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May 20th, 2011
08:00 AM ET

Gupta: Cell phones, brain tumors and a wired earpiece

Learn more about cell phones and the current research into whether they could cause brain tumors, “Sanjay Gupta, M.D.,” Saturday, 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. ET and Sunday at 7:30 a.m. ET.

By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent

Just about every time I use a cell phone, I plug in my wired earpiece first. Having discussed the use of earpieces on several news shows, people expect to see me using one. If I am walking around the CNN studios, my colleagues often comment on it. In airports, people will stop me in the rare cases I forget to use the earpiece, and remind me about it. Perhaps, they are intrigued because I am a neurosurgeon who openly shows some concern about cell phones.

Truth is, it is a pretty easy thing to do – using an earpiece. Furthermore, my neck doesn’t hurt after being on the phone for a long conference call, and given that many of those calls take place in a car, an earpiece becomes a requirement. Still, though, I don’t want to dodge the obvious question: Do cell phones cause brain cancer?

It may be too early to say for sure. The latency period or time between exposure and recognition of a tumor is around 20 years, sometimes longer. And, cell phone use in the U.S. has been popular for only  around 15 years. Back in 1996, there were 34 million cell phone users. Today there are 9-10 times as many. Keeping that in mind, it is worth taking a more detailed look at the results of Interphone, a multinational study designed to try to  answer this question.

The headline from this study was there was little or no evidence to show an association between cell phones and cancer. Though, if you went to the appendix of the study, which interestingly was available only online, you found something unsettling. The data showed people who used a cell phone 10 years or more doubled the risk of developing a glioma, a type of brain tumor. And, across the board – most of the studies that have shown an increased risk are from Scandinavia, a place where cell phones have been popular since the early 1990s. For these reasons, the whole issue of latency could become increasingly important.

Cell phones use non-ionizing radiation, which is very different from the ionizing radiation of X-rays, which everyone agrees are harmful. Non-ionizing radiation won’t strip electrons or bust up DNA. It's more like very low power microwaves. Short term, these microwaves are likely harmless, but long term could be a different story. Anyway, who likes the idea of a microwave, even a low-powered one, next to their head all day?

And, what about kids? I have three of them, aged 5, 4 and 2. Fact is, they are more likely to lead to my early demise than cell phones. But, as hard as it is to believe sometimes, they actually have thinner skulls than adults, and will probably be using cell phones longer than I ever will.

The first person to encourage me to regularly wear an ear piece was Dr. Keith Black. He also is a neurosurgeon, and makes a living removing – you guessed it – brain tumors. Keith has long believed there is a link, and for some time, his was a lonely voice in this discussion. Nowadays, he has loud and prominent voices accompanying him. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute,  sent a memo warning staffers to limit their cell phone use. One of the possible consequences, he says, is  an increased risk of brain cancer. The city of San Francisco is trying to pass an ordinance requiring radiation warning labels on all cell phones.  The European Environmental Agency has said cell phones could be as big a public health risk as smoking, asbestos and leaded gasoline. Even the makers of cell phones suggest you don’t place a device against your head, but rather advocate holding it 5/8 to a full inch away.

Many will roll their eyes at this, scoffing at the precautionary principle on display here. Fair enough. Still, I like my wired earpiece, and I don’t have to turn my life upside down to use it. I also text and email a lot more, because my kids rarely allow me to have a phone conversation. Speaking of kids, you will probably see mine using earpieces too, when my wife and I decide they are old enough to use one, which isn’t in the foreseeable future.

With reporting from CNN's Danielle Dellorto


soundoff (742 Responses)
  1. Richard

    People, you should wait to use your home phone (landline) so you won't endanger yourselves! Stop relying on your cell phones. That's what I do.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Zac

      What is a landline?

      May 20, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse |
    • Curious

      Zac, thats funny. Today with all the debt use I sometime say that about cold green cash dollars 🙂

      May 20, 2011 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Realistic85

      Landline? It's cheaper to have a cell phone as my home phone and I can take it with me anywhere. I'd rather spend my money on something I need, like a bluetooth headset so I don't have my phone against my ear. Wellcome to the 21st century...

      May 20, 2011 at 13:39 | Report abuse |
    • ladiannegrace

      I THINK THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USING YOUR CELL PHONE AND HAVING A BLUE TOOTH GLUED TO YOUR HEAD FOR 16 HOURS A DAY... IHOPE THIS IS TAKEN INTO CONSIDERATION, WHEN THEY DO A STUDY...

      May 20, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      In many places outside of the US, you can't even get a landline...

      May 20, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • locdvegan

      ditto on the bluetooth thing...it doesn't make sense to me to have constant signal at my head with that thing in my ear than occasional signal at my head on the rare occasion that i'm talking on my cell...my home phone (i'm blessed to have a mother that insists on covering the costs for the home phone while i have and pay for my own cell) doesn't ring unless i call it to be sure it's still connected lol but seriously, i might talk on my cell 2 days a week for maybe 5 mins per call...that thing doesn't run my life like i see most ppl with it practically glued to their heads...

      May 20, 2011 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • DIRTYHORSE

      it's not a tumor. It's another child with a ugly lady.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Cordless "landline" phones may be just as dangerous as cellphones.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Bluetooth may be dangerous too, that's why Dr. Gupta uses a wired earpiece instead.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
    • mrblue

      How long would that wire have to be? Long enough to have the phone in your chest pocket in your blazer, or the phone in your pants pocket? I would think radiation bad for your brain would be equally bad for your heart, lungs or genitals. Wireless phones use about the same frequencies as cellular phones. You'd think wireless phones would be causing tumors as well, and since they have been around for over 20 years, should be enough for a study. Besides what is teh difference? We are bathed in the wireless signals of cell towers, wifi, radio...how is that factored in?

