since 1997, the world's premier FREE website for learners + teachers of English

Mobile Phones Text

You can check mobile phones vocab before reading.

Is talking on a mobile phone hazardous to your health? It is difficult to know for sure. Some research suggests that heavy users of mobile phones are at a greater risk of developing brain tumours. However, many other studies suggest there are no links between cancer and mobile phone use.

The main problem with the current research is that mobile phones have only been popular since the 1990s. As a result, it is impossible to study the long term exposure of mobile phone use. This concerns many health professionals who point out that many cancers take at least ten years to develop. Another concern about these studies is that many have been funded by those who benefit financially from the mobile phone industry.

Many cancers take ten years to develop.

Over three billion people use mobile phones on a daily basis, and many talk for more than an hour a day. Mobile phone antennas are similar to microwave ovens. While both rely on electromagnetic radiation, the radio waves in mobile phones are lower in radio frequency (RF). Microwave ovens have enough RF to cook food and are therefore known to be dangerous to human tissues. However, the concern is that the lower frequency radio waves that mobile phones rely on may also be dangerous. It seems logical that holding a heat source near your brain for a long period of time is a potential health hazard.

Mobile phones get hot when they are used for a long period of time.

Some researchers believe that other types of wireless technology may also be dangerous to human health, including laptops, cordless phones, and gaming consoles. Organizations that are concerned about the effects of Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) suggest replacing all cordless devices with wired ones. They say that many cordless phones emit dangerous levels of EMR even when they are not in use. They even suggest keeping electronic devices, such as computers and alarm clocks out of bedrooms, or at least six feet from your pillow.

Other wireless technology may also be hazardous to our health.

A growing number of health professionals worldwide are recommending that mobile phone users err on the side of caution until more definitive studies can be conducted. They recommend that adults use head sets or speaker phones and that children and teens, whose brain tissue are still developing, use mobile phones only for emergencies. Concerned medical experts use the example of tobacco to illustrate the potential risks. Many years ago, people smoked freely and were not concerned about the effects of cigarettes on their health. Today, people know that cigarettes cause lung cancer, though it is still unknown exactly how or why. Some doctors fear that the same thing will happen with devices such as mobile phones.