Cell Phones And Cancer: The Risk Is Real

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Fidel

I remember being a child and going into a grocery store with my mum and dad. And I remember dad lighting up a cigarette while pushing the cart. I think some NBA players used to take a few drags off a cig during foul shots in the 1970s and right there on camera. People drank and drove and didn't wear seat belts. I remember the 1970s as good times. I think life was simpler then.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Call me skeptical when people claim cell phone use may possibly cause brain cancer, when brain cancer is decreasing while cell phone use is increasing.

 

Did you look at the stats? Which US states are they talking about and over what time period? And the US, while being one of the most wired countries in the world, was not a participating country in the Interphone study, which is the largest and most thorough publicly and privately funded study to date. And even though there are criticisms of the study's design, it still points to a 40% increased risk for gliomas in heavy cell phone users, the results of which were buried in appendix table 2 for some strange reason. 

I can imagine certain cancer rates falling as rates of cigarette smoking fall over time. And I can imagine as the coke ovens and steel mills close down so will cancers from those kinds of exposures have fallen. But there are other factors as well, like latency period, and what the Interphone study defines as heavy use or usage. People are still in the process of switching over from landline to cell phones and many still use both today. Some people don't talk on a cell phone for half an hour a day and some a lot more. 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Thats quite the bar you use for determining whether to engage in an activity.  I really hope that cell phones are a fuck of a lot more safe than cars but thank you so very much for your condescending reassurance that it is not as bad a walking across the street.

Great science by the way.  Your conclusion was right even if ridiculously irrelevant. I am very relieved to hear that the deaths will be less than 15,000 a year.  Whew.

Money mouth

I was being flippant, it's true.  But at this point, there isn't strong evidence that cel phone use is causing any brain cancers at all.  We should be seeing a rising incidence, as M. Spector has pointed out, and we're not.  Other behaviours are far more likely to be risky - including walking across a busy street (again, a flippant example and not an unusual one at that), getting in a car, eating fatty foods - but we don't hear people insisting that we are risking life and limb with anything approaching the fervour of the cel phone scare.  If cel phone use is risky at all, it looks like a pretty small one in the grand scheme, which is the point I was trying to make. 

Some perspectives re: medicine and biology:

http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/06/is_your_cell_phone_cooking_yo...

http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2011/06/the_bride_of_the_son_of_the_re...

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

From the last link:

Quote:
Group 2B - this is the one that mobile phones now fall under - means something is "possibly carcinogenic to humans". It means there is "limited evidence" that something causes cancer in people, and even the evidence from animal studies is "less than sufficient". Group 2B means that there is some evidence for a risk but it's not that convincing. This group ends up being a bit of a catch-all category, and includes everything from carpentry to chloroform.

And:

Quote:
Could mobile phones cause cancer?

This is an important question. Scientists are confident that tobacco, alcohol or asbestos can cause cancer because they can explain how these things affest the way our cells work. These explanations are called "biological mechanisms" - they play a vital role in establishing that something causes cancer.

So far no one has been able to provide a good biological mechanism for the link between mobile phones and cancer. The "how" question is an open one. The phones give off microwave radiation, but this has millions of times less energy than, say, an X-ray and is not powerful enough to damage our DNA. They mildly heat the body, but again, not enough to pose a health risk. Other suggestions have been put forward, but none are backed by consistent evidence.

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Timebandit I think the reason is the necessity factor.  You don't have to use a cell phone but most people to have to cross the street.  Putting oneself at risk is your informed adult decision. Handing cellphones to young children seems like telling them to go play in the trafiic, but be alert.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

...except on an infinitesimally smaller scale of risk, and quite possibly no risk at all.

 

[BTW I hate cell phones and don't own one, so I have no personal axe to grind here]

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

 

I don't have a horse in this race, but because of my age and unlike most of you I can clearly remember when suggesting smoking might cause cancer was considered wacko, out there stuff.  Doctors smoked - at the office, we were given all kinds of assurances it was not only safe, it might even be healthy, all kinds of public figures smoked and declared it okay and cool.  Then when the tide started to turn a bit they would trot out some 95 year old that smoked several packs a day to show how crazy the claims were

So call me a little skeptical when great big, profit driven companies tell me there is nothing to see here and try to ridicule any suggestion that maybe there might be some sort of problem however small.

 

So are you saying we should ban cellphones the same way we banned smoking? Because it only makes sense, right? Save lives, and all that?

 

Life, the unive...

No- what I am suggesting that those who are flippantly dismissing any concerns might find out in the fullness of time that they were rather glaringly wrong.  It is a lesson in humility that most of us could do some learin' on.

