Verdict Still Out on Cancer/Cell Phone Link

Posted on June 24, 2011 by


Are nearly three-quarters of the global population at risk for brain tumors because of their cell phones?

The answer is…still not clearly known.

The World Health Organization has been reviewing possible links between cancer and the electromagnetic radiation used within cell phones. The same type of radiation waves used within cell phones are also used by microwaves and radar systems. This organization has put the radiation level of a cell phone at level 2B, which means they can possibly be carcinogenic to human beings. Other inventions within this carcinogenic level are gasoline exhaust and the pesticide DDT.

Last year, results from various studies concluded that cell phones were not carcinogenic. However, some study groups remained concerned about how cell phones may be linked to glioma, a rare but deadly form of brain tumor. The studies concerning glioma were considered controversial because the research methodology consisted of asking patients who already had brain tumors how often they used their phones prior to developing a brain tumor. The majority of patients said they only used their phones as often as people without brain tumors.

Another reason the studies are widely debated is that people’s cell phone habits have drastically changed since the first studies began years ago, and it is unclear if these results would still apply today. The studies that have labeled the cell phone cancer level at 2B have not even tracked people for a decade yet, so it’s still unclear exactly if cell phones are definitely cancerous. However, researchers do know that the radiation produced by cell phones cannot directly damage a person’s DNA.

“I’m glad cell phones aren’t totally cancerous like people always told me,” said FAHS student Alyson Landis. “I kind of use them a lot.”

According to Cancer Research U.K., the only immediate health risk from cell phones is more frequent car accidents.

“I don’t think you could actually get brain tumors from just using your phone a normal amount,” said FAHS junior Devin Wenzel.

The World Health Organization recommends that people under the age of 16 use cell phones only for essential purposes. At this age, their brains are still developing, so there is a higher risk of any kind of brain trauma.

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