Published February 27, 2012 by Tony


Put it out of your head …. the cellphone of course.
In a physical sense, because reading an Italian journalist’s investigation, by a book just called “Toglietelo dalla testa“, there is to turn pale: among potential tumors, collusion between industry and lobby, very detailed studies and real life experiences. Although someone “turns a deaf ear”, some indexes are clear: in 2011 the International Agency for Research on Cancer puts the mobile phone among the possibly carcinogenic device.
The same operating manuals advise us to keep them to 1 inches from the ear, while is Italian the first judgment on the world, by the Court of Brescia, which has established a claim towards a manager hit by a tumor in the head caused by the excessive use of the cellphone.
Between reportage and investigation, the book describes a system where the actors have too strong and chained interests in this field to resist the temptation, and end up blamed and crucified in a few decades, as the tobacco industries or asbestos factories.
The great contradiction is that most of studies are funded by the industries themselves. This is demonstrated by the fact that, while in 67% of independent studies the biological effects are evident, in the industries researches the probability falls to 28%.  A huge difference.
Maliciously, we may think that science, which is often not well funded by governments, has no interest in biting the hand that is feeding it. When they  are the factories to pay a research, it can be biased or some result occulted. Then there is an explanation of a psychological nature: no one wants to deal with the problem. We are too attached to our cell, we love it, too useful and necessary to look at it as a risky item.
The book recounts the cases of people with devastating tumors, but they were also 5-6 hours a day on phone. Readers might think just borderline cases. But no, because it is often a combined use of cellular and cordless phones, which works more or less with the same technology. Speaking of hours is not an exaggeration: there are people who use mobile phones 3-4 hours a day, forced by the kind of work they do.
Borderline cases are by now become routine.
Cell_Phone-RadiationThe big problem is the discovery that non-ionizing radiations don’t break the DNA, and hence the assumption that they are not risky and do not create direct damages. This is the boundary on which the mobile phones manufacturers are perched. Radiations do not break the DNA but change the functioning cell, anyway. This is demonstrate, among others, by Nora Volkow’s studies, that with an experiment conducted on 47 patients, has demonstrated, through a scanner for positron emission tomography, that these radiations accelerate the cellular metabolism of glucose, affecting the brain. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), that sets guidelines for exposure to non-ionizing radiation, indicates the permissive limits, and if they change even one iota, the damage to the industry becomes incalculable.
After that the International Agency for Research on Cancer, on May 31, 2011 has included the radiation emitted by mobile phones among the ‘possibly carcinogenic’ ones (group 2B), the Italian Ministry of Health did not feel to say everything is still going fine, and since the Italian National Institute of Health has always had a calm attitude on this subject, addressed the superior council of  Health, which, in November 2011, with all the appropriate caveats, came to conclusion that people mustn’t do an indiscriminate use of cellphone and that children should limit use to a minimum. Not so much but a start, at least.
Besides, there also is a debate on what the manuals say, as some say that 1 inch is not at all sufficient, because the waves go beyond, aware they are dispersed according to the distance. When in doubt, we should privilege a more precautionary approach and keep cell well away from the head. If you use a Bluetooth headset there are other types of radiation in play. Although, for privacy, the speakerphone isn’t optimal, the wireless headset could be the most correct solution for the moment, at least.
And please, in future don’t say that you didn’t know this.

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