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Osteoporosis Health Center

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Cell Phones on Hip May Weaken Bone

Study Suggests Link Between Bone Weakness and Wearing a Cell Phone on the Hip

Second Opinion continued...

But Atay and colleagues point out that these studies involved very low electromagnetic wave frequencies of 15 to 72 Hz, while cell phones typically have frequencies of between 900 to 1,800 MHz.

The NRC committee chaired by Barnes published its report in January 2008, concluding that more research is needed to determine if cell phone use is associated with any long-term health problems.

"It is clear that using a cell phone poses no immediate risk," Barnes tells WebMD. "But it may take many years to have the answers we are looking for with regard to long-term risk."

Barnes says there has been very little research aimed at determining whether radiofrequency waves emitted by cell phones pose a risk to specific groups, such as children, adolescents, and pregnant women and their fetuses.

More than 500 studies have been published examining the impact of cell phones on health, with the bulk of the studies exploring whether cell phones cause cancer. The results have been conflicting.

The publication of one of the largest studies ever to explore cell phone use and cancer is expected soon.

The Interphone study, which began over a decade ago and involved cell phone users in 13 countries, was designed to determine if cell phone use causes brain tumors.

But Barnes says this question may not be answered for several decades.

"People have only been using cell phones heavily for about 10 years," he says. "If the latency period [for cancer] is 30 or 40 years, the data we have now isn't going to tell us much."

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