Education

Are Cellphones a Health Hazard?

By Katie Ash — December 21, 2009 1 min read

One legislator in Maine, as well as the mayor of San Francisco, would like to raise awareness of the potential of cellphones to cause brain cancer, although scientific evidence to support that claim is mixed, according to this Associated Press article. Andrea Boland, who serves in Maine’s House of Representatives, as well as Mayor Gavin Newsom, want cellphones to carry warnings that they may contribute to brain cancer.

According to the article, some countries require a cancer warning on cellphones, but none of the 50 U.S. states or the federal government requires such a warning. In fact, “the European Parliament has passed a resolution calling for governmental action to address concerns over health risks from mobile phone use,” says the article.

However, the National Cancer Institute says that, so far, results from studies about the subject have been mixed and inconsistent. Part of the problem, researchers say, is that cellphones haven’t been around long enough to determine long-term effects.

Considering how ubiquitous cellphones are, especially with teens and twenty-somethings who often use cellphones exclusively, it seems like more research on this subject is desperately needed. What do you think? Should legislators err on the side of caution, or wait until more definitive research comes out before taking action? And what role should schools play regarding this issue?

A version of this news article first appeared in the Digital Education blog.