For decades, health experts have struggled to determine whether or not cellphones can cause cancer. On Thursday, a federal agency released the final results of what experts call the world’s largest and most costly experiment to look into the question. The study originated in the Clinton administration, cost $30 million and involved some 3,000 rodents.
But, dear reader, don’t think we’ve reached a “case closed” moment: Unfortunately, even the best evidence on cellphones and brain tumors is far from ideal. Remember, these cohort studies are still observational research — not experimental studies like RCTs. That means they can’t tell us about causation, and there are still many ways they could be biased.
The phone is placed in various positions on the head and body, including held to both ears, and all measurements are taken and reported to the FCC when the manufacturer is seeking approval. However, it should be noted that only the very highest SAR values for each type of radiation are included in final consideration for compliance with the FCC’s guidelines.
Dr. Carlo and his team developed new exposure systems that could mimic head-only exposure to EMR in people, as those were the only systems that could approximate what really happened with cell phone exposure. Those exposure systems were then used for both in vitro (laboratory) and in vivo (animal) studies. The in vitro studies used human blood and lymph tissue in test tubes and petri dishes that were exposed to EMR. These studies identified the micronuclei in human blood, for example, associated with cell phone near-field radiation. The in vivo studies used head only exposure systems and laboratory rats. These studies identified DNA damage and other genetic markers.
Studies in people: Another type of study looks at cancer rates in different groups of people. Such a study might compare the cancer rate in a group exposed to something like cell phone use to the rate in a group not exposed to it, or compare it to what the expected cancer rate would be in the general population. But sometimes it can be hard to know what the results of these studies mean, because many other factors that might affect the results are hard to account for.
A package for it is sold for 70 bucks that includes a choice from seven different color air-tube headsets in two styles (mono or stereo) with a ferrite bead already installed on the headset wire. A 4th accessory is included as a reminder that radiation is only shielded from the front of the phone when case is closed. The plastic stand enables a user to tilt the phone so that the unshielded sides and rear of the phone aren’t “inline-of-sight” with the body. Cell phone radiation, just as light, travels in a straight line. Being informed and awareness of using a phone safely is the most important aspect of RF Safe’s system of safe cell phone usage with 4 accessories for 69.99.
Using a speaker/personal speakerphone or earplug (not wireless) during conversation - distancing the mobile phone from the user’s body reduces his exposure to the radiowave radiation. Therefore, keep the mobile phone at a distance from the body (do not carry it on the body, such as in the belt, pocket or on a neck strap). Obviously, reducing the amount and duration of calls on the mobile phone is another simple measure to reduce exposure.

Fears that the low-energy radiation emitted by cellphones could cause cancer seem to have been simmering ever since cellphones went mainstream. The latest flare up is probably thanks to two things: an article in The Nation about “Big Wireless” and a government study that recently reported some male rats exposed to huge doses of full-body cellphone radiation developed a rare type of heart tumor.
Wearable tech such as the Apple Watch might as well be called a wearable EMF device. These watches are even worse than mobile phones in that they remain in constant, direct contact with your skin. New York Times columnist Nick Bilton covered this issue in March 2015, noting that constant, low-level radiation from such devices can trigger the formation of cancerous tumors, blood abnormalities, and more.
*SAR values are from tests conducted by Pong Research Corp on March 29, 2012 and submitted to the FCC on May 31, 2012. Because the SAR values were submitted to the FCC in graph form, EWG estimated numerical SAR values based on the chart available in WT Docket 11-186 (http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7021921006). Pong’s filing to the FCC did not indicate whether SAR measurements were done at the head or in a body-worn configuration. In a personal communication, Pong informed EWG that the SAR measurements were done in a body-worn configuration, with the same distance from the test mannequin used by the phone manufacturer. Tests in the body-worn configuration were done at a 10 millimeter separation distance.
Wearable tech such as the Apple Watch might as well be called a wearable EMF device. These watches are even worse than mobile phones in that they remain in constant, direct contact with your skin. New York Times columnist Nick Bilton covered this issue in March 2015, noting that constant, low-level radiation from such devices can trigger the formation of cancerous tumors, blood abnormalities, and more.
Finally, Brawley reminded me that cellphones kill humans in another way that we’re already certain about: because of inattention through distracted driving. In the US alone, there were 3,157 fatal crashes in 2016 that involved distracted driving, 14 percent of which included cellphone use, according to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That’s not the focus of this piece, but perhaps state and federal regulators could follow places like Washington state, California, New York, and Nevada and heavily crack down on distracted driving with bans or stricter laws.
In one type of study, called a case–control study, cell phone use is compared between people with these types of tumors and people without them. In another type of study, called a cohort study, a large group of people who do not have cancer at study entry is followed over time and the rate of these tumors in people who did and didn’t use cell phones is compared. Cancer incidence data can also be analyzed over time to see if the rates of brain tumors changed in large populations during the time that cell phone use increased dramatically. These studies have not shown clear evidence of a relationship between cell phone use and cancer. However, researchers have reported some statistically significant associations for certain subgroups of people.
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