Dr Sanjay Gupta , in his health blog of September, points out that cell phones, whether turned on or off, can have an effect on sensitive medical equipment. The responsible therefore is for users of cellphones to turn them off in these areas. But, since we know that people do not necessarily adhere to warnings, especially when they might have an urgent call to make or receive, or they might even forget to turn the phone off, we believe that hospitals and services in which these types of equipment are installed, should also consider installing shields to ward of electromagnetic interference, in consideration of their role in the safety of their equipment and the patients on whom the equipment is used.
21 November 2007
Is there a link between our cells and our cell phones?
Would it be humanly possible for the more than 2 billion cell phones in use around the world to have some effect on our health? Upwards from about 70 million less six years ago?
Would we care or not if the effect on health is more negative than positive?
Seems that the jury are still out on this.
No one can say that cell phone usage has not improved the way we communicate The way we do business all over the world (even the most far-flung fisherman or micro-business owner) is affected and for the most part positively by access to and utilization of the cell phone.
For the cell phone to work there must be access to waves or signals. In most instances, there are cell phone towers also called “base stations,” consisting of radios, computerized switching equipment, and antennas that receive and transmit radiofrequency (RF) signals.
Cellular phones, like microwave ovens, radio waves and infrared waves from heat lamps, operate at the radiofrequency (RF) part of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is non-ionizing radiation which is said to be harmless as there is too little energy to break the bonds that hold molecules (such as DNA) in cells together. Similarly, since radio waves of this frequency contains relatively low energy, it does not enter tissues.
Experts (epidemiologists, technical experts, the FDA) and many studies done on humans and animals conclude that there is no adverse health effect from the use of, exposure to towers or cell phones.
Yet, there are some safety measures to adhere to in the placement and positioning of towers.
Most of the studies were done before the volume of cell phones exploded to 2 billion and growing (WHO’s study was in 1993).
Most importantly, there was the conclusion, the caveat, that “cellular phone towers, like cellular phones themselves, are a relatively new technology, and we do not yet have full information on health effects. In particular, not enough time has elapsed to permit epidemiologic studies. There are some theoretical reasons why cellular phone towers would not be expected to increase cancer risk, and animal studies of RF have not suggested a risk of cancer. People who are concerned can ask for measurements of RF near cellular phone towers to be sure exposures do not exceed recommended limits.
Despite the conclusions on no effect on health of humans or animals, we are still told to be wary of where towers are placed and not to exceed recommended limits of exposure.