Should you be worried about cancer because of cell phone use?


Cell phones have become part and parcel of our modern life to such an extent that we cannot imagine living without them. Originally, cell phones were used for person to person communication but these days there are many who use their cell phones for work purposes. Social media applications such as Facebook and Instagram keep us glued to these devices way, way after work. It comes as no surprise that many are worried that exposing ourselves to radiation emitted by cell phones would raise health risks, especially cancer.

Worrying about cell phone use and cancer risk is not entirely irrational. We know that ionizing radiation from nuclear plants or nuclear devices can ionize DNA and raise the risk of a variety of cancers. However, cell phones only emit non-ionizing radiation which has not been shown to alter DNA structure.

Recently, the California department of Public health released new guidelines warning about preliminary research that showed that cell phones pose health risks. Simply, they do not want you to put your cell phone in your pocket or sleep next to your cell phone device.

Businesswoman check data in smartphone and tablet

Last year, 2016, a study showed that male rats exposed to radio-frequency radiation had a slightly increased risk of brain and heart cancers. Cancer risks in female rats were not increased in this study that was conducted by the National Toxicology Program which is an interagency group under the Department of Health and Human Services. Many scientists have come out to declare the study design as faulty. In addition, several epidemiological studies such as the million women study in Britain showed no increased risk of cancer with cell phone use.

Young woman using cell phone to send text message on social network at night. Closeup of hands with computer laptop in background

Further, since 1992, the rate of brain cancer in the United Sates has remained stable despite an explosion in cell phone use.

So what is the conclusion?

Right now, there is no reason to lose sleep over the use of cell phones. However, you should reduce your exposure to your cell phone by keeping it as far away from you as possible. It is wise not to use the cell phone at night in your bedroom because the powerful lights may disrupt the sleep cycle.

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