Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tips to understand and avoid Mobile phone radiation, for your health!

If you are worried about the potential hazards of cell-phone radiation, here are few ways to reduce your risk:
  • Use a hands-free headset
  • Extend the antenna during use
  • Limit calls inside buildings
  • Avoid calls inside closed spaces like lift /elevator
  • Use the phone in open spaces as often as possible
  • Limit use by children. 
What are Radio waves? Radio waves transmit music, conversations, pictures and data invisibly through the air, often over millions of miles -- it happens every day in thousands of different ways! Even though radio waves are invisible and completely undetectable to humans, they have totally changed society. Whether we are talking about a cell phone, a baby monitor, a cordless phone or any one of the thousands of other wireless technologies, all of them use radio waves to communicate.

Transmitter and Antenna:
When talking on a cell phone, a transmitter takes the sound of your voice and encodes it onto a continuous sine wave. A sine wave is just a type of continuously varying wave that radiates out from the antenna and fluctuates evenly through space. Sine waves are measured in terms of frequency, which is the number of times a wave oscillates up and down per second. Once the encoded sound has been placed on the sine wave, the transmitter sends the signal to the antenna, which then sends the signal out.

Cell phones have low-power transmitters in them.The position of a transmitter inside a phone varies depending on the manufacturer, but it is usually in close proximity to the phone's antenna. The radio waves that send the encoded signal are made up of electromagnetic radiation propagated by the antenna. The function of an antenna in any radio transmitter is to launch the radio waves into space; in the case of cell phones, these waves are picked up by a receiver in the cell-phone tower.

All cell phones emit some amount of electromagnetic radiation.There are two types of electromagnetic radiation: Ionizing radiation - This type of radiation contains enough electromagnetic energy to strip atoms and molecules from the tissue and alter chemical reactions in the body. Gamma rays and X-rays are two forms of ionizing radiation. We know they cause damage, which is why we wear a lead vest when X-rays are taken of our bodies. Non-ionizing radiation - it is typically safe. It causes some heating effect, but usually not enough to cause any type of long-term damage to tissue. Radio-frequency energy, visible light and microwave radiation are considered non-ionizing.

The added concern with non-ionizing radiation, the type of radiation associated with cell phones, is that it could have long-term effects. Although it may not immediately cause damage to tissue, scientists are still unsure about whether prolonged exposure could create problems. This is an especially sensitive issue today, because more people are using cell phones than ever before.

At high levels, radio-frequency energy can rapidly heat biological tissue and cause damage such as burns, according to a recent report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO), a nonpartisan congressional agency that audits federal programs. The report went on to state that mobile phones operate at power levels well below the point at which such heating effects would take place. The amount of radiation emitted from the devices is actually minute, and the U.S. federal government places limits on how much radiation a cell phone can emit. Radiation levels are tested based on the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is a way of measuring the amount of radio-frequency energy that is absorbed by the human body. In order to gain license in US, a phone's maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6 watts per kilogram. Reference: Siemens mobile users guide, US FDA, FCC, howstuffworks and several technical websites.

It's still unclear as to whether cell phones actually cause any significant damage to the human body. Studies continue to contradict one another on the issue. Additional studies may shed some light on the true effects of cell-phone radiation, but will likely only confuse consumers even further. In the meantime, millions of cell-phone users take whatever risk may be involved in using the devices

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