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  1. Pollution in disguise

Pollution in disguise

Electromagnetic radiation emitted from most of the electronic devices we use —mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets—is very harmful for human health

By: | Published: June 4, 2015 12:05 AM

Since the industrial revolution, human life has become much faster and efficient. Steam engine was the start of the revolution, and look where we are now. Within a span of two centuries, technology has changed a lot and it is changing at a much faster rate. This change is quick, easy, smooth and inevitable. We believe that technology has made our lives much easier, but in this process we have foregone a lot more than our eyes can see.

We all would agree what huge a role technology and inventions plays in our daily lives right from transportation to communication. We do see many harmful effects of these inventions, if not all. Everyone knows about the ozone layer depletion and its causes. During Diwali, everyone can feel the ill effects of smoke due to the crackers. You may often hear old people saying how clean the air was during their days, and we can sense the difference between city and village air too. But what about the pollution which we can’t see—the pollution of radiation. Harmful radiations are emitted from most of the electronic devices we use—cellphones, laptops, computers, tablets, Wi-Fi routers etc.

But do we know what radiation is? How harmful is it? What is its effect?

By definition, radiation is the emission or transmission of energy in the form of waves or particles through space or through a material medium. Cellphones, PCs, TV, radio and various other electronic gadgets transmit electromagnetic radiations (often abbreviated as E-M radiation or EMR). Numerous scientists from across the world have demonstrated that electromagnetic radiation has significant impact on human well being, especially when they are in close proximity to their electronic gadgets. These radiations may not be seen or felt, but they may impact our health in the long run.

Scientists and researchers demonstrated various biological and neurotic impacts of electromagnetic radiation.

Biological impacts are protein changes in skin, energised mind cells, DNA harm, and cerebrum cell harm and increase in blood pressure. Neurotic impacts are salivary gland cancer, brain tumour, lymphatic cancer and bone marrow cancer, miscarriage, asthma and a few others. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic (cancer causing substance) to humans. Radiation is also known to reduce the sperm count in men, as most of the men carry their cell phones in their trouser pockets.

Radiations emitted not only by cellphones, but even laptops, tablets and Wi-Fi routers cause a problem. Even in the safety of our homes and offices, we are not safe as we are constantly surrounded by these gadgets. The truth is that we need these gadgets in order to live better, but are we ready for the consequences that technology and communication brings with it? We should know how to limit the use of these gadgets.

The harm from EMR  has just started to surface. Consumers should be vary of the harm it could cause in the future.

The cellphone use is increasing day by day and so is our dependence on it. People should be careful and be educated about the various effects it has on human health. Growing towards a sustainable technologically savvy world should be our aim.

The writer is director, Environics, a radiation management and solutions company

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  1. J
    Joe
    Jun 4, 2015 at 3:20 am
    What about cell towers that are installed everywhere. Has anyone given any thought on the radiation being emitted by these? This is leading to a human tragedy.
    Reply

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