Are you concerned about your cell phone use? As if we didn’t already have plenty of health related environmental topics to be concerned about. For several years, I’ve wondered about the impact cell phone use and the effect it has on my brain and body. After talking to someone formerly associated with the cell phone industry, who informed me her colleagues did not allow them near their bodies, I began to seriously reduce my use.
We’ll take a look in this article at several studies and their critical findings. There are other reports that have found no link between cell phone use and brain tumors, but many researchers believe the length of the studies, two or three years, were not long enough to adequately determine the true risk of long term, excessive exposure to the microwaves emitted by cell phones. Tumors can take at least 10 years to grow. This fact questions the validity of official assurances of safety, based on preceding studies, that lasted for only a few years.
In 2003, scientists found the first evidence linking brain cancer with mobile phone use. A study determined that users who spend more than an hour a day talking on a mobile phone have a close to one-third higher risk of developing a rare form of brain tumor. Most frequently, the cancers were found on the side of the head that the user held the phone up to.
The association was found with digital mobile phones, old-style analogue mobile phones and digital enhanced cordless phones.
The medical records of 1600 brain tumor patients who’d used cell phones for up to 10 years prior to their diagnosis were reviewed. The researchers determined that the risk of brain tumors increased with the frequency and length of time the cell phones were used.
Also, using the phone for more than an hour per day caused a thirty per cent increase in the risk of developing an acoustic neuroma, a tumor that can cause deafness and occurs in an auditory nerve in the brain.
The incidence of this type of cancer, though rare, have increased from one tumor per 100,000 people in 1980 to one per 80,000 today.
Another study, conducted in Sweden found talking on your cell phone for an hour a day increases your risk of developing a brain tumor is 240% higher than a person who never uses one. The study was published in the International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health. The results of this study go against another recent one carried out in the UK and published in January, 2006, which indicated that cell phone use is safe for humans.
The scientists evaluated the cell phone use among 905 people who had a malignant brain tumor and compared them to a control group of 905 healthy people. All the volunteers were between the ages of 20 and 80.
85 of the 905 people who had a malignant tumor were high users of cell phones (mobile phones) – they started using mobile phones a long time ago, and have used them a great deal, on average for about an hour a day.
The researchers’ definition of extensive cell phone use means is 2,000 hours of talking on a mobile unit, over the course of many years.
International Journal of Oncology February 2003;22(2):399-407