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Researchers Warn Cell Phone Users To Take Precautions
Brigham Young University
Journalist: Lacey Morrill
October 08, 2002

Cellular phone industry officials and scientific researchers have long argued over whether or not radiation from cell phones has the potential to cause cancer. While studies are inconclusive, researchers continue to warn the more than 400 million cell phone users world wide to take precautions.

“There is enough evidence to raise some serious questions about the safety of cell phones,” George Carlo, director of the Wireless Technology Research Program said. “While we can’t prove that cell phones cause cancer, we can’t prove that they are absolutely safe.”

This same stand has been adopted by FDA officials. While the FDA says there is not enough evidence to show that radiation from cell phones is a health risk, they also concede there is no conclusive proof that cell phones are risk free.

Studies show that people who use cell phones are more likely to develop tumors on the outside of their brains or behind their ears, Carlo said. Cellular radiation damages blood cells and prohibits them from repairing DNA, he said.

Among the scientific world, Carlo is not the only one who believes cell phones are potentially dangerous. The European Journal of Cancer Prevention published an article that said long term users of cell phones are 30 percent more likely than non-users to develop brain tumors.

In response to scientific findings that support the connection between cell phones and cancer, the phone industry has been peppered with a long history of lawsuits.

The latest of these was brought against Motorola by Christopher Newman, a doctor from Maryland.

In connection with his work, Newman spent a lot of time on a cell phone. He developed brain cancer and is suing the industry for $800 million.

“From our perspective and from a public health perspective, the court should be aware of what’s out there,” said Newman’s lawyer, John Angeles.

Officials from the phone industry say most studies show no connection between phone radiation and cancer. They question the methodology of research used by Carlo.

“We have maintained for years that assertions against us are groundless,” Norman Sandler, a Motorola spokesman, said.

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