That said, I don't think that anyone is actually suggesting banning cellphones in the report.  (and you must go to different corner stores than I do if you think smoking has been banned)  The suggestions from the WHO is just that they should be used with some caution and that seems rather reasonable to me given the long history of us being told something is perfectly safe- and finding out it is anything but. 

I guess I am urging caution to those who want to attack anyone who is urging caution.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Northern Shoveler wrote:

Timebandit I think the reason is the necessity factor.  You don't have to use a cell phone but most people to have to cross the street.  Putting oneself at risk is your informed adult decision. Handing cellphones to young children seems like telling them to go play in the trafiic, but be alert.

Did you know that carageenan (found in a wide variety of foods, including ice cream) and carpentry are also on the category 2B list?  Perhaps we should stop giving kids ice cream.  After all, it's not like they need it.  And I think we should ask for large warning labels on the side of all Lee Valley Tools outlets.

We do things every day that are exponentially more risky than using a cel phone - for pleasure and convenience.  It has nothing to do with the necessity factor.  Giving a kid a cel phone is not really like telling them to go play in traffic.  There's a strong, demonstrable link between playing in traffic and harm.  There is not, at this point, any such evidence of harm from cel phones and the science looks like it is highly unlikely.

Fidel

Report links cell phones, cancer

Quote:
Dr. Johnathan Samet, from the University of Southern California, was one of more than two dozen scientists from 14 countries who met the week of May 24-31 in Lyon to assess the potential carcinogenic dangers from exposure to REF. They also discussed the possibility that exposures might induce long-term health effects -- particularly increased risk for cancer, according to the statement.

Samet said in the statement's conclusion that while evidence has been accumulating, it's been strong and that "we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk."

Apparently famous lawyer Johnny Cochran was a heavy cell phone user who couldn't quit in time to save his life.

Noah_Scape

About the WHO study, has anyone found the published "findings"? [see below]

The Quote:
"The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified radio frequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans, based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use"

The panel also looked at workers' exposure to radiation from radar and microwaves, as well as environmental exposures from radio, TV and wireless telecommunication signals.

The new findings will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, as well as the July 1 issue of the medical journal The Lancet Oncology, and in a few days online.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Another nice summary of what the press release and the position of the WHO committee means and does not mean:

http://www.slate.com/id/2296040/

Fidel

Farhad Manjoo wrote:
There was only one category of users in the Interphone study for whom cellphones seemed to pose an increased risk: People who reported having spent more than 1,640 hours of talk time without using a hands-free headset. (They were probably on your train car.) Compared with nonusers of cellphones, these extremely heavy users saw a 15 percent increase in the odds of developing a meningioma and a 40 percent increase in the odds of developing a glioma.

1640 hours is spread out over 10 years according to the Interphone report. That's 164 hours a year and 45 minutes a day. Independent scientists say that the group of heaviest users with the highest prevalance of tumors are those with latency tumor formation of 15 years. That excludes a lot of people who may have started using cell phones later in life. Many people were were not using cell phones before 3G technology was rolled out in North America by the mid to late 2000s. And 3G laptops by 2009 in a significant way.

The people most at risk are young people who are not making one voice call a week but several and talking for at least 45 minutes a day. That's just over three hours a week worth of talking on cell phones. I imagine there are very many people who do spend that amount of time on cell phones and even exceed it. And if heavy use can result in a brain tumor, what else is it doing to your brain in strange ways in the mean time?

Pooled analysis of case-control studies on malignant brain tumours and the use of mobile and cordless phones including living and deceased subjects - pubmed

The Hardell Group reported an increased risk for brain tumours of 170% with cell phone use and 80% with cordless phone use after 10-years. Another analysis showed the highest risk for gliomas is for those who began using mobile phones before the age of 20.  For that group the risk increases 390% for cell phones and 290% for cordless phones.

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Thanks for that link, Timebandit.

Case closed.

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

I would agree with case closed, were it not for the 20 euros cost of display for pdf. But you don't have that pdf , so it is only word of mouth?:) Proof is important.

Still no evidence as to affect on the biological structures that would display decay process,  as to development of cancerous routes. I have no position other then the requirement of the science and the methods if thought about as to the affect of environment, how would you limit that affect biologically?

Frequencies are all around us? So which frequencies show abnormal growth affect toward DNA structure? All of them, or,  just Cell phones?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

These kinds of uncertainties are the reason why the smart ones among us are never without our tinfoil hats.

[img]http://i35.tinypic.com/5alvtc.jpg[/img]

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

That's quite the antenna Laughing

Pyramid hat

al-Qa'bong

How many of those who warn about the cancer risks of cell phones...use cell phones?

