Are Cell Phones and Microwave Radiation Really Unhealthy?
Testing Shows Mixed Results, But Some Evidence is Clear
-- Beverly Filip, Santa Cruz, CA
Health advocates have worried for decades that exposure to frequencies emanating from these many sources might be harmful. And the ubiquity of such technology today--especially considering the quantum leap in cell phone usage in recent years--only makes such concerns that much more pressing.
Various studies researching the health effects of cell phone use have yielded mixed results. Some studies suggested a link between exposure to radiation from cell phones and an increased risk of acoustic neuroma--a tumor of the nerve connecting the ear to the brain--but more recent research found no such links.
As to cell phones, the results of a study recently published in the academic journal Environmental Health Perspectives do not bode well for habitual chatterers. Researchers documented brain damage in laboratory rats exposed to radio frequencies from cell phones at levels comparable to what people would experience during normal use. The study’s authors expressed concern that “after some decades of (often) daily use, a whole generation of [cell phone] users may suffer negative effects, perhaps as early as middle age.”
The environmental effects of radio frequencies are also largely unclear. Migrating birds have been known to fly right into cell phone and other communications towers. Some blame the radiation emanating from such towers for disorienting the birds and undermining their navigational abilities. Others chalk such incidents up to poor visibility associated with bad weather and nothing more.