New research doubts link between cellphones and cancer

“The scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives has published a reexamination of medical studies that has cast doubt on claims that cellphones cause cancer,” Electronista reports.

“Partly contradicting a WHO study from May that raised the possibility of a health risk, the study argued that the proof was ‘increasingly against’ a link between frequent cellphone use and brain tumors,” Electronista reports. “The WHO’s report was simply trying to classify what kind of risk might exist and not the actual likelihood of an illness, EHP said.”

Read more in the full article here.

40 Comments

  1. Mice did not feel well when exposed to cell phone radiation. However, for this risk to work on human the following circumstances are necessary:
    1) one needs to really like talking via cell phone for hours every day;
    2) the cell phone has to be quite far from the cell tower, forcing the device to emit maximum possible level of radiation.

    If at least one of these two conditions is not true, then the risk is only theoretical.

  2. Biostitutes vs Scientists- be very careful.

    Most of the studies regarding this issue have been directly or indirectly funded by cell phone industry interests and the world is full of people willing to tailor their findings to the money behind their research/ publication.

    I am not saying this report is inaccurate. I just am telling you to follow the money and see if it’s real science or junk science by biostitutes.

    1. Uhm, who cares if the cellphone industry is paying for the study? While certain researchers may not bite the hand that feeds them, the journals are peer-reviewed.

      Anyhow, cellphones emit non-ionizing radiation. Until someone figures out a mechanism for cellphones to cause cancer, the linkage is just not there. I mean the WHO classification is the same one that coffee and preserved pickles are in.

      1. Coffee bears some established risks since it has fried (id est cancerogenous) coffee beans/powder in itself. But, of course, this risk does not play out unless some people over-abuse the drink.

        As to radiation — one does not has to be nuclear-type of radiation to cause breakage of molecules (especially as big as DNA) and thus to cause damage, including cancerous. The only difference here is probability, which to play out needs very long exposure and strong signal.

        1. As KenC stated, cell phones emit non-ionizing radio waves. Unless you can come up with a credible method of interaction between cell phone radiation and DNA that could potentially result in cancerous mutations/damage, then I don’t see what the fuss is about.

          Personally, I believe that the plethora of chemicals accumulating in our soil, water, and air are of much greater concern than cell phone emissions.

          1. Whether electro-magnetic waves are ionizing or not depending on their energy and length of exposure.

            The event of ionization has certain probability level, which is, for gamma rays, is high, and for other types of electromagnetic waves are low, but never zero.

            Eventual probability of DNA corruption/mutation is integral function of power of signal with length of exposure as base for integration.

            1. You are misinformed. Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation is characterized only by the energy of each of its photons, which is too low to effect electrons and cause chemical bonding breakup. The phenomenon of ionization depends not on the length of exposure (which is irrelevant) but on the frequency of the electromagnetic wave, as Max Planck and Einstein proved more than a century ago.

  3. This whole “deadly” cell phone radiation/electric transmission line EMF crap has been going on since the mid- eighties. The quacks are so desperate to prove this but the poor little darlings just haven’t had much luck. Probably won’t, either.

  4. Oh dear.

    I’m a laboratory EMR engineer and test new mobile phones for radiation dispersion. I laugh every time I see these stories. People are worried about a 0.2W per cm2 transmitter next to their head? I think you should be more worried about that AM transmitter 30km away. Another way of saying it. Maximum power from a phone is roughly 10,000,000 times below the safe limit for IONIZING radiation. Phones emit NON-IONISING radiation. They can not alter a cell!!!

    1. HF radiation, non-ionising can very well alter cells, damage DNA, et cetera. Depending on power of signal, this radiation can even totally cook these cells (that is how microwaves work).

      But, as I said above, probability of DNA breakage is quite low in normal circumstances, so for risk to play out very long systematic exposure is needed and with maximum working distance from cell tower, which forces maximum emitting strength of signal.

