FDA, It's Time To Study
Journalist: Suzanne Kantra Kirschner, Technology Editor
Here we go again: In June, Darius
Leszczynski of Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority found that
an hour of cellphone exposure shrinks cultured human cells. The resulting
gaps between the cells, the study suggests, could allow toxins to enter the
brain. As quickly as several scientists dismissed the study—saying the
shrinkage was probably caused simply by heat—Gro Harlem Brundtland,
General-Director of the World Health Organization, issued a warning to
parents to limit cellphone use in children.
This is the latest volley in the decade-old debate over the dangers of
cellphone radiation, a controversy that has spawned a cottage industry
hawking everything from hands-free devices to radiation blockers. Despite
countless studies—most of which were too small or too partisan—we still
don't know if cellphones are dangerous. Even Leszczynski admits his study
proves nothing definitively, adding that large-scale human testing must be
With 137 million cellphone users in the U.S., and with more
radiation-intensive broadband applications in the offing, the time for such
testing is now.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which shares jurisdiction over
cellphones with the FCC, should develop a plan to definitively study the
long-term effects of cellphone use.
It's time to put this issue to rest, and only the government's deep pockets
can do so.