Well, they’re definitely not good for you in terms of radiation exposure in the form of radio frequency energy.
Every radio transmitter emits energy. Your cell phone, walkie talkie, cell phone towers, cb radios, Wi-Fi in the home, etc. This energy cannot be perceived by humans because our eyes can’t detect it and our bodies can’t feel it in general.
However there are some exceptions that you’ll recognize. Take for example your microwave oven. It’s nothing more than a powerful transmitter (usually 1000 Watts) that cooks your food. The power doesn’t get out of the microwave due to the faraday cage (metallic cage that blocks radio waves) around the box part of your microwave where the food goes.
Back in WWII, a person could tell if a transmitter was working by putting their hand in front of the antenna. If their hand got warm, the antenna was on.
There are two major factors when it comes to safety. The power intensity and the frequency. Microwaves run often at 1000 Watts and always at 2.4 GHz. This is 2.4 billion cycles per second or Hertz.
Why 2.4 GigaHertz? Well that’s the frequency that water can most easily absorb energy to heat up. This is the task of a microwave oven. It’s far different from conventional heating with a stove obviously.
If you recognize the 2.4GHz, your right. That frequency is used in another common device…Our wireless home phones. For many years 2.4 GHz was the standard. Before that it was 700MHz and now they have 5.4 GHz phones for the home.
Why would they choose 2.4 GHz you ask? Because that frequency is only good for short range transmission. If it’s used for long range, then water vapor in the air absorbs the energy so the signals can’t travel as far.
Why doesn’t your head get cooked when you’re using a home phone? The difference is power level. You home phones only give off about a half Watt instead of 1000 Watts. This is like comparing a small light on your cars dashboard to a hundred watt light bulb.
Your cell phone, on the other hand, can output as high as 4 watts. Cell phones operate at higher frequencies as to not be affected by water vapor. Also, your skull helps protect your brain only if ever so slightly.
Here’s a little trick to decrease your exposure. Look at how many bars of signal you have when you’re using your phone. If you have all your bars, than you’re close to a cell tower. Your phone realizes this and turns it’s output power way down to say a half watt. If you only have one bar, your phone realizes the tower is farther away and boosts its output power to the max which is more damaging.
Take Home Note: Don’t use your cell phones for everything or use a Bluetooth device to get the phone away from your head. Bluetooth is much less powerful and therefore less damaging to you.
When will we really know the damaging effects of cell phones? Probably in the next 20 years. If we see large spikes in brain tumors, we would be logical to suspect cell phones. Does that mean I’m giving up my cell phone? Nope, I’m addicted to their convenience as much as everyone else.Share