Namaskar friends! Robot 2.0 ! Few days ago, I watched the infamous Rajnikanth's and Akshay Kumar's science fiction movie in the theaters. and if you too have watched the movie, you may be wondering the same thing I was, after the movie ended. Is it true what the movie showed? How much truth is there in this movie? I'm not talking about the action scenes in the movie. Nor am I talking about the technology used to make Chitti robot. It is obviously a science fiction movie so all that is fiction.
I'm talking about the so called social message in the movie! It is shown in the movie that the radiation emitted from the cell phone towers, has an adverse effect on people as well as on birds. The movie went so far as to say that, the decline in the birds' population in India in the last many years, is because of the radiation emitted from the cell phone towers. How much truth is there in this? In today's educational video friends, I'll like to tell you about this! Come let's see! In the movie, it is repetitively said that there's radiation coming from the cell phone towers. So what is this radiation actually? It is radio frequency (RF) waves When your phone uses 3G, 4G, or makes calls, It communicates with the cell phone towers through RF waves. Radio frequency waves is a type of electromagnetic waves. To understand this, we have to refer back to our class 12's physics book. If you remember, chapter 8 was electromagnetic waves. Electromagnetic waves are produced by the vibrations of electric field and magnetic field.
This is a type of energy propagation. It takes energy from one place to another. It is seen occurring naturally as well as artificially in many places. The best example of electromagnetic waves is light. Light is an EM wave! If you remember the EM spectrum, it is a way to classify various EM waves based on their frequency and wavelength The waves that have the longest wavelength are radio waves, ranging from a few meters to a few kilometers. Then are the microwaves with wavelength of a few centimeters. Your microwave has microwaves in it. Microwave has Microwaves! If concentrated at a place, they produce heat. Then are the infrared waves which are used in remote controlled TVs. Then is the visible light which you can see all around you. Their wavelength ranges from 350-700 nanometer. Different colours have different wavelengths. Then comes the UV rays. The frequency starts to increase from here. X-rays and gamma rays follow UV rays.
The EM waves after the visible light are troublesome. Because their frequency is so high, and their wavelength is so small, they can break chemical bonds inside a molecule. Which is why they are called ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is very harmful for humans and animals alike as they can penetrate into our DNA and break their chemical bonds. Causing mutations in the cells and can eventually lead to cancer. As the frequency of the EM waves increases, they become more dangerous. The radio activity emitted from nuclear material, is the most dangerous. Because the frequency of that radiation and it's power is very high. So now the question arises, whether the EM waves before the visible light, known as non-ionizing radiation, Is this non-ionization radiation harmful for humans and animals? No scientific conclusion has been reached on it yet. Some research state the effects of being exposed to non-ionizing radiation at high levels for a long amount of time. Other researches state that there are no harmful effect on humans and animals. But scientists and experts agree that non-ionization radiation definitely cannot cause mutation or cancer, using the same mechanisms as ionizing radiations.
But is there any other mechanism by which non-ionizing radiations can be harmful for us? It is being researched. The scientists claim that the heat produced by the non-ionizing radiation, like in our microwave, where the heat cooks the food this heat, if concentrated in high powers on human tissues, can cause burns Basically, it has the potential to cause burns if you're exposed to the heat produced by any non-ionizing radiations for prolonged periods Which is why various Government agencies have set radiation limits for cell phones and cell phone towers They do not want the heating effects from non-ionizing radiation to get so much that people suffer burns. FCC, an US agency, has set a radiation limit of 1.6 watts per kilogram Cell phones should not exceed this limit This limit is way less than the radiation which would result in actual heat production. So, you see it is quite safe. The chances of any long term harmful effects, because of using cell phones is very low.
The simple reason for this is, if you take the population of the world as a sample size, you would see the rise in the cell phone usage in the last 20-30 years. Number of people using cell phones has risen exponentially! But there are no diseases which have seen exponential increase in those years. You can see this chart of worldwide cancer cases between 1990-2016. There is no type of cancer cases which saw an immense increase.
Same can be said for any other disease. If using cell phones had resulted in harmful effects, we would have seen it in some disease or other. The best example for this is smoking rates and cases of lung cancer. Here you can see the chart of UK, showing the fall in smoking rates in the last 50 years. And you can also see that the lung cancer cases have fallen at the same rate This tells us that smoking and lung cancer have a direct relation. You can see this relation all over the world. The countries with high rates of smoking, have high rates of lung cancer too.
