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Cell phone usage does not lead to brain cancer
Old 01-06-2015, 10:43 AM   #1
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Cell phone usage does not lead to brain cancer

An analysis and write up that takes a hard look at the studies and shows why they believe cell phone use does not damage your brain. Cellphones Do Not Give You Brain Cancer | FiveThirtyEight

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In the end, it is simply extremely unlikely that there is any link between cellphones and brain tumors. We can, perhaps, put this debate to rest and focus on the actual danger of cellphones: using them while driving.
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Old 01-06-2015, 11:43 AM   #2
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We humans are really bad at assessing risk. 17 out of 100,000? I know it's better than 17 out of 100, but once orders of magnitude are in the mix, I lose track.

If you buy the 17 per 100,000, we would need to take away the cell phones from 1% of the washington DC metro area to prevent 100 tumors.
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Old 01-06-2015, 12:14 PM   #3
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It has never occurred to me that there might be a problem. But I ALWAYS wear my tinfoil hat!

Actually, this has been thoroughly debunked for a long time.

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All known cancer-inducing agents including radiation, certain chemicals and a few viruses act by breaking chemical bonds, producing mutant strands of DNA. Not until the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum is reached, beyond visible light, beyond infrared and far, far beyond microwaves, do photons have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. Microwave photons heat tissue, but they do not come close to the energy needed to break chemical bonds, no matter how intense the radiation.
--Dr. Robert L. Park of the American Physical Society (New York Times Oct. 1, 2002)
electromagnetic field (EMF), electromagnetic radiation - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:24 PM   #4
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Actually, this has been thoroughly debunked for a long time.
That old, but "thorough" debunking has been debunked. From the conclusion of the BioInitiative 2012 report:

Overall, these 1800 or so new studies report abnormal gene transcription (Section 5); genotoxicity and single-and double-strand DNA damage (Section 6); stress proteins because of the fractal RF-antenna like nature of DNA (Section 7); chromatin condensation and loss of DNA repair capacity in human stem cells (Sections 6 and 15); reduction in free-radical scavengers particularly melatonin (Sections 5, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17); neurotoxicity in humans and animals (Section 9), carcinogenicity in humans (Sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17); serious impacts on human and animal sperm morphology and function (Section 18); effects on offspring behavior (Section 18, 19 and 20); and effects on brain and cranial bone development in the offspring of animals that are exposed to cell phone radiation during pregnancy (Sections 5 and 18). This is only a snapshot of the evidence presented in the BioInitiative 2012 updated report.
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Old 01-06-2015, 01:33 PM   #5
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That old, but "thorough" debunking has been debunked. From the conclusion of the BioInitiative 2012 report:
Which has also been debunked (a whole lotta debunka-bunk goin on here... ):

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Science-based medicine is great, but it all depends on how you evaluate the scientific evidence. A bad example is the BioInitiative Report (BIR), an egregiously slanted review of health and biological effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) of the sort that are produced by power lines, cellular telephones, Wi-Fi, and other mainstays of modern life.
Picking Cherries in Science: The Bio-Initiative Report
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Old 01-06-2015, 02:19 PM   #6
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One reason I've always been bemused by this is that I've been a ham for decades. There are hundreds of thousands of us just in the US, and a large proportion of us have used handheld VHF/UHF radios for the last half century or more.

A typical cell phone puts out less than a watt in most cases, often much less (since they are programmed to use the minimum power necessary). But the amateur handhelds typically put out a full five watts, and are held up to the head for use in exactly the same way as a cell phone.

Wouldn't you think hams would have experienced a higher rate of damage from their much higher powered devices than non-hams? Yet that hasn't been shown to be the case.
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Old 01-06-2015, 03:51 PM   #7
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It turns out that we have lots of data on cancers, including brain cancers, collected over time. It also turns out that the usage of cell phones has changed significantly over time; specifically, that there approximately a sh**load more cell phones in use now than in 1973.

It follows that if cell phones are associated with a positive risk for brain cancers, that we should see a rise in the incidence rate in the general population over this period of time.

Mobile phone use and glioma risk: comparison of epidemiological study results with incidence trends in the United States | The BMJ

Here is the rise in cell phone usage:
Attachment 20858

If cell phone usage correlates with the incidence of brain cancers, we should see a rise in the incidence level over time, that is, a relative risk greater than 1. The following chart plots the actual level (solid green line) and assorted relative risk levels (dashed lines).
Attachment 20859
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Old 01-06-2015, 06:49 PM   #8
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Well, if it is not brain cancer, why do people go around shouting into their cell phones?
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:35 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
It turns out that we have lots of data on cancers, including brain cancers, collected over time. It also turns out that the usage of cell phones has changed significantly over time; specifically, that there approximately a sh**load more cell phones in use now than in 1973.

It follows that if cell phones are associated with a positive risk for brain cancers, that we should see a rise in the incidence rate in the general population over this period of time.
This line of analysis is so obvious to me , that it always amazing that we don't see more of it.

I first thought about in the late 90 with respect the playing violent video games encourages young men to commit violent acts. The peak of this nonsense was right after the Columbine shootings in 1999. Yet over the last 30 odd years violence in the US had decreased dramatically at the same time the percentage of young men playing video games has gone from almost none to almost all. Moreover the group which has seen the most dramatic drop in violence is young men.

It seems to me this should be one of the first things people look at when they say X new technology or trend causes something bad.
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Old 01-06-2015, 07:54 PM   #10
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Well, if it is not brain cancer, why do people go around shouting into their cell phones?
Cell phone use causes deafness? Obliviousness to common courtesy?

In retrospect, the decision not to include sidetone at all in cell phone architecture, or to include it only at a reduced level compared to landline phones, was not a good one.
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Old 01-06-2015, 08:31 PM   #11
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The cynic in me says think of the liability if the statement goes "there is a link between cell phones and brain cancer"
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Old 01-06-2015, 10:05 PM   #12
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Tell me it isn't so. How else can I explain my refusal to get one.
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:10 AM   #13
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I didn't realize the debunka-bunk was so advanced. So, no new news in the OP.

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Well, if it is not brain cancer, why do people go around shouting into their cell phones?
That's where the problem will be when they allow cell phones on airplanes.
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Old 01-07-2015, 07:16 AM   #14
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..............That's where the problem will be when they allow cell phones on airplanes.
We have a nice preview when the plane lands and they announce that cell phones may now be used.

All together now - " WE JUST LANDED!!"
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Old 01-07-2015, 09:32 AM   #15
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Well, if it is not brain cancer, why do people go around shouting into their cell phones?
One must have a brain to have brain cancer...
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Old 01-07-2015, 05:31 PM   #16
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That's where the problem will be when they allow cell phones on airplanes.
Then they'll blame cell phones for the rapid rise of in-flight homicides.
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