Tommy_Paine

I think we will have to wait to see what the experts say, and then what the lobbyists hired by corporations say about what experts may or may not have said, and how those lobbyists talking pionts are shaped by various Public Relations firms and their flying monkey columnist and reporter brigade amplify that.

After all, it's the way we decide all matters of public policy these days.

Fidel

This site should be of interest to wild coincidence theorists. Apparently it is another collector site for members of the cult of coincidence to debate whether it is raining or not. Some people carry umbrellas.

If anyone thinks the US FDA and Health Canada aren't sometimes influenced by multinational corporations and politics, then they are sadly mistaken.

Don't be afraid to be leery of the corporatocracy and their sometimes spurious claims to product safety. Their month-to-month balance sheets and quarterly earnings projections are higher priority than long term human health.  I'm sorry to inform babblers that this economic system does not revolve around man's needs and the greater good. Sad but true.

Corporations are not real people, and they don't consider you as a total human being either when counting profits.

They really only want one thing from you.

You have three guesses as to what it is, and the first two don't count.

You are just another consumer to them. They won't be asking you how your brain scan went years from now. 

Not even so much as a get well card.

Choose wisely.

Quote:
"The F.D.A. protects the big drug companies, and is subsequently rewarded, and using the government's police powers, they attack those who threaten the big drug companies. People think that the F.D.A. is protecting them. It isn't. What the F.D.A. is doing, and what the public thinks it is doing are as different as night and day."

- Dr. Herbert Ley, former Commissioner of the U.S. F.D.A.

FDA Guts Web Site Cell Phone Safety Page 2009(pdf)

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Hmmmm.......

BioInitiative

Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile
telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE
international case–control study

Quote:
Michael Kundi, head of the Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna says of the study “Authors emphasize that no increased risk was detected overall. But this is not unexpected. No exposures to carcinogens that cause solid tumors like brain cancer or lung cancers, for example from tobacco and asbestos have ever been shown to significantly increase cancer risk in people with such short duration of exposure. The latency period for brain cancer is 15-30 years.”See: Ten-Year INTERPHONE Cell Phone Study Reports Increased Risk for Brain Cancer

Spectrum Spectrum's picture

Human Radiation Effects Group

For me I have always been interested in the affect "fields may play on human beings." The experiment to see activation of field response in other venues, as lets say fluorescent light tubes as a artistic statement in the culmination of such a affect? It's strength and weakness across the outlay of tubes as to distance of EMF exposure? Can such activations be done as well, in the case of fluorescence, as to show environmental changes at the cellular level with wireless transmissions? Would this help?

Endothelial cells under the microscope. Nuclei are stained blue with DAPI, microtubles are marked green by an antibody bound to FITC and actin filaments are labelled red with phalloidin bound to TRITC. Bovine pulmonary arthery endothelial cells

The idea here hypothetically presented in strength, according to that intensity of wireless transmission, as to the brightness of the florescence when activated? Would this overview "for a environmental application within the body and the affects of, " be  shown as florescence activated in the blood stream?

See: Fluorescence microscope

Layman questions. I mean sure, I was a bit extreme in comparison of the thinking cap.

Fidel

Cellphone usage limits urged by Health Canada

I think they are telling people to get the hell off the phone without hurting the corporatocracy's bottom line very much.

So try to be just a little bit careful of brain cancer everyone. It could turn into a very bad migraine down the road.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

There are [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phone... million[/url] cell phones in use in Canada, and five billion in use around the world.

Can anyone point me to an interview with a person who contracted brain cancer from a cell phone? Or failing that, an article in a newspaper or magazine about such a person? Does anyone have the name of a single person who got brain cancer that was demonstrably caused by cell phones?

Just asking.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Any risk from using hearing aids or stereo headphones besides getting a headache?

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

There are [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phone... million[/url] cell phones in use in Canada, and five billion in use around the world.

Did you know that it is estimated tobacco use will kill 1 billion people in the 21st century if current trends continue? 

My mama smoked rollies from the time she was 15 to when she was 78. She was slowing down quite a bit by then. She switched to filtered cigs to the age of 85. She was on oxygen by the end and COPD. No cancer though. But ciggies are still linked to cancer and all kinds of bad health effects.

Asbestos is similar in that the human body can tolerate it somewhat for decades until something shows up on an X-Ray. 

Here's a tip you can bank on: Get off the phone, please?

