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Author Topic: How would it be possible to say cell phones can't cause cancer?  (Read 4522 times)

Offline Geezer

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Associated Press

"LONDON – A respected international panel of scientists says cellphones are possible cancer-causing agents"

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110531/ap_on_he_me/eu_med_cellphones_and_cancer

What I'd like to see is a list of the agents that are known not to cause cancer.


 

Offline RD

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If mobile phones were causing brain cancer wouldn't there be an increase in the incidence of brain cancer with increasing mobile phone ownership & usage over the last few decades ? ...



http://info.cancerresearchuk.org/cancerstats/types/brain/incidence/
« Last Edit: 01/06/2011 07:46:55 by RD »
 

Offline Geezer

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If mobile phones were causing brain cancer wouldn't there be an increase in the incidence of brain cancer with increasing mobile phone ownership & usage over the last few decades ? ...


That's exactly what I would have thought, but there seems to be some suggestion that the cancers are very slow to develop, so it's "too soon to tell". However, I would have thought the meteoric increase in cell phone use would easily swamp that argument too. It's probably one of the largest scale "experiments" ever conducted on the human race.

Personally, I sort of get the impression that they were simply keeping their options open.
 

Offline JP

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I think the concern is for longer-term diseases as well as cancers.  The biggest test group for cell phone effects is probably 20-somethings who grew up with personal cell phones, not us older folks who remember land lines.  :)  If cancer is dose-dependent and takes decades to appear, we won't know about it until they get older. 

I'm not particularly concerned about cancer, though.  I'm very slightly concerned about other neurological effects, since I have seen reports that cell phone radiation can effect your nervous system and unlike other forms of EM radiation, we happen to hold cell phones right next to our brains when using them.  (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=mind-control-by-cell)  But even then, the short-term effect seems negligible, it's only chronic cell phone use that might cause an effect.  (And even then, it sounds unlikely.)
 

Offline imatfaal

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There is a great blog on the Imperial Cancer Research Cancer Research UK (showing my age) website on this announcement by the WHO

http://scienceblog.cancerresearchuk.org/2011/05/31/who-verdict-on-mobile-phones-and-cancer/

Was it Doc Kat's blog?
 

Offline Geezer

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Nice link Matt.

I suppose we will only get to the bottom of this by conducting a twenty five year, double-blind experiment on a sample of ten million people, half of whom are given placebophones.

Something tells me these experts were exercising an over-abundance of caution in case an Italian judge comes after them for failing to predict the harmful effects of cell phones.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Placebophone - those would be the things they put in mobile phone shops so the kids don't steal the real thing.  I would hope that over 25 years some of them might notice the phones arent working
 

Offline Variola

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Parsnips, celery and  coffee are all possibly carcinogenic too! i.e they can cause cancer in vitro but not in vivo. This is because of the way out body processes the products in them that renders them harmless. IMO the sun is more cancer causing than mobile phones, but ppl don't stay out of it.
I suspect the announcement is more of a cover our backs thing, a review of studies which has said there is no real conclusive evidence, but because one or two studies found a possible link, it has to be cover your back time.
 

Offline RD

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...  I would hope that over 25 years some of them might notice the phones arent working

O2 customers may not be able to tell  :).

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/radiocomms/ifi/licensing/classes/broadband/cellular/3g/maps/3gmaps/coverage_maps.pdf
 

Offline Geezer

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Placebophone - those would be the things they put in mobile phone shops so the kids don't steal the real thing.  I would hope that over 25 years some of them might notice the phones arent working

Perhaps, but I'm not sure all those people with phones glued to their ears even have them turned on. Do you actually think there are real people listening to their drivel at the other end of the line? I'm pretty sure most of them are talking to imaginary friends.
 

Offline CliffordK

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How would it be possible to say cell phones can't cause cancer?
« Reply #10 on: 02/06/2011 03:35:09 »
What I'd like to see is a list of the agents that are known not to cause cancer.

Hmmm.
H2O & NaCl are found in all cancer cells, but aren't believed to be causative agents. 
Likewise, all cancer cells require O2, but again, it isn't considered a causative agent.

Of course Tritium and Heavy Water may carry a cancer risk.

With the cell phones, one can propose a possible causative agent, I.E. blasting your ears with microwaves and radio waves.  However, this would likely only affect tissues in close proximity to the cell phone either during active use, or during standby.

As far as ferreting out contamination in the studies.

If you primarily hold the phone with your right hand, then one might expect a predominance of right-sided lesions.  Even if people shift positions of holding the phone, one might expect a predominance of parietal/temporal lesions. 
Likewise, cell phone companies should be able to determine actual cell phone usage, although they might not be able to specify blue-tooth usage (which is relatively recent), and it may be difficult to track down long histories that way.

We now have about 20 years of cell phone usage that should be enough to start seeing some connection if it was actually there.  Do lunchbox cell phones count?

The current incident rate of glioblastoma is about 2 to 3 per 100,000 person years.  If you divide that by 70 years, it gives a lifetime incident rate of about 2 in a thousand.  As mentioned, the actual risk of glioblastoma, even if it doubled, is likely less than the risk associated with answering the damned thing while driving.
 

Offline Geezer

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How would it be possible to say cell phones can't cause cancer?
« Reply #11 on: 02/06/2011 05:52:14 »
According to the link that Matt posted, the only thing that has been deemed to be pretty safe is caprolactam, although it would not surprise me too much to learn that it too is known to The State of California to be a carcinogen.

BTW, I've never been able to figure out exactly how the State of California knows all this stuff, but I suppose it's because they have a lot of really smart people running the place like, for instance, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
 

Offline freecw

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How would it be possible to say cell phones can't cause cancer?
« Reply #12 on: 02/06/2011 20:58:39 »
What I'd like to see is a list of the agents that are known not to cause cancer.

Hmmm.
H2O & NaCl are found in all cancer cells, but aren't believed to be causative agents. 
Likewise, all cancer cells require O2, but again, it isn't considered a causative agent.

Of course Tritium and Heavy Water may carry a cancer risk.

With the cell phones, one can propose a possible causative agent, I.E. blasting your ears with microwaves and radio waves.  However, this would likely only affect tissues in close proximity to the cell phone either during active use, or during standby.

As far as ferreting out contamination in the studies.

If you primarily hold the phone with your right hand, then one might expect a predominance of right-sided lesions.  Even if people shift positions of holding the phone, one might expect a predominance of parietal/temporal lesions. 
Likewise, cell phone companies should be able to determine actual cell phone usage, although they might not be able to specify blue-tooth usage (which is relatively recent), and it may be difficult to track down long histories that way.

We now have about 20 years of cell phone usage that should be enough to start seeing some connection if it was actually there.  Do lunchbox cell phones count?

The current incident rate of glioblastoma is about 2 to 3 per 100,000 person years.  If you divide that by 70 years, it gives a lifetime incident rate of about 2 in a thousand.  As mentioned, the actual risk of glioblastoma, even if it doubled, is likely less than the risk associated with answering the damned thing while driving.
Cancer cells do not require oxygen because they ramp up the rate of glycolysis and carry out fermentation even in the presenece of oxygen. Warburg hypothesis.
 

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How would it be possible to say cell phones can't cause cancer?
« Reply #12 on: 02/06/2011 20:58:39 »

 

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