Cell Phone can be a cause of cancer?

by | Health & Fitness |

Cell Phone can be a cause of cancer?

Cell Phones have been around for three decades now. Cell phones first became widely available in the United States in the 1990s, but their use has increased dramatically since then. Along with the large and still growing number of cell phone users (both adults and children), the amount of time people spend on their phones has also risen sharply in recent time.

And, there are some reasons why people are concerned that cell phones might have the potential to cause certain types of cancer or other health problems.

 

Cell phones emit radiofrequency energy, which is a form of non-ionizing radiation, according to the National Cancer Institute. The body tissue closest to the antenna can absorb this energy. That’s why there have been so many studies about whether cell phones increase someone’s risk for malignant (cancerous) or benign brain tumors.

Generally, cell phones work by sending signals to (and receiving them from) nearby cell towers (base stations) using RF waves. This is a form of electromagnetic energy that falls between FM radio waves and microwaves. Like FM radio waves, microwaves, visible light, and heat, RF waves are a form of non-ionizing radiation. They don’t have enough energy to cause cancer by directly damaging the DNA inside cells. RF waves are different from stronger (ionizing) types of radiation such as x-rays, gamma rays, and ultraviolet (UV) light, which can break the chemical bonds in DNA.

At very high levels, RF waves can heat up body tissues. But the levels of energy given off by cell phones are much lower and are not enough to raise temperatures in the body. The RF waves are strongest at the antenna and lose energy quickly as they travel away from the phone. The phone is typically held against the side of the head when in use. The closer the antenna is to the head, the greater a person’s expected exposure to RF energy. The body tissues closest to the phone absorb more energy than tissues farther away.

Cell phones usually are held near the head when being used, the main concern has been whether they might cause or contribute to tumors in this area.

 

Numerous epidemiologic studies have investigated whether cell phone emissions increase someone’s risk of cancer. The results have been inconclusive. The National Cancer Institute says “A limited number of studies have shown some evidence of statistical association of cell phone use and brain tumor risks, but most studies have found no association.” The federal agency says there are discrepancies because of recall bias, inaccurate reporting, morbidity, and mortality, changing technology and the way people use cell phones.

One thing researchers do agree on is that there is currently no evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases a person’s cancer risk. Research shows that it does not cause DNA damage that can lead to cancer.

 

But a growing number of experts believe this classification does not sufficiently protect the public. Then there are thousands of peer-reviewed studies which support the claim that cell phones cause cancer. Cell phone radiation exposure has been principally linked to two types of brain tumors − gliomas and acoustic neuromas.

According to The Telegraph, scientists at the Physicians’ Health Initiative for Radiation and Environment (PHIRE) said the increasing rate of tumors in the frontal temporal lobe “raises the suspicion that mobile and cordless phone use may be promoting gliomas”.

 

Earlier this year, a survey conducted in India revealed that 65% of its participants considered smartphones to be their best friend. Yes, let that sink in. Most people would rather communicate with an electronic device than a living, breathing human being. That’s how much we’ve grown to be dependent on technology, and especially on our smartphones.

Apart from cancer and a brain tumor, there are concerns in the medical community that excess smartphone usage can lead to early deafness, memory loss and even interfere with the nervous system.

In May 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, UN member states, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The scientists requested they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk. These exposures are a rapidly growing form of national and worldwide environmental pollution.

 

Perhaps the biggest red flag is the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. In 2011, the WHO finally took a position on the issue and classified cell phone radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen. True, the WHO did only classify cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, not a probable carcinogen.

Perhaps the biggest red flag is the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. In 2011, the WHO finally took a position on the issue and classified cell phone radiation as a possible 2B carcinogen. True, the WHO did only classify cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, not a probable carcinogen.

The UK follows a set of international safety standards, which restrict the number of electromagnetic radiation people can be exposed to. The exposure you would get from a base station is usually at least a hundred times below international guidelines.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) looked at all the research and classified mobile phones as a ‘possible cause of cancer’ (group 2B). They felt there wasn’t enough evidence to come to a clear conclusion. Some studies have seen a link between mobile phone use and some types of brain cancer. But the largest studies, which are generally more reliable than smaller ones, have shown no link with any type of cancer. There still aren't any good explanations for how mobile phones could cause cancer.

 

There’s no good evidence that wireless internet (wi-fi) could cause cancer. There has been some media speculation that wi-fi could cause cancer but this isn’t supported by evidence. Like mobile phones, Wifi uses radio waves to send information. The radio waves produced by Wi-Fi are very low power, much lower than those given off by mobile phones, and well within international guidelines.

However, research in this field is still ongoing and experts are unable to rule out the dangers of long-term mobile phone use. There was not enough evidence to come to a clear decision.

So, we will keep looking for any new evidence.

Thank you!