Larry A. Law
NIR was originally thought to be relatively benign. Visible light is not normally harmful. NIR does not have enough energy to create ions directly. Microwaves operate at the same frequency as wireless cell phones (2.4 GHz). Microwaves have more power (1000 watts versus 1.6 watts) but they share the same frequency. Common sense says we should not put our hand or head inside a microwave. Even though cell phones only warm our ear, the EMFs are doing far more damage than we realize. Even though we cannot see them, hear them, or feel them (3% of the population can sense them), we intuitively know that the radiation is probably dangerous and we should minimize it.
What gets confusing is when we look to see what science says about potential health risks associated with cell phone use. There is a lot of conflicting information. It turns out the wireless industry plays the same types of games that Big Tobacco did for 50 years to confuse the issues surrounding whether cigarettes caused lung cancer. The industry pays for and publishes low quality studies which are designed to reach no conclusion. This counters the independent studies which demonstrate a strong correlation between cell phone use and cancer or reproductive health. It is a numbers game. How can the public decide what's factual when 40% of the studies reach inconsistent conclusions and 60% say there is a disease correlation? Because the science "appears" to be unsettled or inconclusive, we are led to believe it's not a problem. We are not warned or given enough cautionary information. This is especially true in regards to children. The small print, saying that children should not even hold a cell phone until they're 16, isn't given any attention when parents are buying cell phones for their kids. There is no education on the potential risks. We are led to believe we don't have to worry until science figures it out better. But science will never absolutely prove anything, especially when there is no incentive to do so. In fact, there is much incentive to keep the science on the matter quiet. Who wants to learn something negative or that cell phones can be dangerous to our health when we all need, and in fact, can't live without them? But the preponderance of data indicates clearly that it is quite likely they are harming us. In a subsequent post, you can read in more detail what that evidence looks like.
For now, we can all work to keep phones out of young children's hands. We can find "old-fashioned" ways to entertain them. And, only use the phones for essential services. That would go a long way in minimizing the potential dangers.