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Study Finds No Link Between Mobile Phones and Cancer (Again)

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  • I expect... (Score:4, Funny)

    by eexaa (1252378) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:41PM (#37794312) Homepage

    ...someone here telling that mobile phones may not cause damage to us, but they certainly make bees behave weird and die.

    • Huh. I thought bees communicated by dancing or something.

    • Well shit, If it kills bees, It's gotta kill us!

    • by vawwyakr (1992390)
      Where did I miss this happening? Wait can I just hold my phone up to a bee and kill it now? Does this work on other insects? Is there an app for that?
      • Re:I expect... (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dewin (989206) on Friday October 21, 2011 @01:15PM (#37794938)

        Increased EM radiation from rising cellphone use is one speculated cause of Colony Collapse Disorder [wikipedia.org]

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Bayer-AG made an insecticide called Clothianidin to replace Imidacloprid as the patent expires (or expired) on it.

          In field tests in Germany, Clothianidin was found to be EXTEREMELY LETHAL to bees because they bring the tainted pollen back to the hive, and it is fatal in very low doses. Literally one bee carrying the insecticide back will kill hundreds of bees in the colony.

          Needless to say it is banned in Germany and the rest of the EU.

          But Bayer is selling it in America, and the appearance of clothianidin on

          • It's like with genetically modified food, all of Europe bans it but nobody stops them in the US.

            Oh, you're going to get some knee-jerks with that one.

            Incidentally, the capitalist way of dealing with GMOs would be to let anybody sell any genetically modified food they want, as long as it had large informative labeling on it. Scientists would love this, too, since it would let us do serious studies of how various different genetically modified organisms interact with public health. Informative labeling is g

        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          Guess you should read the information you link. here is a quote from that article.

          In April 2011, a study conducted by a former investigator of the EPFL École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne appeared, which stated that active mobile phones placed directly inside a beehive can induce the worker piping signal (in natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony); the author mentioned that "phones are not present

          • by Dewin (989206)

            Admittedly, I only skimmed it and did read that the results seemed to conclude that cell phones were not a cause. However, I was trying to explain someone else's post -- probably a futile cause. The word "speculated" in my post for a reason.

            Perhaps I should have emphasized that other people have speculated and there's no real studies that prove or disprove it (I won't count a single study as disproving, for all I know the methodology was flawed.)

          • by Darinbob (1142669)

            Placing phone inside a hive is too many variables. They should try the experiment with just an antenna in the hive. The phone itself will have electronic hum, plastic outgassing, and that Nokia ring tone itself will cause many insects to flee.

            • by jklovanc (1603149)

              All of these issues may cause a false positive but not a false negative. In this case there was no correlation between cell phones and CCD.

        • by Dwonis (52652) *
          Increased prevalence of zombies is also one speculated cause of colony collapse disorder.
      • by Smallpond (221300)

        Yes. Its usually better to use the back of the phone. I usually miss if I use the end, and I've never hit a bee with the antenna.

  • I have seen enough studies that conclude even high cell phone usage is not going to give you cancer. But I work directly under a 200ft cell tower. I would really like to hear about a few studies in reference to living/working long hours around cell towers.

    • by ustolemyname (1301665) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:53PM (#37794520)
      Radio output from the tower at 200 feet is nothing compared to a cell phone two inches from your brain. Inverse square law, QED.
      • by Lisandro (799651)

        +1 Physics!

      • Thanks for the response. I have searched a bit but there are some variables I have not seen quantified in comparison studies. For example, some towers have more or less antenna and/or more power as well as the fact your phone is 2 inches from your head when on a call. The tower is on 100% of the time. Is the differences in exposure over time due to distance so great that these don't factor in at any significant amount?

  • by Kenja (541830) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:54PM (#37794542)
    People who believe that cell phones cause cancer and vaccines cause autism will never be convenced by any amount of evidence.
    • by Hentes (2461350)

      They might say that but I'm yet to see one that doesn't use a cellphone.

  • The use mobile phones while driving does multiply the accident rate, which can still kill people.

    They also multiply rudeness in restaurants.

    And no matter what any advertising tells you, you never look cool while holding or using one.

    Lastly, the mobile you consider state-of-the-art will be mocked as utterly campy and brick-like by whatever they have in 10 years.

    • by tibit (1762298)

      Lastly, the mobile you consider state-of-the-art will be mocked as utterly campy and brick-like by whatever they have in 10 years.

