Cancer institute warns of cell phone use

Although many studies have not established any link between cell phone use and an increased risk of cancer, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued a faculty- and staff-wide warning about excessive cell phone use. Herberman's warning comes from early unpublished data, and he especially urges parents to limit their children's use of the phones, suggesting limiting calls to emergencies because a child's brain is still developing.

In 2008, researchers at the University of Utah looked at nine studies and concluded that they found no increase in brain tumors among cell phone users. Researchers said that they'd have to wait to study the impact of long-term cell phone use. The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the most extensive study on the subject in 2006, which looked at over 400,000 Danish cell phone users. The study included some people who had used cell phones for more than 10 years, and found no increased risk of cancer among the participants.

Herberman wrote in a memo, "Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use." He recommends using the speakerphone option or a wireless headset instead of holding a cell phone close to the head.

To learn more about the warning:
- read this Boston Globe article