Few years ago scientists tried to find out whether there were any potential links between cellphone use and cancer. No answer has been given yet. But officials want the study to be continued.
Iowa senator Tom Harkin, who took over the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee earlier this month after the death of Massachusetts Senator Edward Kennedy, said he was concerned no one has been able to prove cellphones do not cause cancer.
"I'm reminded of this nation's experience with cigarettes. Decades passed between the first warnings about smoking tobacco and the final definitive conclusion that cigarettes cause lung cancer," Harkin said.
Cell phones, used by an estimated 275 million people in the United States and 4 billion worldwide, use radio waves. Years of research have failed to establish any clear link between their use and several kinds of cancer, including brain tumors.
Linda Erdreich of science and engineering firm Exponent in New York said 50 years worth of evidence had failed to show that cellular phones can cause cancer.
"This part of the spectrum is known as non-ionizing radiation," she told the hearing, explaining that this means radio waves cannot damage the DNA in cells.
Still officials and researchers decided that the point in question should undergo scrupulous investigation before the argues start subside, according to Reuters' report.
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