Americans have a right to know why so many nations and all cell phone manufacturers advise that people reduce their direct exposures of their brains and bodies to microwave radiation from cell phones
Washington, DC (Vocus/PRWEB) February 17, 2011
A report by two leaders of the World Health Organization’s Interphone study, the largest research study to date on cell phone risks, was published online in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine on January 27. The authors warn that people should be careful in how they use cell phones now while additional research is carried out by WHO and others, according to Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, founder of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks.
The study’s authors, who are not representing official WHO policy—Elisabeth Cardis, PhD of Barcelona’s Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology, and Siegal Sadetzki, MD, MPH of Tel-Aviv’s Gertner Institute for Epidemiology and Health Policy—make a number of key observations.
For example, write Cardis and Sadetzki, most research on cell phone radiation studied people who used their phones for a few hours a month for less than five years. In the WHO Interphone study, which started in 2000 and ended in 2004, the average user had about 100 hours of cell phone use in their lifetime, with between 2 and 2.5 hours per month. Those who were at the top 10 percent of cumulative call time (1,640 hours or more), if spread over 10 years, corresponded to only about 27 minutes of phone use per day, and had a 50 percent or greater risk of developing malignant brain tumors on the same side of the head where they held their phones.
The authors claim that it is not possible to evaluate the magnitude and direction of the different possible biases on the Interphone study results and to estimate the net effect of cell phones on the risk of brain tumors. In fact, they agree with others—such as the authors of the report Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone, issued in 2009 by the International EMF Collaborative—that the overall direction of research to date is worrisome.
“While more studies are needed to conﬁrm or refute these results, indications of an increased risk [of brain cancer] in high- and long-term users from Interphone and other studies are of concern,” Cardis and Sadetzki conclude. “There are now more than 4 billion people, including children, using mobile phones. Even a small risk at the individual level could eventually result in a considerable number of tumours and become an important public-health issue. Simple and low-cost measures, such as the use of text messages, hands-free kits and/or the loudspeaker mode of the phone could substantially reduce exposure to the brain from mobile phones. Therefore, until deﬁnitive scientiﬁc answers are available, the adoption of such precautions, particularly among young people, is advisable.”
“It is extremely significant that two leaders of the largest study to date on the issue of potential risks of cell phone are warning that we should take precautionary actions now while additional studies are carried out,” said Dr. Davis. Noting that Cardis and Sadetzki’s urge for caution mirrors recommendations she made to the U.S. Senate in 2009 as well as conclusions reached in her book Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family (Dutton, 2010), Davis said, “Americans have a right to know why so many nations and all cell phone manufacturers advise that people reduce their direct exposures of their brains and bodies to microwave radiation from cell phones.”
About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. Current multi-media projects include: local and national campaigns to ban smoking and asbestos; working with international physician and worker safety groups to warn about the risks of inappropriate use of diagnostic radiation and cellphones, exploring what factors lie behind puzzlingly high rates of fibroid tumors, breast cancer and endometriosis in young African American women, and building environmental wellness programs in Wyoming, Montana and Pennsylvania to address the environmental impacts of energy development, the built environment and radon. EHT was created with the goal of promoting health and preventing disease one person, one community and one nation at a time. Capitalizing on growing public interest in Dr.Devra Lee Davis’s popular books, When Smoke Ran Like Water, a National Book Award Finalist, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and Disconnect, along with recent documentary films, the foundation’s website is a go to place for clear, science-based information to prevent environmentally based disease and promote health, with accessible, multi-media information for the general public, children, and health professionals. For more information on the EHT, log on to http://www.ehtrust.org.
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