In today’s digital age, life without mobile phones is unimaginable. They are the instant source of communication, banking and healthcare services. Mobile phones enhance productivity, entertainment, and convenience, making them essential to modern life. However, the possible risks of mobile radiation have been a concern for years. Among these concerns, one of the most argued topics is whether prolonged mobile phone usage can increase the risk of brain tumours. Let us scrabble around the latest research to highlight the connection between mobile radiation and brain tumor.
What are Mobile Radiations?
Before we look into the latest studies, it’s important to understand what mobile radiation is. Mobile phones emit a non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation known as radiofrequency (RF). This radiation is in the form of waves and is used to transmit data between the phone and nearby cell towers.
RF waves are strongest at the antenna and losing energy as they travel away from the device. When using a cell phone, the antenna and user’s head come in close proximity which increases their exposure to RF waves. Body tissues closest to the phone absorb more RF energy than tissues farther away.
Numerous factors affect the amount of RF wave exposure a person may experience, including:
- The duration of phone usage.
- The distance between the phone and the body.
- Proximity to cell phone towers, which affects signal strength.
- Cell phone traffic in the area.
- The specific cell phone model and its specific absorption rate (SAR).
The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)
The SAR is a measure of the RF energy absorbed by the user’s body from a cell phone. Different mobile phones have different SAR levels, which are reported to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The maximum allowed SAR in the United States is 1.6 watts per kilogram of body weight. However, comparing SAR values between phones can be misleading, as it is based on the phone operating at its highest power and may not reflect typical usage.
Do Cell Phones Cause Tumor?
Researchers use two types of studies to investigate tumor risks:
- Lab studies, often using animals or cell cultures.
- Studies examining groups of people.
Lab studies have not provided clear answers so far, as RF waves from mobile phones do not have enough energy to directly damage DNA. Some studies showed increased rates of specific tumors in lab animals exposed to RF radiation, but results have been inconclusive.
Studies in humans have shown mixed results. Case-control studies have shown many links between mobile phone use and brain tumors. For example, the INTERPHONE study, one of the largest to date, found no overall link but suggested potential risks in the highest phone users. Similarly, the Danish cohort study found no increased risk of brain tumors related with mobile phone use.
Limiting RF Wave Exposure
While the link between mobile radiation and tumour remains unclear, people who want to limit their exposure can take some preventive measures:
- Use speaker mode, video chat, or hands-free devices to keep the phone away from the head.
- Limit cell phone use, especially for children.
- Choose cell phone models with lower SAR values if concerned.
- Consider texting instead of talking in some situations to reduce exposure.
- Avoid using mobiles while driving.
To conclude, the latest studies on the relationship between mobile radiation and brain tumor is inconclusive and still under investigation. While some studies suggest a possible link, causation has not been definitively established. It is important to adopt precautionary measures to reduce potential risks. As the debate over mobile radiation and its health effects continues, it is essential for people to maintain a balance between the convenience of mobile phones and possible health concerns to promote overall health in this digital age.