Dr. Mercola Interviews Dr. Devra Davis About the Dangers of Cellphone [article and video]_Featured_, Health-Wellness Wednesday, August 15th, 2012
New Warnings about the Hazards of Cell Phones
Holding a cell phone against your ear, or putting it in your pocket, may be hazardous to your health – or so says the fine print on a little slip that you probably tossed aside when unpacking your phone.
Apple says your iPhone should come no closer than 5/8 of an inch; BlackBerry recommends about an inch.
Statistics show that, over all, there has not been a general increase in the incidence of brain cancer since cell phones arrived – but the average hides that fact that brain cancer has increased in the 20-to-29 age group while dropping for the older population.
According to the New York Times:
“The largest study of cell phone use and brain cancer has been the Interphone International Case Control Study … The authors included some disturbing data in an appendix available only online. These showed that subjects who used a cell phone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor.”
Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal investigates various methods of cutting down the radiation your cell phone produces. However, they say the most effective one may be the simplest — keep the phone away from your head and body.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments
This summer I purchased the Sprint EVO, which is one of the top Android phones, and I can tell you that it is clearly my favorite gadget. In my opinion, it is far better than any navigation device on ANY car and has loads of other useful tools. More than two-thirds of the time I don’t use the phone for calls but when I do it is nearly always in speaker mode and I rarely ever hold the device or put it to my head.
We have had an exponential growth rate of cell phones and their numbers will continue to grow as the smart phone market expands.
As the New York Times reported, there are 292 million wireless numbers in use in the United States, which is close to one for every man, woman and child. And as of June about 25 percent of U.S. households had given up their landlines in favor of going wireless-only.
For many, NOT having a cell phone is viewed as virtually impossible. Today’s cell phones are much more than phones. They can also be your camera, video recorder, hand-held computer, and your lifeline to staying in touch with your work and family.
Indeed, cell phones are extremely convenient and useful, and from a technology standpoint have changed the way humans interact and do business … they’re an incredible invention, really … except for one nagging problem. They’re likely going to trigger a brain cancer epidemic the likes of which the world has never seen.
Did You Know that Cell Phone Manufacturers Warn You to NOT Hold the Phone to Your Head?
Cell phones are so common nowadays that it may take you a minute to wrap your head around the fact that studies are showing they may not be safe. But remember, it wasn’t long ago when doctors gladly endorsed cigarette companies and smoking was commonplace even in hospitals.
Many are now suggesting that cell phones will be the cigarettes of the 21st century … and one day we will look back on all the photos of people, including children, walking around pressing these radiation-releasing devices directly to our heads and wonder what we were thinking.
But for now most people are in a state of ignorant bliss, assuming that cell phones must be safe if they’re being used so extensively and there are no public health warnings about them.. The reality is, however, that even cell phone manufacturers do not advise using your cell phone the way you probably use it – pressed up against your ear.
Many cell phones actually contain package inserts that warn you to hold the cell phone away from your head when in use. Apple recommends keeping your iPhone at least 5/8 of an inch from your head, while BlackBerry recommends about an inch. Why might these companies be quietly warning you to keep your phone away from your head?
New Research Shows Cell Phones are Dangerous
Devra Davis, PhD, professor, Department of Epidemiology at the Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh has written a new book – Disconnect – in which she exposes research showing that radiation from cell phones has been linked to:
- DNA damage
- Memory loss
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Break down of your brain’s defenses
- Reduced sperm count
Then there were the results of the massive Interphone study, which was meant to finally provide definitive evidence on the safety, or lack thereof, of cell phones. It cost more than $30 million (funded in part by the mobile phone industry) to carry out, and involved nearly 50 scientists from 13 countries, along with more than 14,000 people.
It turns out that the study was a massive PR campaign by the telecommunications industry to provide reassurance that cell phones are safe so they can continue to generate hundreds of billions of dollars of profits.
That is why it is no surprise, now that the data has finally been released, that it turns out the study is seriously flawed. The study is filled with ludicrous and disturbing findings such as “heavy users” of cell phones have an approximately doubled risk of glioma, a life threatening and often-fatal brain tumor, after 10 years of cell phone use.
You might wonder why this is a ludicrous finding, but you will instantly understand once you learn that: their definition of a “heavy” user was someone who used a cell phone about two hours … a month! What this means is that if you use your cell phone for two hours a month or more, you may be doubling your risk of a potentially fatal brain tumor. Use your cell phone significantly more than that, and your risk is likely much, much higher
This study does absolutely nothing to address the hundreds of millions of cell phone users who easily have exposure up to FIFTY times higher.
Other studies too, like the review of 11 long-term epidemiologic studies published in the journal Surgical Neurology, have revealed that using a cell phone for 10 or more years increases your risk of developing a brain tumor. The 2009 special EMF issue of the Journal of Pathophysiology also contains over a dozen different studies on the health effects of wireless technology and electromagnetic fields.
Just Like Cigarettes, It Will be Decades Before the Real Effects Show Up
It is still too soon for most cell phone-induced brain tumors to show up. Just as people don’t get lung cancer a few weeks or months into their smoking habit, there is a delayed effect between cell phone usage and brain tumor development that typically is over 10 to 20 years.
Of course, not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not every cell phone user will develop brain cancer. There are many variables that contribute to susceptibility.
For instance, children and teens are among those MOST at risk because their younger skulls are thinner and their growing brains much more susceptible to radiation exposure. One study even found that children and teenagers are five times more likely to get brain cancer if they use cell phones — so why risk it?