Published in The Scientist
Opinion: Cell Phone Health Risk?
Security concerns during the Cold War may have led to the generation of misinformation on the physiological effects of microwave radiation from mobile phones.
By Allan H. Frey | September 25, 2012
Recently, Congress tasked its investigative arm, the General Accountability Office (GAO), to consider the health risks of mobile phones and to report back to Congress. While a previous report published in May 2010 by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stated that there was no evidence of increased health risk resulting from exposure to the radiofrequency (microwave) energy emitted by cell phones, the World Health Organization reported the following year that cell phone radiation may be carcinogenic. Also in 2011, the director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse published a paper in JAMA reporting that 50 minutes of cell phone use by people altered glucose metabolism in the part of the brain closest to where the cell phone antennas were located. This summer, the GAO completed the task and sent a report to Congress stating that the risks were unclear and deserved greater scrutiny from the government.
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