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Parental Advisory

Are Mobile Phones Safe?

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I’ve been asked to take part in a study which addresses the issues of the long-term effects of mobile phone use.

Are mobile phones safe? That’s a question I know a lot of us have been asking, particularly when we see our children clamping them to their ears every day for long periods of time.

There is certainly some evidence that living close to mobile phone masts can be detrimental to health and I do worry about the brain frying possibilities of having microwaves so close to a young person’s developing cerebrum every day.

For myself, I invariably use an ear phone attachment because, if it’s a long telephone call, I multi-task and wash up whilst I’m chatting… a job which is not conducive to mobile phone safety if it’s tucked between your shoulder and your ear… or to good postural health if such a posture is maintained for any length of time on a regular basis.

The other thing that makes mobile phones dangerous to our physical health is the way that so many of us use them when we are walking along the street.

Concentrating on texting or listening, I have seen so many people step into the road without looking. One young boy who lives nearby was badly injured last year doing just that. The poor driver didn’t stand a chance because the child just made a 90 degree turn and stepped off the pavement into the road without any prior warning.

There is also the increased risk of being mugged because people are listening to the iPod part of the phone via both earphones and so are completely unaware of what is going on around them or if someone is coming up behind them intent on no good.

So, yes, I’d like to be involved with the study, which will be done anonymously in terms of their access to my mobile phone usage as far as numbers dialled and calls made and received. My only concern is that I may have to give them access to my health records.

There is a nagging doubt in my mind about this coming back to bite me on the bum somehow later.

Can anyone think of any valid reason why I shouldn’t do it?

2 comments to Are Mobile Phones Safe?

  • If this is a “real” study, the researchers will ask you to sign an informed consent document of some sort, which will detail everything that they’re going to do or ask for. (They damn well better have an ICD if they want to look at medical records or collect personal information about you!). Read it carefully and ask questions if anything isn’t clear, then use that info to make your decision. And remember, you can always drop out of the study at any time, without penalty. (Can you tell I work in research?)

  • Got to admit… I have tripped over a curb while texting, I have almsot been hit by a car while texting, and I have almost been hit by many a person chatting on their cell phones.

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