M.Spector wrote:
Can anyone point me to an interview with a person who contracted brain cancer from a cell phone? Or failing that, an article in a newspaper or magazine about such a person? Does anyone have the name of a single person who got brain cancer that was demonstrably caused by cell phones?

Just asking.

 

OJ Simpson's lawyer, Johnny Cochrane died of brain cancer. It was like he had a mobile phone glued to his ear according to people who knew him.

What do the numbers say buried in Appendix 2 of the largest cell phone study to date? 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Johnnie Cochran doesn't count. [url=http://www.emfacts.com/2005/07/cell-phone-use-and-brain-tumor-developmen... own neurosurgeon said,[/url] "My own belief is that there probably is a correlation between the use of cell phones and brain cancer, even though there’s no scientific proof." Correlation is not proof of causation, and "probable correlation" is proof of nothing at all.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

U.S. cell phone subscribers went from less than 10,000,000 to 250,000,000 between 1987 and 2007. Where's the resulting brain cancer epidemic?

[IMG]http://i56.tinypic.com/24o97ci.jpg[/IMG]

 

Source: [url=http://www.cancer.gov/aboutnci/servingpeople/snapshots/brain.pdf]U.S. National Cancer Institute[/url]

Fidel

Those are nice graphs, but the latency period for most cancers is 30 years.

Was cell phone use widespread in 1981? No, it was not.

Was cell phone use widespread by 1989? No, they were not in widespread use.

Was cell phone penetration widespread by the mid to late 1990s with the advent of digital networks? Yes, people were beginning to appreciate 2G cell phone technology by the late 1990s. 

So those graphs are missing some data. And,

AGE-ADJUSTED INCIDENCE RATES* (ALL RACES), 1973-1999 Incidence rates for Brain cancer up 28%

Are they losing the phony war on cancer as well? Yes, in fact, they are losing the phony-baloney war on cancer, too. 

Blaming cancer on people growing older is blaming the victim.

Elizabeth Cardis, Lead Interphone Study Scientist wrote:
"In my personal opinion, I think we have a number of elements that suggest a possible increased risk among the heaviest users, and because the heaviest users in our study are considered the low users today, I think that's something of concern. Until stronger conclusions can be drawn one way or another it may be reasonable to reduce one's exposure."

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

Those are nice graphs, but the latency period for most cancers is 30 years.

Mobile phones were virtually unheard-of 30 years ago, and yet the relative handful of scientific studies that conclude there may possibly be a link between cell phone use and brain cancer (and no reputable studies go any further than that) all rely on already-existing cases of brain cancer, not imaginary future cases.

If the latency period is 30 years, virtually all of those cancer cases that are the subject of study had been latent since before the unfortunate victims had ever even heard of mobile phones.

If there is a causal link between cell phone use over the last 30 years and brain cancer diagnosed over the last 30 years, then where is the brain cancer epidemic to match the 25-fold increase in cell phone use?  If there is a 30-year latency, we would expect that comparing cell phone use to already-diagnosed brain cancers would involve no causal relationship whatsoever.

And Johnny Cochran couldn't possibly have got brain cancer from using a cell phone for 20 years.

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Fidel wrote:

Those are nice graphs, but the latency period for most cancers is 30 years.

Not necessarily, it depends on the cancer.  20 to 30 year latency is common for mesothelioma, but that's not a radiation-induced cancer.  For glioma, which is the type of brain cancer frequently talked about in reference to cel phone use, it's only about 10 years. 

You have to remember that "cancer" is not a single disease.  It's a large group of diseases with one related characteristic - uncontrolled cell growth.

In short:  Apples and oranges.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:
If there is a causal link between cell phone use over the last 30 years and brain cancer diagnosed over the last 30 years, then where is the brain cancer epidemic to match the 25-fold increase in cell phone use?  If there is a 30-year latency, we would expect that comparing cell phone use to already-diagnosed brain cancers would involve no causal relationship whatsoever.

As I was saying earlier, latency for cancers can be 30 years depending on the individual and I imagine a number of factors and most importantly exposure levels. 

What Elizabeth Cardis is saying is that cell phone users labelled heavy users in the Interphone study would be considered light users today, and that the study results for those deemed heavy users then show an increased risk for gliomas even over the short term. Gliomas are one of the deadliest kinds of brain tumor, as in possibly life-ending it's that serious.

M. Spector wrote:
And Johnny Cochran couldn't possibly have got brain cancer from using a cell phone for 20 years.

Dr. Keith Black, Johnnie Cochran's neurosurgeon wrote:
"We do know that there is a significant correlation between the side that one uses their cell phone on and the side that you develop the brain tumor on."

"My own belief is that there probably is a correlation between the use of cell phones and brain cancer, even though there's no scientific proof."

