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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 (741 Responses)
  1. Ursula Swain

    Dr. Gupta
    Considering that our layers of tissue are divided by five different webs, each unique in its own powerful way, should tell us that these metallic patterns can easily overheat or even melt down into liiquid form which makes them a property of water.
    Electricity and water will spell disaster.
    Have we forgotten that Copper and Silver are the oldest metals on this planet, the highest producers of heat and electricty, knowing that both are present within all of our systems.
    It is time to remember that we are much more than just flesh and blood.

    May 20, 2011 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ron, F.N.P.

      Dr. Gupta......cell phone radiation has been known to break down the blood brain barrier (see R.O. Becker, MD. "The Body Electric" When toxins and substances that are normally not allowed to cross the blood brain barrier are allowed access to brain tissue, brain cancer could be the result. The effect of cell phone EMF's on the blood brain barrier has been known since the mid 1980? Why is there no research in this area?

      May 21, 2011 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      I am a retired police officer and recall the issue of microwave radiation (traffic radar) and brain damage was studied in the 1980s. I wonder if those studies are relevant here as police traffic radar emits much higher levels of microwaves than cell phones.

      May 21, 2011 at 14:55 | Report abuse |
    • Jarett

      Thanks for your comments Dr. Gupta.

      My Dad recently died from Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme. I strongly feel part of the reason why he had cancer in his brain was a result of overexposure due to cell phone use. He had a cell phone well over 25 years. He was on it daily, mostly because of running his own business. How can we tell whats 'safe use' and 'deadly' use? Where's the line drawn?
      Now, It made me question the 'safe use' of cell phones, and how it affects the complex design of the human brain. Would anyone that we put our trust into tell us the truth about Cell phone use? It seems though what 'man' often invents, creates, benefits only themselves despite the potential risks, and harm done to the human body. Well done 'Man'!

      May 21, 2011 at 15:39 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      It's amazing to see someone like Ursula (at the extreme end of uninformed) and Ron (at the other end of very-well informed) in the same thread! Computer and network are great levelers, indeed!

      May 22, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse |
  2. Randy

    BlueTooth Headset....
    what about the affects of a Bluetooth headset? Many Mobile phones do not permit the use of a wired headset, they require a Bluetooth wireless headset; nothing has been said about this type of wireless headset, can you comment?

    May 20, 2011 at 23:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shelly Kalnitsky

      Hello,
      Wired headset and bluetooth ear pieces are very dangerous.The signal from the phone carries radiation directly into your ear from the bluetooth. The ear is the highest absorption rate of radiation in the body and the area where most tumors develop.Visit http://www.cprnews.com with over 170 studies on cell phone dangers under world news

      May 21, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Richard Strickland

      Randy,

      Blue tooth headsets are a fraction of the power of a cell phone. The headsets have an output power of either 1 mW (milliWatt or 1/1000 of a Watt) or 2.5 mW. When a cell phone is set to maximum power, which occurs when you have a weak signal, it puts out 600 mW. I think cell phones might ultimately prove to be a hzard under some conditions but the blue tooth headset simply does not have enough power to do anything.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Maya

      Why do people who know nothing about certain topics insist on opening their mouths? Phones do not "send" radiation to headsets. It is not carried along with the audio signal. That is not how radiation works. Shelley, please keep quiet unless you have something useful to say.

      The radiation comes from the device itself. Bluetooth headsets do emit some radiation, but it is considerably smaller than what is emitted by your phone. Wired headsets don't emit any radiation, any more than your car speakers or any other pair of earbuds would.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      I'm not aware of A SINGLE mobile phone that prohibits the use of wired headset. Perhaps, it's you head, and not your headset, that needs some inspection.

      May 22, 2011 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  3. California79

    Interesting article. Dr. Gupta, can you advice us on the TSA scanners next?
    In MSP airport I saw last week a board that said the radiation from TSA scanners is 1/10000 of the radiation from a standard cellphone. I was curious, and anyway I chose the scanner against pat-down. Further reading tells me that the TSA scanners emit ionizing radiation that concentrates on my skin whereas cellphone emits non-ionizing radiations that spreads over a larger area. That scares me further.

    May 20, 2011 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Felicia N. Trujillo, ND

    Currently, the major research is coming from Australia and India, where industry pressure is less powerful. A Professor Kumar, who has done extensive research on cell phone radiation and its effects warns:

    – A 400% increase in the risk of brain cancer among for teenagers using cell phones. Children are more vulnerable to cell phone radiation. The younger the child, the deeper is the penetration of electromagnetic radiation as children’s skulls are thinner.

    – Frequent use of mobile phones can also damage the visual system in many ways. Researchers are finding a 360 % increase in cancers of the eye nearest the usual placement of a user’s cell phone.

    – Excessive use of mobile phones can also cause cancer in anyone. Use of cell phones for more than 30 minutes per day for 10 years increases the risk of brain cancer and acoustic neuroma.

