Can Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?

… The more distance between your head and
the cell, the better …

THE DOCTORS • March 13, 2011

The short answer: We don’t know yet. Many experts
agree that to date, there is no conclusive evidence
that links cell-phone use to brain cancer, but that
more research is needed. Last spring, results
released from the largest and longest study on the
topic essentially said the same thing. The 10-year
survey of more than 12,000 people from 13
countries suggested a possible increased risk for
glioma — a type of brain tumor — in heavy cell-
phone users, but no overall increase in brain tumor
risk. Investigators concluded more research was
necessary on the effects of long-term mobile-phone

It often takes years or even decades between
exposure to a carcinogen and the onset of a tumor,
so it’s possible not enough time has passed to
detect an increase in cancer rates that can be
directly linked to cell-phone use. Long-term studies
are ongoing — one launched in Europe last year
plans to track more than 250,000 cell-phone users
over 20 to 30 years. Cell phones emit radio
frequency (RF) energy, a low-level form of radiation.
If you are concerned about potential health risks
from your cell’s radio waves, keep your phone off
when you’re not using it and follow these tips to
reduce your exposure:

Use a landline when possible.

Old-fashioned corded phones are best. The
cordless kind use radio frequencies similar to those
of cell phones, though their signals are generally
less powerful.

Go hands-free.

The more distance you place between your head and
your cell, the better. That’s because the antenna, the
main source of RF energy, lives in the handset.
Switching to speakerphone works, as do corded
earpieces, which emit virtually zero waves.

Check your bars.

The farther you are from a cell tower, the more
energy your phone uses to get a good signal, which
may increase your exposure to radio waves. Save
calls for when you have strong service.

Let your fingers do the talking.

Text when you don’t have much to say (and you
aren’t driving).

USA Weekend

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