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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Hold the Phone

Published June 2, 2011 10:44 AM by Danielle Bullen
By now, you've probably heard the news that the World Health Organization reported that cell phones might be linked to cancer.  Some basic common sense is necessary to discourage some of the panic that has crept up with this news. The possible risk from exposure to cell phones is in the same category as coffee and power lines, says the Wall Street Journal.

It's important to note that the type brain tumor, glioma, the report links to heavy cell phone usage are still very rare. But what is considered "heavy" use?  And the report is based on existing data. No new research was conducted to come to the conclusion.

We're a cell phone centered country and it's hard to imagine anyone giving up their mobile phones. In fact, it's estimated that almost 90% of Americans own a cell phone, with 30% using it as their only phone. But there are ways to limit radiation exposure.  One of the recommendations is to use the speaker phone function or a headset, so the phone is not directly against your head.  Also, texting does not pose a risk. Perhaps teenagers with their text crazy thumbs are onto something

Chances are, though, any danger from your cell phone will be caused by using it at the wrong time and the wrong place.  Earlier, we reported on how using mobile phones can lead to distracted driving and injury.  By using your phone at the proper time in the safest way possible, you can still be connected to the world around you.

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