Cell Phones and Cancer: Critics Say Kids Risk Brain Tumors


Joel Moskowitz, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California-Berkeley's School of Public Health, said current evidence showing a link between cell phone radiation and cancer risk is enough for him to say scientists should not dismiss concerns.

"You can't prove that it's cell phone radiation, but we certainly have a smoking gun," Moskowitz said.

Dr. Michael Thune, vice president emeritus of epidemiology and surveillance research for the American Cancer Society, said because cell phones are a fairly new phenomenon, no one really knows just what their health effects are yet, but he sees no evidence to support the concerns voiced by the Environmental Health Trust.

"The issue of whether cell phones do have adverse effects is an important one and needs further surveillance, but I don't find this particular letter to be very compelling," Thune said.

Experts agree that all cell phone users, regardless of age, can take steps to minimize any potential risks, such as keeping phones a moderate distance away from the head and body and using headsets or earpieces instead of placing the phone next to one's head.

Tips for Reducing Your Exposure to Cellphone Radiofrequency (RF) Radiation

Use a headset. RF waves are transmitted through the phone's antenna, so avoid placing the antenna against your head.

Use a landline phone when you can.

Minimize the length of your calls, or send an email or text.

Cell phones send out more RF waves when they are searching for a signal, so during those times, keep the device away from you or turn it off.

A little distance goes a long way. Doubling your distance from the phone cuts your risk by 75 percent.

Some manufacturers claim cell phone radiation shields can protect users from the effects of your cell phone's RF waves, but according to the FCC, the devices aren't proven to be effective. In fact, using these devices could increase your exposure to RF, because your phone has to work harder to overcome the physical barrier.

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