Modern medicine: Mobile Phones in the gun-sights again?


It is a New Year, so it’s time for a health discovery and a health warning to follow. This began with the advice of one of the authors of two new preliminary US government studies by the National Toxicology Program (NTP).

The advice of one of the authors of two new preliminary US government studies by the NTP is use your mobile phone, but use it carefully, taking certain commonsense precautions. And be sure your kids have safe mobile phone habits, too.

According to the New York Post, the studies reviewed the long-term effects of exposure to mobile phone radiation, which is a non-ionizing form of radiation also found in microwave ovens.

“If there is a risk, it is small.” said Dr John Bucher, the senior scientist with the NTP.

The worthy scientists based some of their findings on laboratory rodents and found that despite exposing laboratory animals to radiation, the health of the rats and mice was similar, in fact, some of the animals exposed to high dosages lived longer than those that weren’t, Dr Bucher said.

However, to counteract these negative findings Dr Bucher played the trump card, the cancer one. He is reported as having said some findings, “that were concerning to us – some evidence of carcinogen activity.” (A ploy guaranteed to make the public sit up.)

On the other side of the fence, the National Cancer Institute in the US put forward, “There is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk,” according to “Cellphones and Cancer Risk,” a paper recently published by the National Cancer Institute that reviewed cellphone research.

Mobile phone safety studies are ongoing because phones have become ubiquitous. There were about 417 million mobile phone plans or contracts in the United States in 2016, according to the most recent figures.

Dr Bucher emphasized that these new studies are not definitive. Years of research remain before all questions can be answered about the potential dangers of these addictive gadgets that have become the panacea of millions. And who pays for the research? You do.

If you are worried (and I can tell you I’m not), then you can reduce ionizing radiation by not jamming the phone hard against your ear, as cellphone radiation diminishes dramatically with distance.” Sleeping at night with your phone placed a distance away from you while recharging has also been suggested.

The National Cancer Institute said, “The use of hands-free technology, such as wired and wireless headsets, is increasing and may decrease radio frequency exposure to the head and the brain.” Note use of the word “may”.

For now, however, the link between cancer and mobile phones is unproved, most researchers say.

America’s Food and Drug Administration, in reviewing the NTP reports, said that it believes “the current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health.”

Now, Mobile phones are hardly new technology, although the latest 5G variety seems to be able to do everything from cleaning the house, watering the garden, tying your shoelaces and washing the dog, as well as making and receiving telephone calls. There have been claims that using mobile phones produces brain cancer because people with brain cancer have used mobiles, and that is about as stupid as claiming that shoes are the greatest killer in the western society because 99 percent of people who died last year wore shoes.

What is not said in all these shock, horror headlines, is that these research chappies in the hallowed halls of academia need finance to keep going, and they are all in competition with each other to grab a slice of the research dollar eventually funded by you and me. The more shock, horror headers they can get, the more likely they are to get further funding. It is the money train again.

However, forget phony mobile phone numbers, high cholesterol is an adverse factor as far as your cardiac condition is concerned, and the research well documented. Believe it. And cholesterol levels are unaltered by mobile phone use. Believe that one too. And get your cholesterol levels checked and your blood sugar as well.

Beware of ‘scientific breakthroughs’ reported in the popular press. It may just be fishing for funding.