Health Effects of Mobile Phones Examined at Senate Hearing
The on-going debate about the link between cell phone usage and brain cancer was back in the spotlight last week as a U.S. Senate Health subcommittee heard conflicting reports on the issue. The only conclusion is that much more research is needed.
Subcommittee chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) opened the session by observing that the cell phone/cancer issue is comparable to "this country's experience with cigarettes." Harkin's subcommittee wants to determine if it should fund further National Institutes of Health (NIH) studies on the health effects of mobile phones. The legislators are also considering whether to issue consumer precautions on potential risks of using mobile handsets. At the hearings, a scientist enlisted by CTIA, the wireless association, summarized more than two decades of research that failed to establish a conclusive link between cancer and wireless phone use. Another researcher suggested that his studies indicate a possible biological response that could result in DNA damage.
CTIA President Steve Largent testified that the wireless industry relies on data supplied by the Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, the NIH, and the American Cancer Society, "which have all concluded that the scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate any adverse health effects associated with the use of wireless phones."