29 July, 2008

Cell phone induced cancer

The Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, released an advisory on Thursday July 24, 2008, encouraging people to change the way they use cell phones as a precaution against cancer (PDF).
Recently I have become aware of the growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer.
Dr. Herberman in particular cites concerns over children using cell phones, "Do not allow children to use a cell phone, except for emergencies." This was the first item of 10 precautionary guidelines to help you reduce the possibility of cell phone induced cancer. Other guidelines include using a Bluetooth headset or speakerphone over putting the phone up to your ear.

Also worth noting, as mentioned as guideline 10, different phones have varying power levels that affect how much radiation is absorbed by the body (SAR). Guideline 10 encourages users to use the lowest possible SAR rated phone you can. Fortunate for us, CNet has a list of cell phone SAR ratings. Don't be surprised that in getting a lower SAR rated phone, you have a harder time making calls in outlying areas, as the SAR rating has to be related to your phones transmission strength. The better your transmission strength, the greater the SAR.

Oh, the unintended consequences of technology...

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