Too Connected ?!?

Addiction to digital world
We today have access to more information, more people and more places than ever before.
We are completely and increasingly obsessed with the wireless technology.
Who of us would not like to stay in bed 24 hours a day, 7 days per week just to lazily push some buttons and all information and needs are provided to us?
For years, people talk about that excessive use of cell phones can cause tumors and even cancer, but many have perceived these reports as unfounded or just because there seems no other opportunity, continued to use it as before.

Status quo

The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.
Africa is second largest mobile phone market  after Asia.
As the research of the past  into cell phones and their base towers has found no definitive evidence that short-term use poses significant health risks to humans, policy makers have given industry the green light.
But
We still have to be aware of that the electromagnetic and radiofrequency (EMF/RF) radiation , the waves swirling about in the air around us  as we stay connected through mobile technology, might have biological effects.
It is obvious that we will not drop dead on our cell phones as an immediate short-term effect.

But it is necessary to consider the potential effects that wireless devices could have in the long term, after 10, 20 or 30 years of living in such an environment and using this technology.

Facts


Cell phones, as well as laptops and cordless telephones emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.
Scientists  say that radio-frequency energy can cause local temperature changes in the brain, alter protein structure and expression and affect neurotransmitter biochemistry.
Therefore, cellphone radiation might possibly influence some human behaviour, such as attention and memory.
As the Microwave Factor  states, the Microwave Sickness was alredy described in the 1970s as disturbing humans‘ welfare with these symptoms:
Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances.

The opinions are very diverse
Searching for different studies treating the question of the degree of harmfulness, I found a lot of very controversial and confusing statements:
•    According to the pofessor of clinical psychiatry at Colombia University, Michael First, there is no evidence that any kind of radio frequency radiation (including cell phones or wireless networking hardware) cause any negative health effects.

•    As  Frostdale Co., Ltd, there have been repeated confirmations by  the World Health Organization, the US FDA, and numerous organizations around the globe that there is no credible cause for health concerns when it comes to the ubiquitous cellular phone. To their mind, according to Frostdale, the devices simply aren’t capable of negatively affecting the human body at the power levels at which they operate.
The Organizations are summarized to further say that the range of radiation exposure from Wi-Fi routers is between 0.002 percent and 2 percent of recommended maximum levels, which is actually much less than people receive from televisions and radios.
•    A document  I found instead confirms that the WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
•    Also in contrast with the first statement, a study by the BioInitiative Working Group claims that, analyzed out of the various studies considered, 47 percent found increased cancer risks, 69 percent found disruptions to cell function, 77 percent found disruptions to electrical signaling in the body, and 83 percent found neurological, physiological, and behavioral effects.

•    As you can see in this video, the noted toxicologist Dr. Deborah Davis found out that cell phone radiation is too weak do damage DNA like x-rays. But in spite of the weak emission it can cause damage as there are effects from the pulsed nature of this signal having nothing to do with the power of the signal.
“Nobody is going to die from holding a cell phone up to their head for a while. It’s the long term effect. It’s the cumulative integrated dose under the curve, so to speak. We have to be concerned about and it’s not the power of the phone. It’s the pulse nature of the signal. It makes disturb resonance in all of our cells.”  
Furthermore, she is convinced that children are more endangered than adults as their bodies absorb more of the radiation.


•    The NeuroLogica Blog  says that a recent epidemiological Danish study of 358 thousand cell phone subscribers shows no correlation between the incidence of any tumor (glioma, meningioma) or disruption in the Central Nervous System and cell phone use. The study was completely negative, concluding that the current evidence neither demonstrates nor rules out a connection between cell phone use and cancer.

I could go on like this and enumerate hundreds of different and controversial aspects. I am not the first to notice this, as did Andrew Martin treat this issue in his blog.

 And now?
The fact that there cannot be found a common sense shows that there is a need of continuous investigation to see if long term exposure is beginning to increase the risk of CNS tumors.
As we can only use observational data to treat the phenomenon, there always will be a certain amount of uncertainty.
It is not possible to do controlled experiments which would mean randomizing people to either use or not use a cell phone or having a control group that is blinded to using a sham cell phone.
This fact allows for the interference of confounding factors, affecting the outcome in some way that they are not controlled for or measured.
The missing clarity leads to an increase in the general setting of uncertainty and creates an even more skeptical and critical reflection upon the role of technology.

It is very striking how indispensable cell phones, netbooks etc. have become to the contemporary lifestyle for many people.

Do you not agree that especially students are excessive cell phone users, many seemingly inseparable from these little toys?
Do you not think that it is almost safe that at least one student may be texting away during our lectures, completely submerged into the bright little screens?
The question that arises in my opinion is: Are people dependent enough to compromise their health?

What do you think?
Protect yourself
If you are concerned about limiting your risk as there is no definite result of the studies available, you can take a few easy steps:
•    text instead of placing a voice call
•    use a speakerphone or headset whenever possible
•    carry your phone at least 1 inch from your body (make sure the antenna is facing away from you)
•    In case of a pregnancy , avoid carrying a phone next to your abdomen
•    Try not to use your phone in areas with a weak signal (phones emit more electro-magnetic radiation during those times)
•    do not sleep with an active phone next to the bedside or under the pillow.

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Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. Thanks, Viola for an interesting post.
    We also discussed the problem of being too connected at our german class last week. It’s a good thing that you not only give the various views on the problem, but you also recommend some solutions for the everyday users of technology.
    Well done

    Reply
  2. Oh my God!!! I need to throw my mobile phone away!
    I had no idea that technology can be sooo harmful!
    Thank you for giving great advices at the end in order to protect ourselves!
    Great post!

    Reply
  3. good job. so cool writing. like it.

    Reply

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