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Study: "No scientific evidence" that cell phones are harmful

(CBS News) It's a common fear: cell phones are giving us cancer! Despite several studies assuring that there are no health risks associated with cell phone use, it's a fear that just won't go away. The latest study gets right to the point: "There is no scientific evidence that low-level electromagnetic field exposure from mobiles phones and other transmitting devices causes adverse health effects."

A comprehensive, 200-page study by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health looked beyond mobile phones to all wireless networks. A popular argument when discussing the dangers of cell phone use is that electromagnetic radiation from mobile devices can damage human cells and possibly cause cancer. But the Norwegian study found that the electromagnetic fields generated by mobile phones are all below thresholds recommended by the International Commission on Non-ionising radiation protection (ICNIRP). Those thresholds are set to be fifty times lower than the minimum value of electromagnetic radiation required to cause heating of human tissue or stimulation of nerve cells.

So cell phone radiation is below the danger threshold, but what about damaging effects even at those low radio levels? To quote the study: "The group found no evidence that the low-level fields around mobile phones and other transmitters increase the risk of cancer, impair male fertility, cause other reproductive damage or lead to other diseases and adverse health effects."

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health cites an influential Danish study in discussing possible cancer risks of cell phone use. The massive, 18-year study looked at 360,000 cell phone users and found no evidence of increased cancer rates.

It is unusual to find scientists so certain of their findings. The scientific community usually hedges their language when discussing studies so as not to overreach their data. But the Norwegian Institute of Public Health claims "the risk assessment has negligible uncertainty."

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