Death by cellphone

The evidence is in: Your cellphone is slowly killing you.

More than two dozen studies over more than a dozen years have linked cellphone use not only to cancers in, on and near your head, but also to other ills ranging from weakened memory to birth defects.

Three new 2014 reports are just the latest. In one, University of Bordeaux biologists matched cellphone use with a greater likelihood of developing gliomas, a particularly virulent form of brain cancer. In another, scientists at China’s Third Military Medical University confirmed that exposure to cellphone frequencies hobbled the proper development of brain cells. In a third, a team at India’s National Chemical Laboratory documented the degeneration of brain cells over time-lapsed exposure to cellphone frequencies. More than a dozen studies have linked cellphones to a variety of cancers in the brain, skin and thyroid.

Those and similar findings have been confirmed repeatedly in studies around the globe since 2001. Cellphone use has been linked to damaged auditory cells, hormone disruption, weakened immunity, melanomas where the cellphone contacts the head, and it’s even been implicated in breast cancer in women who store cellphones in a jacket pocket or tucked in a bra strap.

The bad news is that even 30 minutes a day of exposure can harm you. The good news – such as it is – is that damage is cumulative, not instant; it aggregates over a period of years. The more you use your cellphone over time, the more your risk increases.

Scientists advise you to use your cellphone only for essential communications, turn it off whenever you can, don’t press it against your ear, and limit use by children and teens to emergencies. The latter point is particularly essential since younger people are more vulnerable to cell phone use’s ill effects.   

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