EMF Health-effects Research

Cellular phones and public health

Leventhal A, Karsenty E, Sadetzki S.

Harefuah. 143(8):614-618, 620, 2004

[Article in Hebrew]

BACKGROUND: The increased use of mobile cellular phone by the public is associated with a wave of contradictory reports about the possible health effects, due to the exposure of the users to electromagnetic non-ionizing radiation.

AIMS: This article reviews the state of the art of the present knowledge concerning the biological and medical effects of exposure to cellular phones, with an emphasis on its possible carcinogenic effect.

RESULTS: Health conditions, which have been ascribed to the use of mobile phones mainly include some types of cancer and changes of brain activity. However, the balance of evidence from available studies has not yet supported these claims. Following the recommendation of special international expert committees, the IARC (International Association for Research on Cancer) is conducting a multi-center study to determine the possible effect of cellular phone use on brain and salivary gland tumors. Israel is one of the participants of this study. The only established health effect associated with the use of such technology is an increased risk for road accidents, unrelated to the amount of radiation emitted by phone.

CONCLUSIONS: The challenge posed by this new technology to health authorities all over the world has lead to the definition of a new principle, the so-called "prudent avoidance", used as guidelines for the definition of an adequate public health policy. The public policy in Israel has used the prudent avoidance principles, while awaiting the results of the multi-national epidemiological studies.

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