Phones Pose Health Risk, Israeli Research Finds
January 01, 2002
daily “Yediot Ahronot” reports that a special study by the Nahal Soreq
Nuclear Research Center is raising deep concern that using cellular phones
endangers people's health.
The report states that cellular telephones do not emit radioactive rays,
known to cause cancer, but electromagnetic rays. The research into how
electromagnetic rays affect people's health has not yet been completed.
Nevertheless, the report states that, "Due to the closeness of the telephone
to the body, the exposure level is not minor, particularly compared with
other daily exposures (e.g. the TV, computer, microwave antennae, etc.)."
The radiation level of cellular phones increases in areas with poor
reception. Therefore, as the number of antennae increases, radiation from
the handset declines. The report specifically states that the level of
radiation emitted by cellular companies' antennae is hundreds or thousands
of times lower than the exposure level of cellular phone users. This is due
to the proximity of the handset to the brain. "The public's main exposure is
through the cellular phone," the report unequivocally states.
The report states, "In recent years, research has shown that the cellular
phone has an apparently temporary effect on several factors relating to the
functions of the brain, including response time,
memory and electrode activity." "High exposure leads to the heating of body
tissue and proven biological damage, known as thermal effects," the report
Celular phones emit various radiation levels, depending on the type of
technology used. In other words, the same handset will emit a different
level of radiation depending on whether it is used on Partner Communications
(Nasdaq: PTNR), Cellcom, Pele-Phone or MIRS Communications' networks.
The exposure level also depends on the transmission power of the handset,
and the phone's angle and distance from the head and body. It is preferable
to talk with the antennae pulled out to obtain the highest signal. Handsets
with internal antennae have a higher level of radiation.
The most frustrating part of the report states that "no practical methods
exist to measure radiation in Israel." The reason is that Israel has no
standard for the radiation level of handsets and no authority responsible
for conducting tests on the subject.
Despite the deep concern over the damage to people's health, no testing of
imported handsets is apparently being done. Israel is relying on European
Standards Institution approvals, which are not as strict as the US
In response, Vered Oren, the Standards Institution of Israel spokesperson
said, "Standards are formulated when there's demand for them. In this case,
the Ministry of Industry and Trade didn't request a standard and a standard
was therefore not prepared." Oren said that the institution had started
preparing a standard for the radiation levels of cellular phones.