The topic of whether mobile phone use can cause cancer has been controversial for years now. Various media sources regularly release headlines that either support the theory of cell phones being cancerous, or reject it.
Whilst studies done worldwide still do not provide a clear link between the use of mobile phones and developing cancer, researchers say talking on our mobiles increases the risk dramatically.
Studies point out that people who spend a lot of time talking on their phones have higher levels of oxidative stress in their bodies. Oxidative stress is a disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive oxygen species (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses. It is extremely dangerous as this process wrecks human cells, in particular DNA, and is a crucial cancer risk factor.
Even though the International Agency for Research on Cancer has qualified mobile phones as “potentially carcinogenic to humans”, no clear results have yet been produced that prove a direct cause and effect relationship.
Yet recent studies from Tel Aviv University in Israel reveal that mobile users’ saliva has higher oxidative stress, due to speaking on the phone. Conducting more research will deny or confirm the theory that cancer (brain tumours) can develop because when talking on the phone we place it close to our salivary glands.
Dr Yaniv Hamzany, lead author, states: “The damage caused by oxidative stress is linked to cellular and genetic mutations which cause the development of tumours.”
The number of heavy users of mobile phones (speaking for at least 8 hours per month), keeps increasing with mobile operators offering cheap call rates and low mobile phone prices. The UN’s International Telecommunications Union report shows that 6.8 billion people have mobile phone subscriptions worldwide, keeping in mind that there are 7.1 billion people in the world.
The heaviest mobile phone users by country include, Russia, China, India, Brazil, the USA, Japan and Germany. Until clear results have been produced by researchers we have no reason to panic, however, we cannot help but notice the rising number of mobile users and the possible links to cancer.