July 24, 2008

Cell Phone Cancer: I Couldn't Agree More

...Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, a type of radiation that is a form of electromagnetic radiation, according to the National Cancer Institute. Though studies are being done to see if there is a link between it and tumors of the brain and central nervous system, there is no definitive link between the two, the institute says on its Web site.

"By all means, if a person feels compelled that they should take precautions in reducing the amount of electromagnetic radio waves through their bodies, by all means they should do so," said Dan Catena, a spokesman for the American Cancer Society. "But at the same time, we have to remember there's no conclusive evidence that links cell phones to cancer, whether it's brain tumors or other forms of cancer..."


...Prof Alan Preece, Emeritus Professor of Medical Physics at the University of Bristol, said the evidence for harmful effects was "still confused and inconclusive".

He added: "Whilst I would agree that precaution for children is an excellent idea... it is only very long term heavy use that would seem to be sensible to avoid until there is positive evidence of harm.

"In any case, modern phones cause far less exposure than their counterparts 10 or 20 years ago, and hands-free devices effectively solve the problem by removing heavy exposure to the head."

Prof Will Stewart of the University of Southampton, who is a Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, said he would be intrigued to see the early research.

"One cannot refute the 'early findings from unpublished data' since we have not seen them - but there is enough published data, including the MTHR review, to make the advice sound alarmist..."


Despite some of the comments I've received on the latest manifestation of cell phone fright — some rather rambly and strange — I don't see any particular reason to be in a tizzy about Dr. Ron Herberman's memo. And keep in mind, it was just that, a memo.

Still, if you're feeling panicked about this, by all means use a headset (the headset manufacturer will surely thank you), or toss your cell phone in the trash, or pray, or whatever it is that you're inclined to do when the latest scare pokes its head up.

Personally, I've looked at links that I've been sent, both here and in other fora, and I still haven't seen a good reason to be concerned about this issue beyond attempting to put forth basic information that contradicts the panic. Despite a couple of accusations, I don't take any money from any cell phone-related corporations. In fact, I hardly get any money at all from anybody. I don't particularly care if companies that have a stake in making or selling cell phones go out of business; I've no more stake in their future than does anyone else not employed by them. I suppose I should also add that I haven't been possessed by Satan, nor am I under alien mind control and helping to plot the downfall of mankind by working to increase the rates of brain cancers.

It's no surprise, but there are people blowing this way out of proportion and letting fear of the unknown overcome reasonable skepticism. I have seen no reason to be concerned and remain unconvinced that Herberman is on the right track here.

Sphere: Related Content