Is your cell phone safe to use? It depends on how you use it and where you carry it. The World Health Organization (WHO) now says that cell phones pose the same "carcinogenic hazard" as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. This is a reversal for them: Earlier they said that no adverse health effects had been established from cell phone use.
What this boils down to is that right now there haven’t been enough long-term studies clearly connect radiation from cell phones to cancer, but there IS enough data that reveals a POSSIBLE connection to warn cell phone users. On CNN, Danielle Dellorto quotes researcher Keith Black as saying, "The biggest problem we have is that we know most environmental factors take several decades of exposure before we really see the consequences. Dellorto quotes researcher Henry Lai as saying, "When you look at cancer development– particularly brain cancer–it takes a long time to develop."
Radiation from a cell phone is non-ionizing, meaning it’s not like an X-ray, but more like a very low-powered microwave oven. She quotes Black as saying, "What microwave radiation does in 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 cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."
Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer that was released in 2010 showed that participants in the study who used a cell phones for 10 years or more had double the rate of a type of tumor called a brain glioma. The widespread use of cell phones among kids is especially worrying. Dellorto quotes Dr. Black as saying, "Childrens’ skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger."
But will all this stop us from using our phones? We KNOW that smoking causes lung cancer, but you still see people puffing away on the street.
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