Posts Tagged phone

Mobile Phone Radiation: Should You Be Worried?

Mobile Phone Radiation: Should You Be Worried?

In this day and age, most people treat their mobile phones a little like a limb – they’re attached to it at all times. That’s great and all, but it does make the idea of that mobile phone you spend so much time with emitting harmful radiation a little more unsettling.

 

Nobody likes the thought of holding a device in their pocket that could be harming their health. That’s probably why there have been so many headlines in recent years that prey on these insecurities and claim that our mobile phones could be killing us.

 

But is this all just scaremongering? Or is their really any substance to the tenuous studies these claims are based on? Let’s find out by diving into the topic a little deeper.

Types of Radiation that Mobile Phones Emit

The first thing to note is that there are many different scientifically-recognized types of radiation out there; some of them harmful, others harmless.

 

The two types of radiation relevant to any discussion about mobile phones are:

 

  • Non-ionizing Electromagnetic radiation (EMR), also known as Radio Frequency (RF)
  • Extremely Low-Frequency radiation (ELF)

 

EMR radiation is given off by things like your mobile phones Bluetooth, Wifi, and 3/4G ELF radiation is produced by the hardware itself. Both of these are forms of electromagnetic radiation in the ‘microwave range’. Mobile phones can emit radiation even when turned off.

 

Most research on mobile phone radiation revolves around EMR or RF. This is because EMR has been highlighted as the type of radiation that poses the biggest potential risk to human health. I’ll get to how substantial that risk actually is later.

 

First, let’s talk about what happens to that radiation emitted by your mobile phones.

How Mobile Radiation Affects the User

The EMR/RF and ELF radiation that is emitted from your mobile phone is absorbed into the surrounding matter. That means that, when you’re close to your mobile phone, some of it is absorbed into you.

 

Exactly which part of your body the radiation will be absorbed by depends on where your phone is being held. Obviously, if it’s in your pocket, it goes into your leg-region. If you’re holding your phone to your head, that radiation goes into your head, which is precisely why so much attention has been given to researching whether mobile phone use can be linked to things like brain tumors.

 

How much of it is absorbed into your body tissue will depend on a number of factors. These factors include:

 

  • The strength of the radiation emitted from your particular model of phone
  • How long you use the phone for
  • The strength of the mobile phone signal
  • How far you are from cell towers

 

As well as other factors.

 

It’s true, then, that smartphones do emit small amounts of radiation, and that some of that radiation is absorbed into the body. However, nothing we’ve talked about so far makes any mention of whether or not this radiation is harmful or cause for concern.

 

To help answer that more important question, let’s take a look at the research.

Existing Mobile Phone Radiation Research

 

The current body of existing mobile phone radiation research is extensive and, as with many large bodies of research, there have been conflicting results.

 

Some studies have found that EMF radiation can be harmful to human health. These studies have found that it can impact brain activity and cause negative health effects such as insomnia and infertility.

 

However, a larger number of research studies have disputed these theories and found that mobile phone radiation has negligible health effects.

 

The official stance of the World Health Organization based on a large number of studies already performed is that “no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use” thus far.

 

However, as no conclusion can be definitively made on whether health effects will come apparent in the future, the WHO also recommended the adoption of the ‘precautionary principle’ regarding safe mobile phone use in order to minimize radiation exposure.

 

As such, the FDA has reported that current mobile phone safety limits regarding acceptable radiation emissions have deliberately been set 50 times lower than the levels at which radio-frequency radiation effects have been observed. This is a precautionary measure to limit exposure.

Precautions You Can Take to Minimize Mobile Radiation Exposure

So where does that all leave us? Well, it seems that you don’t need to be too worried about mobile radiation, but it is probably better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, it might be worthing taking some precautionary principles to limit your exposure. Here are some precautions you can take:

 

  • Use a hands-free device in order to keep your mobile phone away from your head whenever possible
  • Don’t sleep with your phone under your pillow.
  • Don’t keep it on your person when you’re not using it.
  • Use a mobile phone that emits less radiation. You can find information about how much radiation each model of phones emits online. Generally speaking, Chinese mobile brands such as Xiaomi tend to emit higher levels of radiation.
  • Upgrade to next-gen 5G networks which use millimeter wave frequencies. Radiation of this frequency can’t penetrate biological tissue as deeply as microwave radiation, which makes it safer.

 

That about covers all you need to know about mobile phone radiation. To sum up, you probably don’t need to worry about it, but there’s no harm in taking precautions. Follow the advice above, and you’ll minimize the risk associated with mobile phone use to as low as could be reasonably expected.

