Link between cellphones, cancer under dispute

Link between cellphones, cancer under dispute

PORTLAND, Ore. – Hunter Cram is happy to have his own cellphone, even though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles.

His father, William Cram, wants his young son to be able to call home if he needs to, but he does worry about Hunter’s health because of that phone.

“First it could cause cancer, then it couldn’t,” said William Cram. “It’s always back and forth so it’s hard to believe.”

A study in Switzerland last summer concluded cellphones do not pose a cancer risk for kids, but now many health experts are challenging that study, claiming the data is incorrect.

Another international study on a potential link is underway in 13 countries.

ABC’s Dr. Richard Besser isn’t taking sides, but said scientists shouldn’t dismiss concerns.

“3G, 4G, it’s constantly changing,” said Besser. “And how’s we’re using it’s changing. 300 million people are using cellphones and they’re using them more and more so you can’t assume that what we knew from before is the same.”

Cellphones emit radio frequency waves -- the same waves that a microwave puts out. Cellphones, however, emit much lower levels and microwaves have never been proven to cause cancer.

The potential danger only comes from holding a phone to your head, so Dr. Besser suggests limiting the time your kids spend on the phone, using hands-free devices and letting them send text messages, which most kids are pros at anyway.

“Ultimately if it was gonna affect my kids in the long term I wouldn’t let them have a cellphone,” said William Cram. “But who’s to say whether it’s good or bad?”