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Mobile Phones: An Emerging Public Health Concern

Posted by seumasach on April 19, 2010

Epoch Times

19th april, 2010

Too many experts today are already comparing the mobile phone industry to the cigarette industry of the early 20th century. Are Cell Phones the Next Cigarettes? asks MSN Money; and Mobile Radiation: Like Tobacco Smoke? questions Business Week.

On Feb. 7, 2008, a neurosurgeon named Vini Gautam Khurana, Ph.D., published Mobile Phones and Brain Tumours—A Public Health Concern.

“It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health implications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children,” Dr. Khurana points out.

The analysis is a 69-page “systematic and concise yet comprehensive review.” His objective was to scientifically and objectively review the data on mobile phone usage. He spent 14 months reviewing over 100 sources in recent medical and scientific literature in addition to the press and Internet.

“The link between mobile phones and brain tumours should no longer be regarded as a myth,” he writes.

The culmination of Dr. Khurana’s advice for pregnant women is to stop using mobile phones while pregnant or holding a child.

“Many oncologists say they limit their own cell phone usage, don’t hold mobiles against their ear, and instead use speakerphones, headsets, and hands-free setups,” writes Olga Kharif for Business Week. Kharif reports that Columbia University associate professor Martin Blank, who studies the effects of electromagnetic radiation (waves emitted from devices like cell phones) on living cells, doesn’t even own a cell phone.

An MSN article says, “It took years for the hazards of smoking to come to light. Now there’s debate over the safety of mobile phones.” The article refers to advice given by the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Cancer Centers. As faculty for the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Ronald Herberman gave 10 specific points of precautionary advice to faculty and staff. Dr. Herberman said, “I am convinced that there is sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use.”

In Secret Link Between Cigarettes and Cell Phones? Dr. Joseph Mercola discusses why Herberman “finally elected to speak out publicly.” It may have to do with the 610-page BioInitiative Report, which was published in 2007. Dr. Mercola says that this report “documents serious scientific concerns” about the regulations for radiation, radiofrequencies, and electromagnetic fields, like those created by wireless technology. According to Mercola, the report concluded that public safety standards were not adequate and showed mobile phone evidence for:

  • Effects on gene and protein expression
  • Genotoxic effects (DNA damage)
  • Stress response (stress proteins)
  • Effects on immune function
  • Effects on neurology and behavior
  • Brain tumors and acoustic neuromas
  • Childhood cancers (leukemia)
  • Magnetic Field Exposure: Melatonin production, alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer
  • Breast cancer promotion (Melatonin links in laboratory and cell studies)
  • Disruption by the modulating signal

In another article from Business Week, Jay Yarow shares the words of Dr. Michael Kelsh, principle scientist and epidemiologist for the scientific consulting firm Exponent, “It was 15, 20 years after people began smoking that we saw concerns associated with it. … Down the road, the same could happen with phones.”

But what about all those studies that can’t find conclusive evidence for cell phones causing cancer? A New York Times article posted June 3, 2008, tells how the CTIA—The Wireless Association—says, “The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk.” This organization stands to profit from cellular expansion. Because of this, their credibility becomes questionable. Tobacco companies also failed to see a link between tobacco and health risks before 2006.

A September 14, 2009, article in Reuters writes, “Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, newly empowered to investigate health matters as chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, promised on Monday to probe deeply into any potential links between cell phone use and cancer.” According to Reuters, Harkin compared cell phones to cigarettes, saying “Decades passed between the first warnings about smoking tobacco and the final definitive conclusion that cigarettes cause lung cancer.”

Back to the New York Times article, it also points out that, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), “Three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects.”

The average period of phone use in those FDA studies was only about three years.

Yet many scientists agree that in order to really see the detrimental effects from the use of cell phones, one must study a case for longer than three years.

“The latency period for brain tumors can be 10 to 15 years,” says Kelsh. Brain tumors don’t show up overnight. They take years to develop. The reality is that most studies of cell phones have looked at short-term effects of cell phone use.

Cell phones only gained widespread use in the last 10 to 15 years. Now is when those studies are more likely to arise.

Swedish Studies Are First to Show Tumor Risk

“It is no surprise that Swedish researchers were among the first to report a positive association between cell phone use and brain tumour risk,” writes Dr. Khurana.

Sweden was first to mass deploy mobile telephones and is the former world headquarters of Ericsson, the mobile phone company who held 35 to 40 percent of the mobile market through the 1990s.

In November, 2004, Epidemiology reported what researchers Lönn, Ahlbom, Hall, and Feychting found one of the first links between cell phones and brain tumors. The conclusion to this Swedish study said, “Our data suggest an increased risk of acoustic neuroma associated with mobile phone use of at least 10 years’ duration.” And, said researchers, the chance of developing that tumor were almost four times greater “on the same side of the head where the cell phone was normally used.”

In March 2007 Occupational and Environmental Medicine published the conclusions to another Swedish study. This time, researchers Hardell, Carlberg, Söderqvist, Mild, and Morgan made their conclusion evident by naming their analysis. Long-term use of Cellular Phones and Brain Tumours: Increased Risk Associated with Use for ≥ 10 Years.

Wireless Association Lobby Knows of These Dangers

In 2009, Dr. Mercola reported that CTIA’s own research now shows the detrimental effects of mobile phones. In an article titled, Secret Link Between Cigarettes and Cell Phones, Mercola includes the study’s results, which were “the opposite conclusion from the one they were hoping for.”

  • “A nearly 300 percent increase in the incidence of genetic damage when human blood cells were exposed to radiation in the cellular frequency band.”
  • “A significant increase in cell phone users’ risk of brain tumors at the brain’s outer edge, on whichever side the cell phone was held most often.”
  • “A 60 percent greater chance of acoustic neuromas, a tumor affecting the nerve that controls hearing, among people who had used cell phones for six years or more.”
  • “A higher rate of brain cancer deaths among handheld mobile phone users than among car phone users (car phones are mounted on the dashboard rather than held next to your head.)”

One Response to “Mobile Phones: An Emerging Public Health Concern”

  1. For me its just obvious that the cell phone industry knows about cell phone’s implications in brain cancer, in just the same way tobacco companies knew about cigarette smoking and lung cancer. People are getting tumors, they are saying very clearly that their cell phone is to blame, and a number of brain surgeons that are saying the same thing. This is a great article which I comment on more fully in my blog, see http://electricsense.com/2010/05/04/international-wireless-industry-knows-cell-phones-not-safe

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