Abnormal brain activity and health risks linked to radiation from cellular devices


Jordan Pulse

Talina Hajar listens to a cellphone call from a friend. Cellular devices can emit radiofrequency waves that can lead to a higher risk of cancer.

Jordan Pulse, Staff Writer

Abnormal brain activity and health risks linked to cellular devices

Scientists have proven through multiple experiments and research that cellphones emit radiofrequency energy, a form of electromagnetic radiation, which in time can overheat body tissues and lead to a higher risk of developing cancer.

According to The National Cancer Institute, cell phones work by sending signals back and forth to nearby cell towers by using radio frequency waves, or RF waves for short. Radiation is divided into two types, ionizing radiation, which can break or severely damage the chemical bonds in DNA, and nonionizing radiation, which can heat up skin tissues, but can’t directly affect DNA strands or other organs. RF waves are classified as non-ionizing radiation, since the amount of energy in radiofrequency waves can’t drastically affect the body in such a short period of time.

The National Cancer Institute’s website, www.cancer.gov, explains radiofrequency energy and the main effect it has on the human body.

“The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating (from what scientists have discovered) Radio-frequency exposure from cell phone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature,” addressed the National Cancer Institute, on their website www.cancer.gov.

The brain is the most affected organ to electromagnetic radiation since it is the closest to where the cellphone’s antenna is constructed. Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, conducted an experiment in Washington D.C, in late 2013 to see what health risks can exactly develop in the brain.

Volcow and her team focused mainly on how the brain consumes glucose, or how the brain processes energy.

“It’s a very sensitive marker to indicate if there are changes in brain activity that may be driven by a given stimulus, which in this case may be the cell phone,” explained Volcow on the health website, http://www.ewg.org/cellphone-radiation.

Investigating the theory even more, Volcow gathered 47 healthy volunteers in order to conduct an experiment on the glucose consumption of the brain. The team strapped cell phones to the volunteers’ heads for fifty minutes and told them to sit in a dark room. After that, Volcow performed a PET scan, defined as Positron Emission Tomography, a form of medical imagery in order to see the brain’s glucose activity. The results were shocking to how much cellphones can drastically affect the human brain. This of course, can alter brain activity and the amount of glucose this organ produces, just from a simple cell phone exposure. Volcow describes her astonishment on how the experiment worked.

“These results provide evidence,” Volcow said, “that the human brain is sensitive to the effects of RF-EMF [Radiofrequency-Modulated Electromagnetic Fields] from small cell phone exposures.”

To learn more about radiofrequency energy and how drastically it can affect the brain, go to http://www.ewg.org/cellphone-radiation for more information.

Students at Faith Lutheran also have opinions in cellular radiation and its health risks.

Seventh grader, Talina Hajar has tried multiple times, to cut down on cellphone activity, and is worried about her health.

“I mean, I have been trying to cut (cellphone activity) down lately and I think it has been going down,” explained Hajar, “ I think I’m going to push myself even further and cut off of cell phone activity even more.”

Miranda Richey, eighth grader, knows the harsh reality of what cellular devices may cause in the future.

“I think it’s scary, almost,” Richey said, “since it’s going to be the death of us in the near future, if we don’t do something about it.”

To help prevent electromagnetic radiation from cellular devices, cellphone users can follow these simple steps. First, try to use speaker mode more often or if someone prefers an Apple device use the FaceTime option more. The farther away someone is from a cellphone, can affect the amount of radiation being taken into a person’s body (further away, the better). Secondly, try to text more than call. Of course, at a safe distance away, texting doesn’t give someone as much radiation as chatting with someone on a cellphone. Thirdly, try to turn off bluetooth. Bluetooth or other syncing devices can double the amount of radiation a cellphone can emit, since the cellphone is trying to connect with other devices, therefore using more electromagnetic radiation. Fourthly, if someone prefers talking over texting, keep to short conversations, or if they want to have a long conversation use a house phone. House phones don’t emit tons of radio-frequency energy since they’re connected to a power source and mostly depend on the Wifi unit. Finally, the best tip is to just get off of cell phones for a while. Even the smallest break from a cell phone can impact the way someone’s body can function and perform properly, as human beings.

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