Friday, August 08, 2014

Cell Phones are as Carcinogenic as Hammers . . . (*Updated August 13)

(See the updated section "Brain Cancer Trends" at the end of this article)

. . . which is to say, they are not carcinogenic at all. The analogy between the cancer risk that results from hammers and cell phones is better than you might imagine.


I only bring this up because, once again, a prominent TV doctor who apparently has no understanding of physics is pushing the idea that "we just don't know if cell phones cause cancer" and that you should go out of your way to avoid the unknown risk.

Well, Dr. Oz, that's simply nonsense. You may also just not know that gravity will continue to work tomorrow, and choose strap yourself to the ground out of an abundance of caution. Save yourself the trouble and the expense of your gravity-failure-prevention straps because, physics!

Anyone concerned about cell phones and the affect on their health should take a look at the National Cancer Institute's fact sheet. The most important of the key points on the page is this: "Studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck."

In case that's not good enough for you, I thought I would take a moment to explain the very basic physics behind the fact that cell phone emissions can't cause cancer.

First of all, cancer can result when damaged DNA causes a cell to run amok. So for radiation to cause cancer, it has to damage DNA. I could damage your DNA with radio frequency signals like those that come from a cell phone, or like the ones that cook meat in a microwave. But in order to affect the DNA with that type of radiation, it would need to heat your cells to the point that the entire cell, and a whole bunch of nearby cells, would be severely damaged as well. That is, the radiation would have to cook your head to damage the DNA, which would destroy the cells entirely but wouldn't make them cancerous.

The reason for that is the wavelength of cell phone emissions is much larger than your cells, so the energy is deposited in a volume much larger than a cell. To damage DNA (or otherwise affect parts of the cell without totally destroying it), the wavelength must be about the size of DNA or smaller.

That's why there may be reason to worry about the potential cancer risk associated with nanoparticles. DNA in your cells is clumped in a blob about 10 nanometers across. Conceivably a nanoparticle of silver, for example, could work its way into a cell and damage the DNA, or other sub-cellular bits, without disturbing the rest of the cell. That is a recipe for cancer.

If I take the same silver and make a full sized hammer out of it, it could still damage the DNA in a cell, but it would have to smash through the rest of the cell to do it. The damaged DNA can't control a cancerous cell if the cell has been smashed to bits.

The same holds for electromagnetic radiation. In order to hit only the DNA in a cell without destroying the rest of the cell, the radiation has to have a wavelength of about the size of DNA or smaller. Because a glob of DNA in a human cell is about 10 nanometers in size, radiation must have a wavelength of 10 nanometers or less to affect it without disturbing anything else in the cell. What frequency of radiation is that?

In order to figure that out, you have to use the equation f*l=c, where f is frequency, l is wavelength and c is the speed of light.

You can rearrange the equation to solve for lowest frequency of radiation that can cause cancer

f=c/l= (300,000,000 meters/second)/.000000001=300,000,000,000,000,000 hertz = 3x10^17 hertz

That's the frequency of ultraviolet (UV) light. And as we know, you wear sunscreen because UV is carcinogenic. Visible light has frequencies that start a hundred times lower than UV, which means the wavelengths are about the size of a cell or larger. In order to damage DNA with visible light, you'd have to cook the whole cell, eliminating the possibility of a cancerous cell forming.

Microwaves ovens and cell phones put out signals that are a billion times lower in frequency than UV, and a billion times longer in wavelength - a billion too large to damage DNA without destroying the whole cell.

All a microwave or cell phone can do is heat a large group of cells. But long before your cells begin to cook, your heat sensing nerve cells would make you run from a microwave source that's intense enough to hurt you. In the same way, if someone were to tap you gently on the side of the head with a silver hammer and gradually increase the intensity of the blows, the pain would become unbearable long before you suffered much damage. And even then, you couldn't get cancer from being tapped on the head with a silver.

So there you have it cell phone radiation and hammers can't cause cancer because they're too big. UV and higher frequencies (i.e., shorter wavelengths like x-ray, gamma rays,etc.) are carcinogenic because they have wavelengths as small as DNA or smaller. I don't know if nanoparticles, like the nanoscopic silver in some sunscreens are carcinogenic, but I wouldn't be surprised if it turns out that they are.

The bottom line - and I say this with complete confidence - is that physics proves that cell phone emissions and silver hammers don't cause cancer for essentially the very same reasons. UV tanning beds and silver nanoparticles could both be dangerous, again for the very same reasons.