 

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How to Maximize Your Phone’s Lifespan

How to Maximize Your Phone’s Lifespan

Even though smartphones are getting thinner and lighter, they’re still becoming more durable. Unlike early smartphones, today’s phones are typically tested to ensure their longevity, and technology is constantly evolving to make phones easier to use and less likely to become damaged through typical use. However, it’s still worth taking a few basic steps to prevent possible problems with your phone. Here are a few guidelines for avoiding common problems with smartphones and other smart devices.

Consider a Case

Cases add a bit of bulk to smartphones, but this extra size and weight provides protection against drops. Although a case won’t ensure you avoid a cracked screen or other damage, they do provide a bit of robustness that can mean the difference between an intact phone and a broken one. Not all cases are the same. If you have a history of dropping your phone, it might be worth investing in a more rugged case. If you’d prefer to preserve your phones look, consider a case that only covers the sides and not the back. As phones continue to become thinner, many people are finding they prefer a thicker device than is available on the market. Cases can provide a better feel for many people, and textured cases can help prevent your phone from slipping during long conversations.

Learn What Causes Scratches

Glass is a surprisingly hard material, and only harder materials can cause scratches. Metal, no matter how sharp, won’t scratch a smartphone’s screen, so don’t worry too much about car keys or other metal items causing scratches. One of the most common causes of smartphone scratches is sand, which can be harder than the glass on a phone’s screen. Wipe your phone screen gently, as wiping away sand or other small materials too harshly can lead to scratching. If you typically carry your smartphone in a purse or backpack, consider picking up a case that covers the screen to avoid scratching.

Updates Are Important

Smartphones are computers, and they need to be maintained like any other computer. Make sure to run security updates promptly, as failing to do so can leave your phone vulnerable to hacks, potentially compromising your information. App updates are important as well, as vulnerabilities in programs you run can lead to problems as well. If updates fail for any reason, make sure to talk with experts to find out how to resolve the issue.

Take Care of Your Battery

Modern smartphones are designed to maximize the life of batteries, but there are steps you can take to prevent premature wear. Try to avoid letting your battery drain completely, as doing so can shorten its lifespan; developing a habit of plugging in your phone every morning or evening can help keep it topped off. However, experts also advise against leaving your phone plugged in once its completely charged. Letting your battery drain a bit helps keep it functioning optimally. Note, however, that batteries inevitably lose their capacity, so consider picking a phone with a replaceable battery if you plan on using it for the long term.

Keep Your Phone Dry

Many phones on the market are advertised as being water resistant, and many that don’t advertise that feature can still function after being submerged in water. However, it’s still best to keep your phone dry whenever possible. Small cracks can make a water-resistant phone vulnerable to water damage. Furthermore, saltwater can still build up on a phone, potentially causing scratching and other issues. If your phone stops working after being submerged, give it time to dry completely before trying to power it on again. Note that the rice trick, which involves placing your phone in a container of rice, isn’t advised by most experts. It has little effect on drying out your phone, and small rice particles can become embedded in your phone. Silica gel packets, on the other hand, can safely speed up the drying process.

Be Wary of Non-Standard Apps

Android phones can be set to sideload apps, which lets you run programs not installed via the official store. Furthermore, third-party stores are common as well. Some people jailbreak their iPhones, which lets them run programs not found in the App Store. If you’re interested in running such apps, be careful, as malware is a growing problem with smartphones. These apps can sometimes capture information covertly, which can lead to identity theft and other problems. People often use their phones for banking and other critical tasks, so ensure any third-party app you install comes from a trusted source, such as Amazon or other established companies.

Avoid Temperature Extremes

Extreme temperatures can have a number of effects on smartphones. Hot and cold temperatures can shorten a battery’s lifespan, and phone screens and other parts sometimes fail to work properly in especially hot or cold temperatures. While those who live in hot or cold regions have little choice when it comes to smartphone temperatures, avoiding keeping a phone in a car when the temperature is hot can help you avoid issues. It’s generally best to keep your phone indoors as much as possible, especially if rain or snow is likely.

Streamline Your Apps

Today’s smartphones are often able to store a seemingly unlimited number of apps, but uninstalling apps to save space can be wise even if you have plenty of room left. Phone storage components wear down over time, and smartphones can spread information across the storage space to slow this degradation. Freeing up space offers more room for this process. Furthermore, uninstalling apps helps keep you interface from becoming cluttered, helping you find apps more quickly. Some apps run in the background, which can cost you bandwidth and lead to poorer performance. If you haven’t used an app in an extended period of time, think about if you’re likely to use it again in the future.

Smartphones are better than ever, and they’ll continue evolving over time. Although devices are more rugged and durable than ever before, a bit of caution and maintenance can go a long way toward ensuring your phone lasts as long as possible.

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