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I Told You I Could Feel It Giving Me Cancer

Ever since i got this stupid phone, i've had a psychosomatic reaction to it whenever it's in my pocket. My leg starts to hurt wherever the phone is. It's like i feel an aching in my bones. Weird, right? Obliviously, i try not to carry my phone directly on my person whenever possible.

Meanwhile, study after study has come out to say cell phones and cell towers don't give people cancer blah blah blah. I don't care. I can feel it giving me cancer in my leg. Cereally.

Now the NYTimes tells me that mebbe cell phones are kinda dangerous when close to your body. So i feel slightly vindicated while at the same time acknowledging that my leg pains are prolly my imagination.

WARNING: Holding a cellphone against your ear may be hazardous to your health. So may stuffing it in a pocket against your body.

I'm paraphrasing here. But the legal departments of cellphone manufacturers slip a warning about holding the phone against your head or body into the fine print of the little slip that you toss aside when unpacking your phone. Apple, for example, doesn't want iPhones to come closer than 5/8 of an inch; Research In Motion, BlackBerry's manufacturer, is still more cautious: keep a distance of about an inch.


The cellphone instructions-cum-warnings were brought to my attention by Devra Davis, an epidemiologist who has worked for the University of Pittsburgh and has published a book about cellphone radiation, "Disconnect." I had assumed that radiation specialists had long ago established that worries about low-energy radiation were unfounded. Her book, however, surveys the scientific investigations and concludes that the question is not yet settled.

Henry Lai, a research professor in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington, began laboratory radiation studies in 1980 and found that rats exposed to radiofrequency radiation had damaged brain DNA. He maintains a database that holds 400 scientific papers on possible biological effects of radiation from wireless communication. He found that 28 percent of studies with cellphone industry funding showed some sort of effect, while 67 percent of studies without such funding did so. "That's not trivial," he said.

Ms. Davis recommends keeping a phone out of close proximity to the head or body, by using wired headsets or the phone's speaker. Children should text rather than call, she said, and pregnant women should keep phones away from the abdomen.

The F.C.C. concurs about the best way to avoid exposure. It is not by choosing a phone with a marginally lower SAR, it says, but rather by holding the cellphone "away from the head or body."

I don't use the phone enough to justify getting a headset/earpiece, but i think about it everytime i get that ache in my leg. I also need some sort of carrying device to keep it away from my body. Like a sack on a stick.

By min | November 19, 2010, 1:29 PM | Science

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