Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Do Cellphones Cause Cancer?

On the Larry King show last night, I watched panelists, including neurosurgeons and scientists, discuss the question of whether using cellphones causes head and brain cancer. The gist of the discussion was that the evidence is inconclusive but nevertheless troubling enough that it would be prudent to use cellphones more sparingly than many do now, or be sure to keep them as far away from the head as possible by using the speaker function, or use a headset, preferably a wired one, as much as possible. For it is the electromagnetic radiation emanating from the cellphone's antenna that poses the biggest threat of inducing malignant cellular changes in the brain (gliomas), ears (acoustic neuromas), or salivary glands. The closer the antenna is to the head, the more radiation the head receives, and, therefore, the bigger the threat.

It will be interesting to see what happens years from now after millions of people have used cellphones regularly for decades. Will we see a huge jump in the incidence of head cancer in these individuals? Will using cellphones turn out to be as dangerous, if not more so, than smoking cigarettes, and cellphones will come packaged with a warning from the Surgeon General similar to that found on cigarette packages today?

I, for one, intend to be more careful in my use of cellphones from now on.

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