      May 20, 2011 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
  2. BobZemko

    There's something FAR more dangerous than brain tumors; drivers on the freeway gabbing away or texting.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Realistic85

      Those people are just accidents waiting to happen.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • DIRTYHORSE

      Yeah cause so many more people die from traffic accidents than cancer. Let me sit on your face.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  3. Pleo

    If cell phones could, in fact, cause cancer, we would expect to see a higher cancer rate among amateur radio operators, who have been exposing themselves to RF fields much stronger than this for well over 80 years now. But studies have not shown an increased rate of cancer among ham radio operators.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Relictus

      EXACTLY! I forgot about those guys. Thanks 🙂

      May 20, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • Realistic85

      Very interesting. Good point.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • HamOperator

      The RF energy from a ham transceiver is all outside of their building (shack) and strictly controlled by following protocol. They are not exposed to any more RF than the typical person unless their equipment is not properly set up.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
    • T

      My Father is 64 and has been an amature radio user. He has full blown leukemia that the doctors think was caused by using the radio. There are more out there than you are aware of.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse |
    • Don F.

      to Ham Operator: You have a faraday cage surrounding your "ham shack" if not you will get RF bleed in from your external antennae. Also, it is not clear to me that your in-shak gear would be shielded enough to prevent radiation. Having said all that, It is my understanding that Most Ham operators do no work at microwave frequencies (i.e. above 1GHz. or in ham speak in roughtly the 0.01 meter band).

      May 20, 2011 at 14:32 | Report abuse |
    • bob

      Or people who work under city buildings with Radio Stations, people who live next radio stations .. police who used walkie talkies
      the list of RF emitting devices goes on and on

      May 20, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
    • phytoplankton

      Not necessarily true, as absorption is not merely a function of power output by the antenna, but the frequency of the transmitted signal and the distance of the antenna transmitter from the head.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Amateur radio operators don't put those radios next to their heads. There was a lot of concern about radiation, and if you read the book for the amateur radio license, it has a section warning about radiation and how far to stay from the radio. Also, these radios had antennas which were not next to them. If you are talking about Star Trek radios, those were science fiction.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • Don F.

      To Khamul01:
      " but unless you're in the oven with the burrito, there's no chance of getting radiation from it."

      Is incorrect. Microwaves do give off radiation outside their box. Folks who manage WiFi networks see the microwave radiation when they use spectrum monitors. While it will not heat your cup of coffee nor give you a warm feeling inside, the radiation is there.

      Oh, by the way, wireless aside, computers can/do generate radiation although shielding blocks most of it. Also the good old favorite the TV generates X-ray radiation in the picture tube (expeciallin the color models). Most of this is shielded by highly leaded glass in the picture tube.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:46 | Report abuse |
    • angelaD

      And what about those guys at NORAD and other missile control stations. They had to stare at those high frequency screens for hours a day and a lot of them got cancer. Even the military agrees with that and has done changes.

      May 20, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  4. Relictus

    Cancer causes cancer. 🙂

    Seriously, people. The same people who will worry about a cellphone causing brain cancer will think nothing about popping a burrito in the microwave and getting a much higher dosage of the same type of radiation. Sunlight is radiation. There is even radiation from space. Cancer is poorly understood, IMO. Cellphone usage is so ubiquitous that cellphones cannot be a primary agent for cancer. As for the latency issue, try finding something that doesn't cause cancer – I could hold a block of wood to my head and a study might find that it causes the exact same kind of tumors in the other study.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Curious

      Sorry, but environmental toxins cause cancer as well as a predisposition to the disease. Everyone knows that there is low grade radiation everywhere but it is also known that you need to limit your exposure, thats why most doctors track your x-rays. Especially dentists, if your over the safe amount they will weight the need of exposing you again. Plus, I would take the recommendations of 2 of the most reputable doctors in the states, 1 of which is a specialist in dealing with brain tumors over some dude on a blog any day, sorry buddy.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      But will you take the recommendations of "2 of the most reputable doctors in the states" over that of the members of the World Heath Organization?

      May 20, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse |
    • Khamul01

      Relictus –

      I'm not sure what you're trying to suggest about microwave ovens, but unless you're in the oven with the burrito, there's no chance of getting radiation from it. The radiation energy absorbed by the burrito is immediately transferred to heat by the water molecules in the burrito, the only radiation you're getting is heat when you eat it.

      Radiation is highly dependent on distance from the source. For radioactive particles, its 1/r^6, so you dont have to be very far away for the exposure to be much decreased. I put my cell phone on my desk when I'm not using it, just being a foot away rather than having it on my body will decrease any potential risk by orders of magnitude.

      A more general point that you're making is very valid however, we are constantly exposed to risks that we're not aware of, and some of them are much more dangerous than our cell phones. The difficult part is assessing the degrees of risk in the context of our lifestyle.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      The World Health Organization is concerned with malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea diseases, AIDS, malnutrition, all of which they are getting less and less funding to try to combat. The only funding for "studies" have come from the cell phone industry, which is a multi-billion dollar business. The study cited in the article said that there was no problem, but the appendix said that after 10 years, the incidence of brain cancer doubled; doesn't that disturb you?

      May 20, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • Patrick

      Why would the ubiquitous nature of cell phone use negate any possible connection with cancer? Did the ubiquitous use of nicotine in the early and mid 20th Century mean there was no connection between nicotine and cancer?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:32 | Report abuse |
  5. Sona K.

