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Cell Phones and Health

January 24, 2007

A listener asks: What’s the effect of wireless devices on our health?


Wireless devices and your health. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Amy Rothstein of Waltham, Massachusetts, wrote to ask if there are health effects of the waves coming from our wireless devices. Well, Amy, scientists don’t think there should be any and, so far, they haven’t found any. For example, Joachim Schüz of the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Denmark recently failed to find a connection between cell phones and cancer in a large study.

JOACHIM SCHÜZ (Institute of Cancer Epidemiology):
I think our study is reassuring in a way that at least there does not seem to be a substantial risk due to the use of mobile phones.

But he adds there are open questions, like the effects on children and heavy cell phone users, and whether the waves could cause headaches or poor sleep. Studies are underway. If you have a science question, call us at 1-800-why-isit. If we use it, you’ll win a Science Update mug. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.