2006-05-26 / Columnists

Health & Harmony

The Risks Of Cell Phone Use
By Dr. Nancy Gahles


DR. Nancy gahles
DR. Nancy gahles We all knew in our hearts that cell phones could pose some as yet unknown risk to our brains. We knew it when we spoke for a long time and the phone got so hot we had to stop. What was all that heat doing to our heads, our ears and our brains? I knew it when Johnnie Cochran died of brain cancer. He was one of the first high profile attorneys to use the analog cell phone constantly and be photographed doing it.

Electromagnetic frequencies (radiation) are the culprit here. The health risks of these EMF's, as they are called, have been published in scientific reports for the last decade as consumer use of products generating these frequencies soared. In everyone's home there is the ubiquitous red light blinking from a clock, a radio, a VCR, a television, a cell phone, a computer and a cordless phone.

Often all of these are in the same room. These emit far less EMF's than cell phones or cordless phones and yet have been associated with countless health disorders.

According to Joseph Mercola, M.D., a recent study appearing in the prestigious Lancet revealed the fact that 70-80% of the energy emitted from the antenna of your cell phone is absorbed in your head. "Statistics show a direct correlation between the increased incidence of brain tumors and the increased numbers of cell phone users in the general population", he said.

Other clinical and laboratory studies suggest cell phone usage is linked to headaches, sleep disturbances, functions of the memory, concentration and spatial awareness as well as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

We may think of these as degenerative conditions of the elderly but remember that your child's skull bones are still growing and the bone is thinner than adults. It is easier to cause direct damage to brain cells in the youthful population, those that are at particularly high risk due to the more frequent usage of cell phones.

Cellular technology is here to stay and I am certain that we will be developing smarter and safer ways to use it. In the interim there are some common sense tips to implement.

*Use the speakerphone feature. This allows you to keep the phone as far away from your head as possible.

Cell phone etiquette demands that this is not done when in a public place as no one really wants to be privy to all your personal information.

All calls can wait unless it's a dire emergency. Create impulse controls in your children and respect for the privacy of others.

*Cell phones should be turned off when not in use. DO NOT keep the phone on and by your head while you sleep. When your phone is on, it is constantly searching for a signal and emitting those radiations to you. Likewise, do not keep it on and in your pocket. The soft tissues of your body are more able to be penetrated by the EMF's than your skull.

*Use an air filled wireless tube headset. Conventional wire headsets actually increase your exposure as they send the signal directly to your brain. A 2002 Consumer Electronics Show Award Winner, the RF3 hands free headset uses AirCom technology to keep potentially harmful radiation away from your head. You can use the Internet to locate one or you can order it from Dr. Mercola's website http:/ www. mercola.com/ forms/ rf3_head

sets.htm.

Be safe, be happy, be aware.

May The Blessings Be!

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