Tuesday, April 19, 2005

And a tumor on the side

Ah, the 21st century cigarette.
I've got bad news for all mobile or cellular phone users: They cause cancer. Or tumors. Pick one.

Things that radiate, when transmitting against your body, radiate your body. Cellphones, portable land-line phones, even pagers. To measure this effect of radiation, every cellular telephony device (in the USA, at least) has an SAR rating which stands for Specific Absorption Rate. This is the rating of radiation being absorbed by your flesh.
SAR explaination
Rest assured your radiator is just below government regulated standards for absorption. (1.6 W/Kg in 1g of tissue)

Since cellular phones are always trying to be in better service, and other updates, etc, you must make the assumption they are always transmitting something. But, you can also make the assumption that during a call they are transmitting higher volumes at continuous rates. Telephony calls open a circut which transfers 65kbps - even when you're really really quiet.

From BBC News:

"Mobile phones 'alter human DNA'
Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 10:35 GMT
The mobile industry says there is no proof phones harm health

Radio waves from mobile phones do harm body cells and damage DNA, a laboratory study has shown.
But the European Union-funded Reflex research did not prove such changes were a risk to human health."

full story

And, in case you weren't aware, your DNA being altered is a significant impact on your health. The study was released with a caveat: State the facts, but your analysis must be 'safe'. These conclusions are typical of medical research, such as Pharma. But that's for another post.

My favorite is a recent study from Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, Denmark which claims:

"Cell phones don't cause cancer
April 13, 2005 06:36 IST

Relax! Your cell phone is safe.

Researchers at the Danish Cancer Society in Copenhagen, Denmark, say that they have found no evidence that would link use of mobile phones to brain tumours or to the risk of developing brain cancer.

The researchers, however, said that more such studies are required before concrete conclusions can be arrived at.

As a precaution, the Danish Cancer Society said that rather than holding the cell phone to the ear, everyone must use earpieces in the hands-free kits that usually come with the cell phones.

full story

There's no measured increased risk! But please, you must use your headsets. Long term studies to be conducted in the future, when nobody is using this technology anymore.

Risk mitigation:
Cellular phone:
-Don't use it - use other communication services as much as possible
-Don't touch the antenna - friends like to *chew* on it! amazing
-Use a headset - and keep the phone away from you

Bottom line... when convenience is capable elsewhere, ditch your cellphone.

"This research is no reason for people to be worried" - Dr Zenon Sienkiewicz, National Radiological Protection Board

You're right, Dr. Z...Why would anyone be worried about a digital cancerbox that you can turn off and nobody needs? At least this one doesn't cause cancer to your adjacents.