(NaturalNews) The director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institutes and the Cancer Centers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has issued a warning to all 3,000 faculty and staff under his supervision, warning them to limit cellular phone use in order to avoid adverse health effects.
"Recently I have become aware of the growing body of literature linking long-term cell phone use to possible adverse health effects including cancer," the memo from Dr. Ronald Herberman reads. "Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use."
Herberman advises keeping mobile phone conversations as short as possible and using headsets, text messages or speaker phone settings to keep the phone away from the head. He also warns that children should only you cellular phones in emergencies, because their still-developing organs "are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure."
The doctor noted that similar warnings have been issued by the governments of several European countries, and that Toronto's public health agency has called on children to avoid using the phones.
Herberman is believed to be the first director of a U.S. cancer center to issue such a warning.
Among the studies referenced by the memo is a still-ongoing study of cell phone users in 13 European countries. Preliminary data suggest that long-term users are significantly more likely to develop brain tumors, especially on the side of the head with the phone is most often held. Similar results have been found in other long-term studies.
"From a public health perspective, it makes sense to limit risks," said Dr. Dan Wartenberg of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.
Along with Herberman and roughly 20 other international experts, Wartenberg has signed a letter calling for precautions on cell phone use, and for manufacturers to make phones "with the lowest possible risk" and to "encourage consumers to use their devices in a way that is most compatible with preserving their health."