Cell phone risks still unclear

Better evaluation of health risks associated with cell phones is necessary.

August 3, 2000

NEW YORK, August 2 (Praxis Press) Wireless phones emit radiofrequency radiation (RFR) and have been linked to adverse health effects; however, regulatory agencies have yet to formalize health and safety guidelines for these devices. Carlo and colleagues evaluated the peer-reviewed literature addressing the safety of wireless technology. Although RFR emissions from cell phone antennae do not cause DNA breaks, they do cause chromosomal damage in human lymphocytes. One cohort study identified a nonsignificant, but more than three-fold increased risk of brain cancer mortality among handheld cellular phone users relative to car phone users. Another study identified a significant increase in the risk of neuroepithelial brain tumors among cellular phone users relative to non-users; furthermore, tumor laterality was linked to the side of cell phone use. These findings underscore the need for a formal reporting system; cell phone studies in children and pregnant women; surveillance for any cell phone-associated adult-onset leukemia; and re-evaluation of the usefulness of RFR absorption metrics.

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