Cell Phones and Radiation

The incubation time for brain tumors related to cell phone exposure is 10 years. Many millions of people have been using cell phones for 10 years or longer.

Which is worse for your health: cell phones, or smoking? According to neurosurgeon Vini Khurana, MD, the answer is cell phones. Why? Long-term exposure to the radiation emitted by cell phones doubles the risk of developing brain cancer.

Khurana spent 14 months poring over the data in more than 100 separate sources of medical and scientific literature. He presents the results in a detailed paper titled "Mobile Phones and Brain Tumors - A Public Health Concern". His findings are certainly interesting. He claims that, "the data compellingly suggest that the link between mobile phones and brain tumors should no longer be regarded as a myth."

In short, exposure to the radiation from cell phones is dangerous. Long-term exposure is even more dangerous. Since most of us are never more than a few feet away from our cell phones at any given time, it is safe to argue that we're constantly being bombarded by the radiation. A quick glance around my own office finds two cell phones, one cellular modem and a Wi-Fi router all within 6 feet of my body. Should I be worried?

Khurana says that the incubation time for brain tumors related to cell phone exposure is 10 years. Many millions of people have been using cell phones for 10 years or longer, but the bulk of the US public has been using cell phones for just seven or eight years. Is there going to be an explosion of brain cancer cases in the next 10 years? Khurana says cell phone exposure doubles the chance of developing brain cancer. He notes that the next few years will be very telling.

He also insists that there be change. Khurana writes, "There is currently enough evidence and technology available to warrant Industry and Governments alike in taking immediate steps to reduce exposure of consumers to mobile phone-related electromagnetic radiation and to make consumers clearly aware of potential dangers and how to use this technology sensibly and safely."

If you've ever flipped through your cell phone's manual, you might have chosen not to read the FCC statements in the back (aka, the "fine print"). All cell phone manuals are required to include basic information about cell phone radiation exposure. The language is often dense, and downplays the risk. In order for cell phones to be sold in the U.S., they have to be tested by the FCC. Part of the approval process for mobile phones includes determining spectral absorption rates with the phones held close to the body to determine just what sort of dosage of radiation the phone emits. Some times this data is included in the manual, some times it isn't. Even so, most people probably don't understand what spectral absorption rates are, nor why they are relevant to the shiny new cell phone in their hands. What's more, I would venture a guess that 99.99% of all cell phone users have not read this section of their user manual to begin with. But the information is there.

Khurana says, "It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children." Most toddlers and infants don't use cell phones, but they probably play with their parents' cell phones. Talk about long-term exposure, today's children are exposed to cell phone radiation before birth. Are they in real danger?