Is cell phone radiation really a problem?

October 17, 2011 3:13:47 PM PDT
It's another report on the dangers of cell phones. This one comes from an environmental group called Environmental Health Trust. It says when you talk on the cell phone, you're getting more radiation than you think, because the FCC doesn't measure radiation correctly. But experts in Houston say they've never heard of the environmental group and question whether they have any proof of this latest cell phone claim.

UT Oncologist Dr. Joan Bull once helped choose which scientists would get grants to study cell phones and radiation for the National Cancer Institute. She saw nothing then or now that makes her think cell phones cause cancer.

"I can't tell them to not worry altogether, but so far nobody has shown me -- and I would reserve judgment on this -- what the information is," Dr. Bull said.

Baylor Medical Physicist Dr. Stewart Bushong put it another way.

"It's not possible. We should not be concerned about this," Bushong said.

He says cell phones are safer than your TV set, and it's because the type of radiation is safer.

"It's simply too long a wavelength, too low in energy to produce a malignant response in a patient. We got tons of data on this now so I'm not quite sure where this study came from," Dr. Bushong said.

Both Houston experts had not heard of the Environmental Health Trust, which released the report Monday. But they had read dozens of other studies that said the opposite, that there's no proof of a link between cell phones and brain cancer.

"There was a big study out of the NIH and they never found any association between malignancy and cell phones," Dr. Bull said.

At this point, neither Houston expert is putting down their own cell phone and they won't until they find a study that proves otherwise.

An estimated five billion people have cell phones. That's almost three-fourths of the world's population. About 30 studies have failed to link cell phones to cancer.