Cell Phones and Your Brain

Studies are mixed. Some research studies have found an association between cell phone use and risk of brain tumors, but other studies have found no connection. At the University of Utah, a 2008 review of studies "found no overall increased risk of brain tumors among cellular phone users." However, long-term studies have not been completed. The Utah review includes some of the studies cited by Herberman and his colleagues, but they also referred to new findings, not yet published, from a 13-nation project called Interphone.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has this to say: "The available scientific evidence does not show that any health problems are associated with using wireless phones. There is no proof, however, that wireless phones are absolutely safe."

As the National Research Council has pointed out, people aren't dropping dead from using cell phones but we need to know more about the potential health effects of this and similar technology, such as:

  • Long-term exposure to cell phones and other wireless devices, particularly on pregnant women, fetuses and children
  • The rapid growth of wireless networks, along with base station antennas and electromagnetic fields
  • Changes in handheld cell phone antenna design
  • Exposure of more parts of the body to radiofrequency energy due to texting, emailing and Bluetooth technology

"We just don't have the kind of data that says what 10-, 20-, 30-year exposure is going to do. It's hard data to get, and there are many confounding factors, so it's just going to take time," University of Colorado engineering professor Frank S. Barnes, chairman of a National Research Council report, has noted.

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