Nowadays, it is said that the mobile phone is our best friend. We don’t know that this friend is gradually destroying our life. The world population today, is approximately 7.6 billion, among them almost five billion people use a mobile phone. But most of the people are not so concerned about the harmful impact of the mobile phone. It is true that mobile phone is important for the modern world and it made the world smaller and more connected.
A mobile phone is a wireless handheld device that allows users to make and receive calls and to send text messages, along with other features. A mobile phone may also be known as a cellular phone or simply a cell phone. This phone can be easily used anywhere. Four generations of mobile phones have been made.Mobile phones are basically a two-way transmitter, which can also provide information. Scientist Alexander Graham Bell was able to send a message for the first time. Later, in 1973, Martin Cooper invented the first mobile. In 1996, the first mobile phone was launched in Bangladesh. Mobile phones are now being used all over the world.
Bangladesh is also expanding its mobile phones. Currently, a large part of the population is now using mobile phones. According to The Daily Sangram report on February 21, 2017, modern technology, including smart phones, internet, laptops have different applications and features with a lot of good and educative aspects, but most people of the country use it for negative purpose such as - watching movie, chatting, gaming and seeing different types of videos. Over time, prolonged use of mobile phones have many negative effects on health.
According to Dr. Pran Gopal Datta, the mobile phone is dangerous for children below sixteen. Children and pregnant women are more vulnerable than other people. Today, all parents give children mobile phone for entertainment, but they are unaware of the harmful side effects of the mobile phone. Excessive use of mobile phone is creating numerous diseases in our body; it also has an impact on our daily life and social life.
The health effects of mobile phones are increasingly coming to light. Due to using mobile phone, many hazards are occurring in our health. Some of them are cancer, brain tumour, DNA damage, stroke/heart disease; sleep disorder, cardiovascular and skin problem, stress, eye problem and inflection, infertility, etc.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at all the research and stated mobile phones as a ‘possible cause of cancer’. Cellphone affects the function of our heart. A study found that a one minute phone call raised the heart rate in chronic users of a cell phone. The blood cholesterol levels were also higher in regular users. It is also reported at the American society of hypertension meeting that the ring of cellphone causes blood pressure to rise at an average by 8 gram Hg. Excessive uses of mobile phone is also another cause of stroke.
Although cellphone is now an integral part of life today, its careless use is causing death of a significant number of people across the country every year. While crossing the road and driving, people talk over cellphone, listen to music through earphones, and these are mainly responsible for road accidents.Cellphones not only serve as a home for our valuable data but can also carry millions of infectious organisms from faecal origin. A woman, in general, tends to have more bacteria in their cellphone than men. More than 7,000 different types of bacteria were also identified and the most common belong to streptococcus, staphylococcus and crony bacterium families. These bacteria are normally found in human mouth and skin. Scientists at the University of Arizona have found that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats.
The radio frequency of the mobile phone is emitted from the phone antenna when we are using a mobile phone. An antenna is very close to the human ear, and this radio frequency is very harmful to human health. Ear problems are occurring due to the frequent use of mobile phones.
According to Dr. Pran Gopal Datta, mobile phones have thermal effects. When people use a mobile phone more than 15 minutes, lot of heat are generated due to Electromagnetic Radiation for raising the temperature to open up the blood-brain barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a cover which protects our brain. It can also damage the nerves, change the DNA and cause tumour. According to his information, the mobile phone also causes headaches, loss of sleep, memory loss and joint pain.
If you listen to songs using high-pitched headphones, this may affect the ear cells, and cause abnormal behaviours in the brain. Today, every other person on the street has earphones plugged in. But it’s not the only reason why hearing loss is increasing in youth and adults. Mobile radiation is the main factor that is making us deaf.
Long-term exposure to an electromagnetic field from cell phones contributes to reducing hearing function. The use of mobile phones has increased so much that students are harmed more by using mobile phones. According to research done by the University of Hebron, 94 per cent of high school students are using mobile phones in the classroom. Eye experts in the UK have been told to make people aware that excessive use of mobile phones can cause eye problems.
Mobile phones not only affect human health, but it also has a great impact on plants and animals. Due to EMR leaves of plants are damaged. The American National Toxicity Program (NTP) of the United States conducted research on ten years effect of radio frequency radiation (RFR) on rats. Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) can lead to diseases on animals such as cancer.
There is no doubt that mobile phone is a necessity these days, but we should take care of the negative points too and use this technology accordingly. Always think, again and again, of the negative impact of mobile phone before excessive use of this technology. We should minimise the duration of use, use hands-free or speakerphone on handset to decrease the radiation to head.
The writers are associated with teaching and research in the Department of Environmental Science at Stamford University Bangladesh