Voices Against Brain Cancer Benefit Concert 2011

Top Quote Birds Nest founder Avis Richards received the 2011 Ambassador Award at the Voices Against Brain Cancer Benefit Concert in NYC. A link between cell phones and brain cancer surfaces. End Quote
  • New York, NY (1888PressRelease) June 30, 2011 - Though an incredible honor to receive the 2011 Ambassador Award last Thursday at the New York Benefit Concert for Voices Against Brain Cancer, I feel even more honored to be a part of the organization's inspiring efforts to contribute to research and welfare programs for brain cancer patients at large.

    The Lichtenstein family began Voices Against Brain Cancer after son and brother Gary passed away seven months after being diagnosed with brain cancer at age 24. As he promised his son, Mario Lichtenstein began a group to raise funds for the devastating illness. The Lichtensteins have raised over $5 million over the past few years, and I was thrilled to learn that they recently received their first million-dollar grant…and from an anonymous donor! Equally as exciting was the presence of over a thousand people joined at the Hammerstein Ballroom in midtown New York City at the benefit concert last week. It touched my heart to see so many charitable individuals gathered to enjoy the donations from a number of restaurants, liquor companies and independent contributors. However, I was most touched during the compassionate silence, as Mario fought tears onstage, requesting "a moment of silence for all the souls that are not with us tonight." The event was a perfect combination of excitement, fun and love, as all of the Lichtenstein's efforts have been.

    As I become more involved in the cause, the concern about brain cancer that interests me most is the correlation between cell phone radiation and brain tumors. Very recently, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified cell phones as a type 2b carcinogen-which means that there is possibility that cell phones cause cancer, but not certainty. In December 2010, the agency conducted a large study of approximately 59,000 cell phone users in 13 countries. The study showed no increase in brain tumors as cell phone usage increased. Yet, with the introduction of WiFi in more locations and the increased consumption of SmartPhones and other highly radiated technology, research has continued. A relationship now seems probable. Doctors are beginning to attribute tumors in the salivary glands to radiation from cell phones.

    This new information has sparked international concern, and much of it around childhood cell phone usage. Elementary schools in France recently banned cell phones in order to protect their children. There is also pending legislature to prohibit children under 16 to use cell phones in France. The Seoul Metropolitan Council of Korea proposed legal regulations in 2009 to ban the use of cell phones in all Korean schools. Indian legislators, too, considered banning the use of cell phones for children under 16 in 2009. Other governments, such as those of Russia, the United Kingdom, Toronto, Finland and more have issued advisories and/or warnings about the risks involved in childhood cell phone usage. General precautionary laws exist in Israel, where cell phone companies are required to mark each phone with its individual Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels since 2002. France followed with the same policy in 2009.

    But as always, intelligent innovators are reacting. New technology, such as special headphones, phone cases and deflectors, has been developed to decrease radiation to technology users. Headphones include bulb-like mechanisms that trap radiation, which are connected to air tubes that carry sound only to the user's ears. These headphones decrease radiation consumed by 98 percent. In addition, special Pong cases for cell phones decrease radiation by 95 percent. Another product, the Bloc Sock-like a pillowcase for your phone-decreases radiation by up to 96 percent. Countries such as Israel and the United States have been huge contributors in creating paraphernalia to prevent radiation that may possibly cause serious harm in the near future.

    The technology craze is most likely not going to go away. (In fact, you are probably reading this on some sort of gadget right now.) However, it is important to be aware of the risks that accompany all the latest trends. We are lucky to have people like the Lichtensteins and everyone at the Voices Against Brain Cancer event contributing to funding research and welfare groups for brain cancer patients and physicians. So keep your ears open-and protected!-for new information on how to defend yourself from harmful radiation.

    New in the News:

    In an effort to warn potential smokers of the dangers of tobacco consumption, the FDA released on Tuesday nine final images required to appear on all cigarette labels. The images contain messages such as "Cigarettes cause cancer," "Cigarettes are addictive" and "Smoking can kill you," among others. Photos accompany each slogan and include crying babies, diseased lungs and even a man smoking a cigarette out of a tracheotomy hole in his neck.

    Though hardly as developed in research and familiar to users, cell phone usage may also cause cancer. Does this mean that cell phones companies, like cigarette companies, will need to warn its customers about the dangers of cell phone use? And would people buy cell phones with gruesome labels declaring, "Cell phones cause cancer" and "Radiation can kill you"?

    The government already required warning labels on cigarette cartons but moved on to require terrifying images that cover over 50 percent of the box's front and back covers. In Israel, cell phone companies require warning labels about brain cancer and cell phone usage on cell phone boxes. France followed with the same policy. As demonstrated by the progression of cigarette carton labels, cell phone boxes and even cell phones themselves may some day be adorned with comparably horrifying images related to tumors caused by radiation.

    It is important to think about the future of technology. New products, such as the headphones and cases developed, hope to solve many of the issues with radiation. But it is possible that the government may choose to try to deter users from purchasing cell phones entirely. Smokers didn't seem to stop smoking when the original warnings showed up on cartons, so drastic measures were taken. Cell phone users need to consider warnings before the situation worsens so the government will not have to intervene with such extreme messages.

    Avis Richards

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