|Back To Previous Page|
|Print This Page|
Are Cell Phones Carcinogenic?
Cellular phones have become an essential part of our lives today. Most people can’t live without these devices and really can’t remember what life was like before their creation. Everyone is encouraged to have one of these devices, even our children. Cell phone towers are being erected right and left with little or no objection from the public.
Most people assume that because cell phones are in general use, they must be safe. Any independent research showing the potential dangers is quickly discredited. Are there reasons to be concerned?
In August 2000, Dr. Christopher Neuman, a neurologist, filed a suit alleging that his prolonged cell phone use was responsible for the brain tumor that was slowly killing him. He accused the cell phone industry of knowing that these gadgets were unsafe and deliberately misleading the public into thinking that cell phones are harmless. Neuman demanded $800 million from seven cell phone manufacturers and cellular service providers. The malignant tumor in question was discovered in March 1998 behind Neuman’s right ear, the same ear that he used when on his cell phone. He claimed that he used a wireless phone several times daily between ’92 and ’98.
This case became a catalyst responsible for general mistrust of cellular technology. Several similar cases have been brought to the courts, but like Neuman’s, were defeated. Of course, many studies were done to show the public that what happened to Neuman and others were anomalies, and that there was no correlation between cell phone use and cancer of any kind. In an effort to combat the cellular backlash, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there was no evidence that radiation from cell phones posed a health risk. However, the FDA also concluded that there was no proof that cell phones are risk free, either. The above position and a few studies portraying cell phones in a positive light were all that was needed to quickly diffuse public tension, and the Neuman case was ultimately forgotten.
Some studies have been done before and after the Neuman case showing that cell phones emit a radio frequency (RF) that may be harmful to frequent users. The RF that cell phones emit is very similar to those in microwave ovens. Microwave (MW) energy oscillates at millions of cycles per second. The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry states that these frequencies cause cancer and other ailments by interfering with cellular DNA. Between 20 and 80 percent of the RF given off by cell phones is absorbed into the user’s head. The amount of RF absorbed depends on how close the antenna is to the user, the duration of time the user is exposed to the RF and the power level of the cell phone. The longer one is exposed to RF, the better chance one has of becoming ill. How many people are aware of this information? Not many, because findings of this nature are all but ignored by the mainstream media.
Many years ago, there was a debate about the safety of microwave ovens, which has since dissipated. Imagine what a microwave oven does to food, and imagine what a cell phone may be doing to your brain. It is safe to say that most people will not find the thought too appealing.In 1995, Henry Lai and N.P. Singh published a study demonstrating how cell phones damaged DNA in the brain cells of lab rats. While Lai stated that the study provided no solid answers, he did state that more studies needed to be done. Immediately after the study was published, the cell phone industry criticized Lai’s research techniques and stated that the results were never duplicated.
About a year later in Australia, Dr. Michael Repacholi turned up similar results. His study looked at 200 mice, half of them exposed to digital phone radiation and half of them not. Dr. Repacholi found that cancer rates doubled in those mice that had been irradiated. The exposed mice were subjected to pulsed microwaves at a power density similar to a digital cell phone transmitting for two 30-minute periods each day.
Significantly, a study done by the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland found that exposing human cells to an hour of cell phone radiation triggers a response, that normally occurs when cells are being damaged.
The report’s conclusion warns: “The possible RF radiation-induced breakage of the blood-brain barrier, if occurring repeatedly over a long period of time, might become a health hazard because of the possible extra-capillary accumulation of molecules that might cause tissue damage.” Many considered this study in itself a landmark in cell phone research, because it proved that biochemical changes, which were only observed in lab animals previously, can occur in the cells of cell phone users.
Soon after this study, Dr. Alan Preece, head of biophysics at the Bristol Oncology Center cited six different studies as indicating that brain response times speed up when people are exposed to radio frequency (RF) signals coming from cell phones. “Perhaps we now have to accept there is an effect on the brain,” Preece stated at a London conference on the risks of cell phone usage. This study does not say that RF is harmful, but that RF certainly affects the physiology of the cell phone user, and could eventually prove to be harmful.
Fairly recently, a British government-sponsored scientific inquiry concluded that while there was no evidence of a danger to health, it might be a good idea to discourage children from using cell phones, because they are more susceptible to radiation.
A University of Utah researcher found that the younger the child, the more radiation is absorbed by the brain.
Spanish researchers have shown that cell phones can alter electrical activity in a child’s brain for hours, causing drastic mood changes and possible behavior and learning disabilities.
Some scientists even fear that cell phone radiation could harm human embryos, although no studies of this sort have been conducted.