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Do Cell Phones Give Kids Cancer?

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The bottom line here is that no one knows for sure whether cell phones -- when held up to the ear -- generate enough (and enough of a specific type of) radiation to cause tumors over time. But no one knows that they don't.

And because there are simple things you can do to minimize your exposure, it is silly not to do them. Almost every neurosurgeon I have ever asked recommends wearing a wired ear piece rather than holding the phone to your head. Most caution against a wireless Bluetooth ear piece, as these place an antenna in your ear.

As for your children, this is yet another reason to keep them off the cell phone. They don't need to text and call each other (or you) to the extent they do these days. In an effort to (potentially) spare a developing brain, cell phones should be used for emergencies, not for minute-to-minute chatting. Don't let toddlers or babies play with cell phones either.

For those who think this is overkill, I offer the following: In this country, in order to prove something as fact, data must be collected and then replicated over and over. It is not enough to show an association once; the relationship must be documented several times. This is good basic science -- it allows us to prove rather than speculate. However, when it comes to slowly evolving diseases (like cancer), proving causation is an onerous task that takes many, many years. Think about how long it took to prove that smoking caused lung cancer. So if a relationship is suspected, and if it is easy to do a few things to reduce your risk, then what is the problem?

Watch Dr. Cara explain the dangers of cell phones below.

For more from Dr. Cara, click here.

next: A Little Boy's Bucket List
8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Lesa July 25, 2008, 8:50 AM

O.K., so I am now getting a wired earpiece. And now I have a valid excuse to NOT get my girls the cellphones for which they have been bugging me. Thanks.

Brittany July 25, 2008, 11:34 AM

Ok this has to be the dumbest thing i have ever heard. Whats next, you can get cancer from petting your dogs? This is just a tatic to scare people into something else. Do we all remember what happened when everbody started freaking out over Y2K and the birdflu? until it really happens people are just going to get all freaked out over nothing. And for Lesa, are you going to let some reasearch project stop you from getting your girls the communication that they need. Today cell phones are a must, and what happens if your girls are stranded somewhere and cant reach you. Or if someting happens at school and they need to reach you. People are so dang worried about everything, its at the point nowadays that we cant even live our own lives. I would rather have cancer caused by my cell phone and know that I can have contact with mi familia then not have the communication that we all need.

Lina July 25, 2008, 1:01 PM

Brittany, sweety i guess this comes down to individual opinions. Shes not telling you specificly, ”Dont use cell phones!” She is saying be cautious! If Lesa’s daughters are old enough to dial a phone number, I think there pretty much old enough to know how to where a wired ear piece. maybe she means babies & toddlers shouldnt play with cell phones, because they shouldnt anyway. Commen sense tells me energy/radioactivity. Hmmm… Definitely something to think about. Its always good to know, cant complain about that. im not going to stop using my cell but might consider an earpiece every now & then. Thank you for sharing. Much love. Piece out!

Esperanza  July 25, 2008, 2:20 PM

This is not new news to me and I’m shocked Brittany has barely heard about it!

Lesa July 25, 2008, 2:48 PM

Yes, my daughters are old enough to dial a phone number. :)

They need their own cellphones like I need a brain tumor. They can use mine with the (now) wired earpiece.

Just like this article says—The precautions are easy enough. It doesn’t say to stop using the cellphones, it says to not put it to your head. So yes, I am going to let a research project stop me from putting that cellphone to my or my kids’ head. I think the “RESEARCHERS” know what they are talking about as opposed to someone with an average opinion based on “I want to do it anyway”.

If my girls get stranded somewhere they will likely be with someone who has a cellphone. If they get stranded somewhere with no friends they will likely be old enough to have bought their own cellphones by this time in their lives OR they will have borrowed ours like they usually do if we think they should be able to get in touch with us (field trips, over nights).

So, I like any other parent on here take precautions. Like the precaution of not putting that cellphone to my head until the researchers say it is o.k. to do so.

501Gurl July 25, 2008, 10:02 PM

Question? What about the blue tooth wireless earpieces? I wander if the also cause cancer. Any feedback.

Ten Tees January 8, 2011, 7:59 PM

Good site. Good and fun reading. I have got a single observation to give about t-shirts.

tabletki na pryszcze April 3, 2011, 7:16 AM

It’s good too read your site again dude, i see some interesting updates here…

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