Talking on your mobile (cell) phone for more than 16 minutes every day could be a cause of cancer, researchers have suggested this week. It damages your cells, including your DNA, which are all major risk signals for the disease.
Saliva tests on heavy mobile phone users—people who speak on their phone for a minimum of eight hours a month, or 16 minutes a day—have shown the beginnings of cancerous activity. Oxidative stress has already started to change their cells through toxic peroxide and free radicals damage, and this is a recognised risk factor for cancer.
Many of the 20 users were speaking for far longer than 16 minutes a day and some were speaking for up to 40 hours a month, or 80 minutes a day, say researchers from Tel Aviv University. To show the extent of oxidative stress, their saliva was compared to samples taken from deaf people who, because of their disability, never spoke on their mobiles, but used them exclusively for texting.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields—such as those generated by mobile phones—as carcinogens, or causes of cancer, but it had remained a theoretical risk until now.