Being mobile is almost a life’s necessity which we can’t imagine being without. However, as with medical advances, technological ones share the same fate of there always seeming to be an accompanying inherent danger.
Early on, emitting cell phone radiation was a cause of concern for contributing to brain cancer. Research over the years has been conflicting, and the prevailing assumption by the general public is that cells phones are safe and the brain is not affected.
In a 2008 Scientific American article – Fact or Fiction? Cell Phones Can Cause Brain Cancer by Melinda Wenner, some of the basic contradicting issues are outlined.
The primary concern is that even the low radio frequencies emitted by cell phones cause brain cancer, by damaging the cellular DNA.
According to “… Jorn Olsen, chair of epidemiology at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Public Health [says] that unlike microwaves, cell phones do not release enough radiation or energy to damage DNA or genetic material, which can lead to cancer.”
He explains that “Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which differs from the ionizing radiation of x-rays and radioactive material in that it does not have enough energy to knock around—or ionize—electrons or particles in atoms. Cell phone radiation falls into the same band of nonionizing radio frequency as microwaves used to heat or cook food.”
According to Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute “Long term and frequent use of cell phones which receive and emit radio frequency may be associated with an increased risk of brain tumors.”
Three studies since 1999 have verified that users of cell phones for more than 10 years had a three fold increase of brain cancer on the same side of the head where the phone was normally used.
Studies of early cell phone Scandinavian users (more than 10 years) indicate an increase in brain cancer, while newer studies often have users with less than 10 years of exposure.
The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that it can be from 15-20 years between exposure to a cancer causing agent and a clinical diagnosis and cell phones have only been popular in the US for about 10 years [as of 2008].
Until we have a clearer understanding of the effects of cell phone radiation, here’s a few brain health basics.
- Limit use and exposure time
- Alternate placing phone on opposite side of head
- Leave an air space between your ear and the phone
- Use a hands-free connection
- Turn it off at night or at least move it as far away as you can when sleeping
- It’s not a toy for your baby’s delicate brain
- Limit use for young children as their brains are more vulnerable than yours
For more comprehensive tips see http://www.greenhealthwatch.com/newsstories/newsmobilephones/best-practice.htm
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