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Cell Phones

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Cell Phone Study Was Flawed, Say Some Experts “The use of cell phones, and their possible detrimental effect on human health, is an issue that remains unresolved. A recent study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2011;103:1264-1276), concluded that children and adolescents who use cell phones are not at an increased risk for brain tumors, but several experts are disputing these findings. A report issued by L. Lloyd Morgan, BSc, senior research fellow at the Environmental Health Trust, and colleagues found that rather than showing no risk for brain tumors, the study's results indicate that an increased risk for brain cancer is a "major concern." Mr. Morgan and coauthors Ronald Herberman, MD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the UPMC Cancer Center, in Pennsylvania, and Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, president of Environmental Health Trust, note that the study's results are flawed and mislead the public. They explain that these errors should have been picked up during the peer-review process and by the journal, because the results and conclusion sections of the paper contradict the actual reported results. Several cell phone companies provided funding for this study, and some of the study's authors are known to be linked to industry and to other research that supports the interests of the industry, the report points out. …However, Dr. Davis pointed out that they weren't likely to find an association between cell phone use and brain cancer in young children because brain tumors can take 10 or more years to form. "Young children have not been heavy users of cell phones for that long," she said. "It is ridiculous to look at cell phone use in a 7 year old. What were they, 2 years old when they started using their cell phones?" … Dr. Davis also emphasized that aside from brain tumors, other studies have linked cell phones to serious health risks in children, including learning problems, autism, behavioral impacts, insomnia, attention disorders, and a broad array of disturbances to the developing nervous system. … Another expert, Joel Moskowitz, PhD, director of the Center for Family and Community Health at the University of California, Berkeley, agrees that the findings of the study have been downplayed. "This report and the editorial are another example of biased reporting," he said in an interview. "The results actually verify higher tumor risks for children but the findings are downplayed. They dismiss any evidence or prior evidence of increased risk and harm, and then the media plays it out as either being not conclusive evidence or no evidence." Dr. Moskowitz noted several glaring problems with the study, which are in line with the findings of Mr. Morgan and colleagues. "In a subset of patients who had cell phone records available, there was more than a doubling of risk," he said. “

Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: No Link, But Is Study Flawed? “The latest study on cancer and cell phones — the largest to date — has found no evidence of an overall increase in brain tumors or any cancers over an 18-year period. However, a group of experts says that the study is seriously flawed, and declares that it should be "condemned as misleading spin." … "This seriously flawed study misleads the public and decision makers about the safety of [cell] phone use. I consider that their claims are worthless," Denis L. Henshaw, PhD, emeritus professor of human radiation effects, University of Bristol, United Kingdom, states in the document. "From the way it was set up originally, this deeply flawed study was designed to fail to find an increased risk of brain tumors tied [to] cell phone use. In order for any study of a relatively rare disease like brain tumors to find a change in risk, millions must be followed for decades. By extending an earlier analysis on the same group of cell phone users, this new report provides unsurprising, biased, and misleading conclusions," explains Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, cancer epidemiologist and president of Environmental Health Trust, in the document. A serious concern about this study is the choice of individuals in the control group, the group of experts asserts. The Danish researchers compared the rates of brain tumors that occurred from 1990 to 2007 in those who began using cell phones after 1987 with the rates in those who were nonsubscribers when the study started. "This understates risk, because most of those who began as 'nonsubscribers' to cell phone service (i.e., the 'controls' at the time the cohort was collected) became cell phone users later on, and accumulated almost as many years (on average per person) as the 'exposed' subscribers. Hence, the comparison to the population not contained in the subscriber sample is a comparison between 2 exposed groups. When Michael Kundi and colleagues from the Medical University of Vienna mathematically corrected for this concern in an earlier report from this Danish study, they found a significantly increased risk for brain tumors," the group writes. This concern about the control group is raised in the editorial, which describes it as a "weakness" of the study. The misclassification of subscribers and nonsubscribers "would dilute any association between [cell-]phone use and cancer risk, and this is important for a negative study like the current one," they note. "However, for long-term users, this misclassification would have only a small effect: long-term users who did not hold personal subscriptions would make up a small proportion of the reference population," they assert.”

Cellphone Use Tied to Changes in Brain Activity

Does Cell Phone Exposure Weaken Bone Density? “If you wear your cell phone on your hip, or carry it in your pocket, you may be weakening the bones in your body that are in closest proximity to the device. At least, that’s what a new study suggests. The study found men who routinely wear their cell phone on their belt on the right side have reduced bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) in the right hip, according to the study by Dr. Fernando D. Sravi of National University of Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina. "The different patterns of right-left asymmetry in femoral bone mineral found in mobile cell phone users and nonusers are consistent with a nonthermal effect of electromagnetic radiofrequency waves not previously described," Sravi writes.”

Does Long-Term Cell Phone Use Lead to Brain Tumors? “Although debate continues, independent studies with long-term follow-up strongly suggest an increased risk of brain tumors related to the use of cellular or cordless phones. "We conclude that the current standard of exposure to microwave during mobile phone use is not safe for long-term exposure and needs to be revised," conclude the study authors, led by R.B. Dubey of Apeejay College of Engineering, Sohna, Gurgaon, India. Brain Tumor Risk May Double after 10 Years of Cell Phone Use …”

Experts Say Cellphones Are Possibly Carcinogenic

Group Concludes That Cell Phones Are Possibly Carcinogenic

One in Six Mobile Phones in the UK Is Contaminated With Fecal Bacteria, Researchers Found

Study: Cell Phones Exceed Exposure Limits For Children


Wake-Up Call


Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism (JAMA 2011)

Effects of the Exposure to Mobile Phones on Male Reproduction: A Review of the Literature. (J Androl. 2011)

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