Radiation in Cellular Phones
The use of cellular phones is an ever-increasing necessity. With this growing usage
comes the customer concern of the safety of the product. You see, cellular telephones
are known to emit low levels of radiofrequency energy in the microwave range when in
use. This is the same type of radiation found in household microwaves. Even more
significant, the cellular telephones emit the same type of low level radiofrequency (RF)
while in standby mode. This indicates that being exposed to the RF does not require the
phone to be in use, just that it is nearby. The concern, however, is with "the kind that
have a built-in antenna that is positioned close to the user's head during normal
telephone conversation... because of the short distance between the phone's antenna --
the primary source of the RF -- and the person's head" (FDA). Thus, there are many
ethical issues that need to be considered.
How Does a Mobile Call Work Anyway?
Basically, the person using the cellular phone makes a call. This is transmitted via low energy radio signals to the nearest tower owned by your service provider. The call can now do either one of two things. If the person on the other end is on a landline, the call is then transferred to them via telephone cables. However, if the other person is on a cellular phone as well, the process is reversed. The signal is sent from the service provider to the nearest antenna site from the receiving person.
· the cellular phone companies are already making a LOT of money in developing and
selling these phones
· cellular phones make it convenient for EVERYONE to keep in contact with each other
· cellular phones save time, by allowing people to multitask, which saves money
Where Research Stands as of Today:
The United States Food and Drug Administration is currently researching the effects of
the low level radiation in lab animals, however, the results collected are of conflicting nature.
A few animal studies, however, have suggested that low levels of RF could accelerate the development of cancer in laboratory animals. In one study, mice genetically altered to be predisposed to developing one type of cancer developed more than twice as many such cancers when they were exposed to RF energy compared to controls (FDA).
Despite this information, there is some controversy as to whether or not the information
gained is relevant to humans. Remember, the tests mules were the lab rats, not humans. Also,
Many of the studies that showed increased tumor development used animals that had already been treated with cancer-causing chemicals, and other studies exposed the animals to the RF virtually continuously -- up to 22 hours per day
So we see that there are studies going on about this issue, but there is no single
conclusion as to what the causes or the effects are.
So How Much Radiation Are We Exposed To?