Mobile Phones and Cancer

Epidemiological studies have begun to show us that low-frequency, non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation correlates with cancer. *

In recent years, a significant share of research into EMF radiation has investigated the impact of mobile phones and cancer.

In 2009, the Journal of Clinical Oncology published findings of a team of seven scientists, who reviewed 23 epidemiological studies on the link between mobile phones and cancer. The team concluded:

although as a whole the data varied, among the 10 higher quality studies, we found a harmful association between cell [mobile] phone use and tumor risk [cancer]. The lowest quality studies, which failed to meet scientific best practices, were primarily industry funded.
The 13 studies that investigated cell phone use fo 10 or more years found a significant harmful association with tumor risk, especially for brain tumors, giving us ample reason for concern about long-term use.

The point about long term exposure is important, many industry funded studies are based on short term exposure and these studies often conclude there is no link between mobile phones and cancer (or indeed other sources of EMF). These results also suggest that, as with tobacco smoke, cancer may be a long-term result based on repeated and/or extended exposures to EM radiation sources.

Other recent research out of Israel reinforces these findings. Israelis are heavy mobile phone users who, on average, increased cell phone usage six-fold between 1997 and 2006. In 2008 Dr. Siegal Sadetzki published a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology that concluded heavy mobile phone users (at least 22 hours per month) were at least 50% more likely to develop cancer of the parotid gland (one of the salivary glands) than those who never or rarely used mobile phones.

In 2011 a review of deaths between 1970 and 2006 from Israel’s National Cancer Registry found that ‘the total number of parotid gland cancers in Israel increased from 4-fold from 1970 to 2006, whereas other major salivary gland cancers remained constant. This result can be thought of as a control experiment. During this period, when parotid gland cancer was inceasing in Israel along with mobile phone use, cancer of the submandibular and sublingual glands (shielded from mobile phone radiation by the jaw bone and tongue, respectively remained constant.

mobile phones and cancer

mobile phones and cancer

* Adapted from ‘Overpowered – What science tells us about the dangers of cell phones and other WiFi-age devices‘  by Martin Blank, PhD.

So what can you do to protect yourself from mobile phones and cancer?

  • Use an airtube headset or speaker mode
  • Disable wireless and data when not needed
  • Put the mobile phone into ‘airplane mode’ when not needed at all
  • Do not keep your mobile phone in your pocket
  • Turn off the mobile phone (or ‘airplane’ mode) at night before sleeping
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