They say that radiation from mobile phones and base stations is hazardous to our health. Is it true?
#1. What happened?
In Ukraine there are regular debates regarding the harm to health, caused by radiation from mobile phones and base stations. In May of 2017 the Ministry of Health has approved an increase of the standards of acceptable radiation limit, required for development of 4G in our country. However, in November this decision was suspended due to discontent of activists. Since 25 of January it became known that residents of Osokorki micro-district in Kyiv got approval for dismantling of a base station because of possible harm to their health. Many people also believe that radiation from mobile phones is harmful to their health.
#2. Is this radiation really harmful?
Let’s start with the beginning. Radio-frequency energy, radiated by phones and stations – is really a form of radiation. Although, there are two types of radiation – ionizing and non-ionizing. The first one includes gamma radiation, X-radiation and so on. Such form of radiation changes DNA and can cause diseases like cancer.
As for radiation from phones and stations (including mobile communication, Wi-Fi and 3G) – it is non-ionizing radiation. At present, just one fact is scientifically proven – such radiation can increase the temperature of human body. Such increase will be insignificant.
#3. So, isn’t the radiation from phones harmful?
Studying this issue, hundreds of researches were conducted. Most of the specialists came to a conclusion that there is no connection between radiation from telephones and harm to health. Multiple state institutions and works organizations, including the World Health Organization, have a unanimous view – there are no evidences that use of phones is harmful to health.
#4. However, they say that radiation from phones causes cancer. Isn’t that right?
First of all, radiation does not change human DNA. Therefore, it cannot cause cancer. Secondly, it should be emphasized that multiple researches do not find any evidence that telephone radiation provokes any disease – whether it is brain cancer, skin cancer or testicular cancer.
There are three major studies that health organizations often refer to – Interphone, Danish Study and Million Women Study. All these studies have proven: there is no connection between use of phone and incidence cancerous tumors.
#5. Are there any other studies, which prove the harm from using the phone?
Yes, there are. In 2016 the USA published quite resonant study. Scientists ran tests on rats and found out that a part of them, exposed to radiation, got benign and malignant tumors. However, a number of scientists and media criticized the study by a few reasons. Firstly, malignant tumors were developed just in the bodies of 2-3% of rats, exposed to radiation (and, weirdly, just males). Secondly, during tests the radiation dose multiple times exceeded the dose that the phone owners are usually exposed to.
There is a formal reason to believe in the harm from radiation. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies this radiation as “possibly carcinogenic”. i.e. the one that can cause cancer. Although, such classification is given just due to lack of researches. For example, IARC suggests that coffee and Aloe Vera are also included in this group.
#6. What about base stations? Is it safe?
Yes, it is. It should be noted that in Ukraine the level of electromagnetic radiation (including radio radiation) from base station shall not exceed standard 2.5 microwatt/sq. cm. Our local standard is one of the strictest in the world. For instance, in Europe this standard makes 100 microwatt/sq. cm. And it is still safe. In Ukraine they would like to increase the limit to 10 microwatt/sq. cm, in order to start development of 4G network. There is nothing terrible with it. This standard will anyway be much lower than really acceptable level of radiation.
Residents of the houses that such stations are installed nearby, should not worry as well. Firstly, the level of radiation on the ground is much lower than at the antenna level. Secondly, the walls of the houses reduce radiation level by several times.
#7. What should I do, if, anyway, I would like to protect myself against radiation?
In order to calm yourself down, you can do, as follows:
- Try to interact less with the phone;
- While speaking, use headphones in order not to bring the phone close to your ear;
- Don’t put the phone near you or under the pillow when you are sleeping.