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Here we go again.
I'd like to throw two things out there:

1)
Wireless industry responded to Tuesday's announcement saying it "does not mean cell phones cause cancer." CTIA-The Wireless Association added that WHO researchers "did not conduct any new research, but rather reviewed published studies."
Absolutely correct. A meta analysis means nothing for causation, and is very prone to errors as you have to have very strict criteria (therefore throw out a lot of data), or have a lot of mismatches (high error rate). It's good as a "might be true", that's about it. Not even sure why this is newsworthy, as that tells us nothing new :p

Until a conclusive randomized trial (and frequency specific: We use several very different frequency bands - is one more problematic than others?) is done, there's no proof of causation whatsoever.

2) The vast majority of these studies claiming links to cancer have been done over several years. Any that haven't been done that long are probably not giving the best long-term results.
Well, guess what, cell phone technology has come a LONG way in 10 years (5 even).
We used to be on analog systems until about 2000, switching to digital output drastically less radiation because of improvements in wireless technology and transmission method.
Combine that with phones that now auto adjust output levels to match signal and you're actually receiving even less radiation when you're closer to an antenna. (i.e. Cell phones may actually cause cancer, but only when in very low signal areas, as the phone is on max power - another variable to study)

Thus is the nature of the beast - by the time any 'real' multi-year research gets done, we're not even on that same technological level. It would be valid for someone using an 'ancient' phone today, but certainly not one released tomorrow with the most recent in wireless developments.
 

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^^^^
Auto adjusting power levels have long been in use with digital phones. In fact, CDMA systems wouldn't work without it. It's also important with TDMA systems, including GSM, to reduce interference with other cells. Also, it takes ionizing radiation to cause cancer and nothing in the microwave spectrum is ionizing. However, that doesn't rule out the possibility of RF heating causing problems.
 

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John Gruber at daringfireball.net posted this rejoinder:
UPDATE: To be clear, the WHO is more or less saying that a link can’t be ruled out. And on the flip side, University of Maryland physics professor Bob Park:

All cancers are caused by mutant strands of DNA. Electromagnetic radiation can’t create mutant strands of DNA unless the frequency is at or higher than the blue limit of the visible spectrum the near-ultraviolet. The frequency of cell phone radiation is about 1 million times too low.
 

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The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same "carcinogenic hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.
That is an awfully sensationalistic way to describe it. There's a big difference between being "in the same category" and being the same level of risk. I can put a scooter and a jumbo jet in the same category of "transportation". Does that mean they are equally effective means of cross country travel?
 

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My take is that I will err on the side of caution and would recommend most people do the same. I have always limited my cell phone usage and prefer texting and handsfree to talking directly on the phone.
 

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Margret Wente's column in the Globe and Mail (Saturday, June 4, 2011) titled 'Put the fear industry on hold' deals with the hype around all sorts of products including cell phones. I think it's worth reading.

Personally, I think that 25 years of use, 5 billion users, hundreds of negative medical studies, no outbreak of brain cancer and no evidence of causal links clearly shows cell phones are not a risk. The real cell phone problem is idiots who insist on dialling and texting while driving a car. There are plenty of injuries and deaths resulting from that totally preventable cause.
 

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You are OK if you live close to a cell site

People seem to be worried about the energy coming from a cell site/tower. Usually these are high towers or on the edge of a tall building, so no one can be too close to these antennas, hence I submit the energy at an observer on the ground is very low (by the inverse square law).

The highest electromagnetic energy any cellular user will see is from their own cell phone that is transmitting only millimeters from their scalp. Due to fashion, the phone manufacturers have eliminated the external antenna years ago which would have kept energy a few cm's further away. So it is like holding a lit candle next to your ear.

Now if you live close to a cell site... .like you can reliably make or receive phone calls in your basement... then it is likely that your phone power levels are reduced significantly... power is controlled hundreds of times per second. Thus that lit candle analogy is more like a glowing candle wick... almost extinguished. Now your use of your cell phone could have you see less power than from your DECT 6.0 cordless phone!

