Toastmasters Project 7: Hello, can you hear me?

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Toastmasters Project 7: Research Your Topic

Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at a library, and in other places. Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

The objectives of Project 7 are:

1. Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
2. Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.

Duration: 5 – 7 minutes

Hello, can you hear me?

It took 70 years to remove “Lead” from paint and gasoline. It took 50 years to link smoking to lung cancer. How many years do you think would it take to connect mobile phones radiations to brain tumor? Researchers across the world disagree on the level of danger these radiations pose to humans. There are positive and negative reports.

1. In July 2008, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute – one of the top US cancer research centers – issued a warning based upon the results of an unpublished study, which links brain cancer and cell phone use. He said that most studies claiming that there is no link between cell phones and brain tumors are either outdated, or did not use proper methodology, or did not include sufficient number of long-term cell phone users. A brain tumor can take dozens of years to develop.

2. Studies in several European countries, particularly in Scandinavian countries – where the cell phone was first developed – show that the radiation emitted by cell phones have definite biological effects. A 2008 study by Swedish cancer specialist found that frequent cell phone users are twice as likely to develop a tumor in the auditory nerves of the ear most frequently used with the handset, compared to the other ear. 

3. In another paper published this year by the Royal Society in London found that people who started using cell phones before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop brain cancer by the age of 29 than those who didn’t use a cell phone.

4. Studies in Spain and Belgium have shown that the increasing number of cell phone towers in cities is bringing down bird population. The radiation strength is particularly strong near cell phone towers. A new study to be published next month by a team in Indian researchers, has found that radiations from the towers can damage bird eggs and embryos. The team exposed 50 eggs to radiations for durations of five minutes to 30 minutes. All the 50 embryos were damaged. They were literally microwaved. Chennai alone has 4,000 cell phone towers. No wonder, 4 of Chennai’s most common bird species, have virtually disappeared.

There is strong evidence that much of the research in this area has been influenced by a strong lobby of telecom companies and operators. I quote the example of Dr. Jerry Phillips, who was a research scientist for 30 years and a well-known cell phone radiation researcher. He went on record to say that in two separate studies funded by Motorola, he found evidence that cell phone frequency radiation causes biological effects. However, Motorola told him to delete any reference to DNA damage and biological effects from his reports.

With such a huge market for cell phones around the world, do you really think there would be conclusive evidence anytime soon. By the time researchers come to a conclusion, it may be too late for us. I suggest a few precautionary measures that we all can adopt without major changes in our lifestyle:

  1. Children should use cell phones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing and have lot less resistance than that of adults.
  2. Use a fixed network telephone if you have the choice between using a mobile phone and a fixed network phone.
  3. Send text messages wherever possible to keep the phone away from your head.
  4. Use headsets, but only the wired ones. This will keep the cell phone antenna away from your head.
  5. Only make short calls with your mobile phone.
  6. Avoid making phone calls if the reception is poor. The mobile phones increase transmission power when then signal strength is low.
  7. Wait until the connection has been established. The GSM mobile phone uses maximum transmitting power while connecting. Do not hold the mobile phone to your ear while you are waiting for the connection to be established.
  8. People who wear their phone on their bodies, clipped to their pants or in a pants or shirt pocket, are exposed to bursts of emissions caused by incoming calls or SMS’s. Those emissions could potentially lead to problems such as liver, kidney, ovarian or testicular cancer.

As per Singapore Government statistics, Singapore has more mobile phone connections than humans. Friends, with such widespread growth in wireless devices I urge every one to exercise caution. Better err on the side of being safe rather than being sorry later.

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