Cell phone/cancer link back in town: protect your brains!

Who is this?: "My... brain tumor"? No, I think you must have the wrong number.
Who is this?: "My... brain tumor"? No, I think you must have the wrong number.Courtesy MikeSchinkel
I’m not sure if it has come up on Buzz before, but there has been a long-running disagreement in the scientific community as to whether or not cell phone use increases your chances of developing cancer. (“Long running” relative to how long cells have been around, anyway.) Industry studies done ten years ago even suggested that there may be a link between cell phones and brain tumors, but other research completed since then has cast some doubt on those findings. The idea we’ve been left with, for the most part, seems to be that cell phones are more or less safe.

The debate has just recently been reignited, however. A group of scientists has warned congress that the studies denying a cell phone/cancer link may be severely lacking, an that new studies are demonstrating a pretty solid connection between exposure to the magnetic fields emitted by cell phones and the development of brain tumors.

The majority of studies used in the argument against a health link, the scientists point out, define “regular cell phone use” as once a week—far less than the average cell phone use currently. The group also draws on the analogy of cigarettes: it took 50 years for the health community to establish a convincing link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, but that’s not something anyone would even question today. Scientists have had a far shorter time to study the long-term effects of cell phone use, and a brain tumor can take “dozens of years to develop,” so they argue that cell phone use should be treated with caution.

Several warning studies were shown to the congressional committee. Surveys from Scandinavia, where cell phones were first developed, showed that cell phone users were twice as likely to develop a tumor on the auditory nerves of the ear they usually held their phone to, compared to the other ear. An Israeli study showed that heavy cell phone users were 50 % more likely to develop salivary gland tumors. Recently published English research demonstrated that adolescents who started using cell phones before the age of 20 were five times more likely to develop brain cancer by 29 than those who didn’t use cell phones—all on the side of the head where they used their phones.

Kids are particularly vulnerable to cell phone emissions—the radiation penetrates far deeper into their brains than it does to adult users.

The goal of the scientists was to encourage further studies on the health effects of cell phone use, and to urge the Federal Communications Commission—in charge of monitoring setting limits to exposure to the radio spectrum—to review their standards.

It’s something to think about though, isn’t it, Buzzketeers? Something to think about while you’re trying to fall asleep, and you’ve got a head ache just on the right side…

What do you think? Would you change your cell phone use based on something like this? Or do you think people should wait for more information before they start changing their behavior? Or is this just a reason to text even more?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Liza's picture
Liza says:

The obvious solution for now, while you're waiting for the scientific consensus to emerge, is to use a headset of some sort. Then you get all the benefits of a cell phone without holding it to your ear for hours a day. And your arm doesn't get tired.

But, guys, you might not want to put your mobile in your pocket either. A 1995 study showed that electromagnetic radiation similar to that put out by a cell phone damaged sperm DNA and motility in mice. A US study published last week had similar findings, although the researchers weren't sure whether the effects were due to heat or radiation.

You probably want to invest in some sort of belt holster for your phone. (Yeah, it's not fashionable. For sure. But you'll split the difference, and keep your mobile away from your brain AND your junk. :) )

posted on Fri, 09/26/2008 - 10:05pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Uh oh. Dermatologists are reporting mysterious rashes on people's hands, faces, and ears. The culprit? Allergic reactions to the nickel in the handsets and buttons of mobile phones.

posted on Thu, 10/16/2008 - 3:06pm
shaunalynn10's picture

im glad i just text most of the time

posted on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 2:42pm
maleman001's picture
maleman001 says:

I really don't think cell phone's give brain tumors is dumb and un believe I don't believe in that i use a cell phone and I don't talk on it only for my mom and important stuff.

posted on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 2:46pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think this iss a very real issue. Recent studies in Northern Europe over a period of ten uears and using a cell phone over an hour a day have shown a 50% increase in brain tumors on theside of the brain where the cell phone was held. Researchers have even said that one should not have a cell phone on a belt or in a pocket where radiation can get into the body. This news will definitely change my

posted on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 4:46pm
cookie man's picture
cookie man says:

I really agree with that but some parts I dont agree with

posted on Sat, 09/27/2008 - 4:55pm
lmoran's picture
lmoran says:

If cell phones could cause cancer, then we will all have issues. Depends on the amt of exposure would be my guess.

posted on Mon, 10/20/2008 - 8:24pm

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