Eye damage, radiation, and fertility: How dangerous Smartphones are?

It is a small device that has revolutionized our everyday lives. For the last ten years, the Smartphone is on the rise – now use it eight out of ten people in Germany. The industry Association Bitkom estimated that the number of Smartphone users in this country of 57 million. Many people are confused: What Smartphones do to our health? You can be addictive or even cause cancer? Seven propositions and the facts.

1. Statement: Smartphones can be addictive.

Evaluation: True.

These are the facts: “With the arrival of the smartphone has the Online Searches for a new dynamic,” says addiction researcher Bert te Wildt, chief physician of the Psychosomatic clinic of the monastery Dießen near Munich. In particular, the dependence on social media have increased as a result of Smartphone. “If in the morning the first view of the mobile phone and in the evenings also the last, then the Affected questions must be: is this device still for me or do I serve him?”

About one percent of the population in Germany is considered to be already addicted to the Internet. Affected especially Younger people In the age group of 14 to 24 years of age, 2.4 per cent of women and 2.5 percent of men show the behavior of a addiction. This was the result of the so-called “Pinta”study, which was conducted on behalf of the Federal government of the Bay of lübeck psychologists Hans-Jürgen hull.

This hull observed difference in Sex: While young men play Online games and pornography are prone to tend to young women are more likely to an Addiction to social media. “And this is to be satisfied, above all, on the Smartphone,” says te Wildt. He recommends checking the company’s own use: “It is useful to think of the times, spaces and situations in which the Smartphone is made of – this can be when eating or one hour before bedtime.”

2. Statement: Smartphone use can our backs and our hands hurt.

Evaluation: True.

These are the facts: “Smartphones combine the Display and keyboard. Through this unit, it is actually not possible to find a posture, the areas at the same time for all of the body,” says Patricia Tegtmeier of the Federal Institute for work protection and work medicine. She has evaluated her Team of 41 studies from the years 2007 to 2016, and comes to the conclusion: “If the Smartphone is used intensively and continuously, can increase the risk for musculoskeletal disorders.”

In addition to neck tension by means of a curved posture, the quick poses, again tap on small Displays repeated at an increased risk for tendonitis in the wrists and in the thumbs. A in the journal “The Lancet” published a study by the University hospital of Granada, reported four years ago by a Spanish patient, the touch after six hours of phone-with tendonitis, had to on both of the thumb to be treated. The Doctors spoke of a new disease, the “WhatsAppitis”.

“Touchscreen devices are generally provided for a short use useful. If you want to type longer texts, you should use an external keyboard,” says Tegtmeier. In addition, it is recommended to change your posture frequently. To keep “instead of the Smartphone with just one Hand, you can also use both hands.”

3. Assertion: The blue light of the smartphone, can the retina of the eye damage and even lead to blindness.

Evaluation: This, argue the researchers.

These are the facts: In July, received a contribution in the journal “Scientific Reports” a lot of attention. A Team from the University of Toledo in the USA wanted to have found out that the blue part can cause the display light from Smartphones and computers to blindness. The short wavelength light buoyant in the light-sensitive cells of the eye, the production of toxic molecules, the researchers said.

This assessment is very controversial. The scientific Committee of the EU-Commission for health Affairs, said in June: “studies show that the light intensity of LED Displays that are used in TVs, Laptops, phones, Tablets, or toy, is less than ten percent of the maximum intensity, which has been defined for the protection of the retina. That is, since in normal use there is no risk for the eyes.”

Ljiljana Udovicic of the Federal Institute for work protection and work medicine comes to the same assessment. They reported that some studies assume a harmful effect of blue light, rats very high light were exposed to intensities up to 30,000 Lux. “I think this is much too high, because in a normal office environment, we measure in the eye, about 250 Lux,” says Udovicic. “I have no scientific evidence is known that would tell us that the light from the screen, lead devices to a retinal injury.”

4. Statement: Who in the evening long on a Smartphone looks, sleeps worse.

Evaluation: True.

These are the facts: Many people resort shortly before bedtime once more to the phone. You check E-Mails, read news or skyping with the Partner. Scientists advise against this. Because even if the proportion of blue should cause in the light of the Smartphone Displays no damage to the retina, it interferes with the sleep.

“It has been shown to can lead to a suppression of the hormone Melatonin,” says Udovicic. And that’s a Problem: Melatonin makes us feel tired at night, usually the hormone in darkness is to be distributed. But the bright light of the smartphone signals to the body exactly the opposite: It is the day, stay awake!

For all who don’t want to do without on your mobile phone and still better to sleep, has Udovicic a tip: “It is recommended that the night mode of the smartphone to turn on.” Some devices offer the possibility to reduce the proportion of the blue light and to not endanger the Melatonin secretion.

5. Claim: The electromagnetic radiation from Smartphones can cause cancer.

Rating: True to previous findings, not, however, a residual risk exists.

The facts: For much has caused a stir in April, a court ruling in Italy. A man was awarded for Pain and suffering, because in his head a brain tumor had grown. The judges evaluated the cancer and its consequences as an occupational disease – the man had phoned for his employer several hours a day with the phone.

Can phone apply radiation thus cancer? “No,” says Gunde brick Berger from the Swiss Federal office for radiation protection (BfS). “We have no proof that the Smartphone could be the cause of use in compliance with the international limits cancer.” Although the studies were not yet able to provide complete security, because tumors developed over a long period of time. “But every year we see no increase in diseases, we receive more certainty.”

The largest long-term study “Interphone” with more than 12,000 participants came in 2010 with the result that the average use of mobile phones is no increased tumor risk exists for adults. However, critics claimed technical errors of the international project. Another long-term study has started already: In the framework of the so-called “Cosmos”-study of 290,000 cell phone to be checked for the past eleven years users in five European countries, of medically. The first results are not yet available.

Because of the remaining uncertainty regarding the long-term use brick-Berger recommends you keep the mobile phone as seldom as possible directly to the head. A Headset or the speaker function are good Alternatives. In addition, the views of the quality of the connection worthwhile. “If the reception is good, then the base station controls the transmission power of the mobile phones thousands of times and the radiation exposure.”

6. Assertion: Already alone of the Wi-Fi operation of a smartphone can harmful radiation cause.

Rating: True to previous findings.

These are the facts: A study commissioned by the Federal office for radiation protection came back in 2005 to the result that the radiation exposure due to Wi-Fi devices at less than 0.1 per cent of the EU limit value. Even in the immediate vicinity of the body, no radiation in the harmful range can be measured. “The transmission power of WLAN is very low, in the Milliwatt range,” says brick Berger. For comparison: A single antenna of a mobile end system transmits at maximum utilisation, with up to 50 watts, a Smartphone comes out to about a Watt.

7. Assertion: A cell phone in the pants pocket, in men reduce fertility.

Rating: True to previous findings.

These are the facts: Where is the smart phone always at the ready? Right in the pocket. This is why many men keep the cell phone close to your sex part. Far as the statement that the technique can influence the Sperm production and thus fertility.

It is true that the testes are as much parts as the eyes of the temperature-sensitive body. If you are permanently too hot, interferes with their function. “The Sperm production is suppressed by a temperature increase of more than a degree of proof below”, says brick Berger. However, the heat of the mobile phone batteries or the radiation energy for this effect is not sufficient.

“Even if you’re holding the phone directly to the testicles, it is not sufficient for the temperature rise to affect sperm formation,” says brick Berger. A study commissioned by the Federal office for radiation protection, showed at a distance of one centimeter, a radiation-induced heating of the testicles by less than 0.01 degree.

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