In June 2002, Darius Leszczynski of Finland's Radiation and Nuclear Safety
Authority found that an hour of cell phone exposure shrinks cultured human
cells. The resulting gaps between the cells in the blood-brain barrier, the
study suggests cell phone radiation could allow toxins to enter the brain.
As quickly as several scientists dismissed the study—saying the shrinkage
was probably caused simply by heat— The General-Director of the World Health
Organization, issued a warning to parents to limit cell phone use in children.
This is the latest volley in the decade-old debate over the dangers of cell phone
radiation, a controversy that has spawned a cottage industry hawking everything
from hands-free devices to radiation blockers. Despite countless studies—most
of which were too small or too partisan—we still don't know if cell phones are
dangerous. Even Leszczynski admits his study proves nothing definitively, adding
that large-scale human testing must be done.
With 137 million cell phone users in the U.S., and with more radiation-intensive
broadband applications in the offing, the time for such testing is now.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which shares jurisdiction over cell phones
with the FCC, should develop a plan to definitively study the
long-term effects of cell phone use.
It's time to put this issue to rest, and only the government's deep pockets can