6/10/2022 8:06:00 PM
Mobile phone or life taker?
From the very beginning, human beings have needed to communicate and have tried to communicate with distant people in various ways.
Humans' communication methods with each other have evolved over time, from cave paintings by cave dwellers and the sending of pigeon letters to the creation of telegraph and post networks.
But the advances of the last century in electrical equipment have changed human communication approaches, so that human communication has become more with equipment such as radio, television and telephone.
However, something big happened in New York in 1973, and the first cell phone conversation between Engineer Marty Cooper and Joel S. Engel took place:
- Hi Joel, it’s Marty Cooper.
- Hi, Marty.
- I’m calling you on a cellphone — but a real cellphone. A personal, handheld, portable cellphone
This simple conversation in 1973 marked the beginning of the development of a wonderful device called)) mobile(((1).
The model that Marty Cooper utilized weighed 1.1 kg and was 23 by 13 by 4.5 cm and had a conversation time of fair 30 minutes and required 10 hours to revive (2).
But over time, simple cell phones that were designed just for phone calls evolved so that today the easiest thing to do with a cell phone is to make phone calls.
Today's mobile phones, or in other words smartphones, provide us with many features such as the ability to check emails and alerts, organize and access social networks such as Facebook and Instagram, access to GPS (3).
In addition, mobile phones with the ability to take photos and videos can be a very useful tool to record our memories. For example, it makes it easy for us to do many of our daily tasks, but can all these possibilities come at the cost of losing our health and developing tumors like brain tumors?
Mobile phones are used by many people because of their convenience and portability, so that by May 2022, nearly 7 billion people in the world, or in other words, about 91% of the world population use mobile phones!
This tiny powerful invention uses radiofrequency radiation (RF) to send signals, and because it’s often used close to the head, the slightest risk of cell phones for brain and nervous system tumors should be carefully considered because it will affect almost the entire global community (4, 5).
In fact, studies show that mobile phone radiation in the RF span is from the electromagnetic spectrum, which is in the non-ionizing range of the spectrum that does not have the energy to damage DNA and there is no convincing evidence for a link between cancer and radiofrequency radiation. In addition, various studies do not show any link between mobile phone use and different tumors, such as brain tumors (5-7).
But this is not the whole story and the other side of the coin shows other things.
There is some evidence that shows a correlation between long-term use of mobile phones and increasing the risk of glioma (8). Not turning a blind eye to the studies that show a link between the use of mobile phone (especially long-term use) and the risk of developing brain tumors (9).
Therefore, we are faced with a discrepancy in studies related to the relationship between brain tumors and mobile phones, which can be due to differences in the quality of studies, high mortality in patients with brain tumors, the impact of financial resources on the quality of studies, bias etc that resolving this discrepancy requires more and more comprehensive research in this field (5, 9).
Therefore, it is better to do things like: diminish mobile usage time, texting instead of calling, use headphones or put the mobile phone in speaker mode to keep it away from the head, prevent calls when the signal is weak etc. To reduce the potential risks of mobile and RF (10).
Written By: Ata Khoshlahni
Poster Design: Alireza Bagheri
1. Seward ZM. The First Mobile Phone Call Was Made 40 Years Ago Today: The Atlantic; April 3, 2013 [Available from: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/04/the-first-mobile-phone-call-was-made-40-years-ago-today/274611/.
2. Križanović I. Cell phone history: From the first phone to today's smartphone wonders: Versus; December 2, 2021 [Available from: https://versus.com/en/news/cell-phone-history.
3. Yu S, Sussman S. Does Smartphone Addiction Fall on a Continuum of Addictive Behaviors? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020;17(2).
4. Turner A. How many smartphones are in the world? : bankmycell; [Available from: https://www.bankmycell.com/blog/how-many-phones-are-in-the-world.
5. Cell Phones and Cancer Risk: National Cancer Institute; March 10, 2022 [Available from: https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/radiation/cell-phones-fact-sheet.
6. Jargin SV. Radiofrequency radiation: carcinogenic and other potential risks. Journal of Radiation Oncology. 2020;9(1):81-91.
7. Röösli M, Lagorio S, Schoemaker MJ, Schüz J, Feychting M. Brain and Salivary Gland Tumors and Mobile Phone Use: Evaluating the Evidence from Various Epidemiological Study Designs. Annu Rev Public Health. 2019;40:221-38.
8. Wang Y, Guo X. Meta-analysis of association between mobile phone use and glioma risk. J Cancer Res Ther. 2016;12(Supplement):C298-c300.
9. Prasad M, Kathuria P, Nair P, Kumar A, Prasad K. Mobile phone use and risk of brain tumours: a systematic review of association between study quality, source of funding, and research outcomes. Neurol Sci. 2017;38(5):797-810.
10. Reducing Radio Frequency Exposure from Cell Phones: Food & Drug Administration (FDA); 2020 [Available from: https://www.fda.gov/radiation-emitting-products/cell-phones/reducing-radio-frequency-exposure-cell-phones.