Do Mobile Phones Cause Cancer?

Feb 21 2018 Read 1195 Times

Ever wondered if sleeping next to your phone, Skying with your family or browsing social media for hours on end could be bad for your health? While there's plenty of controversy surrounding the long-term health impacts mobile phones, new research commissioned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) suggests that commercially available devices are perfectly safe.

Exploring the risks of extreme exposure

Rather than explore the effects of reasonable usage of cell phones, the studies raised the bar with extreme exposure to radio waves. Scientists carried out the tests on mice and rats, with most groups exposed to nine hours of radio waves per day for a period of two years. Other groups were exposed up to 18.5 hours per day, which far surpasses the average amount of time people spend engaging with mobile phones.

Could radio wave exposure extend lifespans?

The results were reassuring, with scientists confirming that they were unable to find a single link between radio waves and brain tumours. On the contrary, they found that rats exposed to phone-like radiation enjoy longer lifespans than their radiation free counterparts. While it's not yet clear if this was simply a coincidence, the team muses that radio waves could help to minimise inflammation and ward off common diseases.

“Taken together, all of this research provides a more complete picture regarding radiofrequency energy exposure that has informed the FDA’s assessment of this important public health issue, and given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health,” comments Dr Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA’s Centre for Devices and Radiological Health.

No adverse effects on human health

Ultimately, the FDA was able to confidently conclude that mobile phones have no adverse effects on human health. Does this mean you shouldn't cut down on your screen time? Definitely not. While brain tumours may be ruled out, there's still plenty of evidence suggesting that an overload of screen time can trigger eye irritation, dryness and blurred vision. There's also the social impact, with some experts suggesting that mobile phones and other handheld devices can damage the development of children. Other studies suggest that social media could trigger depression and anxiety.
Mobile phones aren't the only target on the FDA's radar, with food also raising major concerns. For a closer look at how the latest spectrometry and chromatography technologies are helping to protect consumers safe don't miss 'How Safe is Safe? Analytical Tools for Tracing Contaminants in Food'

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