Davis DL, Kesari S, Soskolne CL, Miller AB, Stein Y. Swedish review strengthens grounds for concluding that radiation from cellular and cordless phones is a probable human carcinogen. Pathophysiology. 2013 May 7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23664410
With 5.9 billion cell phones in use worldwide, Dr. Devra Davis and her colleagues from four nations in a peer-reviewed paper published in the journal, Pathophysiology, discuss why the evidence is now sufficient to categorize mobile phone (i.e. cell phones and cordless phones) radiation as a “probable human carcinogen” (Group 2A).
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone and other wireless devices a “possible human carcinogen," (Group 2B).
(In April of this year, the WHO issued a 400-plus page monograph that provides the rationale for the "possible human carcinogen" classification for mobile phone radiation. In January, the European Environment Agency issued a 750-page report. One chapter addresses the mobile phone radiation research and issues specific recommendations. See the links below for my summaries of these two reports.)
Recent published papers that take into account the limitations of the earlier research find that brain tumor risk is significantly elevated among those who used mobile phones for at least a decade, and greater risk is found among those who started using mobile phones before the age of 20.
The authors argue that “no other environmental carcinogen has produced evidence of an increased risk in just one decade.” They estimate the cost for treating a single case of brain cancer from $100,000 to $1 million in the U.S. Resources available to treat brain cancer are limited in this country, and oncology services are even more limited in many other countries.
Children’s brains have higher water content and have thinner skulls than adult brains. Moreover, imaging data suggest that the child’s brain is “more susceptible to the effects of EMF exposure at microwave frequencies.”
“Many nations, phone manufacturers, and expert groups, advise prevention in light of these concerns by taking the simple precaution of ‘distance’ to minimize exposures to the brain and body.” Resources based on these advisories can be found at www.ehtrust.org.
The authors call on all governments to issue more stringent regulations on mobile phone radiation and to fund more research to study this health risk.
Finally, the authors remind us that “brain cancer is the proverbial ‘tip of the iceberg’; the rest of the body is also showing effects other than cancers.”
The paper concludes with the following "practical advice for the public:
- Don’t hold a cellphone directly up to your head. Use a headset or speakerphone when using the device, or a non-metal case that has been independently tested to reduce radiation up to 90%.
- Pregnant women should keep cellphones away from their abdomen and men who wish to become fathers should not keep these phones on while in their pocket.
- Don’t allow children to play with or use your cellphone. Older children should use a headset or speakerphone when talking on a cellphone.
- Do not text and drive and only use specially adapted antennas when using mobile phones in cars to avoid absorbing maximum power as the phone moves from one cell system to another. When buying a new car, pay attention that the car has a built-in antenna that reduces your direct exposure.
- Turn off your wireless router at night to minimize exposure to radiation."