How safe is your cell phone? - Page 2

The fight to require cell phone companies to post the level of radiowave energy coming out of their products

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Cell phone manufacturers aren't required to disclose SAR information directly to phone buyers; they send the data to the FCC. Although the FCC makes this information available on its website, the information is incomplete and hard to find. A list of cell phone SARs information compiled by the Environmental Working Group is at www.ewg.org/cellphoneradiation/Get-a-Safer-Phone.

The telecommunications industry strongly oppose Leno's bill. Joe Gregorich, a lobbyist for Tech America, an industry group, told us that the requirement in Leno's bill "has an assumption that a lower SAR is safer than a higher SAR. The FCC, FDA, and Inter Agency Working Group regulate the SAR and have set a SAR threshold where cell phones are considered safe. All cell phone manufacturers make cell phones below this SAR threshold."

According to Sharp, the FCC's standards are out of date. "The FCC set SAR standards 14 years ago and has not updated them since," Sharp said. "This was before we found out that children have thinner skulls and are more susceptible to radiation effects, and before phones developed and exploded into what they are now."

Comments

This article is appalling; both badly researched and grossly inaccurate, it simply parrots the same old myth about the existence of scientific research concluding that there is a link between cell phone use and cancer.

This research simply does not exist. No scientist has ever found an connection ever; none, nil, nothing.

This article states "in the wake of recent studies suggesting that extensive cell phone use might be linked to some types of cancer". What research? By who? When? It is simply not true. This research does not exist.

In fact large scale research, carried out over many years, has concluded, again and again, that there is no statistically significant correlation between brain cancer and cell phone use. Besides, cell phones have been with us for decades years now, billions of people use them every day, so where is the rise in brain cancers in the population?

(And why it is always brain cancer anyway? What about ear cancer, skull cancer, skin cancer?)

Science knows what causes cancers; damage to DNA. This can come from three places; certain chemical exposure, a handful of viruses, and from exposure to high energy EM radiation. Cell phones will expose you to none of these.

Sure cell phones do emit EM radiation, but it is not of high enough energy to damage DNA. This is not connected to the power level emitted by the phone or it proximity to the user, it is related only to the frequency/wavelength of the radiation, the radiation emitted by cell phones is many magnitudes too small to damage DNA.

I am so disappointed in The Guardian for publishing this garbage.

Posted by Jon on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 9:37 am

Nonsense Jon.

The reason that cell phones have strict limits on their EM output in the first place is specifically to prevent cancer dangers. The only question that remains is; are the current limits set low enough, and is there in fact any safe level of exposure to EM emissions at all..

For an article that covers the topic of newly arising evidence of cancer dangers see http://www.gq.com/cars-gear/gear-and-gadgets/201002/warning-cell-phone-r...

To see how global industries have created an entire PR infrastructure to insidiously deny a full spectrum dangers -all at once- from tobacco, to cell phones to global warming, with one campaign, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2006/sep/19/ethicalliving.g2

Here is an extremely revealing section from that second article:

'To this end, she had hired a public relations company called APCO. She had attached the advice it had given her. APCO warned that: "No matter how strong the arguments, industry spokespeople are, in and of themselves, not always credible or appropriate messengers."

So the fight against a ban on passive smoking had to be associated with other people and other issues. Philip Morris, APCO said, needed to create the impression of a "grassroots" movement - one that had been formed spontaneously by concerned citizens to fight "overregulation". It should portray the danger of tobacco smoke as just one "unfounded fear" among others, such as concerns about pesticides and cellphones. APCO proposed to set up "a national coalition intended to educate the media, public officials and the public about the dangers of 'junk science'. Coalition will address credibility of government's scientific studies, risk-assessment techniques and misuse of tax dollars ...'

Posted by Eric Brooks on Jun. 13, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

HI Eric,

Exactly which part of what I say in "nonsense"?

You say that "The reason that cell phones have strict limits on their EM output in the first place is specifically to prevent cancer dangers". You sure about that? I'd love to know where you learned this "fact".

The GQ article could not, in any way, be considered science, it mealy parrots the same myths that the SFBG article parrots. And an article by George Monbit on climate change? Really?

This is all irrelevant, anyway. Please point me to the scientific research which suggests that a new way of contracting cancer has been discovered, and that it in some way relates to cell phone use. Because I am telling you that it does not exist and that is fact there is a large amount of evidence to suggest that this is complete nonsense.

Your analogy with tobacco is interesting. The difference between tobacco-causes-cancer and cell-phones-cause-cancer is that with tobacco there were all these smokers with lung cancer to explain away. With cell phones we have billions of users over several decades and no corresponding rise in cancers.

For example, here is what the WHO have to say on this subject - http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs193/en/

Science is good at proving things are true, "tobacco causes cancer" is a good example. Science is not good at all at proving a negative, experiments are imperfect and one can always find tiny trends in "noise" if one is determined enough. Statements such as "the results were inconclusive" are often another way of saying "we did not find anything", "more research is needed" is another way of saying "please don't make my job redundant".

Again I challenge you to show me any large recent peer reviewed scientific study which conclusively finds any significant correlation between cancer and cell phone use. The GQ article says it exists, the SFBG says it exists, so where is it?

Posted by Jon on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 4:45 pm

Great responses here:

FCC Radio Frequency Safety page
http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/Welcome.html

International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection
http://www.icnirp.de/

WHO EMF page
http://www.who.int/peh-emf/en/

IEEE International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES)
http://www.ices-emfsafety.org/

Incredible collection of info here:

http://www.emfandhealth.com/

http://wifinetnews.com/archives/2010/03/popsci_gets_pop_and_science_righ...

lastly

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/growing_hysteria/

Posted by agree with Jon on Jun. 15, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

This is excellent - http://www.emfandhealth.com/Cell%20Phones.html

Anyone care to share the "recent studies suggesting that extensive cell phone use might be linked to some types of cancer"? Because I still can't find them.

Posted by Jon on Jun. 27, 2010 @ 8:15 pm