So many times I have written here about concerns about cell phones and possible health risks. Just last week I described a study that looked at cancer and cell phone use by children. I immediately was contacted by a reader who asked a variation of a question I always get after posts on this subject: “I can’t tell what you think from the post. Do you think we should worry?”
Well I guess it is hard to tell for sure what I think because I really don’t know for sure what I think. The common sense, anecdotal side of my brain goes one way, the scientific, analytical side of my brain goes another. The only real certain belief I have is that no harm can come from limiting as much as possible the time spent holding the phone to your ear. Do not sleep with your phone near your pillow. Text or use speaker phone as much as possible. All pretty much common sense type approaches if you are concerned.
Anyway, this recent email got me wondering why I have such a hard time making up my mind on this subject. Sometimes, when I think the danger is overstated, I wonder if I am in denial simply because I use my smart phone so much and want to believe it is completely safe. Other times I find myself looking at the monthly bill and noticing how most of my “phone” use is actually for something other than talking on the phone. Given that I mostly use the speaker phone when I do talk on it, I guess I am limiting my exposure to a great degree. But doesn’t the fact that I even think about these points mean that on some level I am worried about the risk?
Coincidentally I was reading an past issue of The New York Times Magazine and came across what must be one of the most complete articles published on the subject. This is one of those articles that shows what a professional writer with the time and financial backing of an established periodical can do. The article is also a great example of why, no matter how many of us bloggers there may eventually be, I hope the professionals can still make a living writing articles like this one. Titled simply “Do Cellphones Cause Cancer“, it pretty much covers the subject front to back. Read it and see what you think.