Cell Phones and Cancer

The general public became first aware of the association between cell phones and cancer on January 21, 1993. Larry King Live featured a man named David Reynard of Tampa, Florida, who filed a lawsuit against the cell phone industry. Reynard claimed that his wife Susan died of a fatal brain tumor due to her repeated use of the cell phone. The charges were later dropped, as there was no clear evidence to substantiate his claim.

But the cellular industry suffered a major public relations blow. To assure the public that cell phones were safe, the industry hired Dr. George Carlo, a public health scientist, to head a $25 million research and surveillance program. In the early years, no cancer or other health problems were found to be linked to use of the cell phone. But later, as the research methods became more refined, the findings started raising red flags. These warnings gave indications that cell phone radiation could indeed lead to the development of brain tumors and other cancers, as well as other health problems.

Against the industry’s wishes, Dr. Carlo released his results to the public. To him, the ‘smoking gun’ was found in a December 1998 research report from a series of DNA damage studies funded by his program: the formation of micronuclei in blood cells exposed to cell phone radiation. In this study, a test of blood cells exposed to cell phone radiation caused the nucleus of the cells to divide. The scientists measured DNA damage by looking for fragments of chromosomes that formed membranes around themselves and appeared under a microscope as additional nuclei.

This was huge! Doctors from around the world have been using tests for the presence of micronuclei to identify patients who are likely to develop cancer. Indeed, after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster in the Ukraine, international teams of experts who arrived on the scene used micronuclei testing as a vital tool for diagnosing cancer risks and saving lives. ALL tumors and ALL cancers are the result of genetic damage, and most often that damage includes the formation of micronuclei.

This was more than 6 years ago. So why is this not common knowledge? Why are cell phones becoming even more popular and why aren’t stricter safety regulations in place for the cell phone manufacturers to follow? BEATS ME. Whenever independent studies present new evidence against the safety of cell phones, the cellular industry presents its own findings from hired experts showing that those other studies were flawed!

Remember the tobacco industry? Well, the truth does eventually come out. I’m not worried. It’s just a matter of time…