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To Your Health

Phone Messages, Part II

06/01/2012 - Hello Again! Well I hope you enjoyed the first part of this article (published in the last issue). I am relaying some information from an article entitled "Risk of Brain Tumors From Wireless Phone Use", Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, 2010. Now I would like to give you some more highlights from the authors:

"Exposure of the brain depends on the type of phone and position of the antenna but tends to be highest in the temporal lobe and insular region and overlying skull, scalp, and parotid gland tissues. Irrespective of the type of phone, exposure is highest on the side of the head against which the cell phone is held and seems to be even higher in children owing to thinner scalps and skulls, increased water content of their brain, and lower brain volume."

There are 11 published studies examining long-term cell phone use (i.e., use for 10 years) and the risk of developing a brain tumor. Cell phone studies that claim they are safe may be flawed because the studies did not consider the following factors:

Cell phone radiation is higher in rural areas. Cordless phones, walkie-talkies, ham radio transmitters, and other devices are treated as unexposed, "although in fact, they are exposed."

Now I can add at least another half to full page of info but I want to put the brakes on here and ask what is the percentage of risk? Is it 10? 20? 5? or 1? That's what I meant when I said I was frustrated in the writing of this article. I felt that there is a risk. On some individuals it may be slim. Others may be at greater risk. And that may have nothing to do with phone usage so I hope you can understand that there is something here. However, I am not comfortable with a blanket statement. So what I'd like to do is at least give some suggestion that may minimize the risk if by chance you may be more sensitive to these things.

Steps to limit exposure to electromagnetic energy from cell phones:

(1) Limit the use of cell phones to essential calls and keep calls short.

(2) Children should be allowed to use a cell phone in cases of emergency only. Because of their developing skulls, the radiation can penetrate much more deeply.

(3) Wear an air tube headset (not a regular wire headset). The regular wired headset has been found to intensify radiation into the ear canal. The wire not only transmit the radiation from the cell phone but also serves as an antenna, attracting electromagnetic frequencies from the surroundings.

(4) Do not put the cell phones in a pocket or a belt while it is on . The body tissue in the lower body area has good conductivity and absorbs radiation more quickly than the head. One study shows that men who wear cell phones near the groin could have their sperm count dropped by as much as 30%.

(5) Do not make a call when the signal strength is one bar or less, which means the phone must work harder to establish a connection.

(6) Purchase a phone with a low specific absorption rate. Most Phones have a low specific absorption rate level listed in the instruction manual. The low specific absorption rate is a way of measuring the quanity of radiofrquency energy that is absorbed by the body.

(7) Use text instead of talk. (Not while driving!)

Now a final note: I looked at the information that came with my son's new phone. It said that there is no known effect in the studies it quoted. Remember that some of the studies that state this were heavily funded by the phone manufacturers. ICNIRP and FCC state there is no effect but the authors state, "The existing International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC) exposure limits are based on a false premise that only thermal effects cause harm"

Now if you are perplexed with this information, I don't blame you. Just mull it over. If you are content, fine. If you are like me, and you do think there may be a risk, you can take some sort of action. Well, gotta go. Until next month, see ya!

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