Northern New York Newspapers
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Mon., Aug. 3
Serving the communities of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Lewis counties, New York
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Cellphones may cause tumors in humans


I just read that another local child was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed surgery. I read this with particular interest as I am the step-grandparent of a local girl who last year, at age 16, was diagnosed with brain cancer and has been hospitalized and/or in rehab since her surgery.

What I discovered with online research is that while the jury is still out on this subject, many are looking into the possible connection of brain tumors and cellphones. It is easy to Google the subject such as “Cellphone use and brain tumors,” and you will find tons of data on the subject.

The World Health Organization has been looking into the possible link, and they now list mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. What that means is they found some evidence of increase in glioma brain cancer for mobile phone users.

Brain cancers have increased dramatically for children over the past 20 years. In this time frame, our children are using the phones at younger ages.

More research needs to be done. But as one researcher mentioned, how long will it be before it is declared that there is a strong link between the cellphones and cancer? And how long is too long to wait?

Right now, to be pro-active in the use of cellphones is the best option. No one wants to be told to stop using their phones. Cellphones will not go away, nor should they. They have made all of our lives so much more convenient.

But children would be wise to use ear buds when listening to music, put the speaker phone on when talking on the phone and never keep their phones near their heads while they lay in bed listening to music. Even adults need to be aware of the risks.

Every time I see someone walking around with a receiver over their ears waiting for a possible phone call, I have to stop myself from going up and asking them if they have any idea of the potential danger. Last year on CBS, a woman spoke about the tumor she developed on her chest. It appeared exactly in the spot that she kept her cellphone active, in her bra for easy storage.

I think we have to wake up and take steps until the jury comes in on this subject. I certainly am no expert in medicine or scientific research. But when I see a now 17-year-old beautiful girl struggling to get strong enough to come back home, back to school and back to her friends, it made me want to take a look into this and a possible link. Hopefully parents can monitor their children’s use and advise them to use their cellphones safely.

Kathy Doe Johnson

Sackets Harbor

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