Cell phones Affecting Cancer


Most of us can’t live without them, the little gadget that has changed our lives by giving us the power to keep in touch whenever we are. However, phone bill should be the least of your worries; experts say we may be talking ourselves to death.


The headlines “My cell phone gave me cancer” really got the world to sit up and pay attention as Christopher Newman sued cell phone giant Motorola for a staggering 800 million dollars. He claimed to have developed a tumour behind his right ear as a result of using one of their cell phones for more than 5 years. The legal battle last months but was dismissed after scientists found no direct link between the phone and cancer.


The world sighed with relief but earlier this year Swedish experts reopened the debate after finding a small connection (if you’ll excuse the pun) between the radiation emitted and the formation of a brain tumour. There report quoted “speaking for just an hour a day, increases the risk by at least a third.”


They had studied people with brain tumours and found that in most cases the tumour was on the side of the head where the phone was held when speaking. They also blamed things like Alzheimer’s, eczema, amnesia and insomnia on cell phones. The main area of concern is the antenna, where small doses of microwaves are emitted. Like a microwave oven heats food, the cell phone heats your brain, causing hot spots. But other scientists in the know say that this is a load of rubbish.


While the public still receives mixed signals, The Cancer Association of South Africa recommends we be safe than sorry. They say we should limit ourselves to speaking for a total of half an hour a day. But even a phone not in use emits the waves, so never leave your phone next to you when sleeping. As for radiation shields, there is no real evidence they make a difference and hands-free kits could even increase the brain’s susceptibility to the radiation.


A bit extreme? Remember when people thought cigarettes were harmless. Today, nobody contests that tobacco can kill you so don’t speak too soon...