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Cell Phone-Brain Cancer Debate Continues

Recently, researchers from the Orbero University in Sweden led by Professor Kjell Mild have suggested that young children may be at risk for brain cancer when using cell phones because of their thinner skulls and developing nervous systems. The study also suggests that 10 years is the minimum period needed by cancers to develop, which would warrant more research at this time when a large number of the population has been using cell phones for a long time.

The question of whether or not cell phones pose a health risk has been debated for more than a decade, and scientists still aren't sure how extreme the risks are, or if they exist at all.

Like televisions, computers, and all other electrical devices, cell phones emit electromagnetic radiation. At high enough levels, radiofrequency (RF) energy can heat living tissue to the point of causing biological damage.

Studies have shown that high doses of RF energy can cause DNA damage, cardiac effects, disruption of cellular communication and metabolism, impairment of immune function, and changes in brainwave activity and sleep patterns. Some people believe that radiation exposure may explain why people who make long cell phone calls sometimes complain of fatigue, headaches, and loss of concentration.

Part of the increasing concern over cell phone use may be due to a recent finding by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which has discovered a connection between childhood cancer and power lines. In addition to the Obrero University study, a handful of studies in the past few years have suggested that cell phone users are 40% to 400% more likely to develop cancer on the side of the brain where they hold their phone, next to their ears.

Yet some scientists are highly doubtful that there is cause for concern, citing another set of various studies that have found no correlation. From the physics standpoint, researchers explain that the idea of cell phones having biological effects is nearly impossible. A mere six-tenths of a watt of power emitted by cell phones seems theoretically unlikely to affect human health.

Due to the nature of science research, it will be nearly impossible to prove that cell phones are safe, as there are so many different types of studies that could potentially be performed.

Still, about 200,000 people in the US alone are diagnosed with brain cancer each year, and brain cancer is one of the leading causes of death in young people. Some people have taken advantage of people's insecurities, selling useless products such as "RF-proof" necklaces that claim to eliminate the radiation.

Currently, countries measure the amount of radiation produced by cell phones by testing a "specific absorption rate " (SAR), which is "a way of measuring the quantity of radiofrequency (RF) energy that is absorbed by the body." To pass FCC certification, a cell phone's maximum SAR level must be less than 1.6W/kg (watts per kilogram) in the US, and 2W/kg in Europe.

For those concerned about potential risks, scientists suggest using headsets and try to keep the antenna far away from the head since the main source of RF energy is from the antenna. Because RF energy decreases as distance increases between a person and a radiation source, keeping distance between the antenna and your body can help decrease your exposure to RF energy.

Sources and more information:
Science Daily
Daily Times
CNET

Lisa Zyga
Science Blogger
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Oct 11, 2007
by Rui (not verified)

Just one remark....

"Recently, researchers from the Orbero University in Sweden led by Professor Kjell Mild have suggested that young children may be at risk for brain cancer when using cell phones because of their thinner skulls and developing nervous systems. The study also suggests that 10 years is the minimum period needed by cancers to develop"...

The interesting portion of this text is the word "suggests". What this means, imho, is that there is no factual data in this study, and it is only another theory...

Oct 12, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Wasn't smoking at one time

Wasn't smoking at one time considered healthy?

Oct 12, 2007
by rastagnac (not verified)

Yes, that is a humble opinion

What's unclear about this statement?

"Studies have shown that high doses of RF energy can cause DNA damage, cardiac effects, disruption of cellular communication and metabolism, impairment of immune function, and changes in brainwave activity and sleep patterns."

We have known for 15 years that cell phones damage living tissue. It's radiation. And it's well outside the wavelengths our bodies are designed to handle.

If we weren't all so attached to our cell phones, we wouldn't be so quick to dismiss this work.

Apr 1, 2008
by Anonymous

cell phones and tumors

i think there is a link. i am 49 year old white male and left handed and left eared. for 15+ years i have had a cell phone jammed in my left ear. i have an acoustic neuroma (tumor) on the left cranial acoustic nerve (diagnosed 3 years ago) i think because of the cell phone usage. can't hear out of left ear. if they have to operate it is a big surgery, not worth it. they did radiation to treat it at mgh.

May 14, 2008
by Anonymous

Cell phones and bees

More complicated than just one cause.

Man has polluted the air water and ground. Insecticides are showing up in human mothers milk and plants that have not been exposed to it for decades.

We have removed 90% of the trees and covered the soil with concrete. There is very little left of the wild flowers and vegetation left. All insects are disappearing, not just honey bees.

I am sure that the microwaves are weakening the bee’s immune system so they are susceptible to virus and bacteria that they are carrying. They did not do any major testing of bees until this problem so they do not know what is normal; they could have been carrying around these viruses for decades.

Cell phone towers are killing animals. A farmer lost all of his animals after having a cell phone tower installed in is property. Cell phones are causing brain cancer and children are really sensitive. The recent studies are showing this. We are being bombarded with radio and microwaves with all the wireless technology.

The cell phone industry is worth billions world wide and they will do ANYTHING to show cell phones are not the cause of any problems. In the end when enough people have died most of the insects and amphibians are gone and enough people and children have died from brain cancer they will have to admit it but only after lots of law suits. But it will be years at this rate.

I suspect they will very discreetly find a way to make the cell phones safe with shielding and different frequencies or by changing frequencies and then never admit there was a problem.

Oct 1, 2008
by Anonymous

mobile phones causing cancer

I think that it is trully wrong and that you should actually investigate before telling people that their phones can cause them to get brain cancer.