If you still want to waste time and money exercising an "abundance of caution" using cell phones, just in case, it's up to you. Or you could trust in science and stop worrying for nothing.

*Brain Cancer Trends (Update added August 13)

Many people who are convinced that cell phones are carcinogenic will not be swayed by the lack of a known physical mechanism for damaging DNA. For them I point out that while cell phone use has skyrocketed in the US since the phones were introduced in the 1980's, the incidence of most cancers has fallen or remained steady. In particular, here's a graph of brain cancer cases and deaths in the US since 1995.

http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/brain.html
Here is a graph of cell phones use by US population percentage since 1980.

http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1147

I know some people are eager to assert the dangers of cell phones. They are going to have to find something besides cancer to shout about, because there is no correlation between cancer and cell phones despite our thirty-year-long experiment in cell phone adoption.

71 comments:

  1. With all due respect:

    The problem with your well-phrased comments is that you have yet to look at the large literature base surrounding this issue.

    When doing science, one has to weigh the observational evidence against theoretical expectations.

    A R Liboff, Professor Emeritus
    Department of Physics
    Oakland Umiversity, Rochester, MI

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ummmm, this http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

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  2. I cite: "The bottom line ... physics proves that cell phone emissions ... don't cause cancer ..."

    However, anybody can read that the WHO/IARC has 2011 decided that radiofrequency radiation (RFR) is "possibly carcinogenic", Group 2B. And new scientific proofs have since 2011 been still more overwhelming according to published research, see for example the BioInitiative Report available at Internet (www.bioinitiative.org). It shows that 65% percent of 2000 studies in this area confirm advcerse biological effects. A large number of new medical and biological reports have proven that (man-made pulsed) wireless radiation can WITHOUT heating lead to harmful effects, which can be seen as disturbed EEG-curves in humans, adverse effects on learning and memory, DNA strand breaks (which can lead to cancer), increased risk for brain tumours (glioma and acoustic neuroma), etc by radiation less than 1/1000 and even 1/100 000 of the official "safety" limits by FCC and ICNIRP. It is easy to see for example in www.bioinitiative.org/rf-color-charts/.

    Scientists know: It is hard to prove that something does NOT EXIST. It is better to be humble and admit that adverse effects from RFR DO EXIST and can cause biological damage. Why don't you admit that so many independent scientists cannot all be wrong. Read the BioInitiative Report and you will understand that non-thermal effects from VERY low RFR (which cannot induce heating) can lead to biological damage in animals and humans and even on plants.
    Rainer Nyberg, Professor Emeritus, Vasa, Finland

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    1. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) fact sheet is the best summary of the many studies available.

      There's no reason to follow a trail of crackpot science when you can go to the leading authorities on the subject http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

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    2. This study shows that the rate of glioma has remained steady in the US as cell phone use has approached 100% of the population.

      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1147

      The study shows that there is no correlation between glioma and cell phone use at all.

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    3. The WHO/IARC 2B classification is well-known by the experts to be a blunder, which was based on unsubstantiated claims in poorly conducted studies. These studies have now more or less been proven to be wrong, so this mistake in classification will surely be corrected in the near future. In any case, 2B classification includes such horrible substances as canned vegetables and coffee :). It should be also be noted that the Professor Emeritus above has absolutely no scientific competence in the field of electromagnetic radiation and biological matter.

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  3. And again, this http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

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  4. Nope, radio frequency radiation doesn't cause cancer.

    "It is generally accepted that damage to DNA is necessary for cancer to develop. However, radiofrequency energy, unlike ionizing radiation, does not cause DNA damage in cells, and it has not been found to cause cancer in animals or to enhance the cancer-causing effects of known chemical carcinogens in animals (3–5)." -NCI fact sheet

    And http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/05_3.cfm

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  5. Research published in April 2014 has proven how cell phone radiation damages DNA in a two-stage process involving ROS (Reactive Oxygen Species). DNA damage was previously shown by Dr. Henry Lai with proof of DNA single and double strand breaks at levels below currently accepted safe FCC exposure levels, however the mechanism was not discovered until now.

