Q: I talk on my cellphone a lot… am I at risk for getting brain cancer (or any kind of cancer) from my frequent use?
A: Like a lot of things in science, this is a controversial subject because the evidence we have makes it difficult to determine a true cause and effect relationship.
Cell phones do emit small amounts of radiation, and while it is thought that the amount of radiation is insufficient to cause cellular damage, three studies since 1999 indicate that people who have used cell phones for more than a decade may have as much as three times greater risk of developing brain tumors on the side of the head against which they most often hold their phone—an argument for, at the least, shifting ears regularly or, even better, using an earpiece or the speakerphone feature while chatting. Even better… turn the phone off and put it down for a while.
Dr. Brent Ridge is the health expert for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. You can call and ask him a question live every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Eastern on Sirius Satellite Radio, Channel 112 (1.866.675.6675). You can also follow along as he learns to grow his own food, raise goats, and make goat milk soap on his farm in upstate New York by visiting www.beekman1802.com.
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