Protect Yourself From Radiation
The ear and the hearing pathway consist of the outer ear that is visible called the pinna which collects sound and transfers it to the ear canal. The ear drum then vibrates and converts sound to energy which is transmitted through three tiny bones that act as an amplifier. Here, sound becomes electricity and is sent to the brain via the hearing nerve where it is translated to sound and understood. much like the speech recognition software works. Damage to any part of this pathway can cause hearing loss.
How A Mobile Phone Works
A mobile phone consists of a receiver for radiofrequency waves, encoders and decoders for sound, battery to power the circuit and a radiofrequency transmitter for sending signals back to the base tower.
The transmitter takes the sound and encodes it on to radiofrequency waves, which are electromagnetic radiation (combination of electricity and magnetism) which are transmitted via the antenna that is picked up by the receiver in the base station tower which itself emits radiations continuously to make a link with the mobile phone. These radiations are similar to microwaves. The further away from a tower the stronger the radiation sent from the phone to keep contact. Radiation is classified in to two broad groups:
- lonising radiation (IR) (X-rays) – cancer causing and harmfuL
- Non-ionising radiation (NIR) (cell phones) – non cancer causing but generate heat in living tissues like in the microwave oven.
Electromagnetic radiation from the phone as well as base tower has been implicated as a health hazard. Some studies have indicated a link between cell phone radiation and cancer, lower bone density, infertility in men, and changes in brain activity, while other studies have shown no adverse health effects associated with cell phone use. This is because not enough studies have been carried out so far.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its major goal is to identify causes of cancer. The ARC has classified radiofrequency fields as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans.’ based on limited evidence of a possible increase in risk for brain tumours among cell phone users and inadequate evidence for other types of cancer.
- Burning sensation in neighbouring tissues like ear and scalp.
- Alteration of mood and disturbance of concentration.
- Confusion and memory loss, exhaustion and loss of sleep.
- Ringing sounds in the ears.
- Early cataract ¡n the eyes.
- Changes in the levels of dopamine and serotonin which leads to irregular sleep cycles.
Non Thermal Effect
- Changes in biological cycles, metabolism, sperm production etc.
- Non specific effects such as sleep deprivation, lack of concentration.
- Reduction in reaction time, memory retentiveness, tachycardia etc.
Heating Microwave Effect
- Heating of the fluids in the ear tissues, an effect characterised by clicks and buzzing sound in the head.
- Auditory illusion (hearing sounds when none exist, as a result of microwaves causing current formation in the hearing area of the brain).
- Pain in the ear without any specific reasons, like an infection.
Tips To Protect Yourself
- Hold the phone away from the ear while talking, and switch between the ears for longer conversations.
- Use a wired headset, or a Bluetooth headset.
- Use the phone on speaker mode.
- Carry the phone away from the body.
- Text more than talking wherever possible.
- Find a stronger signal area when talking and stay put while talking.
- Wait till a call connects before putting it to your ear.
- Avoid conversations longer than 10 minutes.
- Radiation penetration in the brain and tissues is far more in children than adults, so keep mobiles away from children.
- Avoid using the phone while driving or operating machinery as it increases attention load and lowers reaction time.
- Avoid using the phone when moving as ¡n a car quickly, as bursts of increased radiation occur at regular intervals to keep contact with the base tower.