Date: September 02, 2007

Time: 01:00 PM - 02:00 PM

Station: Fox News Channel

Location: Network

Program: Weekend Live

STEVE CENTANNI, co-anchor: How many times have you been told that cell phones are not bad for your health? Probably a lot. But hold on a second, there's a new study out this week that challenges that notion. Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel have found evidence cell phone radiation does react with your brain cells and that could lead to cancer.

Now here to help us sort all this out, all the facts from the fiction, is Dr. Leigh Vinocur. Thanks, doctor, for coming in.

Dr. LEIGH VINOCUR (Physician): Absolutely.

CENTANNI: So we heard for a long time that cell phones are not dangerous; this study in Israel says they may be; how do you know what to believe?

Dr. VINOCUR: Well I think the older studies, what they saw was heat damage, that it caused a lot of thermal injury. And this is the first study where they show some biologic effect that is not related to heat. And what they did is they decreased the dosage by 1/10 so heat wasn't a factor.


Dr. VINOCUR: But the effect they saw was the start of an enzyme chain that sort of leads to cell division and cell growth. But I still think there is a long way to go between normal cell growth and the abnormal cell growth that you see in cancer.

CENTANNI: Do you know if anybody has actually had a brain tumor that you can definitely tie to cell phone use?

Dr. VINOCUR: I don't think they've ever been able to definitely tie it to cell phone use, but there have been people who have had brain cancers on the same side that they held their cell phones. The presidential advisor, I believe, had one for the first Bush administration; I'm not 100 percent sure which administration, but circumstantial evidence (sic).

But if you think about how cell phone use has gone up exponentially — and I spoke with the National Cancer Institute — and primary brain cancer, that's what we're talking about, has not changed in the last 20 years; and cell phone use in the last 20 years has skyrocketed.

CENTANNI: So you think by now we would see a spike.

Dr. VINOCUR: You would start to see an increase or a spike in incidents. But I think you just have to be smart about it. Kids are having cell phones today, so you know, don't let them use it all the time. Keep it for an emergency.

We're just learning a little bit more, so I think what this is saying is yes this is a biologic effect, it's not thermal, maybe we should do more research on it. But be smart about it. Right now, Steve, you still have a higher chance of dying using your cell phone while you are driving than developing cancer probably.

CENTANNI: Yeah, you have to be careful about that.

Dr. VINOCUR: Absolutely.

CENTANNI: But there is new evidence, and you are saying we should be cautious, so people should take precautions?

Dr. VINOCUR: Well, I just think if you have a child that you have given a cell phone to, let them use it for emergency reasons only. Don't let them be on it all the time.

CENTANNI: What if they're using the hands-free device or the speakerphone?

Dr. VINOCUR: Well, they haven't really looked at hands-free, but you're still getting a signal close to your head. So that's another place to do it. But I think — to do the studies — but I think what they're saying is now we've shown there is a small biologic effect, OK, but it's normal. You know the enzyme cascade that was started was just for normal cell growth.

Cancer is not normal cell growth, it's abnormal cell growth, and they haven't seen that. In fact, the researchers said they didn't see cancer-causing effects on it; what they saw is it just promoted cell growth in a very short term.

CENTANNI: So the bottom line is, more studies need to be done.

Dr. VINOCUR: More studies need to be done. Don't jump to conclusions, but be smart about it.

CENTANNI: Dr. Leigh Vinocur, thanks for joining us.

Dr. VINOCUR: Absolutely.