October 20, 2016

Cell Phone Radiation?

Articles by Dr. Erdman are for informational purposes, and are not to be taken as specific medical advice.

Cell phones have become almost as necessary as water for some people. It seems most people use one every day. I’m sure you have heard some information connecting cell phone use to cancerous tumors. The cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared cell phones a class 2B “possible carcinogen” or cancer causing agent in 2011. Now, many things the WHO puts out are not to be relied upon, this may be no different. I can’t opine definitively one way or the other on this topic, but will simply present some food for thought; although it does appear that electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radio frequencies (RF) can damage cells.

There are many studies on the subject of RF-EMF exposure and the biological effects thereof. Cell phones emit this type of radiation. It is a non-ionizing radiation, meaning it does not break chemicals bonds, unlike x-rays which are ionizing radiation with known biological hazards that all would acknowledge. Some studies show no effect, but most of them were sponsored by the cell phone industry. Many other independent studies show all sorts of health problems form headaches to brain tumors, with young children being the most at risk.

In fact, 72% of industry funded studies showed no discernable effects on health, while 67% of independent studies did find biological effects. That’s how the pharmaceutical industry works, too.

But even before cell phones, all the way back in 1990, there were over two dozen studies on humans that indicated a link between EMF/RF to serious health problems, including childhood leukemia.

In 1977, there was a senate hearing on RF radiation and brain tumors. More recently, a large US government study found wireless radiation from mobile phones increased the risk of heart and brain tumors in mice.

Despite these findings people never think twice about using these devices or carrying them on their bodies all day long. These rat studies may not prove or disprove the theory, but what they did find is that the incidence of tumors and negative effects are dose dependent. That means that the higher the dose or use of EMF/RF, the more likely it was that tumors developed.

There are no conclusive causal links between cell phone radiation and serious health risks, but that does not mean they don’t exist. As the years pass and more data comes to light, I do believe there is risk in EMF/RF radiation. How much is not known, but remember it is dose dependent. That is why children are most threatened. There seems to be about a 10 year lag between the start of exposure to when symptoms can begin. Again, the earlier age you start with exposure, the more likely it is to have some effect.

Dr. Mercola gives a few pointers to reduce your exposure to this radiation. The first is to not allow young children to use a cell phone or other wireless devices. Keep your own cell phone/wireless use to a minimum. Limit your cell phone use to areas with excellent reception (more bars of signal) because the phone emits more radiation when low signal is present. Do not carry the phone directly on your person if possible. Do not use the wearable devices such as watches, ear pieces and goggles.  Put the phone in a purse and lay it away from your body at least 12 inches when not in use.

These are precautions you can adopt now, in case the current studies are a harbinger of serious problems yet to be found. Further study is needed, but it doesn’t look as if this type of radiation is harmless, and it may well be found to be harmful.