We don’t yet know if cell phones really cause cancer. But we do know another way they are lethal, and have mostly ignored it.
Many people are talking about (or actively trying to ignore) the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that cell phones are “possibly carcinogenic” and might cause cancer. “Possibly carcinogenic” is a specific category that WHO uses to characterize medical risk, and also has been attached to night-shift work, engine exhaust and coffee. Guess we know what that means; I’ll die from coffee before the cell phone gets me.
Even worse, the study suggests, patient cell phones carry twice as much gunk into the hospital as hospital staff cell phones, probably because the staff undertake infection control measures regularly. The creatures found on these devices are the very ones that lead to hospital-acquired infections, of which in the U.S. there are 1.7 million annually (causing an estimated 100,000 deaths).
Lisa Suennen is a co-founder and Managing Member of Psilos Group, a healthcare-focused venture capital firm with over $577 million under management.