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$25 Million Study Finds Link between Cell Phones and Cancer, but is there a Bigger Threat?
In a study out of the National Toxicology Program, researchers dosed groups of 90 rats over a two-and- a-half year period with non-ionizing radiofrequency (RF) radiation, similar to what humans would be exposed to through regular cell phone usage. The results of this study have researchers, scientists, concerned citizens, and the media all weighing in. It seems that the debate has not been put to rest after all.
Those who support the study's findings argue that since the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RF radiation as a possible human carcinogen, any research that shows cancer growth in conjunction with RF radiation merits another look and further research. Many people also believe that the number of rats tested and the span of the study uphold the credibility of its findings that RF radiation, the same emitted by cell phones, really can cause brain and heart tumors.
Others are skeptical of the study's results. Although the male rats exposed to RF radiation showed cancer growth in proportion to the intensity of their exposure, exposed females seemed unaffected in comparison. Rats exposed to radiation also seemed to live, on average, longer than the control group, which were not exposed to any radiation at all. Another important point raised in the course of this debate is that none of the control group developed cancer, which is atypical in these sorts of studies.
When it comes down to it, most major related organizations (the American Cancer Society, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, to name a few) have reviewed research over the years on the link between cell phone use and cancer, and have not found sufficient information to confirm a link. Furthermore, the incidence of U.S. cases of brain cancer has actually decreased since 1980, despite the birth and growth of the cell phone.
Radiofrequency energy, a type of non-ionizing radiation, is only one type of electromagnetic radiation. The other, ionizing radiation (such as radon, nuclear weapons, and x-rays), is far more powerful and has been scientifically proven to be strong enough to damage DNA, causing cancer. Unlike radiofrequency energy, which is still sparking debates over whether or not it can cause cancer, ionizing radiation is widely accepted as a cancer-causing carcinogen.
Although it is far less flashy and attention-grabbing than cell phones, radon is known to cause 37% of all radiation exposure in the U.S. Radon becomes a health hazard when it collects in homes, schools, and other buildings, getting trapped and accumulating over time. Radon is the #1 cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers and the #2 cause overall, killing 21,000 people every year in the United States alone.
Radiation is not something that can be seen with the naked eye, whether it's from cell phones or from the air you breathe in your own home. The CDC and the World Health Organization are just two of the many organizations across the world that have released statements on the threat of radon. Unlike with this latest cell phone study, the evidence for radon as a health hazard is already present. One person dies every 25 minutes from radon in the U.S., no lab rats needed.
"Being a professional in the radon industry isn't just about manufacturing life-saving products or performing effective radon system installations in peoples' homes," says Dave Hill, the Executive Vice President of RadonAway, the top radon fan manufacturer in the world. "It's also about raising awareness about the threat of radon in the general public." The radon industry is unique in how active of a role professionals pay in educating homeowners on the threat of radon, consistently envisioning news ways to spread the radon message, which will ultimately save lives.
To learn more about the effects of radon gas or to perform your own in-home radon test, visit www.radonisreal.org. Radon is the #1 environmental health threat-the science is clear, the link to cancer is supported by international experts. While the debate about the connection between cell phones and cancer is bound to continue on over the years, ionizing radiation and radon will continue to be the greater threat to the public.
Pat Everett, Marketing Services Manager