October 16, 2011

Young men shouldn't carry cellphones in pants pockets

Young women carrying cellphones in their bras have no idea there is a risk to their bodies from the electromagnetic frequency. I don't think people know that it isn't safe for young men to carry cellphones in their pockets, either.

Recently at a Maine legislative hearing on cell phone safety an expert said that, and the committee chairman quickly reached in his pocket, removed his cellphone and put it on the table. Everyone laughed, but it may not have really been funny.

It is better to be cautious now than it is to be sorry later. We have learned this because of substances and products that were used indiscriminately for a long time, until the health effects were realized years later.

Perhaps safer cellphones will be designed eventually, but right now we are using the early models and we don't have adequate information about the effects. What is known isn't widely published. Warnings have just begun to show up in cell phone manuals, as have articles in medical journals.

We assume cellphones wouldn't be on the market if they caused a risk. Unfortunately, that isn't true. Lab studies and surveys indicate that there are risks of cancer, which takes a long time to develop in humans. We need to be aware that the highest risks are to growing children and adolescents -- and we need to educate them about these risks.

The newspaper published a Maine Compass, "Hold it! Do you really think a bra is good place to tuck cell phone?" on Oct. 1. The author, Devra Davis, is a well known public health expert. The website she founded, "Environmental Health Trust" is full of information. She also wrote "Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation" (2010).

Jane Edwards


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