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Alzheimers/Neurology Homepage

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Yes, heavy cell phone usage increases risk of brain tumors

by John W. Mitchell , Senior Correspondent
A group of researchers spanning three countries have determined that low doses of radio-frequency radiation (RFR) can cause “oxidative stress” — an imbalance which inhibits the body’s ability to detoxify harmful effects from wireless devices.

This condition can lead to both neurological disorders and cancer.

“RFR background has increased by a factor of about 5,000 during the last 20 years due to wireless technologies. The cell phone is the first device that delivers RFR just to the human brain,” Igor Yakymenko, lead author and a researcher at the Institute of Experimental Pathology, Oncology and Radiobiology of NAS Ukraine in Kyiv, told HCB News.

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Yakymenko and other researchers from the U.S., Finland and Ukraine culled through 100 peer-reviewed studies to arrive at their conclusion. Their findings, published in Electromagnetics Biology and Medicine, suggest a previously unidentified cellular mechanism that triggers oxidative stress impairments.

RFR causes an imbalance between the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the antioxidant that creates the health issues, they wrote. This can also lead to other disorders aside from cancer, such as headache, fatigue and skin irritation.

The suspected carcinogenic effects of wireless devices is nothing new. A 2006 study found that 9-11 percent of Europeans suffered from electro hypersensitivity due to RFR exposure and the disorder is now a recognized health impairment in Sweden.

A 2011 study determined that 18-34 percent of young people report suffering from headache or earaches during or after a cell phone call. That same year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified RFR as a possible threat to human health.

According to Yakymenko, epidemiological studies have found that five years of cell phone use for 20 minutes a day increases the risk of acoustic neuroma by a factor of three. Another study found that four years of cell phone use one hour or more a day increased the incidence of some brain tumors three to five times.

This news no doubt comes as a stunner in a world that becomes more wirelessly connected every day. But Yakymenko had several recommendations to reduce RFR exposure. These include: use a cell phone rated at a minimal SAR value; limit length of cell phone calls to a few minutes and use landlines whenever possible; use hands free devices; and use wired internet, as opposed to Wi-Fi. And, he added, a diet that includes fruits, nuts and vegetables can also help mitigate the effect at the cellular level.

“The standpoint for our research is that RFR can result in new risks for human health,” said Yakymenko. More study is needed on the findings, he added, which the research group is planning.

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