Dubai: While there aren’t any studies confirming that radio frequencies emitted from phones are carcinogenic, it doesn’t hurt to take precautions, doctors said.
Dr Sonia Gupte, general practitioner at iCare Clinics, pointed out that electromagnetic devices being in proximity to the human body may take a toll on health.
“What has been under the microscope is the proximity of this radiation. It’s always better to keep phones away from your ears by using the hands-free option,” Dr Sonia explained.
Radio frequencies emitted from these devices tend to be absorbed by the human body.
Dr Sonia added that people should not sleep with their phones placed on their nightstands or underneath their pillows.
“These radio frequencies absorbed have shown affects on the brain frequency so when picking up the frequencies, pattern of sleep is disturbed,” she said. “When patients approach us with odd sleeping patterns, we question their proximity to these devices.”
Though many have believed that tablets are not harmful if they are non-cellular, Dr Sonia explained that such misconceptions are dangerous, especially when it come to children.
“The major concern is not the cellular aspect, WiFi-based gadgets also limited exposure risk with or without them being cellular,” she clarified.
Dr Sonia added that while people believe that placing phones on their laps can cause prostate cancer or fertility related problems, studies have not proven such consequences.
Sameh Sabry, associate vice-president at Spire Solutions, explained that while people may be advised to keep mobile phones away when sleeping, the directly link it to cancer has not been proven through research.
“The World Health Organisation [WHO] warned in 2011 that usage may be possibly carcinogenic to humans, especially in children whose scalps and skulls are much thinner than adults, causing them to be more vulnerable to radiation,” he clarified.
Sabry emphasised the lack of comprehensive research proving that mobile phones directly cause cancer. He also stated that telephones can be classified as the lesser of two or more evils in people’s daily lives.
“In general, cellphones are said to give off small doses of electromagnetic radiation, which if you think about it is emitted from X-rays and microwaves as well which can also lead to tumour growth in high amounts,” he said.
While some devices are classified as ‘safe to handle’, Sabry explained that it does not indicate necessarily indicate that they do not emit harmful radiations.
Dr Babu Shershad, Internist and CEO of First Medical Centre, agreed that exposure to magnetic fields can be caused by any devices in our surroundings.
Dr Shershad added that precautionary measures can be taken without getting rid of the devices all together.
“There are gadgets in hardware stores that allow individuals to measure the electromagnetic fields, the lower it is, the better,” he said. “Also, it is important to clarify that there are phones that emit less radiation than others.”
Dr Shershad explained that constant usage of mobile devices can be harmful, therefore; people should avoid long exposure by taking short intervals away from the devices. He warned the public to use devices wisely since everything in moderation can be controlled.
“Although we do not have definitive studies, we need more prospective studies which require following people overtime to see what happens, but we would not want people to become a statistic when it’s too late,” he said.
Dr Shershad added that although a host consequences, such as brain tumours, other types of cancer and neurological diseases might be related, nothing comprehensive has proven so at the moment.