Would People Stop Using Mobile Phones If More Evidence Shows Them To Be Carcinogenic?

from the just-wondering dept

Lots of folks have been talking about the recent WHO report which says there’s now enough evidence to indicate that mobile phones are at least somewhat carcinogenic. Of course, for years there have been ongoing dueling studies on this topic, with plenty supporting this view, and plenty saying there was no such evidence. Frankly, I have no idea which side to believe, but am wondering: will this news actually cause anyone to stop using their mobile phones? I’m sure there will be a few people here or there who will go that far. For others, it may just result in them not keeping the phone so close to them all the time, or maybe even turning it off at times. But I’m curious to hear from anyone out there who actually plans to radically shift their behavior due to this report. Are you out there? Can you explain your thinking?

Filed Under: ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Would People Stop Using Mobile Phones If More Evidence Shows Them To Be Carcinogenic?”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
101 Comments
Jeremy Lyman (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It used to be that when you saw someone sitting alone on a train or bus talking to themselves, you could safely assume they were insane. Then there popped up a different segment of folks that exhibited the exact same behavior, but after a good 20 minutes of assuming they were insane, would prove to have been on a hands-free phone call. That segment is now so numerous that I generally assume someone is doing the latter and is not afflicted with the former. This is NOT, however, always the case and it is surprisingly startling to realize your mistaken classification.

So no, it doesn’t make you look cool. It makes you look crazy. Though by the same token it makes schizophrenic vagrants seem strangely affluent.

Frost (profile) says:

Re: Re: Bluetooth signal strength

A phone at full whack outputs 3 watts or so. Quite a bit of those watts are cooking your brain with microwaves from literally zero inches away.

A bluetooth headset is something in the range of a milliwatt, because it only has a 30 foot range or thereabouts.

Thus, a lot less brain-cooking for the buck.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bluetooth signal strength

http://arxiv.org/abs/1104.5008

“It has been argued that cellphones are safe because a single microwave photon does
not have enough energy to break a chemical bond. We show that cellphone
technology operates in the classical wave limit, not the single photon limit. Based on
energy densities relative to thermal energy, we estimate thresholds at which effects
could be possible. These seem to correspond somewhat with many experimental
observations.”

William J. Bruno, Ph.D.
Theoretical Biology & Biophysics
Los Alamos National Laboratory
April 24, 2011

Bengie says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Bluetooth signal strength

There has also been experiments where they took DNA out of a cell, placed it unprotected in a chamber, soaked with with magnitudes more microwave radiation than what a cell phones does, and it still didn’t damage the DNA.

Actually, it showed that DNA does not readily absorb microwave radiation. The water in the cell does. Sudden burst heating of water in the cell can mess things up, but that requires very concentrated heat and much higher power levels than cell phones emit.

It is possible that mild internal heating of cells could cause issues.

There was also a recent study with microwaves on living tissue. At least on earth worms, mild dosages of microwave radiation was beneficial to healing and growth.

They’re thinking of going to human trials soon to see how well microwave radiation helps heal us.

Yay, cell phones might be healthy.

Either way, we need more data.

Ohh and research in some European country that by law required cell phone usage in the death records, actually showed an identical cancer rate between cell phone and non-cell phone users, over 30 million people over 20 years.

Real world study > theories

darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Bluetooth signal strength

This is actually incorrect, the microwaves inside your microwave over to not ‘endlessly reflect’ around the inside of your microwave until it hits the food.

if fact the design of microwave ovens take particular care to eliminate ‘standing waves’ as that reflected energy would re-enter the magnatron and destroy it.

(just like in the old CB radio days, were you have to “TUNE” your antenna with a VSWR meter.)

Also if that were the case the inside of your microwave over would have to be round or toroidal in shape (they are usually square).

And be of a specific size so that the internal dimentins of the over would be at some specific resonant frequency (the freq of the oven itself).

They are square and WAY to big to be at resonant cavity, (a resonant cavity for microwave oven frequest is probably around 1 or 2 cubic centremetres, inside of your micorwave over might be 9 litres.

plus the resonant frequency would change with ‘load’, so when you put food into the microwave you would change it frequency and go out of resonance.

A microwave over just like you cell phone uses DIRECT radiation from the source, and does not rely upon reflection (endlessly within a box).

