Monday March 30, 2020

Smartphone myths busted: It won’t give you brain cancer

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New Delhi: Smartphone users can take a deep breath now. All the studies claiming that the radiation emitted from cellphones can cause brain cancer while posing to be hazardous to health have turned into a myth.

According to health experts, radiations emitted from cellphones will not give you brain cancer but, yes, excessive cell phone use can lead to other health conditions, especially among children.

Some time back, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a possible carcinogen but with a rider that there is no research to back the claim.

The study also revealed no evidence of increasing risk with progressively increasing number of calls, longer call time, or years since beginning cellphone use.

“Mobile phones don’t cause cancer or promote the accelerated growth of existing tumors. Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, but to date, there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer,” explained Dr Indu Bansal Aggarwal, senior consultant (oncology) at Paras Hospitals.

Radiofrequency energy emanating from cellphones is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is non-ionizing.

No study or research about cancer has proved that non-ionising radiation causes cancer. If someone speaks on a mobile phone for a long time, it generates heat.

“The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. Radiofrequency exposure from cellphone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature,” added Dr S Hukku, director (radiation oncology) at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital in the capital.

But when it comes to the excessive use of cellphones, there are health conditions that can affect people.

According to a report by networking giant Cisco, the number of mobile users in India is projected to grow 4.4 percent to 990.2 million by 2020 – covering about 71 percent of the country’s population.

Smartphone addiction can reduce melatonin hormone levels, which may lead to neuro-degenerative diseases later in life. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain which helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm.

“Impaired concentration, eye problems, increased stress and chronic pain, negative effect on emotions, heart disorders, decreased sperm count and decreased hearing are some major health issues arising out of the excessive use of cell phone,” Aggarwal said.

As for children, scientists have discovered that a mere two-minutes phone call can alter the electoral activity of their brain for up to an hour.

“The disturbed brain activity could impair children’s learning ability and lead to other behavioral problems,” Aggarwal told reporters.

To avoid this, keep phone calls short, use air tube headset for calls, avoid using a cellphone in an enclosed metal space such as an elevator and do not keep the mobile phone close to the body when switched on.

“Do not place your smartphone under a pillow and avoid calls when the signal strength is low to reduce the impact of cell phone radiation on health,” Hukku suggested.

Above all, spend some time with your family where the smartphone is not an invitee! (Somrita Ghosh, IANS)

Next Story

Global Smartphone Sales Decline in February Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic (Tech Report)

Sell-in shipments, which represents the supply of smartphones, were relatively weaker, but February is a traditional low period for production, especially if it coincides with the Chinese New Year as was the case this year

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Smartphone
The global smartphone market is largely a replacement market, meaning that smartphones are a discretionary purchase. Pixabay

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, market demand is fragile but global smartphone sales in February declined only 14 per cent compared to last year, thus showing some resilience, a new report has said.

From the supply-side, global smartphone shipments (sell-in) fell a slightly more, down 18 per cent compared to last year but again a lower than expected drop, according to Counterpoint Research. As coronavirus spreads like wildfire around the globe, its impact on the technology industry is unprecedented. The global smartphone market is largely a replacement market, meaning that smartphones are a discretionary purchase.

“While people may delay purchasing due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially in the early part of the crisis when the disruption and uncertainty are both high, they will still replace their smartphone at some point. This means that sales will not be entirely lost – just delayed,” Peter Richardson, VP and Research Director, Counterpoint Research, said in a statement.

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Sell-in shipments, which represents the supply of smartphones, were relatively weaker, but February is a traditional low period for production, especially if it coincides with the Chinese New Year as was the case this year.

However China, the initial epicenter of the epidemic, did show a huge 38 per cent decline. But it is showing signs of a rebound already. Overall, global smartphone sales in February showed weakness in many markets as consumers became cautious.

But with the growth of online channels, we saw sales shifting from offline to online. Offline sales in China fell more than 50 per cent during February. But this fall was partially offset with stronger online sales, so the overall drop at 38 per cent, was not so severe. “While China and South Korea are gradually recovering, the worst is far from over for many other parts of the world,” said Jene Park, Senior Analyst at Counterpoint.

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, market demand is fragile but global smartphone sales in February declined only 14 per cent compared to last year, thus showing some resilience, a new report has said. Pixabay

In terms of the competitive landscape, the demand for Samsung smartphones remained stable due to the minimum exposure to the Chinese supply chain and China market demand, thus, capturing 22 per cent global smartphone market share in terms of sales volumes.

Apple felt some impact from the supply-side during the month both in China in early February and outside of China in the latter half of the month, which affected its sales performance.

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However, Huawei which has maximum exposure to China from both supply and demand perspectives, actually performed well above expectations, selling more than 12 million smartphones during February, seeing just a 1 per cent drop in global market share. (IANS)