A review of 11 long-term epidemiologic studies published in the journal Surgical Neurology revealed that using a cell phone for 10 or more years approximately doubles the risk of being diagnosed with a brain tumor on the same side of the head where the cell phone is typically held.
A recent study headed by Dr. Lennart Hardell of the University Hospital in Orebro, Sweden: "Use of wireless telephones and self-reported healthy symptoms: a population-based study among Swedish adolescents aged 15-19 years" (published in the Environmental Health Journal in May, 2008) showed that: children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use mobile phones.
Dr. Hardell told a conference of the Radiation Research Trust held at the Royal Society: "people who started mobile phone use before the age of 20 had more than five-fold increase in glioma", a form of cancer involving the central nervous system.
Also, people who started using mobile phones at a young age were five times more likely to get acoustic neuromas, tumors of the auditory nerve which are benign but commonly lead to deafness.
Those who were in their twenties before starting to use handsets were only 50% more likely to contract gliomas and only twice as likely to develop acoustic neuromas.
Children are more at risk because their brains and nervous systems are still developing and because the radiation penetrates deeper into their brains due to their smaller head size and thinner skulls.
Dr. Hardell suggests that the hazard to children and teenagers may be even greater than his results suggest, because of the limited length of the study. Most cancers take decades to develop, even longer than cell phones have been in regular use.
An advisory issued by The Department of Public Heath in Toronto, Canada, recently advised teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones. The advisory warns that, because of possible side effects from radio frequencies, children under eight should only use cell phones in emergencies and teenagers should make calls of less than 10 minutes duration.
Dr. Carpenter, Dean of School of Public Health, University of Albany, stated at a recent U.S. Congressional Hearing that the evidence strongly suggests the danger of brain cancer with prolonged cell phone use and expressed special concern about the vulnerability of children who are exposed to excessive levels of electromagnetic radiation.
Noted Australian Neurosurgeon, Dr. Vini Khurana stated that "mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos." His comments were based on a review of more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones.
Decreased sperm count - A study by the Reproductive Research Centre at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio suggests a large increase in infertility among men who frequently use cell phones at least four hours per day.
There is no lack of evidence for the potential harm and for a strong connection between brain cancer and cell phones. These studies raise the alarm about the risk of a future epidemic of brain cancer. Despite calls for caution, little has been done to minimize the risk. Parents should do what they can to limit their children's exposure to this harmful source of electromagnetic radiation.
Protective measures that can be taken for children and anyone who uses cell phones include:
- generally reducing use
- limiting use to emergencies
- use a hands-free device or headset with the cell phone
- always talk with a wide open antenna
- keep the antenna as far away from your ear as you can
- choose a cell phone model that emits less radiation
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