    Correlation does not prove causation so I understand when Dr. Gupta says that we can't say for sure than cell phones *cause* brain cancer but when it comes to medicine, sometimes even a correlation is reason enough to take precaution. Using an earpiece or earphones with speakers are not inconvenient to use, so it's an easy adjustment to make.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mk46

      Yes, but factor analysis does.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse |
    • mk46

      With multiple possible factors correlating with brain cancer, component and factor analysis can identify causal relationships.
      These scientists studying cell phone use and cancer risk are no fools; they know correlation alone is not cause – that's elementary statistics. However, correlating factors (when properly analyzed) can reveal cause. You only need a few correlating factors to do factor analysis.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
    • phytoplankton

      Good point. There's a difference between causation and correlation, which is so often ignored. I do not see an emf signal implanting cancer's complex genetic payload into the body. Even if it 'triggered' cancer, other conditions in the body would need to be present, and arguably those conditions would represent the underlying 'cause.'

      May 20, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
  6. Dan

    Dr. Gupta, a question – are there any cell phone covers that can block the non-ionizing radiation? Or are there any other methods one could use to block it? A related question is how far can the non-ionizing radiation travel from the source (cell phone)?

    May 20, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bgrngod

      Blocking the radiation would mean blocking the signal too. You'd have a nice paperweight.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • scott

      A cell phone cover that blocks the non ionizing radiation would also block any chance you have of using the cell phone to make a call. But also don't forget that a wireless ear piece is also going to expose you to non ionizing radiation, i.e. its wireless.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:21 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Non-ionizing radiation is an electromagnetic wave, and can hence travel indefinitely. However, the power drops as the square of the distance from the emitter.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      (It's a radio, meaning, to get the call, you are getting the radiation). However, I also wonder... why are people only worried about the brain? Pockets are over the colon. Even a wire from ear to phone will still go to a phone somewhere next to the body that will be exposed to high radiation levels.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • DIRTYHORSE

      so basically people are talking through cancer?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • Richard Strickland

      Dan,

      We tested one of the first so-called cell-guards. Yes, it shielded the antenna. But the net result that the phone received a weaker signal. When the phone receives a weak signal, it is programmed to increase the power level it uses (logically if the input is weak, the user must be far from a cell site and therefore more energy will be needed to talk to the cell site.) Thus this guard actually resulted in the user getting a much higher amount of energy in the brain.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
  7. Fahnuchi

    What about Plantronic ear pieces used on regular phones? Is there a risk?

    May 20, 2011 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Realistic85

      Good question. I beleive they are safe. I think they use something different than cell phones to transmit. Then next question is why don't they use Bluetooth for everything? I believe it only transmits so far and won't work for longer distances between cell towers and phones.

      May 20, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Bluetooth actually uses frequencies very similar to many cell phones (~ 2.4 GHz,) as do home cordless telephones, microwave ovens, your laptop, smart phone, tablet, or iPod's wi-fi connection, etc. However, cell phones put out much more power than bluetooth or wi-fi in order to be able to reach the tower. Their power output scales back as you get closer to the tower, though. However, the biggest difference between your cell phone or bluetooth headset and your laptop is the distance from your head. RF power diminishes with the square of distance. Thus, if you double the distance, you only get 1/4 of the power. So, the difference between having the phone right against your head and even an inch away is actually very significant when it comes to the amount of power that will be absorded by your head.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  8. mk46

    What about the EM radiation from all the electronic communication moving through the air, and through us? Sure, in this article they are talking about the risk the cell phone transmitter poses so close to the brain; but what about the radiation received? If you could see it, the air would be think and bright with EM radiation from all variety of transmitters, 24 hrs per day. Couldn't that pose a health threat?

    May 20, 2011 at 13:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bgrngod

      Even without all of those man made radiation sources, there is already a significant amount of radiation that we are exposed to regularly. The extra manufactured radiation is negligible in comparison. The concern with cell phones is the close proximity to the source of the radiation where it would be more concentrated. Having a cell phone in your hand exposes your brain to far less of the radiation being emitted from it than having it on your ear would.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • phytoplankton

      Brain-tissue absorption rates drop off inversely with the square of the distance form the transmitter. For example, a phone held two inches from the head, as opposed to one inch, will result in 4 times less radiation being absorbed. Furthermore, the radiation absorbed depends upon the frequency of the energy and the resonant frequencies of molecules in your brain. Many electromagnetic signals pass right through the brain with no absorption at all (or are completely blocked by the skull). Note that light is also electromagnetic energy - it's just at a different frequency - so are the AM/FM signals transmitted from your local radio station - but your head is not on the transmitter, and the signals are at substantially different frequencies than cell phone radiation.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  9. Eileen

    I am curious. He specifies that he uses a wired earpiece. I wonder if that is significant or just coincidental. I have a Bluetooth wireless earpiece. Is it less safe than a wired one?

    May 20, 2011 at 13:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tune A Fish

      Some people think so.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:22 | Report abuse |
    • Don F.

      Bluetooth technology uses EM at about 1-2 GHz - microwave frequency. The power is significantly less than that used for WiFi b/g. It is no accident that a "wired" ear piece was mentioned. Mention should also be made of portable cordless phones (not cell phones) commonly found in homes. These often function in the 1-2 GHz (microwave) spectrum.

      I am not a bio physicist but I an suspiscious that naturally occuring ionizing radiation (cosmic rays, etc) cause more damage than microwave radiation when comparing standard/normal exposure to each. Then we can add in un-natural exposure to X-rays. There was a time when many shoe stores had un-regulated X-ray machines to X-ray feet for shoe fit. There was a time when evey six months dentists took a set of X-rays regardless of indication. There was a time when radium was routinely used on watch dials.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Don, you're comparing apples and oranges there. X-rays and the like are ionizing radiation. Everyone knows now that ionizing radiation is dangerous. Cell phones emit essentially zero ionizing radiation (no more than any other random object... and quite a bit less than, say, a banana.) Cell phones emit non-ionizing RF radiation, which is certainly much safer than any form of ionizing radiation, though perhaps not 100% safe. I wouldn't want to stand in front of a radar transmitter all day, but the power levels observed from cell phones are much less likely to be problematic, though still much higher than that from a bluetooth headset or a wi-fi connection.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse |
  10. Chris

    Great report. If you look even deeper into the Interphone study, there is even more reason to be concerned. Heaviest users were EXCLUDED from the study. The cut off point for inclusion was an average use of 30 minutes per day over a 10 year period. I know many business people who use their blackberries for at least 2+ hours per day...

