Make Your Bra a 'No Phone Zone'
Cell phones and cancer. It's a connection that's been discussed for years, but we still don't know for sure if there's an association. But one possibility does appear to exist, at least among some women. It all depends on where they carry their phone. Millions of women, especially young ones, choose to keep their cell phone in their bra. It's convenient because it allows women to ditch their purse and remain hands-free. Also, many womens' clothes are without pockets. So without a purse, the bra is the obvious choice for many for storage.
Furthermore, in noisy environments, when they ordinarily wouldn't hear cell phone ring tones, women like placing their cell phones on vibrate mode and placing it in their bras to continue receiving calls.
A recent survey reveals 40 percent of college females place their cell phone in their bra at least some time during the day. Three percent report doing it for more than 10 hours a day.
Dr. John West, a Los Angeles breast surgeon, said women need to stop this practice.
"We must make the bra a no phone zone," he said.
Cell Phone-Shaped Cancer
West believes storing the cell phone next to the breast for an extended time could cause breast cancer. But since cell phone technology is fairly new, evidence from critical long-term studies simply isn't available yet.
"We won't know for the next 20 or 30 years, we won't have collected sufficient number of cases to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that the cell phones are causing the cancer," he explained.
Dr. West said one clear signal is that he's seeing more breast cancer in young women than he's ever seen in his 40 years of practice.
"When you take something and put it directly on the skin, high energy microwave radiation for prolonged periods of time in young women with vulnerable, developing breasts, we may have a perfect storm," he said.
Doctors diagnosed Donna Jaynes with breast cancer at just 38 years old.
"I had to go through a mastectomy, a single mastectomy, went through chemo, six runs of chemo, 39 doses of radiation, it was back-to-back continuously, it took a heavy toll," she recalled.
Jaynes questioned how she got her cancer, since she had no risk factors. The answer, she says, was on her X-ray.
She said the tumors were in the exact spot where she used to tuck her cell phone and were even shaped like the phone. Jaynes said she stored her cell phone in her bra every day for about 10 years.
Rachel Depalma shared and almost identical story.
"I used to wear it over the left side, and I would just tuck it in my bra whenever I would go for hikes or walks with my girlfriends," she recalled.
That went on for about five years.
"I just happened to be putting on a shirt and I noticed the lump and I thought, 'That's a little odd, I don't remember that being there,'" she said.
Stunned by her X-ray, Depalma came to what she called an obvious conclusion.
"The area where the cancer was found, the box that the radiologist drew," she said, "just happened to be the same size as my Blackberry phone."
Despite stories like these, women carrying cell phones in their bras is, if anything, becoming even more popular. In fact, bras with pockets for cell phones are now on the market.
Dr. June Chen, a Los Angeles radiologist, grew suspicious as she diagnosed more and more of her young patients with cancer.
"It's very unusual for women in their 20s and 30s to have breast cancer, period, let alone such extensive breast cancer," she explained.
"And these women are vehemently telling us that they wore their cell phones over the area, directly over the area, where they subsequently developed this extensive breast cancer," she said. "And they're telling us they wore these on a routine and regular basis."
She advises all women to keep their cell phones away from their bodies until studies conclude whether close proximity causes cancer.
"I think it's too early to make that statement," she admitted. "However, I think there may be an association. And therefore, since we're not sure, let's be cautious."
Most cell phone companies acknowledge some risk. For example, Apple advises keeping the iPhone more than a half-inch from the body.
But such safety guidelines are often overlooked.
"The cell phone companies, they all now say keep the cell phone away from the skin," Dr. West said. "But none of them deal with the issue. It's in the back of the manual on page 99 in small print. We need to get this to the surface."
So according to some breast cancer survivors and the doctors who treat them, women should declare the bra a "no phone zone" before it's too late.
Top Tips for Cell Phone Safety
It's worth remembering that the telecommunication industry is much larger than the medical industrial complex, and they have far more influence than the drug companies. They're also mirroring many of the same tactics as the tobacco industry to peddle their wares. This includes attempting to discredit researchers who publish unfavorable cell phone studies.
As Dr. Davis shows in her lecture above, the results of any study can be accurately predicted by looking at its sponsorship. According to a review by Dr. Lai in 2008, the probability that a study will find "no effect" is two to three times higher in industry-funded studies, while independently-funded studies into the health effects of mobile technology are TWICE as likely to find a positive result.
So please, be aware that there is already robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us—especially to children and pregnant women. So while such findings are not being widely publicized as of yet, it makes sense to take action now to protect yourself and your children. You can help to minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:
Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type.
Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you're pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use may be especially important.
Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers a portable number via your computer that can plug into any Ethernet port while traveling.
Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom that will interfere with the quality of your sleep.
If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won't help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.
Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren't talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.
Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed.
You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at www.emfsafetystore.com. But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology.
Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man's pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility.
Don't Assume One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There's no such thing as a "safe" cell phone. This is particularly true for industry promoted SAR ratings, which are virtually useless in measuring the true potential biological danger as most all of the damage is not done by heat transfer, which SAR measures.
Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others' cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor's office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the 'second hand radiation' effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept 'Off' except for emergencies.
Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.