The Cell Phone/Cancer Debate Continues
June 18, 2012
Is there a link between cell phones and cancer? There have been numerous studies conducted over the years that provide evidence to both sides, yet no real conclusive answer on what the real connection is, if there is one.
Last year, The World Health Organization (WHO)/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released findings linking excessive mobile phone usage with an increased risk for glioma (a malignant type of brain cancer). But the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states on its website, “There is no scientific evidence that proves that wireless phone usage can lead to cancer or a variety of other problems, including headaches, dizziness or memory loss.”
While the FCC has stated its stance on the lack of connection between cell phones and cancer, it has decided to explore revisiting its stance on the potential connection. According to Reuters, FCC Chairman Julis Genachowski recently submitted a proposal for the FCC to take another look at the cell phone emission standards that were previously set in 1996. The article states that “If it is approved, the agency would consider changing its testing procedures and seek input on the need to either strengthen or ease the current standards. The agency would also look into whether emission standards should be different for devices used by children.”
What exactly is “heavy use” of a mobile phone? The International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health defines 2,000 hours of mobile phone use (one hour per day) over the course of a decade. An hour? There’s no doubt that a huge population of users hit and exceed that time limit on a daily basis.
The ongoing study of this connection will continue, but if you use your cell phone regularly throughout the day and give it to your kids to use, it’s better to be safe than sorry. I refer back to my conversation with Dr. Ann Louise Gittleman, author of Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn’t Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electromagnetic Pollution who offered the following advice on cell phone usage:
- Limit the frequency and length of calls to about two minutes max.
- Let your fingers do the talking with texting instead.
- If you cannot use the speaker mode, than consider an air tube headset which is non-conductive.
- Avoid making calls in cars, elevators, trains, and buses. The cell phone works harder to get a signal out through metal, so the power level increases. Any metal container like the car or elevator will also cause the waves to bounce around boosting their intensity.
- Keep an eye out of the bars. Don't use your cell phone when the signal is weak or when you are traveling at higher speeds in a car or train; this automatically boosts the power to maximum as the phone attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
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