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Now Half the World Has a Cell Phone -- Why That is a Brain Tumor Epidemic Waiting to Happen

cell phones, mobile phonesThe number of mobile phone users worldwide soared to over 3.3 billion by the end of 2007, a total penetration rate of 49 percent.

Africa showed the greatest increase, and more than two-thirds of all cell phone subscribers now come from developing countries. Cell phones account for nearly 90 percent of all telephone use in Africa. India and China added 154 million and 143 million new subscribers respectively.

The global annual average growth rate for cell phone subscribers currently stands at 22 percent. However, subscriptions to mobile phone plans increased at a rate of 39 percent annually in Africa between 2005 and 2007, and the rate of increase in Asia over the same period was 28 percent.

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Dr. Mercola Dr. Mercola's Comments:
I cannot think of a more dangerous situation than this. This is the reason we are facing a brain cancer epidemic, which some scientists expect to grow to 500,000 cases by 2010, and over a million cases in the U.S. alone by 2015. Every time you use a cell phone, you are exposing your brain to dangerous and potentially cancer-causing radiation.

Study after study has shown the connection between cancer and cell phone use, and the information has been out there for a decade now. But cell phone companies have done their best to deny, obfuscate, or downplay the danger.  I guess they would rather put half the world at risk than put even a dime of their own profits at risk.

Ten Years of Known Danger

The dangers have been well known since at least 1998. In that year, Dr. George Carlo released the results of a massive research project that had been funded by the cell phone industry itself in an attempt to downplay cancer fears. To the industry’s dismay -- and also to their surprise, since they selected him assuming he was an industry shill, rather than the honest scientist he proved to be -- he came to the exact opposite conclusion from the one they were hoping for. His results included findings of:
  • A nearly 300 percent increase in the incidence of genetic damage when human blood cells were exposed to radiation in the cellular frequency band
  • A significant increase in cell phone users’ risk of brain tumors at the brain’s outer edge, on whichever side the cell phone was held most often
  • A 60 percent greater chance of acoustic neuromas, a tumor affecting the nerve that controls hearing, among people who had used cell phones for six years or more
  • A higher rate of brain cancer deaths among handheld mobile phone users than among car phone users (car phones are mounted on the dashboard rather than held next to your head)
These findings, which came well over a decade after cell phones were first introduced (before that there was no safety research at all), caused a shake-up in the scientific world. Soon, many more scientists confirmed Dr. Carlo’s findings.

In 2000, Swedish researchers found that cell phone users were almost two and a half times more likely to develop tumors near where they held their cell phone antenna than in any other portion of their brain. Similar studies were conducted in subsequent years on ever-larger groups of people, always with the same result.

An Italian study in 2002 found that radio waves caused leukemia cells to replicate ferociously after long exposure. In 2004, the massive REFLEX report on DNA damage from radio waves found that cells exposed to electromagnetic fields similar to those of cell phones showed a significant increase in single and double-strand DNA breaks. If I wanted to, I could list a mountain of research studies all pointing to the same conclusion -- exposure to cell phone radiation can cause brain cancer.

The Industry Strikes Back

The cell phone industry, of course, has long since corrected the “mistake” it made with Dr. Carlo, and funded a number of studies purporting to prove that cell phones are safe. For example, in 2006, they made sure headlines blared reports that an epidemiological study had “proven” cell phones can’t cause cancer.

However, a cursory reading of the study shows that it excluded heavy cell phone users from consideration, failed to differentiate between frequent use of cell phones and almost no use, and declared an improbably low rate of overall cancer that contradicts known statistics. After all that, it proudly concluded that it had found no increased risk for cell phone use. Well, no wonder.

Don’t be fooled by their lies. Holding a cell phone next to your head is as foolish as drinking a bottle of pesticide.

Protect Yourself and Your Children

Dr. George Carlo and I have recently finished writing Wireless Deception, which is the most up to date book in the world on this issue. It is currently in final editing and typesetting stages and we hope to have it out by the fall.

Even if you manage to avoid brain cancer, you may find yourself faced with other health problems both major and minor, such as headaches and dizziness, Alzheimer’s disease, autism and even impotence.

At this point, you cannot completely avoid wireless radiation from all sources; they pervade the environment. However, getting rid of your cell phone altogether can help protect you. But even if you don’t want to take that step, you can still minimize your exposure and reduce your risks by doing the following:

Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.

Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.

Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.

Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are no safer during calls, but at least they do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.
Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception Is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.

Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not In Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.

Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When It Is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.

Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient information carrying radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.

The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.