The possible harmful effects of cell phone use have been widely debated: one research professor of bioengineering at the University of Washington maintains a database of 400 scientific papers on possible biological effects of radiation from wireless communication.
As noted in this New York Times article, a new book by University of Pittsburg epidemiologist Devra Davis, Disconnect, notes that the question is not at all resolved, and the nation’s 292 million wireless users may be exposing themselves to harm.
Ms. Davis cites laboratory research suggesting mechanisms by which low-energy radiation could damage cells, possibly leading to cancer. The F.C.C. concurs about the best way to avoid exposure, issuing guidelines on the safety threshold of a cell phone’s specific absorption rates (SAR) and advising consumers to hold their cell phones “away from the head or body.”
Cell phone manufacturers (the wireless industry generates $109 billion revenues annually) do issue warnings about the proper distance for holding a cell phone away from the body, but is this enough? Ms. Davis, citing unsettling findings from research in Israel, France, Sweden, and Finland, said, “I do think I’m looking at an epidemic in slow motion.”