    These most recent studies have shown us that the debate about cell phone radiation being hazardous or not is over, and it is time to create a cell phone radiation policy that will address these issues as bio-effects have been observed at a rate of 92 percent in 80 peer-reviewed studies

    http://www.rfsafe.com/dna-and-the-microwave-effect/

    The prevailing view that non-ionizing cell phone radiation can not cause DNA damage was first challenged academically with a theory Penn State published titled, DNA and the Microwave Effect, January 20, 2001.

    New studies on (ROS) Oxygen Species Production and RF, proves Penn State theory correct and cell phone radiation does cause DNA damage in two-stage process.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Why read that nonsense when you can just go to the best resource available? Read the National Cancer Institute fact sheet at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

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  6. Yes, and so say the Radiation Safety Organizations in several countries. Because they still believe in the industry lobbyists and that ionizing radiation and HEATING are the only outside effects that can cause DNA strand breaks and other biological damage. But how do they then explain that thousands of scientific reports DO PROVE that NON-ionizing radiation can cause biological damage and DNA-strand breaks. Read more in www. biointiative.org AND here if you are HONESTLY searching the truth:
    http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/01/cancer-victims-lining-sue-cell-phone-manufacturers/
    Rainer Nyberg

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    1. Freedom Outpost? Seriously? Try science instead. Visit the National Cancer Institute site at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones

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    2. The Bioinitiative web pages are crank science by a small group of people with no real scientific expertise or competence in the field.

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  7. It seems that you have very little understanding of what you are talking about. It also seems as though you have not read any of the studies in question. Studies do find a consistent link.

    Additionally, EMF (the radiation emitted from things such as cell phones, wifi routers, baby monitors and cordless phones) has been demonstrated to cause double strand DNA breaks at levels of exposure well below FDA guidelines.

    It is ironic that you call on your readers to trust science...in this case I agree. Science has shown definitively a link between exposure to EMF and cancer/heart abnormalities/cognitive challenges/neurodegenerative conditions/difficult pregnancy/developmental issues.

    Read the primary sources. Acknowledge that entire bodies of medical doctors have issued open warnings. Acknowledge that entire countries have seen fit to limit and in some cases ban the technology in public venues. Acknowledge that the manufacturers list RF exposure warnings in their user manuals.

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  8. Despite the smattering of small and poorly designed studies that suggest a possible risk, as the NCI says,"there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer."

    That makes sense because physics says the same thing: there is no mechanism that would lead to RF causing cancer.

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  9. I think you are misusing science, just like religious zealots misuse the bible.

    As scientists we are open to all options until the problem is considered to be completely solved. Cancer is far from a solved problem. It would be different if you had said the link between RF and cancer is yet to be proven. But your statement makes it a foregone conclusion that RF does not cause cancer. True scientists are generally modest and are always suspicious of their own assumptions and results. They don't make bold firm statements.

    Your analogy between RF wavelength and DNA is correct, but you are working under the assumption that the science you know is exhaustive and complete and that nothing will emerge in the future to challenge its assumptions. That sounds more like faith than science. Science has evolved over time. What was an ironclad truth turned out to be incorrect a few decades later.

    A number of similar assertions made in the past turned out to be wrong - smoking cigarettes, xray imaging, bacterias in the gut, etc... Our understanding of the human body and our universe is always expanding. If you are not open to those options, I would challenge if you are a real scientist.

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  10. Electromagnetic theory is thoroughly understood. And there is no way for electromagnetic waves below the optical wavelengths to damage DNA without destroying the cell. It's that simple. You might as well propose that Newton's laws of motion are wrong. Sorry, it isn't so. When it comes to to electromagnetic theory, yes, the science is exhaustive and complete.

    In combination with the fact that there is no evidence of that RF causes cancer, that pretty much settles the matter. Low frequency sources of energy could cook you if you were exposed to hundreds of watts, but it won't cause cancer. And the levels of heating you get from cell phone emissions are so small you probably can't feel it (you may notice some warmth from the handset, but that's usually the battery). You get higher doses of (infrared) electromagnetic waves from sitting close to your significant other.

    If cell phones could cause cancer, then your spouse would be even more carcinogenic because he or she is putting our orders of magnitude more energy than your cell phone. But holding hands doesn't cause cancer - and neither do cell phone emissions.

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  11. By the same token, EM tells us that frequencies above the optical range can cause cancer. And, viola, it does. That's why sunscreen that blocks UV is not a sham, but cell phone cancer hysteria is.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You mean, when you solve Maxwell's equations, it says high energy photons will cause cancer?

