old-cell-phone.jpgCell phone use could cause substantial damage to the human body beyond brain cancer, an author who has written about cell phone safety said today.

Cell phones could damage users’ DNA, reduce their sperm count, and increase memory loss, said Devra Davis, who authored “Disconnect,” a book on cell phones and cancer.

Davis spoke to a crowd of more than 60 Bay Area residents about the risks of long-term mobile phone exposure today at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club.

“Cell phones can cause a number of serious diseases,” Davis said. She said phones could cause Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and hearing loss.

An epidemic of brain cancer among heavy cell phone users hasn’t appeared yet because the disease could take 40 years to emerge, Davis said.

“Heavy use in the United States has only taken place in the last five years,” she said.

Davis said because heavy phone use is so new, users could greatly improve their chances of not getting tumors if they changed their talking habits now.

“You can consider text messaging rather than talking–but don’t text when you’re driving–and you can limit talk time,” she said. “There’s also one other thing you can do. It’s very radical: you can turn your phones off.”

Bret Bocook, who attended the talk today, said he developed a brain tumor that he believes cell phones caused.

“I was an early adopter of cell phones in 1988. I’ve been using a cell phone as a primary phone since then,” he said. “It had taken me that long until I collapsed in the shower of a seizure in May of 2009.”

Bocook, now an attorney, said he is now suing the cell phone industry because of his tumor.

Protests and demonstrations by tumor victims began Tuesday at the Moscone Center and will continue until 12 p.m. Friday. The demonstrations are meant to highlight the public’s right to know about cell phone radiation, according to a statement.

“I know it’s very common,” Davis said of heavy cell phone use. “Not many of us really need to check our email when we’re in the supermarket checkout line.

“We’ve become accustomed, habituated, perhaps addicted to the convenience of the technology.”

Saul Sugarman, Bay City News

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