A new study from Israel has identified a clear link between cell phone use and a heightened risk of cancer, further raising concerns among the billions of cell phone users around the world.
Researchers from Tel Aviv University and Technion-Israeli Institute of Technology studied the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, the radiation released from cellular phones, on human tissue. Researchers found heightened levels of oxidative stress among heavy cellular phone users.
The study was published in the medical journal Antioxidants and Redox Signaling, following 20 people who used their cell phones an average of 30 hours every month. The cell phone users had an average usage time frame of 12 years.
Dr. Yani Hamzany and his team of researchers compared the saliva from this group with saliva taken from 20 deaf people who served as the control group for non-cell phone use. The researchers tested the saliva for secretion levels, oxidative damage, flow rate and composition.
Researchers found the salivary flow, total protein, albumin and amylase activity were all lower in mobile phone users. The increased level of oxidative stress on the glands and tissue are considered a risk factor for cancer. Salivary glands are close to the area where a cell phone is held during use.
Oxidative stress has been linked to cell mutations which can lead to the development of cancerous tumors. Researchers believe the oxidative stress is caused by the radiation emitted by the phone during use, thus altering tissue that is near to the cellular phone.
While the results do not conclusively establish a cause and effect relationship between cell phone use and cancer, researchers say the results of the study offer enough evidence to prompt further scientific research. They feel other studies focusing on radiation may help determine if these molecular changes caused by the oxidative stress lead to cancer.
Cell Phone Cancer Concerns
The non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by cell phones is classified as an extremely low level of radiation. However, in 2011 the World Health Organizations (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer recently reclassified cell phone radiation as “possibly carcinogenic.” The group placed cell phone radiation in the same classification, Category 2B, as engine exhaust, lead and the ubiquitous pesticide DDT.
The results of this study and the concerns about whether cell phone radiation causes cancer may affect more than 5 billion cell phone users world wide. More than 300 million people subscribe to cell phone service in the United States alone.
The new study is an addition to the growing body of research linking cellular phone radiation to cancer growth. In line with the recent results of this study, the FCC announced they would begin reassessing the potentially harmful side effects of radiation exposure from mobile phones.
The FCC inquiry will focus on how the radiation will affect humans and how much radiation is emitted by the devices. The last review of radio frequencies radiation was conducted in 1996, many years before cell phone use became so frequent and widespread.