Electromagnetic Radiation

Written by Tara Peris
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Electromagnetic radiation can be found in many appliances and personal accessories from microwaves to cellular phones. Although most devices employ small, low frequency magnetic fields, the effect of low-level radiation exposure remains a source of controversy. Indeed, mixed research findings and concerns about serious health damage underscore the importance of further work in the area.

An Introduction to Electromagnetic Radiation

The radio waves that your cell phone uses to transmit messages are comprised of electromagnetic radiation. As a rule, radiation occurs on a broad spectrum, with some forms that are highly dangerous and other forms that are less well understood. Although cellular phones emit very small levels of radiation, their close proximity to the brain is of growing concern to researchers and physicians.

Specifically, doctors have expressed concern about the consequences of keeping even low-level emissions close to the brain, as radiation heats human tissue, causing it to deteriorate. Cell phone radiation exposure has not been conclusively linked to cancer or other serious illness. However, it may cause adverse events through more indirect pathways.

In particular, some researchers suggest that the heating of skin tissue and the cell death it causes may contribute to a weakened immune system. In turn, compromised immunity can make people more vulnerable to serious illnesses. However, scientists are a long way from establishing this link conclusively. It is clear that further longitudinal, epidemiological research is needed to make concrete conclusions about cell phone radiation and the risks it poses in the short and long term.

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