    – Cell phone radiation causes irreversible damage to male fertility. Studies have found 30% lower sperm count in intensive users of mobile phones.

    See:http://whyfry.org/its-official-now-cell-phone-radiation-may-be-killing-you/

    May 21, 2011 at 00:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Steve

      ...because the phones are in their pockets all day, close to the testicles.

      May 21, 2011 at 02:41 | Report abuse |
    • Shelly Kalnitsky

      go to http://www.cprnews.com with over 170 studies posted on cell phone dangers under world news.Yes keeping the cell phone on your hip or pocket could lead to loss in sperm count.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      It has been known since the mid 1980's that the radiation from cell phones breaks down the blood brain barrier. (See R.O. Beckler,MD "The Body Electric". when this happens substances that are normally kept out of the brain's circulatory system are allowed to enter brain tissues..........this may be a mechanism of action that causes brain cancer. Why is this not being studied?

      May 21, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • Domer

      Well, since nearly every teenager in the western world now uses a cell we should see a corresponding 400% increase in cancer rates, right?

      May 21, 2011 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
  5. Chris Kustaski

    I'm curious to know, is the radiation the same for the cordless phones we all have in our homes? Do they even make phones with cords anymore?

    May 21, 2011 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shelly Kalnitsky

      yes cordless phones are potentially worse.They used to be a weak radio signal– when you went outside you lost the call. Now you can be several blocks away from the base and not lose the call. Cordless phones have gone from 200 MGH of radio waves to 900 MGH of microwaves 5.8 Gh of power Visit http://www.cprnews.com for more information under world news

      May 21, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
  6. Ejo

    The reason I don't think we should fear cell phone radiation is that it lacks ionizng radiation. Since WW2 there are talkie talkies, some of them emit even higher levels of radiation, and there are no reports of increased cancer rates from walkie talkie users. There are plenty other examples, and again, no evidence.

    May 21, 2011 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jeff

      Thanks, I feel so much safer now. It would just be irrational to think that big industry would ever do anything unsafe or directly harmful to us.

      May 22, 2011 at 06:03 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Clearly, you are neither an RF expert, nor a scientist. Please stick to topics where you have some knowledge, and leave alone topics where you have no knowledge.

      May 22, 2011 at 08:51 | Report abuse |
  7. Chyari Brang

    Hi Dr. Gupta,

    You believe it or not. I really suspected using cell phone daily contributed to the faster growth of my wife's brain tumor (meningioma) which was nearly completely removed in February 2010. In June 2006 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor which looked relatively small. She was then told by her neurosurgeon that the tumor would grow very very slow. But unexpectedly the tumor had become too big on the MRI in Januray 2010 and its surgical removal became not an optional. She needs to do another MRI before following up on the case with the same surgeon this summer. Hopefully no sign of tumor growth would be found at the operated site. Educating people about the relationship between cell phone and brain tumor would be beneficial. Thanks a lot. All the best, Chyari

    May 21, 2011 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shelly Kalnitsky

      There are 3 types of tumors related to cell and cordless phone use. Acoustic neuroma is the most common- not cancerous but it causes a growth in the inner ear which as it grows affects the nerves and blood cells and the brain function. next is the salivary and pituitary glands which are cancerous and the third tumors is a glioma, which sen., ted kennedy had and did not know it. For more information go to http://www.cprnews.com

      May 22, 2011 at 07:35 | Report abuse |
  8. Allen C. Morse III

    Lets look at these facts: 1. Microwave ovens operate at around 2-3 GHz in frequency. To cook food they require around 600-watts of RF to work MINIMUM. They work by increasing the brownian motion of specifically, water molecules. This increases TEMPERATURE of the item in the RF field. 2. Cell phones operate at between 800 MHz and 1.2 GHZ. These frequencies don't do this because they don't reinforce the motion of these molecules vibrating. they are not resonant with the molecules in liquids, especially water. Cell phones operate at a MAXIMUM wattage of 1.6 watts and they operate at that level ONLY WITH A WEAK SIGNAL. When you are close to a tower, they operate at considerably less power measured in MILLIWATTS. 3. A Bluetooth headset operates in the 2.4 GHZ frequencies and is in the range of microwave ovens but it's output can be measured in MICROWATTS! Your wireless router for your computer operates at 10-TIMES that power at least and is in that same band, around 100-milliwatts maximum power. Remember we're talking the difference between 1000-1100 watts in microwave ovens and milliwatts of energy in cell phones. 4. Your phone must communicate with the tower but it does this by sending out RF packets every once in awhile. The only time your phone transmits continously is when you are on a call.Even then, after 24-hours of continous radiation from your phone you would not be able to raise a thimble full of water 1-degree in temperature even if placed in direct contact with it. Knowing these things I am wondering what the hullabaloo is all about? MAYBE if you're prone to cancer you MIGHT incrementally increase your risk but for the average person cell phone use poses NO ADDITIONAL RISK WHATSOEVER! Our family lived under a broadcast transmitter array with a combined total of 1-million watts of power for 40 some years ar 1/2 mile distance and NONE of our family has been affected by it. That's CONSIDERABLY more dangerous than using a cell phone every day. This is an example of more media fear mongering to increase viewership and this will not at all change how I use my cell phone whatsoever. I hold a commercial General Radiotelephone license so I do know how RF works, media people don't! Keep using your cell phone and don't worry about this!

