Posts Tagged “Cell Phones”

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A driver in the next lane is moving his lips. Is he on a hands-free cellphone? Talking to someone in the car? To himself? Singing along to the radio?

If lawmakers follow the advice of a federal board, police officers will have to start figuring that out — somehow.

The National Transportation Safety Board said this week that drivers should not only be barred from using hand-held cellphones, as they are in several states, but also from using hands-free devices. No more “Sorry, I’m stuck in traffic” calls, or virtually any other cellphone chatter behind the wheel.

Though no state has yet implemented such restrictive rules, the NTSB’s recommendations carry weight that could place such language into future laws, or motivate the federal government to cut funding to states that don’t follow suit.

Many of the men and women patrolling the nation’s streets and highways wonder how they would sort the criminally chatty from the legally chatty.

“It would be almost impossible to determine if someone was talking on a phone or exercising their vocal cords,” said Capt. Donald Melanson of the West Hartford, Conn., police department, which took part in a national pilot program aimed at cracking down on drivers’ cellphone use. “That would be much more difficult to enforce, almost to the point where it would be impossible.”

A federal law would be like Prohibition – nobody would obey the law.

In California, the state law is already mostly ignored although drivers are sometimes pulled over and fined.

Education about attentive driving will be better than passing punitive regulatory measures.

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Another study and another finding that there is little worry about your cell phone delivering up brain cancer.
The 5 billion people worldwide who chat away on cell phones shouldn’t worry about an increased risk of brain cancer, new Danish research contends.

One of the largest and longest studies on the subject finds no more brain tumors among people who had cell phones over 17 years than among people who had no cell phones.

Although no one study can rule out harm with absolute certainty, “the risk, if there is one, is extremely low,” said Dr. Ezriel E. Kornel, director of the Neuroscience Institute at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y.

Previous studies haven’t definitively answered the question of whether cell phone use is harmful: While several studies have found no cause for alarm, a handful did show an upped risk of malignant brain tumors.

Based on the totality of existing evidence, the World Health Organization in May classified cell phones as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” and placed them in the same category as the pesticide DDT and gasoline engine exhaust.

Experts have been concerned that radio frequency electromagnetic fields sent out by a cell phone held close to the ear could trigger a malignancy.

This new study, led by researchers from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen, was a follow-up to an earlier trial that also had found no increased risk in cell phone users. Their latest report is published in the Oct. 20 issue of BMJ.

There are limitations to the study and I am positive the issue will be studied again and again. Will this study satisfy everyone – probably not.

But, good enough for me….at least now.

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According to a new study in the UK.
The next time you reach for your cell phone, consider this: A new study found that 92% of cell phones in the U.K. have bacteria on them – including E. coli — because people aren’t washing their hands after going to the bathroom.

The E. coli came from fecal bacteria, which can survive on hands and surfaces for hours.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and Queen Mary, University of London looked at cell phones in 12 cities in the U.K.

They took 390 samples from cell phones and hands, which were then analyzed for germs. People were also asked about their hand hygiene.

The study found:

  •     92% of phones had bacteria on them.
  •     82% of hands had bacteria on them.
  •     16% of hands and 16% of phones had E. coli bacteria, which is found in feces.

However, 95% of people said they washed their hands with soap where possible, which suggests we have a tendency to lie about our hygiene habits.

“We’re pretty shocked to find the vast majority of mobile phones — 92% — had bacteria all over them. Often large numbers of bacteria,” said hygiene expert Val Curtis, PhD, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

“That isn’t necessarily something that we should worry about, but what is worrying is that 16% of mobile phones had E. coli on them. E. coli comes from human [and animal] feces,” she says. “That means that people with dirty hands are not washing their hands after using the toilet, for example. Then they’re handling their mobile phones.”

It’s not just cell phones that the dirty hands are touching, Curtis says.

“They’re also touching other surfaces as well,” she says. “They’re spreading fecal bugs on everything they touch really.”

The solution: wash your hands after you go to the bathroom!

Ewwwwww!

By the way, I won’t be asking to borrow YOUR cell phone!

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