Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries, including the United States, made the decision at the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Using peer-reviewed studies on cell phone safety, they concluded that a review of all the available scientific evidence suggested cell phone use should be classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” The classification puts mobile phone use in the same carcinogenic hazard category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Results from the largest international study on cell phones and cancer was released in 2010. It showed participants in the study who used a cell phone for 10 years or more had doubled the rate of brain glioma, a type of tumor.
The studies found evidence of increase in glioma and acoustic neuroma brain cancer for mobile phone users, but have not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. Because many cancers are not detectable until many years after the interactions that led to the tumour, and since mobile phones were not widely used until the early 1990s, epidemiological studies now can only assess cancers that become evident within shorter time periods. Furthermore, to date there have been no long-term studies on the effects of cell phone usage among children. “Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger.” said Black of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
The type of radiation coming out of a cell phone is called non-ionizing, similar to a very low-powered microwave oven. The effects of microwave radiation are similar to how food cooks in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that emits from cell phones can interfere with the human biochamp, the total energy produced in our metabolism. Our biochamp is a major determinant of health and welfare as a whole. Increasing levels of environmental EMR are starting to rival our energy, producing an overall compromise of our body’s physiological processes. Exposure to this EMR over time could lead to the emergence of health problems such as headaches, fatigue, hyperactivity, attention deficit disorder (ADD), a decrease in immune responses, and cognitive memory loss, since we hold cell phones next to the memory temporal lobes. These effects are not seen immediately but rather build slowly over time. Some people are very sensitive to this type of radiation.
Here are some things you can do to minimize damage from your exposure to cell phone electromagnetic radiation:
Keep your mobile device away from your head and body
Use headphones, a wired ear piece, or speakerphones when possible (NOT blue tooth)! The further the phone is from the body, the less radiation is absorbed. Use text instead of talk as a way to keep the phone away from the face. And never keep your phone in your pocket, close to your chest or reproductive organs.
The Apple iPhone 4 safety manual says: “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body.” BlackBerry Bold advises users to “keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inch (25 millimeters) from your body when the BlackBerry device is transmitting.”
Avoid cell phone use when moving around and in areas of weak signal
Cell phones emit the most radiation when they are attempting to connect to cellular towers. A moving phone, or a phone in an area with a weak signal, has to work harder, giving of more radiation. Avoid using your cell phone in elevators, buildings and rural areas.
Use a CDMA phone instead of GSM
CDMA phones (by Verizon and Sprint) are generally a bit safer than GSM phones (by AT&T and T-Mobile), as they emit a steady stream of medium range radiation, as opposed to the pulsating radiation of the GSM class.