to make sure there are several long term studies ongoing already, but till we wait for conclusion of these long term studies there are lot more pressing problems to focus on...

Like instead of worrying what devices and networks do to your health, consider how they can harm you in other ways when we shop online, share photos or watch videos online we leave a trail of accounts and passwords all over the internet, radio waves may not hurt us but people trying to take advantage of our data certainly will, if a services becomes compromised hackers can get your password and if you use the same log in details anywhere else they can easily slip to your other accounts.


Could Your Smart Phone Hurt You?!? Could Your Smart Phone Hurt You?!? Reviewed by techblog on July 25, 2019 Rating: 5

No comments:

Ad Home

Powered by Blogger.