- Karabo Dhlamini
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In conjunction with the various health issues associated with society and its use of mobile phones, is it ethical for retailers to sell this device without informing the consumer about the dangers?
One of the most influential innovations of the 20th century is undoubtedly the science of technology; people have become dependent on Information Communication Technology to the point that our ability and progress is stagnant without it. The demand put on the population to have sufficient knowledge of ICT is so high that one cannot hold a profession or even be successful throughout their education.
Now the most prevalent form of technology that influences our lives immensely is the mobile phone. Unfortunately the Information Communication Technology Industry is becoming widely known for perpetuating this product without informing the receivers about the adverse effects associated with its use.
Mobile phones are purchased everyday from common day to day destinations and with the excessive purchasing of this product, misinformation can therefore come across as negatively influencing the moral barrier between the consumer and seller.
(RUTKAUSKIENE, Danguole et al., 2011)
The effect that mobile devices have on the users health is measured to a miniscule magnitude. In that result, it is unnecessary for the mobile technology industry to make provision for cautioning users about these effects and therefore dispelling it of a moral issue.
Electromagnetic radiation are harmful and harmless waves consisting electrically charged particles, their harmful nature is all dependant on the lengths of the wave's wavelength, the shorter the wavelength the more harmful the radiation is towards materials.
(ANNE MARIE HELMENSTINE, Ph.D.)
Due to mobile technologies prevalence in human life, discoveries have been found that associate the device with the ability to cause harmful electromagnetic radiation. The transmission of radiation is somewhat miniscule but the real issue is derived from people's excessive use of the device.
Mobile phone's transmit radio waves via base stations which in turn create radiofrequency waves that are electromagnetic. These waves cannot restructure chemical bonds within the human anatomy. Whether you are calling or just texting, when the mobile phone is on you are being exposed to radiofrequencies. Now if you are less than twenty centimetres away from your phone you are unfortunately in the vicinity of being exposed to radiation.
Accounting to the morality of this issue, not being informed that you are in fact being harmed can raise some concern but the reality is that the scale at which you are being harmed can be considered insignificant.
(BORRELI, Lizette, 2013)
(MANN, Marion, 2013)
Mobile phones have the ability to provide us with opportunities and most of all ease of access to technology. Ease of access refers to people's ability to reach data very quickly which might take hours to find through books and articles; the other reference is our ability to reach one another within minutes just by using the mobile phone's technology such as calling, blogging, texting and even video calling.
The next aspect of mobile technology that makes it such an imperative part of our lives its user experience. The fact that no training or courses are necessary for someone to be able to use a mobile phone makes it very convenient as opposed to desktops which are very complicated. The various single task programs, called 'apps', diversify our personal abilities. People can now do things with their phones that they never expected would be possible.
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Mobile phone's also provide a user the ability to be always connected. People love communicating and sharing data with one another, now the mobile phone doesn't only provide us that possibility but also enables us to do it from where ever we are located. This skill has attracted several populations towards the product and away from any other previous forms of communication.
Mobile technology is technically amazing but it is just as great in social implications. Mobiles can mine data for its user at very high velocities as opposed to their counterparts, books and articles. Due to the speed at which information is received, now people can be sure not to be misinformed about global affairs and other natural activities. Ultimately research is now vastly simpler to search for and therefore the increase in productivity for businesses, schools, and other industries can be promised.
(STUDY OPPORTUNITIES – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, 2014)
Electromagnetic radiation is one of the biggest challenges that face our population, now with the introduction of radiation in mobile phones, it only makes it a much bigger problem. Brain tumours, genetic damage, short term blood cells, nausea, vomiting and cancer; these are just a few of the effects that people are allowing themselves to be exposed to whenever they are exposed to a significant amount of radiation.
