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What to do about mobile phones...

3 Jun 2011 5:06 PM - It's a complex question...

You have quite possibly seen the news this week about the latest research into links between mobile phone usage and increased risk of cancer. 

In a nutshell, the World Health Organisation has now come out and said that overall, research suggests there is a possible link and that "heavy" usage should be avoided.  They suggest "heavy" usage is 30 minutes or more every day. 

Over the past decade there has been quite a lot of research into the possible link between mobile phone usage and cancer, particularly brain cancer.  The results have been mixed with some findings saying there is no risk and others saying there is a link.  There are questions about the quality of the research and in some instances the studies have been funded by telco companies so there is a possible question of bias.  But perhaps the biggest problem is that there does not seem to be any research into long term effects and we just don't know because mobile phone usage has only really skyrocketed in the last 10-15 years.  So what will be the impact of 30plus years of usage on someone who starts using a phone in their twenties (or earlier)? 

The problem is electro-magnetic radiation, emitted by mobile phones (and of course wi-fi connections and cordless phones too, amongst other things). 

So, what to do?  Clearly mobile phones (and other EMR emitting devices) are here to stay but if you are at all concerned about your health you could consider the following: 

  • Take the EMR into consideration when choosing your next phone (some are worse than others from that perspective)
  • Monitor your usage and where possible use a hands-free device or other tool to limit direct (on skin) exposure
  • If something can be said via email, text or in person perhaps that is the preferred option
  • Think very hard about supplying a mobile phone to your children (the brain is still developing up until the early 20s and thus is potentially more vulnerable) so if they must have one, again, look at one with low EMR and educate them to use it sparingly for phone calls.
  • Make sure you are doing everything else to boost your immune system and maintain your health.  That includes a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, practising stress management techniques etc etc. 

At the moment, the bottom line seems to be ... you can't eliminate all the risks but you can make conscious choices to minimise them.

 

In good health,

 

Kaye Wright
Naturopath

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