Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cancer From...Phones?

Today, everything seems to be labeled as carcinogenic because researchers haven’t found any conclusive evidence on the source of cancer in humans. Cell phones now fall in the category of questionable carcinogens. Additionally, studies have shown that brain activity changes with the frequent use of cell phones. Is this a rational fear, or should we just not worry about the possible adverse health effects of cell phones because of how uncertain they are and how dependent society is on cell phones today?

An article on aolnews.com discusses some of the adverse effects of cell phones and whether it is cause for concern, using multiple studies as a basis. There was a recently-published study done over 10 years in 13 different countries, called the “Interphone Study”, which evaluated the relationship between cell phones and brain tumors. The study found no correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors. Another study was published last month that called “Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism”. This study evaluated the effects of cell phone signals on brain processes. The study found an increase in brain glucose metabolism as a result of cell phone use, but scientists are unsure of the clinical significance of this discovery. This study is further discussed in an article in the health section of cnn.com, as well as other inconclusive studies related to this topic.

Since so many studies have inconclusive results regarding the relationship between cell phone use and brain-related health problems, what is the answer? Are cell phones harmful to our health? We may never know, but you have to decide this: since there are correlations between cell phone use and some brain functions, do you think that the possible unhealthy outcomes outweigh the benefits of using cell phones? I don’t believe that society as a whole can decide to stop using cell phones because we are so dependent on them now. Many researchers believe that using an earpiece solves the problem; maybe that is the answer.

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