 

Fidel

Timebandit wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Those are nice graphs, but the latency period for most cancers is 30 years.

Not necessarily, it depends on the cancer.  20 to 30 year latency is common for mesothelioma, but that's not a radiation-induced cancer.  For glioma, which is the type of brain cancer frequently talked about in reference to cel phone use, it's only about 10 years. 

You have to remember that "cancer" is not a single disease.  It's a large group of diseases with one related characteristic - uncontrolled cell growth.

In short:  Apples and oranges.

Almost a third of funding for the Interphone study came from private sources. Yes, there can be differences in end goals and results of corporate science versus publicly funded science. The two could be described as apples and oranges for sure. Research professor Henry Lai knows all about conflicts between publicly funded science and the other kind.

And incidence rates for gliomas in general are higher in the developed Western world than for Africa and Asia.

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

I wasn't talking about interphone, I was talking strictly about latency periods.  You claimed 30 years latency - this appears to be incorrect for the kind of cancer you have repeatedly cited as being caused by cel phone use. 

If you've got some back-up for that claim, awesome.  If not, you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

It's obvious as I pointed out before that no one can know what the incidence rate is for a latency period of 30 years because cell phone use was not widespread 30 years ago. I pointed that out a number of times in this thread and previous ones to no avail. Apparently some people are only catching on to this now.

No, what people are "catching onto" is the fact that your repeated claim of a 30-year latency period (supposedly your response to the obvious fact that there is no correlation between increased cell phone use and the rates of brain cancer over the last 30 years) totally undercuts the validity of the handful of studies that you rely on, because a 30-year latency period would mean that the cancer cases those studies point to as being "possibly" the result of cell phone use would not yet have been diagnosed!

Fidel

Timebandit wrote:

I wasn't talking about interphone, I was talking strictly about latency periods.  You claimed 30 years latency - this appears to be incorrect for the kind of cancer you have repeatedly cited as being caused by cel phone use.

I said the latency period can be 30 years for some cancers. I did not say it is the case for gliomas as a result of cell phone radiation. How could I know that? 

Timebandit wrote:
If you've got some back-up for that claim, awesome.  If not, you're trying to have your cake and eat it too.

It's obvious as I pointed out before that no one can know what the incidence rate is for a latency period of 30 years because cell phone use was not widespread 30 years ago. I pointed that out a number of times in this thread and previous ones to no avail. Apparently some people are only catching on to this now. 

I worked in development and testing of 2G-3G phone technologies in the 1990s-early 2000s for Nortel and Motorola. Most people I know did not own a cell phone in the 1980s to as late as mid 90s. The only people using 1G phones were stock traders, business types, and people like the former Johnnie Cochran.

And at least one other study showed significant increased risk for a latency period of less than 10 years. 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:
Most people I know did not own a cell phone in the 1980s to as late as mid 90s.

That's my recollection as well.

So what are we to make of your stats posted at #78 above that point to a 28.3% increase in brain cancers between 1973 and 1999, in light of the non-increase in brain cancer demonstrated in the charts I posted at #77 for 1987-2007?

Possible conclusion #1: Brain cancers increased markedly between 1973 and 1987, but not thereafter.

Possible conclusion #2: The increased use of cell phones has actually stalled the alarming rise in brain cancer that had been noted in the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

It's obvious as I pointed out before that no one can know what the incidence rate is for a latency period of 30 years because cell phone use was not widespread 30 years ago. I pointed that out a number of times in this thread and previous ones to no avail. Apparently some people are only catching on to this now.

No, what people are "catching onto" is the fact that your repeated claim of a 30-year latency period (supposedly your response to the obvious fact that ....

Tut-tut, you started the sentence, now finish it properly. What did I claim? Quote me specifically. Or better yet, quote the Interphone study Appendix II. Let's side slip the fact that you are misunderstanding what I type.

M. Spector wrote:
...there is no correlation between increased cell phone use and the rates of brain cancer over the last 30 years)

That's right, because there are correlations showing increased risk for gliomas over a shorter period of time for cell phone customers who would be deemed light users by today's standards. That's what the largest study ever says in Appendix 2, and that's what Elizabeth Cardis said about it in so many words. Erring on the side of caution is a good idea when it comes to human health always. It's a rule of medicine.

M. Spector wrote:
totally undercuts the validity of the handful of studies that you rely on, because a 30-year latency period would mean that the cancer cases those studies point to as being "possibly" the result of cell phone use would not yet have been diagnosed!

