That's right, WHO (the World Health Organization) decided to throw science to the wind and declare cell phones a cancer risk comparable to lead, car exhaust and chloroform. I have to wonder, have they suddenly lost their minds?
Read this part very slowly - there's no evidence that cell phones are carcinogenic.
There are two reasons I say this with such confidence:
1. The National Cancer Institute says there's no clear evidence that cell phones cause cancer.
In fact, they announced the most comprehensive analysis of the issue ever - less than 2 weeks ago - making this very point!
To quote the NCI, "Research studies have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancer. A large international study (Interphone) published in 2010 found that, overall, cell phone users have no increased risk for two of the most common types of brain tumo - glioma and meningioma. For the small proportion of study participants who reported spending the most total time on cell phone calls there was some increased risk of glioma, but the researchers considered this finding inconclusive."
Now you may find terms like "inconclusive" less than satisfying, but bear in mind that the WHO isn't saying that they don't know if cell phones are dangerous. They're equating cell phones to things we know to be dangerous, despite the fact that there's no significant science backing up the cell phone/cancer claims.
2. Physics tells us that cell phone emissions can't cause cancer.
The type of signals that cell phones produce of made of photons. Those photons are too low in energy to damage your DNA. Put another way, the photons from a cell phone are simply too big to interact with DNA. If they can't affect your DNA, they can't cause cancer.
My favorite physics curmudgeon, Bob Park, has explained this much better than I could ever hope to, and he's done so many, many times. I'll say this, if you can pass high school physics, then you should be able to understand Bob's explanations about why cell phone radiation doesn't cause cancer. (Even if you failed physics, but can read this sentence, you should be able to understand the National Cancer Institute summary of the research data.)
Yes, cell phones get warm. Yes, they can transfer that warmth to your head. But your pillow gets warm too. You probably prefer a warm shower over a cold one. And when you were a baby, you probably snuggled against the warmth of your momma or daddy. None of these things cause cancer because your body is great at whisking away excess warmth to keep most of you, and especially your brain, at a very constant temperature. Heat has been shown to damage DNA in tissue - when you cook it - but you would be screaming in pain long before you'd have to worry about heat-induced DNA damage. The last I checked, my cell phone was nowhere near red hot.
So, what's the harm in the WHO's absurd statements? Even if the evidence for cell phone induced cancer is essentially non-existent, why should I care? If you want to wrap your head in aluminum foil to protect yourself from cell tower emissions, or alien voices, or micrometeorites, what business is it of mine?
The primary problem I have with this whole issue is that ignorance and stupidity suck. The people who should know better at the WHO are being stupid, and it resonates with the ignorant people who rely on the WHO for good information.
I'm particularly upset because I readily admit that I'm ignorant about so many other medical things that I would have considered consulting the WHO about. But when I see the WHO make an idiotic proclamation like this, I have to wonder how many other idiotic things they're doing.
I now have one definitive piece of data that tells me the WHO lacks credibility. From this point on, I'm crossing them off the list of experts that I'm going to turn to when I need health and medical advice.