20 Sep Are Cell Phones Instead of Land Lines the Proper Choice?
Almost every child that enters high school in the United States has a cell phone. More than a third of the grade school kids carry them. Over eighty-two percent of all Americans own cell phones. The percentage would be higher, if it were not for the over sixty-five group, in which there are a large number of hold-outs. And one fifth of all US homes keep a cell phone with no land line at all.
For what reasons are people ridding themselves of land lines? They need to be plugged in day and night. Some feel they use more energy, but that is only true if you have backup batteries, or a cordless phone that needs recharging all the time. Land line phones are harder to recycle, but on the other hand, they do not wear out as fast, rarely break down, and you can keep them forever … unless you are looking for one that offers some new gimmick that your old phone has not got.
For the most part, land line service, while it usually has a cheap base rate, charges extra for minutes used, long distance, call waiting, etc. and so forth. Most cell phone plans include more extras in the rates. While call for call they may be a bit cheaper, you have to factor in the original cost of the phone itself.
You will get a strong signal on a land line that is not affected by the weather, wind speeds, and the distance between towers. The number of users will not affect your ability to get through to your number. And reaching 911 in an emergency is far quicker and easier than your home phone.
While it makes sense, especially in these troubled economic times, to not pay for two telephone bills when you can make do with one mobile phone, there are other factors that are being ignored that most seriously need to be considered. What are cell phones doing to the environment, and how are they affecting your health?
Cell phones quickly become obsolete, and you are lucky if they last a couple of years. They are easily misplaced, lost, and stolen. Cell phone recycling centers may be fairly easy to find, but too few users bother to do so. Most cell phones become landfill.
These phones use toxic batteries that need frequent recharging. Most mobile phone users leave their chargers plugged in all the time, draining our natural resources even when the phone itself is not on the charger. A land line uses no energy when it is not being used, making it a lot friendlier to the environment. Do not forget that the provider is using energy all the time to route calls over the network and towers.
Coltan, which is a metal ore mined in Africa is used in cell phones capacitors. The competition for buying this product has led to civil wars, smuggling, and the destruction of national parks in the Congo and other parts of Africa. Forests are destroyed to enable mining of the ore, displacing both humans and the endangered gorillas by eliminating their food sources in their natural habitats. It also makes it easier for poachers to get to the gorillas, a major cause of the 90% drop in the gorilla population of the Congo.
There is a lot of worldwide debt going on regarding the possibility that these phones are hazardous to your health. According to Mobile Telecommunications and Health, in a summary of the ECOLOG study for T-Mobile, 2000, it was found that the nervous systems of both humans and animals are affected by the magnetic fields emitted by cell phones.
In the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, on August 24, 2009, Berenbaum noted that when cells removed from bees whose colonies and collapsed were studied, they were found to be full of fragments of ribosomal RNA. This indicated that genetic material was not being converted to functional proteins. It may be why the honey bee population is decreasing rapidly. The German research group, Verum, led by Franz Adlkofer offers cell phone usage as the reason for it.
Although mobile phones are still too new to accurately determine the long lasting effects of radio frequencies beyond doubt, there is some evidence that it can alter brain activity, and cause cancer and reproductive disorders. According to the WebMD Health News, on October 23, 2006, a link was found between men who wore their phones on their belts or in a pants pocket and a weaker sperm quality and even infertility. There are even suggestions that cell phone use is more dangerous than smoking.
Interestingly, there are many who uphold that cell phones impair reaction time and memory. They believe that laws prohibiting holding a cell phone while driving will not alleviate the problem, since the mobile phones that are hands free emit more than ten times the interference to your brain wave activity!
In a study that was reported by Dr. Mercola, on September 22, 2007, he stated that researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel found that changes in brain cells that led to cancer and cell division were triggered even by as few as five minutes on a cell phone.
As early as October 15, 1998, the BBC News reported that biologist Roger Coghill, believes that prolonged use of cell phones can cause fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, depression, and even arteriosclerosis. If calcium and serotonin levels are continuously disrupted by transmissions from a cell phone violence and even suicide can be the result.
Studies done all over the world showed a connection between increasing asthma related problems and deaths and heavy cell phone users. Heavy use trigers histamine production, which can cause bronchial spasms. Yes, more studies need to be done, but certainly it is prudent to consider the implications.
Regarding land lines vs. cell phones, it would appear that while mobile phones are wonderfully convenient, and have all kinds of extra gadgets, bells and whistles, it would be prudent to only use them when you are out and to continue the practice of using your land line when you are home.
"Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", August 24, 2009 (Berenbaum)
"Summary of the ECOLOG study for T-Mobile, 2000," Mobile Telecommunications and Health
"WebMD Health News," October 23, 2006
"Mercola.com," September 22, 2007 (Dr. Mercola)
"BBC News," October 15, 1998
By Sandra Oertell