Are Cell Phones Dangerous?

June 1, 2008

By johnmac

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I had planned to write this month’s tip on the topic of organic foods – what organic means, what foods are most important to buy organic and where to shop for locally grown organic foods; however, after watching CNN’s Larry King Live Show on Tuesday May 27th, I changed my mind and decided instead to write about a topic that has been getting quite a bit of media attention lately (I’ll give you the scoop on organics soon!).

The topic of Larry King’s show was: “Are cell phones dangerous?” Leading experts discussed the health hazards related to cell phone use. This is a serious issue that I have been concerned about for years, especially as I observe younger and younger kids constantly “attached” to their cell phones. I am so glad this health risk is finally getting the mass media attention it deserves.

During the show, many serious concerns were raised regarding the potential health hazards of regular cell phone use such as:

Is there a link between cell phones and cancer/tumors?
Is there a link between cell phones and behavioural issues?
Are the growing number of children and teenagers using cell phones leading to a health epidemic?
These issues and more were discussed by a respected medical/scientific panel – a virtual who’s who on the issue of cell phone safety, including:

Dr. Keith Black, the head of neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles who treated Johnny Cochran (most famously known for being O.J. Simpson’s attorney). Cochran died of a brain tumor in 2005.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and CNN’s chief medical correspondent.
Dr. Vini Khurana, an Australian neurosurgeon who recently made headlines with his extensive report on the health risks associated with cell phone use saying it is more deadly than smoking and asbestos.
Louis Slesin, the Founding Editor of Microwave News.
Here are a few highlights of what these experts had to say:

CELL PHONES ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING AND ASBESTOS

“There’s just over three billion users of cell phones worldwide…and, the concern is not just brain tumors, but other health effects associated or reported to be associated with cell phones, including behavioral disturbances, salivary gland tumors, male infertility and microwave sickness.” Dr. Vini Khurana

“I think the evidence that is accumulating is pointing towards an effect of mobile phones on tumors. I would not want to be a heavy user of a mobile phone. People might be shocked to hear that the evidence does seem to be coming more strongly in support of harmful effects.” Dr. Vini Khurana

BRAIN TUMORS ARE THE NUMBER ONE CANCER KILLER AMONG CHILDREN IN THE UNITED STATES AND THE SECOND MOST COMMON FORM OF CANCER IN KIDS.

“Teenagers and even younger will be using cell phones for 20 to 30 years, we do not have enough data now to say that it is a safe device.” Dr. Keith Black “A microwave antenna is very similar to a microwave oven. So we don’t know what long-term effects that will have on memory as our young adults age and other neurological problems.” Dr. Keith Black

CELL PHONES HAVE BEEN LINKED TO CANCER

“It is quite possible (that cell phones cause brain cancer) because we’re seeing these kinds of effects in a number of epidemiological studies….studies from northern Europe, from Israel especially from France, from Germany, all point to a risk of cell phone links to brain tumors and neuromas and grand tumors.” Dr. Louis Slesin

There was some discussion regarding Bluetooth earpieces. Panel members did not support their use. Even though they stated that the electromagnetic radiation to the head area may be lower with a Bluetooth, its antenna is directed into the ear canal, which has a direct connection to brain tissue. The use of an ear piece was suggested, provided that the cell phone is kept in an “industry approved” holster. Note that if a cell phone is simply placed in a shirt, jacket or pants pocket, the radiation from the phone is directed into the adjacent parts of the body, e.g. the heart and reproductive area. Interestingly, the Heart and Stroke Foundation gives the following precautions regarding cell phone use to pacemaker recipients (1):

Hold your cellular phone at least six inches away from your pacemaker unit.
Turn off your cell phone if, while using it, you begin to feel faint or dizzy.
Call your physician immediately if you suspect that your pacemaker is not functioning correctly.
There are also studies that show that long term exposure to electromagnetic radiation decreases sperm quality (2), (3).

I have read that ear pieces using air tube technology are an even safer alternative compared with ear pieces using wires, as some of the electromagnetic radiation from the cell phone antennae can be carried to the head/brain along the wire. This does not happen with an air tube ear piece. Other ways to reduce exposure to the electromagnetic radiation is to limit cell phone use as much as possible and/or using the speaker phone function.

Cell phones were not the only concern. The panel also mentioned cordless phones and other devices that emit electromagnetic radiation (e.g. laptops, computers, gaming consoles, etc).

While the mechanism of how cell phones cause cancer is not yet completely understood, it was pointed out that years ago, neither was the connection between cigarette smoking and cancer. Today, no one would argue that connection – and I believe this will be the case in the near future regarding cell phone use and cancer.

Even the manuals that come with cell phones do not guarantee their safety. In the manual that came with my cell phone, the following statements are made:

“There is no proof, however, that wireless phones are absolutely safe.”

“Under the law, the FDA does not review the safety of radiation-emitting consumer products such as wireless phones before they can be sold, as it does with new drugs or medical devices.”

When I read these statements, I can’t help but feel that we (especially today’s children/teens) are part of a very risky scientific experiment.

During the show, Larry King invited viewers to vote on the show’s website as to whether or not they felt cell phone use is a potential health hazard. 72% of viewers had concerns. On his “the night before” commentary, Larry King stated that the issue “deserves more attention.”

Given that there are so many factors that negatively impact our health which we can’t control, it’s important to control what we can. Although certain organizations and health experts are not yet acknowledging the health risks associated with cell phones, I feel that the amount of emerging research that suggests otherwise is getting too significant to ignore. I’d rather error on the side of caution on this issue.

Consider that cancers can take at least a decade to develop. This invalidates most of the studies claiming that cell phone use is safe, since the studies were conducted with few, if any people, who had used cell phones for that long. So, we can wait 5 or 10 years for more definitive studies to surface while we continue to put ourselves at risk, or we can do what we can to protect ourselves now.

The good news is that there are various devices available that effectively harmonize the impact of electromagnetic radiation emitted by consumer electronics, including cell phones. Years ago, I became aware of a company called Gia Wellness. The product that caught my attention was the Cell Guard. This product combines two powerful, innovative and scientifically substantiated technologies: a proprietary, patented noise field nano-technology MRET® (Molecular Resonance Effect Technology), and a proprietary subtle energy innovation ERT™ (Energy Resonance Technology). These cutting-edge technologies offer a groundbreaking and effective way to deal with the cumulative stress associated with living in today’s electro-polluted environment.

The cell guards and other prodcuts tha protect agains electromagnetic radiation are available for sale on-line at:

http://www.giawellness.ca/prhealth/products/terra-gia/

If you missed the Larry King Live Show, you can watch a 12 minute video clip at: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2008/05/28/lkl.cell.cancer.cnn

I hope that you will share this information so that others can make an informed decision regarding their own cell phone use. Four and a half years ago, there were less than one billion cell phones in use world-wide. Today that number is almost 4 billion. This is a huge global issue. For every major epidemic, there has always been a point in time when the truth is too great to ignore. Regarding this issue, as far as I’m concerned, that point in time is right now.

References

(1) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=77091

(2) http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/17664.php

(3) http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=77091

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