In china, more than 50% of male population smoke, so the lung cancer rate is very high there. You can see the same relation in Ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer. Australia has the highest rates of skin cancer cases. Because the population there is not well adapted to live in that country. The majority of people living there are of British origins, and are exposed to the large amount of UV rays from sun. Their skin colour has not adapted to live there. The ozone hole is also quite close to Australia, because of which it has even more exposure to UV radiation. It results in Australia having most number skin cancer cases. Overall, what I mean to say is, you do not have to worry.
The chances of radiation from cell phones harming you, are very slim. However if you still want to minimize this radiation, then do not put your cell phone to your ears while talking. Because the closer it is to your body, the more radiation you will be exposed to. Even a little distance would minimize the radiation. I am not promoting cell phone usage. The addiction to smartphones, the mental issues associated with it, you may face those. You should definitely use cell phones only when needed. Nowadays people are addicted to their smartphones, so I would recommend not to over use your cell phones.
About the decline in the bird population for the last 20-30 years, what's the reason for it? Ornithologists agree that there are no conclusive scientific evidence stating that cell phone towers are the reason behind the decline. Which means there are larger forces at play here causing this decline in bird population. The biggest among them is agriculture! Experts believe growth in agriculture, has led to an increase in use of pesticides, which in turn has led to decline in insect population. Since insects are the food for birds, birds cannot feed properly, hence their population is also declining. Agriculture is said to be one of the major reasons. Not only in India, but all over the world, the bird population has started declining. In this graph, you can see the reasons behind this world wide decline of bird population.
'y' axis represents the factors affecting the different species of birds Agriculture, invasive species are the main factors. The other obvious reasons are urbanization, deforestation, climate change, pollution is another important factor here. Which, I feel, specifically in our country is very valid. You can see that nowhere among these threats, cell phone towers are specifically mentioned. So what's shown in the movie is immensely misleading. The movie shows that the main reason behind the decline in the bird population is the cell phone towers. Which is not the case at all.
I felt that the movie had a lot of potential but it missed it's opportunity. Wildlife conservation and bird conservation are very important environmental issues. Not only for our country, but also for the whole world. To put the blame on things like cell phone towers, without any scientific evidence and missing the major points, misleads the audience. The important social message that could have been given out, is wholly missed it isquite unfortunate because they could have dealt with an actual cause like the excessice use of pesticides Instead of blaming cell phone towers in the movie, had they put the blame on pesticides, it would've been scientifically correct, and the audience could have gotten the real message, loud and clear. Not to use excessive pesticides and to promote organic farming. This could have had an actual impact on the falling bird populations. In June 2018 more than 200 scientists from around the world wrote an petition that a specific family of pesticides called neonicotinoids should be banned, because this family of pesticide is adversely affecting the bio diversity and bird population. Now this has been scientifically proven as well. Many researches have shown direct evidence for it.
Such misleading information can have significant dangerous impact on people. Recently in Germany, cases of measles have started cropping up. It is a disease which was completely eradicated from the western European countries. But now the cases are cropping up once more. What is the reason behind this? Rumor mongering and Fear mongering! Rumors had been spread that vaccination is causing mental problems. Even though there is no scientific evidence backing it. It was a lie that spread among the masses. When they stopped vaccinating their kids, the disease which could have been prevented, resurfaced again. Which is why you can see that measles made a comeback.
This type of fear mongering can scam you too. If you search on Google for the impact of cell phone towers your health, or how it increases the risk of cancer, One of the link that comes up on the top searches is of this website. This website tells you how dangerous the radiation from cell phones and microwaves are. If you read the article till the end, they tell you to click at a link if you want to be protected from radiation. When you click on it, you'll see they're selling a pendant to protect one from the radiation.
It is priced at 108$ !! These people are making a fool out of people by playing at their fears. Can they ever be justified? As far as the movie is concerned, I do not feel that the movie is watchable. It is too boring and has no quality content. You do not have to watch it if you were considering to. But this is my opinion, maybe you'll like it. Finally I'll like to say friends, promote scientific thinking, share this video.
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