    May 20, 2011 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      Very good point. Not just business people, but teenagers seem to have the phone glued to their heads.
      Some studies also claimed that older cell phones emitted more radiation, but the most recent phones out this year use up their batteries within a day: more power equals more radiation. Not all the radiation comes from the radio: this is an electronic device, and all electronic devices emit radiation.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:02 | Report abuse |
  11. MikeyZ

    This reminds me of the scare-up in the 80s when researchers scared up the masses by telling them that children living in proximity to powerlines increased their likelihood of leukemia. In the long run, no such evidence was found. This will be the case for cell phones, too.

    Epidemiology in the wrong hands is a dangerous tool. Unfortunately, it's almost always found in the wrong hands.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      +1 Statistics can prove anything.

      3/4th of the states that start with the letter "M" have a higher than average cancer rate. If you move pick carefully; don't forget that over 70% of states that start with a vowel have a lower than average cancer rate.
      http://statecancerprofiles.cancer.gov/cgi-bin/quickprofiles/profile.pl?00&001#notes

      I found the real cause of cancer though. Every person that has had cancer was exposed to nitrogen.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:31 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      Studies on electromagnetic radiation are often funded by the industry. If you are part of that industry, of course you will try to say that cell phones are safe. If you are a consumer, then buyer beware.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse |
  12. erich2112x

    Always use a headset.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bob

      Then where is your phone ? on your waste ? lol think if it causes cancer your not gonna get it somewhere else?

      May 20, 2011 at 14:37 | Report abuse |
    • Chitown Jason

      Perhaps, Bob. But you can hold it away from your body with your hand. And, I'm not positive, but I'm guessing that it is worse to have a tumor in our brain than most other places in the body...

      May 20, 2011 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  13. Michael H

    Dr. Gupta needs to stick to neurosurgery. He knows nothing of RF propogation. The cord of an earpiece contains wires for the conduction of electricity. Presence of a conductor in a radio frequency (RF) field alters the radiation pattern of the cell phone and can actually expose the user to more radiation. As for Bluetooth headset, it operates at a much higher frequency. The higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength. The shorter the wavelength the less penetrating power of the signal. They are safer than the corded headset.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suri

      Mike H - you are absolutely incorrect. Both the size of the loops as well as the diameter of the prevent what you are describing. A wired earpiece is neither an antenna or a source of amplified radiation. As long as you use an earpiece designed for your phone, it is the safer alternative.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Hopefully the audio output circuit would have a low-pass audio filter on it preventing the RF from going up the wire, though. Also, Bluetooth isn't that much higher frequency that some cell phones. Some of them are 1.9+ GHz, though many are in the 800 – 900 MHz band. Either way, it's still microwaves. 2.4 GHz (what bluetooth uses) doesn't have much worse penetration than 900 MHz, though and the difference between bluetooth and ~ 2 GHz cell phones would be almost negligible. Now, 24 GHz would be a different story.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:30 | Report abuse |
  14. Jonny

    60 minutes did a story on the health aspect of cell phone signal transmissions and a link to brain cancer back in the 1990's. This was back when cellular phones were the size of a brick. I recall the story centering on a scientist who was part of the development for wireless phones. The company behind this was Motorola. Somewhere in the Arizona desert or Southwestern USA was their testing area. Wow, Dr. Sanjay Gupta's story helped me remember this one particular story. The sad thing about it was, like all potential cash cows (wireless technology) Motorola buried the studies and their patented technology went through to what it is today.

    Good Luck Dr. Sanjay Gupta on more stories like these.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Scott

    I find it amazing how much stuff turns out to be cancer-causing after we've been using it for 20 years. It's too bad we can't do a better job of detecting these risks before products are introduced. I try to use my cell phone as a speakerphone as much as possible, holding it away from my body.

    May 20, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tune A Fish

      It is called money. That is the whole story.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  16. John Meakin

    JDM
    Can the human eye tell blue from green ? Both are electromagnetic radiations.

    "Radiation" is far too general a term. Why has nobody mentioned quantum theory ? Your 'phone works giving one of untold examples of the veracity of quantum theory. The same theory excludes cell damage from a phone's radiation.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vbscript2

      Light isn't microwave. It's nanowave and has almost no penetration. Perhaps you've noticed that if you hold your hand between a light source and some object, the light from the source doesn't hit the object? That's because light doesn't penetrate objects of any sort (including the side of your face.)

      May 20, 2011 at 16:33 | Report abuse |
  17. Catwoman

    The link between cell phones and brain tumors has been in the media since the early 90's. Why does the mainstream continue to ignore this?

    May 20, 2011 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. EMERSE

    ohhhh just stop already! Brain cancer has been around longer than cell phones. People are always looking into something causing cancer. Gets old. The sun causes! Lets spray some water on it and put it out! Maybe its the apple a day that causes cancer!

    May 20, 2011 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vbscript2

      No, it's not the apple. It's the banana. The potassium includes a non-negligible amount of a radioactive isotope of potassium, which produces ionizing radiation, which is much more dangerous than the non-ionizing radiation you receive from cell phone usage.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  19. mccccccccc

    It's kind of ironic that he is so concerned with using a cell phone yet he is willing to have "long conference calls" while driving in his car? So he completely accepts the minute possibility of brain cancer from using a cell phone yet he completely ignores the known fact that using a hands free phone device while driving is equally as dangerous as talking on your cell phone without one. I can guarantee you that his risk of death is about 100000000000 times greater by talking on a cell while driving than his risk of brain cancer from using a cell for 24 hours a day.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bgrngod

      He said "in a car" not "While driving a car".