Have you ever wondered why you DO NOT have to wait a specific period of time before you are allowed to open the door of your microwave.

if you are right, you would have to wait for the energy to ‘die down’ before being allowed to open the door.

(waiting endlessly could take quite some time) !!!

darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Bluetooth signal strength

There has also been experiments where they took DNA out of a cell, placed it unprotected in a chamber, soaked with with magnitudes more microwave radiation than what a cell phones does, and it still didn’t damage the DNA.

you’re probably right, but once you take DNA out of a cell, it is “dead” it is not dividing, it is not living and it does not have the cell around it for it to function as DNA wants to do.

So they got a whole bunch of DNA stopped them from functioning as DNA then applied RF to them and confirmed that YES,,, they are still not functioning as DNA !!

” I found a DEAD cow in the field, I shot it 10 times with my gun, It did not appear to kill the cow, therefore my gun does not kill things”.

darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Bluetooth signal strength

“It has been argued that cellphones are safe because a single microwave photon does
not have enough energy to break a chemical bond.

and we ALL know that cellphones do not operate on a single photon basis.

you only need ONE (1) single lone photon at the right place at the right time, to cause a tiny variation in the way a cell divides during the critical DNA splitting stage to cause a ‘glitch’ or ‘spike of noise’, that could affect the splitting of the DNA and create an ‘error’ (ie cancer).

there is also a very large group of people (myself included) that if they (we) use a cell phone for a longer period of time, we will (and do) develop headache’s on the side of the head where we have the phone.

So now I always use my cell phone with earphones and extension mic, and keep the phone antenna as far away as possible.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bluetooth signal strength

There are plenty of published articles that show both heating of brain tissue and absorption of radiation from phone antennas. If you cannot find them for yourself you’re not trying hard enough.

What they do not prove is whether this CAUSES cancer. What they show without a shadow of a doubt is that the brain tissue is absorbing radiation.

Bengie says:

Re: Re: Re: Bluetooth signal strength

You’re a bit off on your wattage. Here’s from the manual of my Samsung CDMA phone.

“Your phone is basically a radio transmitter and receiver. When it’s
turned on, it receives and transmits radio frequency (RF) signals.
When you use your phone, the system handling your call controls the
power level. This power can range from 0.006 watts to 0.2 watts in
digital mode.”

Analog mode kills the battery really fast, but the last time I saw analog mode was about 10 years ago while roaming in the middle of no where.

GSM phones typically use more power for the antenna because of sensitivity to noise. CDMA is better, but more expensive.

You may also notice that microwave radiation is VERY readily absorbed by water. Guess what our body is mostly composed of? Water just turns it into heat.

At max, 0.2 watts of heat is nothing. But most of that energy isn’t going to be absorbed by your body. I can absorb more heat from the sun while standing outside.

darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Bluetooth signal strength

0.2 watts, average, peak, RMS, impulse, duty cycle or ERP (effective radiated power) ?

What antenna gain value ?

(if the antenna gain is 3db, then that 0.2 watts is equavelent to 0.4 watts)

if it is a 9db gain antenna would radiate about 1 watt, (probably average) and as stated, probably 1000 times more than that value at peak.

So for very brief periods of time (the worst times) your little cell phone could be radiating 1000 watts (1KW) of RF power, with your head consuming almost 50% of the near field radiation pattern.

Just find the specs and do the math..

its a ‘digital’ modulation technique, that 0.2 watts would be the average based on power consumption to the transmitter stage.

the instantanious power levels could easily be 10, 100 or 1000 times larger than 0.2 watts.

which also means you get very high ‘delta c’ or a high ‘rate of change’ of power levels, that has a far more significant effect on what it interacts with than average or ‘continuous’ power.

if you consider your brain as a pure resistance then P=IV, ie current times voltage, but if the load contains ‘reactance’ (ie capacitance or inductance) then the power level dissipated in that reactive load does not relate to P=IV but is based on ‘rate of change’ of the signal.

A capacitor with an infinate rate of change across it will provide infinate current (ie high rate of change = high current).

An inductor with an infinate rate of change across it will provide an infinate voltage (ie high rate of change = high voltage).

The RF out of a cell phone is allready at a high rate of change (ie its a high frequency), plus the modulation techniques used (digiatl) also apply a secondary high rate of change ontop of that signal.

(that is, you start with a high frequency, then switch it on and off very quickly).