That's right, because no study into cell phone compatibility with human health should use a study period of 30 years. And why do you think that is? Let's let you put words in your mouth this time.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:
Most people I know did not own a cell phone in the 1980s to as late as mid 90s.

That's my recollection as well.

So what are we to make of your stats posted at #78 above that point to a 28.3% increase in brain cancers between 1973 and 1999, in light of the non-increase in brain cancer demonstrated in the charts I posted at #77 for 1987-2007?

Possible conclusion #1: Brain cancers increased markedly between 1973 and 1987, but not thereafter.

That was in response to your nice graphs in post# 77, which also have very little to do with widespread cell phone use from the 1990s forward. And for what it's worth, I have no idea why incidence rates for brain cancers increased almost 30% from '73 to 99. Do you? In retrospector, do you think your nice graphs were at all relevant to the topic of discussion?

M. Spector wrote:
Possible conclusion #2: The increased use of cell phones has actually stalled the alarming rise in brain cancer that had been noted in the 1970s and 1980s.
 

That might be true if regular users are categorized as having talked on a cell phone at least once per week for a minimum of six months. Of course that would skew the results toward "no effect" and even watering things down toward a statistical diluting effect, don't you? And does so few hours of use  sound like your average teenager today? I don't think so, M. It sounds like there may have been some heated arguments over the study's design from the beginning. And I'll bet those who argued the most had some sort of relationship with the private wireless industry. That's what I think.

Lefauve

Ok ok, before you are scare you develop cellphonephobia here some technical info to consider.

Microwave is used in cellphone application because of it ability to send to long distance with less power that other fequency. The toxicity of microwave in mostly because of his ability to accelerate the resonating frequency of water when making the near water heat. So because our brain is essencially compose of water when you use your cell phone you are making the water in your brain raise. it very similar to put your head in a microwave oven.

But a microwave oven emit in a focused area 1000W of microwave. your average cellular emit around 1W or 2W of power in a diffused around the antenna so your brain receive around 35% the remaining is emited in other direction.

With that i conclude that yes cellular might have some nocivity but you got much more chance of diying because of the air or water pollution or the nocivity of your own medical drug consummation that of the cellular. Unless you spend all your life with a cellular on the ears.

Fidel

So let's get this straight. You think the US Military dictatorship were innocent babes in the woods on 9/11, and you trust and obey anything the corporatocracy says about their swell products and agree to volunteering everyone's children to be guinea pigs for the cell phone industry. 

Just checking.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

Tut-tut, you started the sentence, now finish it properly. What did I claim?

Nothing wrong with my sentence. Let me break it down for you.

You have repeatedly claimed that there is a 30-year latency period for brain tumours. You make this claim in order to try to rebut the annoying facts that show no significant rise in brain cancers in the past 30 years, despite a 25-fold increase in cell phones. But if your 30-year latency claim is correct, then we have yet to see any cancers that can be laid at the door of cell phones. Therefore the studies you like to quote, purporting to show a correlation between brain cancer and cell phone use, are using cancer data that has nothing to do with cell phone use.

Quote:
Erring on the side of caution is a good idea when it comes to human health always. It's a rule of medicine.

You don't need studies to prove this advice, which is just a piece of conventional wisdom that the researchers fall back on when they can't prove any definite conclusions about the hypothesized link between cell phones and cancer.

Quote:
That's right, because no study into cell phone compatibility with human health should use a study period of 30 years.

If there really is a 30-year latency period, then what choice do we have? If there really is a 30-year lag time in correlation between cell phone use and diagnosed cancer, what use are studies that try to correlate cell phone use with cancers that occur over shorter lag times?

Sven Sven's picture

I've read that wearing a tin-foil hat leads to brain cancer.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

That was in response to your nice graphs in post# 77, which also have very little to do with widespread cell phone use from the 1990s forward.

In case you didn't notice, the graphs go all the way up to 2007. That's well into the period of widespread cell phone usage. And surprise! No increase in brain cancer! So I guess you're right: the incidence of brain cancer up to 2007 as represented in the graphs has "very little to do with widespread cell phone use".

Quote:
And for what it's worth, I have no idea why incidence rates for brain cancers increased almost 30% from '73 to 99. Do you?

No, except that I am very certain that it had nothing whatsoever to do with cell phone usage. Which makes it all the more of a mystery why you would cite that statistic as if it had any relevance to cell phones at all.

Fidel wrote:

M. Spector wrote:
Possible conclusion #2: The increased use of cell phones has actually stalled the alarming rise in brain cancer that had been noted in the 1970s and 1980s.
 

