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Last week, three prominent neurosurgeons told CNN interviewer Larry King that they did not hold cell phones next to their ears. Dr. Keith Black, Dr. Vini Khurana, and CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta all maintained that the practice could be unsafe.
Along with Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s recent diagnosis of a glioma, a type of tumor that critics have long associated with cell phone use, the doctors’ remarks have helped reignite the debate about cell phones and cancer.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects. However, that the average period of phone use in those studies was about three years, which provides no information about the long-term exposures that could lead to cancer.
“What we’re seeing is suggestions in epidemiological studies that have looked at people using phones for 10 or more years,” says Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, an industry publication that tracks the research.