    May 21, 2011 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • William

      Finally, a discussion based on facts, not fiction. Dr. Gupta was a brilliant student at Centerville, OH and I am sure he is an excellent neurosurgeon. But that doesn't make him an authority on radiation. Einstein was a brilliant scientist, but he refused to accept quantum theory, blinded by a preconcieved fiction for the laws of physics. I see a similar trend in responses from other neurosurgeons and others who remind me of the autism and vaccine crowd. I spent 32 years working with x-rays, neutrons,and radioactive materials which exposed me to mega levels of radiation when compared to cell phones.
      If you read Dr. Gupta's post carefully, you see he left himself plenty of wiggle room.

      May 21, 2011 at 01:40 | Report abuse |
    • Richard Strickland

      You may live near a high power broadcast transmission site but the amount of energy at ground level is going to be very low. It is not just about energy level but also the frequency and what is being heated. It happens that the dimensions of the head make it an ideal antenna at standard (not PCS or GSM) cell phone frequencies and the amount of energy that can be absorbed under worst-case conditions will be several orders of magnitude higher than what you would absorb from being near the broadcast towers. In additional, although a cell phone does not radiate at a high level, the close proximity to the head when used in hand-held mode results in a surprisingly high amount of energy absorption.

      May 21, 2011 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
    • april

      Wow, it almost sounds like you are getting paid to hawk the uncontrolled use of cell phone.. I am proof, however. I got my first cell phone in 1996...started having odd little twitches and tweaks in 2006. Had a seizure in 2008... You figure it out. I read the 10 year study way before I found Dr. Gupta's opinion. You just make sure YOU continue using it uninhibited and make sure you tote it around in your front pocket for as long as possible.

      May 21, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Wow! So many facts, and yet, such lack of comprehension! Moreover, so may wrong, misleading, or plain incorrect facts! Are you a cell phone company representative? You certainly sound like one!

      May 22, 2011 at 08:53 | Report abuse |
    • DrD

      No comparison between radio tower emissions at 2500 ft and near field emissions of cell phone.

      May 23, 2011 at 03:27 | Report abuse |
  9. Ed

    I'm right there with Randy.....I think and believe I understand the cell phone issue but I wear a boothtooth all day (mainly to avoid holding the phone to my ear) and most of the other mgr's & supervisor's at my place of employment do the same.

    These bluetooths and cell phones we use are provided by the company we work for; so is there some type of output from the bluetooths (radiation or other) that we (I personnally & my company from a liability standpoint) should know or be aware of and be concerned with???

    As an example, I wear my bluetooth on my ear 8 – 10 hrs a day which is a whole lot more time than if I just held my cell phone up to my ear each time I talked to someone on it. What are my physical risks as a result of using (wearing them) for that long of a period of time and could the company (our employer) be held liable for the any resulting issues caused from their use as a result of them providing the equipment (cell phones and the bluetooths) to us (their employees) to use. Other than the standard instruction manuals that come with the items there are no other instructions (for operation or safety) that are provided by the company....only what the mfgr has provided is given to the employee, the company adds nothing to it.

    May 21, 2011 at 00:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      It's a RISK FACTOR people. Radiation doesn't travel through wires. Blue tooth, however.....
      Dr. Gupta didn't participate in the long term research, btw. He's just giving his opinion on the research.

      May 21, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • Shelly Kalnitsky

      Bkuetooth is a very dangerous product as the signal from the phone carries radiation directly in to your inner ear.Keeping it in your ear all days leaves you in contact with the signal from the microwave tower AND if you are driving in a car with the bluetooth in your ear, as you pass from one microwave tower to the next one there is a burst of EMF radiation going into your ear and you do not even know it.
      Go to http://www.cprnews.com for more information

      May 22, 2011 at 07:40 | Report abuse |
  10. Tom Hartman

    It's like the people who doubt the evidence didn't even read the article, and bring up microwaves...which we don't hold for hours a day against our heads, and walkie talkies (likewise). Any bad news is considered "media hype" ...even though it's scientists who know a lot more than the casual commenters up here. Amazing.

    May 21, 2011 at 01:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Robin

    I have a neck tumor...fortunately non cancerous,but my ENT says they are seeing larger numbers of cancerous neck rumors in young people. Is the cell phone the cause? Does a wired headset make a difference compared to Bluetooth?

