There has been a lot of talk among people about negative health effects of using phones. Some studies have been carried out to find any correlation between phone use and its health complications, some of which have ended up with inconclusive results. Phones emit radiofrequency (RF) fields generally more than a 1000 times higher than from base stations. This implies exposure of RF to phone users and hence a greater likelihood of any adverse effects like cancer, other general health effects, electronic interference and traffic accidents as briefly described below:

Cancer

There has been an association between exposure to RF radiation from wireless phones and head cancers especially glioma and acoustic neuroma, which are cancers involving neurons in the brain and nerves. RF fields have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans. However, there’s no evidence yet to show that environmental exposure to RF fields, such as from base stations, increases the risk of cancer or any other disease.

Other health effects

These include changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleep patterns. These effects appear to be minor and have no apparent health significance. Phones also habour a lot of bacteria because they are not easily cleaned. This can facilitate translocation of bacteria from the phone to the head as one makes or receives a call. One can develop musculoskeletal disorders of the back due to poor body posture when using a phone. There have also been thoughts about mobile phones having a role in causing decreased sperm counts but there is no conclusive evidence basing on research yet.

Electromagnetic interference

When used very close to some medical devices (including pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and certain hearing aids), phones can possibly cause interference with their operation. However, risk is much reduced for 3G phones and newer equipment.

Traffic accidents

Research has shown that there is a 3 to 4 fold increase in the risk of traffic accidents with mobile phone use either handheld or with a “hands-free” mode activated while driving due to distraction.