Nothing in nature is a ‘pure resistance’ everything contains inductance and capacatence.

So it would be virtually impossible to calculate specific voltages and currents induced by a mobile phone in human tissue based on the undefined output of a cell phone.

Especially when you only need ONE photon to strike ONE ATOM in the right spot at the right time to do the damage.

It would make it an almost impossible to predict statistical probability.

Just as going outside your house for a walk would increase your statistical probability of being run over by a car, it’s impossible to predict, but you know it will and CAN happen, you know the risk exists but you decide you are willing to take that risk and play statistical lotto with your life.

I dont know if anyone else has mentions “near field” Vs “far field” but “near field” RF levels (and rate of change of power) are far higher than far field.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Bluetooth signal strength

Not 3W. That was for old, Analog AMPS bag phones and car phones. Yes, some analog phones remained until a couple fo years ago, mostly used by rural customers. But even those, in the USA, had their analog service turned off by the carriers.

Digital phones, in use since ~1995, and what all of you are now using, max out at around 0.5W.

Also, the frequencies are not strictly “like a microwave oven”. 2.4GHz, for example, is a resonating frequency of water. This is why ovens use it to stimulate water molecules and heat your Hot Pocket pizza. Mobile phones actually avoid all the resonating frequencies of water, because they are so readily absorbed in the real world of plants and people that they are less useful for communication.

That 2.4 band eventually got put to use by WiFi and home cordless phones. USA Cell phones, mostly, run at 1.9GHz, but also at 800MHz, 2.1GHz, 1.7GHz.

I don’t see much parallel between the past “unproven harms of tobacco smoking” and the current “unproven harms of cellular phones”. Phones may, indeed, cause cancer. But despite the fact that many good studies have been performed, there still is no proven or suggested connection between cancer and phones.

You are spot on about the benefit Bluetooth offers. Also, it does not need to transmit at full power if your phone is only 3 feet away. You are transmitting your voice 3 feet instead of 2 miles. Because of the inverse square propagation rules, the power required is exponentially less.

darryl says:

Re: Re: Do(es) Bluetooth waves cause cancer? No?

“Do Bluetooth waves cause cancer? No?”

Yes, they do.

(if you made a bluetooth signal large enough and focused into a load it would act like any other form of electromagnitic radiation and cause biological effects).

But bluetooth as it stands would not cause any increase in cancer over that of the normal level of background radiation that occures naturally. (called ‘the noise floor’)

there has been no recored links with bluetooth and cancer.

but bluetooth is very very different to cellular phones.

bluetooth uses spread spectrum modulation techniques for a start, and far less power, the peak power at any one time or frequency from a bluetooth transmitter is probably lower than the noice floor. (than background, natural noise levels).

There is no high energy impulse spikes from bluetooth that you experience daily from cell phones. When they are seeking a cell or receiving a call for example.

we’ve all heard that racket that a cell makes on other things.

that is due to the very high instanious power levels and high rates of change that the phone uses.

just as you would not expect a cell phone to be able to ‘cook a chook’ by placing it near it, you would not expect a bluetooth to cause as much damage as a cell phone attached to your head.

you have to start to think a little more objectively here, you know a high power laser beam would cut your hand off, and a low power led would not even feel warm.

But they can both be light (non-ionizing radiation) at the same frequency.

or the difference between if I got a small bit of lead and threw it at you, it might hurt a bit (probaby not, I cant throw very hard), but if I got that same bit of lead and shot it out of a gun it would probably do alot more damage.

or if I threw a million bits of lead, (but not very hard) it would still do alot of damage. (a million times more than one).

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You’re assuming we will always be limited to this planet. That might not be the case. Technology is progressing on an exponential curve. We will find a way to travel outside our solar system to see other earth-like planets. New worlds, new resources and with the extended life spans, reproduction would be less frequent. People would have enormous amounts of time to do other things with their lives before thinking about having children.

Joe Publius (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You’re assuming we will always be limited to this planet. That might not be the case.

If we hope to live 1000 year lifespans it will be a requirement.

I regrettably forgot where I read it, but I’m basing my current bearishness on the super extended lifespan on an article that discussed the technology necessary for spacefaring and relating it to our current expenditure and supply of energy resources as a game of beat-the-clock. Either we develop the means and technology to now, or we’ll never be able to. Pretty interesting read actually.

darryl says:

The SUN is a much larger source of high energy photons.

