Cell phones: do they cause, hasten or otherwise affect one's development of cancer or not? This question seems to have been batted back and forth for a few years now. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently analyzed current research on the topic, and has declared their own opinion on the matter (CNN article here).
Their stance is that cell phones should be defined as a carcinogen- a substance that promotes the development of cancer, but not a direct cause of cancer. The WHO compares cell phone use's damage on par with health effects from "lead, engine exhaust and chloroform."
While not making the direct link between cell phone use and incidence of cancer, the types of cancer which have been shown to increase with use are two types of brain cancer: glioma and acoustic neuroma. Comparing the radiation given off by cell phones to a "very low powered microwave," the research author neurologist Dr. Keith Black makes this statement pertaining to how this may affect children:
"Children's skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper
into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate,
so the impact of radiation can be much larger."
So, cell phones aren't going anywhere as they're now an inextricable part of society. What's a person to do? Well, cell phone manufacturers suggest holding the phone away from the body while it's transmitting (such as during calls, texting, using the internet, etc.), and with Oregon law requiring drivers to use head sets and other away-from-the-head technology I think I'll start following their recommendations and hopefully reduce my chance of brain cancer at the same time!
Thanks for reading, responses are always welcome!