I’ve always been lazy about using my earpiece, but I decided to start using it regularly today. Even though there are no conclusive studies linking cell phone usage to brain tumors. Yet.
We’ve talked about this before. Cell phones emit microwaves that don’t cause the same damage that other sources of radiation, like X-rays, do. Studies have found little to no correllation between cell phone use and increased incidence of tumors. The rate of brain tumor diagnosis hasn’t increased appreciably over the last decade. So we scoff and press our iPhones to our ears.
But Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Neurosurgeon and CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, posted an article (and aired a special) this morning that I thought was well reasoned for the cautious among us. In it he points out that
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.
And furthermore, while the international study Interphone didn’t show an overall increase in the incidence of tumors, the appendix noted an increase in Scandinavia, where cell phones have been popular for ~20 years.
So, it’s just possible that we don’t know for sure whether cell phones cause brain tumors because we haven’t been using them with frequency long enough. We may just not have enough information yet.
Using a cost/benefit analysis, I decided that using my earpiece just isn’t that inconvenient. In fact, for lengthy conversations it’s actually more convenient. So, in this case I choose not to cling to the current science & the fact that theoretically microwaves shouldn’t cause brain tumors, but instead to use my earpiece just in case. It’s like Pascal’s Wager, but instead of getting into heaven, I don’t get cancer in my brain.