Studies

by Karl Bode




Study Says No Cancer Link From Mobile Phones... But Don't Expect The Controversy To Die

from the it-just-won't-die dept

The debate over whether cellphones cause cancer has been an endless game of scientific ping-pong, where a study will spring up supporting the conclusion, only to quickly be contradicted by a study that disagrees. A new Danish study tracked 420,095 people who've been using mobile phones for up to two decades or more, and found absolutely no evidence of a substantial cancer risk. The study is the largest yet disproving any cancer link, but the debate over the topic is like a b-horror film villain, who just keeps popping up after you're sure the last blow killed him. Science means little to the significant number of people who have made cancer via wireless their personal techno-bogeyman, so no study in the world is likely to change their minds and put this debate in the morgue.

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  • identicon
    Bumbling old fool, 5 Dec 2006 @ 9:08pm

    I'll never live to find out...

    ... cause my microwave is gonna kill me first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Dec 2006 @ 9:41pm

    Only if...

    the power lines, carpal tunnel and ignoring copyright laws don't kill you first.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 5 Dec 2006 @ 9:42pm

    the problem is people in general are overly melodramatic. people tend to attract towards the idea that humankind with bring its own demise. so whether that includes everything we do being evil and addicting or causing cancer or destroying the earth people will jump on the blame-the-human-race-for-every-action bandwagon. then you have research groups who know this fact and do studies just for publicity to get more funding. oh, that and people don't seem to understand the difference between correlation and causation. i'm sure the first study done that said "cell phones cause cancer" was nothing more than a correlation study. i'm not defending the study mentioned here either, as it sounds like a correlation study as well, but you can usually assume with low correlation there isn't a cause and effect between the two things. just don't think you can assume the opposite, that if there's a high correlation it means that there is a cause and effect between the two things, because it doesn't. this whole thing is right in line with humans causing the earth to cool and humans causing the earth to warm.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Quintana Pearce, 5 Dec 2006 @ 9:44pm

    There aren't many affirmative studies...

    There haven't been any studies showing an indication of wireless signals causing cancer for quite a while -- the debate is now pretty much over in scientific circles.

    Of course, there will always be those people who say "science doesn't know everything". But the only reason they think it could cause cancer is because it's a form of "radiation", and science says "radiation causes cancer". A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      LepidusEtValidus, 17 Jan 2008 @ 10:20pm

      Re: There aren't many affirmative studies...

      But without knowledge, you're dumb as an ox! Haha.. Peace out.. /(^_^)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    dorpus, 5 Dec 2006 @ 10:14pm

    Other obscure but real dangers

    On any given day, you may strangle yourself in bed and never wake up. You have a 1/7,318 chance of this happening in your lifetime. That's if you do not fall out of bed and break your neck, a 1/4,745 lifetime chance. You may then go to the bathroom, where you fall and crack your skull, or suffocate on vomit while brushing your back teeth, or slice your carotid artery with the razor. A boiler failure may spray superheated steam all over your body in the shower, so you promptly die of 3rd-degree burns.

    The stairway may collapse on your way down. A fish bowl or glass jar next to the window in the kitchen may start a lens-effect fire, which starts a backdraft in the kitchen, and you may promptly die in a fiery explosion as you open the door. A metal bowl left on the porch may similarly start a fire. That's if an overhead electric wire doesn't come crashing through the window and electrocute you, and an escaped zoo animal does not jump out of your closet when you reach for your jacket.

    If you go to a yoga class, you may die of positional asphyxiation, as a vasovagal effect suddenly kicks in while bent over. Whenever you enter a building, the difference in air pressure between the building may cause the door to decapitate you. That's if a truck carrying commercial bee hives doesn't overturn in front of you, causing thousands of angry bees to descend on you. A spontaneous mutation among the 1 trillion bacteria that live on your skin may turn into a flesh-melting infection. That's if you do not succumb to the 1-in-6 lifetime probability of prostate cancer, and you die leaking blood out of your dick. That's if your cell phone battery does not spontaneously explode and spray hot acid all over your face, and the workplace air conditioner does not get contaminated with Legionnaire bacteria, causing you to die from pneumonia.

    Your computer's DVD drive may spit out a spinning disc that slices your carotid artery, or a falling aircraft component may crack your skull. A smokehouse barbecue grill may cause you to die from carbon monoxide poisoning, while a sewer may spontaneously explode from methane accumulation and bring a manhole cover come flying down on top of you. That's if the street doesn't spontaneously collapse, so you fall into the sewer and die, or a window cleaning rack doesn't come falling down on top of you. Police may mistake you for a criminal and shoot you, an ambulance may run you over, a stranger from the internet may mistake you for someone else and shoot you.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      halleluah, 31 Jan 2007 @ 7:42pm

      Re: Other obscure but real dangers

      how long did it take you to think/come-up with sooooo many ways of getting killed. get a life and smell the fresh roses.......or stinky onces.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 5 Dec 2006 @ 10:25pm

    Re: Other obscure but real dangers

    Your computer's DVD drive may spit out a spinning disc that slices your carotid artery

    actually they fixed that problem and it wasn't the intact disc that was the problem it was the shrapnel from a shattered disc that was spun too rapidly. that's why there's a fixed limit on how fast the disc can spin in the drive :)

    Whenever you enter a building, the difference in air pressure between the building may cause the door to decapitate you.

    have you ever seen and used a door? or maybe you're just 7 feet tall...

