House To Probe Health Risks
Of Mobile Phone Use
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MANILA, Philippines - The House committee on health is set
to conduct an inquiry into the possible health risks of the
use of mobile phones.
The investigation was prompted by House Resolution 1372
filed by Ang Kasangga sa Kaunlaran party-list Rep. Teodorico
Haresco directing the panel “to conduct an inquiry, in aid
of legislation, regarding the possible risk of over-exposure
to cellular phone usage to the health of its users.”
“Most people nowadays rely almost exclusively on cell phones
for daily communication. But can these ubiquitous gadgets
possibly cause cancer if used excessively?” Haresco said.
“We want clear answers, not busy signals.”
He pointed out the World Health Organization’s (WHO)
International Agency for Research on Cancer had recently
announced that cell phones could be a “possible” carcinogen,
putting them in the same category as diesel fumes, dry
cleaning fluid, talcum powder and coffee.
A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries made the findings
after going through peer-reviewed studies on cell phone
safety and found enough evidence to categorize personal
exposure as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” he said.
Haresco said in the light of these initial findings, the
telecommunications and wireless industry should give the
public some sort of warning that long-term exposure to
radiation from cell phone usage could possibly cause cancer.
He said it is imperative to regulate children’s cell phone
usage if it is proven that they are more susceptible to
Haresco said it is incumbent upon Congress to establish the
regulatory framework for the telecommunications and wireless
industry, taking into consideration the social and health
The type of radiation that the cell phone emits is called
It is not like the radiation coming from photocopying
machines, but more like “a very low-powered microwave oven
cooking the brain,” he said.
He cited the findings of Dr. Keith Black, chairman of
neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles,
that “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.”
Black said the impact of radiation among the youth can be
much larger because “children’s skulls and scalps are
thinner and that radiation can penetrate deeper into their
The WHO, however, also recognized that, at present, no
adverse health effects had been established, he said.
It is believed that most environmental and health risks take
several decades of exposure before the adverse consequences
are manifested or detected.
The European Environmental Agency is pushing for more
research studies, saying cell phones could be as big a
public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline,
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