Analyse the electromagnetic waves and their ethical impacts in real life.
The Harmful Impacts of Electromagnetic Radiation
Engineering ethics is a series of ethical and moral standards that are related to the field of engineering. Engineering ethics ensure that all moral standards and guidelines are followed while performing an engineering activity or running an engineering device. Engineering ethics are applied over all fields of engineering like civil, electrical, mechanical and others. Electromagnetic radiation is defined as the radiation of electromagnetic waves from an electronic device due to the interaction between the various components of the device (Kerker, 2016). Some of the commonly used devices that produce electromagnetic radiation are smartphones, television, computers and others. Due to the harmful nature of the electromagnetic waves for organic life, several engineering ethical standards have been applied on the usage of the electronic devices (Umrao et al., 2015). However in reality, most of the users do not follow the ethical standards or moral issues associated with them and use the devices without any restrictions. Hence, it is important to analyze the moral and ethical issues associated with electromagnetic radiation and find out suitable solutions for the same.
In this report, the ethical implications of electromagnetic radiation have been analyzed and suitable recommendations have been made accordingly.
Electromagnetic Radiation and Its Effects
Electromagnetic waves are packets of energy (photons) that arise from electromagnetic fields due to passage or movement of currents through the circuit. The waves carry electromagnetic radiant energy that move at the speed of light while being emitted from the source. Electromagnetic waves are created whenever some charged particles gain some momentum. Electromagnetic waves are generally harmful for organic life as the travelling wave can cause serious damage to the biological cells while travelling through them. The amount of damage depends on the frequency of the rays (Ross et al., 2015). Generally, the electromagnetic waves have the power to ionize atoms they pass through and it is extremely harmful if the atoms are in the biological cells as the cells get fatally damaged by the ionization process. With prolonged exposure to electromagnetic radiation, cancer is often produced that ultimately results in fatality in most cases. In addition to the human beings, other organisms like plants and animals are also affected (Acharya, Kumar & Mathur, 2018). Exposure to electromagnetic waves causes deformities, browning of the leaves, irregular photosynthesis cycle and death in plants. Most small animals like cats, dogs, sparrows and other small birds are mostly affected by radiation causing significant harmful impacts on their bodies.
Ethical Implications of Electromagnetic Radiation
Ethical Issues Associated with Electromagnetic Radiation
As per the recent studies, electromagnetic radiation from commonly used devices like television, smartphones and others are causing serious health implication on human beings as well as the animals. Uncontrolled use of the devices can damage nerves of human beings that may even reach fatal level with constant exposure whereas the plants and animals are also damaged by the travelling waves (Dasdag et al., 2015). Naturally, the overuse of the devices has reached such an extent that ethical and moral standards have automatically kicked in. The electromagnetic waves radiated from the devices not only harm the user only but also the surrounding people as well as plants and animals. From a study, it has been found that thousands of children every year are affected by the radiation and catch various diseases like cancer (Havas, 2017). Furthermore, it has been found that due to the radiation, the plants are also affected and their life cycles are significantly reduced. Small birds like house sparrows are also affected by the radiation and with each year, they are becoming rarer at an alarming rate.
Possible Means of Prevention of the Issues
With the constant evolution of technology, these devices are also getting technically upgraded every year thus increasing their usability and functions. Hence, it seems almost impossible to prevent the aforementioned issues but it is possible to minimize the problem so that it does not exceed the ultimate danger limit. The technological demand of this age forces an individual to utilize the electronic devices for work purposes (Hiemer et al., 2016). However, several measures can be taken to reduce the impacts of the radiation on the body. On large computer screens, radiation filters can be used to reduce the amount of radiation coming out of the device. For mobile devices, it is necessary to reduce usage as much as possible. The devices should be switched off whenever not required and should not be used when children are around. Some specially made devices are available in the market that reduce radiation from the devices like wifi router, smartphones and others. These devices should be used to reduce the radiation to as much as possible. Finally, sufficient awareness needs to be raised among the users regarding the ethical implications of the electromagnetic radiation (Parsanezhad et al., 2015). In addition to the health issues, the ethical implications are also quite significant and hence, must be followed in order to reduce the impacts of the radiation on self as well as other individuals residing nearby.
Finally, it can be concluded that electromagnetic radiation can cause significant implications on the usage of electronic devices as it violates a lot of ethical standards for the use of the devices like smartphones, laptops and others. From the entire research, it has been known that excessive usage of the devices having serious and harmful impacts on not only the user but also the individuals around the user. It has been found that in most of the houses where smart devices are used all day long, the harmful effects appear mostly on the infants and young children living in the house. Most of the high school children now own smartphones as a system of style and showoff but on the other hand, these children are continuously harmed by the electromagnetic radiation. Hence, it is important to raise significant awareness to let the people about the ethical implications of the use of the electronic devices in addition to the personal health impacts so that their usages can be restricted to as less as possible.
