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Lawmaker Vows to Take Up New Cellphone Cancer Concerns

Concerns over the effects of cellphone radiation have surfaced again in Washington, with Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)'s pledge Monday to look more into the potential health dangers for users.

Early fears of cancer connected to cellphone use have been swept under the rug as such organizations as the World Health Organization and National Cancer Institute have said there is little clear evidence to prove the linkage. But University of Pittsburgh epidemiologist Devra Lee Davis is warning that cellphone use may increase the risk of cancer. She and other groups have also raised new concerns about cellphone use among youth.

"The cell phone industries' own studies show that the cell signal is absorbed deeply into the brains of children, and up to 2 inches into an adult skull," Davis says on her Web site.

The revived debate will take on new complexity as youth make up a larger portion of cellphone users. More teens have cellphones than ever, according to an August study by the Pew Internet Project; 71 percent of teens ages 12 to 17 used cellphones in 2008, compared with 45 percent in 2004.

By Cecilia Kang  |  September 15, 2009; 11:12 AM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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I object to the characterization that fears were "swept under the rug." That implies a cover-up. There has been none. Cell phones are safe.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | September 15, 2009 11:36 AM

The Senate getting involved? Won't that screw things up even more?

Posted by: mortified469 | September 15, 2009 1:27 PM

It's distressing to see the Post uncritically regurgitating this junk science. Davis is a well-known, longtime quack. In the Post's own link, Davis admits in her own "warning" that she has no actual evidence to support her alarmism.

The reputable studies on this question have uniformly concluded that there is no link and cause for concern. Those who try to argue otherwise are self-promoting fearmongers.

Posted by: tomtildrum | September 15, 2009 1:38 PM

I'd like to see evidence that using cell phones while driving guarantees brain cancer. That'll keep people focused on their driving.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 15, 2009 3:36 PM

Senate to Look at Cell Phones, Cancer:

Posted by: Cynthia111 | September 15, 2009 6:56 PM

That a politician can grandstand on a junk-science issue like this, and NOT get called on it, is a huge indictment of science education in America.

I mean really, didn't *anyone's* BS meter go off when Harkin said "he was concerned no one has been able to prove cellphones do not cause cancer"?

Yeah, and I'm concerned no one has been able to prove Tom Harkin does not cause cancer. Jeesh!

Posted by: DupontJay | September 15, 2009 7:13 PM

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