Is Smartphone Radiation Dangerous? Here Are Six Facts You Really Need to Know

Many years ago, we used to be able to see the radiation around our phone: a sticker behind our Nokia 3310 would light up when a rush of radiation surrounded our phone.

We were obsessed with the “SAR level” of our phone—the higher it is, the more radiation it emits. Now? Our focus is on the speed of our phone, the size and the memory. We seem to have forgotten that even up to now, there has been no 100% confirmation on whether the radiation by our phones are harmful.

All we know is that without our phone, we’ll be harmful to others.

Now that it’s 2017, let’s look at the latest facts about our handphone radiation—and like it or not, you’ll have to face the fact that this article might change how you view your precious phone now.


What is radiation?

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We don’t want a science lesson, but unfortunately, it’s difficult to continue without a simple explanation. Basically, radiation is everywhere: just think of radiation as atoms that are “deformed”; and atoms are the building blocks of everything.

When an atom is “deformed”, it needs to find another atom to make it “normal” again, so it affects surrounding atoms. There’s always a low level of radiation everywhere—but if the radiation is too high, it will affect the functions of numerous atoms. This would cause solids like walls to collapse or corrupt, or our cells to mutate, leading to cancer.


Smartphones, just like handphones like Nokia 3310, still emit radiation

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Despite technological advances, with our phones being able to film a movie or even check the location of our friends, our smartphones still emit radiation.

In fact, there has been no improvement at all: for example, a Nokia 3310 SAR level is 0.96 W/kg while an iPhone 6 SAR level is 1.59 W/kg. Why am I not surprised at the increase?


Is the radiation emitted by phones harmful?

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Is fried chicken harmful? Not so if it’s taken in moderation, right? Same logic here.  According to World Health Organisation, “to date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.”

But do remember that mobile phones are considered a very new product, and note that it’s “adverse health effects”—the key word is “adverse”.


Would using smartphones lead to cancer?

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Radiation mutates cells, so would they lead to cancer? Two key studies that last for twenty years (prolonged use is necessary for a more reliable result) have shown that there is no correlation between using a phone and cancer.

In 2010, a massive study that involves thirteen countries and costing over $24 million concludes that using smartphones won’t increase the risk of cancer.

Happy now? Don’t be. Read on.


Would using smartphones lead to impotent?

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Now, here’s the bad news: Yes, there might be a correlation. According to the study, men who carry a switched-on phone near their genitals for more than four hours a day have higher risk of erectile dysfunction.

While the study is a small-scale one and needs more studies, it sure has sent shockwaves all over the world. Of course, this could be a temporary problem that can be reversed as long as one doesn’t use the phone for more than 4 hours a day…but say what? No phone for more than 4 hours?


What is the recommendation then?

Image: stock_shot / Shutterstock.com

Since the days of Nokia 3310, this simple advice has been given again and again: distance. There’s no need to have your phone within one metre away from you every single second. Take some time to leave it slightly farther away: not only is it good for your health, it’s good for your social life, too.

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This article was first published on goodyfeed.com in 2015 and revised on 13 June 2017.

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Low Kay Hwa

Low Kay Hwa

Low Kay Hwa thinks that cats are the cutest creatures in the world.
Low Kay Hwa