Protect your children from mobile phone radiation: Researcher

Updated 29 June 2013

Protect your children from mobile phone radiation: Researcher

The proliferation of mobile phone-related technology has led to an explosion of its usage with people all over the world increasingly getting hooked to it. There has been a raging debate regarding the health effects of low-intensity electromagnetic field radiation generated by mobile phones both in social and scientific circles. This technology has dramatically influenced lifestyles, and literature is available both in favor as well as in contradiction.
Prof. Sultan Ayoub Meo, physician, medical educationist and scientist at College of Medicine, King Saud University in Riyadh, shared his academic research with Arab News in an exclusive interview to shed light on mobile phones and its effects on human health.
Q: How do mobile phones affect human health?
A: Mobile phones generate electro-magnetic field radiations (EMFR), through both thermal and non-thermal effects. The heating effect of GSM radiation can have an adverse impact on human beings, in that can cause some alterations in genes and proteins, which can ultimately bring about changes in physiological functions. Mobile phones are low power radio devices that can generate radio frequency radiation at frequencies in the microwave range 900-2200 MHz.
Q: Before going further, can you tell me how many users of mobile phones are there globally?
A: The number of mobile phone users worldwide has surpassed six billion which means that more than two-thirds of the people on the planet are using mobile phones. This figure will further increase to 7.2 billion by 2014. There are about 100 countries in the world where the number of cell phones are more than the country’s population figures. The countries where the number of mobile phone users are higher than their population are: Russia 155.5 percent; Italy 147 percent; Brazil 137 percent; Germany 132 percent and USA at 103 percent.
Q: What is the situation in Saudi Arabia?
A: This figure is surprisingly high, with current reports suggesting that number of mobile phones users as a percentage of the population is 168 percent. This figure is the highest in the world.
Q: Do you think mobile phones are a health hazard?
A: I must say that we cannot deny the significance and services provided by the mobile phone industry but I also strongly believe that health is more important and it cannot be compromised over anything. What I am stating is actually based on scientific literature published in highly respected science journals.
Q: Would you like to tell us about its effects on children and adults?
A: Children are more vulnerable to health hazards than adults when they are exposed to mobile phone radiation. The absorption of GSM radiation is greatest in an object about the size of a child head, because of the “head resonance” effect and the greater ease with which the radiation can penetrate into the relatively thinner skull of an infant and children.
Q: Does use of mobile phones affect brain functioning?
A: Available scientific literature states that mobile phones emit a pulsed high-frequency electromagnetic field (PEMF) which can penetrate the skull, alter distinct aspects of the brain’s electrical response, affect a wide variety of brain functioning such as electrical activity, electrochemistry, permeability of the blood/brain barrier. In view of the absorption of RF radiation in the head, the major concern has been the possibility of brain tumors in general and acoustic neurinomas in particular.
Q: What are the general health hazards of mobile phones?
A: We conducted a series of studies both on animals and humans on cell phone radiation and its health hazards. Mobile phone users often complain about burning sensations or a heating around the ear, headache, tension, dizziness, fatigue, sleep disturbance and impaired hearing and vision.
Q: Is there any effect of mobile phones on reproductive system?
A: In one of our studies, we determined the reproductive hormones and morphological changes induced by mobile phone radiation and found that long-term exposure to mobile phone radiation leads to reduction in serum testosterone levels and cause hypospermatogenesis and maturation arrest in the spermatozoa in the testis of albino rats.


Sandstorms expected in Saudi Arabia

Updated 17 September 2019

Sandstorms expected in Saudi Arabia

Sandstorms will hit the southwestern region of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the Kingdom’s General Authority for Meteorology and Environmental Protection has warned.

The civil defense will be on standby as surface winds are expected to cause low visibility, increasing the risk of crashes on highways.

They also warned those who suffer from asthma to take extra caution.

Dust storms bring increased air pollution which causes breathing difficulties in people with asthma by irritating the lungs.

Sand storms are frequent across the Middle East.