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Excessive use of cellphones can cause cancer and brain tumors
Deccan Chronicle
Journalist: Ch Sushil Rao
July 7, 1999

Hyderabad: The next time your cellphone rings, pause and think: Excessive use of cellphones can cause cancer and brain tumors. Not just that, it can also result in loss of memory and cause headaches.

This warning comes from Prof. Y. R. Ahuja of the Genetics department at Mahavir Hospital and Research Centre, who is conducting studies related to electropollution.

“It is the high frequency waves which cause damage to the DNA, resulting in cancer,” Ahuja told Deccan Chronicle.

This apart, being exposed to other electric gadgets such as vacuum cleaners, washing machines, microwave and electric ovens, television sets and excessive exposures to computers too can cause health hazards.

The ‘Gentoxicity’ studies on human lymphocytes exposed in vitro to electromagnetic fields of power line high frequencies conducted by Ahuja indicated that being exposed to electromagnetic fields by using electronic home appliances can affect chromosomes.

In his lab experiments, it was noticed that DNA damage increased with more exposure to electromagnetic fields.

The study was conducted recently on six males and six females in the age group of 20 – 25 years and even though the experiment was repeated twelve times, the results were consistent.

“DNA damage can lead to mutations or chromosome alterations which may initiate a carcinogenic process,” Ahuja says.

According to him, exposure to electromagnetic fields of electric power transmission and distribution lines increases the risk of DNA damage.

That excessive use of cellphones can cause cancer and brain tumors have already become subjects of discussion the world over, with American and Swedish scientists suggesting to limit their use, even if the findings about the damage are not altogether conclusive.

Dr. Alan Preece of Bristol University, according to reports, tested the memory and reaction times of 36 volunteers and found a change in the subjects’ ability to make choices which involve the visual cortex, the part of the brain involved in processing sight.

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