According to a large Danish study, cellphones do not cause cancer. The researchers followed 420,000 cellphone users, including 52,000 who had been using one for over 10 years, and others for more than 20 years! They compared the telephone bills to the famed Danish Cancer Registry, which records every cancer case that occurs in the Danish population. According to their observations, cellphone users are not more likely than the general population to develop cancer of the brain, eyes, salivary glands or leukemia.
Doubt was raised a few years ago following studies in animals that had put in evidence some harmful effects of the microwaves emitted by cellphones. The only study that raised doubt in humans did not demonstrate a clear correlation between the use of cellphones and an increase in brain tumours. However, the same results did show a correlation between the side of the brain where tumours appeared and the side people used their cellphones on. This in no way constitutes proof that there is a link of cause and effect, nor does it afford cellphones a clear bill of health.
Cellphones emit radiofrequencies that can penetrate the brain’s outer edge and related structures such as salivary glands, ears and eyes. The question is to figure out if these waves actually cause any damage. However, few studies have been conducted to evaluate if they are harmful to the human body.
For now, the Danish study remains the one that has followed the greatest number of cellphone users. The conclusions, however encouraging, are not conclusive. Researchers will continue studying the Danish users for another 10 years, that is to say, until some of them have been using their cellphones for 30 years. Brain cancers may take up to 15 years to develop and are far from being the most common. Therefore, lengthy studies of very large groups of people must still be conducted in order to have significant data.
Most studies do not actually demonstrate an increased risk associated with the use of cellphones. However, because of the doubts raised, some organisations, particularly in Europe, recommend limiting the use of cellphones as much as possible, or using a hands-free system, to keep the device as far from the body as possible. According to them, children and teenagers should also limit their time spent gabbing on cellphones.
Don’t run out to return your Christmas gifts because, as in everything else, moderation often limits the damage!