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Planet JH: New study shows cell phones cook your brain

Mar 25, 2013

By  on March 19, 2013
Photo: David H. Gultekin and Lothar Moeller / PNAS

A recent study from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is sending shockwaves around the world. Kettering radiation physicist David Gultekin, working with Bell Labs electrical engineer Lothar Moeller, reported this month that normal working cell phones can create tiny hotspots within living brain tissue. But safety standards for the world’s more than six billion cell phones today assume that weak radiation from phones cannot possibly produce any heat. This finding in one of the world’s top science journals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicates this assumption is wrong.

Neurosurgeons can operate on people who are awake because the brain cannot feel heat or pain. Hence, we do not feel our brains as they are warmed by cell phone radiation. This new study used highly sophisticated Nuclear Magnetic Resonance technology applied to living cow brain in the lab and found that the brain does in fact get hot when exposed to a few minutes of a normal microwave producing cell phone. Scientists generally agree that heating the brain should be avoided as this can lead to nervous system damage, hearing loss and possibly cancer.

This new study is one of many produced in the past year around the world that provides evidence for taking simple precautions in using cell phones. The most important being to avoid pressing your cell phone against your ear (use speaker phone whenever possible), and avoid storing your cell phone close to your body.

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