Are cell phones creating brain tumors? -

Are cell phones creating brain tumors?

We were all stunned when, after years of assuring consumers that cell phones pose no risk, several top health organizations issued warnings that cell phones might cause brain cancer. Now there's important new information parents need to know to minimize the danger to their kids.

Extensive research on the correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors has been conducted for over a decade. Until recently, the results were considered inconclusive.

Dr. Cara Natterson is a pediatrician and best-selling author. She's also the mother of two young children. Dr. Natterson is particularly concerned about the potential danger that cell phones pose to kids.

"The skeptics have said, for years, the cell phone radiation that comes out of the antenna of the phone must affect the cells of the brain," she says. "I have always believed that there's a potential risk from the EMF – EMF is electro-magnetic frequency or the type of radiation that comes out of your cell phone – that there's a risk between that and brain cancer.

The skull plate in the temporal area, which is right near where you hold the phone, is much thinner in children than it is in adults. There are a series of studies being done now to look at whether this means that cell EMF can penetrate into the brain more easily in children."

"There are a large number of doctors who believe this is the case, so that's why I have always said to my family, let's not put the cells up to our head. Let's find a way to use our cell phone that's safe, that keeps the EMF away from the brain," continues Dr. Natterson.

She recommends that instead of putting the phone up to your ear, you put the ear bud up to your ear. As long as there are about two inches or more between your brain and your phone, she says you're fine.

Dr. Natterson says using speaker mode is another good way to accomplish the same thing.

"The reason I love it is that then I can hear the conversation that my kids are having. So as a mother, it solves many issues at once," says Natterson.

Fifty years ago, people loved their cigarettes. And doctors were in such disagreement about whether cigarettes were good for you or bad for you, that no one wanted to see the negative. Dr. Natterson says that cell phones are much the same.

"People are in love with their cell phones. They don't want to hear their cell phones are bad for them," she explains. "The difference is no one's asking you to give up your cell phone. Use wired earpieces or ear buds. Use your speaker mode. Then they are no longer like cigarettes."

And those wireless headsets? Aren't those supposed to be better for you?

Dr. Natterson points out that the Bluetooth earpiece has an antenna that actually goes inside your ear. And since it's the antenna that we want to keep away from our head, that doesn't help solve the problem very much.

"I tell people I'd like them to keep those out," she concludes. "On the other hand, the battery is much smaller in a Bluetooth earpiece, which means it's still worse to hold your cell up to your head than it is to put your Bluetooth in your ear."

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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