We cannot live without our cellphones today. Just look around and probably just about everyone you see either has their phone in their hands or will in the next ten minutes. With this constant usage there has been some negatives. Of course there is the social aspects with fewer people being able to carry on a conversation and of course there is the occasional video of someone so glued to their phone that they walk into a post or something of the sort. For some though there is a perceived danger of radiation. It is a hot topic even here in the Susquehanna Valley what with the Hempfield School District approving a Verizon tower recently.

In today’s world where everything seemingly gives us cancer just the very word radiation is enough to perk up ears. With phones near our faces brain cancer is a prime fear after all it has been proven that phones do emit radiation. But not all radiation is equal.

When people think of radiation they think of say nuclear fallout or radiation that comes from something like X-rays. That radiation is ionizing radiation which is capable of mutating DNA. Sunlight exposes us to radiation as does walking underneath a power line and cell phones emit radiofrequency radiation which cannot do that. There is a spectrum of radiation and radiofrequency falls at the lower end. This type of radiation can also be found with microwaves as well and while it has enough energy to make atoms vibrate it does not have enough to change cellular structure. It can be dangerous if exposed to excessive amounts since in large quantities where it can produce heat which can burn tissue.

Recent studies that have exposed mice to radiofrequency radiation have found that it can develop tumors but only with dosages far higher than what anyone’s cell phone can emit. These studies used 2G and 3G frequencies and exposed the mice to radiation for 9 hours a day for two full years. Their exposure was much higher than the normal amount that people are exposed to even if those people are constantly on their phones.

Radiofrequency radiation occurs in nature and we are exposed to it everyday. It comes from space and from the Sun and is also present in lightning. It is even produced naturally by the Earth in small quantities. Mankind produces it with all television and radio broadcasts, radar, wi-fi, Bluetooth, of course cell phones and their towers and many many other things. You are being exposed to radiofrequency radiation right now as you read this.

Even the Food and Drug Administration have been forced to weigh in by asking the National Toxicology Program to investigate. Their findings were the same as many other studies conducted. These studies have not been peer reviewed yet or released to the public but what has been released is a statement by Jeffrey Shuren director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health and he has found no link between radiofrequency radiation and cancer with normal doses. Interestingly enough it seems that male mice that were exposed seemed to live longer than control mice. Even the American Cancer Society agrees that there is little evidence of cancer from cell phone usage.

There are plenty of reasons to put the phone down but getting cancer is not one of them. Many of you run your businesses from your phone so hopefully you can at least breath a sigh of relief that there is at least one thing out there that the public has been wrong about giving you cancer. So yap away. Just don’t do it while driving and watch out for that post over there!

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