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Old 13.12.2009, 11:50
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Re: Cell phone radiation [are mobiles hazardous to your health?]

You know, I've read studies that say that use of mobiles/cellphones/handys does statistically increase the risk to your health, and others that say there is no statistical evidence to support the idea that use of mobiles is harmful.

The problem is that due to the large timespan from the initial radiation exposure to developing such conditions as tumors, and no reliable way to measure accumulative exposure, means that good solid figures on which this research depends on are to be honest still very thin on the ground.

Other factors that impede this research are the change of technologies, change of user base, and the various different frequencies that have been employed during the mobile communications revolution. At the very start we had purely analogue based phones, of which the majority were car phones with a smattering of handhelds becoming available later. Given the general cost of purchasing and running these units there was a relatively small user base at this time. Also these units used frequencies somewhat lower than we're using today, and with the handhelds you were lucky to get a talktime of more than 30mins on a single battery charge. So I think it would be difficult to find any statistical significance here.

Mobile technology really became popular amongst the general populous around the mid to late nineties, and by the turn of the century the majority of adults had one. These 2G phones used, and still do use, higher frequencies than the old analogue phones, but note that I mentioned adults here. Adults have fully developed bodies and brains so therefore there is a much reduced chance of the radiation affecting any developmental process of the body. It's really only around 5 years ago that mobile use became prevalent amongst teenagers who are still growing and developing and thus are more at risk. Also consider that the technologies have again changed (3G) and employ yet higher frequencies. For me this is effectively the start of any real meaningful data. As mentioned above there can be a great length of time between the damage done by the radiation and the symptoms appearing. Based on this I believe that we are still 15 to 20 years from having a enough reliable data to base any definitive conclusions on.

That said I've always believed that putting a transmitter to your head cannot be a particularly good idea, so I have a couple of rules that I use:-

Text/SMS whenever possible - if you don't need an immediate answer then text

Keep calls to under 5 minutes - easy for me, I'm a bloke, most of my calls last 30 seconds or less

And finally, I never answer when driving - even with a headset. There's never going to be a phone call that can't wait until I've found a safe place to pull over. (This one has nothing to do with radiation by the way, just common sense)
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