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Made in India Magazine | November 25, 2020

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Brinda Rajkumar Shah

There have been many fears about cell phones and whether they cause brain damage to users. In this piece, we look at some of the evidence for and against, and tell you whether you should fear your phone or not.

Ever since cell phones have become ubiquitously use, people have been wary of them. Since the type of radiation that cell phones use is the same as the type of radiations used in microwaves, and since microwaves fry living tissue, it is sometimes thought that phones can also ‘fry our brains’.
However, this is not correct, because the amount of power present in a microwave oven’s radiation is almost thousand times more powerful than what is present in your cell phone. So the likelihood of your phone frying your brain is very minimal.
Having said that, though, scientists have seen that using mobile phones can release heat shock proteins to be released inside the body, which could be related to early onset of cancer. Therefore, it is perhaps warranted that we look at some of the evidence.
A recent Swedish study has found that long-term users of mobile phones (people who have been using them for twenty years or more) are three times more likely than non-users to develop brain cancer. Yes, brain cancers are quite rare at about three cases per 100,000 people, but cell phone usage is likely to increase the odds up to nine cases per 100,000.
However, a prospective study in Denmark, using the whole Danish population as subjects, and another one in the UK, using a million women as subjects, were not able to find any causative link between cell phone usage and brain cancer.
Also, since everyone has a cell phone in the last twenty years, if they did cause brain cancer, we would expect the overall brain cancer numbers to go up. However, they are not. The number of brain cancers has remained pretty much the same.
So rest easy, it is not likely that your phone is killing you with brain cancer.

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