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Do Mobile Phones Pose Health Concerns?

Mobile phones have become a way of life for practically everyone in the 21st century. Even in the poorer countries mobile phones have become universal and ever-present. With so many millions of people holding these hand-held devices to the side of their heads for lengthy periods of time, it’s no wonder that some have asked the obvious question, “Do mobile phones pose health concerns?”

The problem, according to some theories, comes from what has been termed ‘electro pollution’. This is the radiation that emanates from a mobile phone when it is active; when someone is actually communicating on the phone with someone else.

Other common appliances, such as microwave ovens, computers and TVs, also emit radiation. However, it is because mobile phones are usually held to the side of the head, close to the brain, that some have wondered if the radiation it emits, which might penetrate into the brain, is in fact dangerous, and poses a health risk to millions of people.

As you might expect, there have been a number of studies done in this field to determine once and for all if it is safe to use mobile phones. There are approximately 6.9 billion mobile phone users globally – almost as many as there are people on the planet. Studies are ongoing by a number of different agencies, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) will undertake a risk assessment of the studies done, later this year.

Some of the studies already completed, mostly in the USA and Europe, go back to the 1990s and involved hundreds of thousands of mobile phone users. The main investigation into the matter conducted in the UK was initiated in 1999. This led to the creation of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) whose latest report was published in 2014.

The MTHR looked for specific indicators of possible health problems, such as headaches and sleep disorders that might suggest that mobile phone radio waves were interfering with a person’s well-being, and causing a build-up of problems that might only become apparent in the future. After extensive investigation into the matter, the MTHR could find no evidence whatsoever that mobile phones posed a health risk due to emitted electromagnetic radiation.

It is well known that very high levels of radiation, such as X-rays and gamma rays, can pose a considerable risk to health. The survivors of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts of 1945 all suffered significantly from radiation poisoning. However, that is an extreme example, and the radiation emitted from a mobile phone is minuscule by comparison, and some 50% lower on average than the limit considered to possibly hold a potential risk.

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