Contractors spend a lot of time on their mobile phones. The health effects of such prolonged cell phone use has been an open question for some time. A recent Danish study of more than 350,000 cell phone users concluded there was “no difference in cancer rates between people who had used a cell phone for about a decade and those who did not.” Cancer rates in people who used cell phones for about ten years were similar to cancer rates in people who did not use cell phones. Cell phone users were also no more likely to get a tumor in part of the brain closest to where the phones were usually held against the head. The studies suggest that cell phone users (in the billions) who are rarely no more than a few inches from their phones should have no special health concerns. Two U.S. agencies, the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Communications Commission, have found no evidence that cell phones are linked to cancer. Despite these studies, fears of a link between cancer and cell phone use persist. See the USA Today article.
The study paid for by the Danish government’s “Strategic Research Council” concluded that there is little evidence of a causal association between cell phone use and cancer, but “we cannot rule out a small to moderate increase in risk for subgroups of heavy users.” Cell phones send signals to towers via radio waves, a form of energy similar to microwaves. The radiation produced by cell phones cannot directly damage DNA and is different from stronger types of radiation like x-rays or ultraviolet light. At very high levels, radio frequency waves from cell phones can heat up body tissue, but it is not believed to damage human cells. See the Health Day article.
The Washington Post noted that the study’s authors pointed out that long-term subscription to a cell phone contract (in some instances 13 years or more) does not equal long-term use of a cell phone. Future research is needed to examine the actual cell phone use not just the duration of a subscription to a cell phone plan.
Dr. Michael Schulder, Vice Chairman of Neurosurgery at the Cushing Neuroscience Institute, pointed out that brain tumors are not the biggest risk associated with cell phone use. Rather, he said that “the biggest risk incurred from cell phones is during driving … if you studied 10 million people for 100 years, the risk from texting while driving, looking at emails, holding the phone with your hand to your head and probably, to some extent, even talking on the phone, are all far greater of a risk than anything that might ever show up in a study like this. See the Washington Post article.