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Is cellphone radiation dangerous? Does it cause cancer? (Merged)
Posted: 19 October 2010 12:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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dougsmith - 18 October 2010 08:13 AM

Michael Shermer has a good take on this issue in the new Scientific American. Read it HERE:

Although I do not believe cellphones cause any harm, the argumentation is a little too short. There are other than chemical bonds that play a role in the body: hydrogen bonds, that can be loosened much easier than real chemical bounds, and in nerves there are processes that also use much less energy than chemical bonds.

Hydrogen bonds keep the strings of DNA together, and it cannot be put aside a priori that a photon can break such a bond, or have some influence during the expression or replication of DNA (see e.g. here), even if the photon is not very energetic. Disturbance of these process can cause cancer.

Also the argument that more photons cannot have more impact because the energy per photon is ‘fixed’ (i.e. dependent on its frequency) is wrong: what do you think happens in your microwave oven? Chemical bonds are broken massively, if you use the microwave for cooking (not necessary when just heating).

But of course, given the energy radiated by a cellphone, it never reaches the level that brain tissue is heated. A fever makes your brain much hotter!

So a little care should be taken: a better conclusion of the article would be ‘given our present knowledge, even longer exposure to cellphone radiation is very unlikely to cause cancer’.

GdB

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Posted: 19 October 2010 02:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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Our Skulls are actually pretty darn thick. The radiation from the cell phone can’t begin to penetrate your skull to give you brain cancer. If that were the case, walking around outside all day without a hat on would be a higher risk for brain cancer.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 05:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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This is a myth. If this is true then these cellphone companies would have been ban from manufacturing cellphones or at least directed to change the technology behind it. Though, there were incident with the first generation cellphones that it can cause headaches when talking too long with the phone. But, there were no actual reports I’ve heard that it can cause cancer on the brain. But that was corrected by the cellphone manufacturers.

Another thing I’ve heard about this is that it can cause infertility to men, which absolutely false. I have friends working in telecom companies and they work almost all the time a the RF transmission tower, which is of course far more strong signal than those reach the phone. And they didn’t become infertile, in fact they have healthy children.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 06:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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TTracen - 19 October 2010 05:42 AM

But, there were no actual reports I’ve heard that it can cause cancer on the brain.

I remember hearing on a radio not too long ago, that patients with a tumor to a particular side of the head held their cellphones on the same side. Supposedly, the correlation in these cases was strong enough to suspect that it could indeed be the cellphones responsible for the tumors. But then they said they needed to follow up with further research and I haven’t heard anything since then.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 07:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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Occam. - 18 October 2010 06:19 PM

Bloody Women Drivers!!

LOL

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Posted: 19 October 2010 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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George - 19 October 2010 06:36 AM
TTracen - 19 October 2010 05:42 AM

But, there were no actual reports I’ve heard that it can cause cancer on the brain.

I remember hearing on a radio not too long ago, that patients with a tumor to a particular side of the head held their cellphones on the same side. Supposedly, the correlation in these cases was strong enough to suspect that it could indeed be the cellphones responsible for the tumors. But then they said they needed to follow up with further research and I haven’t heard anything since then.

Since I found this topic awhile ago, it makes me to be interested with this topic. Luckily, I’ve searched through Google and came across with this:

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones
http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/about-cancer/cancer-questions/do-mobile-phones-cause-cancer 

Here’s a part of which they presents the finding…

Additional studies have investigated the risk of developing glioma, meningioma, and acoustic neuroma. Results from the majority of these studies have found no association between hand-held cell phone use and the risk of brain cancer (6–11); however, some, but not all, studies have suggested slightly increased risks for certain types of brain tumors (12, 13). 

Two reports published in November 2004 by researchers from individual countries that participated in the Interphone study described the results of assessments of cell phone use and the risk of acoustic neuroma. One report described a Danish case-control study that showed no increased risk of acoustic neuroma in long-term (10 years or more) cell phone users compared with short-term users, and there was no increase in the incidence of tumors on the side of the head where the phone was usually held (14). The other report described a Swedish study that examined similar populations and found a slightly elevated risk of acoustic neuroma in long-term cell phone users but not in short-term users (15).

A pooled analysis of data from Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom did not find relationships between the risk of acoustic neuroma and the duration of cell phone use, cumulative hours of use, or number of calls; however, the risk of a tumor on the same side of the head as the reported phone use was higher among persons who had used a cell phone for 10 years or more. Some other studies have reported similar findings (16). However, there is concern that people with a tumor on one side of their head might be more likely to report phone use on that side (12).

Other reports from the Danish and Swedish researchers who collaborated in the Interphone study investigated whether a relationship exists between cell phone use and the risk of meningioma or glioma. These studies compared individuals with meningioma or glioma with a control group of disease-free individuals and found no link between these conditions and cell phone use (17, 18). 

In addition, pooled analyses of data from four Nordic countries and the United Kingdom did not show overall associations between the risk of glioma or meningioma and the cumulative hours of cell phone use or the number of calls (19, 20). There was a slightly increased risk of glioma occurring on the same side of the head as the reported phone use among persons who used a cell phone for at least 10 years (19).

[ Edited: 19 October 2010 09:12 AM by TTracen ]
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Posted: 19 October 2010 09:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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A big mess, isn’t it?

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Posted: 19 October 2010 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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This is what any big group of research findings shows. The more variables you study, the greater the likelihood that a few of those variables will show spurious relationships, and so the more confusing that things seem to be, no matter where the facts may end up. That’s why one has to look at the conclusions from leading health organizations like the World Health Organization: “To date, no adverse health effects have been established for mobile phone use.”

