Hear no evil (nor any good) about cellphones

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Stopping just short of actually pronouncing them safe, the latest review from the U.K. s Health Protection Agency (HPA) proclaims that mobile phones pose no harm to human health. After analyzing data from hundreds of studies, the researchers found no link between cell phone use and cancer, brain function, brain tumors, infertility, or cardiovascular health. Relatively reassuring, was how the review group s chair boldly described the results.

Despite the fact that the latest data comprise the largest ever review of the evidence surrounding mobile phone safety, the researchers maintained that further research is still necessary, since little is known about the risks beyond 15 years the length of time that mobile phones have been in popular use.

In addition, perhaps fearing that some naif would discern a note of don t fear the cellphone in their lukewarm advisory, the HPA extenuated their statement by advising that children should be discouraged from excessive use of mobile phones, while calling for yet more investigation dedicated to the effects of other radio frequency devices, such as airport security scanners.

ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan laments the HPA s cowardice. For some reason, she says, these groups have a fear of using the four letter word: safe. The philosophy is that nothing is safe, even if you show 15 years of data. Why bother to even issue guidance like this?

ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom observes, This study should have really been titled Please Renew My Grant for Another Few Years.