When Lee Atwater, the republican strategist for George H Bush, developed brain cancer and died back in the 90’s, the concerns about the connection between cell phones and brain cancer came to public attention. And a recent study in rats showed a higher incidence of brain tumors in male rats exposed to EMR for long periods of time, raising the spectre that the cell phone could be causing a risk for the general population.
It has been known for a long time that telephone linemen, exposed repeatedly to high levels or EMR (electromagnetic radiation) had increased risks for testicular and brain cancers, and it has been thought that EMR from cell phones, held close to the body, could expose us to similar, although much weaker, forms of radiation that could with time lead to cancerous growths.
The current study in rats has multiple flaws, but it does point to a potential concern that we should be aware of and attend to in small ways. Why not protect yourself if you can, given that the current state of knowledge is incomplete.
How do you reduce your risk with cell phones:
- Reduce your talking time on your cell phone. Texting is AOK…but if you talk incessantly, then modify your behavior and reduce the time. Use a land line.
- Use earphones when on the cell phone. Radiation strength falls off dramatically when the phone is away from the head…so keep it at a distance.
Not unlike cars, which still remain our riskiest technology, we need to use intelligence to reduce risk. Making modest reforms in your behavior will reduce your risk for exposure and reduce the potential risk for cancer.