Indeed, the recently concluded (2010) Interphone study found that cellphone use was actually correlated with less risk of gliomas or meningiomas. This is almost certainly another one of those spurious correlations, of course, but it shows how one should not miss the forest for the trees.

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Posted: 19 October 2010 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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I agree completely with Doug.

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Posted: 21 October 2010 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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EMSpec.gif

The Radio Frequency (RF) band is far from the ionizing (dangerous, radioactive) bands.  RF is not ionizing (not dangerous) and all the little transceivers of your home use RF frequencies.  I had posted that diagram in the great optical illusions thread, originally.  Did you notice what the diagram says is the source of Infra-red waves?

The nerves of the body are electro-chemical, so are batteries BTW.  The laws of electricity say that when there is a change in the rate of flow of the electricity, it will emit EM waves.  It is likely that the frequency will be in the RF band.  RF waves are a natural part of the body anyway.

Hey chemists, aren’t Ionic bonds holding most things in our world together?  Aren’t they one of the most common chemical bonds?  A world without electricity is a world with little chemistry, huh?

The http://www.dailymail.co.uk article from Stefano (#10) seemed like a suffering woman got taken advantage of, to me.  Aluminum is a cheap common material used for electrical shielding, and it is also a common siding material for a wooden house, she might have just needed a ground wire to shield he house, not that I think that that is what solved her ailments.  She moved, that is probably what made her feel better.  And paying someone hundreds of dollars for carbon paint, surely made them feel better!  downer

Worry about the Solar EM waves, not radio waves.  I read this thread’s title as “celophane” also!  HA HA HA!  I need better specs!

[ Edited: 21 October 2010 08:25 PM by jump_in_the_pit ]
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Posted: 22 October 2010 01:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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jump_in_the_pit - 21 October 2010 08:11 PM

Worry about the Solar EM waves, not radio waves.

According to your argumentation it is safe to put a dog in the micro wave.

GdB

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Posted: 22 October 2010 04:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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GdB - 22 October 2010 01:51 AM
jump_in_the_pit - 21 October 2010 08:11 PM

Worry about the Solar EM waves, not radio waves.

According to your argumentation it is safe to put a dog in the micro wave.

The only problem from microwaves is thermal. But standards even for microwave transmitter antennas (the powerful ones they put on the tops of buildings) are that they can’t raise human body temperature by more than 1ºC. That’s significantly less thermal potential than even the heat of the sun on a bright day.

Sure, you can be killed by microwaves, just like you can be killed by eating too much salt or drinking too much water. But there is no particular disease threat associated with it, in particular not cancer.

JITP is exactly right: sunlight is orders of magnitude more dangerous; UV rays can and will cause skin cancer.

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Posted: 22 October 2010 04:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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dougsmith - 22 October 2010 04:01 AM

The only problem from microwaves is thermal. But standards even for microwave transmitter antennas (the powerful ones they put on the tops of buildings) are that they can’t raise human body temperature by more than 1ºC. That’s significantly less thermal potential than even the heat of the sun on a bright day.

Sure, I know, I am a nitpicker, but I wrote that already:

GdB - 19 October 2010 12:43 AM

But of course, given the energy radiated by a cellphone, it never reaches the level that brain tissue is heated. A fever makes your brain much hotter!

But under simplification a lot of harm based on ‘scientific proven facts’ has been done. CO2? Nearly not poisonous, no danger to blow it in the atmosphere! Is it false that CO2 is not poisonous? Not really. Does it do no harm? Well, I think we all know by now. One must know what one knows, but also what one does not know. Scientists (and their financiers) often seem too eager to see their scientific results put into some technology, without having a more or less complete idea of all the consequences, not just the one wanted.

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Posted: 22 October 2010 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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GdB - 22 October 2010 04:46 AM

But under simplification a lot of harm based on ‘scientific proven facts’ has been done. CO2? Nearly not poisonous, no danger to blow it in the atmosphere! Is it false that CO2 is not poisonous? Not really. Does it do no harm? Well, I think we all know by now. One must know what one knows, but also what one does not know. Scientists (and their financiers) often seem too eager to see their scientific results put into some technology, without having a more or less complete idea of all the consequences, not just the one wanted.

Well ... yes and no. I mean, they say one can never prove a negative, and I suppose to some extent that’s true. But it is possible to show from basic physics that the claims aren’t remotely plausible.

We’ve known for a very long time indeed that CO2 was a greenhouse gas. It’s just taken awhile for that knowledge to percolate down to the general public, and for us to know that the amounts we’re adding to the atmosphere might make a difference.

It’s possible that very mild heating of the ear will have some adverse effects over long timespans. Who knows? But the point about microwaves not being ionizing radiation is from basic physics. And the fact that we’ve had an explosion in cellphones over the last twenty years and no concomitant explosion of brain cancer gives some background evidence that the physics isn’t misleading us.

To put it another way, everything we do has benefits and drawbacks. Driving kills tens of thousands of people a year. So first of all just because some new technology has an adverse effect doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a bad thing. But that said, I don’t think we should go looking for bad effects in places where physics says they are not going to be.

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Posted: 22 October 2010 06:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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<Nitpicking>
Wrong:
a. RF is not ionising
b. Every radiation that is not ionising is not dangerous.
—>
  Conclusion: RF is never dangerous.

Correct:
a. RF is not ionising
b. RF cause no cancer
c. All EM radiation does heat matter
d. Cellphones energy are way below the border that they can heat your brain.
—>
  Conclusion: RF of a cellphone is not dangerous.
</Nitpicking>

But do not forget: there could be other effects that disturb nerve cell processes, not based on ionisation or heating. It is just a question of ‘never say never’. But every empirical research speaks against danger of cellphones, I fully agree.

GdB

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