FDA To Determine If Cellular Phones Are Dangerous To Your Health
Posted June 8, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT
DURHAM — Eighty million Americans have at least one cellular phone. TheFood and Drug Administrationwill spend the next two years trying to find out if they are dangerous to your health.
Gregor Lee uses her cellular phone to talk to her boyfriend. She says she does not think about the risk of brain cancer from using her phone.
"I never thought about that before," Lee says. "I just use it like my phone at home."
Dr. Henry Friedman, a neurooncologist at Duke University Medical Center, uses his cellular phone about 2,700 minutes a month. He says most radiation comes from the cellular phone antenna but the amount is small.
"There's nothing there that shows in any way convincingly that using a cell phone is related to the generation of a brain tumor," Friedman says.
Phone users can avoid the problems with the antenna by purchasing a headset accessory for the phone. It would keep the antenna away from your head.
Friedman also says the FDA study could help alleviate public fear. In the meantime, Lee does not plan to change her habits.
"I think it is a good idea," Lee says. "Why not test it and make sure that it's OK."
The FDA's official statement is that there is no evidence that cellular phones cause cancer, but at the same time, there is no proof that they are risk-free.