      May 20, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      He has his conference calls sitting in his car?

      May 20, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
  20. Chris

    Let's pretend for a moment that the telecommunications industries (which provide billions in revenues for governments for licensing fees) don't have their hands in the back pockets of many individuals in various positions of power in society...and that they haven't got the power to 'bury' studies and 'influence' those in charge of determining whether or not there is any 'weight of evidence'...Lloyds of London – one of the biggest insurance companies in the world REFUSES to insure cell phone companies for liability related to health because they have read these 'studies' and have noticed an emerging pattern (similar to what went on with tobacco and asbestos). Don't you know that the first warning about cigarettes came out of Germany in the 1930's! Heck – the American Medical Association ENDORSED cigarettes years later! (I'm old enough to remember those cigarette commercials about the brand that 'Doctors Prefer Most'.) It will take just one huge court decision to blow this out of the water. Now...don't get me started on the military research on the health effects of non-ionizing radiation that was done years ago during the cold war...

    May 20, 2011 at 14:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      "Lloyds of London – one of the biggest insurance companies in the world REFUSES to insure cell phone companies for liability related to health because they have read these 'studies' and have noticed an emerging pattern"

      The emerging pattern is that someone gets cancer, decides to sue, and the manufacturer has to spend a wad of cash even if they win.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa Williams

      Good points.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:57 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth

      My mother and grandmother both smoked. Both had dementia related to capillaries breaking in the brain. This is nothing compared to the millions who MAY survive cell phones into old age, only to have early-onset Alzheimer's and other brain function problems. I too can remember all the arguments that tobacco isn't really bad for you; that was because the industry made so much money. The American Medical Association used to own tobacco stock! Who owns cell phone stock? Verizon is one of the biggest contributors to the Republican Party: see a pattern?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • mrblue

      Elizabeth – Verizon is a wireline phone company which in turn owns about 50% of Verizon Wireless. And I do not see how their political donations matter. But if they do, according to followthemoney.org, the wireless/cellular/paging industry gave more to Democrats in 2008, while more to republicans in 2006, and slightly more to Republicans in 2010. Seems more like they are trying to support the projected winners, instead of adhering to any polictical doctrine.

      May 20, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
  21. G-deezy

    A landline is a regular telephone that you use in your home. It's called a landline because that is the way that cable for phones used to be run before they started doing it overhead.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Come on...

      G-deezy, thanks for the in-depth info but the guy knows what a land-line is. He's just making a joke because a lot of people don't use land-lines at all anymore because of cell phones. Look up "sarcasm" in the dictionary.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • mrblue

      So you still have a rotary phone or a touch tone phone circa 1984? Cordless phones use 900, and 2.4GHz frequencies. Similar to those in cellular phones. so if you beleive the risks for cellular phones to be true, you also have to extend those beliefs to the cordless phone on your land line.

      May 20, 2011 at 17:08 | Report abuse |
  22. Shane

    Wired earpieces, huh? What about Bluetooth headsets? How harmful are those compared to a cell phone against your head?

    May 20, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Momen

      I can tell you one thing: Do not get Sprint. There are not many great phones, and the bills can be ermmetexly surprising. Sprint also has been shown to have terrible reception in many places. You could loose your calls in a snap also, their phones were sort of cheap and cruddy' when I got them. My family got fed up and switched to Verizon, and it is great. First off, I saw a major improvement in their phones. There aren't any cheapo phones that don't work. The reception is also great but the bills can be high (sometimes), dependin on your plan.If you want more for your money, though T-Mobile is the way to go. The plans are unbeatable. There is one issue: not many people use T-Moblie, making your minutes go up higher when you talk to people out of your network.There are also some wireless carriers I would not reccomend:- Altel Wireless- NextelAT T is also supposed to be great. They have some great phones, but most of them do not have that many features such as music, internet, and so on. :]Hope i helped! -seb

      March 3, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
  23. This just in from the Newsroom

    Being human increases your risk of getting cancer.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Dan

    Gunning for that coveted Pigasus, Dr. Gupta?

    May 20, 2011 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. ladiannegrace

    DR GUPTA... I HOPE THEY CONSIDER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN USING A BLUE TOOTH NEXT TO YOUR HEAD ALL DAY, AND USING A CELL PHONE... PERHAPS THE WAVES RECEIVED IN A DEVICE WORN NEXT TO THE EAR MAY BE MORE OF A HAZARD THAN PLACING THE PHONE TO THE EAR WHEN TAKING A CALL.
    I WONDER IF THERE HAVE BEEN ANY STUDIES IN THOSE WITH BRAIN TUMORS TO SEE IF EAR PIECE RECEIVERS, VERSUS CELL PHONE HANDHELDS HAVE BEEN DONE.
    WOULD YOU RECOMMEND ANYONE RESTRICT USE OF AN EAR PIECE FULLY FUNCTIONAL PHONE PIECE, VERSUS HANDHELD TO REDUCE EXPOSURE?

    May 20, 2011 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob The Builder

      Abuse of caps lock should result in death. A slow painful one too. Shaving bits of you off, 1 MM at a time starting at the bottom of your feet.

