Cell Phones and Cancer: Get Your Hands Off That Phone!
Sue Hubbard, M.D.
Looking for a great gift for your favorite high school or college grad? Pick up a hands-free headset for their cell phone. There's a healthy reason behind this.
WHO said radio frequency electromagnetic fields (when cell phones are in use) had the potential to cause cancer in humans. Several studies showed an increased risk for a type of brain tumor called a glioma. The news was based upon extensive reviews of numerous studies by 31 scientists from 14 countries.
The working group reviewed the literature to evaluate the potential adverse health effects from electromagnetic fields. In a news release, the director of the group stated, "it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of that information, it is important to take measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting."
Several of the European studies showed that the risk increased with the number of hours of use. It was also reported that younger users might be at greater risk.
For anyone with a cell phone, why not just get in the habit of using a hands-free device? We've taught our children to wear seat belts (second nature to this generation of kids), and they can easily learn to use hands-free phones. Until suppliers adopt my proposal to bundle the devices with all cell phones, let's all get in the habit of buying them. I just went online to buy hands-free devices for all my boys and my daughter-in-law.
Even with data still being collected and analyzed, if there is an increased risk of brain tumors with cell phone use, a hands free device might be protective. One thing's for sure, if you use a cell phone while driving, a hands-free device is much safer.
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