There have been 100s of headlines that have been in the ether since the WHO’s announcement about a possible link between phones and brain cancer. Announcement of what I am not sure. But having stepped back to read the fall out I thought it would be useful to have the Director’s take on the ‘non news’. I must say though that these are my views and are not necessarily shared by everyone at brainstrust. Nothing like a debate though for keeping the team energized.
So – have I stopped using my iphone? Have I told friends and family to stop calling me (now, there’s a thought!)? Of course not. And judging by the fact that people are still walking round with phones glued to their ears I see no evidence of anyone taking any notice of this news. Why? The important word here is PERSPECTIVE. Read on . . .
The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer said there is not enough evidence yet to make a conclusive link between mobile phone use and cancer. On the other hand, anyone who has used a cellphone for 30 minutes a day for 10 years might be at risk. Says WHO: “It’s “cause for concern.”
The link (as we have all known) is far from proven. There is a need for longitudinal research before any definitive answer is known. But one thing is certain; we live in challenging times. Every day we are confronted with potential triggers for cancer. The WHO’s press release announced that exposure to radio-frequency electromagnetic waves has been put in the 2b category of “possible” carcinogens. Also in this ghoulish subset of cancer-causing evils: coffee and dry cleaning.
If this all seems like déjà vu, it’s not because déjà vu is a symptom of the brain cancer you developed from talking on your iPhone and sipping free trade macchiatos while waiting to pick up your starched shirts. It’s because the media has repeatedly run this story since the late ’80s. Along with hundreds of others that we are all doomed. At least. If not now then at some point in the future.
There is seldom a day that passes that we don’t get a report that says doom approaches. So – we can’t eat beansprouts because of E Coli. Menopausal women are told stop hormone therapy at once to avoid death. Climate change is destroying our planet. Our constant use of antibiotics with humans and livestock is a leading factor in our growing inability to eradicate disease. The US lists 246 carcinogens, which, should we choose to avoid them, would make our lives impossible to live.
So as we lurch from one potential challenge to the next, there’s one inescapable conclusion: moderation is a virtue. Don’t overdo the mobile thing. Don’t overstress about inconclusive research but don’t ignore warnings.
And bear this in mind – sometimes having a mobile phone on you might just save your life, or someone else’s.