Health Problems Associated With Mobile Phone Radiations Biology Essay

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The widespread use of mobile phones has been increased over the past decade; they are now an essential part of business, society, and commerce. The use of mobile phone can cause health problems.

Aim of the work: The aim of this study was to investigate the association of using mobile phones with "Immunological, Hematological Changes, Dizziness, Headache, Fatigue and Sleep Disturbance" in Egyptian population and provide health and social awareness using this device.

Methods: The study was conducted in Alexandria University, Faculty of Medicine and the Main University Hospital in Alexandria, Egypt during the years 2003-2004, the total of 300 subjects (180 males, 120 females( aged 18-50) were invited, they have been using mobile phones compared to 100 not using mobile phones.

Blood examination for C. reactive protein (C.R.P.) and R.B.Cs and W.B.Cs and platelets…) in addition to a questionnaire was distributed regarding detailed history and association of mobile phones with health hazards.

Results: The results of the present study showed an increase association between the use of mobile phones and health hazards.

The overall mean percentage for these clinical findings in all group were increase C. reactive protein (C.R.P.) 16.7%, decrease R.B 3.7%, (less than 3.5 x 106/cmm), Leucocytosis increased W.B.Cs 10% (more than 11 x 103/cmm), decreased platelets (thrombocytopenia, less than 150 x 103/cmm) 20% , Dizziness (9.7%), Headeache (33.3%), Fatigue 10%, and sleep disturbance 5.7%.

Conclusion & Recommendations: Based on the results of the present study we concluded that the use of mobile phones is a risk factor for health hazards and suggests that long term or excessive use of mobile phones should be avoided by health promotion activities such as group discussion, public presentations, and through electronic & print media.

INTRODUCTION

The widespread use of mobile phones has been increased over the past decade; they are now an essential part of business, society, and commerce. The use of mobile phone can cause health problems.

Mobile phones transmit and receive radio frequency radiation at frequencies in the microwave range 900-1800 MHz. nearly more than 500 million people world-wide use mobile phones.(1)

There are 2 direct ways by which health could be affected as a result of exposure to radio frequency (RF) radiation. These are thermal (heating) effect caused by holding mobile phones close to the

body and also as a result of possible non thermal effects.(2)

Mobile phones may cause adverse health problems such as headache, sleep disturbance, impairment of short term memory and more seriously significant increase in the frequency of seizures in the epileptic children, Brain tumors and high blood pressure among users of mobile phones.(3)

In addition mobile phones can cause discomfort, lack of concentration, dizziness, warm on ear and burning skin.(4) In spite of its effects on different parts of the body observed in different countries,

its effects in Egyptian population has not been reported yet.

The aim of this study was to investigate the association of using mobile phone with C-reactive protein level which reflects the extent of inflammatory reaction in the body, the white blood corpuscles, the red blood corpuscles and platlets count as hematological changes. The mobile phones associate with dizziness, headache, fatigue and sleeps disturbance as health problem were studied and provide health and social awareness in using this device.

METHODS

This study was conducted in Alexandria University (faculty of medicine and main university hospital in Alexandria during the years 2003 and 2004.

The total of 300 subjects (age 18-50 years) of

them 180 males 60% and 120 females 40% were invited, they have and had been using mobile

phones compared to 100 subjects, the same age group, [55 males and 45 females i.e. 55% and 45% respectively] not using mobiles.

Blood examination:

For C. reactive protein measuring by commercial Behring diagnostic kit (Marburg- Germany).

The red blood corpuscles R.B.Cs and white

blood corpuscles W.B.Cs and the platlets, measured by Coulter counter in addition to blood film examination using Leishman stain.

A detailed questionnaire was constructed. It assessed general, physical characteristics, occupation of the participants, medical history. Type of mobile phones, duration possessing, their use, numbers and average duration of going and incoming calls. (subject with known history of anemia, diabetes mellitus, blood pressure central nervous diseases, hearing & vision problems, subjects using any medication or computer professionals were excluded from the study.

RESULTS

The result of the present study showed definite association between the use of mobile phone and health hazards. The overall mean percentage for the clinical findings in all groups was shown in Tables I, II, III, IV, V, VI.

Table I summarizes the No of participants; the sample was predominantly males 60% and

females 40% [180 males & 20 females] that for the respondents 300 subjects aged 18 - 50 the non-respondents (100 subjects) with no mobiles was males55% and females 45% with the matched age group.

Table II shows duration of incoming and outgoings calls for respondents as a percentage of total number. The call duration was 5-10 minutes (60%), 10-30 minutes (30%), 30-60 minutes (10%).