    May 21, 2011 at 01:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nico

    I am scientist. Around 4 cm from the antenna of a cellphone is dangerous radiation. DO NOT PUT TRANSMITTER ANTENNAS AGAINST YOUR HEAD! Ita the same for wireless dect phones in the house. I have my phones in the house wired .Its a shame, the industry, same as asbestos, tabacco , sugar and alcohol industry sponsor 'research' which 'proof ' otherwise! 80% of hospitalised people is because of these things. Sweeteners are not harmfull, sugar is. Smoking and alcohol are poison and around antenna's is dangerous radiation. Just a few centimeters, bigger transmitters more. (50 watts fm transmitter around 2 meters etc.) Just use your brain instead of damage it and governements or un, stop disturbing 'research'sponsored by the industry. Make rules about using those devices and forbid harmful stuff in food. (like sugar, alcohol and tabacco) Those industries are responsable of millions of death people!!

    May 21, 2011 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Peto

    I think Gupta should be ashamed of himself. He either is profiting himself or more likely he is the dupe of one or more of his producers or writers or who ever feeds him story ideas – this idea was sure to create enough hysteria to affect the market, particularly hand set manufacturers: someone profited mightily from a story where all the scientific proof offered cannot find a link between cell phone use and brain cancer. And yet Gupta wants to convince people that anecdotal evidence and opinion is all we need as a reason to stop using our cell phones. Something just doesn't smell right.

    May 21, 2011 at 03:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • debbie

      better safe than sorry...it couldn't hurt to take a little precaution, who knows what may result 20yrs from now, i certainly would hate to see my children or grandchildren affected

      May 21, 2011 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
    • april

      WTH are you talking about?? You can find the proof of the 10 year study right on the net in pdf form if you're so inclined to look for it. Again, RISK FACTOR, not an absolute direct cause. Just like smoking is a RISK FACTOR for certain cancers. Just because you smoke and use a cell phone for many years doesn't mean you will get lung and brain cancer...but you just might...

      May 21, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Why don't you offer some facts to the contrary? Now, that's asking for too much from someone like you, isn't it?

      May 22, 2011 at 08:55 | Report abuse |
    • Peto

      Well, maybe here's a good place for you to get started exploring this issue:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health

      May 23, 2011 at 03:18 | Report abuse |
    • DrD

      Are you stating that Wikipedia is fact? I think that might be what you are smelling.

      May 23, 2011 at 03:35 | Report abuse |
  14. nushatka

    "And, what about kids? ... they are more likely to lead to my early demise than cell phones". Though true, but unapropriate joke.

    May 21, 2011 at 04:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Derrick

    Just wondering, are bluetooth headsets better with less radiation?

    May 21, 2011 at 07:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Chris

    Follow the money. One more thing that our corrupt government has been hiding. Chineese drywall, lead based toys, all the lies about oil. It's to much to go on. Please all of you sheep out there, wake the hell up. Our Fed is not looking out for you.

    May 21, 2011 at 07:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Karen

    If the battery in cell phones is the issue, then doesn't it stand to reason that we could be at risk using a wireless mouse at our computers for 8 to 10 hours at a stretch on our jobs?

    May 21, 2011 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      It's NOT the battery, other than the heat may contribute to the rest...

      May 22, 2011 at 03:40 | Report abuse |
  18. Steve

    I used a motorola two-way radio, and when you key it up, and touch the antenna to a 32W fluorescent light bulb, there was enough energy to excite the chemical and light the bulb.

    May 21, 2011 at 08:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Gerald Christensen

    Another question that needs research is Bluetooth earpeices, is this the same radiation signal as the phone.

    May 21, 2011 at 08:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Jim

    I may be dreaming, but I am convinced that the hair on my head grows faster on the side that i talk on my cell phone. Can anyone speak to that possibility? In other words, IF cell phone radiation increases the likelihood of rumors, is it possible that the radiation also stimulates hair growth? This would seem to be an easy experiment to test.

    May 21, 2011 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. debbie

    What about carrying phones in a case on your hip ? Is it dangering the organs in that area ? Kidneys, appendix etc... What about all the other electronic air waves going through the air constantly from other electronic devices; tv, computers,radios,game systems ... they must pose dangers too

    May 21, 2011 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Joe

    In regard to the cell phone usage and brain tumors, does the same apply to the bluetooth devices used in conjunction with the cell phone? Or the bluetooth devices used with land lines? Or the cordless phones in the GHz range?

    Joe

    May 21, 2011 at 08:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Al M.

    Dr. G, There are technologies out there that could shield us from the electromagnetic radiation from our wireless devices. Why aren't these technologies in more common use? Regards, Al M.

    May 21, 2011 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Ariel

    mr gupta seems to not realize that the radiation of a cell phone does not just travel in the antenna and will travel through the "cord" of his "wired" earpeice....

    Just like to increase transmission and receipt you use a longer / larger antenna same idea with the long cord of his earpeice the radiation will "radiate" down/up to his head still.

