Cellular Phone or Sell Your Phone?
Most, I would assume as many of us in developed nations regularly rely on their cell phone to communicate.In fact, the total number of mobile phone subscriptions has reached an estimated 700 million people which makes the mobile phone one of the most ubiquitous gadgets ever invented.
Is there Cause for Concern?
The dramatic increase in the use of cellular phones has generated concerns about potential adverse effects, especially the development of brain tumors.Cellular phones operate with RF (Radio Frequencies) which is a form of electromagnetic energy located on the electromagnetic spectrum between FM radio waves and the waves used in microwave ovens, radars and satellites.
Some people believe that this radiation exposure may explain why people who make long cell phone calls sometimes complain of fatigue, headaches, and loss of concentration or that the radiation emitted may actually increase your risk of developing brain cancer.
What Does the Latest Research Suggest?
There are many reasons which make it difficult to prove an association between cell phone use and a potential increased risk of brain cancer.Not only does it take years of cell phone exposure to potentially develop cancer, but this delay itself means that it takes years to actually collect the necessary research data.
There are several additional reasons which make it difficult to prove this association.Recent studies have found conflicting results:
Increased Risk of Acoustic Neuroma and Glioma:
“CONCLUSIONS: Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for > or =10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure” (Hardell et al, 2007).
Analog Phones and Acoustic Neuroma Risk:
“Here we present the pooled analysis of 2 case-control studies on the association of brain tumours with mobile phone use. Use of analogue cellular phones increased the risk for acoustic neuroma by 5%, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2-9% per 100 hrs of use. The risk increased for astrocytoma grade III-IV with latency period with highest estimates using >10-year time period from first use of these phone types.
The risk increased per one year of use of analogue phones by 10%, 95% CI = 6-14%, digital phones by 11%, 95% CI = 6-16%, and cordless phones by 8%, 95% CI = 5-12%. For all studied phone types OR for brain tumours, mainly acoustic neuroma and malignant brain tumours, increased with latency period, especially for astrocytoma grade III-IV” (Mild et al, 2007).
Risk of Brain Tumors:
“CONCLUSIONS: We found no overall increased risk of brain tumors among cellular phone users. The potential elevated risk of brain tumors after long-term cellular phone use awaits confirmation by future studies” (Kan et al, 2008).
No Increase in Risk?
“CONCLUSION: No significant increased risk for glioma, meningioma or neuroma was observed among cell phone users participating in Interphone. The statistical power of the study is limited, however. Our results, suggesting the possibility of an increased risk among the heaviest users, therefore need to be verified in the international INTERPHONE analyses” (Hours et al, 2007).
What Can You Do to Decrease Your Risk of Cancer?
Currently, there is no definitive evidence that cell phone use actually increases your risk of developing brain cancer.However, if you are concerned about this potential risk, the first appropriate step would be to simply decrease or minimize your cell phone use.At the very least, this will have the added benefit of lowering your monthly cell phone bill leaving you more money to fill up on gas…Other possible suggestions include the use of hands free devices and keeping the phone away from your body.
- Hours M, Bernard M, Montestrucq L, Arslan M, Bergeret A, Deltour I, Cardis E. [Cell Phones and Risk of brain and acoustic nerve tumours: the French INTERPHONE case-control study]. Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 2007 Oct;55(5):321-32. Epub 2007 Sep 11.
- Kan P, Simonsen SE, Lyon JL, Kestle JR. Cellular phone use and brain tumor: a meta-analysis. J Neurooncol. 2008 Jan;86(1):71-8. Epub 2007 Jul 10.
- Mild KH, Hardell L, Carlberg M. Pooled analysis of two Swedish case-control studies on the use of mobile and cordless telephones and the risk of brain tumours diagnosed during 1997-2003. Int J Occup Saf Ergon. 2007;13(1):63-71.
- Hardell L, Carlberg M, Söderqvist F, Mild KH, Morgan LL. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4.