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Are cell phones safe?

“Researchers found a link between high levels of cell phone radiation and evidence of carcinogenic activity in male rats, including the development of a rare type of tumor (Schwannoma) in the heart.” 

Dear Reader! 

Put down your remote control if you’re searching for a lifestyle approach to improve your odds. Researchers evaluated data from a health database of almost 500,000 British men and women in a recent examination. Specifically, they looked at how many hours they spent doing sedentary activities like watching TV or using a computer. Nearly 2,400 of these patients got colorectal cancer during the next six years. The researchers discovered that males who watched TV for at least four hours per day had a 35% higher risk of colorectal cancer than those who just watched for one hour per day. In women, no such relationship was discovered. (March 8, 2018; British Journal of Cancer) 

This study could not establish cause and effect, and it remains unclear why women’s colorectal cancer risk did not appear to be altered. However, as compared to their less physically active male counterparts, men who engaged in higher levels of exercise had a 23 percent lower chance of acquiring colon cancer.           

How safe are cell phones?

Cell phones were largely a curiosity. Many of us would be lost today if we didn’t have one. 95% of Americans now own a mobile phone of some type. According to a Pew Research Report issued in February, 77 percent of Americans own a smartphone, up from just over half in 2011. Cell phones are undeniably useful, and smartphones (defined as phones with Internet connectivity) have revolutionized the way most people interact. But is there a drawback to this device? Cell phones have raised concerns about their safety virtually since their inception. Some concerns are obvious: The National Safety Council, mobile phone usage was involved in more than a quarter of all vehicle accidents in 2014. However, distracted driving is only one problem. People have been wondering for years if the radiation generated by these devices is harmful to their health. Some academics, in particular, are concerned about a possible relationship between cell phone use and cancer. This is because radio waves may be absorbed by tissues near cell phone antennae, such as those in the skull. Furthermore, because many people no longer use landlines, the amount of time we spend chatting on our phones has grown.

The evidence for a cell phone-cancer relationship, on the other hand, is equivocal. For example, a working group of 31 scientists from 14 countries reviewed available research and found “limited evidence” of a positive association between cell phone usage and cancer. The World Health Organization classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields from cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. Despite this, the researchers were unable to identify whether cell phones are to blame for the malignancies. Other big population studies in the United Kingdom and Denmark have shown no relationship between long-term cell phone usage and cancer. In the United States, despite the massive rise in mobile phone use, there has been no increase in the incidence of brain cancer since 1992. 

Researchers recently studied the impact of cell phone radiation on rats. They discovered a connection between high levels of cell phone radiation and carcinogenic activity in male rats, including the formation of a rare kind of tumor in the heart (Schwannoma). Female rats and mice, on the other hand, showed no such significant findings. Although research is ongoing, the study’s author claims that his results have had no impact on his mobile phone usage. The US Food and Drug Administration maintains that cell phones are safe.

My Recommendations: 

I urge that you should always use a headset or speaker mode when on a cell phone call, and if feasible, use a landline for extended conversations until we have more convincing proof. Keep your phone away from your body by clipping it to your belt or putting it in your pocket. Also, try to use your phone only when there is a good signal. Radiation exposure rose as the number of bars decreased.

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