Dr Robert Herberman is making waves again. There are two interesting things to note about Doctor Herberman, firstly the obvious, he’s a “doctor” so people sit up and take notice when he speaks, but he also happens to be the Cancer Institute Director at the University of Pittsburg – so a lot of people pay attention to what he says.
2 years ago Dr Herberman issued an official memo publicly stating the grave concerns he had about cell phone radiation, I first spoke about this back in April. Well a few weeks back he went on record again, I’ve inserted the video of his presentation into this post so you can see for yourself.
This interview is important because Dr Herberman:
– voices concern over the ability of cell phone radiation to damage DNA
– feels even more convinced, in the light of recent studies , that cell phones are dangerous and that we should act now to protect ourselves
“She told me about 2 ½ years or so ago, when we were both at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, that she was concerned about the health effects of cell phones. When she did that, I was really very skeptical, and I said “There are more things we need to be concerned about than cell phones.” But she said, “You know, you really should look into it.” And, I had the opportunity to talk to one of the leaders of the national Institute of Environmental Sciences who told me he had looked into it, and was involved in a panel to examine some of the epidemiologic data, and felt there was really something to it. That particularly propelled me to begin to examine the information. And, the more I read about it, the more concerns I had – not that there was compelling or conclusive evidence, but there were a number of hints that were disturbing. The ability of this range of radiation to damage DNA is still a bit perplexing as to how that happens, but the free radicals possibilities is perhaps the best one that’s been put forward so far.
But, that’s not clear, and then the decreasing sperm counts…just to make it clear, the reason it was focused on the men, there were people who were keeping their cell phones in their front pants pocket. And, therefore, fairly close to their sperm production that goes on.
The epidemiologic data, which I reviewed very carefully, and talked to various experts in the field, overall don’t give a very positive signal. But, what has really struck me, is in virtually every study that had a significant number of subjects that were examined after using cell phones frequently for more than 10 years, there is a signal about increased risk.
That led me, about 2 years ago, when I was the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, to send out an advisory memo to our faculty and staff saying, “I’ve reviewed these data recently, and I’ve become concerned.” And although it is still unclear, I advised them to follow what I think is a very important principal – namely, the precautionary principal, that if you don’t know, and there is some concern, do something to prevent rather than wait until there is conclusive evidence. So, I sent out an advisory to our staff with 10 points that was nicely summarized…basically to keep the cell phone away from your head.
And, particularly, I was concerned because of this increased absorption of kids to really avoid, or limit, the use of cell phones. Since I’ve put out that advisory, there was a publication from the very distinguished epidemiologist in Sweden that followed teenagers who started using cell phones in Sweden, and had used them 10 years or more, and for that group there was a 5 fold increase in the risk for brain tumors compared to the ones that didn’t use it. And that particularly increased my concern.
I’m a clinical oncologist by training, and I feel very strongly that this is a terrible disease, particularly with the brain tumors. And, should we wait another 10 or 20 years before it becomes conclusive to send the alarms out about how it should be used, or rather to take simple precautions. I strongly believe that what I did a couple of years ago was the right thing, and I feel even more strongly now than I did when I put it out.”
I too strongly believe that now is the time to act. If you use a cell phone read my tips on how to protect yourself from cell phone radiation.