Cell Phone Use Linked To Brain Tumors?
When we think of a typical 21st century scenario of an urban dwellers lifestyle, we
usually include cell phones, PDAs, notebooks, computers, microwave
ovens and TVs in the picture. They are very much a part of our world
and to many, its impossible to imagine a life without them. And what do
all these devices have in common? With prolonged exposure, they can
also be a harmful source of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.
Philippine Daily Inquirer
June 23, 2006
EMF pollution causes a different type of environmental pollution which
can be more risky to ones health than the usual air pollution we can
easily detect and protect ourselves from. EMF radiation is a major
stressor of the body and we get a fair amount of it every day,
everywhere. Yet, we cant see it, we cant hear it, we cant smell it.
Some researches seem to suggest that the increased incidence of brain
tumors during the last decade or so is attributable to cell phone use.
Preliminary data would show that the brain tumor is usually located on
the side where the patient would use his/her cell phone.
But results from studies have been conflicting. Last year, the Dutch
Health Council, reviewing all available data from all over the world,
found no conclusive evidence that radiation from mobile phones and TV
towers was harmful. A four-year British survey released early this year
also showed no link between regular, long-term use of cell phones and
These earlier publications seemed reassuring to cell phone users until
researchers at the Swedish National Institute for Working Life observed
in their study that the use of mobile phones over a long period of time
can raise the risk for brain tumors, contradicting the conclusions of
The Swedish researchers looked at the mobile phone use of 905 people
between the age of 20 and 80 who had been diagnosed with a cancerous
brain tumor, and they found a link with their cell phone use.
The study noted that 85 of these 905 cases were so-called high users of
mobile phones, that is they began early to use mobile and/or wireless
telephones and used them a lot. Similar to the observations of previous
studies, the tumors were more prevalent on the side of the head where
the phone was said to be used.
Dr. Kjell Mild, head investigator of the study, said the figures meant
that heavy users of mobile phones, accumulating 2,000 hours or more of
cell phone use in their life, had a 240 percent increased risk for a
malignant tumor on the side of the head the phone is used. In practical
terms, if one uses cell phones an average of one hour a day (total
daily use), he would have a 240 percent risk of developing a brain
tumor in 5.4 years compared to nonusers of cell phones.
Dr. Mild suggested that to get the risk down, one should use hands-free
phones but other experts dont seem to agree. They hypothesize that
hands-free devices even serve as an antenna that attract more EMF
Another important observation in some of these studies is that children
and younger people are more vulnerable to EMF waves due to their
relatively thinner skulls, which are still maturing and growing. With
the unlimited text and call promos available in our country, many
youngsters spend minutes and sometimes hours making telebabad on their
cell phones. This can pose a potential problem later on.
Since hands-free devices dont seem to offer any protection, the only
safeguard I can think of at this point to minimize EMF radiation from
cell phones is to use it only when its necessary. If a landline is
available, then we should use it instead of the cell phone.
And just like the cigarette manufacturers, the network providers
(Globe, Smart, and Sun) should also have a line at the bottom of their
advertisements stating something like: Preliminary evidence suggests
that accumulated exposure to cell phone radiation might increase the
risk of brain tumors. This should free them from any liability of
inadequate disclosure which cell phone users who eventually develop
brain tumors might file against them.