SALT LAKE CITY – Wearable phones and computers are on loads of shopping lists as the holiday season approaches in Utah and around the nation. But scientists are warning that research indicates they present likely health risks – especially from cell phone radiation.
A researcher at New York’s Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. David Gultekin, showed that cell phone radiation creates hot spots in human brains – a troublesome finding.
And Dr. Hugh Taylor, chairman, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Yale University School of Medicine, exposed pregnant mice to close-up cell phone signals. Taylor says he observed their offspring behaving like children with attention deficit disorder.
“I think all these radiation-emitting technologies deserve a proper evaluation that includes not only exposure to adults but what happens to the fetus, the most vulnerable stage of life,” says Taylor.
Many scientists question the accuracy of industry-funded research. They say money for government and foundation-funded research is scarce. And, they say, when they report on the evidence of risk, the mainstream media – like those lab mice – have a short attention span.
Dr. Martin Blank, a DNA expert and retired associate professor of physiology and cellular biophysics at Columbia University, points out that the current research is more than enough to prompt action.
“When you get a situation when a problem arises, you invoke what’s known as the precautionary principle,” explains Blank. “You take a certain amount of precaution as a result of a risk that has been identified.”
Dr. Gultekin adds wearable gadgets often are brought to the marketplace with little concern for safety.
“When they’re designing and developing a new product and introducing it, very rarely the health aspect of it is mentioned, or not mentioned at all,” he says.
For now, the recommendations are to keep cell phones and other devices away from sensitive body parts. Pregnant women are cautioned not to hold cell phones near their abdomens, or in handbags carried near their bodies.