Step Away from the Phone
Cell phones have become a part of modern life. They’re everywhere; in your purse, in your pocket, in your kid’s backpack, even in the hands of the person using the bathroom stall next to you. Virtually everyone has one. Like it or not, they’re here to stay.
But what about safety? I’ve reported on recent research that shows that the brain of a driver talking on a cell phone is so distracted, he or she might as well be legally drunk. Clearly, cell phones in cars create certain safety issues, and some of them are serious.
And then there’s the issue of electromagnetic radiation. Cell phones are mini microwave transmitter/receivers. The industry assures us the radiation we’re routinely being exposed to from cell phones is perfectly safe. But is it really? Proponents are quick to point out that cell phones do not emit ionizing radiation, a form of radiation (X-rays are an example) known to damage cells. This is accurate. Cell phones do not emit ionizing radiation.
But emerging research suggests the type of relatively low-energy electromagnetic radiation they emit does, in fact, affect living cells. Brain cells burn glucose more rapidly when chronically exposed to cell phone radiation, for example. And male fertility evidently suffers.
Now new research from the International Agency for Research on Cancer shows that cell phone radiation boosts oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is a major risk factor for cancer and other diseases. Heavy users, who talk for up to 30 to 40 hours per month on their cell phones, had significantly elevated markers of oxidative stress, compared to non-cell users. “This suggests that there is considerable oxidative stress on the tissue and glands which are close to the cell phone when in use,” said study author, Dr. Yaniv Hamzany.
Hamzany Y, Feinmesser R, Shpitzer T, Mizrachi A, Hilly O, Hod R, et al. Is human saliva an indicator of the adverse health effects of using mobile phones? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2013 Feb 20;18(6):622-7. doi: 10.1089/ars.2012.4751. Epub 2012 Oct 9.
La Vignera S, Condorelli RA, Vicari E, D'Agata R, Calogero AE. Effects of the exposure to mobile phones on male reproduction: a review of the literature. J Androl. 2012 May-Jun;33(3):350-6. doi: 10.2164/jandrol.111.014373. Epub 2011 Jul 28.