Friday, May 9, 2014

Be Smart with Your Smart Phone

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Sleeping with a cellular phone around a bed can affect an individual’s health. Cell phones produce electromagnetic radiation that cause cancer or tumors. When you sleep with your cell phone on, it elevates your chances of brain tumors. People that use cell phones a large amount of time increase their chance of developing cancer. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there is no proof of harm to humans with cellular devices. However, the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer states that the radiation is "possibly carcinogenic to humans." With all the conflicting studies on the dangers of cellular phones being recharged next to one’s bed, it would be wise to relocate your charging stations away from your bed.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), there are three main reasons to be concerned about cell phone use. First of all, cell phones release radio frequency energy. This is a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. This type of radiation can be absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held, which is of course the head. The second reason the NCI is concerned about cell phone use is because the number of users have skyrocketed just within this last decade. The International Telecommunications Union estimates the global subscription to cell phones is approximately five billion. The third and most concerning reason is that people are using their cell phones more frequently per day and the length per call has become longer. Based on these three reasons there is evidence of a true concern with a person’s health and the usage of cellphones.

Some people are so glued to their phones that they sleep with them under their pillow, on their head or next to their bed. This is a global habit and I believe that if people understood the danger of doing it, they would stop or at least modify their behavior. With the phone still on, it is pumping out electromagnetic radiation all night long, exposing themselves to unnecessary radiation the entire night. There are a few things a person can do. The phone can be put on “airplane mode.” This allows a person to still use the phone as an alarm, but it shuts off WiFi and data, meaning it shuts down the receivers that are putting off the electromagnetic radiation. If the cell phone is needed or wanted to be left on, then it should be placed around 6 feet away from the bed. The best way, but not the most popular is to charge the cell phone with it turned off. Therefore, if a cell phone is going to be on while a person is sleeping, take appropriate steps so electromagnetic radiation released is minimized.

With many cancer studies making a connection to cell phone use, there is another study indicating the opposite. In the United States, the main government run agency is known as the Center of Disease Control (CDC). It publicly states that there is no current study that can undoubtedly connect a cancer to cell phone use. It points out that there were other factors that could have played a role in acquiring the cancer other than the cell phone. For cell phone use to be undoubtedly connected to causing cancer, research needs to be more valid and controlled.

The CDC may be correct in their assessment of cancer/cell phone studies indicating that there may be a lack of validity, but I would tend to be cautious and not wait for the United States government-run agency to publicly announce that the radiation cell phones produce can cause cancer. Cell phones have become a part of our everyday use and follow us to bed. It doesn’t need to be dangerous for individuals if precautionary actions are taken. Either move the charger further away from the bed, put it on “air plane” mode or simply turn off the device when sleeping. Be smart with your “smart phone.”

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CONCLUSION
29 May 2014

      Cellular devices have become part of everyday life, to the point that they are recharged next to beds making them a potential hazard to peoples health. When I first started researching the dangers of cellular devices, I was shocked to learn that there were so many negative affects with using and recharging them.  It scares me that cancer is a potential side effect to using cell phones.  I never knew until I started this blog that recharging a phone next to my head while I slept was a bad idea.  I thought I was being responsible by using it as an alarm.  Since starting this blog and learning the potential hazards, I have moved my phone recharger away form my bed.  I hope that others that read my blog and didn't know of the potential dangers made appropriate changes too.  I am glad we did this activity so my class could have an opportunity to be a positive citizen in the digital life.
     I was pleased to see that I had many responses to my blog. They were just as uninformed as I was when I started the blog.  All that responded, stated that they slept with their phones next to their beds and because of my blog they were going to move their charging stations.  The post I received did not change my mind on the hazards of cellular devices, I informed them and they changed their minds. They were very appreciative of the research I had done.  No one wants cancer. The responses from my peers made me think further than I had about cell phones and cancer.  The post made me think about other hazards with the cell phones and I wanted more clarification on the hazards. I continued to research on the internet about cell phones and cancer, so I could further continue to educate myself and my friends.  When I was able to find more information that I thought was important for people to know, I shared it on my blog to be a good citizen in the digital world. Post were very grateful for the information and didn't need persuasion to make changes with their phones.
    This was my first time blogging.  It was very scary to put something out into the digital world with my name on it that everyone could see and make commons.  It made me do some research on cell phones that helped me and others that read my blog.  I don't want cancer and if by moving my charging station  away from my bed helps, then I'm going to move it.  I am happy we did this activity for the information I learned.  It also felt good knowing I was helping others through a blog by being a good digital citizen.


