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Cellphones Medicine

Cell Phones Don't Increase Chances of Brain Cancer 320

Posted by kdawson
from the as-close-to-proof-as-it-gets dept.
mclearn sends in news of "a very large, 30-year study of just about everyone in Scandinavia" that shows no link between mobile phone use and brain tumors. "Even though mobile telephone use soared in the 1990s and afterward, brain tumors did not become any more common during this time, the researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Some activist groups and a few researchers have raised concerns about a link between mobile phones and several kinds of cancer, including brain tumors, although years of research have failed to establish a connection. ... 'From 1974 to 2003, the incidence rate of glioma (a type of brain tumor) increased by 0.5 per cent per year among men and by 0.2 per cent per year among women,' they wrote. Overall, there was no significant pattern."
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Cell Phones Don't Increase Chances of Brain Cancer

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  • Re:extremes (Score:1, Informative)

    by maxume (22995) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:28PM (#30325754)

    Sticking your head in a microwave probably won't give you cancer, but you won't do just fine (if you really want to do it, remember to to overcome the safety interlock on the door latch, you need to convince the microwave that the door is properly closed).

  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Admiralbumblebee (996792) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:29PM (#30325770) Homepage
    Glioma != "brain tumors". There are many other forms of brain tumors which this study does not cover. The story should be "No link between glioma and cell phone usage found."
  • Re:extremes (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta (162192) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:31PM (#30325808) Journal

    Are there any levels/frequencies of RF that are known to increase cancer rates?

    No, radio waves are non-ionizing.

    Or could I live on top of a radio tower and do just fine?

    You might get cooked as in a microwave, but no cancer.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:43PM (#30325974)

    Correlation is not causation

    No it isn't but, the actual quote is "correlation does not imply any specific causation". Correlation does imply (not prove, that's for math) some causation. Lack of correlation, likewise strongly implies a lack of causation. It is inductive logical refutation for the theory that cell phones increase rates of brain cancer... the scientific method at work.

  • by idontgno (624372) on Friday December 04, 2009 @01:53PM (#30326102) Journal

    I'll save you the trouble of trying to rationalize 1 and 2. Just pick 3.

    I'm William of Ockham [wikipedia.org], and I approve [wikipedia.org] of this message.

  • Re:extremes (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheLink (130905) on Friday December 04, 2009 @02:12PM (#30326372) Journal

    > > Are there any levels/frequencies of RF that are known to increase cancer rates?

    > No, radio waves are non-ionizing.

    > You might get cooked as in a microwave, but no cancer.

    Cooking = damage. And the damage can increase the odds of cancer.

    See:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7965380.stm [bbc.co.uk]
    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/CancerPreventionAndTreatment/story?id=7182731&page=1 [go.com]

    Quote: "Esophageal cancer numbers rose in regions where people preferred their tea very hot, and dropped where tea was served at a cooler temperature. "

    "But unlike booze and cigarettes, Malekzadeh said evidence in his study showed it's not the chemicals in the tea that matters. "

  • Re:extremes (Score:3, Informative)

    by Maxmin (921568) on Friday December 04, 2009 @02:20PM (#30326536)

    Specifically "radio frequency," as in only those wavelengths/frequencies used to transmit sound, image and data? Probably not.

    X-rays, gamma rays, alpha/beta particles, neutrons, high frequency UV, etc - these are ionizing.

    Microwaves affect the kinetic energy of dielectric materials, such as water. A different effect than ionization. I also question the penetration depth of cellphone microwaves - do they get much beyond the dermis and adipose layers?

    I wonder if there are other effects besides cancer that aren't going noticed, such as effects on the cochlea. When I first started using cellphones, I'd get this whitenoise tinnitus type sound in my ear, as I brought the cellphone up to the side of my head - before and after the callee answer.

  • Re:extremes (Score:2, Informative)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:03PM (#30327202) Homepage Journal
    The eyeballs and the testicles are the first casualties of excessive RF exposure. There are many folk tales of military personnel defeating the waveguide safety interlocks to cook bags of popcorn and sterilize themselves for the weekend.
  • by FirstOne (193462) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:24PM (#30327470) Homepage

    This is an outdated study.