    May 21, 2011 at 10:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      What Ariel does not seem to understand is the phone is wireless. It is the receiver that sends the info to the wired ear piece. It doesn't send radiation through the wire...

      May 21, 2011 at 14:51 | Report abuse |
    • Ariel

      Antennas carry microwave radiation and any cord connected to the device will have the same radiation running down it and emitted off it as well. Saying its wireless ignors the fact that microwaves can and will travel down the metal look it up.

      May 21, 2011 at 15:24 | Report abuse |
    • erich2112x

      Ariel, you are 100% wrong about this. Don't just make it up.

      May 22, 2011 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
  25. SKaye

    I am concerned about the young children/teens who use cell phones. Maybe texting is not such a bad thing.

    May 21, 2011 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sandaura

    Vist our blog http://sandaura.wordpress.com We have posted expert evidence proving dirty electricity and microwave noise pollution is polluting our environement as well as exposing to people and animals to a serious health risk. It is no secret our power grid is outdated. uninsulated cables have no business transmitting radio waves in the microwave spectrum. This is a white collar crime against humanity and our human rights. We are being lied to by special interests groups. It is time our government advocates for the wellbeing of its citizens and not commerce.

    May 21, 2011 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Susan

    I appreciated the report since my father was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer (gliobastoma) in January and died in April. I wish the report would have addressed solutions more...such as bluetooth vs. wired, etc. Hopefully there will be a followup report on this. Thank you!

    May 21, 2011 at 14:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Jeremy

    My boss was 35 years old, appeared very healthy and physically fit, he was an athlete. He suddenly came down with 3 brain tumors which were all located on the side of his head where he used his cell phone. Sadly he was dead in less then 2 years after being diagnosed. He did use his cell phone frequenly, it seems to me the likely reason he got the tumors was from using his cell phone.

    May 21, 2011 at 14:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. erich2112x

    First we need to know if Gupta has recently bought stock in any of the companies that produce earpieces for cell phone devices.

    May 21, 2011 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Eric that was a very rude comment, posting after the two about their experiences with brain cancer taking people they cared about and loved. Dr Gupta is just reporting something I found months ago and knew over two years ago when I was diagnosed with brain cancer. Shame on you for your unintelligence.

      May 21, 2011 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Davis

      Erich2112x - you're a world class idiot. Skeptical about stock purchases, but not about health issues. CNN, have you no standards? Publishing nonsense from erich2112x is awful for your brand.

      May 22, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
  30. Peter Thieberger

    People get brain tumors and people use cell phones. But nobody has established a correlation. Non ionizing means that no mutations are caused, only extremely slight heating. The enhanced brain activity during a cell phone call shown by Dr. Gupta didn't seem stronger on the cell phone side. It could as well have to do with the thought process during the conversation.
    Peter

    May 21, 2011 at 16:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Glad you're the scientist now. Do some research before wasting web space.

      May 21, 2011 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      The parade of uninformed people continues. If non-ionizing meant non-mutation causing, life would be so simple. Unfortunately, life is not simple! Non-ionizing does not, in any way, shape or form, imply not able to cause mutations. It'll take a far greater level of knowledge to understand the relation, and I won't try to spell that out, here. Just go and read a few hundred publications, and "thou shalt be enlightened". Non-ionizing radiation can cause mutations. Furthermore, it's not at all clear that cell phone radiation has to cause mutations to cause cancer!

      May 22, 2011 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • Peter Thieberger

      You'll be guranteed, DB, to get the next Nobel Prize if your research shows how non ionizing radiation causes mutations and cancer. Regardin being or not a scientist, april, you can Google me if you like. I don't hide.

      May 23, 2011 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
  31. Bruno

    I was shocked to read this. With all the bad science here I almost expected to see this article wrap up with a claim that vaccines cause autism. A study that shows that was little or no association between cell phones and cancer is a cause for concern? I didn't read the appendix but I suspect that it claimed that risk doubled from exceptionally small to exceptionally small. I used to have respect for Dr Gupta, but not anymore. Apparently conspiracy theories and bad science are a part of Dr, Gupta's medicine.

    May 21, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Do your research before you make unintelligent comments.

      May 21, 2011 at 17:58 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      I'd think that the word "research" is far above Bruno's vocabulary.

      May 22, 2011 at 09:01 | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Dear Bruno - I am sure Dr Gupta is heartbroken that he can't count a moron like you among his followers. Says Bruno: I didn't do any research whatsoever, but I am going to weigh in and post a stupid comment anyway. Walk up the stairs out of your parent's basement and get a life.

      May 22, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  32. asha

    I have always hate cell phones and now I will use it for emergency only.

