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Posted on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 : 12:32 p.m.

Save My Sanity: New studies raise cell phone/cancer concerns

By Jen Eyer

Time to dig out the earbud — again. From Business Week:

On Sept. 9, advocacy organization Environmental Working Group released an analysis of more than 200 scientific studies that examined cell-phone usage and health risks. "It suggests a potential for serious health concerns," says Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at the Washington group. "We [at EWG] are still using cell phones; we are just taking precautions."

Another advocacy outfit, International EMF Collaborative, released a paper on Aug. 25 entitled "Cellphones Cause Tumors." After assessing the results and methodology of industry-funded and independent studies, it concluded that "studies, independent of industry, consistently show there is a 'significant' risk of brain tumors from cellphone use."

I keep going back and forth on this one, but not because I've ever really felt comfortable that cell phones don't cause cancer.

It's more like I read about a new study (which invariably calls cell phone safety into question), and then I get worried and start using my wired headset for awhile. After a few weeks, I get annoyed at the inconvenience of untangling the wire, and I stop using the headset. Then I read another worrisome story, and the process repeats.

Recently I got a new phone, and after consulting some online resources, I thought I was getting one that was fairly low on radiation, so I stopped using my earbud again. But I now see on EWG's comprehensive database of cell phones and their radiation emissions that my phone is only average.

EWG recommends always using a headset, either wired or wireless — they say studies and experts disagree on which is safer.

I have shied away from getting a wireless headset because I felt the wired version was safer. But now I'm realizing that if having a wireless headset would mean I'd actually use it, then that would be an improvement.

Your turn: Do you use a headset, and if so, what kind?

Jen Eyer is on the Community Team at She can be reached at 734-623-2577 or, or you can visit her at 301 East Liberty. "Save My Sanity" is an occasional feature looking at "scare" stories.