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Don’t Be Skeptical. Protect Yourself
A Look at the Effects of Cell Phone Radiation and Wireless Technology Over the Past 30 Years
It is useful to be aware of new health research regarding cell phone usage and cell phone radiation. The first cell phone call was made in 1985 and that phone cost $5,000 and weighed about 9 pounds. The change in size, weight and cost of devices today has probably led to over 50% of the human race owning a mobile device, the fastest growing technology on the planet.
Joel Moskowitz (@berkeleyprc ) of the University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, US, says: “This is the largest technological experiment in the history of our species, with potential health risks we still know next to nothing about.” This view is shared by Denis Henshaw, professor of human radiation effects at Bristol University, UK, who said: “Vast numbers of people are using cell phones and this could be a time bomb of health problems.”
However, over the last 20 years there has been numerous official reports on the safety of cell phones and other wireless technologies, which some concluded that these devices and cell phone radiation pose a significant risk to health, while others concluded that there were no health risks.
Nevertheless, a group of scientists got together in the mid-2000s, calling themselves the BioInitiative Working Group. This group, which largely consisted of wireless radiation researchers, has written a harsh reply as feedback to the reports claiming that posed no health risks. The reply lists a wide range of health effects scientists at the European Commission have unfortunately either ignored or dismissed.
Here Are Some of the Contributory Comments
- Cancer is the obvious start. An early concern with mobile technology was clusters of the disease around those living near phone masts. One study in Israel found a 4.5-fold increase in cancers of all kinds in the immediate vicinity of a mast (Int. J. Cancer Prev. 2004). In 2009, a Korean team of researchers carried out a pool analysis of the results of 23 studies, which involved almost 38,000 subjects.
- A significant positive association was found in the studies over the past 20 years that were blinded (researchers didn’t know who were cell phone users and who weren’t). They found a “harmful effect” between cells and tumours of the brain, head and neck (J. Clin. Oncol. 2009).
- Studies by five independent research groups regarding brain tumours have revealed significantly increased risks of a benign tumour of the cranial nerve supplying the ear. This grows slowly and must be removed in a major operation that can result in permanent facial paralysis. Other risks found were cancer of the glial cells (including neurons) of the nervous system and cancer of the meninges, the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord.
- A French study carried out in 2014 by the National Institute of Health and Medical Research found almost three times more gliomas in long-term heavy cell phone users (in some cases this stretched to six times more).
- Japanese researchers found more than a threefold extra risk of acoustic neuromas in people using cell phones for more than 20 more than twenty minutes a day for five years.
- The most compelling evidence though comes from a Swedish team of cancer experts whose research stretches back 15 years. The results clearly demonstrate “a consistent association between long-term use of mobile and cordless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma ”. Overall, they found that using a cell phone for more than a decade significantly increases the risk of a malignant tumour by almost two times with an analogue cell phone and by nearly four times with a digital phone. Interestingly, the risks were even higher for people who had started using mobiles as teenagers.
- In a separate study by the same Swedish team, they found more than seven times the risk among people using a cell phone more than 20 years and 6.5 times the risk for long-term users of cordless phones. As expected, most of the gliomas and acoustic neuromas were on the same side of the head, which was usually exposed to the phone. In the 2013 official report on the medical evidence for brain tumours, the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that radiation from cell phones is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
- Breast cancer is an interesting health risk to link to a cell phone. Studies linking phones to this type of cancer are weak. However, there is strong anecdotal evidence that cell phones carried in women’s bras can directly affect the breast tissue and cause cancer.
- “There are 25,000 brain tumour cases in India’s Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, and most of them are attributed to excessive use of cell phones, as per a recent medical survey”. Girish Kumar said that World Health Organization warned of increasing risk of cancer and brain tumour cases caused by the use of cell phones and location of cell towers in residential areas.
- In September 2014, Californian oncologists reported four similar case histories of young women who had developed breast cancer in precisely the areas where they normally carried their smartphones. What shocked the doctors was that these women were aged 21 to 39 and had no family history or other risk factors relating to cancer. All their cancers “had striking similarity, all tumours were hormone positive… (with) an extensive intraductal component and… near-identical morphology.” (CaseRepMed. 2013).
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