Recently, the WHO, the World Health Organization came out with a statement that Cell Phones may be hazardous to your health. They made this conclusion after they had a conference in which world scientists, doctors etc., examined the data from one study done in Sweden and concluded that despite all of the other years where they could not make a determination, this year they could.
Was this politically motivated, where the WHO, the organization that created the scare of h1n1 virus, SARs, and Mad Cow, actually needed some more limelight to become relevant or is this real possibility, that is, Cell Phones used for long periods of time can cause tumors in the brain?
In looking at the study, several key facts come out of it. Some of them are based on their assumptions and some as well that are based on logic.
Where is that danged antenna located?
A short time ago, cell phones had a small telescopic antenna that you could raise or lower. This migrated to small stub fixed antennas located at the top of your cell phone, and then off to what is now used predominantly which is a “Patch” antenna, a small wafer about 1″ x 1/2 ” in size placed behind the back cover of your phone ( not the batter cover). These patch antennas work almost as well as the telescopic ones, but inherently are not as efficient. This means that “Not all cell phones are created equal“. That is to say different cell phones produce different power levels.
More importantly there are cell phone that have their antenna located behind the ear piece of the cell phone, and others that are located behind the microphone, or mouth piece. There was no distinction made between these two cases. There should be. Close proximity to the area behind the ear and above, energy transmitted by the cell phone has a higher intensity than that transmitted by the antenna behind the mouth piece. For the signal to travel into the brain area, the signal must pass through the jawbone, the moisture of the mouth, and on to the brain. The energy of the cell phone at 5″ from the antenna we can be measured with the spectrum analyzers we have and it was 10 dB or ten times less than that of the energy directly at the ear.
iPhones for example have the antenna located surrounding the cell phone from the right side over the top to the left side. The energy is distributed among a path of approximately 6″. No study was done to determine whether the distribution of the energy over the 6″ was different than coming from a patch antenna 1″ x ” in size. Blackberry and most Androids have the antenna located in the bottom of the phone at the back. Again, the signal would have to travel through the phone and then through the jawbone. Similar with Motorola razors, the flip phones where the antenna is located near the mouth piece.
Certainly not all cell phones are created equal.
Cell Phone Output Power Levels
What was the energy level of the cell phone to start off with? That is an important point. If this was a European study, a cell phone can put out a maximum power of 2 watts. Here in the United States, in order to conserve energy, and “talk time” cell phones are designed to operate at lower levels, close to 1 mill watt in most cases. US cell phones have a maximum energy level of of a watt… 25% that of the European maximums. This was not taken into consideration.
What Standard Protocol did they test?
CDMA GSM or iDen? The three standards used in the United States, are infinitely different. CDMA phones normally operate at even lower powers levels than their GSM counterparts. The equipment of the CDMA in the USA is the UMTS in Europe or WCDMA. GSM operates channelized m and CDMA is spread over a greater area. Iden phones, famous for push to talk operate at much higher levels than the other two systems, because their towers are father apart forcing the phone to operate at higher levels. Up to 2 watts in some cases!
Did they take into consideration other factors, like total amount of metal in the particular cell iPhone versus plastic? Several Nokia, Samsung and Sanyo phones have very little metal, but put out the same power as the Motorola counterparts. This is all very important in looking at the study.
Using Headsets versus the phone up against you ear.
Most news organizations are coming out indicting that the use of a Bluetooth headset is advisable compared to directly putting your cell phone up against your ear. They have no basis for this discussion. No test has ever been done on the effects of Bluetooth headsets on brain cancer!
Here is what they are not telling you: Bluetooth headsets operate a frequency of 2.4-2.5 GHz. Your microwave oven operates at a similar frequency. The headset puts out 2.5 mill watts of power, at a distance closer to your brain than the cell phone! Earpieces are inserted into the ear canal making them closer! The 2.5 mill watts of power is 2.5 times higher than the energy form the cell phone at normal conditions. How anyone can recommend going from a cell phone to a Bluetooth headset is beyond my understanding…unless of course you sell Bluetooth headsets.
The bars on the cell phone can be a good indicator of whether or not your phone is operating at full output power or at the levels that I describe, which are at 1 milliwatt…minimal power. First, the higher the energy that you receive from the tower, the closer the tower is to you and the less energy the cell phone has to put out to reach the tower. More bars on your phone = lower transmission levels of your phone. The power level of your phone transmitting to the tower is inversely proportional to the received signal from the tower. Da Bars! Can you trust the bars on your phone? 5 Bars is FULL? Only with some phones. Motorola we have always found to be truthful with their display of the bars. 3 bars means -75 dBm of downlink signal, and full bars, usually means -60 dB. Each bar on the Motorola phone represents 10 -20 times energy difference. Now, with Samsung, LG etc., they like to ‘juice’ those bars up. That means that 5 bars on their phone could still mean a lower signal coming form the tower and a high signal generated from your phone. In fact the carriers like giving those people that complain about signal levels on their phones the juiced up models…that way they can full you into thinking you got better signal! If you have 1 or two bars, you can be certain that your cell phone has to power up to full, most of the time. You also notice that the cell phones battery runs out quicker… because it is transmitting at full power!