    The 1974 to 2003 period was dominated by the old analog 800-850 Mhz AMP's tech.

    Modern CDMA, GSM tech is of W2K vintage.
          Same goes for higher frequencies being used, now 1.6 to 2.2Ghz..
          Likewise for portable phones.. 1.7/46/49Mhz.. 900Mhz, newer 2.4Ghz, 5.4Ghz.

    Each step up in frequency increases the dV across brain tissue by a cubed function.
    I.E. More energy absorbed in a smaller volume(HALF WAVELENGTH).

    Cell phones also adjust their output power based on received signal strength.
    Longer wave AMP's frequencies had a lot more penetrating power/reduced absorption which reduces transmission power. The converse is true for higher frequencies and absorption.

    Modern cell phones reduced form factor has also increased exposure.
          Smaller/tiny radiating surface centered around ear, verses old bag phones with separate phone style handsets.

    Likewise, per minute costs have dropped, thus increasing usage and individual exposure several fold.

    Then there is nature of organically catalyzed reactions where tiny amounts of energy are used to shift reaction equilibrium's. Even small delta V potentials can affect outcomes..

    Lot's of huge issues not addressed by this outdated/invalid study.

  • Re:extremes (Score:2, Informative)

    by TrentTheThief (118302) on Friday December 04, 2009 @03:49PM (#30327792)

    In WWII, many shipboard radar operators were permanently sterilized by RF leakage. Don't think of it as radio waves, think of it as radiation. The tissue burn is almost the same.

    In the Navy (at least in the airwing), the "Oh, shit" signal is that your belt buckle is getting warm.

  • Re:Wifi allergy (Score:3, Informative)

    by cerberusss (660701) on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:15PM (#30328990) Homepage Journal

    I was so sensitive that, if someone else were turning the Wifi on and off, I could be in a different room in the house and still tell when it was on.

    That's rather hard to believe. Three different studies found people unable to make the distinction (see below).

    I do believe Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity exists, though, in the sense that the complaints are real.

    [1] Regel, Sabine; Sonja Negovetic, Martin Roosli, Veronica Berdinas, Jurgen Schuderer, Anke Huss, Urs Lott, Niels Kuster, and Peter Achermann (August 2006). UMTS base station-like exposure, well-being, and cognitive performance [ehponline.org]. Environ Health Perspect 114 (8): 1270–5. PMID 16882538. PMC 1552030.
    [2] Rubin, James; G Hahn, BS Everitt, AJ Clear, Simon Wessely (2006). Within-participants, double-blind, randomised provocation study [bmj.com]. British Medical Journal 332: 886–889. doi:10.1136/bmj.38765.519850.55
    [3] Wilen, J; A Johansson, N Kalezic, E Lyskov, M Sandstrom (April 2006). "Psychophysiological tests and provocation of subjects with mobile phone related symptoms". Bioelectromagnetics 27 (3): 204–14. doi:10.1002/bem.20195 [doi.org]. PMID 16304699

  • by MystHunter (1211360) on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:22PM (#30329104)
    http://www.mediafire.com/file/ymiunmtqmyz/Non-Ionizing%20Radiation.ppt [mediafire.com] Please view that PowerPoint presentation. I have done much research into this specific topic and came to realize that much of the research that has actually been PUBLISHED on the subject finding little to no ill health effects have been funded mainly by companies holding a stake in wireless technologies.
  • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Friday December 04, 2009 @05:26PM (#30329146) Homepage

    In WWII,

    [apocryphal stories were told of]

    many shipboard radar operators were permanently sterilized by RF leakage. Don't think of it as radio waves, think of it as radiation.

    No!

    Think of it as heat.

    The tissue burn is almost the same.

    No, it's not. Radiation damages you even though you don't feel it and it doesn't burn. Microwaves heat things up, but are not ionizing. In terms of damage, they are a heat source-- they can damage because they heat you up, but they most particularly do not damage the way radiation does.

    (by the way, people in the US usually think of the word "radiation" as meaning "ionizing radiation", which microwaves aren't. I'm assuming you meant it this way.)

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