Fears About Link Between Cell Phones and Cancer Reemerge

New Studies Appear to Show Causal Link Between Cell Phone Use and Cancer

By Demetria Dixon, published Jul 25, 2008

In this day of instant communications, email and IM's, the cell phone has become a mainstay. Many young people don't remember a life apart from the ownership of cell phones. However there is a renewed effort underway to warn people about the dangers of using cell phones or even having them close to the body because of an increased risk of cancer. The possible link between cell phones and cancer is not new. Sounding the clarion call this time is Dr. Ronald Helberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr, Helberman sent a memorandum to 3000 of the institute faculty and staff, warning of the dangers of cell phone use, especially in children. Devra Davis, director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center of Environmental Oncology believes that children under the age of 17 are at the greatest risk of harm from electromagnetic radiation from cell phones because their brains are not fully developed and their skulls have not completely hardened.

In her article Top 12 Ways To Reduce Cancer, Davis writes, "Children should not use cell phones. Studies claiming that there is no link between cell phone use and brain cancer were not conducted on people who used cell phones as much as the average person today. Cell phones emit low doses of microwave radiation that destroy rat brain cells and memory and reach one inch into the human brain."

Numerous studies have been undertaken that support Helberman and Davis's claims; however other studies have been undertaken to dispel these same notions. Many of the researchers on these issues say that the nature of the studies and the criteria do not take into account the fact that the cell phone has a variety of components that could share culpability. Since many cancers can take over 40 years to develop others feel there is no definitive data to make a purely scientific claim, Helberman and Davis indicate that it would be folly to wait until there are enough instances of death or people with cancer to sound the alarm and advocate erring on the side of caution.