People who live FAR from a cell tower or have successfully kept cellular towers out of their neighbourhood, may have cell phones that are always at or near maximum power. Here it may be good to be cautious, if not for potential health effects, than to save your battery life or avoid frustrating dropped calls. If you can't make calls (or they drop calls often) in your home or work, then your phone is likely near maximum power in that area.

Thoughts about this analogy?

rfdude
 

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That's a good point for those NIMBY folk.
For argument's sake, let's say cell phones DO cause harmful effects.
If you use a cell phone, you're actually at a higher risk by lobbying against that local antenna than if it were on top of your house.
 

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any opinions on just how dangerous the radiation is from cell phones?

I have noticed as of late more info concerning cell phone and cordless phones and radiation issues that could cause forms of brain cancer with prolonged use.

I read that there was some European conference that in the end says YES this is a concern..... whats Rogers, Bell, Apple, Blackberry etc...and everyone else doing about it?

I have seen gizmos that you attach to your cellphone or cordless phone that somehow reduce this radiation... do they work? is it a scam?

is it the new tobacco... and the denial of manufacturers and service providers until we have 100% proof (millions of cases of brain cancer?)

someone told me if you read the fine print that comes with an I phone it says that you should keep the phone a certain distance from your ear for safety. I have no idea how that could be done and still hear anything.

I also hear that the bluetooth earpiece is no safer and even if your not using your phone but driving with the device on that as you pass through each cell area the ear piece activates and gives off a certain amount of radiation.

It all sounds so strange that an industry so large has done nothing but deny responsibility....

I hope it is all false but how real a threat could it be? even more scary is how does it effect young people and the years they willbe using wireless devices?

your thoughts?
 

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http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=141172

Long story short: the risk is questionable at best.

In the decades of use, we haven't been able to find anything conclusive.

You're more likely to be injured in a vehicle, smoking, or even being in sunlight.

Any studies that have found (weak) links, were also done many years ago, when power levels were far higher than today.

The type of radiation is like radio or TV. It's not like radioactive radiation.


Oh, and those stickers/gadgets to reduce cell radiation are BS. All they do is make the phone increase power, and increase radiation output. The opposite effect!
 

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When I say 'we', I mean humans as a collective. Scientists.
I don't work in the industry, though I do have a BHSc and knowledge on both sides of the subject (EMF + anatomy/physiology/pathophysiology).
 

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Ionizing radiation can cause cancer, but non-ionizing does not. Ionizing radiation starts part way through the ultraviolet spectrum and above. The microwaves used in cell phones, WiFi etc. are not ionizing radiation. However, with sufficient power level, there may be other problems due to heating. Microwaves have been in use since before WW2 and despite all the testing over all those decades, there's still no proof that they cause cancer. With cigarettes, there was plenty of proof, which the tobacco industry denied, even though their own research showed it caused cancer and other health problems.

BTW, it is impossible to ever prove something is completely safe. You can only fail to show harm. Even oxygen & water can be toxic, if consumed in sufficient quantity.
 

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Well, my opinion is that it's not serious enough to stop me carrying a cell phone ... but serious enough that I'm uncomfortable with standing there with a phone stuck to the side of my brain for hours.

Like many things in this world, using something (or being exposed to something) in moderation won't do much harm (even many "toxic" chemicals) - but 8-hours a day every day is something else. Part of the reason professional cleaners use vinegar for much of their cleaning, as opposed to the chemicals I'm quite happy for a few minutes every few months.
 

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I agree 100% - moderation.... I watch my son who is 19 and that phone is everywhere with him and if he isnt talkiingon it he is texting or doing something on the internet. What will happen after 20 years of activities like this?
 

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People are so very addicted to this technology that I believe there would be little abstinence from cell phone use even if there were proven links to cancer or other disease. People still smoke don't they?

Cigarettes are a proven cause of cancer and premature death yet they are still legal and readily available. The government even pimps them through sin taxes.

