Risk Associated With Cell Phones

Essay by kaaanch June 2010

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Risk Associated With Cell Phones

As a result of several clusters of brain tumors, the question of cell phones causing cancer has attracted a lot of public attention. Although most studies show no relationship, emotions run high and believers rally around a few suggestive studies. The current data suggests that if there is a risk, it is very small and relates more to older, analog-type units than the modern digital units. However, latency issues are a problem because these units have only been in use for a few years.

Additionally, there is ever-increasing use, which raises dose-related questions. Further concerns relate to the increasing use of cell phones by children, who are at potentially greater risk. The one identified risk is that of motor vehicle collisions by users of cell phones. In the balance, judicious use of handheld digital cell phones is likely not a risk for brain tumors, but where possible hands-free use is advisable.

Also, for reasons that go well beyond cancer, limiting use in children is likely wise. But this is an evolving field, as cell phones are ubiquitous; they are used by all segments of the population, including children. As such, even a small effect may be significant.

Rf Energy And Electromagnetic Fields

Cell phones operate with radio frequencies (RF) and create electromagnetic fields (EMF). They do not emit the ionizing radiation associated with DNA damage. As the technology has developed, lower levels of RF are required to maintain services. Digital cell phones use much lower power than older analog units. Likewise, cordless telephones designed for local use also have lower energy levels. However, older analog cell phones and specialized units can emit high energy levels of RF. Also, concerns exist about proximity to cell phone towers.

It is true that RF energy from cell phones...