According to Google, Dr. Martin Cooper (Motorola) is credited with inventing the first cell phone, and the first person to make a call on a portable cell phone in April 1973. Now, after all these years (38 to be exact), they are telling us about cell phone cancer?
I’m sure many of you felt a ‘twinge’ of concern at hearing this news. I wanted to know what I was in store for; I’ve been a cell phone user for more than 20 years. Although in recent years, I have become more of a cell phone ‘text er’ which is faster and more convenient for me.
So, here are some of the facts I discovered from two New York Times articles in the Health Section.
First article by Tara Parker- Pope
Piercing the Fog Around Cellphones and Cancer, June 6, 2011 stated some of the following facts:
- The World Health Organization declared that it was ‘possible’ the phones could cause cancer.
- This is the first time a major health organization has suggested such a link, and it was promptly disputed by many scientists…
- The source of the latest claim is the International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- The panel based its cellphone findings on the fact that they give off a weak form of energy called nonionizing radiation…
- The human studies showed only an association between cellphone use and cancer, not a causal relationship.
- Some of the research suggests links to three types of tumors…
- All these tumors are rare, so even if cellphone use does increase risk, the risk to any individual is still very low.
- Scientists dispute the research because they believe it is plagued by methodological problems.
Tara Parker-Pope wrote a second article
“A Doctor Who Must Navigate a Contentious Divide”.
This article covered what Dr. Jonathan Samet, chairman of a World Health Organization committee, thinks about the findings and the reaction to the controversy. It should be noted that one of Dr. Samet’s reports was done on tobacco 25 years ago. He has also done studies on secondhand smoke. However, in regard to the cellphone findings, The American Cancer Society also said the findings were based on flawed data and should be interpreted with ‘great care’.
For my Baby Boomer friends and family, maybe it’s time to ‘text’ and ‘tweet’ more. 🙂