During the study for this particular topic, I have learnt a lot of lessons regarding the usage of electronic devices. Although the harmful effects and ethical issues were known to me previously, I was wary about them and I used the devices throughout the days without considering its implications. During the course of this research, I gathered clear idea about the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation on the body and I immediately started changing my habits. I took special attention in ensuring keeping distance from electronic devices whenever not necessary as much as possible. I also spread awareness among my classmates and family regarding the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation and told them to reduce the usage of the devices as much as possible. I noticed the changes within a few days as my stress levels decreased significantly and I also felt more active and less tired throughout the day.
My recommendations regarding the use of electronic devices will be as follows.
- Keep away from smartphones and other devices like television, laptops and others as much as possible.
- Use these devices only when absolutely necessary.
- Avoid the use of the devices when infants and children are nearby.
- Switch off wifi router and mobile phones at night while going to sleep.
I faced several challenges while undertaking research required for the development of this particular report. I needed to gather sufficient technical knowledge regarding electromagnetic radiation and its effects on organic life before I could analyze the ethical implications of the same. Some of the challenges faced during the research were as follows.
Selection of Topic – Before I started my research work, I was provided with a number of possible topics on which I could research on. However, it was a significant challenge for me as I could not decide which topic was best suited for me. I overcame the challenge by performing simple background checks on the topics and selecting the one on which, I had sufficient interest as well as knowledge.
Challenges Faced During the Research
Selection of Methodology – I also faced challenge during selection of methodology for the research. There was a host of methodologies that were applicable for research activities and I needed to select the one best suited for this particular research. I first analyzed the various methodologies and then tested their applicability on my proposed research plan. Accordingly, I choose the methodology best suited for my research.
Competency in Research and Solving Problems
I exhibited significant competency while undertaking the research for preparation of this report. I accessed an online library where I gathered some journal articles from reputed researchers that helped and guided me a lot through the course of my research. However, collection of literary sources was not enough for the project. I need to find specific data that was essentially needed to guide me through this research topic. In addition, I needed to perform data analysis in order gather sufficient insight and knowledge on the given topic. I also gained sufficient competency in problem solving during this research. I faced some challenges and issues that slowed my progress of research but I applied my problem solving skills and knowledge to overcome them and finish my research within the allocated time.
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Dasdag, S., Akdag, M. Z., Erdal, M. E., Erdal, N., Ay, O. I., Ay, M. E., ... & Yegin, K. (2015). Effects of 2.4 GHz radiofrequency radiation emitted from Wi-Fi equipment on microRNA expression in brain tissue. International journal of radiation biology, 91(7), 555-561.
Gramotnev, D. K., & Bozhevolnyi, S. I. (2014). Nanofocusing of electromagnetic radiation. Nature Photonics, 8(1), 13.
Havas, M. (2017). When theory and observation collide: Can non-ionizing radiation cause cancer?. Environmental Pollution, 221, 501-505.
Hiemer, B., Ziebart, J., Jonitz-Heincke, A., Grunert, P. C., Su, Y., Hansmann, D., & Bader, R. (2016). Magnetically induced electrostimulation of human osteoblasts results in enhanced cell viability and osteogenic differentiation. International journal of molecular medicine, 38(1), 57-64.
Idris, F. M., Hashim, M., Abbas, Z., Ismail, I., Nazlan, R., & Ibrahim, I. R. (2016). Recent developments of smart electromagnetic absorbers based polymer-composites at gigahertz frequencies. Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, 405, 197-208.
Kerker, M. (2016). The scattering of light and other electromagnetic radiation. Elsevier.
Parsanezhad, M. E., Mortazavi, S. M. J., Doohandeh, T., Jahromi, B. N., Mozdarani, H., & Zarei, A. (2015). Exposure to radiofrequency radiation emitted from mobile phone jammers adversely affects the quality of human sperm. Int J Radiat Res.
Ross, C. L., Siriwardane, M., Almeida-Porada, G., Porada, C. D., Brink, P., Christ, G. J., & Harrison, B. S. (2015). The effect of low-frequency electromagnetic field on human bone marrow stem/progenitor cell differentiation. Stem cell research, 15(1), 96-108.
Shen, C. (2016). Electromagnetic Radiation from QCD Matter: Theory Overview: The XXVth International Conference on Ultrarelativistic Nucleus-Nucleus Collisions. Nuclear Physics A, 956, 184-191.
Umrao, S., Gupta, T. K., Kumar, S., Singh, V. K., Sultania, M. K., Jung, J. H., ... & Srivastava, A. (2015). Microwave-assisted synthesis of boron and nitrogen co-doped reduced graphene oxide for the protection of electromagnetic radiation in Ku-band. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 7(35), 19831-19842.
Yan, D. X., Pang, H., Li, B., Vajtai, R., Xu, L., Ren, P. G., ... & Li, Z. M. (2015). Structured Reduced Graphene Oxide/Polymer Composites for Ultra?Efficient Electromagnetic Interference Shielding. Advanced Functional Materials, 25(4), 559-566.
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