I used a mobile phone, and I got cancer.

I doubt I got cancer because I used a mobile phone though, but i doubt the overall average of incidents of cancer have significantly increased with the massive increase in mobile phone usage, I think there would be far stronger links to cancer from other chemicals, and modern industrial processes, and pollutants (PAH’s) that would account if anything to an overall increase in the rate of certain cancers.

that couples with quicker and more effective detection methods, and a higher social awareness of cancer symptoms, will naturally result in a higher rate of cancer detections.

That is not to say that exposure to high levels of RF would not be a statistical contributing to the highter incidents of carcinomas.

(BTW: if you can possibly avoid it, dont get cancer).

darryl says:

Re: Re: The SUN is a much larger source of high energy photons.

My husband has cancer. Very sorry to hear that, I wish him all the very best.

I totally agree with your Doc’s response as well, mine was a skin type cancer (not a melanoma) and very agressive (on my face !!!).

The only thing I could contribute too was a few days before I noticed it, I missed the bus….

Very hot sunny Australian day, and I waited in the bright sunlight for the next bus, got slightly sun burnt on my face.

Next thing im in surgury, having all sorts of bits of me moved around and re-wired.

I wish your hubby all the best and a quick and complete (as possible) recovery. Good luck, and chin up.

Doctors and medical people these days are unbelievably good, I owe them my life.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: The SUN is a much larger source of high energy photons.

πŸ™‚ Thanks, Darryl. BTW, wasn’t trying to minimize anything of what you said, merely adding in the doc’s quote. Sorry if it came across as anything but, just wanted to clear that up.

Your ordeal sounds terrifying – being diagnosed with cancer is terrifying on its own! I’m glad you came through.

My husband’s is prostate cancer, from out of nowhere (completely asympotmatic), life insurance blood tests showed slightly elevated PSA level, biopsy showed very early stage cancer. He is otherwise a flipping specimen of good health and feels fine. He’s 51.

He’ll be okay. He’s chosen removal, nerve sparing surgery should allow him to resume life as he knows it now after recovery, so says the doc. And he will be considered cured.

Thanks again for the kind words. I wish you continued good health. Bless. πŸ™‚

John Doe says:

Tough call

I have an Android phone and can’t imagine doing without it. I do use a bluetooth earpiece as much as possible. I know they emit radio waves too, but at much lower power so surely the risk is reduced even further.

But if definitive proof showed a strong link, I would find a way to change the way I use it for sure. The “C” word is scary and once you have seen a few people deal with it and several of them losing the battle you will do all you can to avoid it.

ScytheNoire (profile) says:

It’s already been shown that the percentage increase and amount of usage to be even close to causing cancer would have be far more than any human could do. The media just leeched onto the WHO report, picked out something that would cause FUD (fear, uncertainty & doubt), and ran with it, as they always do. Shame on TechDirt though for also falling into the trap. Pickled vegetables and coffee were also on the list of things that may cause cancer, but I didn’t see the media covering that, because it doesn’t make for good fearmongering.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Pickled vegetables and coffee were also on the list of things that may cause cancer, but I didn’t see the media covering that, because it doesn’t make for good fearmongering.

Are you kidding me? I already hate pickles. This now changes my hate of pickles to out and out dread.

“I can’t eat this burger! It’s been contaminated with PICKLED CARCINOGENS!!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You are exactly right.

It’s not just pickled vegetables and coffee – how about carpentry, or putting talcum powder in your shorts to soothe jock itch. (And no, I am not making that up – “perineal use of talcum powder” is in the same category.)

Mike, please issue a correction – cell phones aren’t “at least somewhat carcinogenic”, they may be carcinogenic, according to one flawed study.

Mike42 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Cudos to all above who caught this shoddy reporting. May be carcinogenic, Mike. Not at least somewhat. For shame. Becomming a television star has gone to your head.

As for me, I lined my phone with 3 inches of lead. It’s kind of heavy, doesn’t fit in the case, and doesn’t get the reception it used to, but Hey! At least I’m safe.

cjstg (profile) says:

if having a cell phone near you can maybe, possibly cause cancer, then give this some thought: in our daily life we are surround by thousands of cell phones, dozens of cell towers, wifi routers, broadcast tv and radio, powerlines, and private radios. the cumulative effect of all of those em sources has got to be just as significant as your tiny cell phone and bluetooth connection.

ok, ok, i’ll put my tinfoil hat back on and go back to my cave.

