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Stanford neurologist comments on the health risks of mobile phones

A piece today in the San Jose Mercury News touches on the ongoing debate on the potential negative health effects of cell phone use. In the story, Stanford neurologist Paul Fisher, MD, comments on the latest research in this area:

The Food and Drug Administration says that scientific data so far shows no increased health risks from the use of mobile phones. Last year, a study that looked at more than 300,000 cellphone-using Danes found no evidence that using the device increased their risk of developing a brain tumor. But the World Health Organization, after initially assuring the public that there was no evidence of adverse health effects tied to cellphone use, reversed itself in 2011 by putting mobile-phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

And scientists at the National Institutes of Health last year reported that research shows less than an hour of cellphone use can accelerate a person's brain activity near the phone antenna, though scientists aren't sure if that is harmful to users.


Though mobile devices have been around for decades, there is still no evidence of an uptick in incidents of brain tumors around the world, said Paul Graham Fisher, professor of neurology at Stanford University School of Medicine.

"It's not an unreasonable concern," he said of worries about radiation from mobile devices. "But right now there really isn't any evidence to say it's a problem."

Still, Fisher added that for those who practically live with their cell phone attached to their ear, it might be a good idea to consider taking measures to reduce radiation exposure.

Previously: Stanford neurologist: Little evidence to link cell phones with cancerA cell phone is not a microwave oven or a nuclear reactorEuropean consortium to study long-term health effects of mobile phones and Inaccurate self-reporting of cell phone use could skew assessment of health effects
Photo by Tim Parkinson

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