Table III demonstrates the health problems associated with duration of incoming and outgoings calls for respondents as a percentage of total numbers.

The maximum associated percentage was found for headache (22.7%) for duration 5-10 minutes / day, (7.3%) for 10-30 minutes /day, and (3.3 %) for duration 30-60 minutes/day. With total (33.3%) percentage of total respondents followed by fatigue 10%, dizziness 9.6%, and lastly sleep disturbance 5.6%.

Table IV characterizes the health problems associated with duration of exposure to mobile phones emissions. The associated percentage of headache was 23/300 with < 1 year, 70/300 with 1-3 years, 7/300 with 3-5 years, fatigue was 9/300, 13/300, 8/300. Dizziness < 1year 6/300, 1-3 year 18/300, 3-5 year 5/300, and sleep disturbance was <1 year 2/300, 1-3 year 13/300, 3-5 years 2/300.

Table V summarizes the hematological and immunological findings associated with duration of exposure to mobile phones on respondents and non-respondents.

The percentage of CRP increase in respondents to non-respondents (16.6% and 5%) with maximum increase 9.6% at the time of exposure 1-3 years decreased R.B. is 3.7% and 2%.

Leucocytosis at percentage of 10% more than 11,000 /cmm related to 3% in non-respondents.

Thrombocytocsis (less than 110.000/cmm was 20% and maximum ↓ at exposure of mobile

phone radiation 1-3 years) compared to 2% non-respondents.

Table VI A: Shows ↑ CRP as an inflammatory index 16.7%, ↓ R.B is at 3.7%, ↑ W.B. is (leucocytosis 10%), thrombocytopenia 20%.

Table VI B: shows Health Hazards of mobile

phone radiation in respondents only (300 cases) Headache 33.3%, Diziness 9.7%, fatigue 10%, sleep disturbance 5.7% of total 300 respondents.

Table I: The distribution of male and female respondents

and non-respondents as % of total.

Parameters

Frequency

%

Male ♂

180

60

Female ♀

120

40

Total respondents

300

100

Non respondents

Male ♂

55

55

Female ♀

45

45

100

100

Table II: The distribution of male and female respondents as percentage

of total associated to duration of calls.

Duration of Calls

(minutes per day)

♂

♀

Total

No

%

No.

%

No.

%

5-10

80

55.2

100

64.5

180

60

10-30

55

37.9

35

22.6

90

30

30-60

10

6.9

20

12.9

30

10

Total

145

100

155

100

300

100

Χ2 =10.62

The distribution of female respondents in association to duration of calls is highly significant

different from male distribution.

Table III: Distribution of health problems associated with duration of exposure

to mobile phones on respondents as percentage of total.

Duration of calls

(minutes per day)

Dizziness

Headache

Fatigue

Sleep disturbance

No

%

No

%

No

%

No

%

5-10

18

6%

68

22.7 %

20

6.6%

9

3%

10-30

6

2%

22

7.3 %

5

1.6%

3

1%

30-60

5

1.6%

10

3.3 %

5

1.6%

5

1.6%

Total

29

9.6%

100

33.3 %

30

10%

17

5.6%

Table IV: Distribution of health problems associated with duration of exposure to mobile

phones on respondents as % of total.

Duration of exposure to

mobile phones (years)

Dizziness

Headache

Fatigue

Sleep disturbance

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

< 1 year

6

2%

23

7.6%

9

3%

2

0.67%

1-3 year

18

6%

70

23.3%

13

4.3%

13

4.3%

3-5 year

5

1.6%

7

2.3%

8

2.6%

2

0.6%

Total

29

9.6%

100

33.3%

30

10%

17

5.6%

Table V: Distribution of Immunological and Hematological findings associated with duration of exposure

to mobile phones on respondents and non-respondents as % of total.

Duration of exposure to mobiles phones (years)

CRP +ve more than 8 µg/ml

RBC

N: 4-5.3x106/Cmm

W.B.Cs

N: 4-10.5x103/Cmm

Platelets

N: 150-400x103/Cmm

No.

%

↓ No.

%

↑ No.

%

↓No.

%

< 1 year

18

6%

Normal

-

10

3.33%

14

4.67%

1-3 year

29

9.7%

8

6.7%

15

5%

36

12%

3-5 year

3

1%

3

1%

5

1.66%

10

3.33%

Total

50

16.6%

11

7.7%

30

10%

60

20%

Non-respondents

5

5%

2

2%

3

3%

2

2%

Table VIA: Distribution of Health problems (Immunological and Hematological) associated with exposure to mobile phones radiations in respondents and non-respondents.