Jim_G says:

Re: Re:

You have hit on the line of thinking that eventually leads to people refusing to try and eliminate wifi in their area altogether. I live in Sebastopol in Northern CA, and this is a very popular stance. See http://www.downtheavenue.com/2008/03/sebastopol-says.html . On that same page is a post from someone nearby where people are trying to block having a cell tower installed, even though they have no cell phone service at all.

Ninja (profile) says:

Hypothetically speaking..

If they were more carcinogenic than the industrialized stuff we eat then I’d probably try to keep my distance from cell phones. I do avoid them nowadays and I try to use headphones as much as possible. But we are talking about brain cancer, what about leaving the phones in our pockets, near to our skin and internal organs from the legs? And they are even near our genitals that way..

I guess the hole goes further below if you ask me. What we truly needed is a long term unbiased study on the matter before drawing conclusions.

Anonymous Coward says:

I lost a person very close to me to brain cancer, so I’m somewhat sensitive to this issue.

and I can tell you that this is FUD at it’s finest.

WHO placed cell phones in the same cancer risk category as COFFEE and the media just ran away with the story. Also on the list are pickled vegetables and a common red dye.

“Oh my God, it’s microwaving your brain”

I have bad news for you folks…what do you think cordless phones are or that wireless laptop of yours?

People need to calm the fuck down.

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Not as much as you would think. It’s mostly a change in frequency. The lower the frequency the longer it can travel on less power. This is why the new frequencies for WiFi are such a big thing; they can go for miles instead of yards.

Also, if I remember correctly, it’s the higher frequencies that can cause cancer. In theory, a 5GHz cordless phone could be more dangerous then a 800MHz cell phone. Though, I think the radiation has to be “ionizing” before it can cause cancer. Cell phones are definitely not.

darryl says:

Re: cordless phone is not a microwave oven.

sorry to hear about your friend, but am confused that you take such a strong stance against the possibility that ‘photonic radiation’ cannot cause biological effects.

Or that other agents (such as chemical compounds) can also cause biological effects.

The fact that coffee is a possible carcinogen link is a significant issue for the media as ALOT of people drink coffee (I do).

The fact that cell phone use and electromagnetic radiation has been causally linked to cancer is also a significant issue for the media and the population. As ALOT of people use cell phones (I do).

Photons interact with matter, e=mc2 when a photon interacts with matter it imparts energy to that matter (e).

What effects that pulse of energy has on living tissue is anyone’s guess and it highly dependent of probability and photon energy and the properties of the ‘matter’ it interacts with.

and again, you cannot compare cordless phones or wireless laptops to cell phones, or microwave ovens or sheet metal cutting laser beams.

its the difference between the intensity of a candle 100 miles away and putting your face against a light house light bulb.

brad tittle says:

Cell Phone's Causing Cancer

1. These studies while worth doing have results that clearly indicate that YOU SHOULD NOT WORRY.

Worry about checking both ways before turning in your car or crossing the street.

Worry about leaving the burner on on your stove.

Worry about leaving the water running in the tub.

Worry about how hot the phone gets when using it. A burn is not a good thing and some of these phones are getting hot enough that burning could be a problem.

As lord Kelvin says “If you need statistics to prove your point, you didn’t make a very good test!”

Zacqary Adam Green (profile) says:

Oh for chrissakes.

Mobile phones output non-ionizing radiation. This is the type of radiation which has been found, time and time again, to not cause DNA damage, and therefore not cancer.

So, why is it that we’re hearing that cell phones may have been found to be carcinogenic, but not about the fundamental new development in particle physics that non-ionizing radiation behaves differently than we thought? That’s kind of a big deal.

If cell phones cause cancer, that would imply that perhaps a particularly intense shade of blue might also cause cancer. However, no such theories are being discussed in light of this news.

darryl says:

Re: non-ionizing radiation

microwave ovens also produce non-ionizing radiation, so does the sun, so do mobile phones, and high power radar’s.

so would be be happy to place your head inside a microwave oven for 10 minutes just because its “non-ionizing radiation”?

Or stand day after day, in all that non-ionizing bright sunlight until you get skin cancer ?

Do you not think there is a link between non-ionizing sunlight radiation and the incidence of skin cancer ?

So according to you, sunlight (non-ionizing radiation) does not cause cancer ?

