Monday, March 31, 2008

Mobile Phone-Brain Tumour Public Health Advisory

Vini G. Khurana, MBBS, BSc(Med), PhD, FRACS


At this time, precautionary but strong recommendations for members of the General Public include (whenever feasible or possible): (i) using a regular "land-line" in preference to a hand-held mobile or cordless phone; (ii) using a hand-held phone on "speaker phone" mode held > 20 cm away or "in-vehicle hands-free speaker" mode as opposed to the typical "mobile phone-to-ear" use; (iii) minimising the use of current Bluetooth devices and unshielded headphone accessories for mobile phones; (iv) minimising the amount of time spent using mobile and cordless phones for all adults; and (v) restricting the use of mobile and cordless phones by children to emergency situations. For members of the Telecommunications Industry, the author recommends expediting the development and promotion of safe, practical and ubiquitous EMR/radiofrequency shielding devices for mobile and cordless phones and their Bluetooth and headset accessories, and further refinement of the hands-free "speaker phone" option.

Key messages of this work:

  • Mobile phones are convenient and frequently invaluable, yet exposure to their electromagnetic radiation is invisible. Therefore, any danger this exposure poses may be easily dismissed.
  • Exposure is long-term and its effects on the body, particularly its electrical organ, the brain, are compounded by numerous other simultaneous long-term exposures including continuous waves from radio and TV transmitter towers, cordless phone base stations, power lines, and wireless/WiFi computing devices.
  • A malignant brain tumour represents a life-ending diagnosis in the vast majority of those diagnosed. There is a significant and increasing body of evidence, to date at least 8 comprehensive clinical studies internationally and one long-term meta-analysis, for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours.
  • Taken together, the data presented below compellingly suggest that the link between mobile phones and brain tumours should no longer be regarded as a myth. Individual and class action lawsuits have been filed in the USA, and at least one has already been successfully prosecuted, regarding the cell phone-brain tumour link.
  • The "incubation time" or "latency" (i.e., the time from commencement of regular mobile phone usage to the diagnosis of a malignant solid brain tumour in a susceptible individual) may be in the order of 10-20 years. In the years 2008-2012, we will have reached the appropriate length of follow-up time to begin to definitively observe the impact of this global technology on brain tumour incidence rates.
  • There is currently enough evidence and technology available to warrant Industry and Governments alike in taking immediate steps to reduce exposure of consumers to mobile phone-related electromagnetic radiation and to make consumers clearly aware of potential dangers and how to use this technology sensibly and safely.
  • It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking, and directly concerns all of us, particularly the younger generation, including very young children.
  • Scientists and physicians from some academic centres worldwide came together in mid-2007 to propose safer standards regarding public exposure to electromagnetic fields (Click the link for details).

No comments:

Post a Comment