The Cell Phone Controversy
Cell Phones And Cancer
Ever since the advent of the cell phone many believe that cancer in its many forms increases with each new user. Now, the medical community as well as International Association For Research On Cancer have definitive findings that the cell phones and cell phone towers themselves all have had a hand in the increase of cancer rates all over the world. In order to understand the risks involved in contracting any form of cancer from cell phones one has to know just how cell phones today operate. All cell phones emit radio frequency energy, that much we know or should know. This form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation which is absorbed by tissues closest to where the phone is held is the main factor that puts light on the fact that cancer can be developed. A focal point of cancer research. The amount of radio frequency energy a cell phone user is exposed to depends on the technology of the phone, the distance between the phone’s antenna and the user, the extent and type of use, and the user’s distance from cell phone towers.
The questions that need direct answers are many. One of the most concerning is, how does continued cell phone use cause cancer and other health related problems? There are many reasons why people should be wary of the over use of cell phones. First of all cell phones really do emit radio frequency energy, commonly known as radio waves. They really are a form of non-ionizing radiation. Tissues nearest to where the phone is held will absorb this type of energy. As it stands today the number of cell phone users continues to rise. Just as recently as two years ago there were more than 303 million people subscribed to any number of cell phone services in the United States. Today, we have added another 100 million users. According to the International Telecommunications Union world wide usage tops 5 billion. With so may people using cell phones, the number of calls per day, the length of each call, and the amount of time people use their cell phones have all increased dramatically over the last few years. Cancer rates too have only increased. A connection? Something to think about.
Secondly, we have to understand just how radio frequency energy works and how it affects the human body. It is this radio frequency energy that is actually a form of electromagnetic radiation. Electromagnetic radiation is either ionizing, like X-rays, or non-ionizing, which are extremely low level frequency radio waves. The problems begin with the exposure to ionizing radiation which is known to increase the risks of getting cancer. Many studies over the past few years have had inconclusive evidence that non-ionizing radiation causes cancer. Inconclusive, but just more recently after evaluating several studies on the possibility of a connection between cellphones and glioma and a noncancerous brain tumor known as acoustic neuroma, members of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, agreed that there's limited evidence that cellphone radiation is a cancer-causing agent, a carcinogenic. As a result, the group classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to people. This finding was based on the evidence from human studies, from studies of radio frequency energy and cancer in rodents along with studies from genotoxicity. Together with the effects on the immune system, gene and protein expression, cell signaling, oxidative stress and apoptosis, with the studies of the possible effects of radio frequency energy on the blood brain barrier all resulted in the fact that cancer was more prone to develop than not with continued cell phone usage.
With so many people subscribing to cell phones today our youth, one of the largest segments of the population with cell phones, have the potential to be at a greater risk than adults for developing brain cancer, especially with so many now relying on their cell phones. What makes this so disturbing is the fact that their nervous systems are still developing and therefore more vulnerable to factors that increase the probability they will contract cancer. Their heads are smaller than those of adults and therefore have a greater proportional exposure to the field of radio frequency radiation that is emitted by cell phones. And, children have the potential of accumulating more years of cell phone exposure than adults do. It should also be noted that the rise of breast cancer can also be linked to the fact that so many women store their cell phones in their bras. Again, something to be concerned about.
Another fact to contend with the rising rates of cancer and cell phone usage are the cell phone towers themselves. Researchers from the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Spain are conducting another international study, called Mobil Kids. This study is to evaluate the risks associated with new communications technologies including cell phones and other environmental factors in young people newly diagnosed with brain tumors at ages 10 to 24 years. From this study there has been strong evidence that support the findings that cell phone usage and the proximity of cell phone towers contribute to the rising rates of cancer especially in children and young adults.
Could exposure to radiation from cell phone towers really be responsible for over 7,000 cancer deaths? According to research findings from Brazil, the facts speak for themselves. There was just recently a report that established a direct link between cancer deaths in Belo Horizonte, Brazil’s third largest city, with the cell phone network. Over 80 percent of those who succumbed to certain types of cancer resided approximately a third of a mile away from one of the hundreds of cell phone antennae that spread all over the city. These cancers, primarily found in the prostate, breasts, lungs, kidneys, liver, are the ones associated with exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This is a real concern for cell phone users and even non cell phone users alike. Those who shun mobile phone technology still will suffer the consequences of cell phone tower radiation.
There have been cell phone tower studies which examined the relationship between radiation exposure and cancer rates were conducted in the cities of San Francisco, Austria, Germany, and Israel, dating as far back as the 1970s. All of these studies shared similar findings that living within a certain proximity to a cell phone tower increased the risk of cancer anywhere from two to 121 times depending on what type of cancer was detected.
Adilza Condessa Dode, PhD, one of the engineering researchers as well as the coordinator of a Brazilian study, addresses the fact that the levels of EMF's emitting from cell phone towers are already too high and that the closer one lives to a cell phone tower the greater the contact with the electromagnetic field.
The citizens of the of United States are just as vulnerable too. America is home to hundreds of thousands of these radiation emitting towers. In the U.S., with the proliferation of cell phones and the growing needs of cell phone users in recent years, there has been an explosion in cell towers. A growing number of organizations and many more studies support the conclusions of the Brazilian study. The International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC), based upon findings from research conducted by an international think tank, came to the conclusion that radio frequency radiation, including the radiation spewing from cell towers, is a possible carcinogen. The BioInitiative 2012 Report written by a group of leading independent international scientists has put out an unequivocal health warning against exposure to EMFs. This includes exposures from cell phone towers.
Why are cell phone towers so instrumental in increasing the risks of cancer? The threat comes from the constant nature of the activity of the towers; they emit pulsed radio frequency radiation. This radiation has been shown in thousands of studies to cause biological damage to the body and to be a precursor to disease. What are some of the dangers (besides cancer), which result from this damage and are associated with EMFs and cell phone antennae? They are
- Genetic mutations
- Memory disruptions
- Hindered learning
- Brain disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
- Heart complications
These dangers clearly make it imperative to take action.
What we can say though is that cell towers and their implantation need effective regulation in terms of location and radiation levels. The 1996 Telecommunications Act (TCA), does not qualify the public’s right to protest cell tower locations based on health hazards. This act has been instrumental in why cancer rates continue to rise. Profit and money continues to be the motivation of where cell phone towers are put. The public has a right to know and decide when and where Cell towers should be located. And that includes locating them away from residential areas and far away from schools and day care centers. Only then will we see a reduction in cell phone related cancers.