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Growing mobile phone use and health hazards Health & Lifestyle

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at RISK: Scientists say there is no safe threshold level of exposure.
at RISK: Scientists say there is no safe threshold level of exposure.

R. Sujatha

Scientific study shows that ‘hot ears’ syndrome as a result of long conversations could have a telling impact

CHENNAI: At a conference on the occasion of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day, sponsored by telecommunication majors, speakers noted that half the population in India would soon have mobile phones.

But using mobile phones does not guarantee a healthy lifestyle, doctors and researchers note. For some time now, researchers in India and abroad have established with evidence that electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiation damage the DNA, thus speeding up cell death rates. There is no safe threshold level of exposure, scientists point out.

How it happens

Have you ever wondered why your ears are hot after speaking for over 20 minutes into your mobile phone? It is because of the radiation generated by the phone. There is enough scientific evidence to show that the ‘hot ears’ syndrome due prolonged conversation over mobile phones could actually have a telling impact on your health .

Gursatej Gandhi, a researcher in the Human Genetics department of Amritsar’s Guru Nanak Dev University, has investigated the DNA and chromosomal damage and found that “exposure to radio frequency signals generated by the use of cellular telephones affect physiological, neurological, cognitive and behavioural changes and induce, initiate and promote carcinogenesis” (causing cancer).

Some biological effects associated with radio frequency (RF) radiation include RF sickness, altered EEG patterns, changes in blood pressure and decreased fertility.

Canadian practitioner Howard W. Fisher, who is currently touring India and lecturing in medical colleges, quotes Dr. Gandhi’s work extensively to explain the results of various experiments conducted across the globe. “The safety level the world has set for exposure to electromagnetic field radiation is far too high. The cell phone towers are always on. It is not true that placing blockers phones help. Sitting in a wi-fi area for an hour is like talking on a cell phone for 20 minutes.”

He compares the research results of experiments in the field to those found after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. “When blood samples of people living in the perimeter were taken, they found markers of cancer. Dr. Gandhi’s experiment showed that there were micro-nuclei in the blood cells. This is a biomarker for cancer.”

Dr. Fisher says that speaking over an “unprotected” mobile phone for five minutes could cause clustering of red blood cells in the brain and hinder supply of oxygen to the blood cells. The radiation hampers the movement of RBCs through smaller blood vessels.

Polymer shield

Developed countries have now introduced a polymer shield that is fitted on to the mobile phone and laptops and computers, thus mitigating the ill effects of radiation on humans.

Dr. Gandhi, citing the results of her experiments, has suggested protective mechanisms such as the polymer shield. “These results highlight a correlation between mobile phone use (exposure to RF radiation) and genetic damage and require interim public health actions in the wake of widespread use of mobile telephony.”

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