Monday, January 6, 2020

The Research Methodology of Cell Phone Health Risk Studies...

Cellular telephones have transformed and accelerated communications over the past four decades. The benefits of cell phone technology are clear, most notably in the creation of an increasingly mobile and global business sector. As cell phones became a central part of the daily lives of about 5 billion global users (National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet), discussions of the potential health risks have become commonplace. Such epidemiological concerns stem from the potential harmful electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular devices. These concerns, at the most basic level, emulate the 1970s concern regarding the proposed correlation between magnetic fields from power lines and incidents of leukemia in children living nearby these†¦show more content†¦(Barnes 449) Case One: Cell Phones may increase cancer risk Researchers Henry Lai and Narandra Singh from the University of Washington were the first to lay the groundwork that sparked interest in the concept that electromagnetic fields of varying frequencies may have a negative affect on the neuronal activity of organisms (Lai 513). The goal of their research was to identify how duration and exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields would affect neuronal activity. In the preface of their seminal 1995 study, they cite the increasingly common exposure to low-frequency magnetic fields in the public as the reason for their interest in such EMF interactions (Lai 513). The research Lai and Singh had conducted, funded by the National Institutes of Health created some friction between the researchers and their funder regarding the direction of research (Paulson). The researchers held credible standing amongst other colleagues interested in the connection between EMFs and neuronal activity. However, cell phone industry representatives have attempted discredit the researcher’s results. In an article discussing the external friction induced by the cell phone industry, Lai spoke of the temporary problems he encountered with the NIH over the direction of his research. 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