Use a cell phone? Last June in Hot Type I cited European studies that found reason to be concerned about the phones’ long-term effects. These studies have been mostly ignored in the U.S., though not by Louis Slesin, editor of the newsletter Microwave News. Their “preliminary findings” — his phrase — were that among people who have used cell phones for ten years or more there were higher rates of glioma, which is a brain tumor, and acoustic neuroma, which is a tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain.

My column attracted a lot of e-mail. Readers directed me to this site that claims to measure the radiation levels of various cell phone models and this “independent review of the science on health impacts of wireless radiation and powerline frequencies.” 

Now from Slesin comes word of a new French study. “It’s not a significant result, statistically speaking,” his newsletter reports, “but what is noteworthy is that this excess was apparent regardless of the way a heavy user was defined. As the researchers themselves put it: There is a ‘general tendency’ for a greater glioma risk for ‘long-term users, heavy users [and] users with the largest numbers of telephones.'”

In short, we don’t know anything for sure yet, but there’s more and more reason to have the willies.