The Research Methodology of Cell Phone Health Risk Studies

1949 Words8 Pages
Cellular telephones have transformed and accelerated communications over the past four decades. The benefits of cell phone technology are clear, most notably in the creation of an increasingly mobile and global business sector. As cell phones became a central part of the daily lives of about 5 billion global users ("National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet"), discussions of the potential health risks have become commonplace. Such epidemiological concerns stem from the potential harmful electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular devices. These concerns, at the most basic level, emulate the 1970s concern regarding the proposed correlation between magnetic fields from power lines and incidents of leukemia in children living nearby these structures. Similar to the power line issue, cellular electromagnetic radiation exposure is linked to brain tumors and damage to the central nervous system of users.

Basic Scientific Basis for Concerns

Radiofrequency energy, which is emitted by cellular phones, is a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. Ionizing electromagnetic radiation, the type of radiation, which encompasses x-rays, radon and cosmic rays have been proven to increase cancer risks. However, the association between non-ionizing radiation and cancer still has not been satisfactorily proven. Cell phone emitted radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) are emitted within a range, which could potentially influence neuronal activity (Volkow 808). Some scientists argue that there are two possible ways in which RF-EMFs could influence neuronal activity, the correlation of oscillatory frequencies between cell phone emissions and neuronal activity, in connection to their thermal effect (Volkow 808). However, other scientist...

... middle of paper ...>.

"Peer Review Process." U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Office of Extramural Research, 25 May 2011. Web. 7 Oct. 2011. .

"Research Programs - Interphone Study." McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment. University of Ottowa, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2011. .

"The INTERPHONE Study." EMF Explained Series. World Health Organization, n.d. Web. 07 Oct. 2011. .

Volkow, N. D., D. Tomasi, G.-J. Wang, P. Vaska, J. S. Fowler, F. Telang, D. Alexoff, J. Logan, and C. Wong. "Effects of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Signal Exposure on Brain Glucose Metabolism." JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association 305.8 (2011): 808-13. Print.

More about The Research Methodology of Cell Phone Health Risk Studies

Open Document