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The Harmful Effects Of Cell Phone Use

May 13, 2008
Over the past decade the world has seen rapid growth in cell phone users. Everyone from older adults to kids in high school seem to carry one glued to their ears, without understanding the possible health ricks associated with the use of cellular telephones.

To begin with, a recent scientific journal published in 2007 titled Long term use of cellular phones and brain tumors, concluded after assessing results from many different studies that use of cell phones for more then 10 years does show increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. Adding that the risk is highest for ipsilateral exposure, meaning tumor on the same side of the brain where phone mostly held.

Research scientists behind this journal assert that most studies to date on cell phone use and brain tumors have been mostly conducted with an insufficiently long latency period. This journal report gives excellent reviews of other studies and evidence of data entry errors, systematic bias and mathematical errors within those studies.

Argument against studies which used short term recall of mobile phone use, is well argued by giving evidence that actual use of cell phones is usually underestimated by light users and overestimated by heavy users, reducing the data strength of interphone studies. In the same way, results showing increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma from various other studies on use of mobile phone for more then 10 years are given supporting their conclusion.

Furthermore, another study published in 2006 completed by 3 scientists in Sweden also conform a increased risk for malignant brain tumors in groups with use of cellular and cordless phones for more then 10 years. Similar to the above study, the scientists associated with this report also mention the weakness of so-far studies to be their too short a latency period.

Evidence of errors in other studies for example, Danish interphone study, in which many data entry errors had occurred due to problems in understanding words of Galioma patients due to paralysis has been well argued. They propose that their method of assessing the use of cellular and cordless phones by questionnaires to be more sensible.

Moreover, interesting evidence brought up in this journal report about a completed REFLEX-study is important to mention here. The REFLEX-study which tested for genotoxic effects in cells exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic fields at SAR (whole-body Specific Absorption Rate) levels between 0.3 and 2 watt/kg showed evidence for. Increase in single and double strand DNA breaks finding of choromosomal aberrations were observed in fibroblasts and intracellular increase of free radicals in HL-60 Cells.

Evidence from the REFLEX-study coupled with the evidence from their own study, the Swedish scientists concluded that the current allowed SAR of 2 watt/kg in Europe is inappropriate.

Conversely, it is important to make known to our readers that the maximum SAR level in United States and Canada has been capped at 1.6W/kg (FDA).

Finally, a journal published in 2007 Mobile phone use and risk of glioma is 5 North European countries, show somewhat mixed results. This particular studies results were based on combined data from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Southeast England, where mobile phones have been widely used for at least a decade. This study looked at reasonably large group of people. Total of 2,530 glioma patients and 6,581 controls had participated in this study.

Nonetheless, it is surprising to know that their conclusions are not as clear as in previous studies we mentioned. This study claims to find no elevated risk of Glioma among groups most exposed. Neither did they find any significant association across, categories with duration of use, years since first use, cumulative number of calls or cumulative hours of use.

They also claim to find no increased risks when analogue and digital phones were tested separately. However, this study did find one set of analyses which indicates a possible connection. This connection was between, reported ipsilateral use 10 or more years ago associated with significantly increased risk of glioma and there was also an increasing tread with years since first use on the ipsilateral side.

Lastly, we recommend that consumers seek information about what SAR level their cell phone uses. SAR information is easily found in instructional materials that come with the phone or can be found on many web sites. We recommend consumers to use cell phones that operate at lowest possible value of SAR, and to try to limit the use of cell phones or invest in a hands free headset for cell phones until more absolute evidence is obtained.
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