Mobile phone use: if not cancer, then what?

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

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cell-headset1This is the third in a series of posts on mobile phone use. Although most studies report that mobile phone use does not cause cancer, it cannot be denied that mobile telephony has changed our lives and is leaving its footprint/handprint in our lifestyle. Here are some of effects of mobile telephony on our health that are not related to cancer:


Some people claim to be “electrosensitive” and reported to suffer from a range of symptoms ranging from headaches to insomnia when exposed to mobile phone radiation.

In 2007, American and Swedish researchers reported that mobile phone use can cause sleeping disturbances, especially the deep phases of sleep. In 2008 however, the German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) declared that there is no evidence that link mobile phone radiation to ailments described by “electrosensitive” individuals based on current research evidence.

Vehicular accidents

Mobile phone use is significantly linked to increased incidence of traffic accidents, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In many countries, phoning while driving has been declared illegal. It is therefore recommended to use headsets or speaker phones when driving.

Blood-brain barrier

Some studies report that mobile radiation affects the so-called blood-brain barrier. Mobile phone use has been observed to cause changes in brain activity, reaction times, and sleeping patterns. These effects are small and have no apparent health significance. More studies are in progress to try to confirm these findings., according to WHO.

Medical devices

Mobile phone use has been observed to interfere with certain devices, including aircraft electronics but also medical devices pacemakers, implantable defibrillators, and certain hearing aids. It has been shown for, example, that magnets in phone speakers, headsets and earphones can interfere with pacemakers when worn close to the heart, e.g. in a shirt pocket.

Now, before you dismiss these issues as “nothing”, just because they don’t have anything to do with cancer, a word of caution from the National Cancer Institute:

“…because cellular phone use is still relatively new, cancers that take a long time to develop would not have been picked up by studies done to date so it is important that further studies be conducted.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.

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