      You're wrong here. Our hands don't get all that much smaller over time. The dimensions of a cell phone's user interface surface have to remain where they are. As to the rest: there isn't all that much to be done to an iPhone-sized cellphone. It's ridiculously tiny if you look inside. Even if the motherboard was infinitely small and took no volume at all, you still need the battery, antennas, UI surface. So all you could get is perhaps a slightly thinner iPhone and that's it. I'd say the original iPhone is

      • by green1 (322787)

        Actually the introduction of smart phones has caused a slight increase in phone size. (you need a larger phone to type on than you do to simply dial, and a larger screen to play games/watch movies than to dial a number)

        Unfortunately humanity as a whole is incredibly poor at predicting the future accurately enough to know where it will go from here, I expect thinner, though likely not much smaller in the short term, but without knowing what new user interface we will come up with farther in the future, I can

    • by green1 (322787)

      The use mobile phones while driving does multiply the accident rate, which can still kill people.

      So why is it then that no jurisdiction in the world who have introduced a ban on using a cell phone while driving have seen a reduction in accidents?

      Every study I've ever seen linking accidents to cell phone use fail to correct for percentage of drivers using a cell phone in the first place. If 10% of your drivers are using a cell phone, and 10% of accidents occur while a cell phone is in use, that does NOT mean that 10% of your accidents were caused by a cell phone, in fact it means that in all likelihood

    • by mjwx (966435)

      And no matter what any advertising tells you, you never look cool while holding or using one.

      Two words:

      Hands free.

      I cook all the time on the phone, phone is in the pocket, headphones in the ears.

  • People really want to have a link between something popular and widely used and a deadly condition.
    If we have it and we like it. It has to be bad and evil and must be banned so no one can enjoy this again. It is kinda funny that it is usually the less informed segment of the liberal groups (AKA Dirty Hippies) who really push this stuff. And not the religious right who many religions focus of steering away from early possessions.

    • by green1 (322787)

      Religions are the origin of "have it and we like it. It has to be bad and evil and must be banned"! They trade on guilt, if you aren't feeling guilty, they haven't done their work right...

  • by some1001 (2489796) on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:57PM (#37794606)
    E=hf.

    Visible light does not cause cancer. UV, XRay, and Gamma (all higher frequency than visible) do cause cancer.

    Even if we knew nothing about the fact that we are exposed to so much radio and microwave radiation on a daily basis, does it not make sense that electromagnetic radiation below visible light should also not cause cancer (that is, for it to not be an ionizing radiation)?

    I mean, who cares if your brain dissipates some radio energy to heat in the brain? Has a small temperature in a localized part of the body caused cancer in the past? Unless the heat dissipated raises the temperature of the brain over 104, I do not see much concern.
    • by pinkj (521155)
      If I could mod you up, I would.
    • by mjr167 (2477430)
      But ... but ... its RADIATION! It's in the air! It's bombarding us! It must be EVIL cause it's RADIATION! We need to protect the children from the RADIATION! And... and... you made the radiation move in funny ways by modulating it! The funny moving radiation must cause cancer cause its funny and RADIATION!
    • does it not make sense that electromagnetic radiation below visible light should also not cause cancer

      Non-ionizing radiation shouldn't directly cause cancer by the inducement of DNA damage. However, non-ionizing radiation could conceivably cause inflammation due to localized increase in heat. Increased inflammation can increase the risk of cancer. [That's basically why asbestos causes cancer, even though asbestos itself is spectacularly inert.]

      It's certainly unlikely that cell phones produce enough energy t

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        Is there more cancer in warm areas then in cold ones? I would guess that then few milliwatts of RF would produce less heat than say living in the south or west?

        • Is there more cancer in warm areas then in cold ones? I would guess that then few milliwatts of RF would produce less heat than say living in the south or west?

          External temperatures don't influence internal temperatures much, so long as humans can maintain homeostasis. That said, I would expect (after controlling for skin pigmentation) to find more skin cancers in warmer areas... but that's not what you're asking about.

          It's not the power itself that is the issue, but the intensity. A few mW over a few um^2

          • by LWATCDR (28044)

            but homeostasis is not perfect. 98.6 is just an average body temp. I agree with intensity being the issue but the intensity of sun light per area will much higher than the intensity of RF per area. Put a one cm2 sample in sunlight in the summer and check the heat gain vs exposing the same size sample to a milliwatt em source of your choosing.

            • but homeostasis is not perfect.

              No, but it's fairly good when we're talking about internal body temperatures... and when it does fail and your temperature goes much beyond 42C, you die.

              Put a one cm2 sample in sunlight in the summer and check the heat gain vs exposing the same size sample to a milliwatt em source of your choosing.