Do you think a tanning booth produces ionizing radiation ? do you know there is a very strong link between tanning booths and skin cancer, due to the non-ionizing radiation produced.

(tanning booths do not produce ionizing radiation).

darryl says:

Re: Oh for chrissakes.

Mobile phones output non-ionizing radiation. This is the type of radiation which has been found, time and time again, to not cause DNA damage, and therefore not cancer.

Go to your local metal working factory, and find their laser sheet metal cutter, and put your finger in the laser beam.

Then you can scientifically determine if that NON-ionizing radiation causes you any biological effects that may be detrimental to your health.

So, why is it that we’re hearing that cell phones may have been found to be carcinogenic

because they have !

but not about the fundamental new development in particle physics that non-ionizing radiation behaves differently than we thought?

because particle physics is a branch of science that deals with IONIZING radiation. (ie high energy PARTICLES).

(thats why its called particle physics).

unless you can provide an example of where modern physics have show any such thing about the fundamentals of electromagnitic radiation then we can asses what you are talking about.

you might as well have said, “why dont we investigate this new species of fish”.

If cell phones cause cancer, that would imply that perhaps a particularly intense shade of blue might also cause cancer.

Yes, exactly..or red or UV or infrared, or microwave, or low frequency, or UHF/VHF or the 6 kelvin sun light.

or the particularly intense shade of blue light from a TANNING BOOTH….

it might be that particularly intense shade of blue is one of these !!!

Long-term exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet rays like tanning beds (or to the sun’s natural rays) increases both men and women’s risk of developing skin cancer. In addition, exposure to tanning salon rays increases damage caused by sunlight because ultraviolet light actually thins the skin, making it less able to heal. Women who use tanning beds more than once a month are 55 percent more likely to develop malignant melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

http://www.cancer.gov/newscenter/entertainment/tipsheet/tanning-booths

UV is blue !!!

umccullough (profile) says:

Already stopped, more or less...

I ceased to own a cell phone in 2005, initially for financial reasons, but ultimately I found it quite uplifting to rid myself of an always-on “gadget”.

The suggestion that it can cause cancer only solidified my stance on cell phone (dis)use.

My wife also neglected to renew her cell phone plan, and instead got a “pay-as-you-go” phone. This tends to reduce how much she uses the phone, but still keeps it in the car for emergencies, or whenever we go out of town. I’ve borrowed her phone once or twice when going on business trips, but I hate having to use it.

Bengie says:

Re: Already stopped, more or less...

I had the same “always on” issue. Then I learned how to tell people that I don’t answer late at night. I just set my phone to silent. They learn fast.

I also tell them if they really want me to respond fast, send me a text. I more likely to not want to answer the phone than read a text.

As for not having a regular cell phone, how do you contact people when not home? Just in daily life, I find calling people for useful information like directions or last second deals at the grocery store, to be overly useful.

Kelly says:

What a fascinating case study this all is on how and what people choose to believe. As for me, I’ve always maintained that pressing a microwave transmitter (“non-ionizing” or not) against a hole in my skull was probably a Bad Idea, which seems to be the WHO’s basic suggestion here as well. Time and incidence rates of brain cancer will tell, I suppose, but frankly I wouldn’t even have a cell phone if it weren’t issued by my employer, and like others above I tend to ignore it most of the time except for keeping up with work e-mail on the weekend.

I don’t drink coffee either, for what it’s worth. πŸ˜‰

darryl says:

Re: Nope.

“I won’t stop using mine simply because science is continuing to find out that everything will kill you eventually.”

Yea, what do those ‘scientists’ know !!!.

Dont stop or reduce using fossel fuels either just because some ‘scientist’ tells you it is causing irreverseable global climate change either.

or that DDT or agent orange are good for you…

Greevar (profile) says:

There is one item that everyone is forgetting. We are all surrounded by AM, TV, and FM stations and have been for decades now. I’ve not heard of anything about radio engineers and disc jockeys getting more cancer despite the enormous amount of exposure they have. And FM stations can operate at 100 KW power levels. That’s 100 times more than your microwave.

Nevertheless, limit your exposure when you can. At least until they can prove without a doubt whether it’s harmful or not.

darryl says:

Re: Squre law.

