Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Brain Tumors & Cell Phones
The American Brain Tumor Association has posted a link to a press release which reports that Congressman Dennis Kucinich “has introduced H.R. 6358, the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, a bill to grant a consumer’s right-to-know by providing for warning labels on cell phones. It would also create a new national research program to study cell phones and health and require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the outdated Specific Absorption Rate.“
The press release went on to say that “Last year, the World Health Organization finished its assessment of the evidence about the links between exposure to radiation from cell phones and health problems. They concluded that there was enough evidence of a link to classify it as ‘possibly carcinogenic to humans,’ placing it in the same category as lead and mercury.”
This reminds me of the old adage “lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.”
This paragraph in the press release spooked me “The long-awaited Interphone study, a major inquiry into the potential links between cell phone use and tumors, concluded that when taken as a whole, there was not a link. However, when the data was broken down, more risk was found and the picture became clearer. Those using their cell phones typically only 30 minutes per day or more were found to have a 40% increased risk of a type of brain tumor called glioma, when compared to someone who had not used a cell phone. If the phone is used mostly on one side of the head, the risk is 96% more than someone unexposed to cell phone radiation.” (I added the italics for dramatic effect.)
Ok, now I’m totally spooked. If you’re not spooked, go read some of the blog postings from folks with glioma on the ABTA Inspire site: http://www.inspire.com/groups/american-brain-tumor-association
Having been spooked, I read the press release issued by the International Agency for Research on Cancer on the study http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2010/pdfs/pr200_E.pdf
What I found interesting in this release was that the daily cell phone of the folks in the study seemed awfully low compared to everybody I know. “The median lifetime cumulative call time was around 100 hours, with a median of 2 to 2½ hours of reported use per month. The cut-point for the heaviest 10% of users (1640 hours lifetime), spread out over 10 years, corresponds to about a half-hour per day.”
A half-hour a day? My girls probably average one and a half hours on a dull day with 2 to 2½ certainly possible on an active day.
My personal solution is simple. I’m now using ear buds attached to a long, long wire.