Cell Phones Dangers – Again

by updated 2011/08/23

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.

Will Sig
1 Sukhmandir Kaur

My son got me a cellphone to keep track of me when I was away visiting my daughter, I don’t use it much but when I do I’m on it for a while, I think there are probably other lifestyle/diet etc factors to be considered too as evidence is inconclusive.

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2 Ron

For me, prevention is better than cure so we must have safety measures in using our cell phones. I guess that people also must read about the good and bad effects of cellular phones.

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3 Jan

I think the reason why we can’t make our minds up on this topic is that as yet, there is no definitive study that proves a definite link – just as with smoking and cancer, it took many, many years of research and denial before the link was proven undeniably. I think that the only thing that we can do is limit our exposure, use headpieces and as you say, don’t sleep next to your mobile. Also provide your body with good nutrition and anti oxidants to fight any cells that may become malignant – why do some people get cancer and others don’t? Not suggesting that nutrition is the only factor there!
In Brisbane between 1994 and 2006, 13 female reporters at our local broadcasting station – the ABC – were diagnosed with breast cancer, statistics wise there should have been 1.6. There was obviously something going on environmentally but despite extensive testing they could not find anything. You would think in this day and age with the technology available they would be able to find a cause. So they closed up shop and moved out. I think it will be a long time before we get definite answers about mobiles and brain tumors!
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4 Binky

If there is a link between cell phones and cancer, one has to wonder about all the other sources of electromagnetic radiation that we’re constantly exposed to. TVs, radio, microwaves, appliances, computers, power transmission lines, communication signals, all of our devices, gadgets, cars, stereos. . .

I think I’ll just go back to my burrow.
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5 Will

Yeah I guess your burrow is the safest place. Wait… you don’t have wireless in your burrow do you?

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6 Binky

No, just hard-wired.
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7 Jenny

I hope that there will be further research regarding on this matter and will be more accurate and no more “his/her says” at all. :(
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8 Shahaf

This is indeed scary.
I think we have come to a point that these cellphones are so popular & usefull that trying to reduce the daily use is getting harder and harder.
It seems most of us know that using a cellphone may harm, but we preffer to forget and to live the moment.
Same goes for cigarettes..

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9 Laurie W. Flores

Will,
I think that kids should live without a cell phones. It´s very addictive and we should save them from evil :)

One day they will have it but the later the better. It is like giving them the sweets, the later the better. One they they will thank us.

L.
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10 Anna

And I am back to land-line.
I don’t even trust portable phones at home, lol.
Anna :)
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