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Cell Phones: Cancer Risk?

Some people actually benefit from cell phone radiation, but the rest of us are afraid we'll end up with a brain tumor, like the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. What's the latest on the connection between cell phones and cancer?

The latest information from researcher is that there's no good reason to think that cell phone use causes cancer, because the radio waves emanating from them simply aren't strong enough to break down chemical bonds, which is the first step in cancer causation. But this conclusion never seems to be laid to rest: Scientists keep investigating the question. In LiveScience.com, Christopher Wanjek investigates why this is the case.

He writes: "All known cancer-inducing agents [which include] certain chemicals and viruses and ionizing radiation, act by breaking chemical bonds to produce DNA mutations. Ionizing radiation refers to gamma rays, x-rays, most ultraviolet light and certain subatomic particles. Their energy is high enough to detach an electron from an atom.

"[But] lower-energy, non-ionizing radiation from light bulbs and cell phones can't do damage unless there's enough focus to heat tissue. Even if cell phones could deposit harmful heat, circulating blood should dissipate this."

According to Wanjek, "No one has gone sterile from microwaves; no one has gotten cancer from their computer monitors. But people do get cancer from the sun's ultraviolet radiation (UV). About two billion people use cell phones, and there's been no spike (yet) in rare head and neck cancers. Caution is prudent, but fear is not."

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Art credit: Dreamstime.com

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