That might be true if regular users are categorized as having talked on a cell phone at least once per week for a minimum of six months. Of course that would skew the results toward "no effect" and even watering things down toward a statistical diluting effect, don't you? And does so few hours of use  sound like your average teenager today? I don't think so, M.

The once-per-week cell phone use of which you speak is a historical relic from the 1980s - you know, from back when brain cancers were increasing by over 28%. But your average teenager has been using cell phones much more frequently and for longer periods of time in the last 25 years - you know, the same period of time when brain cancer incidence virtually flatlined.

So if we use your logical methodology and assume that correlation is proof of causation, we can only conclude from the known data that greater cell phone use has actually caused a halt in the rising incidence of brain cancer.

This of course only serves to illustrate that correlation is not proof of causation.

Fidel

M. Spector wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Tut-tut, you started the sentence, now finish it properly. What did I claim?

Nothing wrong with my sentence. Let me break it down for you.

You have repeatedly claimed that there is a 30-year latency period for brain tumours.

No I never said that.

And you have a sum total of zero proof that I said that in addition to there being zero scientific proof that cell phones are safe for people to use often.

M. Spector wrote:
You make this claim in order to try to rebut the annoying facts that show no significant rise in brain cancers in the past 30 years, despite a 25-fold increase in cell phones.

What the largest cell phone study and partially funded by private enterprisers says about cell phone use among children and adolescents is this:

1.Based on records from mobile phone service providers, using a cell phone more than 2.8 years increases risk for getting a brain tumour by 115%. And the longer one uses the greater the risk.

2. We know now what they mean by "no effect".

3. For tumors on either side of the head:

3.a The longer one's subscription to cell service the greater the risk of lateral brain tumours. For subscriptions beyond 4 years the increased risk is 274% <> 300%.

3.b There is evidence that tumor detection for "time since first use" is much shorter for children than for adults.

3.c The more overall time one spends on voice calls the greater the risk of developing a tumour on the side of the head. Above 144 hrs the risk increases to 519%.

3.d. The more calls made, the greater the risk of lateral tumours. For greater than 2638 calls and the risk increases by 191% to 482%.

M. Spector wrote:
But if your 30-year latency claim is correct, then we have yet to see any cancers that can be laid at the door of cell phones. Therefore the studies you like to quote, purporting to show a correlation between brain cancer and cell phone use, are using cancer data that has nothing to do with cell phone use.

Whose 30-year claim for latency are you talking about? Because I know you're not referring to me.

M. Spector wrote:
You don't need studies to prove this advice, which is just a piece of conventional wisdom that the researchers fall back on when they can't prove any definite conclusions about the hypothesized link between cell phones and cancer.

No it's what real scientists are saying today not some quack on the take from cell phone companies. Science has become all about money and funding. You expressed dismay about politics being all about money in another thread. In this case, it's about money, too, but the similarities end there I suppose in the absence of strong political leadership on health issues.

Fidel wrote:
That's right, because no study into cell phone compatibility with human health should use a study period of 30 years.

At least not yet anyway while appearing to be an epidemic in slow motion.

M. Spector wrote:
If there really is a 30-year latency period, then what choice do we have? If there really is a 30-year lag time in correlation between cell phone use and diagnosed cancer, what use are studies that try to correlate cell phone use with cancers that occur over shorter lag times?

Some significant number of Interphone Study scientists are saying there is enough correlation now to warrant erring on the side of caution and especially for children. Someone in the Harpers is perhaps worried about the next election in 2015 and may even be worried that cell phone bans will increase around the world between now and then while Ottawa appears to do nothing. They do a lot of nothing while holding the reins of powerlessness in Ottawa. I think at least one of the Harpers might be saying let's not get caught power napping in 2015. 

Health care is a pretty big issue in Canada since Tommy made it one, and guess which party is breathing down their necks between now and the next snap election call for short-term Harper gain.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

You have been resorting to the 30-year latency argument for a long time, usually as a way of trying to brush aside the observation that changes in brain cancer statistics don't correlate with changes in cell phone use.

There was [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/national-news/brain-cancer-linked-youngsters-usi... thread[/url] over 2 years ago, where you said:

• "I think that malignant tumors can take years and decades to form."

• "I think Bernie should strap a cell phone to the side of his head 24-7 and get back to us in 25 or 30 years."

• "Brain tumors take decades to develop, like lung tumors and other cancers from asbestos sometimes take more than 10, 20 or even 30 years to develop with deteriorating health in between."

Then, in a [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/environmental-justice/ontario-parents-suspect-wi... last year[/url], you continued with the assumption of a 30-year latency period for brain cancers:

• "On the contrary, anyone claiming long term exposure to WiFi and cellular devices is safe for children should probably not be in charge of child safety. I think they should volunteer to duct tape the things to their heads and get back to us in 30 years."

