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Cell phones usage is part of the landscape for millions of Canadians. The stats shows us that there are more than 800 million mobile based subscribers worldwide.

Walk down the street or go out for lunch and you will see/hear Londoners talking on their cell phones. My wife, Ella, has a cell phone that she pays $11.00 per month for emergency use only.

Young people have found the fad and rarely go shopping without the magic of constant communication. It’s not cool to be alone without ‘big brother. Mom/dad, friends need to have easy constant access.

The cell phones have messaging, call display and the ability to capture images that can later be downloaded into your computer.

Last week-end there was an heated discussion over the safety/cost of using cell phones vs the line based variety in our home.

Every voice based delivery company seems to have a plan. You know - evenings week-ends free for those who wish to call/text.

Sounded pretty good to me until my son, Ari, the very smart Bio-Chemical Graduate from Western threw in the question of Mobile phone radiation and health. We were in a electronic big box store where he asked the salesman: if there were any adverse reactions that he should be concerned about regarding his health and cell phone use.

“Heck no” replied the sales person.

To-day Ari e-mailed, wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_ radiation_and_health. It seems that mobile phones use electromagnetic waves that are in the microwave range. There have been studies done that may indicate a growth of certain Cancer brain tumours by heavy cell phone users.

“There seems to be concerns for telecommunication workers who spend time at a short distance from the active equipment for the purpose of testing, maintenance and installation.”

The London Health Science campuses have forbidden the use of cell phones within the confines of the building.“The mobile phones can cause electrical interference with some of the medical equipment, such as respirators, bedside monitoring equipment, in the Intensive Care Units.”

I am very happy that the Ontario Provincial Government has banned hand held cell phone use when operating a vehicle. One study of 700 Canadian drivers showed a rate of collision four times higher when using a mobile phone. It is sure hard to balance a coffee, cigarette and cell phone in your hands while trying to make the traffic light at the intersection of Oxford and Richmond.

Mobile manufacturers i.e. Nokia, Motorola and Samsung are spending twenty million dollars a year funding independent research into the use of cell phones.

Take a minute and Google “Mobile Phone Radiation and Health” and you will see the radiation ranking of cell phone manufactures.

Our young salesmen was not too concerned over the suspected radiation that he received on a daily basis from the many hours spent with his cell phone. The technology is so new and changing that we have little data to support any studies. He felt it was all about quality of life vs quantity. There are no guarantees that the radiation may shorten his life.

Perhaps my son is being a little too cautious? Maybe? He always asked me when he was young if I knew that I didn’t know? Who knows in twenty years we may discover that cell phone radiation is the cigarette dirty habit that we were told was of little or no consequence.

I must admit I am baffled. Please drop me an e-mail.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com