Senator Ted Kennedy’s diagnosis of a malignant brain tumor is once again stirring debate ove the safety of cell phones. (Kennedy is an habitual user).

Doctors point to research that indicates a link between cell phones and three types of tumors: cancer of a salivary gland near the ear called the parotid; glioma (the kind Senator Kennedy has); and acoustic neuroma, which is a tumor found near the ear.

An Israeli study published last year found a 58 per cent increase in risk for parotid tumors among people people who relied heavily on their cell phones. And a Swedish study found the risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma doubled after 10 years of heavy cell phone use.

Prominent neurosurgeons have stated they do not use cell phones next to their ears: « I use it on the speaker-phone mode, » said Dr. Vini Khurana, a prominent professor of neurosurgery at the Australian National University. « I do not hold it to my ear », explained Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and a neurosurgeon at Emory University Hospital. He also uses an earpiece.

Dr. Khurana says « it is anticipated that this danger { from cell phones] has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking. »

Would these warnings modify in any way your use of a cell phone?



  1. 1

    My job requires the use of a cell phone, but I use it rarely, and keep it detached from me while not in use. Seems to me that the possible effects of cell-phones remain unknown, and it’s no inconvenience to keep the thing at a healthy distance, so I do.

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    Another demonstration of Darwin’s theory. 😉

  3. 3
    Joe Agnost Says:

    « Another demonstration of Darwin’s theory. »

    Don’t get Tony started!! He’ll want you to modify your statement with a disclaimer referring to creationism! 🙂

    It seems likely enough to me that cell phones wouldn’t be a healthy thing for one’s head… I’m not a cell phone guy (and neither is anyone in my family) so I don’t have to worry about it – but if I did I’d use it SPARINGLY!

  4. 4
    Paul Costopoulos Says:

    The wife and I have cell phones, shut off most times, for emergency use only. We got them when she got stranded with a flat tire on a remote country road between two schools were she had kids under treatment. So we are not worrying a lot.
    Two of our three kids are without. The other one has an employer supplied Blackberry that she uses as little as posiible. So here again no major cause for worrying.
    As for datas on the subject, as was the case with former reports, another report to the contrary should emerge in the coming weeks or months.

  5. 5
    savinoxide Says:

    While this is something that I have thought about from time to time I haven’t really ever made an effort to keep my cell away from my head. I guess it could be time to maybe take some proactive measures (ear piece maybe?), at least until the come up with some conclusive evidence.

    Savin Oxide

  6. 6


    When you have had enough of errant bicycles in Boston, come on over and visit us in Montreal. They’re even worse here.

    Thanks for your comment.

  7. 7

    savinoxide: –

    Sorry, I mixed up my comments. I expect we will have to wait for more definitive data on the health risks of cell phones.

  8. 8

    They and their studies and research can’t even get the story straight about coffee. Imagine this.

    I use a cell phone. If I get something in 30 years there’s no way, I would suspect, to attribute it to cell phones. There’s a huge difference between strong suspicion and evidence.

    Oh man, our bikers ARE terrible. Not even the basic accepted norms of cylicing etiquette is observed on our bike paths.

  9. 9
    sandy Says:

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