Smartphone Users Should Minimize Risk

Editorial
San Francisco Chronicle

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) No one is ready to condemn the handhelds yet, especially in a era that has swung wholeheartedly toward universal smartphone use. However, the California Department of Public Health is weighing in with mild guidelines that come close to suggesting that there’s uncertain harm.

San Francisco Chronicle

There’s no more ubiquitous feature of modern life than smartphones. Convenience, necessity and plain fun make the devices a near requirement, but it all comes with a niggling doubt: Is there a health risk to a device that’s become almost a human appendage?

All those pinging messages may take a toll — or may not.

The research on a relatively new product hasn’t turned up definitive results so far. But that’s not stopping the California Department of Public Health from weighing in with mild guidelines that come close to suggesting that there’s uncertain harm.

Studies elsewhere haven’t found serious danger. But that conclusion comes with a caveat.

As people use the devices, more often and at an earlier age, health risks could eventually show up. A Kaiser Permanente study of hundreds of pregnant Bay Area women found a higher rate of miscarriage for those exposed to radiation emitted by cell phones, power lines and wireless networks.

But correlation is not necessarily proof of causation, meaning that more research needs to be done.

Health dangers indicated in other studies include brain tumors, lower sperm count and impacts on memory, learning and sleep.

No one is ready to condemn the handhelds yet, especially in a era that has swung wholeheartedly toward universal smartphone use. Some 95 percent of Americans carry a phone. The average age for the first use of a device is 10 years old. Surely the danger would have shown up by now, defenders say, while doubters note that the rate of exposure is growing by the day.

Related News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *