The cell phone has provided an amazing safety net for citizens of almost all cultures across the world. The lives saved by the proliferation of cell phone communication is phenomenal — emergency calls, quick first responders, warnings of severe weather are only a few examples. However, the potential role of cell phones as an additional factor in oncogenesis (cancer creation) can't be dismissed.
The largest-ever study on the topic—the International Interphone study, which was conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and funded in part by cell phone companies, published in 2010, failed to find strong evidence that mobile phones increased the risk of brain tumors.
The IARC released a report in 2013, suggesting that there is a possibility of brain tumors amongst users of both mobile and cordless phones.
The new study published online October 28 in Pathophysiology, shows that the risk for glioma was tripled among those using a wireless phone for more than 25 years and that the risk was also greater for those who had started using mobile or cordless phones before age of 20 years.
This increased risk is due to greater exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. The brain is the main target of these emissions when these phones are used, with the highest exposure being on the same side of the brain where the phone is placed.
Children and adolescents are more exposed to radiation than adults because of their thinner skull bone and smaller head and the higher conductivity in their brain tissue. The brain is still developing up to about the age of 20 and until that time it is relatively vulnerable.
Radiation exposure increases dramatically when cell phone signals are weak.
"It's a bad habit to go to bed with your smartphone."
It's time we minimized our risks.
Using hands-free phones with the "loud speaker" feature and text messaging instead of phoning should always be encouraged in appropriate settings.
"Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone" - Steven Spielberg.