Thursday, June 2, 2011

how could we ever give up our cellphones?

This new announcement by the World Health Organization panel that cellphones are "possibly carcinogenic" is a big concern.

It's huge.

In this article, Cellphone Radiation May Cause Cancer, Advisory Panel Says, it refers to "heavy cell phone users" as having an increased risk of a rare brain tumor.

What exactly does that mean to be a "heavy cell phone user"?  We don't have a home telephone line.  We use our cell phones for all of our calls, along with everything else in the world.  It seems like most people in society also use their cell phones "heavily" every day.

(I found it a bit comical that coffee and pickled vegetables were also "classified as Category B2" by the W.H.O. panel, and that immediately cellphone companies appeared to use that as somewhat of a defensive argument.)

I wonder if we will be viewed in 50 years as we currently view our grandparents, willfully slathering huge slabs of margarine onto their dinner rolls, completely ignorant of the potential adverse health effects.

Since cellphones are so new, relatively speaking, I think it is unwise to dismiss any cautions associated with them, especially due to the fact that cancer studies often take many years to provide reliable results.  As for our family, we will likely be increasing our earpiece usage, decreasing our cellphone usage, and definitely limiting our kids' cellphone usage.  That is easy to say when they are so young, but hopefully by the time they are 13-years old or so, we will have better and more reliable epidemiological data available.  Or, maybe we will all text in the future, maybe no one will hold real time conversations with each other, maybe we will only communicate via texts and we won't have to worry about holding a cellphone up to our ears.

My husband initially dismissed the W.H.O.'s ruling, reminding me that the debate over whether cellphones cause cancer has been around for many years.  But, I did notice later, while he was sitting on the porch talking casually with his mom on his cellphone today, he was holding his cellphone in his hand and talking via his bluetooth device.

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