Not to freak anybody out, but the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has issued a precaution to its own faculty and staff
, telling them to limit their cell phone use because it may cause brain tumors, especially in children and especially over long-term use (10+ years). They also recommend avoiding the use of your cell phone while driving because "this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna." I do this all the time, although in California there's a new law forcing us to use the hands-free devices with our cell phone in the car, which I guess is a blessing in disguise.
I first noted this potential issue recently when some of the news stories about Sen. Ted Kennedy's brain tumor indicated a possible link between his heavy cell phone use and the tumor. That alarmed me. You also want to buy a phone with the lowest SAR rating possible ("SAR = Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body," according to the U. of Pittsburgh warning).
Here's a link to their actual statement:http://www.environmentaloncology.org/node/201
And here's some more of what they're saying, quoted directly (in case their statement disappears):1) Electromagnetic fields from cell phones are estimated to penetrate the brain especially in children.2) Living tissue is vulnerable to electromagnetic fields within the frequency bands used by cell phones (from 800 to 2200 MHz) even below the threshold of power imposed by most safety standards ( 1.6 W/Kg for 1g of tissue), notably an increase in the permeability of the blood-brain barrier and an increased synthesis of stress proteins.The most recent studies, which include subjects with a history of cell phone usage for a duration of at least 10 years, show a possible association between certain benign tumors (acoustic neuromas) and some brain cancers on the side the device is used.However, human epidemiological studies on cell phones conducted to date cannot be conclusive. Due to their recently increased use, we are not yet able to evaluate their long term impact on health. Even where an association between exposure and cancer is well established and the risk very high -- as with tobacco and lung cancer -- under similar study conditions (in other words with people who smoked for less than 10 years) it would be difficult, if not impossible, to identify an increased risk of cancer, as the risk appears mostly 15 to 35 years later.
Wow, I think that last sentence is the scary part -- "the risk appears mostly 15 to 35 years later." So the truth is we don't know yet, but my suspicion is we will eventually find out that the news isn't good. So, seriously
, keep your kids away from cell phones (as difficult as that may be) and limit your own use or use the hands-free devices only!