Do Cell Phones Cause Health Risks?
Do you know somebody who doesn’t use a cell phone? Since the 1990s, the cell phone has become a most indispensable item for many people. In the past 20 years, from 1990 to 2010, it’s estimated that cell phone sales around the world grew from 12.4 million to more than 4.6 billion! Certainly, cell phones have made many people’s lives more convenient, but there are ill effects as well. Some scientists believe that unfavorable health effects can result from long-term use of cell phones. On the other side, there are also people who put down these scientific findings, claiming that they are exaggerated, and unfounded. Who is right and who is wrong? Let’s take a look at both sides of the argument.
Health Concerns of Cell Phone Use
It’s a fact that cell phones emit radiofrequency energy and scientists fear that this form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation may cause cancer. When people use their cell phone for making or receiving calls, they usually hold the cell phone to their ear. During this time, the radiation will be absorbed by the tissues, usually in the area of the head and the neck, as well as the nerves and the brain. Basically, there are two types of electromagnetic radiation, namely, ionizing and non-ionizing. Exposure to ionizing radiation such as cosmic rays, radon, and x-rays has been found to increase the risk of cancer. In view of the total number of people who use cell phones, it’s understandable that many people are concerned that cell phones may cause some types of cancer and other health risks. The fears also arise because the frequency of cell phone calls have increased and people are spending more time talking on their cell phones.
Despite numerous studies on non-ionizing radiation, there is no evidence to prove that this form of radiation increases the risk of cancer. A recent study had revealed increased glucose metabolism in brain tissues on the side of the head where the cell phone was held in comparison to the brain tissues on the other side of the head for people who had used their cell phones for 50 minutes. However, there’s no finding about possible health risks associated with the increased glucose metabolism in the brain tissues. Some scientists argue that some of these researches were sponsored by cell phone companies so the results would be somewhat prejudiced but currently, there’s still no scientific proof that cell phones can cause cancer. For more conclusive findings, it may be necessary to conduct long-term studies, spanning a minimum of 10 years.
- Cell Phones and Cancer Risk
- Safety of Cell Phones
- Health Issues of Cell Phones
- Mobile Phones & Health Effects
- Cell Phones and Health Risks
- No Cancer Risk
- Cell Phones Pose No Health Risks
- Study Suggests No Cancer Risk for Cell Phone Users
- Wireless Phones and Health
- No Health Risks Associated with Cell Phones
Studies about Cell Phone Use
Possibly, the most extensive study on the cancer risk of cell phones is the Interphone study, which is organized by the International Agency for Cancer Research of the World Health Organization. Some of the countries that participate in this study include Australia, Denmark, France, Israel, Japan, Norway, and the UK. Initiated in 2000, the Interphone study queried over 5,000 people from all over the world on the intensity of cell phone use. In 2010, the Interphone study established no obvious connection between brain cancer and cell phone use. In another study conducted in Denmark, it’s found that people with brain tumors did not use their cell phones more than people without brain tumors. According to a report in 2010, the study involved more than 350,000 cell phone users above the age of 30. The period of study was from 1990 to 2007. About 30 studies conducted in the US, Europe, and New Zealand reported the same findings.
On the other side, some other studies have found a faint link between brain cancer and people who frequently use cell phones. Some experts strongly believe that there are connections between cell phone use and brain cancer. In 2008, a report by Dr. Vini Khurana declared that cell phones might be more unsafe for people than smoking or living under asbestos. Dr. Khurana is a well-known cancer specialist and he has won many awards in his career. In conclusion, Dr. Khurana proposed through the Independent newspaper that cell phones should not to be used unless truly necessary. He added that there is more proof showing an association between brain cancer and cell phones and the fact will be absolutely established within the next 10 years. In a report in May 2011, the WHO announced that cell phone use might increase the risk of cancer.
- Interphone Study Report (PDF)
- Study Shows No Ties Between Cell Phones and Cancer
- National Toxicology Program Study
- Cell Phone Study in JAMA
- WHO Fact Sheet on Cell Phones
- Do They Cause Cancer?
- Reflections on Interphone Study
- Avoiding Cell Phone Radiation
- WHO Announces Possible Cancer Risk of Cell Phones
- Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation