There’s A Potential Link Between Cell Phone Radiation & Brain Tumors
STUDY FINDS CELL PHONE RADIATION EXPOSURE LINKED TO BRAIN TUMORS
According to the Pew Research Center, about 95 percent of all Americans now own a cell phone. That rate increases to 100 percent for Americans between 18 – 29 years of age.
More families are also buying mobile phones for their children than ever before. A 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 85% of kids aged 14 to 17 had cell phones, 69% of kids age 11-14 years, and 31% of kids aged 8-10.
Like many forms of technology, the rate of cell phone consumption has outpaced the health research and safety regulation of its use. Some health advocates caution against giving cell phones to children, and one of the main reasons is radiation.
Cell phones operate by using radio waves. While the link between cellphone radiation and cancer is not conclusive, a growing number of studies show there is plenty of evidence to be concerned.
In May 2016, the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released a study that found an increase in malignant gliomas in the brain of rats exposed to cell phone radiofrequency radiation (RFR). The findings were reviewed by expert peer reviewers selected by the NTP and National Institutes of Health (NIH).
“The occurrences of two tumor types in male Harlan Sprague Dawley rats exposed to RFR, malignant gliomas in the brain and schwannomas of the heart, were considered of particular interest and are the subject of this report.”
In the United States, the amount of radiation that cell phones are allowed to emit is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The last time the FCC updated its regulations on human exposure to radiofrequency radiation was over a decade ago in 1996, despite growing concern ever since:
- In 2011, the World Health Organization “classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans…based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.”
- In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to the FCC urging the commission to update radiation standards due to the potential link to cancer.
- In 2015, nearly 200 independent scientists representing 39 countries, including the U.S., urged global health organizations to strengthen cellphone guidelines due to health risks.
- Earlier this year, a California judge forced the state to release a previously hidden fact sheet on the health concerns related to cell phone use, which also included cancer.
While the world waits for research and regulations to catch up to cell phone consumption, here are a few tips for reducing your radiation exposure from a mobile device:
- Spend less time on the device
- Increase the distance between the device and your body with a speaker or headset
- Do not carry the phone in your pocket unless it is off
- Consider sending a text or email instead of making a call
- Check your phone’s Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), an estimate of the radiofrequency energy absorption by a user’s head and body when using the device. Ask the manufacturer, or you can visit these lists of devices by lowest and highest SAR levels.
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