The basic premise behind cell phones causing cancer is due to the radiation the device emits. The kind of radiation created by cell phones belongs in the low-energy, non-ionizing category that does not break chemical bonds, there is no knowledge of this kind of energy that can cause cancer, although this radiation can be absorbed by tissues closet to where the phone is held. Regardless, the number of cell phone users has increased rapidly. As of 2010, there were more than 303 million subscribers in the United States. The number of phone calls and lengths of calls has greatly increased as well.
The most significant study published regarding cell phone usage and brain cancer is being conducted in Denmark, where a significant amount of health data is stored for its citizens. The basis of the research is to compare brain tumors in adults with cell phone contracts before 1995 and those who didn’t subscribe. Problems exist in the study itself because cell phone technology has vastly improved in the same decade. Early generation cell phones emitted more radiation than newer phones. The results of the research: doctors did not find any association. However, the World Health Organization did announce in May that cell phone use is possibly carcinogenic to humans. But cancer can take years or decades to develop and even if there is a significant association between the two, studies would have to involve thousands or millions of people. Also, keeping track of people with cell phone contracts is too broad and leaves room for errors. Scientists would actually have to understand those peoples usage and just how much and how often they use their cell phone.
- The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), states that cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic to humans.”
- The American Cancer Society (ACS) states that there could be some risk associated with cancer. Using an ear piece and limiting usage is recommended to reduce the risk.
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) states that more research is needed and no conclusive links have been made. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that studies have failed to show a relationship between the radiation emitted from cell phones and the effect of tissue damage it has caused.
- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that statistical research does not support an association between cell phone use and health effects.
- The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that there is no scientific evidence that cell phones can lead to cancer or other problems such as headaches, dizziness, or memory loss. Generally speaking, while the major organizations do not find a significance between adult cell phone users and cancer, another question arises, are children more vulnerable than adults? In theory, children are at a greater risk that adults. Their nervous systems are still developing and therefore are more vulnerable to factors that may cause cancer. But, the real danger of cell phones is distracted driving. Automobile accidents are the number one cause of death of children in each year. About 8,000 children die each year with many more injured. What’s even more shocking is that plenty of automobile accidents occur each year where cell phone distracted driving was not the main reason only because it was not reported.
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phones have a significant impact on traffic accidents and even deaths, a staggering 18% of cases were due to cell phone distracted driving. While cell phones and their effect on cancer is an issue that we should not ignore, what is an even more pressing issue is the use of cell phones in distracted driving accidents.