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Are mobile phones a health risk?

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Introduction

        Science in Society Topical Issue        Page

        Are Mobile Phones a Health Risk?

Abstract

        In this report I aim to determine whether or not mobile phones pose a risk to our health. I will explain how mobile phone electromagnetic radiation can be perceived as dangerous, with reference to the EM spectrum. I will cite scientific sources of evidence which support both sides of the dispute, and will come to a reasoned conclusion as to how likely it is that mobile phones are a health risk. I will also evaluate the credibility of the sources used to support my conclusions, and list all the sources used throughout in a detailed bibliography.

Introduction

        Mobile phones are becoming increasingly popular in today’s world; with around 80 million handsets in Britain, there are now more mobiles than people [1]. They’ve become an essential part of our existence, in business, in our daily lives and in keeping in touch with our loved ones – however, there is growing concern that this technology is causing serious health problems throughout the population, such as lasting brain damage and cancer. The Media consistently tends to portray mobile phones negatively, fuelling the public’s fears and misgivings: this study aims to determine from the scientific evidence whether or not mobile phones present a risk to our health.

Main Points

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Middle

Cancers and Brain Tumours due to Mobile Phone Radiation?

        The vast majority of recent publications agree that current evidence suggests that mobile phones (both the handsets and broadcasting/receiving masts) do not cause cancers or brain tumours – two very recent sources, one a joint-statement from the Nordic Radiation Safety Authorities, the other a Mobile Phone Fact-Sheet published by the Heath Physics Society, both agree that there is no evidence for mobile phones causing adverse health effects [6] [7]. However, the joint-statement goes on to acknowledge that the technology which uses radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation is still relatively new – only two decades old – and so active research must continue into finding out whether or not there are health dangers presented by radiofrequency radiation – this is a view agreed upon by the World Health Organization (WHO), which state the available evidence does not point towards any increased health risks attributable to mobile phone exposure, though further research and risk analysis should continue. [8]

        This said, the argument for mobile phones causing brain tumours still persists: the WHO also mentions that recent studies seem to suggest an increased risk of acoustic neuroma and certain brain tumours in users of analogue mobile phones for a time period greater than 10 years – A point corroborated by a 14 months study conducted by Dr Vini Gautam Khurana.

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Conclusion

Bibliography of References

  • [1] Number of Mobile Phones in the UK statistic from: The Daily Mail - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1224827/As-new-evidence-links-mobile-phones-greater-risk-tumours-using-cost-child-life.html Last Updated: 3/11/09
  • [2]The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency - http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/ionize_nonionize.htmlLast Updated: 22/10/09
  • [3] Image of EM spectrum from: The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency - http://www.arpansa.gov.au/mobilephones/mobiles1.cfm#1
  • [4] Prof Kjell Mild, of Orbero University, Sweden - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1565477/Mobile-phone-cancer-risk-higher-for-children.htmlPublished: 8/10/07
  • [5] The Institute of Physics Publishing - http://www.iop.org/EJ/article/0031-9155/52/4/001/pmb7_4_001.pdf?request-id=2266623f-5097-4aa8-a71d-fa1e83b6a0fcPublished: 17/1/07
  • [6] Joint-statement from the NRSA - http://www.stuk.fi/stuk/tiedotteet/fi_FI/news_578/_files/82468261251448918/default/Nordic_Statement-EMF161109.pdfPublished 19/11/09
  • [7] HPSMobile Phones Fact-Sheet - http://hps.org/documents/mobiletelephonefactsheet.pdfAdopted: September 2009
  • [8] WHO - http://www.euro.who.int/HEN/Syntheses/MobilePhones/20061017_10Last Updated 13/11/06
  • [9] Dr Vini Khurana’s study - http://www.brain-surgery.us/mobph.pdfCopyrighted to G.Khurana 2008  
  • [10] The Human Ecological Social Economical Project - http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/niemr/icnirp.phpAccessed 13/12/09
  • [11] Image of Ionizing Radiation from: radiation, Science and Health inc. -http://www.radscihealth.org/RSH/docs/Pollycove98_Ottawa.html

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidate has sensibly written an abstract, therefore the purpose of this essay is immediately clear, this is very helpful for the reader. In addition to this the candidates introduction is clear and concise, they have attempted to engage the ...

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Response to the question

The candidate has sensibly written an abstract, therefore the purpose of this essay is immediately clear, this is very helpful for the reader. In addition to this the candidates introduction is clear and concise, they have attempted to engage the reader by mentioning relevant facts and it is very clear what they plan to discuss. Furthermore the candidate gives a very explicit response to the overall question, they have taken the time to throughly research this topic, their discussion looks at both sides of the debate, they show a clear understanding of the physics involved and they have included a person response.

Level of analysis

The candidate has clearly undergone independent research in order to write this essay, they have taken the time to look through publications, newspaper articles and several webpages. This kind of research shows dedication and an interest in your subject. In addition to this, the extra information included in the candidates essay makes is more enjoyable to read. Furthermore the candidate has listed all of the sources they have used in a bibliography, which is important as it shows that your work is not plagiarised and it enables those who read your work to look over the resources you have used. They have also noted the credibility of their sources, this is an important thing to consider, if an article is written by a well respected person or organisation then you can assume that their work and therefore conclusions are accurate. On another note, the candidate has written a strong conclusion, they have answered the question that was set at the beginning of the essay and they have included a personal response, however this could have been improved had they taken the time to summarise their key points which would help to draw the essay to a close.

Quality of writing

This is exceptionally well written, the candidate uses a good range of vocabulary throughout, they use appropriate scientific terms and it clear that they understand the physics principles that they have discussed. Unfortunately there are a few issues with spelling and grammar, in particular there are several incidences in which the candidate has used the American version of a word, though this is only a minor issue.


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