Cell phones

Cigarettes and cell phones

Cell phones are a billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone. Has profit had its influence on the information we receive? Safety warnings about cell phones purchased are hidden in small print in the packaging when they should be obvious when you buy them. There is a parallel to how cigarette health risks were hidden and ignored at the height of their popularity. Cigarettes were too cool to be dangerous. When the warning was put on packs of cigarettes where the consumers could easily see it, the illusion of invincibility began to shatter. Are cell phones too cool to be bothered with warnings as well because it gets in the way of our need to be cool and accepted into society?

Big business agenda

The influence of big business on how information is made available to the public can not be ignored. Because of cellphone's booming future and the profit involved it is inconvenient to inform consumers about the health risks of cell phone use. This is because future cell phone exposure to radiation will not become less. It will increase. The ads are convincing consumers to want better connections and faster service. Increasing connectivity means more profit.

Outdated information

This isn't 1980, 1990, 2000, or even 2011 when we might be able to say that there weren't enough in-depth epidemiologic studies about cell phones. Today more and more studies exist and are in process because of widespread and heavy use of cell phones worldwide. Today. Male fertility, childhood development, brain tissue, sleep, and cell viability are a few important areas of study. Relying on data based on outdated cell phones and its infrastructure is not realistic.

Increased use          

96% of the U.S. population use cell phones today compared to around 50% in early 2000. Cell phones are used longer spans of time as well. Cell phones have morphed from being car phones to being a multimedia tool and an essential part of people's lives. Cell phones are a part of our culture and even a part of an identity for some. A network and infrastructure are needed to support them. Cell phone towers and now 5G small cell antennas are becoming commonplace in our cities and towns. With the widespread and constant use of cell phones, it is difficult to find control groups for research. Researchers are relying on health risks reported and experienced in real-time.

People are relying so much on their cell phones for lifelines to income, education, and social connections in the pandemic. Cell phones are our connection to the health industry and might even be used for tracking COVID-19. Cellphones are a social link to friends and family. Asking people to consider cell phones a health risk goes against our wiring because cell phones are how we connect to one another. People are using cell phones more than ever. This is precisely why we need to think about it. Are we jeopardizing our health when we use our cell phones?                                     

Cell phones in our lives

Cell phones are part of our everyday lives but they are not harmless. Cell phones operate on principles of radiation. Electromagnetic waves react physically. They don’t go the other way when they see us. There are enough correlations between cell phones and cancer, sleep deprivation, cognition and cell production to get our attention. When Dr. Sasco spoke about the health risks of cell phones in 2011, she advocates acting on the “precautionary principle”.  Loosely defined this means acting in favor of preventing harm especially when the harm is substantial. This applies, even more, today than it did in 2011. The good news is that until this technology becomes safer, the amount of health risks we have can be reduced by how we use our phones.

What we can do

These are things we can do to reduce health risks:

Set up speakers or use an earpiece ~ Keep phone away from your body ~ Avoid using phone in weak signal areas ~ Be aware that children and teen's brains are particularly vulnerable ~ Check to make sure your phone is off when not using