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Cell Phones and Your Brain

By: Charles Noe

Reviewed By: Martin E. Liebling, M.D., FACP

A cancer expert's advice to restrict use of cell phones has revived the long-simmering debate over whether or not the handy gadgets raise the risk of brain cancer. You don't need to throw your mobile under the bus, but there are precautions you can take if you're concerned:

  • Keep cell phones away from your head. Use a speakerphone, headset or remote antenna. Regular headphones may be safer than Bluetooth earpieces; however, regular headphones may decrease the ability to hear outside sounds such as traffic or sirens.

  • Use your cell only for short calls. Use your landline when you can.

  • on your .

The controversy

Dr. Ronald Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, made headlines when he advised staff to limit their cell phone use because of a possible risk of cancer. Children should use cell phones only in emergencies because their brains are still developing, he wrote. It's the first time such a warning has come from a major academic cancer research institution.

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