Cell Phone Use Linked to Cancer

Baby Op

Cell Phone Use Linked to Cancer
Authored by Stephanie McClain Riddle PharmD

Children and unborn babies carry the greatest risk of developing cancer, neurologic, and biologic damage from exposure to microwave radiation emitted by wireless devices, Cell phones, baby monitors, and many digital children’s toys emit this form of radiation. According to a recent review, extensive scientific research provides data supporting the serious health risks of long-term exposure to this form of radiation, primarily from cell phone use and digital children’s toys. Many governments worldwide are taking action by passing laws or issuing warnings specific to the use of wireless devices by children and pregnant women.

The results of a recent review by L. Lloyd Morgan, senior science fellow at Environmental Health Trust, and colleagues, were published in July of this year. The authors placed emphasis on alerting the public and raising appropriate concern with the product manufacturers encouraging them to conduct further research and add appropriate warning information to their products.

While much of the data regarding health risks involved with cell phones and other wireless devices is controversial, some facts remain clear. Children and infants absorb more microwave radiation than adults. One study found more than twice the absorbed amount in children. Other studies have shown the bone marrow of children to absorb 10 times more of this type of radiation. The younger the age, the greater the risk. In 2011, the World Health Organization classified this type of radiation to be possibly carcinogenic in humans based on study data showing increased incidence of developing brain tumors.

The risk is thought to be cumulative. The more a person comes in contact with this form of radiation over time, the greater the risk of developing a life-threatening health condition. The study authors encourage the safe use of wireless telecommunication devices, and encourage more research in this area, specifically with digital children’s toys. In addition, the following recommendations were considered “take-home” messages by the study authors.

Their recommendations include keeping all devices at a good distance. Holding a cell phone about 6 inches from the ear decreases the risk by 10,000 fold.

Next, remember that a cell phone is emitting radiation unless it is turned off. If powered on, it should not be kept on the body. Teenage boys should not keep their cell phones in the front pockets of jeans or shorts, and teenage girls should not keep them near the breast area. Exposure to male genitalia and female developing breast tissue has been identified as health risks. Consider keeping the phone in a bag, backpack, or purse.

Do not use a device near a pregnant women’s abdomen, and new mothers should not use a cell phone while breast feeding.

Avoid placing baby monitors directly in the crib with an infant.
Wireless wi-fi routers in the home should be placed in a location removed from areas where people spend the greatest amount of time, especially children.

And finally, statistics show that more than 75% of teens and preteens sleep with their phones under their pillow, an additional risk of radiation exposure.

The scientific community remains divided on the specifics of the risks involved, but their clearly are risks. Cell phones have saved many lives and are here to stay. As technology in this field continues to advance, appropriate concerns about the safe use of these, and other wireless and digital devices, warrants additional research to reduce the risk of harm to all ages involved.

References for this article are available upon request.
For more information about the author please visit www.mcclainmedicalwriting.com.