Are Cell Phones Good or Bad for You?
Starting with a radiation-scare, suppositions into the cell phone’s effect on the human body have progressed to increased chances of cancer. But even as the consumer-level mobile enters perhaps the 15th year of its existence, how well known are these effects?
The answer: not enough. Sure, there are cases of users suffering from rashes due to the nickel on phones, and the declared (but not conclusively proven) effect of phones on children (Does Exposure to Mobiles Affect a Child’s Behavior? and Finnish Group Recommends Special Considerations for Children’s Cellphone Use). But, as always, scientists and research have yet to make definitive conclusions.
This, according to Dariusz Leszczynsk, of the University of Finland, is simply because “the current safety standards are not sufficiently supported by science because of very limited research on human volunteers.” That’s a sentiment mirrored by Siegal Sadetzki, an epidemiologist who works for Tel Aviv University: “people have not been using cell phones long enough to draw any concrete conclusions.”
It seems that will change, at least partially. A US government program plans to consistently expose laboratory mice to GSM and CDMA signals, at the 900MHz and 1900MHz frequencies, some of the most used worldwide. Unfortunately, with the project slated to start next year, any conclusive findings will only appear in 2013 or 2014.
So what can we do now? Personally, I wouldn’t worry too much. Let science work its controlled magic, build a body of evidence and eventually provide a better understanding. In the meantime we can continue using cell phones as they remain an important part of our personal and business lives.