    That's if a truck carrying commercial bee hives doesn't overturn in front of you, causing thousands of angry bees to descend on you.

    o.O where the hell are you getting these examples? you started out strong but c'mon... now you're stretching it...

    A fish bowl or glass jar next to the window in the kitchen may start a lens-effect fire, which starts a backdraft in the kitchen, and you may promptly die in a fiery explosion as you open the door. That's if an overhead electric wire doesn't come crashing through the window and electrocute you, and an escaped zoo animal does not jump out of your closet when you reach for your jacket.

    now that's all just funny :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    commodore crush, 5 Dec 2006 @ 11:00pm

    Cancer? Who cares?

    Do you actually think it would make a difference if it were proven that cell phones caused cancer? People know that cigarettes cause cancer too and they still smoke. I quit smoking, but if someone told me that my cell phone was going to eventually give me cancer I don't think I could quit.... that is, until they come up with "the patch" to put over my ears.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 6 Dec 2006 @ 7:44am

      Re: Cancer? Who cares?

      Uhhhh yeaah. I would minimize my use of it. I would keep it off more often. I would keep it away from my body when it's on.

      Cancer is not fun.

      Who cares? I do, my spouse, kids, grandkids...etc..

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 6 Dec 2006 @ 2:26am

    Backgroiund Noise?

    It appears that none of the studies showing hazards from non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (cellphones, power lines etc) turns out to be reproducible. When one study claims to find a link, others try to repeat it, but come up empty.

    It seems to me that these random intermittent positive results are nothing more than background noise. They are purely chance correlations, which is why they cannot be reproduced. They are of the level of spurious positive results you would expect if there is no hazard.

    This pattern has been repeated for about 20 years now. If there really were a hazard, then so many years of hunting for it would have turned it up quite unambiguously by now.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      dorpus, 6 Dec 2006 @ 2:47am

      Re: Backgroiund Noise?

      We statisticians call that Type I Error.

      It is also known as the alpha level, which is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis given that the null hypothesis is true. By convention, alpha is set to 0.05. (i.e. you can expect 1 out of 20 scientific papers to be wrong, by chance alone.)

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        dreamer525, 14 Dec 2006 @ 7:46pm

        Re: Re: Backgroiund Noise?

        Well if you're looking at the statistics of this article, the larger the sample the higher the power. According to Cohen(in his power primer), you only need a limited amount of people depending on what type of statistical test you're doing. What that means is, after a certain number of people(over the amount you actually need), you're much more likely to confirm your hypothesis even if it is false. So actually, with 420,095 people you're much more likely to get Type I error (unless they controlled for it somehow).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 6 Dec 2006 @ 7:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Other obscure but real dangers

    You're the physics guy. What happens when a spherical object with a positive refraction index is placed next to a curtain in sunlight?

    i'm well aware this is a possible scenario, that's what makes it funny...

    the rotating door didn't decapitate the kid, it crushed his skull. nobody died from the bee truck incident (frankly i'm amazed that one was a true story...)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Scott, 6 Dec 2006 @ 9:47am

      Re: Re: Re: Re: Other obscure but real dangers

      I am mildly allergic to bees, that many and I don't think even an epi-pen is going to do me any good.

      He is talking possibilities, and it is valid, I had to haul live bees for a job once, they had to be in the cab. I have never driven so cautiously in my life.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 6 Dec 2006 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Other obscure but real dangers

    you're allergic to bees and you hauled the for a job? are you retarded? o.O

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nice waffle wording there, 6 Dec 2006 @ 10:46am

    nice waffle wording there

    "no evidence of a substantial cancer risk"

    With wording like that, you can say that even when there is undeniable evidence of increased cancer risk and still be right.

    This is the best way to decrease the dangers of cell phone drivers (who as we know are a substantial risk to all other drivers, worse than legally drunk drivers). Kill them with cancer that is not substantial and the problem solves itself. It is their right to expose their brain to not-substantial cancer risk. Hooray for freedom.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 6 Dec 2006 @ 8:06pm

    No significant...

    The significance of significant should not be underestimated. After all, many things can be described as a change, and many of them can be ignored as insignificant. THus significant is often included in key places in governmnet documents.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Monarch, 7 Dec 2006 @ 7:16am

    Hey, it's just like the "No Smoking" crowd. Once their minds and hearts are set against something, they will push and push and push. No matter what the studies show or don't show.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Stan Mrak, 17 Dec 2006 @ 6:52pm

    Danish Cancer Study

    It turns out that this study is completely fraudulent, funded by the cellular industry through a money-laundering institute, and designed from the outset to produce a negative result. Skeptical? Read documented proof:
    http://www.electromagneticradiationblues.com/Newsletters/12-2006_web.html

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Knowledgeans, 17 Jan 2008 @ 10:17pm

    Do we have to wait?

    So, do we have to wait that someone would be a victim of cancer due to mobile phones? We have to move now.. Cellphones have radiation that can cause cancer which a lot of people aren't aware of.. Damn! We admit that we use cellular phones but as much as possible, we don't use it to the extent for such reason... that someday, it would be the cause of our death.. (0_o see you on our graveyards!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CD, 6 Aug 2008 @ 7:49am

    Duh...

    So, if cell phones are all that dangerous... Why aren't they studying hand-cancer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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