Free Minutes Pose Great Threat to Health

People need to be particularly
careful when it comes to the use of cell phones: Extended phone conversations
made simply to use up free minutes from phone carriers can end up making cell
phones more hazardous than their base stations, as the effects that cell phones
could have on cancer development leaves much room for concern. Competition between
cell phone companies have led to some rapid developments in the
telecommunications sector in recent years. Base stations established to support
the demands of communications consumers have led to debate about the potential
threats they pose to the health of people and the environment. To add to this,
the abundance of free minutes of phone time being offered by cell phone
companies has increased as competition has heated up. When it comes to cell
phone networks and cell phones in general, the researchers draw people’s
attention to an important argument that those free minutes can actually be more
dangerous than base stations themselves.

We
need to pass up on unnecessary conversations

The reason being that while there
is supervision of the base stations and all base stations must carry security
certificates, there is no control over the free minutes as people become
exposed to emissions from cell phones for an unlimited duration of time if they
are so inclined. Many experts in the field of reducing electromagnetic
pollution think that people should be more aware of some of the risks posed by
the increasing use of electronic items and cell phones in their daily life. It
is not base stations but those free minutes which are very dangerous, in this
sense, considering all the unnecessary conversations people hold for the sake
of using up free minutes pose a much greater threat to health than the cell
phone base stations themselves.

One of the foremost experts in electromagnetic
pollution, Camila Retes argues: “We need to pass up on unnecessary
conversations and we need to not talk just for the sake of using up free
minutes. If we absolutely must talk for extended periods, we should try to keep
the phone away from our body by using either a cell phone earpiece or the phone
speakers. When we present seminars at schools, we tell children that telephones
are not for chatting but for relaying information. If we would just use cell
phones this way, we would not only be using them the way they were intended,
but also avoid putting our health at risk.”

There
is a security zone around the base stations

Retes also touched on some public
concerns regarding threats to health posed by cell phone base stations. “Of
course the electromagnetic fields around these base stations are considerable.
But at the same time, no one places the antennas from base stations right in
their ears. There is a security zone around the base stations, and people are
not supposed to reside within this zone. There is supervision of these stations
and all stations must possess security certificates. First and foremost, if we
want to use cell phones wisely, we need to understand and be aware of the
presence of base stations around us and make sure that these stations possess
do have current security certificates. People need to check whether these
stations are within the security zones prescribed. If people have any doubts
they can submit a complaint and measurements can be taken and they can request
to see these measurements. All stations, without exceptions, have their
measurements taken,” she said.

Cell phones are more dangerous to
health

Retes makes an important point
regarding cell phones: “We are with our cell phones 24 hours a day. If we don’t
pay attention to our usage they can pose a greater risk to our health. Of
course, it is alarming that some people sleep with their cell phones under
their pillows or have long conversations without headphones. Just as we pay
attention to the foods we consume we should show the same care to how we use
our cell phones.”

Hair dryers highly dangerous

Camilla Retes also warns people
in general to be aware and careful regarding the electromagnetic fields created
by electric and electronic items they use on a daily basis at home. She notes
that the dangers posed by electromagnetic waves are directly connected to
length of use and the distance from which they are held to the body. “We must
try to avoid using electronic and electric appliances that we use in close
proximity to our bodies and we must try to limit their use to very short
periods. The most obvious such appliances are hair dryers, as women use them so
frequently and so close to our bodies. Other electrical items we use on a daily
basis do not affect us as much, as we remain at greater distance from them,”
says Retes. Some hairdryers emit an electromagnetic field that is quite high
and potentially dangerous, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Retes also draws particular
attention to two items commonly found in homes these days — modems and laptop
computers. The electromagnetic field given off by laptop computers is 25-45
V/m, which is higher than 10 V/m limit allowed for cell base stations. So even
though they are called laptops, they should really always be used on tables.
Retes argues that wireless modems should not stay on 24 hours a day in the
home. He recommends that they should be turned off when not in use, and if
possible the cable should be used on computers that are not portable. When not
moving around laptops should also use the cable and the wireless capability
should be turned off.

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