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Cellphones Handhelds

Brain Cancer Worries? Look Up Your Phone's SAR 165

Posted by timothy
from the before-it's-too-late dept.
CWmike writes "With recent news of a possible link between cell phone radiation and risk of brain cancer, you may have a new-found interest in knowing how much radiation your mobile handset is giving off — or, more importantly, how much your body might be absorbing. The FCC's legal limit for mobile phones is 1.6 Watts of radiofrequency energy per kilogram, using a measure called Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The Environmental Working Group, which tracks SAR data for more than 1,300 cell phone and smartphone models, notes that several factors besides your handset affect your actual level of exposure. Look up your phone's SAR; or see a full chart of phones." And relax — have a coffee.
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Brain Cancer Worries? Look Up Your Phone's SAR

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  • only brain cancer? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by boguslinks (1117203) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @01:01AM (#36335706)
    Have they bothered thinking about other cancers in all of this? I had testicular cancer last year, and my phone spends a lot more time in my jacket or pants pocket than it does up against my head.
  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:43AM (#36335884)

    It also isn't continuously transmitting at full power while hugging your balls. There's a reason that phones start affecting everything around them when you actually get a call or an SMS. The power output shoots through the roof when it is actually in use.

    I'm sorry about your cancer, but I highly doubt the phone had anything to do with it.

  • Causing cancer (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TuringCheck (1989202) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:50AM (#36335906)
    Judging by the labels the entire state of California seems to cause cancer :-D
  • by Seumas (6865) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:51AM (#36335912)

    Stop giving so much weight to this idea that they have concluded that cell phones may cause cancer. It's listed with a ton of other things under the "maybe" level. It's only based on repost that they've read. There was no independent study involved. They read a bunch of reports and based on those, concluded that it falls under the "may cause cancer" classification. As in, they can't state that it does or that it doesn't. Prior to this, they hadn't even gotten around to classifying it. This is a non-news story, except by twats trying to sensationalize it.

  • Re:Have a Coffee? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:52AM (#36335914)
    Life causes cancer.
  • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @02:57AM (#36335932)
    Do not underestimate the power of twats. They only need a single report to take out of context, and they have their excuse. Just look at the antivax movement. They got exactly one study linking vaccination to autism, and that was withdrawn some years later with the researcher's in disgrace. There are hundreds of studies showing no link. And yet the anti-vax movement is still going strong, driven by powerful appeals to fear.
  • by the_raptor (652941) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @03:46AM (#36336024)

    Link them. I just checked the top Google results and there is a whole ONE paper with a group of 25 men which shows a correlation. There is another which covers most of the US forces in Korea and specifically looked at radar technicians which found no correlation (in fact for several categories they had lower cancer rates). All the others are mixed which screams to me "random cancer cluster" not "non-ionising radiation causes cancer".

    The thing you are missing is that early radar equipment used exciters that emitted large amounts of IONISING radiation. The stuff that come out of the antenna was non-ionising, but it wouldn't have been healthy sitting next to the actual transmitter.

    And those power levels of orders of magnitudes higher then from a cell phone. So the claim is that not only does non-ionising radiation cause cancer in a way that hasn't been identified in over a century of research, but that repeated small exposures are worse then single large exposures of the same overall magnitude. The opposite of how ionising radiation works.

  • by Sipper (462582) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @04:15AM (#36336092)

    The reason is that the frequencies cell phones use are below the spectrum of ultraviolet light. It is near the spectrum of ultraviolet light where the first ionizing radiation occurs, which is required to be able to cause cancer. Ionizing means that the energy level of the individual photons of the transmission have enough energy to disturb the molecular structure of live cells. Microwave "radiation" (which has absolutely nothing to do with nuclear radiation) is far within the level of the non-ionizing radiation spectrum, so there is no possibility of it having the energy required to cause cancer.

    This is total bullshit. There are a lot of studies show the link between EM radiation at longer wavelengths than the UV causing an increase in cancer rates. I'm not even going to bother providing a references to one of the thousand papers on this subject. Just look at some studies performed in England and Belgian on the incidence of cancer for radar operators in WW2. We are speaking of other magnitudes of energy levels, but it still invalids your opening statement. Maybe you also overlooked non-ionizing biological effects?

    No; as I said, the non-ionizing effects are microwave heating... and there aren't any ionizing effects. And I quoted both U.S. and international studies and standards that cover over 60 years of scientific research on the subject.

    The only thing you're correct about in your comment is that there are papers as well as books that claim a link between microwaves and cancer; it's a very popular myth, and has been for over a decade. I'm saying it's a myth, and I've told you why I'm personally sure it's a myth, and I've given you some of my research on the subject. ...and you've given me your opinion.

    And then... the eyes... Again a falsehood. The eyes are very actively cooled, and that with a very high blood flow, to cool them down from the incoming and concentrated (through the eye optics) radiation. On a very sunny day, where you have over 1 kW/m^2 of irradiance, without a good cooling, they would simply burn/cook.

    I wonder how one can present such a thought out post, with calculations and everything, but with such blatantly falls information at the same time.

    I never said the eyes weren't actively cooled; I said that they're the most sensitive part of the body because they don't have much blood flow due to only having capillaries in them. They're also the most sensitive because with a sufficient increase in temperature, cataracts will result. On other places on the body, an increase in temperature would mostly cause temporary damage or a burn that would heal later -- but not with the eyes.

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @09:49AM (#36336800) Homepage

    a) It's not "recent news"
    b) There's no possible link. Not even "maybe".

    To quote Bob Parks:

    Here's the conversation I have several times a day with total strangers:
    Caller: do you use a wired earphone? BP: No. Caller: would it be too much
    trouble? BP: No. Caller: Wouldn’t you be safer? BP: No. Caller: How do
    you know? BP: Quantum physics; 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. Caller: Wow! When did this news break? BP: Albert
    Einstein let it out in 1905. Robert Millikan, considered to be the world's
    top physics experimentalist, spent a decade constructing an experiment to
    test it. It confirmed Einstein's theory perfectly. Caller: I'm shocked!
    Are you sure this is right? BP: Virtually the entire modern world rests on
    it. Caller: Why am I just hearing about this? BP: Because Sanjay didn't
    tell you.

  • by ilguido (1704434) on Saturday June 04, 2011 @10:27AM (#36336944) Homepage

    The reason is that the frequencies cell phones use are below the spectrum of ultraviolet light. It is near the spectrum of ultraviolet light where the first ionizing radiation occurs, which is required to be able to cause cancer.

    99% of all carcinogenic substances do not emit ionizing radiations. On the other hand it is known that microwaves alter the physiology of the brain:
    http://www.nature.com/jcbfm/journal/v29/n5/full/jcbfm200914a.html [nature.com]
    http://www.nature.com/jcbfm/journal/v26/n7/full/9600279a.html [nature.com]
    There are a lot of scientific articles pointing out that low-power microwaves can damage brain cells or alter their physiology. Since that's the primary effect of a ionizing radiation (cancer is a secondary effect of the induced damage), none can exclude that microwaves can cause cancer because "ionizing radiations are required to be able to cause cancer". They're not.

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