The holiday season and your health (2)

The holiday season and your health (2) by Prof. Oladapo Ashiru

Mobile phones use transmitting radio waves through a series of base stations where radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic fields that cannot break chemical bonds or cause ionisation in the human body, says the World Health Organisation. Although cell phones are considered to be low-powered radiofrequency transmitters, your handset transmits power when it is on, and therefore it is crucial to increase your distance from the handset to reduce radiofrequency exposure.

The Federal Communications Commission suggests that cell phone users keep a minimum length of 20 centimetress from their handset to significantly reduce radiation exposure. Adults and especially children can suffer the long-term effects of radiation waves on the brain. “Young children particularly need to be careful,” Dr. Devra Davis, director of environmental oncology at the University of Pittsburgh, told CNN.com.

“We do not have enough information nor do we have enough time to be sure that cell phones are safe, and there’s the reason for concern that they may be harmful,” she said.

The University of Pittsburgh also warned its faculty and staff to limit their cell phone use due to the possible cancer risks.

Don’t gamble on your life, and learn about the reasons why increased cell phone use can have short-term and long-term effects on your health.

Increased stress levels

The high frequency of cell phone use can have adverse effects on our stress levels. The constant ringing, vibrating alerts and reminders can put a cell phone user on edge. In a study conducted at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, researchers examined if there is a direct link between the psychosocial aspects of cell phone use and mental health symptoms in young adults.

Those who participated in the study included 20 to 24-year-olds who responded to a questionnaire, in addition to a one-year follow-up. Researchers found that high mobile phone use was associated with stress and sleep disturbances for women, whereas high mobile phone use was associated with sleep disturbances and symptoms of depression in men.

However, excessive phone use can be a risk factor for mental health issues in young adults.

Increased risk of illnesses in your immune system

Constant touching can deposit germs on your cell phone. The greasy, oily residue you may see on your cell phone after a day’s use can contain more disease-prone germs than those found on a toilet seat.

In a study conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, researchers sampled 390 cell phones and hands to measure for levels of bacteria. The results of the study showed that 92 per cent of the cell phones tested had bacteria on them – 82 percent of hands had bacteria – and 16 per cent of cell phones and hands had E. Coli. Fecal matter can easily be transferred by cell phones from one person to another.

Constant touching can deposit germs on your cell phone. The greasy, oily residue you may see on your cell phone after a day’s use can contain more disease-prone germs than those found on a toilet seat.

In a study conducted at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London, researchers sampled 390 cell phones and hands to measure for levels of bacteria. The results of the study showed that 92 per cent of the cell phones tested had bacteria on them – 82 percent of hands had bacteria – and 16 per cent of cell phones and hands had E. Coli. Fecal matter can easily be transferred by cell phones from one person to another.

Increased risk of chronic pain

Cell phones require constant use of your hands, especially when sending text messages and e-mails. Responding to messages at rapid speed can cause pain and inflammation of your joints. Back pain is also familiar with increased cell phone use, especially if you hold the phone between your neck and shoulders as you multitask. “Long periods of cell phone use cause you to arch your neck and hold your body in a strange posture. This can lead to back pain,” says Healthcentral.com. Also common is thumb pain and carpal tunnel syndrome (radiating pain along the wrist to the fingers).

Increased risk of eye problems

Staring at your mobile device can cause problems for your vision later in life. Screens on mobile devices tend to be smaller than computer screens, which makes you to squint and strain your eyes while reading messages. According to The Vision Council, more than 70 per cent of Americans don’t know or are in denial that they are susceptible to digital eye strain.

Increased risk of brain cancer

Although the epidemiological evidence is still not conclusive, some reports have said that raising mobile phones close to the ear could lead to brain cancer, while some feel there is a need for more studies.

If a cell phone causes a tumour, it is possibly due to the radiofrequency getting into the neural cells and covering used for transmission of sound signals. The resulting tumours are acoustic neuroma and glioma.

One study concluded thus -As acoustic neuroma is usually a slowly growing tumour, the interval between introduction of mobile phones and occurrence of a neoplasm might have been too short to observe an effect, if there is one. Most mobile phones are sold with an earpiece.

My recommendation is for you to use the speakerphone at a reasonable distance from you or use the earpiece.

At the end of the holiday, do find time to treat your body to a good health spa. Ask for complete body tune-up, massage, physiotherm, steam baths, sea oxygen and orthomolecular supplements. That will make you more refreshed, energised and happy.

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