The cell phone is undeniably a great technological innovation of the twenty first century. It started off as an expensive gadget used by security agencies, government agencies and members of the high society. Gradually, the cell phone became a very important tool of communication especially in business. For quite sometime, the cell phone remained a symbol of status and not many people talked about the possible hazards posed by its continued use. The few members of the society fortunate enough to own a cell phone continued to use the device oblivious of the dangers they got exposed to. As the cell phone grew in popularity, its glamour as a status symbol faded as more members of the society acquired it. The mobile phone become so important for businesses that even in the third world, millions of cell phone units were being sold yearly. The real negative effects began to be felt when, before the world new it, almost every one (including the under age children) had a cell phone. In a study by Badre, teenagers who excessively used their cell phone were found to be more prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, stress and fatigue. Indeed, the mobile phone not only poses direct health hazards to its users but also creates problems at school, in the office, in the high way and within social circles.
Scientific research has linked prolonged use of cell phones to brain damage. According to West, health experts raise the red flag over the possibility that prolonged exposure to radio frequency coming from cell phones may cause a condition called Acoustic Neuroma. The phrase “may cause” or similar terms as used in this text indicate the scientific uncertainty with which some health hazards may be directly linked with cell phone radiation. For instance, a study conducted on cell phone users for a period of 10 years failed to show that cell phone users were more exposed to Acoustic Neuroma than non-cell phone users. The same study did not show Acoustic Neuroma to happen on the side of the head on which the cell phone was typically used (Christensen et al. 277).
However, credible scientists believe that even when the harmful effects of cell phone use cannot be proved within a short period of time, they can’t be ruled out altogether. While the cell phone might be a “must have” device for every one, it should always be known that the health outcome of its use may turn out to be tougher than initially thought. As a matter of fact, some scientists basing their position on results of experiments on rats subjected to radiation suggest that real damage of cell phone radiation on humans may be shown years later by a disease of the brain or wear and tear of aging (Salford et al. 883).
The fact that many people are unaware of the health hazards associated with prolonged exposure to radio frequencies coming from cell phones makes it even harder to slow down the rates of exposure. One wonders whether there ever has never been a sense of urgency among members of the scientific community or cell phone manufacturers to create awareness on hazards associated with mobile use. The general position is that the cell phone should be presumed safe for use until proved otherwise beyond reasonable doubt. Therefore, millions of cell phone units continue to roll off production lines and end up in the market without giving a single hint to their intended users that, they might be a bomb waiting to explode.
Experts familiar with the working of the cell phone explain that the gadgets produce frequencies that behave like molecules. The molecules are in constant random motion and collide with each other to cause friction that transforms into heat energy. When someone is having a conversion on the cell phone, the molecules collide inside the brain, and the heat generated may have negative effects on tissues inside. When the facts behind the operations of a cell phone are made known, the potential hazards posed by its prolonged use become real. Indeed the cell phone is not such a safe device to use.
Scientific research involving mice has helped shade some light on specific damage the use of cell phone may cause to the human brain. It would be biased not to mention that some scientific research into the cell phone hazards issue have not been carried out in circumstances similar to those humans experience while using the cell phone. However, research involving rats that have been subjected to amounts of radiation similar to what humans get when using the cell phone has shown that the danger posed is real.
Mice that have been exposed to microwaves in scientific studies showed evidence of damage to blood components. Research has also found microwaves to cause brain tumor and shown radio frequencies to hamper brain functionalities. In addition, a common effect of radiation on mice in many studies has been shown to be appreciable memory loss. One does not need to replace the rodents in the experiment with human specimen to understand what lies ahead of generations of addicted cell phone users.
Lately, there has been heated debate among policy makers regarding road safety and the use of cell phones while driving. Some sections of society may argue that the problem with road carnage in the USA is not exactly the cell phone, but its bad users. While reasoning like that (i.e. saying humans are to blame) may make some sense, the cell phone still has its negative impact on road carnage.
