Cancer not the only concern

Do cell phones cause cancer?

The largest and most expensive study to date has determined there is “some evidence,” a notch higher on the confidence continuum from “equivocal evidence.”

Looking at 3,000 rodents, spending $30 million, and extending two decades, the National Toxicology Program found positive evidence that radio waves from some types of cell phones could raise the risk that male rates would develop cancer.

As alarming as it may sound, the exposure levels were far greater than what people typically encounter and the radio frequency associated with an early-generation cell phone technology aren’t really in use much any longer.

Nonetheless, the implications give pause to some experts. A preliminary draft of the study in May, 2016 noted the radiation had “likely caused” the brain tumors. Some months later, in February, 2018, the draft report moved away from the firm conclusion. Then, in March, a panel of 11 experts from industry and academic struck a middle ground and chose the words “some evidence” of a link between cell phone radiation and brain tumors in male rats.

This study should give pause, but not because our cell phones will instigate a cancerous growth in our bodies.

Rather, the study gives pause because it is another sign — incrementally stacking — that should make us consider stowing away our technology – and the most ubiquitous technology is our mobile.

Anecdote upon anecdote; Study upon study; they lead parents to implement technology-free days. They lead companies to implement rules that cell phones be stowed away during staff meetings.

Do they have to cause cancer to prompt a realization that our cell phones — most of which are “smart phones,” which allow us to be connected to email, voice calls, and text messages — are distracting us in both a literal sense and a figurative one. We are not focusing on the person in front of us when we keep glancing at our phones. We are not immersed in our outing or our work project when we’re checking text and email messages.

Do the cell phones we’re carrying now and using to the extent that we’re using them cause cancer? It seems unlikely. But cancer isn’t the only ill to avoid.

— The Toledo Blade