Are Cell Phones the New Cigarettes?
With a seemingly strange comparison on the surface, new studies are showing cell phones to be a leading health threat, a position cigarettes once occupied in the 20th century.
Recall:ï¿½ in the past 50 years, people not only thought cigarettes were harmless, but some were actually led to believe they were healthy!
Camel advertised the claim that ï¿½more doctors smoke Camel than any other brandï¿½; Kent cigarettes claimed that ï¿½more scientists and educators prefer Kent over any other brandï¿½; and some brands even claimed that cigarettes could relieve asthma, hay fever, halitosis, head colds and throat diseases! While all of these pseudoscience claims sound ludicrous today, prior to the 1960ï¿½s, the cigarette industry had free rein to promote their product as such.
In 1964 the Surgeon General released a staggering report based on over 7,000 scientific studies that linked smoking to lung cancer, emphysema and other health problems. This report led to the changes in the laws regarding cigarettes and advertised health claims, and to whom corporations could market their cigarettes.Still, if you ask a tobacco industry executive today if their product is healthy, they would probably deny any danger in using their product.
What does all of this have to do with cell phones?
New studies on cell phones and their potential harm are slowly piling up, but like the tobacco industry of the 1950ï¿½s, special interests are now covering it up, denying any links, and still claiming that cell phones are safe to use and do not negatively affect the health of users. You may see more and more studies emerge, and just like tobacco, more and more denials and attempts to divert the attention of consumers.
The latest report issued by the International Electromagnetic Field Collaborative has been endorsed by 43 scientists from 13 countries who reviewed evidence that links cell phone use with brain cancer. In the report, a Swedish study found people who used cell phones or cordless phones as a teenager have a 420 percent higher chance of developing brain cancer than those who did not.
The Cellular Telephone Industry Association conducted a multi-million dollar research study and found a significant increase in a cell phone userï¿½s risk of brain tumors, with more tumors located on whichever side of the head the user typically held the phone. People who used cell phones for six years or more were found to have a 60 percent higher chance of acoustic neuromas, a tumor that affects the nerves that control hearing. Brain cancer deaths were also found to be higher in cell phone users than those who used car phones, which are mounted to the dash board.
Brain cancer rates are soaring in western countries, with Europe and the United Kingdom seeing a 40 percent increase in brain tumor occurrence, and Australia seeing a 21 percent increase in pediatric brain cancer in only ten years. Brain cancer has now passed leukemia as the number one cancer killer of children.
How can a cell phone possibly be so dangerous?
Electromagnetic radiation is the culprit behind the danger of cell phone use, so anything that is ï¿½wirelessï¿½ poses a potential health risk. Cell phones are simply the most pervasive forms of electromagnetic radiation in everyday life. There are ways you can avoid suffering from the damage of cell phone use - aside fromï¿½ simply not using them, which may be difficult in this hyperconnected age. When possible, use landlines.
Consider getting a landline in your home with a cord phone, and use your work phone rather than the cell phone. Because children have thinner skulls, they are far more vulnerable to electromagnetic radiation, and should never use cell phones. Every wireless device emits electromagnetic radiation, so consider reducing the number of wireless objects in your home. This could mean getting a LAN cable for your Internet rather than using a wireless network and using a corded headset or speakerphone setting on your cell phone rather than holding the phone.
- When you use your cell phone, use it only where the signal is strong; a weaker signal means itï¿½s using more power and emitting more radiation.
- Keep your cell phone away from your body when it is on, such as in your purse or somewhere else at least 6 inches away.
- Donï¿½t sleep with your cell phone near you, especially not on your nightstand or under your pillow.
- Text messaging rather than calling can reduce cancer risk, and anyone under 18 should text more than talk on the cell phone to decrease risk further.
- Remember: even when they are not in use, cell phones still emit radiation. So turn your cell phone off when you're not using it.
Unfortunately, self-protection is the best you can do to defend yourself right now. The US government and cell phone industry are powerful partners with billions of dollars at stake, though some local governments, such as San Francisco, California, are taking steps to promote awareness of cell phone dangers, such as new labeling laws that require a disclaimer on the packaging of all new cell phones. For now, you and your family will do well to practice using cell phones only for emergencies.
Sources: http://transform-drugs.blogspot.com/2008/10/pseudoscience-tobacco-advertsing-from.html http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1904624,00.html http://www.naturalnews.com/028078_cell_phones_brain_cancer.html http://emf.mercola.com/sites/emf/archive/2010/02/04/cell-phones-are-the-cigarettes-of-the-21st-century.aspx