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Long-Term Cell Phone Use Spurs Tumor Growth

Although more people than ever are dropping their land lines for cellular phones, their use still remains controversial due to studies that have heightened public concerns over their potentially negative long-term effects. And it's what attracted me to a Swedish study that found using cellular phones for 10 years or more increases the risk of developing acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor on the auditory nerve.

The risk was confined to the side of the head where the phone was usually held. Researchers also found there were no increased risks for those who have used their mobile for less than a decade.

One caveat: Scientists are unsure if the risks of developing tumors are confined to older phones using analog connections or do they include newer digital phones.

Just to be on the safe side, I recommend limiting your cellular phone usage -- especially while driving. And when you do talk on a cellular phone, be sure to use a wireless headset. Besides that, keep the phone away from your body while it is in standby mode. Keep the phone in a purse or holster on your belt instead of in a pocket, when the phone is not in use.

USA Today October 14, 2004

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