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cigarettes/cellphone box

Editor’s note: Found this interesting Post on the, which speaks about Cell phones and the potential health risks they can have on humans. Over the last 8–10 years there has been an explosion of Cell phones in the Caribbean market, and Dominica is no exception. Nowadays nearly everyone owns one or more cell phones; but very few people know the potential health risks cell phones can have people. So I thought it would be interesting to share this article with *DW* readers.

It took years for the hazards of smoking to come to light. Now there’s debate over the safety of mobile phones, but studies on their possible health effects are far from definitive.

Why can’t we get a definitive answer about cell phones and health?

Mobile phones have been around for more than 20 years, and they’re now used by more than 3 billion people. Yet questions linger over whether mobile phones can contribute to health problems, including cancer.

The most recent alarm came from the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, who warned school employees to limit their cell phone use based on early unpublished data from scientific studies.

“Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell-phone use,” Ronald Herberman wrote in a memo to 3,000 faculty and staff members in late July.

To be clear, many studies have presented evidence that cell phones are safe. Major players in the wireless industry, including Nokia, Motorola, Verizon and AT&T, say there is no cause for concern.

“The overwhelming majority of studies that have been published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk,” according to a press release from the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association issued in response to Herberman’s memo.

But definitive scientific proof is tough to come by.

One key reason is that people use their cell phones, by definition, in ways that make them hard to study. We make phone calls on the go, from the grocery store or in our cars. That makes it difficult to reap the precise details important to scientific study, such as how long we use the phone or which side of the head it is pressed against.

The topic also falls between areas of scientific study, with doctors expert in the human body on one side and engineers well-versed in radio technology on the other.

Finally, time is an issue. While cell phones have been around a while, they’ve been mainstream products for only 10 years or so, and it may take much longer than that for adverse effects to show up.


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