Thursday, March 8, 2018

Earpieces, texting can quash disease fears

Anxieties about cellphones causing brain cancer are still unfounded, new studies show

Worried about getting cancer from cellphones?

New studies indicate there's no need to hang up — still.

According to a recent Associated Press story by Seth Borenstein and Lauren Neergaard, although "two government studies that bombarded rats and mice with cellphone radiation found a weak link to some heart tumors," federal regulars and some scientists continue to say it's safe to use your device.

Previous studies had shown little reason for anxiety.

"In particular, scientists could not find hard evidence for concern about brain tumors," the story says.

Dr. John Bucher
It goes on to assert that Dr. John Bucher of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the lead author of the research, isn't changing his cellphone use "or advising his family to," and that Dr. Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society's chief medical officer, noted in an interview after reading the studies, "I am actually holding my cellphone up to my ear."

Even though the new studies that involved super-high doses of radiation showed a rare connection to some nerve-tissue tumors in male rats, Brawley's quoted as saying, "the evidence for an association between cellphones and cancer is weak. And so far we have not seen a higher chance risk in people."

If, however, you're still concerned, "wear an earpiece," he urges.

Bucher suggests, moreover, that the rat tumors "do not translate directly into  concern for humans."

According to the AP piece, Bucher's agency "conducted the $25 million study at the behest of the Food and Drug Administration, which quickly said cellphones are safe."

Dr. Jeffrey Shuren
The article also quoted a statement by FDA radiation health chief Dr. Jeffrey Shuren to the effect that the "current safety limits for cellphones are acceptable for protecting the public health."

Bucher, in a news conference, had insisted that the experiment with rats and mice, in which they were bombarded for one hours a day for up to two years, incorporated "a radiation level so high that humans would only experience it briefly, such as when a phone with a weak signal expends more energy searching for as stronger one."

A 2010 analysis in 13 countries had "found little or no risk of brain tumors," and an earlier Danish study that linked phone bills to a cancer registry had found no risk even from more than 13 years of cellphone use.

In December 2017, the state of California issued guidelines saying that if people were still worried, they should reduce exposure by using earphones or texting.

More information about potential links of technological devices to the disease can be extracted from "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

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