While more needs to be known about the possible association between brain tumors, especially gliomas, and exposure to cell phone radiation, most seem to agree to that the issue requires more research. As a recent USA Today report points out, it can take decades for the true carcinogenic effects of any product to surface, so it is very possible that cell phones have not been around long enough to truly asses their health impacts.
In the massive Interphone Study, which was conducted by the World Health Organization and involved nearly 13,000 people in numerous countries, the heaviest cell phone users who reported using their phones on the same side of their heads had a 40 percent higher risk for gliomas. Given that the heaviest users in the study talked an average of 30 minutes per day on their mobile phones, a figure which is not a lot by todayâ€™s standards, the researchers recommended further study. They also suggested that more study was needed to assess the risk of glioma and other cancer in young people, who are among the most intensive cell phone users.
Glioma is a broad category of brain and spinal cord tumors that come from glial cells. Exposure to radiation is the only risk factor for malignant gliomas.
Obviously, more long-term studies of cell phone cancer risks are needed. According to USA Today, one launched in Europe last year plans to track more than 250,000 cell-phone users over 20 to 30 years.
In the meantime, there are several steps cell phone users can take to mitigate their risks. According to USA Today, these include using a landline, preferably the corded variety, whenever possible and turning your cell phone off when you are not using it. Keeping the cell phone away from your head by utilizing speakerphone mode or corded earpieces can also limit cell phone radiation exposure.
Save calls for when you have strong service because the more energy your phone uses to get a good signal, the more radiation you could be exposed to. And finally, whenever possible, communicate via text messaging.
According to a report from 702 ABC in Australia, young children should use cell phones sparingly, if at all.
“The bottom line is most people do not appreciate a cell phone is a two-way microwave radio, that the signals get twice as far in to the head of a child as an adult, and studies very consistently show long-term heavy use increases the risk of brain cancer,” Devra Davis, a visiting fellow at Harvard University, Founding Director of the Toxicology Board at the US National Academy of Sciences, and author of â€œDisconnect: The truth about cell phone radiation…” told the station.
According to Davis, France advises a minimum age of 12 for using cell phones, while in Britain the recommended age is 16.