With the over 90% of Americans using cell phones and over six billion users worldwide, cell phone safety is still unknown with cell phone companies stating that cell phones are safe, while some consumer groups and concerned cell phone users are not as confidant about their safety, especially from long-term use.
What scares many people is the fact that long-term health concerns won’t be really known for several years, meaning all cell phone users now are basically guinea pigs for future health problems.
One of the main health concerns relating to cell phone use is the risk of cancer and most scientists are uncertain of the real health risks posed by cell phones. There have been many cases of brain cancer that some groups are attributing to excessive cell phone use, especially with the cell phone resting on the side of the head.
The problem that many scientists and consumer groups are concerned about is the non-ionizing radiation called radiofrequency energy that can be absorbed by tissues in the head. The longer you have your cell phone against your head, the more of this radiation will be absorbed.
Studies have shown that ionizing radiation, which includes cosmic rays, radon, and x-rays, will damage DNA and has a cancer risk. The studies done on non-ionizing radiation so far have been inconclusive as the the risks of this radiation and further studies are needed. Unfortunately, by the time there are conclusive studies that show whether this type of radiation can cause cancer, many people will already have long-term exposure to the radiation.
As of now, the only verified result of exposure to radiofrequency energy is heating, which is the principal behind microwaves. Cancer occurs when DNA is damaged and until research shows that radiofrequency energy causes DNA damage, most scientists will say the cell phone usage is relatively safe.
Some groups claim that the cell phone radiation is dangerous, including the World Health Organization, who stated that cell phone radiation could be linked to brain cancer. Several studies on cell phone radiation report of problems of diminished sperm count in men, along with changes in behavior in children, sleep problems, and altered brain metabolism.
A study sponsored by the WHO four years ago showed a 40% increase in one of the more common brain cancers, but the results were not made available until recently and the results were declared invalid because of possible errors and biases. Six of eight parts of the study showed increases in the risks of cancers using cell phones.
Many of the studies that reported no danger in cell phone usage were sponsored by cell phone companies and show an obvious conflict of interest.
The debate continues and the only way to see real results is to wait about 10 years. So if you want to be on the safe side, use a speaker phone or a non-metal earpiece.