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Cell phone 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 observe the driver next to you and often times they have their arm elevated with their hand pressed to their ear.

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 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 long distance. The London Free Press has introduced the $3.99 a month for home/cell telephone plan to call anytime anywhere in Canada.
Sounded pretty good to me until my son, 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 and he asked: 'if he should be concerned about his health'. 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 in the microwave range. There have been studies that maybe indicate a growth of certain tumours by 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 Intensive Care Units."

There is of course the argument that cell phone use while driving an automobile can cause distractions and are responsible for many motor accidents. One study of 699 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 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 to funding independent research into the use of cell phones.

My son paid to install the jack to his land line to his home along with a hands free ear piece when he is using his cell phone in the car. He always asked me when he was young if I knew that I didn't know? Perhaps he is being a little too cautious? Maybe? Who knows in ten years down the road we could discover that cell phones are the cigarette 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