Cell phone emissions weaken bones - Report

Health researchers have warned that wearing a cell phone on one's belt could lead to decreased bone density in the area of the pelvis that is commonly used for bone grafts. This is contained in a new research report on the health effects of electro-magnetic emissions from cell phone carried out by Dr. Tolga Atay and colleagues of Suleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey. The report was published on www.consumeraffairs.co and in The Journal of Craniofacial Surgery on October 26. For years health researchers have suggested extensive cell phone use can increase the risk of brain tumours over time, particularly in children. Even though findings have not been conclusive, the World Health Organisation and individual scientists have called for precaution in the use of cell phones. The bone weakening effect of cell phone use is a new discovery and the researchers admitted that the findings were preliminary. But they have still warned that "it would be better to keep mobile phones as far as possible from our body during our daily lives." "With long-term exposure, electro-magnetic fields from cell phones could weaken the bone, potentially affecting the outcomes of surgical procedures using bone grafts," the report said. This is consistent with recent similar reports, which said that the effect of electro-magnetic emissions from cell phones could take 50 years to manifest. The report said the researchers measured bone density at the upper rims of the pelvis in 150 men who were cell phone users and carried their phones on their belts. Out of the 150 men, 122 carried their phones on the right side and 28 on the left side and they had all used cell phones for an average of six years. The measurements were performed using a technique called dual x-ray absorptiometry- the same test used to measure bone density in patients with osteoporosis and other bone diseases. The report said bone density was compared on the side where the men wore their phones (the right side in 122 men and the left side in 28) versus the opposite side and the results showed a slight reduction in iliac wing bone density on the side where the men carried their phones. The iliac wings are a widely used source of bone for bone grafting, so any reduction in bone density may be of special importance to reconstructive surgery. It explained that the difference was not statistically significant, and did not approach the reductions seen in osteoporosis, adding that however, the men were relatively young-average 32 years-and that further bone weakening may occur with longer follow-up. The report said the results raise the possibility that bone density could be adversely affected by electro-magnetic fields emitted by cell phones. It said previous studies using low frequencies of 15 to 52 MHz, evaluated the use of electro-magnetic fields as a treatment to increase bone density in osteoporosis, but the men in the new study carried cell phones with frequencies of 900 to 1,800 MHz. The researchers expressed the hope that coming generations of mobile technology may lead to the development of new cell phones with lower exposure to electro-magnetic fields and thereby reduce the health risk.