The World Health Organization (WHO) recently issued a statement confirming what many people have thought for some time now–cell phones may increase the risk of cancer. This comes in the wake of a recent (but inconclusive) study that revealed that cell phone communication alters brain activity
. What’s really interesting is that it appears that no one is frantically running through the streets in panic, or tossing their cell phones in the trash. Perhaps that’s because we’re so accustomed to constantly being connected to our family and the outside world that we’re actually willing to take the gamble. Or maybe we’re just not convinced.“Possibly carcinogenic”
WHO categorized cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic.” However, your morning cup of Joe is in the same category and few people are willing to give that up either!
But the experts tell us that they did find evidence of an increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer
among mobile cell phone users. Cell phone radiation
is called non-ionizing radiation and its effect is similar to how a microwave oven alters food.
Dr. Keith Black, chairman of urology at Cedars-Sinai medical Center in Los Angeles said, “What microwave radiation does in the most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like targeted memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.”
Conclusion based on reviews, not new research.
If you’re wondering what the wireless industry had to say about this announcement, their statement probably won’t come as a big surprise. Basically they reiterated the fact that being “possibly carcinogenic” does not mean that cell phones cause cancer. They also emphasize that the researchers “did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies.” Perhaps they’re talking about this - a previous study found a 40% increase risk of brain cancer among people who talk on their cell phone for at least 30 minutes per day for 10 years.
Dr. Henry Lai, research professor at University of Washington said, “When you look at cancer development – particularly brain cancer – it takes a long time to develop. I think it is a good idea to give the public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to radiation from your cell phone could possibly cause cancer.”Words from Apple and Blackberry.
The “really smart” cell phones already come with warning that consumers need to keep the device away from their body. For example, the Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says, “when using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep the iphone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body.”
Blackberry Bold users need to “keep the Blackberry device at least 0.98 inch (25 mm) from your body when the Blackberry device is transmitting.”
Logically, the farther the phone is away from your body the less radiation you’ll receive. Even better, using the speakerphone function or an earpiece gives you more distance from emitted radiation.
It’s interesting to note that many scientists who have been paying attention to WHO’s take on the link between cell phones and brain cancer are disputing the new findings already. They say there is little or no evidence to support WHO’s claim that using cell phones increases cancer risk. And if scientists aren’t reacting strongly to this new study, it’s little wonder most Americans aren’t compelled to do so either.