I recently wrote a New Republic column about cell phones and brain tumors. I was gratified to see my column get some attention. Yet when I started to see it pop up on websites such as verizoncustomer.net, and when I started getting emails from other public health researchers, I realized that some clarification and correction were in order.
Fortunately, I am blogging for TNR this week, helping to tend CitizenCohn while Jon is overseas. That gave me a chance to address the issue once again:
In my view, anyone considering these questions should keep in mind two apparently discordant insights: First, the absolute cancer risk to a given cell phone user—though imperfectly known—is very small. Cell phone radiation would not make my top-20 list of population health problems. Second, there remains a real specific issue regarding potential links between cell phone use—particularly long-term use—and brain cancers that should be addressed.
My original piece for TNR effectively communicated the first insight. The second, not so much….