    2. The emitted power is not as important as the absorbed dose. Otherwise, the 50,000 AM tower 30 miles away does not have the same energy at the target as a cell phone held next to your head. The frequency ranges are also very different. Higher frequency waves penetrate more deeply.
      Studies have shown an increase in acoustic neuromas in cell phone users on the side of the head matching their dominant hand. This tumor in considered benign, but causes problems that end up in the OR and damage hearing.
      The Threshold Theory that is widely accepted in Radiobiology would most likely come into play in this area as well. Cell Phones have been around a long time, but have only been in common useage by the masses for a short time. This means survey samples of long duration are relatively small and most exposure would have been to older designs of phone.
      My point is that the verdict is not in, the cell industry has their fingers & dollars in many of the studies and a huge potential liability if a correlation were to be found. Would they lie/disinform to cover massive liability?
      Just be careful. The issue is not closed and being cautious would be wise. Speakerphone, wired headset or car Bluetooth would be less risky should the link be proven compared to holding a transmitter up to your ear.

      1. Correct; cell tower is only dangerous when person is very close to it, while other time cellphone emitting quite strong signal, when person holds it on the side of the head, might me dangerous with prolonged systematic exposure if the tower if far away.

  5. Point is: before medicine is approved to hit the market, at least 7 years go by for research and there may be no ambiguity regarding health risks (side effects are always there and mentioned).
    This is not the case for cell phones (same as high voltage towers). Although there are reservations about health risks.
    Gives one to think…

    Anyway, for the individual there are risks to consider and personal responsibility. As always. Never believe marketing. Never belief scientific research. For money is a powerful force.

    Me, I use my cell phone… wisely… I hope…

  6. @derss

    It has nothing to do with the strength or duration of the signal. The type of radiation emitted by a cell phone is VASTLY too weak to damage DNA or any other biological molecule. Increasing the signal just increases the number of photons, but doesn’t change the strength of an individual photon or the possibility that it can cause damage. Cell phones cannot directly cause cancer. I am a cancer biologist and a professor at one of the most reputable institutions in the country. I cannot even imagine a remote scenario for how cell phones could cause cancer and I have never seen one published by any reputable scientist. The problem with this issue (beyond the shameful lack of scientific knowledge by the majority of Americans) is the impossibility of proving a negative (I.e., that cell phones do NOT cause cancer).

    1. Cellphones do not emit photos (it is light-related concept). Also, electromagnetic waves can very well damage DNA and even totally cook cells, depending on power of signal (see microwaves). But, as I said above, for cellphones to bear some possibility of danger, two circumstances needed simultaneously: very long systematic exposure and maximum distance from cell tower, forcing maximum possible strength of signal. Then utterly low probability of malicious DNA mutation dramatically raises to level of cancerous danger. But not before that, so WHO properly assigned risk factor as weak.

    2. “Studies have shown an increase in acoustic neuromas in cell phone users on the side of the head matching their dominant hand. This tumor in considered benign, but causes problems that end up in the OR and damage hearing.”

      Widespread cell use has a short history and the Threshold Theory probably applies. Yes, modern cell phones have a lower output than older designs but are much more widely & heavily used. The science is a long way from settled and being prudent hurts nobody.

      My basic posit is that the issue is not settled and will not be for years due to the nature of radiation induced cancers bs the short history of widespread cell phone useage. Private industry has repeatedly shown itself willing to buy scientists, lie, suppress, disinform and create FUD to cover their potential liability. There are any number of people and organizations willing to bend research for $.
      Just be careful.

  7. I’m with MacDoc on the question of the “shameful lack of scientific knowledge by the majority of Americans”. As evidence, I give you “derss”.

    “Cellphones do not emit [photons].” Of course they do!

    “Electromagnetic waves can…totally cook cells, depending on power of signal (see microwaves)”. Yeah right! A microwave oven operates at a different frequency from a cellphone and at a power level some thousand times greater.

    “non-ionising can very well alter cells” How? The definition of non-ioniing radiation is radiation that lacks enough energy to ionize atoms and molecules. What other alteration have you in mind?

    “Coffee bears some established risks since it has fried (id est cancerogenous) coffee beans/powder in itself.” What the hell does this mean? And what has it to do with mobile telephones?

