(flikr image by pinprick)
Yep, scientists are renewing the debate over whether cell phones might cause cancer.
As I recall, at first they thought maybe yes they might be dangerous, and then bigger studies said nah, don't worry about it... Now there's a new study saying, yeah, well, you actually might want to start worrying about it again.
The CNN article cites a study by Dr. Lennart Hardell out of Örebro University in Sweden:
"The results indicated that people who use cell phones have double the chance of developing malignant brain tumors and acoustic neuromas, which are tumors on the hearing nerve. The study also said people under age 20 were more than five times as likely to develop brain cancer."
Of course there were other scientists who said: "Meh, small study, not yet peer-reviewed. Doesn't mean much--we've been using cell phones for a long time, and our brains haven't exploded out of our heads. Yet."
Okay, that wasn't an exact quote.
Bottom line: it's still unsettled. And to me, unsettling.
If I had kids? I might think about
(Photo by cotaroba)
And generally--headsets are supposed to reduce risk, so even when you're not in the car you might think about using one. You too can be one of those folks who walks around town talking to herself like a crazy person.
Personally, I don't use cell phones much as it is.
I'm one of those people who hates talking on any kind of phone. I'd rather chat in person or via email. (Yes, as we've established, I'm a nut case. But I have good company on this one).
I don't process information as well without visual cues, and I feel much more socially awkward on a phone than I do face-to-face. (And if you've ever dealt with me face-to-face, you know that's a LOT of social awkwardness!)
And for everything I hate about talking on the phone generally? I hate all those things worse when it comes to cell phones.
How come they keep inventing new teeny tiny phones that do a million things I have no interest in, but they can't get the sound quality anywhere near as good as on a landline? People are always drifting in and out and breaking up into little blippy beepy sounds. So then you have to figure out whether to fess up that didn't hear more than a few syllables of what they just said.
"Oh I'm sorry, I didn't quite hear what you... no, um, could you repeat that? Um, again? No, I'm sorry, I still didn't get those last few words... Fried puppy toes? What? ..."
Or, alternatively, you can give up and just fake it and pretend you understood what the caller was saying, at the risk of totally misunderstanding the entire phone call. A really great plan when it's something important or emotionally charged or involves airplane flight times. Not.
I can never relax when I'm talking on a damned cell phone. And now if there's some (small) chance the stupid thing is leaking cancer into my head? It truly doesn't make me any more eager join the 21st century.
What about you folks: cell phone fans? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Worried?
(Note: The Crab is out of town again for a couple days, and will be hoping to get online but is not sure how often this will be possible. Back very soon to catch up with everyone!)