Doctors: Long talks on cell phones are harmful
Although there is no concrete evidence, many people are worried that the radiofrequency from cell phones can increase the risk of brain cancer. Different studies have been launched to examine the health effects from the use of mobile phones.
Dr. Abdullah Fahim, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health who takes several phone calls each day from reporters and other administration officials, said he often feels drained after a long call, as well suffering from headaches and earaches.
“Long, consecutive phone conversations leave me stressed,” he said, explaining that he preferred sit-down interviews instead.
Mohammad Asif Nang, a former spokesman and the current media and publications director at the Ministry of Education, said he sometimes takes as many as 400 calls a day, but has tried to reduce that number to 100.
“The long, consecutive phone calls have affected me very much. Sometimes I suffer a shock; I feel a pain in my head and my eyes are streaming,” he said.
Doctors suggested he decrease the amount of time he spends on the phone. Now, Asif Nang sends emails instead.
A number of young people who talk a lot on the phone with friends also complain about health problems related to the use of mobiles.
Emal, 22, a student of engineering at Kabul University, said he has been suffering serious headaches for the last several months. Over the past three years, he spends about four hours a day talking to his girlfriend on the phone.
“If I don’t call her, I feel depressed and as though I have lost something,” he said.
Doctors warned him that the headache was a result of his excessive cell phone use, but he cannot stop, even though he also pays 1 afghani a minute for the call.
Health specialists warn that long phone calls can result in health problems.
Phone conversations which last more than 15 minutes can cause psychological problems, Dr. Azizuddin Hemat, head of the Afghanistan Psychologists Association, said.
He explained that mobile phones signals harm the brain and so no one should use their phone excessively.
Research has shown that the continued use of mobile phones can cause health problems such as pain in the ears, which can gradually lead to hearing difficulties, headache, amnesia, irritability, insomnia and finally – brain problems, Dr. Faizullah Kakar, adviser to the president on health issues, said.
The World Health Organisation, on the basis of its research, has recommended that children under eight years old do not use cell phones at all and that pregnant women and teenagers use them sporadically, Kakar said.
He said research has shown that the radio signals from mobiles can have side effects on the developing brains of children and the fetus in the womb.
Kakar also suggested that people not use their phone while in cars as the radiation is amplified 10 times in a vehicle.
He suggested people use the loud speaker function of their phone which allows them to keep the cell phone away from their head and out of danger.
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