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Love your smartphone? Then check out the negatives too

Sunday March 20, 2011 12:45:07 PM, Priyanka Sharma, IANS

New Delhi: Proud of your latest smartphone and the sparkling bright images? Well take care, your status symbol could cause premature facial wrinkles as well as increase the risk of cancer and impotency with excessive use.

With the rising demand for smartphones, health concerns related to its use have also increased.

National Skin Centre Director Navin Taneja says staring at the small screens of smartphones like BlackBerry and iPhone for long leads to excessive squinting and consequently undesirable wrinkles in and around the eyes.

"Use of smartphones have considerably increased over the years. People use their phones for 8 to 10 hours a day. Owing to the small screens they have to focus a lot on it and excessive use of facial muscles causes wrinkles around the eyes," Taneja told IANS.

"With wrinkles and frown lines appearing on the face, many people in the age group 20 to 25 who have been using smartphones frequently are going in for botox treatment. We are entertaining 5 to 7 clients a month who ask us for this," he added.

Using smartphones for longer periods can also take away the skin's glow.

"It is quite possible that with excessive use of smartphones, the skin will lose its shine and there will be overall dullness on the face," said Pritam Pankaj, consultant dermatologist and cosmetic laser surgeon.

The smartphone base in India is about 8-9 million users, which is quite low considering the overall mobile base globally. And the problem is not just limited to skin; the radiation emitted by the phones can cause even bigger problems.

"Smartphones pose greater health risk as they emit 2.5 times more radiations than any other normal phone. These emissions can increase the risk of brain tumours, impotency and premature ageing," said Anup Dhir, a senior consultant at the department of cosmetic surgery, Indraprastha Apollo hospital.

Alerting the users, smartphone making companies have raised words of caution in user guides of their products.

While BlackBerry makers advise people to keep the phone at a minimum distance of 25 mm, Apple has cautioned its users to keep the phone 15 mm away from the body when attending calls or for wireless data transmission.

"To avoid health hazards people are advised to use hands-free as far as possible," Dhir added.

Looking at the health hazards posed by smartphones and other mobile phones, Prabhatam Projects Ltd., a member of Prabhatam Group has introduced radiation safe products that would help shield people from harmful radiations.

"We did a lot of R&D and found that the radiations emitted by mobile phones can pose serious health risk. As a result, we decided to introduce mobile phone accessories like an anti-radiation mobile chip and anti-radiation mobile covers. These accessories would help reduce the harmful effects of radiation," said Alok Gupta, MD, Prabhatam Projects.

"These mobile accessories are available in market at a reasonable price of Rs.200 to Rs.300," he added.

(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at )







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