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"It's not a tumor!"
Top British researcher says cell phones more harmful than asbestos or cigarette smoke

Dr. Vini Khurana, a top British neurosurgeon and medical researcher, is trying ardently to grab people's attention about what he sees as a grave risk to health.  He has published over 30 papers; his specialty -- cell phones and their links to disease.  He has reviewed over 100 papers on the links between cell phones and cancer.  His latest research, currently under peer-review prior to journal publication, emphasizes a strong link between cell phones and tumors.

Not one to shirk from using strong language on the topic, Dr. Khurana states controversially, "Mobile phones could have health consequences far greater than asbestos and smoking."

The number of users is the first aspect to look at, says Dr. Khurana.  Over 3 billion people worldwide use a cell phone, according to Dr. Khurana.  Only about one billion people worldwide smoke, evidence to his claims.  The smoking population incurs approximately five million worldwide smoking related deaths a year. 

The doctor expresses no uncertainty about whether cell phones cause cancer.  He states emphatically, "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumors."

Government action is a necessity says Dr. Khurana, but he declines to elaborate on possible measures.  The cell phone industry meanwhile scoffs at the research.  Britain's Mobile Operators Association, a major telecomm collective commented that the new study was "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual."

In the U.S. last September, a research study by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme indicated that there was no cell phone-cancer link.  However, the normally conservative National Academy of Sciences reporting at the bequest of the Food and Drug Administration ruled that there was a possible link, but more research was needed.  The National Academy of Sciences suggested studies on the effects of use on children and pregnant women and a comparative study of heavy users and the general population. 

In February, DailyTech reported in a study appearing in a U.S. medical journal, which indicated that heavy cell phone use raised the risk of some tumors as much as 50 percent.  Cancers of the salivary gland in particular were found to be the most commonly induced type.  This study differed in that it looked at the effects of long term use.  Also it was among the first studies to examine cancer rates in other organs besides the brain.

Many doctors have expressed concern since the 1980s, when cell phones came into widespread use, that the electromagnetic radiation from the cell phone transmissions might increase mutation rates, upping individuals' cancer risk.  With evidence mildly supporting such conclusions mounting, similar concerns have recently been voiced about Wi-Fi.  Sir William Stewart, chairman of Britain's Health Protection Agency, demanded a thorough investigation of possible cancer/Wi-Fi correlations, based on the fact that Wi-Fi exposure to electromagnetic fields is often even more prolific than that from cell phones.  Allegedly, some people are sensitive enough to Wi-Fi that it causes them headaches.  The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying for a countrywide ban on Wi-Fi.

The new research from Dr. Khurana also follows in the conclusions of other European studies.  A study in Finland found that cell phone users of 10 years or more were 40 percent more likely to get a brain tumor on the side of the head they usually hold their phone.  A follow up study in Sweden indicate this risk to be closer to four times as great.

Cell phone use is currently banned on planes due to interference dangers, however, most analysts agree that a national level ban in any industrialized nation is impractical.

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RE: scary facts
By Lord 666 on 4/1/2008 12:13:28 AM , Rating: 2
What long term effects have been studied with hearing loss and use of hands free earpieces? There is research that negates any difference between hands free vs. holding the phone. Its the cognitive effort that impacts the driving regardless.

Either the same study or related one demonstrated that talking with another passenger in the car is not the same as cellphone use because the passenger self-regulates speech based on the driver's need to focus.

RE: scary facts
By rebturtle on 4/1/2008 2:55:55 AM , Rating: 5
I can attest to that. Follow my wife in her car while she's driving, and then after she starts talking on the phone. She'll start to zone out right away. I bought her a hands-free bluetooth (on the visor, not in her ear) for the dang thing just because I can't convince her to stop talking to her mom and sister while she drives. I only hope that it can help at least a little. Anyone who thinks they aren't affected by it is in utter denial. Yes, I've done it before, and I don't like the feeling of driving for 5 minutes and realizing after the call that I have no idea what speed I was doing, where I was in traffic, or anything else I normally focus on just fine while talking to a passenger.

Over the last 10 years or so, I've noticed a new proliferation of people driving about 10-20MPH slower than the flow of traffic, usually in the fast lane, often swerving, and completely oblivious for miles and miles. Usually you see the tell-tale hand at head-level, but even with hands free you can pull up next to them and see that they are completely oblivious. I prefer to call them in as DUIs anyways.

Yes, if my wife gets pulled over like that, I will be happy of sorts. She won't actually get a DUI, but if it drives the message into her head in a way I haven't been capable of, it might save her life.

Sorry for drifting off-topic :)

RE: scary facts
By xsilver on 4/1/2008 3:27:18 AM , Rating: 2
does the US not have laws about driving while on a cell phone?

Here in australia its a fine and demerit points for not using bluetooth or wired handsfree and I think the UK has it too.

It is especially dangerous for those people who usually need 100% concentration while driving while some people can drive perfectly fine with a cigarette in one hand, a phone in the other, and a starbucks between their legs ;)

RE: scary facts
By Omega215D on 4/1/2008 7:46:12 AM , Rating: 2
In the US you have to be caught committing another violation in order to be reprimanded for using a cell while driving.

RE: scary facts
By napalmjack on 4/1/2008 8:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
Not all states have laws against it, and (for the most part) I don't believe that you have to be doing something else illegal to catch heat.

RE: scary facts
By FITCamaro on 4/1/2008 9:41:16 AM , Rating: 2
No it varies by state. In Florida you can be pulled over for driving without a hands free device. Whether the cops enforce it is another matter.

RE: scary facts
By Lord 666 on 4/1/2008 10:11:02 AM , Rating: 2
In NJ, using a cellphone without handsfree became a primary offense on March 1 of this year.

RE: scary facts
By MrBlastman on 4/1/2008 12:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
Using a cellphone while driving, handfree or not, should be a violation period.

You should be focusing on driving, not talking on the phone, when in a car.

RE: scary facts
By Sulphademus on 4/1/2008 3:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
does the US not have laws about driving while on a cell phone?

No federal laws. Some states have enacted such laws and even some counties & cities have made such if their state hasn't and they felt it worthwhile.

AFAIK, Maryland hasn't.

RE: scary facts
By roastmules on 4/1/2008 4:15:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, AFAIK, ALL of the states have a law against driving while distracted... This covers any distraction, including talking, regardless of whether it is hands-free or not, or even to a person in the car...
Just because the law doesn't say that it is illegal to set the time on my car's clock while driving doesn't mean that it's ok... It can be distracting.

The bans on cell phones are problematic, most contain clauses for exceptions for "emergencies", and are based on no data.

I've been using a cell phone -not hands free- in a car for over 12 years. No accidents, wrecks, points, fines. But, I rarely carry on a conversation, usually "I'm on my way home, do you need anything from the grocery store?"

People who carry on long conversations and have conference calls while driving, or worse, texting/emailing should be whooped.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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