Do you think it would be different with cell phones? They are as much or even more a part of our culture than smoking ever was. We never encouraged kids to smoke, many people believe they make their children safer by providing them with a cell phone. Cell phones are a big part of business too. Business doesn’t like giving away advantages, and cell phones are seen as both an advantage and very useful tools.

Everyone HAS to have a cell phone. You need one when you're young to stay safe and you need one for all your adult life because you’re so important, or isolated, or busy or whatever. I can't see anything happening even if people were dropping dead. It would be rationalised away as something, anything other than the beloved and comforting cell phone.

Look no further than the environment. Millions deny that there is anything going on at all that has anything at all to do with anything they are doing. To admit otherwise would be to experience inconvenience, perhaps even loss. The effects are growing evermore obvious, but the denial is also getting louder and more forceful.

Don’t forget, money talks, sometimes very loudly. There are yet to be definitive long term studies on the effects of cell phone radiation, if there are indeed effects. Those studies that have been done are hardly independent research models, many being funded by cell phone technology manufacturers and providers. The few studies that have tended toward caution on this subject have been largely ridiculed or ignored/suppressed.

We'll know the answer when the evidence is definitively revealed or reveals itself in due time. I’m really hoping it’s going to end up being much ado about nothing, still I do think about it.

Yes I use one nearly every day. I also climb poles and work under power lines so I also think about the increased incidence of tumours found in power line workers and communications techs, but what can I say, got to make a living. See money talks, sometimes very loudly.


- another TELUS tech
 

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^^^^
There's a big difference between the two. There was evidence of health problems caused by cigarettes long before the cancer link was proven and yes, the cigarette companies did target kids. It was mainly the industry and those supported by them that tried to deny the problems. You might want to read a book called "The Cigarette Century" for more on this. On the other hand, there has been a lot of research over more than 60 years on health effects of microwaves. There definitely is a risk, but not of cancer, at higher power levels, due to heating. But there is yet no substantiated risk of cancer from them. Cancer is generated by ionizing radiation, which starts part way through the ultra-violet spectrum. Cell phones operate well below that part of the spectrum. As for cancer from power lines, I suggest you read a book called "Voodoo Science", by Dr. Robert Park. In it you'll find that claims about power lines causing cancer in kids were false. What it determined was that the kids who lived near power lines and got cancer also lived near industries that emitted cancer causing polution. Kids that lived near power lines, but not near industry did not have higher cancer rates.

When you make claims about what causes what, it helps to provide something to back up those claims. That's something that's been missing, by those claiming cell phones cause cancer. On the other hand, there's plenty of solid evidence that shows cigarettes do.
 

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JamesK,

Please go back and re-read my post. I never said cell phones cause cancer. I said it remains to be seen if cell phones are a definitive carcinogen or the causal agent of cancer or other diseases. I said (correctly), that very little independent research has been done on the subject of health effects due to cell phone use, and that what research there has been done independantly has been marginalised and ridiculed by other parties if it was found to contradict the findings of industry related research. Many of those who would question these findings could well be seen to be in a conflict of interest as they are or were industry employed researchers.

What I did say and what I believe is that even if cell phones are or were found to be a health risk (cancer or otherwise) there would be little change for quite sometime in their use, since people would simply rationalise the danger, similar to what happened with smoking, or what is happening today with the environment.

Please go do some research into cancer rates in the people who work around and beneath power lines (linemen, telephone, power etc.), there is documented evidence that these workers have a higher incidence of cancers. This would be due most likely to EM radiation which is not ionising radiation, still they have higher rates than the general populace of their given region.

FWIW, it was the tobacco industry that targeted children (as FUTURE potential customers), society did not. I can't remember ever hearing "come on kid, have a smoke, they’re great", instead most kids I knew (myself included :)) caught smoking got a hiding and were sometimes forced by their parents to smoke many cigarettes one after the other to saturate them in an effort to repulse them and thereby keep them away from cigarettes. I don't support your position at all that children were encouraged to smoke, at least not directly.

- another TELUS tech
 
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