    May 21, 2011 at 16:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Narsima Rao

    Dear Sanjay, This is absolute nonsense. If microwaves can cause any form of cancer we will never live another second because Sun emits large amounts microwave radiation every day. Trust me, I did my dedicated Ph.D in Magnetic Resonance and I know with 100% certainty. Cell phone low power microwaves are completely harmless to human tissue. They cannot cause cancer at all. Even high power microwaves that heats food do not turn the food into cancerous substance. Water is a good example to give since our body is made up of lot of water. When you heat water in microwave, its temperature raises due to molecular activity generated by microwaves. The molecules are not destroyed and turn them into completely something else. Cell phone radiation is 100% harmless to our body. They are 100 times safer than the refrigerators we use.

    If the substance is surrounded by huge magnetic field of the order of tesla and exposed to microwaves, then the story is different, a Magnetic Resonance may occur in the substance. Even then, that will not turn our skin or tissue to be cancerous. In this the heat (nothing but microwaves) is absorbed and released it immediately on micro second level.

    Low frequency waves cannot cause cancer. Ultra violet and above can cause cancer if we are exposed to a great deal over above our barrier level. Cancer cells exist in our body right from birth. They are constantly removed from our body by our body defensive mechanism that diminishes with oldage. Most of us know this. Cancer cells are not dead cells. They are our own living cells live in our body as foreign cells and multiply like any living cell sometimes much faster than a normal living cell.

    Every Media needs publishing material to make money. This is absolute nonsense that cell phones causing cancer. Talk to me at meetagod@comcast.net

    May 21, 2011 at 16:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Do your research before making unintelligent comments. I'm sure you're a little smarter than your rant implies.

      May 21, 2011 at 17:59 | Report abuse |
    • april

      Do some research before making idiotic comments. I'm sure you're a little smarter than your rant implies.

      May 21, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Here comes another uninformed pretender, supposedly with a Ph.D. Can his Ph.D. be stripped for making these comments that show a singular lack of understanding of everything he supposedly did a Ph.D. in? Or, was this a Ph.D. obtained from a 1-room thatched hut university, where you send in a check and get a certificate by mail? Looking at his last name, the thatched hut theory is very likely the truth - his part of India specializes in these scams and fake universities.

      May 22, 2011 at 09:05 | Report abuse |
  34. Narsima Rao

    This is absolute nonsense. If microwaves can cause any form of cancer we will never live another second because Sun emits large amounts every day. Trust me, I did my dedicated Ph.D in Magnetic Resonance and I know with 100% certainty. Cell phone low power microwaves are completely harmless to human tissue. They cannot cause cancer at all. Even high power microwaves that heats food do not turn the food into cancerous substance. Water is a good example to give since our body is made up of lot of water. When you heat water in microwave, its temperature raises due to molecular activity generated by microwaves. The molecules are not destroyed nor turn them into completely something else. Cell phone radiation is 100% harmless to our body. They are 100 times safer than the refrigerators we use.

    If the substance is surrounded by huge magnetic field of the order of tesla and exposed to microwaves, then the story is different, a Magnetic Resonance may occur in the substance. Even then, that will not turn our skin or tissue to be cancerous. In this the heat (nothing but microwaves) is absorbed and released it immediately on micro second level.

    Low frequency waves cannot cause cancer. Ultra violet and above can cause cancer if we are exposed to a great deal over above our barrier level. Cancer cells exist in our body right from birth. They are constantly removed from our body by our body defensive mechanism that diminishes with oldage. Most of us know this. Cancer cells are not dead cells. They are our own living cells live in our body as foreign cells and multiply like any living cell sometimes much faster than a normal living cell.

    Every Media needs publishing material to make money. This is absolute nonsense that cell phones causing cancer. Talk to me.

    May 21, 2011 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Narsima Rao

    Dear Sanjay,
    Very simple. This is absolute nonsense. If microwaves can cause any form of cancer we will never live another second because Sun emits large amounts every day. I do not know which scientific panel you have consulted before publishing such nonsense. They are either ignorant of microwaves or ignorant of what causes a living cell into a cancerous cell.

    Trust me, I did my dedicated Ph.D in Magnetic Resonance and I know with 100% certainty. Cell phone low power microwaves are completely harmless to human tissue. They cannot cause cancer at all. Even high power microwaves that heats food do not turn the food into cancerous substance. Water is a good example to give since our body is made up of lot of water. When you heat water in microwave, its temperature raises due to molecular activity generated by microwaves. The molecules are not destroyed and turn them into completely something else. Cell phone radiation is 100% harmless to our body. They are 100 times safer than the refrigerators we use.

    If the substance is surrounded by huge magnetic field of the order of tesla and exposed to microwaves, then the story is different, a Magnetic Resonance may occur in the substance. Even then, that will not turn our skin or tissue to be cancerous. In this the heat (nothing but microwaves) is absorbed and released it immediately on micro second level.

    Repeat after me, heat changes can not cause a living cell into cancerous. Over heat will only kill the cell and does not turn a living cell into cancerous. That is what happens in radiation therapy, we try to kill the cancerous cells and in turn may also damage healthy cells.

