Important Precautionary Advice Regarding Cell Phone Use...here are 2 articles:
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, 8/12/2008
An international expert panel of pathologists, oncologists and public health specialists recently declared that electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones should be considered a potential human health risk (see The Case for Precaution in Cell Phone Use, attached). To date, a number of countries including France, Germany and India have issued recommendations that exposure to electromagnetic fields should be limited. In addition, Toronto's Department of Public Health is advising teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones, to avoid potential health risks.
More definitive data that cover the health effects from prolonged cell phone use have been compiled by the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer. However, publication has been delayed for two years. In anticipation of release of the WHO report, the attached prudent and simple precautions, intended to promote precautionary efforts to reduce exposures to cell phone electromagnetic radiation, have been reviewed by UPCI experts in neuro-oncology, epidemiology, neurosurgery and the Center for Environmental Oncology.
Practical Advice to Limit Exposure to Electromagnetic Radiation Emitted from Cell Phones
1. Do not allow children to use a cell phone, except for emergencies. The developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.
2. While communicating using your cell phone, try to keep the cell phone away from the body as much as possible. The amplitude of the electromagnetic field is one fourth the strength at a distance of two inches and fifty times lower at three feet. Whenever possible, use the speaker-phone mode or a wireless Bluetooth headset, which has less than 1/100th of the electromagnetic emission of a normal cell phone. Use of a hands-free ear piece attachment may also reduce exposures.
3. Avoid using your cell phone in places, like a bus, where you can passively expose others to your phone's electromagnetic fields.
4. Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body at all times. Do not keep it near your body at night such as under the pillow or on a bedside table, particularly if pregnant. You can also put it on "flight" or "off-line" mode, which stops electromagnetic emissions.
5. If you must carry your cell phone on you, make sure that the keypad is positioned toward your body and the back is positioned toward the outside so that the transmitted electromagnetic fields move away from your rather than through you.
6. Only use your cell phone to establish contact or for conversations lasting a few minutes, as the biological effects are directly related to the duration of exposure. For longer conversations, use a land line with a corded phone, not a cordless phone, which uses electromagnetic emitting technology similar to that of cell phones.
7. Switch sides regularly while communicating on your cell phone to spread out your exposure. Before putting your cell phone to the ear, wait until your correspondent has picked up. This limits the power of the electromagnetic field emitted near your ear and the duration of your exposure.
8. Avoid using your cell phone when the signal is weak or when moving at high speed, such as in a car or train, as this automatically increases power to a maximum as the phone repeatedly attempts to connect to a new relay antenna.
9. When possible, communicate via text messaging rather than making a call, limiting the duration of exposure and the proximity to the body.
10. Choose a device with the lowest SAR possible (SAR = Specific Absorption Rate, which is a measure of the strength of the magnetic field absorbed by the body). SAR ratings of contemporary phones by different manufacturers are available by searching for "sar ratings cell phones" on the internet.
Scientists revive debate on cellphones and cancer
(Following is an article published in the International Herald Tribune which is the global edition of the New York Times)
Scientists revive the debate on cellphones and cancer
By Tara Parker-Pope
Published: June 3, 2008
What do brain surgeons know about cellphone safety that the rest of us don't?
Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cellphones next to their ears. "I think the safe practice," said Dr. Keith Black, a surgeon at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, "is to use an earpiece so you keep the microwave antenna away from your brain."
Dr. Vini Khurana, an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University who is an outspoken critic of cellphones, said: "I use it on the speaker-phone mode. I do not hold it to my ear."
And CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital, said that like Black he used an earpiece.
Along with Senator Edward Kennedy's recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cellphone use, the doctors' remarks have helped reignite a long-simmering debate about cellphones and cancer. That supposed link has been largely dismissed by many experts, including the American Cancer Society. The theory that cellphones cause brain tumors "defies credulity," said Dr. Eugene Flamm, chairman of neurosurgery at Montefiore Medical Center.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects. CTIA (the Wireless Association), the leading industry trade group, said in a statement, "The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk."The FDA notes, however, that the average period of phone use in the studies it cites was about three years, so the research doesn't answer questions about long-term exposures.
Cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation, waves of energy that are too weak to break chemical bonds or to set off the DNA damage known to cause cancer. There is no known biological mechanism to explain how non-ionizing radiation might lead to cancer. But researchers who have raised concerns say that just because science can't explain the mechanism doesn't mean one does not exist. Concerns have focused on the heat generated by cellphones and the fact that the radio frequencies are absorbed mostly by the head and neck. In recent studies that suggest a risk, the tumors tend to occur on the same side of the head where the patient typically holds the phone. Like most research on the subject, the studies are observational, showing only an association between cellphone use and cancer, not a causal relationship.
The most important of these studies is called Interphone, a vast research effort in 13 countries, including Canada, Israel and several in Europe. Some of the research suggests a link between cellphone use and three types of tumors: glioma; cancer of the parotid, a salivary gland near the ear; and acoustic neuroma, a tumor that essentially occurs where the ear meets the brain. All these cancers are rare.
Last year, The American Journal of Epidemiology published data from Israel finding a 58 percent higher risk of parotid gland tumors among heavy cellphone users. Also last year, a Swedish analysis of 16 studies in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine showed a doubling of risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma after 10 years of heavy cellphone use. Some doctors say the real concern is not older cellphone users, who began using phones as adults, but children who are beginning to use phones today and face a lifetime of exposure. The fear is that even if the individual risk of using a cellphone is low, with three billion users worldwide, even a minuscule risk would translate into a major public health concern.