Just when you thought it was safe to glue that phone to your ear, it seems that spending only 10 minutes on a cell phone could trigger cancer in the brain!
That's right, I really wrote that: Cellular phones can take as little as 10 minutes to trigger changes in the brain that are associated with cancer, scientists claimed yesterday.
A new study by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel has suggested that "nonthermal" radiation could potentially pose a risk of cancer forming in the brain.
Latest Scientific Study
In the laboratory, scientists exposed human and rat cells to low-levels of radiation (875 megahertz), a frequency similar to that used in many cellular phones.
Researchers reporting in the Biochemical Journal, stated that although the radiation was much weaker than emissions from a typical cell phone, it began to switch on a chemical signal inside these cells within ten minutes.
The chemical signals the scientists detected were involved in the division of cells.
Dr Rony Seger, co-author of the study, told The New Scientist: "The significance lies in showing cells do react to cellphone radiation in a non-thermal way."
Although the changes in the chemical pathway seen by the Israeli scientists have been linked to several cancers, the researchers say there was no sign of a cancer-causing effect...
OK, the above was a short review taken from a UK national newspaper report today.
On the one hand the original headline (not mine) set the scaremongers chattering about doom and gloom, reopening the debate on the safety or otherwise of cellular phones.
The full report goes on to quote arguments for and against by several experts. However, it ends up saying nothing of any real conclusive value, except there is a possibility that cellular phones may cause tumours in the brain.
Take it or leave it if you wish, but the old saying "there's no smoke without fire" springs to mind here.
Annoyingly Intrusive Devices
Personally, I hate the wretched things. They are intrusive and annoying devices invented so that other people can talk to you when they want to!
Never mind they might be interrupting a conversation or stop you while you're in the middle of something important.
Just look around you.
How many times have you been talking to someone when your phone rang and you immediately cut the conversation to answer the blasted thing? How often have you been engrossed in a great movie only to hit the pause button the second your phone starts to ring?
It compels you to answer it! You have no choice, no control, you have to answer it!
And does anybody stop to think for even a moment what the device might be doing to their health?
Real Life Event
As if to highlight the insanity of this phenomenon, recently I had been sitting through an episode of Lost (oh yeah!) and my phone rang. I ignored it and my partner got really agitated!
"Aren't you going to answer it?" she eventually screamed.
Actually, no. I don't care if someone wants this or that. They can wait. I'm busy!
The look of horror and incredulity on her face said it all. I'd committed a heinous crime in not doing it's evil bidding by answering it's shrill demand.
How dare I ignore this revered Lord and Master shrieking away like it was giving the option of ″Answer me slave, or off with your head!″
After all, it is a call and it is therefore important!!
As important as enjoying fully that episode of Lost? Nope!
But this experience does beg the question. Have we truly become slaves to the horrid little things?