More and more devices are coming onto the market with wireless capability; this is in addition to the sea of electromagnetic radiation in which we bathe 24 hours a day. Of course, not all electromagentic radiation devices are 'bad', indeed some provide us with vital life giving monitoring and assessment information and health benefits whch no other technology can currently provide. However there is a growing concern nowadays over the cumulative effect of EMR and the effect it may be having on our health, particularly at the cellular level.
It is vital, therefore, that you make you own mind up with this issue and not blindly accept information simply because we see it on TV, the internet or in a newspaper. Be aware of the plethora of false information out there from both sides of the fence. Always check your sources and above all ensure there is no financial incentive behind the information before acceting it.
Doctor of Acupuncture and Natural Medicine
Cell Phone Safety
by Andre Gigon
The question is: Why do we have to talk about this in the first place? Are these convenient little mobile phones not 100% safe after all? And if so, why and what kind of danger is associated with them?
To answer these questions, we have to find out the basics about how a cell phone network operates.
As we could observe over the last decade and as the name implies, a cell phone network is built up with thousands of relatively small "cells" around each base station and tower. These cells are smaller in urban areas and larger out in the country side. The diameter of a cell can vary from a few hundred meters to about 20 kilometers.
The more cell phone users in a given area, the more base stations and antennas are needed to serve them all. Hence, we see more towers in cities than in the suburbs.
Since the big convenience of these phones is their mobility, they do have to let the base station almost constantly know where they are. So they are quite often communicating with the nearest cell phone tower and it's base station, even if we are not talking or texting.
On any given drive from A to B and even if the cell phone is stationed in one location, our cell phones are letting the tower know where we are in case if the network needs to connect our phone with a caller.
When exactly is my cell phone emitting radiation?
- When turned on or turned off each time for a few seconds with full power.
- When receiving and sending text messages with full power.
- By connecting and disconnecting a phone call with full power.
- During a phone call. At the beginning with full power and then the power may be reduced depending on the received signal strength.
- When we change location from one cell to the next, the so called "handover" is usually done with full power.
How strong is the radiation of my cell phone?
This depends very much on the type, make and model of the phone. The radiation of a cell phone is measured as power density in micro Watts per Meter squared (uW/m2) or sometimes in field strength as Volts per Meter. The amount of radiation emitted depends also on the quality of the connection available to the nearest tower in that location.
Our measurements in houses with good cell phone reception ranged around 20,000 uW/m2 besides the cell phone during a normal phone call.
- The high frequency radiation in pure nature is about 0.000001 uW/m2
- The basic high frequency radiation in a house with normal radio and TV reception but without wireless router or cordless phone is about 0.01 to 2 uW/m2
- From about 1,000 uW/m2 on, scientists find changes in the brain signals at the EEG.
In what frequency range is my cell phone radiating?
The older, now called G1 and G2 phones work at 850 MHz and the newer G3 and G4 generation (all smart phones) work at 1.9 GHz. A microwave oven works at 2.45 GHz, also in the same frequency range. Therefore that whole range is called the" microwave band".
A big difference to any other radio signal is the signal form of these new services. Traditional FM or AM transmitters for radio stations use a continues sine wave signal at a much lower frequency. The new services like Wi-Fi and Cell phones are sending out a so called "pulsed microwave" signals which are according to many scientists much more dangerous.
How dangerous is the radiation from cell phones?
This question creates very controversial answers . There are thousands of studies available and it is clear that the findings depend very much on where the funding for the study came from. Research that was financially supported or fully paid by the cell phone industry usually finds no dangers . Independent scientists find an increasing number of health problems linked to even low level exposure to pulsed microwave radiation like the one from cell phones.
The only thing that they agree on, is that there is more research needed.
I think the general user of these gadgets should take a precautionary approach when using any microwave radiation emitting device.
By now there is enough evidence that microwave radiation well below the limits set by Health Canada can do:
- alter and damage human DNA strands.
- damage and open the blood - brain barrier and therefore allow toxic agents to enter the brain.
- disrupt cellular communication in living tissue.
- drastically reduce sperm quality in young men.
Here are some facts and findings of studies all over the world
- People who start using a cell phone before the age of 20 and use it over ten years have a five times higher risk of developing a malignant brain tumor.
- Young men who carry their cell phones in the front pocket or close to their body, have a much lower sperm count, reduced sperm mobility and higher sperm mortality rate than men who do not carry a cell phone.
- Children absorb higher rates of radiation because their water content is higher than in an adult body.
- A cell phone (or cordless phone) radiates much deeper into a child's brain than in an adults brain, because the child's skull is much thinner.
- People who use a cell phone or a cordless phone for several years have a 270% elevated risk of developing an acoustic neuroma (tumor on the ear nerve) especially on the side of the head where the phone usually is held .
What can we do to reduce our risk and our exposure?
- Use a cell phone (or any cordless phone) only for short, essential calls. A cell phone should never replace a landline with a safe, corded phone connected to it.
- Make it a habit to use your corded landline for all outgoing calls and for longer calls that you receive. (Thanks for your call, I call right back on my landline...)
- Do not wear a switched on cell phone directly on your body. Keep it in a purse, outside pocket of your jacket or at least use a belt clip.
- If possible use a wired headset (Bluetooth radiates too), use speaker phone and never hold the cell phone directly on your ear. (there are warnings now in all cell phone manuals recommending to keep the phone half an inch to an inch away from your ear)
- Do not use your cell phone in a metal cage like a car, train or an elevator. The metal surrounding shields the radio frequency signal and the cell phone has to transmit with full power.
- When buying a cell phone ask for a low SAR rate (Specific Absorption Rate) phone.
- If you have a baby in a stroller, do not hang your purse with an operating cell phone in it right behind the baby's head.
- Children should not use cell phones or any cordless phones except for emergency calls.
- Do not use your cell phone as an alarm clock. Keep it out of your bedroom and possibly switch it OFF at night.
- Do not send high resolution photos from your cell phone. Nor download video onto your cell phone. Photos and movies need much more capacity than a conversation or a simple text, therefore the cell phone network companies see a need to build up their infrastructure. The result will be more and more cell phone towers. One of them may end up close to your home...
- Before you buy a house in proximity to a cell phone tower, have an EMR Consultant measure the exposure within the house.
- Avoid wireless microwave signals in general and make your family, friends and co-workers aware of the dangers.
For more information please contact Andre Gigon on 403 609 0846