Cell phones have become just a part of everyday life now and according to one statistic, there are now more mobile devices on the planet that there are people! Ever since cell phones became popular, there have been suggestions that they could be capable of anything, from frying an egg to frying your brain! A lot of the early fears about cell phones may have been disproven, but most people now do spend a lot of time with their cell phone glued to their ear, so let’s take a look at some of the effects that cell phones may be having on your health with these ten potential dangers of cell phones you need to know about.
1. Increased levels of stress
It will come as no surprise to many that cell phones can cause stress. The constant ringing or buzzing of a phone when you are busy can really put a person on edge, and the feeling that most people have of a need to answer a phone immediately, means that you are constantly listening out for your ringtone. High cell phone use has been linked to stress and anxiety, lack of sleep and depression.
2. Exposure to bacteria
Another one of dangers of cell phones is exposure to bacteria. Cell phones get dirty and very few of us clean them regularly, so that is leaving you open to all kinds of infections. In one study conducted in Turkey, researchers found that nearly 95% of the cell phones owned by health workers, of all people, were contaminated by bacteria. The advice from experts is that cell phones should be wiped over with an antibacterial wipe at least once every day.
3. Using a cell phone while driving
Despite laws having been passed to ban the use of cell phones while driving, many people do still do it and, even hands-free phone usage in the car can be very dangerous. A study conducted at Carnegie Mellon University proved that merely listening to a cell phone conversation reduced a driver’s concentration on the road by nearly 30%.
4. It could be affecting your children
This fact has been disputed, but in a study of 30,000 children it was found that those children whose mothers had used a cell phone a lot during pregnancy and around the child in its infancy were more likely to experience behavioural problems.
5. Cell phone use has been linked to cancer
The link between cell phone use and cancer is still hotly disputed, especially by cell phone manufacturers, but one study conducted in Sweden suggested that frequent cell phone use could triple to risk of developing brain tumours. One of the biggest problems in proving any link to cancer is the relatively short period of time that cell phones have been in use by the majority of the population, so definitive proof, one way or the other, won’t be available for some years yet.
6. Your cell phone could be causing your chronic pain
Your cell phone use could also be giving you a backache. If you use a phone for a long period of time, it can make you arch your neck and, although your speed at texting might impress your friends, that could be causing inflammation to your joints too.
7. Talking and walking can be dangerous too
Quite apart from the annoyance that it causes to other people on the pavement when you walk and talk on your cell phone at the same time, it can also distract you when you cross a road. This has become a particular concern in children and recent research showed that children pay 20% less attention to road traffic when they are talking on their phone.
8. You could be allergic to your cell phone
Another one of potential dangers of cell phones is that you could be allergic to some of the metals used in the manufacture of phones. Dermatologists have seen an increase in recent years in the rates of contact dermatitis, which is a skin disorder that can be caused by an allergy to metals such as nickel.
9. You might be damaging your ears
If you play music in your cell phone, through an earpiece, then you could be causing permanent damage to your hearing. Statistics show that, an estimated 20% of the population have suffered some degree permanent hearing loss due to the playing of loud music on mobile devices.
10. Cell phones can cause digital eye strain
Squinting at your cell phone is probably damaging your eyes too. Staring at a computer screen is bad enough, but when you reduce the size of the characters to fit on a cell phone, the potential of long term damage to your eyesight is even greater.