So what can be done about lowering the energy level of the cell phone so that I minimize the risks, if any, associated with electromagnetic radiation exposure? What you need to do is get better downlink signals from the tower so that your phone does not have to power up as high. There are several ways to do this
1. Use an External Antenna
In some phones, there is a ” small plug located at the back either top or bottom…Behind this plug is a jack that connects directly to the antenna output of the cell phone. With an adapter connected to a cable plugged into this port, you can add an external antenna that can be placed at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from you. A few things happen as a result. The amount of energy you get from the external antenna at 3 feet is 1000 times less than that of the antenna of the cell phone when placed against you rear. As well, since this antenna is more efficient than the small one at the back of your cell phone, the phone is more efficient in transmitting and receiving the signal and therefore powers down to the lowest levels. In some cases this amounts to 10000 times less energy needed, increased talk time, and better reception of course no dropped calls. The Antenna can be stuck to the car window (we have suction cop antennas) to your window at your house as well. OR you can simply hold it at a distance or place it beside you. With the Magnetic mount antennas., placing it outside the car or home results in a doubling of the signal levels of the towers, and halving of the transmission energy of the cell phone.
2. Install a docking station.
We have two products on our side, one made by Dock N talk, and the other is Siemens Gigaset. These two products connect to your cell phone either wirelessly or via a cable to the data port. By placing the docking station near a window, say in your kitchen and attaching the cell phone to it, your signal level of the cell phone will be higher. More importantly, the cell phone when transmitting will be nowhere near you. That is because these two products connect the cell phone directly to the landline phone sin your home. When someone calls your cell number, the house phone rings. You pick it up, (even has caller ID) and you answer just like you would if the phone is up against your ear. AS well, you can dial out. The cell phone does not have to be next to you! It can be anywhere else in the house. The added benefit of course is that you can get rid of your landline entirely and use the cell phone only.
3. Adding a repeater system.
If you have at least 3 bars outside your home and 1-2 bars inside, you are a perfect candidate for Cell phone booster or Repeater. The reason the signal level is lower in your house than outside is because building materials absorb and reflect radio frequency signals. Our repeater system simply put bridges this resistance, and takes the signal from outside, amplifies it and transmits it inside. Similarly the signal from your phone gets amplified and sent to the tower. You install an antenna outdoors, run the cable inside to the amplifier and install a small indoor antenna. Turn it on and presto! 1 bar becomes 5, and as I said, the more bars you see on your phone the less signal is being transmitted.
Some may ask, but what about the energy coming from the repeater? Isn’t that a worry? Fact is because our antenna outside sees the tower… the amount of energy that is being picked up and amplifier is about the same as the output power of the cell phone. The difference is that the antenna of the repeater is located three or more feet from where you are. That means the signal level from the repeater is 1000 times or more less than that of your cell phone at your ear! No worries here! We have repeaters for small homes, offices, warehouse and even hospitals and hotels. The added benefit of course is not only do you reduce the radiation level of the cell phones, you increase talk time, get less dropped calls, and you are able to use your phone in more places than before.
4. How about the RAD sticker?
There are many products on the market that tell you that they will reduce the energy of the cell phone. Stickers placed at the back of your phone for instance are nothing more than a sham. Any metal placed near the antenna of a cell phone causes the cell phone to get less signal from the tower…and if you have been reading….forces your phone to power up at higher levels!
5. More Text Messaging less Phone Use.
Use text messaging more often. I always wonder in this world of progress, how we ended up back with text messaging. IF you are older, and remember the days of the pager, you would dial a phone number for a pager, and a signal would be sent, the pager would beep and the person would call his answering service. That migrated to being able to send the phone number to the pager of the party that wanted to be called, to being able to answer back to another pager by a small keyboard on the pager that you received it or sending a message. This migrated to being able to call someone using a cell phone rather than paging them. This migrated to paging them on a cell phone, then finally text messaging them instead of calling them. How the hell did we do a full 360 degree circle with technology that was supposed to move us forward?
Having said that, the best you can do, is use the technology sparingly. There is no reason to talk on a cell phone if you have a landline near you. AS well, you could do the good old fashion way of waiting until you get home to call your friend. What is so urgent? If the WHO is right, and maybe they are wrong, or maybe next year they will look at the facts, be pressured by the CTIA (organization that represents the carriers) and have their ruling about cell phones overturned. Perhaps even better….they will read my article, ask the people performing the study to study more… and maybe 50 years from now, we will get a different answer…. Cell Phones are healthy! They reduce your stress levels. Less stress = better health. Higher tower signals = lower cell phone transmission power = better health.
If you have any concern whatsoever regarding the use of the cell phone, you can abstain from using it of course. However, any and all of the solutions described above will certainly decrease the energy levels, reduce the risk of cancer if any, and provide you with decent coverage and less dropped calls.