And FM stations can operate at 100 KW power levels. That’s 100 times more than your microwave.

sorry, but physics and math will show you are wrong, there is a thing called the “squared law” which means the intensity of the signal (light, radio, sound) decreases by the square of the distance.

Which means a 100KW transmitter 2 miles away would provide you will far less power than a 0.1watt transmitter 2 inches away.

Then there is the issue of “near” field and “far” field, near field is close to the antenna (within a wavelength or so) far field is many wavelengths from the source.

Near field RF is different from far field, as the EM waves have not ‘stabilazed’ along the lenth of the antenna, therefore you get much greater peaks and troughs in the EM field (E = electric field, M = Magnetic field) EM = Electromagnitic field.

as as your head is not a pure resistance but contains values of inductance and capacitance then it has it’s own reactance to rate of change of E and M fields.

Why do you think when you have a mobile phone near a speaker and it rings you can hear the interference LOUDLY, but you do not get similar interfernce from the sun, or the local TV station, or anything else. (even your WiFi) does not do it.

But cell phones, MUST have high peak power levels to cause such interference to other electronics.

(your brain is ‘electronics’ too).

Boyo says:

No, WHO did not say radiofrequency electromagnetic fields “are at least somewhat carcinogenic” They’re saying it’s “possibly carcinogenic” there is no “at least” the data does not support that, at least not yet.

There are people whom think shaved genitalia leads to a higher incidence of pedophilia… Theres just as much data supporting that theory as there is data supporting RfEf being “at least somewhat carcinogenic”

That being said, I do think this warrants more study. Could lead to something interesting medically if it does indeed somehow cause it (Not the shaved genitalia BS, lol).

Oh, and iarc press release:
http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2011/pdfs/pr208_E.pdf

Chronno S. Trigger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“His only link is to a much less hysterical, far more accurate report”

He quotes the less hysterical, far more accurate report and doesn’t go above and beyond that. Yet somehow he’s doing shoddy reporting?

“Cudos to all above who caught this shoddy reporting. May be carcinogenic, Mike. Not at least somewhat. For shame. Becomming a television star has gone to your head.”
-Mike42 (This may be sarcasm, I’m not sure)

I only stated that to say that I can understand if he got it a little wrong (semantics at most) because there is so much full blown BS out there that it hides the real reporting. I’m not saying he’s right, I’m just saying I understand how he can be a little wrong.

Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Evidence Of Absence

It is said that ?absence of evidence is not evidence of absence?. However, it is if you?ve looked, and the harder you?ve looked, the stronger evidence it is.

People have been looking for evidence of harm from non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (cellphones, electricity pylons etc) for over 20 years now. There has been the occasional positive result, which has never been replicated, which is what you would expect if they were false positives. If they were true positives, then other researchers looking in the same place would find further positives, but this has never happened.

I think it has come to the point where those who claim that ?more research is needed? are just in it to ride the grant-money gravy train.

freak (profile) says:

Others have probably said this; It’s now in the same rating as coffee, pickled vegetables, and a bunch of other stuff.

The category boils down to: “Might possibly, maybe, within a few bars of error, have something to do with cancer”, and some objects in that category might even have a negative correlation with cancer.

And even assuming it gets bumped up a few categories higher, then correlation =/= causation.

darryl says:

I have no issue with Mike raising this issue

It is important, the research should be done, and should continue.

there is no point in guessing, just with everything else you’ve mentioned coffee and so on, if it’s commonly used should it not be investigated ?

and if links are found then should not those results be made available for people to asses and choose for themselves?

As the lady with the hubby with cancer stated.

“Life is the primary cause of cancer”.

The only way to ensure you will not get cancer is to be not alive.

My doctor said the same thing to me, he said (about my cancer) ‘there is only ONE other alternative’.

and later when I commented about the effect of the surgury, he said “it’s far better than being dead”.

I agree with him

(he also told me if he removed the stiches out of my neck my head would fall off, but I did not believe that one :))

Im glad im here to joke about it, but if you can help it at all, DO NOT GET CANCER… please.

if I had a worst enemy I would not wish that on them.

Gene Cavanaugh (profile) says:

cell phones and cancer

The report was supported by brain scans showing changes in the brain with prolonged use, and the changes appear to be related to cancer. So, sure, “I believe X, don’t confuse me with the facts”. There is a basis.
There is a move for younger children to use cell phones, and that is controlled by parents – so, yes, the report will make a difference.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop Β»

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...