It is very likely for you to suffer from a new disease that has been recently discovered, if you spend a lot of time playing with your cell phone even when it’s not ringing or vibrating. A 34 year old woman from Spain has been recently diagnosed with ‘WhatsAppitis’, which is actually a bilateral wrist pain brought about by using WhatsApp for long durations. The woman had used her mobile for 6 hours continuously to text her family and friends and when she woke up the next day, she had a severe wrist pain.
This is not the only negative effect of cell phones. Everyone is in a great danger of getting diseases from the excessive use of cell phone. Following are some health risks associated with mobile phone use:
- Cancer: World Health Organization (WHO) has told that the radio frequency fields emitted by a cell phone is a thousand times greater than what base stations emit. Such high levels of emissions are harmful for health. Though there is no solid proof of cancer being caused by RF fields, still they are claimed carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Sleep disorders: Chatting and texting at night is the main cause of sleep deprivation. A cohort study by Sara Thomee et al. concluded that sleep disorders are caused by heavy mobile phone use. Sleep is mainly disturbed when one wakes due to a ringing cell phone or vibration and the use of cell phone from evening till midnight.
- High accident-risk: Checking your cell phone while travelling may cause accidents. This is because it creates a distraction while you are driving or crossing the road. The chances for increased risk of traffic accidents are 3 to 4 times greater when one is using a cell phone, as per WHO.
- Heart problems: Chronic diseases like heart problems are also caused by radiation from cell phones. According to a study published in European Journal of Oncology, abnormalities in heart function are created by the radiation from cordless phones, such as cell phones. The reports showed that heart complications were created when the radiation caused the red blood cells to seep hemoglobin.
- Infertility: It has been discovered that radiation from cell phone reduces sperm count in male rats. Wdowiak A and his colleagues conducted a research to see whether cell phone radiation has the same effect on humans. It turned out that sperm count in men was also reduced, which led to infertility.
- Hearing problem: Earphones are known to lead to hearing loss, but even radiation from cell phone can result in deafness. Long-term exposure to electromagnetic field from mobile phones can lead to serious hearing impairment and this has been proved by various studies. According to a study by Oktay MF and Dasdag S, those people are at a higher risk of hearing loss who spend 2 hours on phone calls daily, in contrast to those who use cell phones moderately.
- Eye problems: Mobile phones are used for multiple purposes, including reading e-books, web surfing, texting, etc. As the screen size and font size is small, it puts a lot of strain on the eyes and causes one to squint or open the eyes wider and even blink less number of times. This results in dry eyes, irritation and reddening.
- Skin allergies: Because mobile phones usually have a metallic shine for the purpose of giving it more style, they contain potential skin allergens like nickel, chromium and cobalt. This causes cell phone dermatitis. 72 cell phones were tested for the presence of nickel and cobalt in a study by Marcella Aquino and colleagues. The results showed that 29.4% of Blackberry models had nickel, 90.5% of flip phones also had nickel and 52% of flip phones had cobalt.
- Infections: Cell phones carry innumerable infectious organisms. According to a study, mobile phones are infected by organisms from fecal origin. They come from a germ family of E.coli (that cause vomiting and diarrhea) and Staphyloccocus aureus (that cause skin infections).
- Stress: Increased stress levels are caused by the tendency to check mobile phones frequently.