      May 22, 2011 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
  26. Elizabeth

    People using cell phones over 10 years double the brain cancer, and the FCC won't look at it? Who appoints the FCC? Isn't it time to change the Senate rules so that the majority actually is allowed to confirm Cabinet and Judge positions? So far, the FCC, like the rest of the Cabinet positions, is filled with conservatives who are "acceptable" to the minority Republicans, who own the businesses that cause pollution, get the big bailouts, etc. The government is a big racket. It's time that the Rules of the Senate were changed so that people in the FCC really have to answer to the American people. Just imagine if the FCC becomes even more conservative than it already is? This is very scary. I just got a new cell phone: it runs out of battery charge faster, because it is "doing more" with data, which means, more radio signal, and cooking my brain faster. No wonder all the zombie jokes. Most kids are growing up to be zombies.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vbscript2

      We'll see how much you want that rule change when the Republicans control the Senate again in a couple of years.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  27. Elizabeth

    My husband used to carry his cell phone in his left pocket. Suddenly, last year, it was found that he has aggressive colon cancer. People don't think about the effects of the phone when it is on you.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      I know someone who has used a cellphone 15+ years and last year suddenly got liver cancer. I don't think the cell phone did it though.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:29 | Report abuse |
    • Dave M.

      Just curious – where did he carry his cell phone?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • Dave M.

      You said left pocket, but you didn't specify shirt, pants, front, back.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:40 | Report abuse |
  28. Dennis

    Yes, there are spectra of toxic agents: radiation, food- and airborne, in our clothing and personal grooming agents and so on. However, suppose that you normally don't have a genetic predisposition or sensitivity to any of them. But then you incur low-grade (sub-toxic), focussed energy on a chronic basis to a particular area of your brain.

    We do not know how various toxic agents interact or, through synergy, catalyze or cause erratic growth in areas chronically suffused with energy. Here's a hint: fetal development proceeds on similarly enriched internal microenvironments. In adults, such features are called tumors, for example.

    In life, sometimes 2 + 2 = 5.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gail

      I'll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can't find your email suicsrbption link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

      March 3, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  29. Jeremy

    I also read a study, completed in Europe that found that Wi Fi waves have caused cancer in trees exposed to the waves. Imagine what Wi Fi waves do to out fleshy bodies? Cell phones are also ruining peoples ability to comunicate and interact with one another on a personal level, especially for those raise purly in the cell phone generation. Like most things in a capitalistic society, we'll keep selling them as long as there is money to be made. Just like oil, coal etc. Complications be damned.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa Williams

      I read the same report. Check out what just happened to the FRENCH study recently. I was in Paris and it made the news.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      That sounds like something Europeans would say...

      May 20, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse |
  30. jdoe

    Dr. Gupta is simply pointing out that the study that was supposed to exonerate cell phones, buried the alarming findings in an appendix. The only problem I see with his suggestion is that while the phone is not next to your head, it's still next to your body somewhere, like in a pocket. So you might safe using a wired earpiece all day long, while another part of body is being bombarded with radiation.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Lisa Williams

    The ONLY people who will argue that Cell Phones are SAFE are those in the INDUSTRY out to make MONEY! Within just the last 2 years- Scientists have PROVEN that Long exposure (ADULTS) to cell phones is Not SAFE. Scientists have also shown that even a small dose of RF radiation is not safe for CHILDREN.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      Young children have been exposed to continuous RF radiation (I'm not sure how it compares to the small does you are refering to) since they were born. How do you think you can listen to the radio (the "R" in "RF"), watch TV (without cable) and talk on a cordless phone?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • Gregory D. MELLOTT

      I suspect the low dose being described is the time of exposure not the intensity of the radiation. I have to admit that intesity seems to vary considerably not only with the type of cell phone, but also the conditions. An old (analog, I bleieve) cell phone I had used to give me a realy deeply 'touched' felling and sometimes even something like a headache. Newer ones seem to do that much less; though I rememeber one time I was in the basement of the house and the phone was on the charger and I got a very similar feeling after a while. Perhaps the charger wire was helping by acting like a large antenna; allowing a high powered (barely possible) connection to be made and also allowing more radiation to be emmited at me at the same time. The advertisement where there is alot of orange flowers all over the place may actaully be an expression of a safer method of achieving connectivity. With a lot of points for connecting nearby, much lower power (and perhaps safer frequencies) could be used to achieve the same results we have now (or more likey much better results over all).

      May 21, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • Bob The Builder

      YOU should be hit by a TRUCK for CAPITALIZING words for NO reason.

      May 22, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  32. Michael

    I fail to see the relationship between cell phone safety and using the earpiece. The phone's radiation comes from the cell phone transmitting modulated RF (radio frequency) energy to a cell tower. This is a near continuous process with today's digital equipment. Your earpiece does nothing but replace the audio speaker. There is no harmful radiation from AF (audio frequency) energy.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lisa Williams

      Yes there is.

      May 20, 2011 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Your source, please?

      May 20, 2011 at 15:38 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      His last statement is correct. Audio "energy" isn't dangerous in the same way as RF radiation... because it isn't radiation at all. The audio is mechanical pressure waves, not electromagnetic at all. However, the reason that headsets are considered safer is that the RF transmission is not happening right next to your head. The power level from the RF reduces with the square of distance. Thus, if it's on your hip 2-3 ft. from your head, your head receives several orders of magnitude less power than if it's right beside your ear. Your hip, however, will receive roughly the same dose your head would otherwise receive. However, bluetooth headsets still transmit modulated RF right beside your ear, just at power levels a few orders of magnitude lower than a cell phone. And my 'source' is plenty of courses in e-m and mechanical physics and the RF spectrum analyzers sitting right beside me, which show the frequency and power level of RF signals. 🙂

      May 20, 2011 at 16:04 | Report abuse |
    • Don

      Sorry, I agreed with him and was asking her. Thanks for you detailed info though.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:34 | Report abuse |
  33. Sal Atassi

    Good article, but it missed one very important part of the discussion. Different models of cell phones emit different levels of radiation. Researchers have at times measured emitted radiation and published the figures online. Some phones we use emit 25-35% of the radiation that others on the market do. We can assume that different models of earpieces also emit different levels of radiation.

