Generation Radiation

Safety precautions: We should be conscious of how close a mobile phone is to our heads. PHOTO CREDIT:


An insight into why your mobile phone could be doing you damage

By Domanii Cameron

“I tend to say it’s like having a car. There’s a risk there but there’s road rules to reduce that risk. The problem with cell phones and a lot of new technology is that even though the evidence is that there can be adverse effects, there’s no road rules.” author of numerous publications on Electromagnetic Fields  health issues Don Maisch says in his most recent publication.

Safety precautions: We should be conscious of how close a mobile phone is to our heads. PHOTO CREDIT:

Safety precautions: We should be conscious of how close a mobile phone is to our heads. PHOTO CREDIT:

If you have ever sat in a lecture theatre, at an airport or even watched couples sit across from one another in a restaurant, then you may very well have also watched the glowing screens of mobile phones interrupt the everyday chatter of conversations.

Between the iPads, computers and smartphones, many of us are juggling a relationship between cyber space and reality.

However amid the hype of modern communication, there may exist a serious concern for everyone; a concern that many of us are oblivious to or have turned our ears against; a concern that may be one of the largest public health risks of our time and one that may fatally effect Generation Y.

With around one billion smart phones sold worldwide in 2013, mobile phone radiation is being considered by some as a serious health risk and for obvious reasons. Specialists, researchers and some of Australia’s top neurosurgeons are unanimously concerned that the radiation emitted from mobiles is an impending health risk that needs to be acknowledged soon.

And it’s the long term effects of this health issue that creator of EMFacts Consultancy Don Maisch says will first effect Generation Y.

“It’s the young people that are going to be effected the most,” Maisch says.

“Evidence from the Interphone Study which is a 13 nation study shows that over the duration of 10 years, there seems to be a connection with long term phone use and brain tumours.”

The University of Wollongong PHD graduate, who has worked for Senator for Tasmania Robert Bell and has also been a representative to the Australian Telecommunications Standards Committee, established EMFacts Consultancy in 1994 as an independent source of information surrounding the effects of mobile phone radiation.

If you hold your phone in close proximity to your head when you talk and do this frequently or for prolonged periods of time, then you should start actively changing your ways.

And Don Maisch isn’t the only one who is advocating this.

If you’ve ever purchased an iPhone, which according to Apple 150.5 million people have worldwide, then you would have received a booklet detailing possible health side effects.

Apple states in the booklet that ‘when carrying [an] iPhone, keep it 1.5cm (5/8 inch) or more away from your body to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the maximum levels. Avoid cases with metal parts.’

A warning from the world’s leading technology powerhouse presents a problem, as does the following statement that Telstra made in their 2004 Annual Report.

The establishment of a link between adverse health effects and electromagnetic energy (EME) could expose us to liability or negatively affect our operations.”

“I think there’s an attitude where people say, ‘well if these things (mobiles) are dangerous then why are they being sold?’” Maisch says.

In March 2009, three of Australia’s best neurosurgeons wrote a letter to the editor to the Medical Journal Surgical Neurology titled Health Risks of Cell Phone Technology.

Surgeons Vini Khurana of Canberra, Charles Teo who was born in Sydney but now resides in America and Richard Bittar who practices in Victoria, expressed concern over what they deemed as a serious emerging public health risk.

The three strongly contend that mobile phones can cause brain tumours, salivary gland tumours, male infertility and behavioural disturbances.

They have also said that children should have restricted access, especially from a young age.

Khurana and Teo furthered their belief with co-authors Michael Kundi, Lennart Hardell and Michael Carlberg by publishing a peer-reviewed paper stating that ‘there is adequate epidemiologic evidence to suggest a link between prolonged cell phone usage and the development of an ipsilateral brain tumour,’

They say there is sufficient evidence to believe that you can in fact be susceptible to a brain tumour after using a mobile for extended periods.

Yet despite the standing evidence, there are some who believe otherwise.

Australian Centre for Radio Frequency Bioeffects Research Executive Director Rodney Croft is one of these.

“So far, there has been quite a bit of research and it’s failed to find any such effects,” the Director says.

“We can never prove that these things don’t exist but given that we haven’t identified anything so far, I don’t have any reason to believe we will in the future.”

Croft dismissed the idea that Generation Y will feel any effect in the future.

“At the moment, we don’t know of any risks so it’s a bit hard to say for something that doesn’t pose a risk by using it,” Croft says.

“All we can say is that there could be possibilities. However, given that we’ve conducted research that’s looked at animals and haven’t found any effects, then I would say that there is not going to be a problem.”

And so exists a divide between researchers and specialists.

Research and opinions expressed are still being met with skepticism and for a problematic reason that presents a huge bias.

“In this whole field, researchers who say there could be a problem don’t get funding, whereas researchers who tend to down play the issue tend to get funding because guess who provides it; the industry,” Maisch says.

“The industry is the hidden hand; it controls the funding and it controls the research.

“You find that researchers globally who are finding that there are problems aren’t getting funding so it doesn’t get followed up.”

This technologically driven era is one that has diverged down a road where our mobiles and desktops are steering us into a cyber reality.

There’s an obvious balance that needs to be found to both reconnect us as humans and aid in protecting our health, especially when a specialist is able to draw comparisons between radiation and one of the biggest killers of this day and age; cancer.

‘There are definitely similarities between both mobile phone radiation and smoking cigarettes.

“It is a fair comparison,” Maisch says.