8 comments:

  1. This is a great article with a perfect balance of sharing knowledge and facts with practical tips for readers to use when dealing with their cell phones!

    It would be great to know how far the phone needs to be in order to avoid the electromagnetic fields from the phone. Did you run across that in your research?

    Small note: The word 'amphetamine' is used in the first sentence. I'm not sure this is the word you really wanted.

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    1. Thank you EdChenable for then nice comment. I found that you should have your phone around 6 feet away from you when you are a sleep. Also thanks for the note about the word amphetamine.

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  2. Riley, you did a nice job balancing your research. I appreciate the practical tips and the caution you advise based on the various viewpoints on this controversial topic. It will be interesting to keep an eye on the science and see if we ever get a solid recommendation one way or the other. I would be curious if you came across any information related to sleep disruption. Having your cell phone near your bed does more than expose you to radiation, if it's making noises all night long, I would think sleep patterns would be interrupted regularly. That's a whole other topic, I suppose! Do you shut down all your devices and store them away from your room at night? I'm always curious to know if students change any of their own habits after doing some of this research. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I thought it was really interesting that phones produce electromagnetic radiation amphetamine that can cause cancer or tumors. I wonder why people sleep so close to their phones if there's health hazards involved?. I also found the tips on how to prevent exposure to the radiation helpful and will take them into consideration the next time I charge my phone at night. I'm curious to know if there's something phone companies could be doing better to limit the amount of electromagnetic radiation amphetamine coming from a phone. Also I wonder what other ways phones could be effecting us at night. Do you think there's enough awareness about this topic? If not, How might people become more aware? Thank for posting!

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    1. Thank you for your comments. You've asked some really good questions. I think that people sleep with theirs phones so close to them out of habit. Also, people use their phones as alarms for waking up in the morning. I'm glad you found my tips helpful. I hope you do take some into consideration. I'm not sure if phone companies have a solution for the electromagnetic radiation exposure, but if a larger amount of people say something, they will start to address it. This topic needs more exposure. Lots of people are exposing themselves to radiation and don't know it. If this topic can keep trending on social media, than more people will be aware of the issue. Thanks again for your thoughtful questions.

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  4. Hey Riley! Thank you for posting this well researched and thought provoking blog. I would like to note that I absolutely loved your title, and its play on "smart." I have been aware of the research about radiation for about a year now, as my parents brought it to my attention as soon as they learned about it. I do believe that sleeping next to your phone is probably extremely unhealthy, which leads me to my question: what about during the day? As you mentioned in your blog, most people hate to be parted from their phones, and carry them in their pockets. Can this also cause cancer? Is it avoidable the way sleeping next to your phone is?

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    1. Thank you Demoiselle for your post. You ask a good question. We are exposed to different radiations all the time. However, you can take some precautionary actions to help yourself receive less exposure. If you keep your phone in your pocket, research says it is better to keep the battery side pointed away from your body. That is where the radiation is coming from. Thanks again for your thoughtful post.

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  5. Hey Riley, awesome job! I learned so many new thing from this blog post that I will most definitely be changing in my cellphone use. It's crazy that we have become so attached to our phones that with even research out like this, we still continue these bad habits. Maybe people do not understand the extent of damage, but most people have heard that cellphones cause radiation. However, we still are so irresponsible and put zero effort in trying to fix this. I believe that it is the cellphones company responsibility to let their customers know the effects and let them know some basic tips. I am not saying they should have a huge sign but possibly a pamphlet that is available at the store to pick up and view. Do you think it is the cellphone companies responsibility to let their customers become aware or do you think it is the manufactures, the customers themselves, or all of the above?

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