Almost all of us own cell phones, and a lot of people seem to have them glued to their ears.

That’s why there’s a continuing concern about the tiny amount of radiation that cell phones emit.

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Stuart from Sturbridge Declared his Curiosity to WBZ:

“A lot of evidence is coming to light about the harmful effects of cell phones.”

And some of the highest radiation levels come from some of the newest and coolest phones.

There are worries about brain cancer, but we can reduce our exposure.

There are about 270 million Americans with cell phones.

That’s nearly 90 percent of our population.

So it’s very important to know if cell phone radiation can hurt us.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to know who to believe, or to get a black and white answer.


“The absence of definitive human evidence now, which I acknowledge, should not be misinterpreted as proof of safety,” says Dr. Devra Davis, an environmental health scientist.

Even though there’s no definitive evidence of harm, Dr. Davis is sounding the alarm, concerned that using cell phones for years can increase the risk of brain cancer.

“I think the way many of us are using them today will kill people in the future,” she says.

To say that’s a frightening charge would be an understatement, and some people would call it irresponsible.


The cell phone industry says: “The peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public health risk.”

And it’s not just the industry saying that.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control say basically the same thing.

But Dr. Davis says the studies they point to are often dated and haven’t followed cell users long enough.

She says other studies, especially in Europe, are finding at least a potential danger.

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“What we’re finding is very worrisome,” says Dr. Davis.


Andrea Boland shares that worry.

The state representative from Sanford, Maine has been unsuccessfully pushing a bill to put a warning label on cell phones.

The label would read: “This device emits electromagnetic radiation, exposure to which may cause brain cancer.”

“For those who want to be as cautious as possible, let them have the information and let them do with it what they want,” she says.


It’s frustrating.

The studies don’t give us a clear answer, and nearly everyone says we need more studies.

So what are we supposed to do?

“I’m not telling people they should throw away their cell phones. They need to use them in a smarter manner,” says Dr. Davis.

It may surprise you to learn that Dr. Davis uses a cell phone, and thinks that reducing your exposure is relatively simple.

Here’s what she advises:

  • Use the speaker feature or a wired earpiece to keep the phone away from your head.
  • Text more, talk less.
  • Don’t wear your cell on your body for long periods of time.
  • And since children’s brains are still developing, limit their talk time.

Another thing you can do is buy a phone that emits the least amount of radiation.

The Environmental Working Group pulled together all the information about that.



National Cancer Institute

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American Cancer Society