The debate has been raging for as long as there have been cell phones. Does the verifiable amount of radiation that we are exposed to when using our cell phones pose a danger to our health? For many years the official line has been that no, there is no risk at all, despite the fact that so many other forms of radiation have been acknowledged as being a risk.
However the latest results have suggested a possible link. Though most studies have shown that the majority of cancer risks are not increased by cell phone usage, there is one cancer of the brain-called glioma-that shows a small increase in risk for the heaviest of cell phone users. These are people who literally spend all day talking on their phone.
Whilst this link is still only being investigated, the World Health Organization has stressed that any possible risk is incredibly minor. Despite the fact that there are vastly more cell phone users today than there were thirty years ago, the number of cases of glioma have not increased at the same rate, possibly because so few people spend that much time on their phone.
As a part of the most recent research, cell phones have now been classified as ‘possibly carcinogenic’. This is because of the fact that a more solid, potential link has been found between heavy cell phone usage and an increased risk of a type of cancer. However, to keep this in perspective, coffee is also classified as possibly carcinogenic, and yet it is consumed by many people around the world several times a day.
Until further research is done it would appear that the only things that we can really do are to be sensible. Those who are most at risk should be protected by limiting their exposure to cell phone radiation, which includes not letting children, whose brains are still developing, spend long periods talking on cell phones. It may also be wise for pregnant women to take a cautious approach to cell phone use, for instance not using it with a headset with the phone in their pocket-and hence near to the growing baby.
For those people who must use a cell phone regularly, using a hands free kit can reduce the brain’s exposure to the cell phone’s radiation, as can using the speaker phone instead of holding the phone to your head. Some phones are also better than others, producing lower radiation emissions than others do. Researching the brand of phone that you are interested in before you buy can help you to choose a phone with a lower radiation rating. Using a land line telephone where possible will minimize the risk further.
There is no need to panic over the current discussions. Results will eventually be released and will give us true, concrete guidelines regarding cell phone usage. They are likely to give us a guide as to how much use is likely to be of harm, and over what period of time and until then, we just need to be sensible.