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Cellular Phone Use and Brain Cancer

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Do cellular phones cause brain cancer? According to several studies done in the past few years, there is no evidence that brain tumors are the direct cause of cellular telephone use. These studies, conducted in Sweden and in several medical centers in the US since 1994, included users and also workers at cellular phones manufacturing plants.

Several types of brain tumors may develop over many years and cellular phones have been in use for a relatively short time, although their usage has dramatically increased in the past three years. This is the reason we do not know at this time that the radiation produced by these portable devices is not the cause of certain tumors.

The main concern regarding cellular phone usage is the electromagnetic radiation they emit. Although its type is not generally considered harmful, as opposed, for instance, to the radiation produced by x-ray devices, we do not know whether it affects human health.

Several factors are important when considering the possibility of risks while using cellular phones; handset size and power, closeness of the antenna, analog and digital transmissions, etc. There are several studies underway in the US that, hopefully, will provide enough information that will allow us to make the necessary adjustments in order to protect our health.

In the meantime, what should we do? There are a few things we can do to minimize risks. If we really need to use a cellular phone, we should keep conversations short. Also, keep the handset, and the antenna, as far as we can from our heads. Headsets have become popular and car phones’ antennas are mounted outside the vehicle.

By Colleen S. Mills, M.D

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