The next time you’re out, try counting the number of people you see talking on their cell phones, typing a text message or compulsively checking to see if they missed a vital call. Chances are you’ll pass ten within seconds, because most people can’t leave home without their cells, or palm pilots, or blackberries. We’re addicted to mobile technology. Every free second is a chance to dial another contact, check voicemail or, thanks to iPhone, watch the latest YouTube video. If we leave our phones at home, we wander around lost, disconnected, feeling somehow naked and alone. And while research has been pouring out of labs for years about the dangers of cell phones, we dutifully ignore it, opting instead to risk it. And that’s fine. Be as ignorant as you like, for now.
A recent study found that short-term cell phone use does not affect brain function or cause brain cancer. In a six-year examination of mobile-addicted participants, no evidence was produced to create a case against cell phones. However, that’s not the end of the story. The research looked only at adults and only at individuals who had not used mobiles for more than ten years. That’s a problem, because children are probably more susceptible to radiation and most cancers take at least 10 years to appear. Plus, separate studies have found that long-term exposure to electromagnetic fields can increase the risk of brain tumors by 20 percent. The likelihood skyrockets when looking at the side of the brain users hold their cell phones. So, maybe ignoring the research isn’t the healthiest idea after all and neither is reading only select studies. Maybe, we should cut down on cell phone use, or at least invest in an earpiece. I know it will be hard to do. I, personally, rarely embark on a long trip without a list of people to call. But in the long run, it will be healthier. Besides, what would you do if you did develop a phone-induced disease? They don’t allow cells near hospital beds.