              This would be a measurement of average heat gain, which isn't what I'm talking about. Obviously there's not enough energy in a typical cell phone transmitter to produce an appreciabl

              • by LWATCDR (28044)

                That was kind of my point. the total power emitted by a cell is very small and it is not focused. Now as to should they test that is up for debate. If they know what the max output of cellphones are and know the absorption rates of tissues and the required heat to cause an issue then it becomes a math problem. I would bet that they have already done this. These tests are necessary because people refuse to believe the math.

      • by chooks (71012)

        However, non-ionizing radiation could conceivably cause inflammation due to localized increase in heat.

        Except that increased heat by itself does not cause inflammation. Rather - it is the reverse. Namely, inflammation causes increase in heat (through a variety of different mechanisms including cytokines, changes in vascular permeability, etc...). True, if you get heat high enough then you can destroy cells which in turn will induce an inflammatory response to clean things up. But those temperatures req

    • by cyn1c77 (928549)

      E=hf.

      Visible light does not cause cancer. UV, XRay, and Gamma (all higher frequency than visible) do cause cancer.

      Even if we knew nothing about the fact that we are exposed to so much radio and microwave radiation on a daily basis, does it not make sense that electromagnetic radiation below visible light should also not cause cancer (that is, for it to not be an ionizing radiation)?

      I mean, who cares if your brain dissipates some radio energy to heat in the brain? Has a small temperature in a localized part of the body caused cancer in the past? Unless the heat dissipated raises the temperature of the brain over 104, I do not see much concern.

      Your stated logic really does not make since, given a portion of the UV spectrum is non-ionizing yet still has been shown to indirectly contribute to DNA defects, elevating cancer risk. Furthermore, you can't really just postulate that all lower frequency EM radiation is safe given that given that lower-wavelengths of EM do interact with your body. Microwaves and infrared are lower frequency than visible light, but still can instantaneously burn you and long term microwave exposure can cause cataracts.

      The

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 21, 2011 @12:58PM (#37794636)

    http://xkcd.com/925/

  • Let's not forget that there are two types of conjectures: those that have been proven false, and those that have not yet been proven false, according to Karl Popper. So the conjecture "Cell phone's don't cause cancer" can be disproven by just one case where cancer is caused by a cell phone. Add that to the EXTREME difficulty in attributing the cause of cancer, and we'll never be completely sure.
  • by gstrickler (920733) on Friday October 21, 2011 @01:03PM (#37794736)

    So stop worrying about all the things that contribute so little to the risk that a 350,000 person study can't identify a link. Enjoy your life, and avoid the things with a strong correlation to cancer, like tobacco, excessive UV exposure, high levels of radioactivity, etc.

    We don't need more study of a link between cell phone usage and cancer, because repeated studies have shown that any risk is too low to measure even in large studies of long term users, therefore, too low to worry about.

    • by formfeed (703859)

      The supposed cancer risk with cell phones is that a microwave radiation source close to your skin will increase the temperature in some cells which increases the cancer risk. However, this temperature increase is very localized and only temporary. If there is a risk, it will be way below 10^ -5 and hard to quantify, since it is somehow a problem to find people that don't expose themselves to other cancer risks, like walking in the sun, eating a byte of junk food, or not getting enough sleep or being stresse

      • The microwave frequency that heats water is 2.45GHz, and no cell phones operate at that frequency, so the effect will be minimal. Also, the transmit power of cell phones it 0.6W or less (usually much less except when you're at the fringe of reception). The power and frequencies are so small that they will probably never be able to establish a correlation, even if there is some small risk. The studies that have been done are sufficient to eliminate it as a real concern, even though we'll never be able to pro

        • The microwave frequency that heats water is 2.45GHz,

          No, it's not. That frequency is used for microwave ovens because it is the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band, and hence you don't need a FCC license every time you turn your microwave on.

          Water heating isn't terribly sensitive about what frequency. It's not a resonance-- it would heat equally well at 2.25 or 2.55 GHz. The oscillating electric field adds energy to the water molecule dipoles.

          • Thanks for that correction. I had missed that.

            Still, the power levels are so low, maximum is 1% of a modern microwave oven, and radiated in all directions so that amount actually reaching human tissue doesn't produce enough heat to even feel it, certainly not enough that blood circulation can't remove any excess heat. Therefore, damage from heating is extremely unlikely. And since it's non-ionizing, there is no other known mechanism by which it can cause harm (cancer or other).

  • I gave up the cell phone last week coz I thought it would cause cancer. Now I smoke 2 packs a day and I'm going through cell phone withdraws FML
  • Early cell phone (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Siggy200 (721326)
    Worked at a radio repair shop 1980 to 1990. When the first cell phones came out they were the size of a briefcase and mounted in a trunk of a vehicle and the antenna mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The handset mounted on the center hump next to the driver was somewhat like a Princess phone. Mostly doctors and lawyers at that time were able to afford purchase of a cell phone and air time. One doctor came into the shop and he wanted to have the cell phone radio removed. The radio/cell phone was installed
  • People are stupid.... People will continue to be stupid... That is the way of life.

