Don’t Give-Up Your Land Line!
In 2005, Molly Wood, a senior editor at cnet.com, issued a column The cell phone industry: Big Tobacco 2.0?, in which she wondered if the popular and addictive cell phone is not unlike cigarettes. The cell industry then and now actively argues that scientific evidence does not demonstrate a relationship between cell phone use and disease, specifically cancer (http://www.cnet.com/4520-6033_1-5741203-1.html).
This year, Dr. Siegal Sadetzki an epidemiologist and physician at Tel Aviv University, published Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Benign and Malignant Parotid Gland Tumors–A Nationwide Case-Control Study, (American Journal of Epidemiology., 15 February 2008; 167: 457 – 467; http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/167/4/457.) The study demonstrates that cell phone users had a 50% greater risk of parotid cancer than those who did not use cell phones. This limited and controlled study is provocative and frankly, troublesome.
Five years ago, I was locked in a battle over the installation of cell antennas at the Stanford Inn. A small contingent of residents truly believed that cell antennas produced dangerous radiation. Before we had agreed to have antennas installed here, we read just about every major study (or abstract of such a study) regarding the dangers of radiation. We learned that base stations were relatively safe due to restricted access to the antennas, while the antennas in handsets were definitely problematic. Five year later, Dr. Sadetzki’s study is particularly important: the antennas in our cell phones are not just problematic but dangerous, especially with heavy use. In addition since the phones continually connect with local cells, the phone in your pocket is dangerous as well.
You can find additional information regarding this study in Heavy Cell Phone Use Linked To Cancer, Study Suggests at http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080214144349.htm
There are other studies, less well constructed that suggest that gliomas can be caused by cell phone or remote phone use. (Reported by Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS48429+23-May-2008+BW20080523.)
We are very concerned about cell phone use and believe that there’s enough evidence that handsets are potentially dangerous to use Bluetooth, wired earphones and the speaker phone to help prevent long term damage from the use of the technology. Incredibly, if, the information in Reuters, 23 May, 2008, is correct, the use of home remote phones is also dangerous. Even these ubiquitous telephones should be put aside in favor of corded telephone sets.
We work among landlines and have phone extensions throughout the Inn, however, cell phones are the primary phones of both our kids and our guests while they are here. Guests of the Stanford Inn will find land line based phones with voice mail in all our accommodations.
Simply, if you are concerned about your health, cell phones should be used minimally – and when used, only with Bluetooth, wired headsets, or as speaker phones. Don’t give up your land line.