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Mobiles and cancer

During last decades the number of mobile users has increased rapidly. In general, the total number of mobile subscriptions all over the world is estimated by ITU (International Telecommunications Union) to be about 5 billion. This number is still growing every day. At the same time, over time the numbers of mobile calls per day, the length of each call and the amount of time people use mobiles per day are also increasing. Multiyear scientific laboratory tests found two types of tumors in male rats exposed to the same kind of radio frequencies emitted by the devices – tumors were found in brain and heart cells. Comprehensive USA government study on rats has found a link between mobiles and cancer.

It is on-going long-running debate about whether mobiles can cause cancer or other health problems. Why people are concerned? Are there any connections between mobiles and cancer? What lead to discussions about mobiles and cancer?

Mobiles and cancer – studies

Actually there are some scientific reasons why people are concerned – there are at least three known reasons why people are concerned that mobiles could trigger or cause certain types of cancer.

FIRST, modern mobiles emit radio waves (so called “radio-frequency energy”) which are a type of non-ionizing radiation coming from mobile’s antenna. It is known that body tissues nearest to the antenna can absorb radio-frequency energy. Exposure to ionizing radiation (similar to X-rays) is known to increase the risk of cancer.

SECOND, the consistently recognized biological effect of radio-frequency energy is heating. Mobile use can cause heating to mobile holding zones – head and ear. Regularly increased local temperature at head or ear could trigger development of cancerous cells.

THIRD, it was suggested that radio-frequency energy might affect glucose metabolism in human body. It is well known that sugar is the favorite “food” for malignant cells.

Mobiles use are classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” based on limited evidence from human studies, limited evidence from studies of radio-frequency energy and cancer in rodents, and inconsistent evidence from mechanistic studies.
Agency for Research on CancerExit Disclaimer (IARC), Working Group, 2011

Mobiles and cancer – children

Special attention should be paid to children. Mobiles became the important part of children life – necessary for communication, tool for games, messenger and even navigator.

Are children at risk? Do children have a higher risk of developing cancer due to mobiles use comparing with adults?

It is well known that children nervous systems are still developing and, therefore, they are more vulnerable to any negative factors that could cause cancer. At the same time, children heads are smaller than those of adults and consequently have a greater proportional exposure to the field of radio-frequency radiation that is emitted by mobiles. In addition, children have bigger potential of accumulating more years of mobile exposure than adults. Our grandparents start using mobiles after 45-50 and our children start playing with mobiles from 10-12 months. So, for our children and grandchildren the total duration of mobile use would be adequate to the life duration.

Mobiles and cancer – how to reduce risks

Mobiles and cancer

Health experts developed few advises which can reduce risks and exposure to radio-frequency energy:

  • Mobiles should be used only for short conversations or emergency situations,
  • Mobiles should be used only when you don’t have access to fixed telephone,
  • It is safer to use mobiles with wired headsets (hands-free technology),
  • Every time you use the mobile, keep it as far as possible from your head,
  • Don’t keep your mobile next to your bed (especially if charging),
  • During day better to keep your mobile in the bag (not in close to body pockets).

Mobiles and cancer – evidence

It should be mentioned that improvements in mobile technologies and mobile industry have resulted in devices that have lower power outputs than earlier models.

However, although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from several equipment (radar, microwave ovens, mobiles), there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risks in human body.

Individuals who are concerned about radio-frequency energy exposure can limit their exposure, including using an ear piece and limiting cell phone use, particularly among children.


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