Being Mobile Savy Link to Cancer- WHO Report

19 May 2010, Comments: | Views: 4190 | | Category: Technical News, Health

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 Be cautious - it's Not So Cool !!!

JUST half an hour a day on your mobile phone can increase the risk of brain cancer by a third, according to a landmark report.

This is one perception of the Scientific report  - but as usual it comes with a catch -- " There are no health adversities as of now but further studies are required to confirm . " The health problems related with  mobile phones is more or less evident-- i too often experience itching in ears and mild pains after long calls.These are just short term problems. But there are some evidences that there can be long term health problems too. Please go through - the below write up to know more..

Mobile or cellular phones are now an integral part of modern telecommunications. In many countries, over half the population use mobile phones and the market is growing rapidly. At the end of 2009, there were an estimated 4.6 billion subscriptions globally. In some parts of the world, mobile phones are the most reliable or the only phones available.

Given the large number of mobile phone users, it is important to investigate, understand and monitor any potential public health impact.As a result, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) coordinated a feasibility study in 1998 and 1999, which concluded that an international study of the relationship between mobile phone use and brain tumour risk would be feasible and informative.

Interphone was therefore initiated in 2000 as an international set of case-control studies in 13 countries around the world focusing on four types of tumours in tissues that most absorb RF energy emitted by mobile phones: tumours of the brain (glioma3 and meningioma4), of the acoustic nerve (schwannoma5), and of the parotid gland. The objective was to determine whether mobile phone use increases the risk of these tumours. Interphone is the largest case control study of mobile phone use and brain tumours yet and includes the largest numbers of users with at least 10 years of exposure.  

The Result 

Though the conclusion was carefully drafted so that No sweeping remarks can be made. But a regular normal lay man perception of the result is " JUST half an hour a day on your mobile phone can increase the risk of brain cancer by a third, according to a landmark report."

The £15million Interphone report, by the World Health Organisation, found those in the heaviest user category were in greater danger of developing malignant glioma tumours, which account for half of all brain tumours in the UK.

But the report’s definition of heavy use is just 30 minutes a day and regular use was at least one call per week over a six-month period. No victims under 30 were interviewed, with the researchers admitting many young people use mobiles for an hour or more every day. They found that tumours were more common on the side of the head where the phone was used. Campaigners have warned the real risk may be much higher because the study did not look at other tumours including acoustic neuromas, which grow in the ears.

Sarah Wright, spokeswoman for campaign group Mast Sanity, said: “They are only looking at two types of tumours. Other reports have come up with an average that doubled the risk and this Interphone study gives a 40 per cent increased risk. “Twenty to 30 years ago, brain tumours were virtually unknown but two surgeons in Australia say they have seen a huge increase.” She said evidence showed the number diagnosed was increasing by two per cent every year. The Interphone report, which has been largely funded by the mobile phone industry, was based on interviews in 13 countries over 10 years with 5,000 brain cancer victims or a friend or relative of those who had died or were too ill to be quizzed.  

Experts are calling for a ban for the young and warning labels. Dr Grahame Blackwell, a spokesman for health charity WiredChild, said: “It’s time for the Government to stop saying, like the mobile industry, ‘we need more research’, to put warnings on mobile phone packaging and to issue cautions over children, similar to those in other countries. “Parents just don’t realise the dangers, which go beyond brain tumours, and the Government needs to inform them because the manufacturers certainly won’t.” Cancer Research UK advises there is no proven link. But Professor Denis Henshaw, head of the Human Radiation Effects Group at Bristol University, said: “Why should it come as a surprise that pressing mobile phones to people’s ears increases the risk of brain tumours? These findings are completely as expected.”  

What We Have to Do 

We all are Mobile Savy (Please Note that by savy it means just half an hour per day .. not hours per day) . It's part of our life and we definitely can't live without it. But how to save our health.  

Mobile phones communicate by transmitting radio waves through a network of fixed antennas called base stations. Radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic fields, and unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, cannot break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body.

The Mobile  handset only transmits power when it is turned on. The power (and hence the radiofrequency exposure to a user) falls off rapidly with increasing distance from the handset. A person using a mobile phone 30–40 cm away from their body – for example when text messaging, accessing the Internet, or using a “hands free” device – will therefore have a much lower exposure to radiofrequency fields than someone holding the handset against their head.

In addition to using "hands-free" devices, which keep mobile phones away from the head and body during phone calls, exposure is also reduced by limiting the number and length of calls. Using the phone in areas of good reception also decreases exposure as it allows the phone to transmit at reduced power. The use of commercial devices for reducing radiofrequency field exposure has not been shown to be effective.

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