Cell Phone Use and Links to Cancer Still under Debate

A massive 2-year study investigating the potential health hazards of cell phone use on rats and mice, conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), has just concluded. The study found that cell phone exposure increases the incidence of malignant gliomas of the brain, i.e., brain cancer, and schwannomas, also known as neuromas, of the heart in the male rats. Schwannomas are not cancers, but are tumors and can profoundly impact the protective sheathing of the peripheral nerves, which can lead to severe pain and disability, Scientific American reports.

Although the increases were not large (3-4 percent over controls), as these are rare tumors, the findings are still significant. Similar tumors in humans have been found, making these studies even more significant in this ongoing controversy. Two studies found that the tumors occurred on the same side as phone use, according to Scientific American.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group concluded the data showed limited evidence of a glioma increase in humans. This confirms an association exists, but the data is not sufficient to be able to say with certainty that cell phones were the cause.

In the meantime, steps one can take as a precaution include:  carrying your cell phone in your purse or backpack, as opposed to close to your body, will greatly reduce exposure. Modern cell phones do not always emit the same amount of RD-EMF when in use. The better the reception, the less exposure from the phone. So limiting cell phone use in areas of poor reception may reduce exposure.

Another suggestion is to turn off your device if you are not using it. While the research continues, it might be advisable to limit the amount of time your children use a cell phone, since they will have much longer exposure over their lifetime.

In conclusion, “Cell phones probably cause cancer if the exposure is close enough, long enough, and in sufficient magnitude. We don’t yet know the risk for a given level of exposure in humans.” remarks Scientific American. “We need more data in this area, not only for cell phones, but for Bluetooth devices, wifi, and all the other RF-EMF devices out there. Until then, reduce your exposure whenever possible,” advises Scientific American.

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