Contrary to the expectations of many, hands free technology has not proved to allow drivers to call and drive safely. The reason why some drivers may converse on hands free mode and still not be safe is that, the most critical human part in the driving is the brain and not hands. A drunk driver has both hands free and may still cause an accident. Similarly, the mind of a driver deeply involved in a conversation is distracted from the core task and may slower his or her reaction time. Distracted persons under simulated driving in a scientific study have been shown to miss objects along the highway or react at a slower rate. Precise studies have even indicated how cell phone conversations and not just the manipulation of the devices distract drivers. Therefore, it has been established that cell phone conversations inhibit attention to external environment and as a result make it very easy for drivers to cause accidents (Strayer, Drews and Johnston 26).
The cell phone has been shown to cause interference that may be fatal in other electronic devices or equipment. A study by Dr. David L. Hayes indicated that radio frequencies coming from cellular phones may tamper with the working of pacemakers (MedicineNet). Depending on the nature of the interference caused, the cell phone may wrongly send signals that change settings and functionalities of a pacemaker and endanger the life of the person using it. Additionally, digital signals coming from cell phones may cause interference in aircraft and cause fatal accidents.
As mentioned earlier, cell phone use among teenagers has been shown to cause sleep disorders. Badre mentions that teens and young adults addicted to the use of cell phone lose sleep, experience restlessness and find it difficult to stay in sleep. Teens that do not sleep well cannot grow up to become responsible and useful members of the society.
Badre attributes addiction to cell phone use among the youth to peer pressure and links it to substance abuse. Young persons that strive not to be left behind or out of touch with peers spend excessive hours chatting and text messaging and in the end heighten stress and fatigue levels in their system. In order to keep up with the pressure of spending a lot of time on cell phone, some teenagers and young adults result into health compromising behavior such as smoking, snuffing and alcohol consumption (Badre).
Communities living within or near mobile phone base stations have been shown to be affected in a significant way by radiation from High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (HF-EMF). Problems such as headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite and difficulties in concentration have been experienced by candidates put under higher levels of HF-EMF exposure in scientific studies (Hutter, Moshammer, Walner et al. 311). It may not be good news to learn that even non-cell phone users stand to be affected by the technology if they live near cell phone base stations.
There have been reports of isolated cases where mobile frequencies have tampered with the natural order of things in the animal world. Though scientific research is yet to fully validate such reports, the suggestions cannot be wished away just like that. For instance, some cell phone communication booster towers have been reported to attract certain species of birds and affect their natural migratory patterns (West).
The cell phone has also promoted social vices and immorality to a significant extent. For instance, mobile pornography among teenagers or general youth has been enhanced appreciably. One may want to attribute the spread of cell phone pornography to the internet, which would not be entirely correct since the cell phone has brought internet together with its contents to the wrong places. Nowadays, it is common for teenagers or young adults to be caught viewing pornographic material on their cell phones in class, public transport vehicle or any other public places.
The use of cell phones has also facilitated organized crime, kidnappings and financial crimes. Kidnappers find it very easy to call their victims’ relatives and make ransom demands from the comfort of their hideouts. In countries where mobile banking is functional, kidnappers may even direct that money be sent via their cell phone accounts. Some countries have reported cases of examination cheating facilitated by cell phones.
While the mobile phone was intended to bring about change for the better regarding the manner in which certain things were being done, some people prefer doing things the old way. Take the example of letter writing. Letter writing used to be a wonderful and highly treasured experience. Today letter writing exists mainly in official situations, thanks to the text messaging revolution. The most negative thing about text messaging is that, the frequency with which messages can be exchanged matches the frequency with which they can be deleted and forgotten. Letters used to be treasured and preserved for a long time.
Economist sound the alarm over the amount of money lost in the purchase or use of cell phones. A lot of persons buy unnecessarily expensive gadgets with money that could be spent doing more important things. It is important to mention that some expensive phones are fitted with features that are not necessary and not worth the price tag. Since the use of cell phone has become a lifestyle, a lot of money is also spent making unnecessary calls. In the long run, a lot of cell phone users slow down their own economic growth.
