Dialing Our Pain with Our Cell Phones (Which Are Killing Us Softly)
For the past decade, there has been a fairly constant stream of nightly local news features on how cell phones might cause brain tumors or...
For the past decade, there has been a fairly constant stream of nightly local news features on how cell phones might cause brain tumors or baldness or straight up sterility, but the findings have always been iffy at best-and the segments have always come across more as scare-tactic-as-ratings-boosters ("Something in your pocket might kill you! News at 11") than as real causes for concern.Acknowledging from the outset that "[i]t's hard to talk about the dangers of cell-phone radiation without sounding like a conspiracy theorist," GOOD contributor Christopher Ketcham just penned a rather lengthy exploration of cell phone radiation danger for GQ. And the takeaway isn't pretty.
Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor-specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone-goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. Interphone researchers in Israel have found that cell phones can cause tumors of the parotid gland (the salivary gland in the cheek), and an independent study in Sweden last year concluded that people who started using a cell phone before the age of 20 were five times as likely to develop a brain tumor. Another Interphone study reported a nearly 300 percent increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the acoustic nerve.The short end of it is that we should be using headsets, but the piece as a whole is worth a look, not only to gain an understanding of how radiation from cell phones and wifi devices is a problem-and how that came to pass-but also to figure out why we're so complicit in the situation.Photo by Tom Schierlitz for GQ.