Mobile phones have connected us to one another like nothing else ever has. No one wants to give them up, and everyone wants to hear that they’re safe. So we look for scientific studies that conclude they’re not harmful.
But a new Swedish study is challenging our wish for mobile phone safety. It found that the radiation from cell phones damages nerve cells in the memory center of the brain in laboratory mice. It can also affect the blood-brain barrier, which is a protective wall that keeps damaging substances from entering the brain.
In this study, the researchers exposed the mice to the radiation from mobile phones for two hours a week for more than one year. This isn’t very long when you think about it. Many people use their mobile phones much longer than this every day.
The result? The mice exposed to radiation had worse memory than those that were not exposed to it. Some of the damage occurred immediately. Some took a month or two.
Fortunately, we’re not mice, and there’s a way we can prevent mobile phone-related health problems that mice can’t. I’ve talked about this solution before and it bears repeating: use a hands-free device instead of holding your phone against your head. The idea is to remove or reduce the source of radiation from near your brain.
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This is just the tip of a huge iceberg. I predict that technology will continue to create new ways to communicate and store information that could hurt us as well as make our lives simpler and richer. We need to be prepared to guard ourselves from any perceived dangers and take precautions to protect ourselves.
Meanwhile, keep all electronic devices as far away from your brain as you can. Don’t carry them in your pocket or wear them. And be glad you’re not a mouse. At least you have possible solutions to the mobile phone situation that they can’t use.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
ScienceDaily, December 5, 2008.