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Your Cell Phone and Brain Tumors

August 06, 2009 | 64,325 views

Cell phones could double the risk of malignant brain tumors, one of the deadliest types of cancer. Learn about the explosion of brain tumors and the truth about the wireless society.
 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

In the last 20 years, cell phones have dramatically changed the way people communicate. Now you can stay in contact with your friends, family and colleagues 24/7, from virtually anywhere in the world.

But this convenience comes at a heavy cost, and one that could potentially end your life prematurely.

Few people realize this, but brain cancer has now surpassed leukemia as the number one cancer killer in children.

Australia has seen an increase in pediatric brain cancers of 21 percent in just one decade. This is consistent with studies showing a 40 percent brain tumor increase across the board in Europe and the U.K. over the last 20 years.

And around this time last year, the head of the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute -- Dr. Ronald B. Herberman -- issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

As it stands, cell phone use is only increasing, and it seems most people are reluctant to limit their cell phone use at all. But I suspect this is only because most people are not aware of the risks … or don’t believe them to be true.

If Cell Phones are Dangerous, Why Haven’t You Heard of the Risks?

This is a common argument by cell phone proponents. If cell phones were so bad, how could they possibly still be legal? Well, let me remind you that during the first half of the 20th century tobacco companies became the largest advertiser in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The “scientific” claims that were approved to run in these medical journal ads included such catchy phrases as:

  • "Just what the doctor ordered" (L&M cigarettes)
  • "For digestion's sake, smoke Camels" (it was said that Camel cigarettes would "stimulate the flow of digestive fluids")
  • "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette"
  • "Not a cough in a carload" (for Old Gold cigarettes)

It’s hard to believe, knowing what we do now about smoking, that ads like these ever existed. Yet they did, and no one gave a second thought to smoking cigarettes. It was simply accepted as safe and even healthy.

Sound familiar?

Right now you are likely one of the 3 billion people in the world who owns and uses a cell phone. Never before in history have people used this technology so frequently, and on an ongoing basis, nor have they been exposed to the EMR that come from all types of wireless technologies like we are, on a daily basis.

Yet, most everyone assumes cell phones are safe, largely because they have been reassured by scientists heavily influenced by the telecommunication industry. Why shouldn’t they, after all, as no big warnings have come out touting cell phone dangers.

Cell phones have been called the biggest public health issue since tobacco, and just as big tobacco did all they could to keep you convinced that cigarettes were healthy, the cell phone industry will do what’s necessary to make you believe cell phones are safe.

Not only are there companies making lots and lots of money off of cell phones -- who will do their best to spread misdirection, spin, and outright lies -- but the government agencies, which are in theory there to protect you, have also entered into mutually profitable “partnerships” with the very businesses they are supposed to regulate, meaning there is very little real regulation going on.

What Types of Risks Have Already Been Uncovered?

Ever growing scientific research corroborates the suspicion that radiation transmitted by cell phones and other wireless devices can:

Further, Herberman and Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University of Albany, told the U.S. House Subcommittee on Domestic Policy that use of cell phones may raise the risk of brain cancer.

The two scientists cited a major study presented by Dr. Lennart Hardell of Örebro University in Sweden, which stated that people using cell phones doubled their risk of developing brain cancer and acoustic neuromas, a tumor that damages the hearing nerve.

The study also showed that people who started using cell phones before the age of 20 years old were more than five times as likely to develop brain cancer.

Dr. David Carpenter, a physician who has researched and published more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals on the environmental causes of human disease, also testified about the scientific foundation for cautionary measures before the U.S. House Subcommittee.

The BioInitiative Report, to which Dr. Carpenter was co-editor, documents serious scientific concerns about the current limits regulating how much radiation is allowable from power lines, cell phones, and many other sources of exposure to radiofrequencies and electromagnetic fields in daily life.

It concludes that the existing standards for public safety are completely inadequate to protect your health. The report also includes studies showing evidence for:

  • Effects on gene and protein expression (Transcriptomic and Proteomic Research)
  • Genotoxic effects – RFR and ELF DNA damage
  • Stress response (stress proteins)
  • Effects on immune function
  • Effects on neurology and behavior
  • Brain tumors and acoustic neuromas
  • Childhood cancers (leukemia)
  • Magnetic field exposure: Melatonin production, Alzheimer’s disease, breast cancer
  • Breast cancer promotion (melatonin links in laboratory and cell studies)
  • Disruption by the modulating signal

Keep in mind that you are not only exposed to these dangers from cell phone use but also from other technologies including wireless Internet and cordless phones.

Children and Babies are Most at Risk

I hope that many of you reading this will take this warning to heart. The density of children’s skulls is far less than adults’, and their brains are more susceptible to damage from cell phone and wireless radiation. And a child in utero may be near defenseless against this damage.

Studies have already linked mothers’ cell phone use to their childrens’ behavioral problems, and I believe the increase in cell phone usage may be one of the primary causes of the autism epidemic.

So it’s very important that you keep cell phones away from infants, babies, children and pregnant women now, as the damage may not start showing up for 10 years or more, and by then it will be too late.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

The only real solution is to move our culture away from wireless technology. As for myself, I completely renovated my new home prior to moving in last year, and part of the project was to put in wired CAT-5 cables so I have no wireless connections at all. The Natural Health Center also has absolutely no wireless in the entire building.

Of course, I doubt all of society is going to abandon wireless technologies, so what you can do is follow these crucial tips to protect your brain and your health from cell phones:

  • Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.
  • Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are no safer during calls, but at least they do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.
  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception Is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not In Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When It Is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radiation and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.

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