At last. We were beginning to wonder when a full-scale, no-holds barred
cell phone study would be launched to investigate the pros (but mostly
cons) of using a mobile long-term, and it seems that 2010 is the year.
Small-scale studies have been conducted
ever since wireless phones
became a commodity, but up until now, no company had decided to study
things long-term. It's being called the biggest study on cell phone
health effects ever, and any study that will take three decades to
complete probably qualifies for "biggest."
The Cohort Study on Mobile Communications
(COSMOS) has begun a thirty year look on how the long-term use of cell
phones effects disease and health, with cancer and neurological disorders being right in the cross-hairs. Jack Rowley, director of research and sustainability at industry body the GSM Association stated that "one of
the limitations of research to date is that
when you ask people about their mobile phone use say five years ago
there's a lot of error," and now that five billion mobile phones are in
use globally, it's the perfect time to bite the bullet and get the real
research going. To date, the World
Health Organization, the American Cancer Society and the National
Institutes of Health haven't found any direct link between cell phone
use and disease, but other smaller investigations have found
conflicting evidence. It will certainly be nice to have a three decade
study to finally put an end to the debate.
People working in the research have noted that many cancers take 10+
years to develop, so studying mobile users long-term is the only
accurate way to find out if there's truly a link between the two. It
should be interesting to see these results in a few years--if direct
links are drawn, will mobile use suddenly go down? Will science create
new technologies that don't harm health? Only (lots of) time will tell.