This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

June 1, 2016

Cell Phones and Cancer

With over two billion cell phone users worldwide, the market continues to grow. In fact, in the first quarter of 2016, a whopping 334.9 million smartphones were shipped across the globe. What smartphone users may not realize are the insidious effects of holding or wearing cell phones. Moreover. more than 90 percent of American adults use cell phones. However, relatively little was known about their safety because the current exposure guidelines were based on knowledge about acute injury, not long-term, low-level exposure.

An issue for a long time
In 2011, The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified Radio Frequency (RF) radiation as a possible human carcinogen. Unfortunately, thereafter, data from human studies was "inconsistent". Last week, federal scientists in the United States changed that situation.

Recent landmark study
Spending USD$25 Million, researchers at the US National Toxicology Program (NTP), a federal interagency group under the National Institutes of Health, released the study, making the case linking exposure to radiofrequency radiation to tumor formation in rats. In this study, the researchers consistently exposed rats to carefully calibrated RF radiation levels calculated to roughly match what humans with heavy cell phone use or exposure could theoretically experience in their daily lives.

Two types of rare cancers
As a result of their 2-year, lifetime RF radiation exposure, starting in utero, an unprecedented number of rodents showed formations of rare cancers in at least two cell types. In their brains, tumors of the glial cells in the brain (gliomas) were found and in their hearts, tumors of the nerve sheath that push nerve fibers aside (schwannomas) were found.

More research needed
Although the scientists believe there is cause for changing consumer behaviors, they also believe that more research is needed to determine actual human effects. Though the cell phone industry is in denial, there will be more research into the effects of RF radiation on humans. Expect to see more of this research (and more evidence of the connection) with both animals and humans.

In the meantime, stay safe. . .
Scientists recommend reducing risky behaviors, by limiting RF exposure: "using the speakerphone, keeping the phone on the desk instead of the body, and using a wired headset whenever possible".

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