Researchers of a study raising questions about the health risks of excessive cell phone have suggested ways to prevent possible adverse effects, which has put pressure on manufacturers to find ways to reduce radiation.
The study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that glucose migrated to the area of the brain closest to where the phone was placed. Glucose has been linked to the formation of cancer cells in the past.
Lead investigator Dr. Nora Volkow said the study suggests that users should use wired headsets or put the phone on speaker mode whenever possible. Using wireless headsets like Bluetooth or tilting the phone slightly away from the ear, especially when talking, also helps, she said.
“Cell phones are fantastic and have done much to increase productivity,” said Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health. “I’d never tell people to stop using them entirely.”
The Federal Communications Commission said it will continue to monitor research on the risks, but every time a study suggests a link, pressure increases on manufacturers to find ways to reduce radiation. Research by the non-profit Environmental Working Group suggests the LG Quantum emits the least radiation while the Motorola Bravo sends out the most.
In the latest test, researchers placed Samsung Knack flip phones on both ears of 47 participants. The one on the right ear was switched on with the sound muted. The one on the left ear was left off. Researchers say much more glucose gathered on the right side of the brain.
Volkow’s team chose the Samsung phone because it was widely used when they started their survey in 2008. Today’s smartphones emit substantially more radiation.
Several studies have linked cancer — as well as lower bone density and male infertility — to cell phone use, while others have failed to find any connections. Legislators in San Francisco and Maine last year considered ways to warn users of potential dangers.