    Cell phones don't cause cancer, multiple studies show it..... "But a friend of a friend of mine says it does" so obviously they know more...

    Global climate change is real, multiple studies show it.... "But the big oil companies say it's all lies" so obviously they know more...

    Vaccines don't cause autism, multiple studies show it... "But it's all a cover up by the big medical companies and even a Bauchman said it does so

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Friday October 21, 2011 @01:20PM (#37795018) Homepage

    Maybe 25th time is the charm [xkcd.com]: "Significant link found between cellphones running Windows Phone, p < 0.05!"

  • Do tinfoil hats cause cancer?

    • by formfeed (703859)

      Do tinfoil hats cause cancer?

      Most certainly!

      If your brain overheats, it increases the risk of cancer and all kinds of degenerative diseases. On top of that, studies [intel-research.net] show that a tinfoil hat might actually work as a parabolic dish and increase radiation.

      At the very least, wear an ice-pack and don't look at your wifi router while wearing a tinfoil hat

  • A study did find a correlation between the funder of the study and the result of the study

    The studies combined show about a 50% inconclusive result of the study.

    The data was separated between the Industry funded studies and non industry funded studies and a strong correlation was found.

    Industry funded studies find cell phones safe in 3/4's of the studies and only 1/4 show them not safe.
    Non industry funded studies show the phones unsafe in 3/4's of the studies and safe in only 1/4 of the studies.

    http://www.g [gq.com]

    • Can't edit.. The research was by Henry Lai of Oregon State University. He compared the studies and looked for the correlation.
      http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Cell-phone-cancer-risk-debated-1281040.php [seattlepi.com]

      Herberman, he said, was referring to the so-called Interphone study – a 13-country, $15 million European epidemiological study of tumor rates among cell phone users – which was completed in 2005 but remains unpublished because of disagreement among the scientists (some of them funded by industry) on how to interpret the results.

      His result showed clearly this;

      Lai noted with a chuckle that if you subtract from the literature all of the industry-funded scientific studies, most research shows evidence of health effects from cell phone use.

  • The Luddites have just about run out of steam on this front.

    But hey, I'm sure there's yet another "cell phones cause cars to randomly detonate with nuclear force" study right around the corner.

  • by RManning (544016) on Friday October 21, 2011 @01:58PM (#37795698) Homepage
    But I heard that almost everyone who is getting brain cancer now is a mobile phone user. How can that be?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    To me, one of the biggest pitfalls of the "cell phones cause cancer" idea is that brain cancer is the primary kind being suggested. Why? The skin, bone marrow, and gonads (for those who keep phones on their belt or in their pocket) are all significantly more sensitive to radiation-induced cancer than the brain. And when you talk on the phone, any signal has to go through skin and bone before it gets to the brain. If cell phones could indeed cause cancer, we should see much stronger positive correlations in

  • by JSBiff (87824) on Friday October 21, 2011 @03:01PM (#37796782) Journal

    I wonder, in the last 100 years, has anyone done any study on Amateur Radio Operators and their families?

    Most hams have antennas, on their roofs, or in the back yard, radiating hundreds or in some cases, up to 1500 Watts of power.

    Seems like doing a cancer risk study on them might provide some useful insight into the question of whether RF exposure can possibly increase risk of cancer?

  • Cellphone subscribers prior to 1995? Doesn't that throw their study off a tad?
  • These kinds of stories sicken me. "No link". "No correlation". So what if there was? Correlation does not imply causation.

    Yet "linked" and "correlated" appear everywhere in medicine. Why is our culture like this? I think it must be a kind of secular religion -- kind of like the faith we have in peer review.

  • From TFA: In addition, early subscription holders were on average more exposed to radio frequency electromagnetic fields from their mobile phones as the early phones had a higher output power than newer generation phones.
    If I am not wrong, the BTS [wikipedia.org] controls the power used by each connected GSM handset, so that reciprocal interference and power consumption are minimized. This means that the amount of radiation dose received by each GSM user depends also from the BTS-to-user distance, and from the number of h
  • This information brought to you by the tobacco industry!

  • Because there isn't one! Maybe EM radiation is harmful, but science tells is that the power levels in question, and the non-directed nature of the emissions, is not great enough to cause any harm. Taking 50 cellphones, taping them to the same spot on your body, and operating them 24/7 would probably not be a good idea, but using one in a normal fashion should be of no concern. They STILL are not the cause of colony collapse disorder in bees, either.

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