Cell Phones and Brain Cancer: Is There a Link?

Cell Phone Radiation, Cell Phone Radiation Protection

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August 10, 2011

Expert Author Shauna Arthurs With the recent announcement by WHO (world health organisation) about the potential dangers of cell phone radiation, we are all naturally concerned, especially those of us who use cell phones regularly and/or who have kids with cell phones. What is safe, we wonder, in terms of use, cell phone type and exposure? Are some cell phones safer than others, and are there ways in which we can limit the dangers by changing our usage patterns? While the answers are still coming in, there are things we can do to help protect ourselves. These tips come from a variety of sources, including a brain scientist who has recovered from brain cancer (Dr. David Servan-Schreiber – if you have not yet read his book, Anticancer, A New Way of Life go get it! It’s an excellent read for anyone wishing to prevent cancer, or already dealing with the health challenges cancer presents).

Simultaneously, we are all terrified of cancer but somehow in denial that it will ever touch us personally. It’s time we look clearly at the rampart cancer rates of the last decade and take as many steps as we can personally to protect our health. When it comes to this health issue, we are all exposed to radiation in varying degrees, even those of us who do not have a cell phone. In North America, unless you live in the remote wilds and are completely off the grid, you’re likely affected, even if from cell towers and criss-crossing signals in the air. Experts are telling us that cordless phones pose similar risks, and it s only as more studies come to completion that the alarming statistics are becoming available.

Nonetheless, mobile phones and smart phones are here to stay, so let’s do what we can given that reality. For one thing, most mobile phone manufacturers now offer a protection rating on their phones, as consumers become increasingly aware and concerned. Ask your provider about your specific phone and be sure to check the rating of any phone you buy. Other tips include using a headset rather than putting the phone directly to your ear when talking, and leaving the phone away from your wear until someone answers; according to experts the signal is stronger when the phone is ringing, before it connects. The signal is also stronger when you are between cell towers, so if the connection is bad hang up and try later when it’s safer. For children and teens with developing brains, limit cell phone use and if anything, encourage texting over speaking (who ever thought anyone would say that?).

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Study: Mobile Phones Increase Children’s Risk Of Brain Cancer

Mobile Phone Radiation, Mobile Phone Radiation Protection

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The Swedish study, the largest ever conducted on the hazards of cell phones, points to an alarming trend: cell phone use increases the risk of cancer, and tumors in young people under the age of 20.

Today’s young people may suffer an “epidemic” of the disease in later life, according to the study. At least nine out of 10 British 16-year-olds have their own handset, as do more than 40 percent of primary schoolchildren. And in the U.S., even more teenagers are hooked up to cell phones.
Last week the European Parliament voted by 522 to 16 to urge ministers across Europe to bring in stricter limits for exposure to radiation from mobile and cordless phones, Wi-fi and other devices, partly because children are especially vulnerable to them.

Studies like the Swedish study have prompted hearings by the United States Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee/ The Committee announced last week their beginning examination of the link between tumors and cell phone use.

Children are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because — since their heads are smaller and their skulls are thinner — the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains, the study says.

Professor Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden headed the Swedish study. Professor Hardell told the recent conference that “people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20 had more than five-fold increase in glioma,” a cancer of the glial cells that support the central nervous system. The extra risk to young people of contracting the disease from using the cordless phone found in many homes was almost as great, at more than four times higher, he says.

Those who started using mobiles young, he added, were also five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, benign but often disabling tumors of the auditory nerve, which usually cause deafness, Hardell says. By contrast, people who were in their twenties before using handsets were only 50 per cent more likely to contract gliomas and just twice as likely to get acoustic neuromas.

“Children under 12 should not use mobiles except in emergencies and that teenagers should use hands-free devices or headsets and concentrate on texting,” Hardell says. “At 20 the danger diminishes because then the brain is fully developed.”
He says, that the hazard to children and teenagers may be greater even than his results suggest, because the results of his study don’t show the effects of their using the phones for many years. Most cancers take decades to develop, longer than mobile phones have been on the market.

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