Respondents

300 cases

Non-Respondents

100 cases

Z Test

No.

%

No.

%

C.R.P. (+ve more than 8 ug/ml)

50

16.7

5

5

2.64 (sig.)

R.B.C's decreased (less than 3.5 million)

11

3.7

3

3

0.016

(non- sig.)

W.B.C's increased leucocytosis (more than 11,000)

30

10

3

3

1.994 (Sig.)

Platelets (thrombocytopenia) less than 150,000 per c.m.m

60

20

2

2

4.148

(high sig.)

C.R.P. test as immunological and inflammatory marker statistically is increased significantly in respondent (300 cases) comparative to non-respondents (100 cases).

R.B.C.'s decreased non-significantly in respondents (300 cases) compared to non-respondents (100 cases).

W.B.C.'s (Leucocytosis) increased significantly in respondents (300 cases) than non-respondents (100 cases).

Platelets decreased (Thrombocytopenia) significantly in respondents (300 cases) than non-respondents (100 cases).

Table VIB: Distribution of Health Hazards associated with exposure to mobile

phones radiations in respondents and non-respondents.

Respondents

300 cases

No.

%

Dizziness

29

9.7

Headache

100

33.3

Fatigue

30

10

Sleep Disturbance

17

5.7

Total

300

DISCUSSION

The well liked belief is that adverse health effect can be induced mostly by the heating effect of global system for Mobile Communication (GSM) radiation. The kind of radiation now used in GSM phone can affect alive organisms in various non thermal ways.(2)

Keeping in view the hazards of mobile phone, the present study was designed to investigate the association of mobile phones with immunological, hematological changes and other health hazards.

The over all meaning in this study; blood parameters (CRP. 16.7% increase), R. B.Cs is decreased (less 3.5 x 106 cmm is 3.7%), W. B. C is increased more than 11.000 = (10%) while platlets showed thrombocytosis in 20%, Dizziness (9.7%), headache 33.3% fatigue 10%, sleep disturbance 5.7%.

Eulitz et al(5) suggested that mobile phone emit a pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic filed (PEMF), which may penetrate the scalp and the skull and shows that these electromagnetic fields alter distinct aspects of the brain electrical response to acoustic stimuli.

Reiser et al(6) demonstrated that the extensive exposure to microwave radiation has been found to affect a wide variety of brain function such as (EEG) electrical activity, electrochemistry, permeability of blood brain barrier and to degrade the immune system. Explaining Dizziness, the systemic inflammatory response (C.R.P ↑, 17.6%) which increased in depletion of platelets (20%) with some leucocytosis 10%.

Frhlich et al(7) reported that headache is consistent with the fact that the microwaves are known to non-thermally affect the dopamine-opiate system of the brain and to increase permeability of the blood brain barrier since both of these medically connected with headache.

The reports of sleep disruption are consistent with heating effects of (GSM) global system for mobile communication which affects rapid eye moments (REM) sleep and Melatonin level increase blood pressure (8) memory impairment is consistent with the finding that microwave radiation targets the hippocampus.(2)

The present study is in agreement with the former results observed by Hocking,(9) reported headache like symptoms arising in some users.

Nakamura et al (10) demonstrated that exposure to high density microwaves can cause detrimental effects on the eyes, tests, other tissue inducing biological changes through thermal action.

The present study agree with the results observed by Schilling(11) who reported the accidentally exposure to high levels of ultra high frequency radiation and experienced an immediate sensation of intense heating of the parts of the body in the electromagnetic fields followed by a variety of clinical signs and symptoms such as pain, headache, numbness, parasthesiae, malaise, diarrhea and skin erythma. Our result agree with those of Sandstrom(4) and Hocking(9) study on 40 people complained of burning sensation or dull epsilateral to the side of use of phone.

C. reactive Protein (C.R.P.) which is nonglycosylated polymeric protein consisting

of 5-identical sub unit in inflammatory process

agree with others Khoja et al,(12) where increased

C. reactive protein in diabetes mellitus & hyperlipidemia.

Conclusion & Recommendations

The results of the present study are of importance in that they demonstrate the need of taking preventive measures.

We found a relationship between exposure to mobile phone emissions and inflammatory hematological effects and health problems of headache, fatigue, dizziness and sleep disturbance.

It is advisable therefore, that the use of mobile phones is a risk factor for health hazards and suggest that excessive use of mobile phones should be avoided by:

Health promotion activities, such as group discussion, public presentations and through electronic and print media sources.

In addition, we suggest more research is required to observe the effects of mobile phones with different systems of the human body along with clinical examination.

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