Concerns about the health risks associated with cell phones date back almost to the dawn of the industry. Over the last four decades, while cell phones shrunk and multiplied and worked their way into the very fabric of human existence, the vague threat of danger has slunk along behind like a faint but troubling and unshakeable odor: do what they could, scientists couldn't quite eliminate it, and they couldn't quite define it, either. The best they've been able to do is say that the radiation coming from cell phones may or may not cause cancer.
What's been holding researchers back up to this point is that, unlike x-rays and other forms of high-energy, ionizing radiation, low levels of radio-wave exposure don't have the power to penetrate cells and blow apart bits of DNA. For radio frequencies from cell phones to cause genetic mutations in brain tissue, the tissue must absorb an obscene dose of them, and scientists simply don't know whether or not that's happening--even in people who spend the better part of their days holding the little energy-emitting devices flush against the side of their heads.
To get a definitive answer, researchers need to be able to measure exactly how much radiation the brain absorbs during normal cell phone use--and they might finally have a way of doing it.
Radio frequencies get transferred to heat when they're absorbed by brain tissue, and those heat signatures can be detected by magnetic resonance imaging. Unfortunately, because of the intense magnetic fields involved, you can't just put someone inside of an MRI with a metal-laden cell phone and measure how much warmer her brain gets. In the past, researchers have used electrical probes to emit energy inside of model brains, and then measured the resulting heat signatures. But such simulations have never been close enough to the real thing to yield conclusive results.
Now, a group of researchers in New York and New Jersey have designed an antenna that emits radio frequencies in the same way as cell phones, but doesn't include any of a phone's pesky metal parts. They've already put the antenna next to a cow's brain inside an MRI and tracked the resulting hot spots in the brain.
In the future, the antenna system should allow scientists to build an accurate 3-D map of cell phone radiation in the human brain--a crucial step in determining how much energy the organ is exposed to at a time, and whether those little doses might add up to a real threat.
I hope they will be able to publish results of the study soon. There is a lot of hype surrounding cell phone use. But personal cell phone use is something every individual can control. Another issue, the effects of cell phone and Wi - Max towers near schools and homes, should be investigated as well.
Locally we have a lot of arguments, discussions and public protest action around the erection of cell phone towers, the "nimby's" reside especially in the better of suburbs where cell phone usage is probably highest, and where, ironically, they moan the loudest about bad reception.
@ African Rover; I went to the abstract link and found that Princeton is the place that's being paid, by Lucent Technologies, to do the 'study'. While I hold hope eternal for some actual honest results to be relayed to the people regarding human and animal risk in our hifiwifi driven world; I'm not holding my breath for this. The 'studies' so far that have been paid for by the tech companies have had little to do with unbiased science.
If cell phone radiation is dangerous shouldn't ham radio operators and people who work around broad cast towers see elevated cancer levels?
I believe the power of cell phones transmit in micro or pica watts, extremely small and yet no studies are made with the typical police, fireman, government, military or civilian hand held radios that transmit in watts. My radio at work transmits 15 watts and yes, you need to hold it near your head. This radio is Motorola and common. The frequencies transmitted are in the same range as cell phones too.
Just imagine if the truth came out about the hand held radios I speak about, consider all the massive laws suits that would happen against the government and in the civilian world. It would be massive.
I can understand why the keep they keep it vague about cell phones be harmful; it’s really just the tip of the ice berg of harm that is actually be done!
Get a Geiger counter and place it beside a cell phone when you are turning off/on the phone, or travelling in a car! My Geiger counter gets messed up because the cell phone actually induces a current in it and messes it up(alarm starts going off, memory is garbage). So if it can induce a current, then it is for sure doing something to your brain! I guess phones send out strong microwaves when trying to find the cell phone towers.
Hyperdose: That's just electrical interference. Cell phones do not emit ionizing radiation. As such, they can produce no real signal in a Geiger-Müller tube.
Acmesalesrep: you are correct. I just happened to have them in my backpack at the same time when it happened. I just could not believe it induced a current! Geiger counter uses so little energy to run. I have never had anything that caused electrical interference. Now I have to get something that checks microwaves! I have no interest in cooking my brain! :)