A Swedish study on the use of wireless phones, including cell phones and cordless phones, has uncovered a link between electromagnetic radiation exposures and the risk of malignant and non-malignant brain tumors.
Cell phones and cordless phones emit a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, radiation which can be absorbed by tissues and cells that come into close contact with the phone, e.g., the head and neck. The most conclusive evidence as to the dangers of cell phone and similar radiation exposures come from studies on long-term exposure (ten years or more) like this Swedish study.
300% increased risk for long term users
This new study reveals that people who used cell phones and cordless phones for more than a year were at a 70% greater risk of brain cancer compared to those who used cell phones and cordless phones for a year or less. Those who used cell phones and cordless phones for more than 25 years were found to have a 300% greater risk of brain cancer than those who used cell phones and cordless phones for a year or less.
The total number of hours of cell phone and cordless phone use was found to be as important as the number of years of use. A quarter of the study’s subjects were found to have lifetime cell phone or cordless phone use of 2,376 or more hours, which corresponds to about 40 minutes a day over ten years. Heavier users were found to have a 250% greater risk of brain tumors compared to those who’d never used cell phones or cordless phones or used them for less than 39 hours in their lifetime.
Brain cancer risk highest on side of head used to phone
This new study echoes the previous study findings of the decade long 13-nation Interphone study, which found a 180% greater risk of brain cancer among those who used cell phones for 1,640 or more hours in their lifetime. But it also goes further.
In this latest study, for all types of cell phone and cordless phone use, brain cancer risk was found to be greater in the part of the brain where the exposure to cell phone and cordless phone radiation was highest, on the side of the head where people predominantly used their phones.
Wireless safety standards inadequate
Given the consistent results from these studies, public health bodies from around the world are asking that the current wireless safety standards be reviewed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as a Group 2B possible carcinogen. Doctors groups are also sounding the alarm. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine, the International Society of Doctors for the Environment (ISDE) and the Irish Doctors Environmental Association (IDEA) are all calling for improved standards.
Practice safe use of wireless phones
In the absence of sufficiently protective standards and legislation, individuals need to act now. This means:
- Limiting calls to those that are absolutely necessary on wireless devices
- Using a speaker phone or air tube headset whenever possible
- Keeping cell phones away from the body
- Turning your cell phone off when not in use
- Texting instead of talking
- Alternating from one side of the head to the other when phoning
- Avoiding using a cell phone when reception is poor
- Using a corded land line whenever possible
- Removing cordless phones from bedrooms
Minimizing the effects of these wireless exposures now instead of later is timely and crucial.
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