Maybe you're old enough that you don't have to worry about whether it's dangerous to hold a radio transmitter next to your skull, but it's not such a good idea to let your 12-year-old do it.

New tests funded by the cell phone industry show both biological and statistical links between cell phone use and brain cancer. We applaud the industry for releasing the studies despite the early warnings they sound. It's more than the tobacco industry ever did.

Note: It's only hand-held phones that are implicated. Phones mounted in cars, with the antenna outside, appear safe. And so, for that matter, does using a headphone that lets you hold the antenna away from your body.

Of course, these tests are still preliminary so hey, if that call's really all that important, don't let us stop you. Complete story.

John of Randolph, NJ, writes: What about lung cancer found in the lung over which the person stored his "on" cell phone? Interesting that the tumor was estimated to be 1 1/2 years old and my company switched to digital phones about the same time. More interesting is that our phones ranked 6th in power and are no longer manuafactured. Sony stopped all cell phone manufacture.

Barbara of Foothill Ranch, CA, writes: I am sending this request on behalf of my husband who was diagonsed with a inoperable malignant brain tumor two years ago (Astrocytoma grade III) on his right side by his ear -- right temporal. My husband was only 31 (now 33) when diagnosed but has been using cellular phones due to work for approx. 13 years on a everyday basis.

Since his biopsy, he has undergone chemo and radiation. He still suffers with headaches and seizures and takes medication every day and not to mention that the malignant tumor is still in his head because of size and location. He also has short term memory due to all the treatment and craniotomy-biopsy.

He is limited to the amount of sound,noise or people that he can be around now. His work is harder do to his memory loss and he gets irretated very easily now. He is a different man. He is short with our 10 year old son. The hard part is that everyday he wakes up he knows that the malignant brain tumor is still there and there is nothing that anybody can do about it! His and our quality of life has changed because we do not know how much time we have together. We both know how serious his condition is and there is no cure!

Is there any sort of composation available to him for this? We read on the internet in consumer affair web site regarding the Neurologist that claims cell phones caused his brain tumor and he has filed an $800 million lawsuit againt Mororola charging that years of using a cellurlar phone has given him brain cancer. $700 million is for punitive damages and $100 million is for compensatory damages. Is there any sort of lawsuit or compensation available for my husband and his condition he is now faced with and has to live with for the rest of his life and our life?

There's no class action suit that we know of. Barbara and her husband would need to find a personal injury attorney.

Brian of Philadelphia writes: Whenever I use a cell phone, I have cysts on my head within 24 hours of use. The reason I know it is the cell phone is because when I no longer use it the bumps (cysts) go away. If I use the phone only for a minute the bumps appear and the headaches occur and they are very painful.

Joe of Newport, WA: I bought my phone on 11-26-00. I mostly have used the phone for about 2 minutes. However the first three weekends where I have extended time to use the Nokia I developed bad headaches and become stomach sick while using the phone after about seven minutes. I used it for 30 minutes the second time and became headache sick and stomach sick for 12 hours. I tried the phone in two days after use for seven minutes and stared to become ill again while using the phone.

My wife is a physician assistant and has been witness to these events.

Diane of Seattle writes: I have had my own business for almost ten years and in that time, I have used a cell phone on a daily basis. I bought a smaller phone at first and I noticed when I would converse on it that my left ear would get burning hot and my head would ache even after being off the phone for an hour or more.

I finally exchanged the phone for a larger model and used that withnot any problems. I have since purchased another smaller unit and have been using it with no problems. But in the span of these years, I have cropped up with a tremor to my head which is uncontrollable. It was diagnosed as a hereditary trait but there is no one in my families with this trait that I am aware of.

I do believe in my heart that this condition came about because of using the cell phone. And as I read the stories of others, I am even more convinced of it. I am so glad that people are speaking out on this as I have kept quiet about it myself. But as a consumer, we should have the right to pertinent information about causes and effects of cell phones on our health. Thank you for letting me voice my opinion.

Martin of Dallas writes: After opening my business 5 years ago, I began using my phone between 1000 and 2500 minutes per month. About 6 months ago I stated having ear pains. I purchased "hands-free" kits and althugh 2 models helped me, 2 models would actually make it worse.

Now I purchased the speakerphone type. However when I use my phone next to my ear for over 15 minutes a day I have strong ear pains during the evening. I'm somewhat concerned and plan to have studies done soon. Sites like yours are helping me understand the situation a little better.

Stephanie of Lawrenceville, GA, writes: My father was in the telecommunications industry. He used cell phones for many years. He found he had non-Hodgkins lymphoma in his brain in 1997. He was treated and remained in remission for 15 months. It came back in October 1998. He passed away from this 2nd bout with the cancer March 19, 2000.

We have read and heard of so many cases where a lot of people who have brain tumors also use cell phones. I know it is not considered a fact yet. But if and when it is known to be factual I want a class action lawsuit put together and every cell phone manufacturer to pay for the damage and pain that have been caused to so many families.

My father was only 45 years old, a very active man, ate well, excercised. Until this cancer came along. I do believe it is because of cell phones that he got this cancer. Having to watch a loved one slowly die is the most horrible experience and no one should have to go through it.

Imagine having brain cancer. My father all of a sudden one day couldn't do anything, not even sit himself up in bed. My brother and I had to quit our jobs so my mother could keep hers and keep the house to take care of him. In his last 2 weeks of life we had to feed him morphine constantly to make him unaware of the pain he was going through. Now my mother is left a widow, my daughter no longer has her only grandfather whom she loved dearly and my younger brother turned 18 years old 4 days before our father passed away.

I want these cell phone companies to compensate the families who have gone through this.

Greg of Pomona, CA, writes: I have used hand held cell phones for about 5 years. Until a few weeks ago, I used the phone between 500-1,000 minutes per month. For about the last six months, I've been using a Qualcomm phone.

About three months ago, I had a large growth removed from my head near my right ear (the one I hold the cell phone to). Now, I have an ear infection, plus, constant headaches and ringing and pain in my right ear. Plus, I've felt very tired for the last 3 months, or, so.

God knows what is going to happen. I had no idea of the dangers of hand held cell phone use until about two weeks ago.

Fran of Cleveland writes: I have had the Nextel phone for over a year and i am experiencing dull vibrations that lesd to severe headaches while using the Nextel (Motorola) i1000. I have contacted Nextel and they told me that there has been no such complaints. Another employee that uses the Nextel phone also has the same thing happening to him.

Nextel has instructed me to bring in the unit because they feel it is "defective" and "dangerous". I am also scheduled to see my physician regarding this problem.