    Low frequency waves cannot cause cancer. Ultra violet and above can cause cancer if we are exposed to a great deal over above our barrier level. Cancer cells exist in our body right from birth. They are constantly removed from our body by our body defensive mechanism that diminishes with oldage. Most of us know this. Cancer cells are not dead cells. They are our own living cells live in our body as foreign cells and multiply like any living cell sometimes much faster than a normal living cell.

    Every Media needs publishing material to make money. This is absolute nonsense that cell phones causing cancer. Talk to me.

    May 21, 2011 at 17:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DB

      Here comes another uninformed pretender, supposedly with a Ph.D. Can his Ph.D. be stripped for making these comments that show a singular lack of understanding of everything he supposedly did a Ph.D. in? Or, was this a Ph.D. obtained from a 1-room thatched hut university, where you send in a check and get a certificate by mail? Looking at his last name, the thatched hut theory is very likely the truth – his part of India specializes in these scams and fake universities.

      Clearly, he is also wasting bandwidth by posting the same message over-and-over-again. Can we simply banish him?

      May 22, 2011 at 09:07 | Report abuse |
  36. Douglas McNutt

    Radiation power density from any RF antenna is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the antenna. It's a curve with a parabolic shape that's pretty steep but it's not exponential.

    It is dangerously misleading to comment that the reduction is exponential which is a much steeper curve that is better applied to the interest on the national debt.

    May 21, 2011 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Talk about a nonsensical comment...

      May 21, 2011 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  37. El Estomago

    People said the same thing about cigarettes, years ago: "How could something that makes me look this cool possibly cause cancer?"

    May 21, 2011 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Tammy

    I think it’s very telling that neither the manufacturers nor the FCC wanted to talk on camera about the ‘evidence’ of harm with cell phones. The fact is all long term (10+) studies on cell phone usage have found an increased risk for several types of ipsylateral (same side) brain tumours. http://www.mmk.be/afbeeldingen/File/meta_GSM_hersenen.pdf

    They can't dispute that, all they can do is ‘spin’ the headlines when they come out because they own the media essentially. They are relying on people to not do their homework. I’m sure Dr. Gupta would have liked to said many things but was pressured to take them out. Many would be surprised to know brain tumours have now become the biggest cancer killer of children. This is purely environmental and not a hereditary condition! We need to stop fooling ourselves that microwaves at close proximity to heads and bodies will have no effect on us or our living environment as evidenced by the huge decline in honey bees. Bees are dependent on the earth’s natural magnetic field to navigate, and are truley lost in this saturated world of artificial fields, not to mention made more vulnerable by microwaves that decrease immunity to disease, and for us all. Ridiculous, but even more ridiculous- criminal actually, is that our governments are allowing harm to continue while thousands die every year needlessly. Soon it will be millions. Are our children not enough of a reason to put life before big industry profit? Industry will never make their product safer, if it can, until forced to- period! I pray that change comes before we are forced to hand pollinate all our fruits and vegetables because all the bees are gone and our children are forever damaged with a shorter life expectancy than us adults. We truly are our own worse enemy, if we could only learn from our past mistakes, and remember what's is most important. Without healthy people there is no future.

    May 21, 2011 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. ronnie

    I have a small sticker on the back of my phone that in lab tests PROVEN to absorb emf. It is just 50.00 and if ya want one, i'll get it for you. Nocellphoneradiation@gmail.com

    May 21, 2011 at 21:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. abby

    If I am in a private place and no one can overhear me, I use my speaker phone; much better than holding a phone to my ear mobile or otherwise. If I am out in public I limit my call because I am out in public. No one needs to hear everything I say. And, yes, an ear piece is a wise idea....

    May 21, 2011 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Jean

    I read this report from Austria a while ago: In 2009, the Austrian Social Insurance for Occupational Risk (Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt) commissioned the Vienna Medical University to carry out its own research project regarding the health effects of cell phone and electromagnetic freuquencies. Google "Nonthermal Effects Confirmed; Exposure Limits Challenged; Precaution Demanded."

    May 21, 2011 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Peter Thieberger

    Everybody knows that cancer is caused by mutations of our dna. Mutations occur when chemical bonds are broken and the atoms in a molecule get rearranged. Radiation can do that, but only if each packet, (also called quantum) of a particular radiation has enough energy to knock loose an electron that is normally bound to an atom. It turns out that visible light doesn’t have enough energy to do that, but UV does. That is why we need to use UV blocking creams when we go to the beach. Visible and infrared light can’t cause any damage because each quantum doesn’t have enough energy. Cell phone radiation has about a million times less energy per quantum than visible light, and is therefore perfectly safe.

    May 21, 2011 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. yup

    There were tumors before there were cell phones..... Now everyone has cell phones. SO if ANYONE gets a tumor, I guess we are now more likely to connect the two due to speculative articles like this by default. Not saying its NOT POSSIBLE but, I think some more time/money should go into testing before everyone freaks out.... Just use speaker phone...

    Im convinced anything in excess can potentially harm you,but most things in moderation should let you live a normal life.