Mobile phones are not completely safe and that is the reality but one's safety can be easily rectified by firstly keeping the phone about 20cm away from your body. This distance can also be achieved with the use of headsets which allow a connection with the phone by a few meters. Another prevention strategy is to keep your phone away from your waist due to the radiation exposed to the hip bones which are responsible for 80% of the blood cells formed in the human anatomy.
Ultimately the best prevention strategy for radiation exposure from mobile phones is by using it less. The more you use the mobile phone; the more exposure you get to radiation and the more likely you are to inherit cancer or genetic damage. This is not true because the comparison of ultraviolet radiation and radio wave radiation is to Hz and Hz respectively. Radio wave radiation, which is the radiation propagated by mobile phones, is classified as non-ionizing radiation; this type of radiation is known to have a maximum effect of heating on skin but mobile phones don't even transmit enough radiation to have such an effect. Ultraviolet, however, is ionizing radiation and this type of radiation is needed in order to have even the slightest possibility of cancerous symptoms on human beings.
(U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, 2009)
(VOLKOW ND, Tomasi D, Wang GJ, 2011)
(MATTSON, Dr. Barbara, 2014)
(KOVACH, Sue, 2007)
(RADIATION ANSWERS, 2007)
(MATTSON, Dr. Barbara, 2004)
The prevention strategies in conjunction with the various advantages that mobile technology imposes in society far outweighs the danger of radiation that mobile phone have on its user or society. The extent at which mobile phone's emit harmful radiation is also very insignificant compared to the quantities required to have cancerous effects on the human population.
Thus, it is highly unnecessary for the mobile technology industry or retailers to make provision for warning the various mobile phone users and ultimately eliminating the possibility for a moral issue being raised with not informing users about its radioactive dangers.
ANNE MARIE HELMENSTINE, Ph.D. Electromagnetic Radiation Definition. [online]. [Accessed 03 Auguat 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryglossary/g/Electromagnetic-Radiation-Definition.htm>
BORRELI, Lizette. 2013. 5 Reasons Why Cellphones Are Bad For Your Health. [online]. [Accessed 03 August 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://www.medicaldaily.com/5-reasons-why-cellphones-are-bad-your-health-247624>
FUNWORKS. 2013. Module 2.2 E-Communications. [online].
KOVACH, Sue. 2007. The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation. [online]. [Accessed 03 August 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2007/aug2007_report_cellphone_radiation_02.htm>
MANN, Marion. 2013. Optical Properties. In: Mind Action Series Physical Sciences Textbook and Workbook 12, Sanlamhof: ALLCOPY Publishers, pp.105-107.
MATTSON, Dr. Barbara. 2004. Imagine the Universe! Dictionary. [online]. [Accessed 04 August 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html>
MATTSON, Dr. Barbara. 2014. Electromagnetic Spectrum – Introduction. [online]. [Accessed 04 August 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html>
RADIATION ANSWERS. 2007. Effects of Radiation. [online]. [Accessed 03 August 2014]. Available from World Wide Web: <http://www.radiationanswers.org/radiation-and-me/effects-of-radiation.html>
RUTKAUSKIENE, Danguole, Daina GUDONIENE, Caroline MICHALAK et al. 2011. ICT and Mobile Technologies in Practise. European Commission.
STUDY OPPORTUNITIES – INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY. 2014. Module 3.1 ICT and Society. [online].
U.S. FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION. 2009. Radiation-Emitting Products: Reducing Exposure: Hands-free Kits and Other Accessories. Silver Spring, MD.
VOLKOW ND, Tomasi D, Wang GJ. 2011. Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism. In: Cell Phones and Radiiofrequency, PubMed Abstract, pp.808-813.
Acknowledgements are sent to my senior phase Physical Science teachers, Mrs Carol Grout and Mrs Ilze de Beer, for the various knowledge accumulated from Optical Properties lessons. Credit also goes to my Information Technology teacher, Mrs Stapelberg, for the eCommunication and various other Information Communication Technology lessons that provided me with the competence to create this research task.
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