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Microwave radiation from cell phones cannot cause cancer by any mechanism, known or unknown. My answer to the question in the title of this essay is… Fuggedaboudit! No way! When pigs fly! When I’m the Pope! In short, No!
This essay is a companion to my article of the same title that appears in Skeptic magazine Vol. 15, no. 4, out on newsstands and in bookstores this week. Here I present the shortened non-technical version, and describe what all physicists know to be true about what happens when human tissue or any material absorbs microwave radiation. It is this knowledge that leads me to assert with such vehemence that cell phones do not cause cancer. I will also consider two recent, major epidemiological studies from Europe that correctly showed that there was no relationship between cell phones and brain cancers.
A cell phone emits about 1 Watt of electromagnetic radiation. Most of that zooms away to find a cell phone tower. The tissues of the user will absorb a part of this radiation. These tissues include the caller’s hand, ear, scalp, skull, and brain. The closer a tissue is to the cell phone’s antenna, the more of the radiation the tissue absorbs. For some reason, however, none of those raising fears about cell phones causing cancer are concerned about skin cancers on palms, fingers, or ears.
The frequency of the typical cell phone radiation is about 2.5 GHz, two and a half billion flips back and forth per second. The radiation travels at the speed of light — 186,000 miles per second — and dividing the one by the other and correcting for the units I used for the speed, shows that the wavelength of this radiation is about 10 centimeters or about 4 inches.
As the electric fields of the waves pass through the body’s tissues, the fields grab and try to shake any molecules or parts of the molecules that they can. These fields like to grab and shake water molecules, and there are plenty available. The fields will grab whatever else they can, which may be all or of parts of many of the critical molecules of biochemistry, such as the DNA in genes, or enzymes, fuel molecules, waste molecules, structural molecules, and so on.
A new international study of cellular phone use and brain tumors poses an enigma for epidemiologists. Though researchers found elevated risk for users who talked on average more than 30 minutes a day and had used the devices for more than a decade, moderate cell phone users actually had decreased risk compared with landline callers.
“This study did not confirm or dismiss the possible association between cell phones and brain tumors. That’s the bottom line,” says Siegal Sadetzki of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine.
Originally posted by ThaLoccster
Either way, its not a solid science yet and many peoples views are split on the idea.
Researchers analyzed risk for two types of brain tumors, meningiomas and gliomas, and found that only gliomas could be linked to cell phone use, and only to heavy use.
Originally posted by ThaLoccster
[This is the best way I can relate it, but I guess it just how whatever it is they believe to cause the cancer interacts with the brain. The same way overexposure to the sun wouldn't give you a brain tumor but it would most definately give you skin cancer.
Originally posted by traditionaldrummer
Well, the study you linked to seems to be only looking for various forms of brain tumors. I didn't see where they've definitively ruled out other cancer forms from cell phone usage. We'll eventually find out though as the research will likely continue for decades to come.
The study’s authors acknowledge that the jury is still out on cell phone safety. Until follow-up data on heavy users come in, Sadetzki recommends that cell owners adopt “the precautionary principle,” assuming that some risk might exist and limiting exposures. Tactics might include avoiding long calls, sending text messages instead of leaving voice messages and using a Bluetooth or other hands-free device to keep a mobile phone farther away from the head.