Why Cellphone is prohibited in Air Craft? Fact File 10

Cell phone use is not allowed in Air crafts since it may interfere with the signaling system of the Air craft through Electromagnetic compatibility. EMC is the ability of Electronic or Electrical equipment to operate in their intended electromagnetic environment. Most of the electronic equipments are designed to operate within a defined margin of safety and performance without causing breakdown due to the interference of electromagnetic field.

The strong electromagnetic field from Mobile phones, Radio transmitters, Wireless devices etc creates the Electromagnetic pollution, the commonly called “Electronic Smog”. As a result of these emissions, normal working of other sensitive electronic devices will be affected. More and more Microprocessor based electronic equipments are now in use and these electronic systems are susceptible to interference from radiating devices. The presence of EMC can cause sudden breakdown of delicate microprocessor based equipments. . Let us see the facts behind the Electromagnetic radiation.

Electromagnetic (EM) radiation is a self-propagating wave in space or through transparent matter. EM radiation has an electric and magnetic field component which oscillate in phase perpendicular to each other and to the direction of energy propagation.

Electromagnetic radiation includes radio waves, microwaves, terahertz radiation, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, x rays and gamma rays. The electromagnetic spectrum extends from below the frequencies of radio waves at the long-wavelength end through gamma radiation at the short wavelength end. Human body is exposed to different kinds of EM radiation that includes the natural radioactivity in the earth, cosmic rays from outer space and also manmade radiations coming from electric and electronic instruments. Diagnostic X ray machine, television sets, computers, microwave oven, radar devices, laser devices, mobile phones etc, generates radiations of different frequencies which exists in our environment as ‘Electronic Smog’.

Sources of EMF

1. Power Lines
An enormous amount of electricity is created at power generating stations and sent across the country through wires that carry high voltages. All power lines radiate electromagnetic fields.

2. Transformer
EMFs near a transformer can be quite high, but due to its small structure, the field strength diminishes rapidly with distance, as it does from any point source.

3. Home Wiring
Loop wiring in the home may create large e.m.f

4. Computers
Computers are a complicated subject. Know this: EMFs radiate from all sides of the computer. Thus, you must not only be concerned with sitting in front of the monitor but also if you are sitting near a computer or if a computer is operating in a nearby room.

5. Electric Blankets and Water beds
Electric blankets create a magnetic field that penetrates about 6-7 inches into the body.

6. Electric Clocks
Electric clocks have a very high magnetic field, as much as 5 to 10 mG up to three feet away. If you are using a bedside clock, you are probably sleeping in an EMF equivalent to that of a power line.

7. Fluorescent Lights
Fluorescent lights produce much more EMFs than incandescent bulbs. A typical fluorescent lamp has readings of 160 to 200 mg 1 inch away.

8. Microwave Ovens and Radar
Microwave ovens and radar from military installations and airports emit two types of radiation–microwave and ELF.

9. Telephones and Answering Machines
Telephones can emit surprisingly strong EMFs, especially from the handset. This is a problem because we hold the telephone so close to our head.

10. Electric Razors and Hair Dryers
Electric razors and hair dryers emit EMFs as high as 200 to 400 mG.


Ways to protect from harmful radiations

Several problems have been observed in people who spend more than four hours a day in close proximity to an unprotected video terminal that uses a CRT based monitor. Stress, headaches, irritability, insomnia, eye strain, abnormal general fatigue, decrease in natural immunity, hormonal disturbances, disorders in the menstrual cycle are some of the ill effects of radiations.

Even more disturbing fact is that, exposure to radiation for long periods reduces Spermatogenesis as observed in experimental animals. As the principle of precaution says “Faced with the risk of serious and irreversible damage, we cannot wait until we have all the scientific evidences before taking precautionary measures”. “Absence of certainty must not delay action”. Then what can we do? We can do something to protect ourselves.

1. Don’t sleep under an electric blanket or on a water bed. If you insist on using these, unplug them before going to bed (don’t just turn it off). Even though there is no magnetic field when they are turned off, there may still be a high electric field.

2. Don’t sit too close to your TV set. Distance yourself at least 6 feet away.

3. Rearrange your office and home area so that you are not exposed to EMFs from the sides/backs of electric appliances and computers. In the home, it is best that all major electrical appliances, such as computers, TVs, refrigerators etc, be placed up against outside walls. That way you are not creating an EMF field in the adjoining room.

4. Don’t sit too close to your computer. Computer monitors vary greatly in the strength of their EMFs, so you should check yours with a meter.

5. Don’t stand close to your microwave oven.

6. Move all electrical appliances at least 6 feet from your bed.

7. Eliminate wires running under your bed.

8. Eliminate dimmers and 3-way switches.

9. Unplug all electrical devices which are not using.

10. Get rid off microwave oven. It uses heat generating radiations for cooking. If the appliance is not well protected, microwaves will leak out.

11. Avoid using watches with radium dial.

12. Remove computer and TV from bedroom. During sleep, normal detoxification process takes place in the liver which may be blocked by the electromagnetic stress. Electromagnetic radiations from wiring cables, CRT monitors, Mobile phones etc, impinge on the pineal gland of brain suppressing its melatonin hormone. This hormone is important to regulate our biological cycles including sleep.

13. Do not use computers or TV in children’s room. Children are more susceptible to the harmful effects of EMFs

14.Do not keep mobile phones close to you while sleeping. Its emissions can alter your sleep physiology.

15. Do not give mobile phones to children.

16. Expecting mothers are more susceptible to the ill effects of radiation. The soft tissues of the fetus may develop abnormalities if the tissues get radiation. So it is necessary to avoid environments that contain high intensity electromagnetic radiations.

What EMF Level Is Safe?

There’s a heated debate as to what electromagnetic field (EMF) level is considered safe. Since the experts have not come to a consensus, you’ll have to decide for yourself… Many government and utility documents report the usual ambient level of 60-Hz magnetic field to be 0.5 mG. Thus, any reading higher than 0.5 mG is above the “usual” ambient exposure. Many experts and public officials, as well as the few governments that have made an effort to offer public protection, have adopted the 3 mG cutoff point.