Your mobile phone is probably something that you don’t spend much time thinking about (unless it goes wrong!). It is something that seems to just be there in your bag or your pocket when you need it, but what if this handy piece of everyday technology was actually bad for your health? While your mobile phone may seem part of normal life, they are still relatively new inventions, so could it be that they are all hiding some health dangers behind the user-friendly façade?
You have probably already heard concerns about whether people are addicted to their mobile phones, but there was once even more concern about the side-effects of the radio waves they produce!
Could your mobile phone be a little radioactive box that is leaking harmful rays into your body?
Radio waves which mobile phones use are a type of ‘non-ionising’ radiation – like those found in microwaves – which has led to concerns that frequent exposure could increase your chances of getting cancer and other health problems.
With just 20 years or so of research, there isn’t a lot of data to look at, although most research says that it is unlikely that exposure to mobile phones could have any real impact on your health. However, with an estimated 94% of adults in the UK owning or using a mobile phone it is clear they are here to stay.
With so many phones out there, the UK also has around 54,000 base stations which transmit signals to and from mobile phones using radio waves. While research carried out as part of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme (MTHR) failed to find convincing evidence of any harmful side effects from mobile phone exposure, there is still a need to gather more evidence on long term exposure.
Of course, we can’t expect you to throw your mobile phone away. It is not just a great tool for communication, but modern mobiles have a number of great everyday functions, - including some great apps for students!
However, that said, you might still want to consider some precautions just in case, such as trying not to have your phone pressed against your body all the time. You might want to put your phone down when you get home (perfect for putting it on charge), and watch how often you use it during the day.
However, as we said, there is no strong evidence to suggest your phone is bad for your health, but it might not hurt to put it down from time to time, just in case?