• "We can even make jokes about Wifi and cell phone studies that haven't been conducted because an insufficient amount of time has passed. They don't know. Translation: YOU can't possibly know until THEY know. Not unless you buy a roll of duct tape and volunteer to bathe yourself in cell phone and wifi radiation for the next 30 years or so."

• "So when will you be volunteering for this long term study in EM field exposure? You could re-tool one of those beer hats to work with your cell phone and Wifi devices.  And just to be safe, tell you doctor you want an MRI on your head every two years and annual blood tests for the next 30."

And in the current thread, you wrote:

• "The human body is a highly complex organism. And even if something doesn't give us asbestosis of the lung or brain cancer for 30 years into the future, is it really compatible with human health?"

• "Those are nice graphs, but the latency period for most cancers is 30 years."

So there can be no doubt that not only do you accept the 30-year latency figure, but you are quite willing to call upon it repeatedly to bolster your theory. My point was simply that it doesn't support your theory, and that in fact it cuts across the studies you rely on.

Fidel

When I said latency period for most cancers is 30 years, does that necessarily mean brain tumours from cell phone radiation, too?

Was I really suggesting that if a heavy cell phone user just so happens to develop a life-ending glioma well before 30 years is up that the cell phone companies should jump for joy in being certain their end user equipment is without a scientific doubt safe for human health?

Come on now, what is it you are really trying to have me say? And what would you like me to say about the general category of brain cancers in future, that they all require an incubation period of exactly 360 lunar cycles otherwise the cell phone industry, petrochemical companies, Harper's industry schills for slow and agonizing death by asbestos ingestion, coal mill owners, chromium and plastics factories, tobacco companies etc are all in the clear as far as legal blame goes? I know, let's blame the victims of cancer for causing their own deaths. Because surely it can't have anything to do with private enterprising jackals and their notorious reputations for lacking interest in the well being of living things in general. Because in all of my dozen years working for telecom companies, I can say with some certainty that none of my supervisors or the shareholders who sometimes showed their faces at company barbeques mentioned anything about cell phone safety. It was all, hjave another beer and wash it down with a greasy burger and shut the hell up about that, wouldya?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Fidel wrote:

When I said latency period for most cancers is 30 years, does that necessarily mean brain tumours from cell phone radiation, too?

Why else would you even bother mentioning it repeatedly in a thread dealing with cell phones and brain cancer? What on earth would the latency period of other kinds of cancers have to do with anything?

Quote:
Was I really suggesting that if a heavy cell phone user just so happens to develop a life-ending glioma well before 30 years is up that the cell phone companies should jump for joy in being certain their end user equipment is without a scientific doubt safe for human health?

I hope you weren't, because that would be almost as ridiculous as what you were suggesting. If a heavy cell phone user "just so happens" to develop any medical condtion - be it athlete's foot, Ménière's disease, or psoriasis - there would be no reason to believe that the condition resulted from the use of cell phones, unless it could be shown scientifically how the non-ionizing radiation associated with cell phones can cause such things. The absence of such scientific evidence doesn't give cause for "certainty" either way - but scientific skepticism is certainly justified.

In the case of a glioma, the cause of gliomas is medically unknown. Several studies have linked these tumors to virus infections (SV40, JC-virus, herpes), although there is controversy over that. The incidence of gliomas certainly predates the advent of cell phone technology. If someone is diagnosed with a glioma after five years of heavy cell phone use, you could pretty well rule out heavy cell phone use as a cause, since the latency period for gliomas is about 10 years - i.e., their glioma was caused by something else - a virus perhaps?

Fidel

Alright, so you've thoroughly twisted whatever it was I said before into something I no longer recognize. But where are you getting 10 years as the accepted latency for gliomas described in various medical literature as rare forms of brain tumour? And why should five year incubation for glioma rule out heavy cell phone use as cause? What about all those statistics up there in post#94 and bolded in red? Because your friends in the cell phone industry did foot about a third of the bills for that study. Or are the numbers just too depressing for comment?

And not only that, I'm pre-empting you in favour of Corrie.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

99 bottles of beer on the wall, 99 bottles of beer....

Fidel

The truth is that there was influence by the cell phoney industry on a few Interphoney scientists, and they in turn fought scientists with integrity in order to introduce certain biases into the study design so that people like you could ignore their conclusions. And even after sabotaging their own study, still the results warrant Canadian and German and French, Indian, Swedish, Finnish and Russian governments issuing cautionary warnings to the public. 

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