How Mobile Phones (Mis)Use Is Affecting Our Health & Social Fabric
by Dr. Khursheed Ahmad Wani, kashmirobserver.net, 25 June 2017
People don’t have time to talk with their children and vice versa.
People don’t have time to talk with their children and vice versa. People in their old ages have become the worst sufferers of this technology as today there is no body to listen folklores and stories because everyone in the family is busy with mobile phones in one or the other way.
With the birth of cellular industry in 1990’s the people of Jammu & Kashmir became the leading subscribers (81.26%) of different cellular companies and today Himachal Pradesh has got this credit. The cell phones were introduced to the market without any pre-market survey and necessary tests of how they will impact human health.
The cell phones were distinguished from dangerous microwave ovens based on the amount of power used to push the microwaves and it was argued that the cell phones will not impact the health of consumers, other than the heating of tissues. The theory worked due to the pressure from different profit based industries and cell phones were exempted from any type of regulatory oversight, an exemption that continues today.
Slowly and steadily, the mobile phones resulted in a host of health problems that include genetic damage, brain dysfunction, brain tumours, and other conditions such as sleep disorders and headaches.
Today, there are more than two billion cell phone users swimming in the pool of electromagnetic radiation (EMR). The amount of time spent on the phone is irrelevant and exceeds when the mobile companies offer different schemes for the people who want to stick with the mobile phones for hours with their loved ones without knowing that the danger mechanism is triggered within seconds and becomes more and more as the time passes. Researchers say if there is a safe level of exposure to EMR, it’s so low that we can’t detect it. Scientists under the supervision of Dr. Carlo’s found that cell phone radiation caused DNA damage, impaired DNA repair, and interfered with cardiac pacemakers. European research confirmed Dr. Carlo’s findings and the studies suggest that cell phone radiation contributes to brain dysfunction, tumors, and potentially to conditions such as autism, attention deficit disorder, neurodegenerative disease, and behavioral and psychological problems.
Cellular energy that is used for metabolism by the cells is now used for protection that causes cell membranes to harden which keep nutrients out and waste products in. The accumulation of waste inside the cells creates a higher concentration of free radicals, leading to both disruption of DNA repair (micronuclei) and cellular dysfunction as a result of that unwanted cell death occurs, releasing the micronuclei from the disrupted DNA repair into the fluid between cells (interstitial fluid), where they are free to replicate and proliferate that is the most likely mechanism that contributes to cancer. Later damage starts to occur in proteins on the cell membrane, resulting in disruption of intercellular communication. When cells can’t communicate with each other, the result is impaired tissue, organ, and organism function. In the blood-brain barrier, for example, cells can’t keep dangerous chemicals from reaching the brain tissue, which results in damage.
There are other consequences of using mobile phones as well. A research published by London School of Economics argues that banning pupils from carrying mobile phones in schools showed a sustained improvement in exam results, with the biggest advances coming from struggling students. There is plenty of solid evidence which shows that in order to learn, we have to pay attention. Again and again, research shows that when people are distracted or when they start multitasking, they don’t do as well as when they are able to concentrate fully on one task. Most of the time teens sleep with their cell phones, 4 out of 5 teenagers sleep with their mobile phones to connect with peers all night is a cause for concern as it jeopardizes physical, emotional and cognitive functioning and limits domains of influence and connection. It is very important for person to sleep about 8-9 hours as investigated by medical research. The use of mobiles deprives teens from sleep as a result of that they become victim of memory deficits, impaired performance and alertness. The loss of REM or intense sleep can result in increased irritability, anxiety and depression, as well as reduced concentration and creativity.
The back and forth texting floods the pleasure centres of the brain, the same area those lights up when using heroin. The emotional disruption of a real or perceived negative response, however, necessitates more texting to repair the mood, to fix the feelings of rejection, blame and disconnection. The addictive potential of texting as an addiction jeopardizes sleep, cognitive functioning and real relating- making dependence on it greater and greater. It is a well established fact that cellular technology keeps a teen continually connected to peers but "out of” the moment, place and relationships with parents and family. The best way to avoid all the health and associated problems of cell phones is to reduce the use of mobile mobiles.
Author works with the Department of Environmental Science, ITM University, Gwalior.