It’s a debate that has been around for years, do cell phones call cancer? Up until now the World Health Organization (WHO) had assured consumers that no adverse health risks had been established, but announced Tuesday, that mobile phone use would now be classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
The announcement comes after a team of 31 scientists from 14 different countries reviewed peer-reviewed studies on the subject. See the CNN story here.
The decision put cell phone use in the same category as lead, chloroform, and engine exhaust.
At this point there is still no conclusive evidence that radiation created by mobile phone use has any detrimental effect on humans, but rather that there is enough evidence that there is enough data showing a possible connection that consumers should be alerted.
The biggest problem in determining the dangers of mobile phone radiation is that we just do not have sufficient data. As with many other environmental factors, several decades of exposure may occur before detrimental effects materialize and mobile simply have not been in use for very long.
Cell phones emit a type of radiation that is known as non-ionized. This is not the same type of radiation used in x-rays but rather they type used in microwave ovens. In all actually cell phones act similar to a very low-powered microwave from a radiation perspective.
"What microwave radiation does in most simplistic terms is similar to what happens to food in microwaves, essentially cooking the brain. So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones."
While it is important that consumers are aware of the potential long-term risks it is also important that not to over react.
The best way to minimize radiation exposure from mobile phones is to keep the device away from your head. Using hands free headsets and blue tooth devices are very effective at minimizing exposure risks and are a great idea for anyone wanting to minimize their exposure levels.
Additional studies are needed and many are currently underway. Hopefully over the next few years we will have additional data that will help shed a little more light on the risks associated with mobile phone use.