    May 21, 2011 at 22:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. therealgreen

    Not all wired headsets are safe. Unfortunately, the combination of phone, email, browser, music/video players opens up a degree of influence and risk that needs to be closely observed according to usage in order to properly determine exposure risks. There are a number of excellent consumer level meters that measire RF/Microvave and electromagentic frequencies. The Trifield meter measures all three and I have found it to be useful to measure not only phones or handheld mobile devices, but practically any environmental influence that could produce the same exposure issues in your home and surroundings.

    One observation I have made is with devices that have phone and email, the regular email checks mean exposure to radiation (RF/Microwave/EMF) every 15 minutes. If that device plays music, that means any call or email coming through while listening/watching media exposes you to radiation. Running on a treadmill with sneakers may produce a static charge that heightens the radiation from an incoming call, while listening to music. Using a phome while charging either from a wall plug or car battery port also heightens radiation exposure up to three times the levels of the device when it is operating through battery power.

    The aren't just baseless claims or made up observations. These are observations I made which were backed up through metering equipment and heightened millgauss readings based usage, and device type, and acceptable milligaus readings for adults, children, pregnant Mothers and the elderly. The latter three are most sensitive to the harmful effects of RF/Microwave/EMF radiation.

    Knowing what I do, I still use my mobile devices but with a modified approach. Most devices allow you to turn the radio signal off. Checks on the hour or half-hour could still keep you connected to email and phone. Keep the phone turned off at night, especially if you have kids –
    this is the most importamt time for your body to recuperate. If you have to keep your device on for work reasons, keep it away from your bed. It's one thing to have a wireless headset on all day, but to keep the phone on your night table means 24/7 exposure with little or no possibility for your body to use that time of rest to regenerate.

    Cellphone companies amd the industry won't ever share any information like this because it would frighten and confuse users, but they know about these risks. Google why Apple removed the Tawkon app from its app store and you'll find the reasons being identical to why cellphome companies and the industry remains tight-lipped about the health impacts. Insurers know about the health risks too, which is what Dr Davis' research has found, and her research clearly proves that insurance companies will not cover any claim linked to cellphone radiation illness.

    In sum, I don't find Dr Gupta's coverage as anything remotely close to being scaremongering as some have alluded to, but rather, the initial step of objectivity that allows each one of us to question the technological inlfuences to which we are exposed.

    @therealgreen

    May 21, 2011 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Kristen Cobb

    My husband too was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 34. Like the Mark's family we are trying to get the message across the nation. Two weeks ago we testified at our state capital to get WARNING LABELS on cell phones for the State of Maine. I have researched this for a little over a year now and I am disgusted with what has been hidden from the public. It is a shame the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee of the Maine State Legislature voted no for warning labels on cell phones, especially after two top notch scientists warned them there was an increased risk of developing a brain tumor with long-term cell phone users. What more does our government need? ALL independent long-term studies show there is a link. The shoving it under the rug can go on for so long. The victims are piling up and are voices are getting louder. It is time for our government to step up so innocent people don't die from this horrible disease.

    May 21, 2011 at 23:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Ursula Swain

    The human system, relative to our state of conscious evolution, operates within a tight range of tolerance.
    If you do not fear cell phone radiation, than you should at least fear its speed, the higher the speed, the greater the heat and danger of toxicity to disrupt internal functions at deep cellular levels.
    Why would anyone allow excessive charge generation?

    May 21, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Terry

    I have a friend with the same brain tumor, and he has never owned a cell phone. Who do we blame for his misfortune?

    May 21, 2011 at 23:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Risk factor! Wake up people geez... There was heart disease found in almost all of the 57 mummies autopsied. Did they have McDonald's and fried chicken with a big tub of lard to cook it in??

      May 22, 2011 at 03:49 | Report abuse |
  48. Peter Thieberger

    There is no charge generation, Ursula. None. That is why this radiation is called non ionizing.

    May 21, 2011 at 23:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • april

      Yeah and cigarettes used to be safe....

      May 22, 2011 at 03:50 | Report abuse |
    • DB

      Glad you know the word "charge"! Please proceed to the next word. You have many words to go before you understand exactly what you are talking about.

      May 22, 2011 at 09:09 | Report abuse |
  49. Dennis Baker

    Great Artical

    May 22, 2011 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. GG

    Dr. G, Wow, I have said for years the same thing. I think cell phones cause brain cancer. I don't own one and never will.
    I know two young men in their thirties both use cell phones every day. Both have brain cancer, with not good options.
    Same as micro wave ovens. I have one. But never stay in the kitchen when it is on.
    They won't know the results of the use of cell phones for another 20 years, by that time they will have killed a lot of young people.

    May 22, 2011 at 00:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Peter Thieberger

      My father died of brain cancer many years before the cell phone was invented. You can't draw conclusions from a few cases. If you like, you can read what the FDA has to say: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM212306.pdf

      May 22, 2011 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
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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.