Monday, May 28, 2012

UK Study Says Mobile Phones Are Safe to Use

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. tumor (n.) 
[too-mer, tyoo-] – an abnormal growth of cells in a part of the body
Example: The patient had an operation to remove the tumor in his brain.

2. infertility (n.) [in-fur-tl] – the condition of being unable to produce children
Example: The couple went to the doctor to be checked for signs of infertility.

3. exposure(adj.) [ik-spoh-zher] – (in health) the state of being open to receive the effects of something (usually harmful)
ExampleExposure to the sun for a long period damages the skin.

4. stand by (idiom) [stand-bahy] – to show support for something; to insist on a decision
Example: The government will stand by its promise to improve healthcare.

5. wary (adj.) [wair-ee] –cautious of something because of distrust or lack of confidence
Example: The patient was wary with the young doctor’s advice.

Read the text below.

A study about the safety of communication gadgets in the UK asserts that using mobile phones is not dangerous to people’s health.

The safety review, made for the Health Protection Agency (HPA), looked at data from hundreds of researches and found no connection between mobile phones and cancer, brain tumors or infertility.

The review is the largest study so far concerning the possible health risks of mobile phones. .

The researchers say exposure to radiation cannot be avoided because technology is now very much a part of daily life. There are more than 80 million mobile users in the UK alone. Technological advances in television, radio, and wi-fi also further increase people’s contact with low-level radio frequency.

However, Anthony Swerdlow, the leader of the review team, says that even though the review found no evidence that proves mobile phones are dangerous, more studies need to be done in the future. Mobile phones became popular only around 15 years ago; therefore their long-term effects on people are still unknown.

In spite of such positive findings, HPA stands by its previous advice for children to lessen use of mobile phones. Dr. John Cooper, the head of HPA’s center for radiation, chemical and environmental hazards, says mobile phones may still be considered new technologies, and users should continue to be wary of these devices.

In the meantime, the HPA is also requesting for additional research on the health risks of other new technologies, such as airport security scanners.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think people will stop using mobile phones if they learn phones can really cause health problems? Why or why not?
·         Aside from possible effects on health, how else can mobile phones affect people?

Discussion B

·         Do you think children should be allowed to use mobile phones? Why or why not?
·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of younger generations growing up with so much technology?


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