More on Cell Phones
To use your cell phone or not to use your cell phone…is that the question? For those who mostly text or use hands-free devices, that question doesn’t matter. For those who still put their cell phone to their ear when calling, the question is about safety…can I use my cell phone up to my ear without risk of harm? Well, if the worry about this looms large for you then, even with studies being conducted finding no link between cell phone use and brain tumors, I’d recommend hands-free. If it’s more of an “I wonder” versus worry, then here is some interesting news.
A recently published study1 based on the results of interviews of over 10,000 people [about half of whom had gliomas and meningiomas (brain tumors)] found no increased risk of glioma or meningioma with use of cell phones. Cumulative call time during study participants’ lifetimes ranged significantly from less than 5h to greater than 1,640 h (1,640 cumulative hours would be 164h/y of actual call time with the phone held to the ear for each of the ten years of this study). This is the largest study, by far, to look at the possible link between cell phones and brain tumors.
The question of adverse health effects from cell phones has been studied by scientists and health agencies since the early 1990s. Results show no indication of harmful effects from the use of cell phones or cell towers, but not all of the results are consistent. Even the recently published study data suggests that for long-term, high use individuals, there might be a risk, but the data doesn’t support it yet.
The World Health Organization, after reviewing all of the data available, summarized what we currently know2: “To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use. Studies are ongoing to assess potential long-term effects of mobile phone use.”
For a fact sheet that talks more about this latest cell phone study and the results of other studies plus some Q&A, go to http://hps.org/publicinformation/ate/cat60.html.
1Cardis E, Richardson L, Deltour I, Armstrong B, et al. The INTERPHONE study: Design, epidemiological methods, and description of the study population. European Journal of Epidemiology 22(9):647-664; 2007.
2World Health Organization. Fact Sheet 193 Electromagnetic fields and public health: Mobile phones. May 2010. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/index.html. Accessed 7 June 2010.