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Your Cell Phone may Cause Cancer

Posted on: January 23, 2017

by Alli Auel 

    Most of us cringe at the word cancer, but when we hear that the word is associated with our beloved phones that we can not go 10 minutes without, we cringe even harder. Recently, there has been a discussion over whether or not cell phones are linked to the life ending disease known as cancer. Now, you’re probably wondering how cancer comes into play. According to the American Cancer Society, cell phones give off a form of energy known as radio frequency waves, a form of non-ionizing radiation. Knowing that other forms of radiation can be linked to the cause of cancer, the information has sparked concern among health officials about the safety of cell phone use. With respect to cancer, the concern focuses mainly on whether the use of cell phones would increase the risk of brain tumors or other tumors in the head and neck area.

    Cell phones work by sending signals to and receiving from base stations, otherwise known as cell towers, using radio frequency waves. The radio frequency waves from cell phones come from the antenna, which is part of the body of a cell phone. The waves are strongest at the antenna and lose energy quickly as they travel away from the phone. The phone is typically held against the side of the head or close to other areas of the body when in use. The closer the antenna is to the body, the greater a person’s expected exposure to radio frequency energy.

    Many factors play into the amount of radio frequency waves a person is exposed to. According to the National Cancer Institute, the average number of cellphone calls a person receives every day, week, or month can impact the amount of radiation a person is exposed to, as well as the length of the phone call. Also, the type of cell phone a person has can impact the amount of radiation a person is exposed to because different models emit different amounts of radiation.

    Despite the fact that cell phones emit radiation, this form of electromagnetic energy is non-ionizing. This form of radiation does not have enough energy to cause cancer by directly damaging the DNA inside cells, but instead, at very high levels, radiofrequency waves can heat up bodily tissues, says the American Cancer Society. However, the levels of energy given off by cell phones are much lower and are not enough to raise temperatures in the body or breaks chemical bonds, meaning that cell phones may not contribute to cancerous tumours in the body. According to the National Cancer Institute, there is currently “no consistent evidence” that non-ionizing radiation that can increase the risk for cancer. In other words, you don’t need to worry about your beloved phone increasing your risk for a deadly disease.