A lot can be said about the potential hazards cell phone users get exposed to on a daily basis. The scientific community will still not agree on all the dangers presented by cellular phone technology. A lot of research of has been carried out to establish the facts, but still a lot more need to be done so that the safety of the ordinary cell phone user is guaranteed. Governments and all the other stake holders need to put significant amounts of resources towards open-minded study of the effects of cell phone use so that findings can be credible. Until the matter of cell phone use safety is put to rest, humans may have to hold their breath for a little longer before they can enjoy using devices without fear.
David L. Strayer, Frank A. Drews, and William A. Johnston. Cell Phone-Induced Failures of Visual Attention during Simulated Driving. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. 9.1 (2003): 23-32. DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.9.1.23
The journal contains study results carried out by scholars at the University of Utah. The study involves drivers put under simulated driving and induced distractions to determine how cell phone conversations while driving may impair a driver’s judgment and reaction time. The study finds that cell phone conversations carry the driver away from external environment and make him or her lose focus to the possibility of causing an accident. The study proves that cell phone use while driving is dangerous even on hands free mode.
Gabe Badre. Excessive Mobile Phone Use Affects Sleep In Teens, Study Finds. 9 June 2008. 11 Nov 2010,
The article reports a study by professor Badre on the impact of prolonged cell phone use on teens and young adults. Most of the teens under study are found to experience loss of sleep, fatigue and stress. The professor is also able to link prolonged cell phone use to substance abuse among teens and young adults. The study is authentic and offers insight into cell phone addiction among teenagers.
Helle Collatz Christensen, et al. Cellular Telephone Use and Risk of Acoustic Neuroma. American Journal of Epidemiology. 159. 3 (2004): 277-83. DOI: 10.1093/aje/kwh032
The authors carried out a research to study the relationship between prolonged cell phone use and the occurrence of Acoustic Neuroma in the users. The study finds no significant link between the condition and prolonged cell phone use. The authors are respected scientists working with different scientific organizations in Denmark. Their findings are crucial to the determination of whether or not the threat posed by mobile use is as serious as many people take it. Such findings may form the basis of future research into the effects of cellular radiation on the human brain.
Hutter H. P H-P, Moshammer, H, Wallner P, et al. Subjective Symptoms, Sleeping Problems and Cognitive Performance in Subjects Living near mobile Phone Base Stations. Occup Environ Med. 63. (2006): 307-313. Doi: 10.1136/oem.2005.020784
The journal reports investigative work by team of scientist studying the impact of mobile phone base station on people living within vicinity. Persons exposed to significant amounts of High Frequency Electromagnetic Fields (HF-EMF) are found to have sleep disorders, headaches, fatigue et cetera. The authors are credible researchers whose findings may prove significant in the formulation of precautionary measures to prevent or protect humans from bad effects of cell phone radiation.
Larry West. Are Cell Phones and Microwave Radiation Really Unhealthy? n.d. 11 Nov 2010,
The source is a general website and the article generalizes the potential risks cell phone users are exposed to. The article also touches on environmental impact of cell phone. The credentials of the author cannot be established, though the article provides an appreciable overview of cell phones and associated radiation.
Leif G. Salford, et al. Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from
GSM Mobile Phones. Environmental Health Perspectives. 111. 7 (2003): 881-83.
The research article contains data and information on investigations carried out on rats to determine the impact of radiation coming from GSM phones on their brains. The investigations find evidence of neuronal damage in the cortex, hippocampus, and basal ganglia in the brains of exposed rats. The authors are credible scholars at the university of Lund- Sweden and their work proves that GSM phones may cause damage to the human brain. Their work also shows that the impact of cellular phones radiation on humans may take time to manifest.
MedicineNet. Cellular Phones Can Cause Pacemaker Problems. 31 Dec 1997. 11 Nov 2010,
This personal website carries important conclusions drawn from a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine 1997; 336:1473-9. The article mentions that mobile phones have been found to cause interference in heart regulation devices. It shades light on precautionary measures that need to be taken to prevent cell phone interference from disturbing the working of pace makers. The article’s credibility depends on the cited sources as it is hosted in a personal website.