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Calling mobile phone use safe will earn a quick correction from many doctors. Medical and technology experts are quick to acknowledge at least a possible relationship between brain-tumors and mobile phone radiation.
So why do so many studies still seem to dance around the issue? EvenÂ the 2010 Interphone study involving 10 years, 13 countries, $25 million and thousands of tumor patients failed to take a stand. Widely anticipated as the definitive word on mobile phone radiation risks, in the end it provided page after page of unclear discoveries, proof and counter-proof, and the overall sense that nothing definitive was discovered.
Are the wrong questions being asked or are the wrong people asking them?
According to an article in Seattle Magazine, Dr. Henry Lai learned the answer in 1995 while researching the effects of non-ionizing microwave radiation the same type of radiation emitted by mobile phones on the DNA of rats. He and a fellow researcher, Narendra N.P. Singh, found that the DNA in the brain cells of the rats was damaged or broken by exposure to the safe level of radiation according to government safety standards. Though their research was not immediately related to mobile phones, manufacturers took precautions to keep it from gaining traction.
After Drs. Lai and Singh published their findings, a memo was leaked from communications-giant Motorola discrediting Lai. This shocked me, Lai says, as a scientist doing research, I was not expecting to be involved in a political situation.
What does this mean for the average person holding a mobile phone? The interests of manufacturers has led to a cycle that is frustrating doctors and health advocates everywhere: Well-researched science shows reason for major concern but well-funded industry reports are the ones pushed to the news and used as the basis for regulation.
In Italy, the Supreme Court used this imbalance as the basis for its recent ruling that blamed mobile phones for Businessman Innocente Marcolini brain tumor.
Its an issue that greatly concerns Dr. Lai. People always start with the statement ˜Hundreds of studies have been done on this topic, and no effect has been found, he says. But this is a very misleading statement. [The statements] come out from the mobile phone industry, and people just use it, like the American Cancer Society. People haven’t even gone in to look at the real studies and look at the effects that people have reported. This really worries me, because people come out and say things without the facts.