You may have heard the news last week that cell phones do indeed cause cancer. The media focused a lot of attention on the story. But the media missed the bigger news story. And it may impact how you use your cell phone – and a lot of other gadgets.
The bigger story starts with the IARC. This is the cancer research institute of the World Health Organization. IARC stands for the International Agency for Cancer Research Classification of Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields. Their mission is to look for causes of cancer. Since 1971, they have tested 900 different agents for their cancer-causing traits. They have identified more than 400 agents that either cause cancer, probably cause cancer, or possibly cause cancer in humans. So while it’s not true that “everything causes cancer,” lots of things do.
Recently, the IARC classified certain radio waves as “possibly carcinogenic.” The media ran with this news and twisted it to give the impression that the problem was with cell phones. That’s not what the IARC said and it’s not what it meant. The dangers go way beyond cell phones. If cell phones emit dangerous extremely low-frequency electric fields (ELFs), so do many other things. These include wireless computer routers, cordless telephones, hair dryers, and many other electronic devices.
The IARC report says that cell phones when held against the head may trigger a form of brain cancer. A 2008 study out of The Cleveland Clinic, a large sperm bank, found that men who used cell phones four hours or more a day had low sperm counts. Clearly, ELFs from a single source have a negative effect on some people.
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Cell phones appear to emit the strongest and potentially most dangerous ELFs. But there’s more to consider. What about the cumulative effects of several or many ELF-producing electronics?
I’ve done a tremendous amount of research on this topic. I’ve felt the effects on my own health and taken steps to reverse their impact. I believe we’ll eventually see evidence that the total ELF exposure from electronics does, indeed, increase the risk for various cancers. I predict we’ll find that ELFs increase inflammation and are also associated with other health problems. But these findings will come too late for the millions of people who are bathing themselves in electrical pollution.
You need to watch out for any substance or product labeled possibly carcinogenic. And use these products with caution until researchers conduct long-term studies. So far, they’ve conducted studies on electromagnetic fields only on small numbers of people. The IARC report is a call for more research and a warning of a potential carcinogen.
For more information on ELFs and tips on lowering your exposure, read my articles on this subject on my website. Taking the time to reduce your exposure now may help you prevent cancer in the future.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, Non-Ionizing Radiation, Part 1: Static and Extremely Low-Frequency (ELF) Electric and Magnetic Fields, Volume 80, 2002.