Cell phone Health Rethink

‘Cell phone companies have been all too eager to stress their products’ harmlessness. Cell phones emit “non-ionizing radiation,” similar to the kind produced by microwave ovens and cordless phones. (X-rays, on the other hand, are a form of ionizing radiation.) These items may heat up when used, but this form of electromagnetic radiation has long been considered unable to change the DNA of an organism — and DNA breakdown is a possible precursor to cancer.

But cell phones’ explosion in the marketplace, and users’ tendency to wear them close to the body and hold them repeatedly to the same ear, have led scientists to take a second look. The results of international studies have been mixed. Probably the most thorough research so far is the thirteen-country Interphone study overseen by the World Health Organization, which received some funding from the cell phone industry. In some cases, as in the Nordic countries and Britain, cell phone subscribers who used the devices for ten years or more reported higher rates of glioma brain tumors on the side of the head on which they most often used their phones. But scientists relied on people’s recollection of which ear they used for phone conversations and how often they talked on the phone, and human recollection is not always reliable.

On the other end of the spectrum, Germany found no link at all between cell phone use and cancer. Both Israel and Japan, which have large populations of heavy cell phone users, urged more research. The Israeli study suggested there may be an association between heavy mobile phone use and the risk of salivary gland tumors but called for further study. Japanese researchers also said they needed a larger sample size to confirm any link between cell phone use and cancerous tumors.

more at [[http://www.alternet.org/healthwellness/132483/cell_phone_scare:_what_do_we_really_know_about_the_health_risks]]

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