Do cell phones cause cancer?

I've been meaning to write up a short compilation of links about cell phones and the controversy surrounding them. The basic situation right now is that most academics and doctors believe there is no proven statistical link between cell phone usage and cancer. However, there are a small but growing number of high profile doctors and academics who believe there is probable cause. Even though it is yet to be proven, they believe that cell phone usage may be associated with an increased rate of cancer, expecially head and neck tumors.

An important point is that one cannot simply look at radiation amplitude emitted by cell phones. In the Weizmann study (see below), although the radiation was far weaker than emissions from a typical handset, it began to switch on a chemical signal inside the cells within ten minutes. Those chemical signals they detected were involved in the division of cells. The scientists believed the reaction was not caused by heating and claim they have found a separate way in which mobile phones could damage health.

Couple the above with the high-profile Larry King interview where 3 prominent neurosurgeons raise the alarm. It's a no-brainer - get a headset - and think twice before going bluetooth - cos it may be just as dangerous since you're placing a transmitter right by your ear.


If you have any high quality links to share (preferably from high quality sources like CNN, MSNBC etc), I'd be happy to include them in this table. Just post a comment and I'll review.

August 2007

Only ten minutes on a mobile could trigger cancer, scientists believe

  • study by the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel suggests "nonthermal" radiation could pose a risk.

  • "The significance lies in showing cells do react to cellphone radiation in a non-thermal way."
May 2008

Larry King Live interview

  • This is the interview that's referenced in the next article (below)
  • KING: ... would it be a simple solution, everyone should use an ear phone?

    SLESIN: That's right. That's what people should do. I'm not sure I would advocate the Bluetooth because although it's much weaker, you are putting the antenna, the transmitter right into your ear, next to your brain. We don't know about thresholds. We don't know about mechanisms. So caution should be our guide.
June 2008

Debate over cell phone, cancer link reignites

  • Three prominent neurosurgeons told the CNN's Larry King they do not hold cell phones next to their ears
  • In recent studies that suggest a risk, the tumors tend to occur on the same side of the head where the patient typically holds the phone.
  • ... worries about wireless devices like the Bluetooth that essentially place a transmitter in the ear.
July 2008

Head of Pittsburgh University Cancer Institute issues warning to faculty and staff to limit cell phone usage because of possible cancer risk

  • Cancer institute head is basing his warning on unpublished data
  • 20 groups have endorsed the advice the Pittsburgh cancer institute gave, and authorities in England, France and India have cautioned children's use of cell phones