    1. Ultrasound, once marketed as completely benign, is now known to cause heating in tissues that could be injurious to said tissue. This has caused a warning to limit the use of certain types of ultrasound equipment to certain patients.
      This is not damage caused by ionizing radiation- it is damage caused by heat. MRI is known to cause burns in patients with tattoos if RF pads are not properly applied. Again, not ionizing radiation- but a risk exists in what has been marketed as completely benign.
      The damage caused by cell phone radios may not be from traditionally observed effects- or not. Like I said above, the samples have problems relating to the relatively short history of widespread use of the devices, the varied output and frequency of various generations of the radios and other factors.
      The disturbing fact is the above mentioned incidence of acoustic neuromas in long term cell phone users that has been noted. It I’d not a cancer, but is a tumor with health impact.

    2. 1) Cellphones do not emit photons (it is light-related phenomenon);

      2) I specified that the strength is key difference in effect which waves cause, so this is an attempt to invent point to argue on your side;

      3) “non-ionising”: I replied to a poster which used this term in contrast of cellphone radiation to gamma rays, which are ionising by default — as if cellphone radiation fundamentally can not harm a cell. I replied that non-ionising (normally) cellphone radiation could be damaging (ionising) depending on length of exposure and strength of signal;

      4) Coffee is fried, and cancerogenous molecules appear there during this process. And, again, you are taking the quote out of context to invent a reason to argue about: this was reply to poster who talked about coffee.

      So I am with MacDoc on the question of the “shameful lack of scientific knowledge by the majority of Americans”. As evidence, I give you “grhakl”.

      1. 1 Look, you moron, all electromagnetic radiation is an emission of photons. A photon is a quantum of all EM radiation.

        2 Depending on what you mean by “strength” it is NOT a measure of a key difference in effect. As MacDoc correctly pointed out, a “stronger” beam of radiation just means there are more photons, not that each photon has a higher energy level. Energy level of any photon is decided by the wavelength of the radiation, not the number of photons in the beam.

        3 Non-ionizing radiation could NOT be damaging (ionizing). Non-ionizing radiation could cause a small degree of heating but it could not produce the same damage that ionizing radiation can and does. That’s the essence of the difference in definition of the two types of radiation.

        4 I dunno where you live, but my coffee is NOT fried!

        5 I am not American. I studied science at a real university.

        1. 1. Look, you moron, all electromagnetic radiation is an emission of photons only theoretically (via universal wave-particle duality), while showing its presence as particle within the light. In lower frequencies, energy of photon is millions times weaker than within the light, these are only theoretical, it is pointless to discuss it (non coincidentally, the word “photon” itself is translated as “light”).

          2. As I said, there is no point in talking about photon when talking about cell (or microwave) radiation.

          3. Microwave is very damaging, even though it is not gamma ray, id est not ionizing by default. It all depends on strength of the electromagnetic source and distance to the object.

          4. Coffee beans are always fried. Even if you buy milled coffee, it is fried before it gets milled.

          5. I am not American, too, and I studied science at a real university. More real than you, since a student could not be possibly get graduated if he/she would seriously talk about photons during radio-electronics examination (concept of photon in not theoretical only in optoelectronics, optics and similar disciplines).

          1. You really are a moron, aren’t you. Spend a minute or two at wikipedia to learn how EVERY electromagnetic radiation is a radiation of PHOTONS! That’s what “radiation” means — an emission of photons.

            1. You really are a moron, aren’t you. pend a minute or two at wikipedia to learn how EVERY electromagnetic radiation is a radiation of PHOTONS only theoretically! That’s what “radiation” means — an emission of electromagnetic waves, with wave-particle duality exposed only in high-frequency waves, such as light and gamma rays. In waves of lower frequencies such as cell phone spectrum, energy of photons is so low (millions of times lower than the lowers among light photons), that it is pointless and ignorant to discuss electromagnetic waves radiation with mention of photons.

  8. Looks to me like an awful lot of people think they know more than they really do. Whatever the ultimate truth about the dangers of cellphone use, the notion that scientific studies paid for by the mobile phone industry can even conceivably be 100% objective is downright ludicrous.

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