Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Cell phones and your health

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." (Jurassic Park)

In the light of a recent study that found that cell phones increase the local metabolism of glucose in the brain, it's difficult to rest easy as to whether or not these findings should pose some concern. In our world of wireless networking, cell phone communication, and instant chicken pot pie, we're subjected to some form of radiation every day. While most fears are over-exaggerated and bordering on paranoia mostly because of a lack of knowledge, all fear can't entirely be ruled out. As Adrienne posted, magnetic fields can be used to treat depression, so controlled electromagnetic fields do have some impact on us. Attached is an IEEE review of a few books that attack this issue, which clearly shows that this discussion is completely open for debate still. Do you think electromagnetic radiation is a legitimate health concern, or are international standards protecting us entirely?

IEEE Spectrum: Murderous Microwaves


adrienne said...

Although I do not have a solidified position on how much if at all different electromagnetic waves effect the body I would say I do not think that cell phones in particular pose any immediate threat to anyone's health. I wouldnt sleep with my cell phone right next to my head, or stand next to the microwave while its heating food. But this has more to do with my mother buying into these sort of articles than my own concerns.

The worries and "related" health issues mentioned in this article do not rank high on my list of health hazards when there are so many other toxins to worry about. There are preservatives and food dyes in our instant chicken pot pies, chemicals in the air we breath, ultraviolet rays from the sunlight, radiation from the nuclear plants in Japan spreading, ect.

Melody Ma said...

The first link that Keven posted talks about their tests and measurements of brain glucose metabolism when a cellphone is "on"/"off" and next to the ear. The study showed that the whole-brain metabolism was not affected, but that metabolism in the region closest to the antenna differed significantly.

I wonder how the brain glucose metabolism affects the brain and in what ways. And it would be interesting if there would be another study that tested the differences in brain functionality, brain metabolism, brain electromagnetism, and such when a person is in range of a cellphone tower compared to a person located in a place free of most broadcasting and radiowaves that surrounds us city folks most of the day.

When I was falling asleep and everything was turned off (I mean everything including the power in the house from the circuit breaker)
I could hear a tzzzz. . . . sound. I wonder if that sound is from the radio and broadcasting waves all around us from living in the city and the effects of always being in such an environment.