    The discussion cannot be advanced without recognizing that consumers can choose products made more responsibly, and that manufacturers can lessen the risk.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Elizabeth

      If I walk into a store and look at a large appliance (refrigerator, air conditioner, etc.) there will be an energy efficiency rating on it, required by law. Go into any cell phone store... no radiation rating on their products. Most employees do not even know what all of the phones in their own store do. You won't find any information on radiation. It would be a first step... there ought to be a law.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      *EVERY* model of cell phone can vary its power levels by several orders of magnitude depending on how far you are from the tower. That extra 30% (~ 1 dB) difference in power level doesn't matter much compared to the 40-50 dB (10,000 – 100,000 x) power level differences within each phone depending on how far you are from the tower. And a cell phone that emits 30% less power is just a little more likely to drop a call.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:08 | Report abuse |
  34. Joe

    I won't even stand near someone on a cellphone if I can help it. Too much cancer in my family as it is to risk it. I have never had a cell, and never will have one.

    Nobody needs to talk to me about nothing that badly.

    And to all of those trend addicts out there that would ask how I can survive without one – Humans have been around for some 20,000 years – 19,970 of them without cellphones. I think I'll be OK.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • vbscript2

      Do you use a cordless handset at home? If so, the power levels you receive from it are far higher than standing near someone using a cell phone. Also, if you've driven past a cell tower, used a microwave, flown on an aircraft, used wi-fi, or driven past a radio station's transmitter, you've received much heavier RF doses than standing near somone with a cell phone.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:10 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Actually, the RF leakage that you're currently receiving from your computer probably exceeds the amount you would get from standing near a cell phone in use.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:11 | Report abuse |
  35. C Franklin

    IF THE FCC CLAIMS CELL PHONES ARE SAFE – THEN WHY DO THEY REQUIRE THAT CONSUMER SAFETY WARNINGS APPEAR IN EVERY USER GUIDE TELLING USERS TO NEVER HOLD AGAINST THE BODY?

    YES, THE INDUSTRY HAS ADMITTED THAT THE FCC REQUIRES THESE!! AND, THEY ARE BEING HIDDEN IN THE FINE PRINT WHICH IS ILLEGAL.

    May 20, 2011 at 14:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      The reason they are there is because people who are convinced they aren't safe pressure politicians into making laws saying they have to put warnings there. Then people use those warnings as "proof" that the phones aren't safe. It's called circular reasoning.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  36. Captain Hindsight

    Wi Fi causes infertility at local nursing home. Report at 11.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. dodgefan67

    he said in '96 there were about 34 million cell phone users in the US, now there are 9-10 times as many? so EVERYONE in the US is using a cell phone? not buying that one

    also it is probably better to use an earpiece since we probably dont know what the bluetooth frequencies are doing to us either, although i use one 🙂 better safe than sorry, then again we are all being radiated by the sun so what difference does it make

    May 20, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Harold F

      According to the FCC, in July of 2009, there were 275 million cell phone users. Buy that dodgefan67. You know you could look it up, instead of just posting your inane nonsense on the blog.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:14 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Harold, you might not want to be quite so quick to judge. He was right. 10x 34 million would actually exceed the population in the U.S.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:12 | Report abuse |
    • Harold F

      9 – 10 x as many cell phones is in fact correct. Gupta wrote that. Also, people may have more than one phone.

      May 20, 2011 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
  38. BT

    I'm not sure about about the cancer causing effects of cell phone usage. But I am sure that berating or belittling Dr. Gupta is a case of killing the messenger. Why?

    May 20, 2011 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. atapcreations

    Check out EMF Pollution Solutions. You can Google it.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Lou

    Most kids text and use BB messenger...they don't actually talk on the phone much, so this may reduce there chance of brain Ca, as well, you can't really compare longterm studies of cellphone use because the function of the phone has changed..they text rather than talk on them like people originally did..Question, is having the phone in their pocket predisposing them to other cancers?...as well..alot of kids charge their phone in there beds under their pillows...Yikes!...put the phone on the dresser to charge kids!!

    May 20, 2011 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. scarpeke

    My Dad who was 60 years old, died last year from Glioblatoma Mutiforme (Brain cancer-stage 4) and he was a heavy cell phone user starting in the early 90's. My brother and I have both switched to earpieces or use our bluetooth in the car. I've seen how awful brain cancer can be and I'm not risking it!

    May 20, 2011 at 15:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      This is hillarious. Bluetooth uses the same frequency band as the microwave oven (because that part of the spectrum is unlicensed, and hence, free). Moreover, the bluetooth device sits on, inside and right outside your ear. If you're worried about brain cancer from cell phone usage, exactly why would you ever use bluetooth? Just apply the most basic common sense - you don't need a neurosurgeon like Dr. Gupta, to understand this.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • vbscript2

      Bluetooth power levels are much lower than cell phone power levels (and much, much lower than microwave oven power levels.) However, you are correct that the frequencies are similar in all of these and the ovens and bluetooth use the 2.4 GHz unlicensed band.

      May 20, 2011 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Of course, bluetooth power levels are much lower than that inside microwave ovens. It's not that much lower than the level of power that typically leaks from a microwave overn, or the level of power of the cell phone, though, especially, once you factor in the closer proximity to your ear (and yes, I know I'm glossing over a lot of details, but still, the statement is generally correct). Experiments I've personally conducted raise sufficient doubts about the safety of 2.4GHz radiation that close to the ear and the brain. Couple that with many other published studies (by now) regarding DNA damage at low levels of microwave radiation, and public health studies in Scandinavia and other places, and you should be really really worried. That's where common sense, like using a wired headset of some sort, should take precedence over debate.

