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Why should I limit my time on the cell phone?

Dawn Marcus
Neurology
Keeping in our theme of “are you kidding me?” medical research studies, the International Journal of Epidemiology published a study looking at the risk of developing brain cancer with cell phone use. Frankly, in most developed countries I rarely see people without a cell phone implanted on their ears, so I’m not sure how you’d find a control group of “typical” people who don’t use cell phones! Anyway, after spending 24 million -- yes, million! -- dollars to collect data over 10 years on how much people thought they used their phone, which ear they might have held a cell phone to, and whether they developed a brain tumor, the authors decided cell phone use probably doesn’t increase brain cancer risk, but maybe using the phone a lot might cause a problem.

Hmm … here’s my 24 cent analysis. Cell phones are part of our society and that’s not likely to change until new technology replaces them. Talking on the phone a little is unlikely to be a problem. Even your Mom told you most things in moderation were okay! If you spend an excessive amount of time on the phone, that’s likely to be bad for your health. Why -- because of cell phone waves driving into your skull? No -- because talking on the cell phone prevents you from being connected with the actual world in front of you! Get off the phone and take Fido for a walk. Can you walk and talk on the phone? Well, you could, but you’d miss healthy opportunities to meet and engage with others you pass on the street or quiet mediation time or time to enjoy the beauty of your neighborhood. So should you limit your time on your cell phone? Absolutely! Not because you’re afraid that having it stuck to your ear will cause brain cancer, but because it’s an easy crutch to prevent you from getting and staying connected in your immediate world. So hang up the phone, walk your dog, and see what’s in the world around you. It’s healthier for you than spending 30 minutes talking to your friend about the latest celebrity gossip.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.