The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health is the subject of recent interest and study, as a result of the enormous increase in mobile phone usage throughout the world (as of June 2009, there were more than 4.3 billion users worldwide). Mobile phones use electromagnetic in the microwave range. Other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks, produce similar radiation. The WHO has classified mobile phone radiation on the IARC scale into Group 2B - possibly carcinogenic. That means that there "could be some risk" of carcinogenicity, so additional research into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones needs to be conducted. Some national radiation advisory authorities have recommended measures to minimize exposure to their citizens as a precautionary approach. Effects
Many scientific studies have investigated possible health symptoms of mobile phone radiation. These studies are occasionally reviewed by some scientific committees to assess overall risks. A recent assessment was published in 2007 by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). It concludes that the three lines of evidence, viz. animal, in vitro, and epidemiological studies, indicate that "exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans". Radiation absorption
Part of the radio waves emitted by a mobile telephone handset are absorbed by the human head. The radio waves emitted by a GSM handset can have a peak power of 2 watts, and a US analogue phone had a maximum transmit power of 3.6 watts. Other digital mobile technologies, such as CDMA2000 and D-AMPS, use lower output power, typically below 1 watt. The maximum power output from a mobile phone is regulated by the mobile phone standard and by the regulatory agencies in each country. In most systems the cell phone and the base station check reception quality and signal strength and the power level is increased or decreased automatically, within a certain span, to accommodate different situations, such as inside or outside of buildings and vehicles. The rate at which radiation is absorbed by the human body is measured by the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and its maximum levels for modern handsets have been set by governmental regulating agencies in many countries. In the USA, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set a SAR limit of 1.6 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 1 gram of tissue, for the head. In Europe, the limit is 2 W/kg, averaged over a volume of 10 grams of tissue. SAR values are heavily dependent on the size of the averaging volume. Without information about the averaging volume used, comparisons between different measurements cannot be made. Thus, the European 10-gram ratings should be compared among themselves, and the American 1-gram ratings should only be compared among themselves. SAR data for specific mobile phones, along with other useful information, can be found directly on manufacturers' websites, as well as on third party web sites. Thermal effects
One well-understood effect of microwave radiation is dielectric heating, in which any dielectric material (such as living tissue) is heated by rotations of polar molecules induced by the electromagnetic field. In the case of a person using a cell phone, most of the heating effect will occur at the surface of the head, causing its temperature to increase by a fraction of a degree. In this case, the level of temperature increase is an order of magnitude less than that obtained during the exposure of the head to direct sunlight. The brain's blood circulation is capable of disposing of excess heat by increasing local blood flow. However, the cornea of the eye does not have this regulation mechanism and exposure of 2–3 hours duration has been reported to produce cataracts in rabbits' eyes at SAR values from 100-140W/kg, which produced lenticular temperatures of 41°C. There were no cataracts detected in the eyes of monkeys...
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