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Cellphones and Cancer: The Debate Continues

OK OK. Better safe-r than sorry. I know you’ve heard this before (from snoety’s News to Know, too) … but now there are too many neurosurgeons concerned over the cellphone and cancer debate to ignore it anymore. Here’s the top line from an article just printed in The New York Times xxx
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EXPERTS REVIVE DEBATE

If you’ve been cynical about this topic, the New York Times article (Tues., June 3) “Experts Revive Debate Over Cellphones and Cancer” really does make you reconsider. (Yes, even though I laughed at my husband when he became a fanatic about using an earpiece.) Ted Kennedy’s brain cancer is, of course, a reason for the new emphasis, but the facts seems to be fuzzy enough so that you should consider being more cautionary when it comes to putting that cellphone next to your ear. Here’s the top line:

  • Last week three prominent neurosurgeons told Larry King on CNN (I actually saw this show) that they do not hold cellphones next to their ears …
  • While some feel the theory “defies credulity,” others (including the FDA) note that the average period of phone use in the studies is about 3 years …
  • Critics say many studies are flawed because there are no long term studies and because they do not distinguish between casual and heavy use …
  • While the non-ionizing radiation that cellphones emit seems too weak to lead to cancer, researchers who have raised concerns say “just because science can’t explain the mechanism doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist,” and they’re focusing on the heat generated and “the fact that radio frequencies are absorbed mostly by the head and neck
  • One important study, called Interphone, incorporates the efforts of 13 countries (including Canada, Israel and several European) and it suggests there’s a link between cellphone use and three types of tumors — all near the ear and all rare …
  • Last year, two studies that looked at people using phones for 10 or more years demonstrated a high risk (one from Israel and one from Sweden) …
  • An editor of Microwave News industry publication that tracks the reasearch said: “There are some very disconcerting findings that suggest a problem, although it’s much too early to reach a conclusive view.” …
  • Many doctors are more concerned about children than adults …
  • A simple solution is to use a headset — although there are [lesser] worries as well about wireless devices (like Bluetooth) that essentially place a transmitter in the ear …

Suggest you read The New York Times article in full and make up your own mind.

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2 Comments
Audra says: June 11th, 2008 at 4:08 pm

I actually saw someone with something that looked drilled (i’m sure it wasn’t) onto his head and attached to the phone in his hand. The first thought I had was “well that can’t be healthy.”

Nicole says: June 12th, 2008 at 4:40 am

Call me paranoid with slight OCD tendencies and I will raise my hand and say, “guilty”. I have always thought the heat felt on ones ear while on a cellphone, can’t be good. The blinking blue light glowing from those little cute pieces of plastic that make talking on a cellphone easier and look cooler, can’t be good. So at risk of looking uncool, fumbling with ONE wire, I still attach a headphone to my phone when I need to speak on the cellphone.

Technology is out-beating us everyday (maybe every second). As a society, sometimes we have to use our own common sense. Even if we may appear uncool.

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