      May 22, 2011 at 08:09 | Report abuse |
  42. DB

    Dr. Gupta is wrong when he claims that non-ionizing radiation from cell phone does not cause DNA damage. There are some studies that directly contradict that statement - easily found in pubmed. I was part of a preliminary experiment, several years ago, in collaboration with UCSF, where cell lines were exposed to varying dosage of microwave radition - the type used by cell phones. For several dosages where temperature change was not significant (and could not account for cell death), cell death was still noted, interestingly, after 30 mins to 1 hour. The preliminary conclusion was likely DNA damage, causing cells to die after a while (not heat damage which occurred at higher dosages, and caused nearly instantaneous cell death). The results were never published widely due to a variety of reasons, but similar results were reported in publications, by other teams, couple of years later.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Patrick

    I carry my cell phone in an ankle holster. Not only safer, but more comfortable in my daily activities.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Dave M.

    Great discussion! One point that has been overlooked (I think – hard to read ALL posts) is that while Dr. Gupta is using his wired earpiece, that cell phone is still most likely in one of his pockets. So while he may not get brain exposure, some other part of his body is getting it. You just can't win for losing, can you?

    May 20, 2011 at 15:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Phoneitin

    Danger Warning -- Cell phone users who are most susceptible to Brain Tumors and Brain Cancer are those that talk loudly in public places while waving their arms around and assuming we all need to know how important they are. Studies show you don't have long to live, (or so we hope.)

    May 20, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. vmc

    Dr. Gupta, just wondering if a hollow wire headset would be better than a regular wired headset since radiation can be transmitted up the wire into your ears.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      Your understanding of radiation propagation is not correct. The attenuation would be severe, no matter what wire you use. Some other user has pointed out that the cell phone is probably sitting in your pocket, when you use wired headphone. That's correct, and that part of your body is still being exposed to a fair amount of radiation. Studies in this area are usually too simplistic, and basically poorly designed, to shed too much light. I guess cell phone companies have a vested interest in making sure this issue is not properly studied, and they have succeeded. FCC's guideline in this matter, is a joke.

      May 20, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  47. Paulj

    i lost a very good froend to cancer from his cell phone. You could make out the red skin outline of the phone on the side of his face. He was usually on his phone all day doing business.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. josh lock

    I just took a big dump....

    May 20, 2011 at 15:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob The Builder

      You must have an iPood.

      May 22, 2011 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
  49. LW

    I am not in the cell phone industry. I am a medical student going into oncology. Dr. Gupta is a Neurosurgeon whose job is to perform very complex procedures. His area of expertise is not in research, nor physics, nor cancer, thus just because he is a neurosurgeon, which admittedly requires a great deal of expertise, does not make him an expert on everything (though obviously CNN markets him as an expert on everything). I am also not an expert on everything, but I do know (and Dr. Gupta knows) that there is simply no demonstrable mechanism by which cell phones hypothetically could cause cancer. Microwaves are not mutagenic. The most recent well done study showed that having a cell phone next to your head caused your brain to metabolize no more glucose than blinking does. The tissues are not heated, they are not altered, and your gene expression is not modified in any measurable way. I realize many here (aside from those who see some sort of massive industry conspiracy behind everything) have good intentions behind their caution, as does Dr. Gupta, but good intentions do not equal good science. Science understands that what physically causes cancer is mutations in your genome, or mistakes that interfere with expression of your genome. Microwave radiation has no mechanism by which it can alter your genes or interfere with their expression.

    Resources and funding for research are limited, and I think the clinical research done thus far has demonstrated either little or no relationship at all between cell phone use and brain tumors. We should be spending our money and time fervently learning how to treat brain tumors, not spending years and piles of money on a study only to find out that cell phones affect your brain no differently than blinking your eyes does.

    May 20, 2011 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don

      [Applause]

      May 20, 2011 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      As they say - stay in school kid. Or, pick up a journal. Non-ionizing radiation causes enzymatic breakdown, which in the laboratory study has been shown to be mutagenic. You are not really a medical student, are you? No self respecting medical student says they are going into oncology. You would go into internal medicine, and then a fellowship, if you qualified. In your case, the jury is out.

      May 20, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse |
    • Gershon

      Ha! Good one Jeremy. The medical student! schooled. Thank you LW for clarifying that you are not an expert in everything. I am sure people think you are all the time!

      May 20, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Actually, you are wrong. There are, by now, sufficient studies that show DNA damage as a result of exposure to fairly low levels of microwave radiation - around the frequency bands used by cell phone. Search PubMed. I've also referred to a not-so-widely published study that I was involved with, personally, that raised serious questions about the impact of low levels of microwave on cell viability. FCC's guideline in this matter, which is purely based on temperature change, is a joke; in fact, a highly misleading and harmful joke. From that perspective, Dr. Gupta is correct in discussing this topic.

      May 22, 2011 at 08:17 | Report abuse |
    • wakeup-call

      Strange that you start your comment with "I am not in the cell phone industry". I smell some "damage control". Also you are wrong about resources and funding for research being limited. The cell phone industry rakes in trillions of dollars each year and fund many of these studies. The "most recent well done study" was by World Health Organization (funded by the industry, of course) and there was so much internal fighting between the researchers that the results were only partially published (several months later than expected). Much more damaging results are to be published in the near future. Money talks but some people can't be bought or silenced. I trust Dr. Gupta and his team of medical investigators a little more than a medical student, or industry public relations guy.

      May 24, 2011 at 02:51 | Report abuse |
  50. Steve

    Hmm. If I don't want it by my head, do I really want it in my pocket, inches from my nuts? Will it cause skin cancer or bone cancer in my hand if I'm holding it away from my head?

    May 20, 2011 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.