We've heard facts that claim cell phones are perfectly safe
and other pieces of information that say cell phones are dangerous. Now, a new website
from ProCon.org is available to help you decide for yourself.
Even though the radio frequency (RF) radiation levels in cell phones
regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and generally
considered to be safe when used properly, there is still plenty of research
that shows cell phone use could cause cancer, disrupt pacemakers, decrease
fertility, damage DNA, and increase the risk of traffic accidents.
The FCC and other government agencies claim the majority of
scientific studies show there are no adverse health effects from cell phone
use. That's not to say there aren't other studies that point out the dangers of
cell phones, particularly those that occur while using a cell phone and driving
at the same time.
With its http://cellphones.procon.org/
website, ProdCon.org hopes to provide information to readers to help them think
critically, educate themselves, and make informed decisions regarding cell
A few interesting tidbits from the site:
Cordless home phones, television, radio, laptops, and
palm held computers all produce radiofrequency (RF) radiation, the same type of
radiation that is produced by cell phones.
The radiation emitted by a cell phone can penetrate 4 - 6 cm
(1.6 - 2.4 in) into the human brain. The amount of RF absorbed into the head
can be reduced by using a wired ear-piece (not a Bluetooth unit) rather than placing
the phone against the ear.
A 2002 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (released in 2009 under a Freedom of Information Act
request) concluded that using a hands free device (Bluetooth, headset,
etc.) does not reduce distraction or make cell phone use safer while
driving. As of Sep. 2009, six states had passed laws requiring the use of
a hands free device while driving.
On July 24, 2008, a warning was issued by the
Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute to faculty and
staff to decrease cell phone exposure due to a possible connection between cell
phone radiation and brain tumors. The warning prompted a congressional hearing
on cell phone use and tumors.