    It is not classical EM theory, but quantum theory that says higher frequency photons carry a higher quanta of energy. For UV that is around 4eV.

    Why you need >4eV to cause DNA damage has to do with the transition energies within the DNA. Our current understanding of the DNA molecule is that it takes more than 4eV to dissociate parts of the molecule. This is based on our current understanding of the DNA structure, and most biologists would agree that our current understanding of the DNA is very premature. If you think the DNA is thoroughly and fully understood, I would humbly wait for your explanation (may be a Nature Pub is in order).

    You are assuming that the DNA does not have any lower-energy transitions, and also that mechanisms other than bond dissociation could not alter the molecular structure of the DNA.
    If you have examined any of these in detail, then I will stand to be corrected.

    But, sorry, your hammer analogy far too simplistic. May be you didn't mean it that way, but it came across like it was written by a politician who took a basic EM course.

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  13. There are plenty of scientific literature on the effects of RF on humans other than simple joule heating. Whether you trust them or not is up to you, but the fact that they exist means there is more to this than your overly simplistic view of hammers causing cancer.

    Here is a brief reference list.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15788236
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12802592
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15777847
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19264461


    ReplyDelete
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    1. Or you can read this http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones or even this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mobile_phone_radiation_and_health#Cancer

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  14. You can't just say that there is "no evidence" because you choose to ignore the scientific literature that shows evidence. You can say "There is no evidence from sources that I trust," but quite frankly those papers are written by scientists with excellent credentials. BTW, what are your credentials?

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    1. Do you mean to ask about the credentials of the people who wrote this page (and specifically item 4 that says ". . . there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.") http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones?

      I'm sure their credentials are impeccable. After all they work for the National Cancer Institute.

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    2. In 2015 we have data about what happens to sperm.

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    3. Yes, there's another badly flawed study from Israel claiming that cell phones in the front pocket affect the quality of semen by heating (see e.g.http://www.timesofisrael.com/cellphones-may-damage-male-fertility-israeli-study-finds/). This study is clearly badly flawed. It is easy to calculate that within the current SAR limits the temperature rise in men's genital area, caused by a cell phone in the pocket, is unmeasurably small (fractions of a degree). A plausible explanation for the results (besided ridiculously small statistics) is that young men who keep phones in their pockets also wear tight pants. This has a real effect on body temperature in the crotch.

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  15. Sounds like this was written by someone who just learned f*l=c and is now trying to apply it to everything he sees. As the saying goes, when you have a hammer.....

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    1. Well, applying an equation about waves to a problem involving waves anyway. That's true. It's also a very clear illustration of how to estimate what frequency of light could damage DNA based on what we know about the size of DNA molecules.

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  16. If "Buzz Skyline" and others honestly search the truth they can learn that a DNA-molecule, found in every cell in your body: 1) can conduct electricity very well and 2) is shaped like a fractal antenna. One 6 feet long (!) DNA-molecule – your whole genome – is compressed into the tiny nucleus of every living cell in your body.

    Your brain has about 100 billion nerve cells and more than 600 billion glia cells. All these cells also contain DNA fractal antennas. Glia cells react by calcium signals when they feel the bioelectric impulses of only only 0.1 Volt in adjacent nerve cells. This is a bio-electrical non-thermal (independent of heating) reaction that many physicist know very little about. Seems that many Radiation Safety physicists and officials belong to that un-informed group, as they still suppose and claim that heating is the one and only biological effect of radiofrequency radiation on living cells.

    Cell phones receive / send pulsated radio signals over fractal antennas. Biological science demonstrates that all frequentcy electromagnetic fields created by cell phones, laptops, tablets and WiFi antennas in them can react with and damage DNA in glia cells and other cells in the body. Learn more about this from the books (A) "The Other Brain" by Dr. R. Douglas Fields and  (B) "Overpowerd" (pages 51-77) and a brilliant (C)  article by Dr. Martin L. Pall, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3780531/ . The reading can help you understand why non-ionizing radiation has adverse effects on your body. 

    That was the last posting in this blogg from me in this matter.

    Rainer

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    Replies
    1. You are working very hard to find a mechanism for an effect that isn't there.

      In order to make a case you need to have at least an effect to explain or a mechanism to apply.

      Epidemiology shows no evidence that cell phones cause cancer (see item 4 here http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones), and physics has no mechanism for light below the UV range to cause cancer(see electromagnetic textbook of your choice).

      The emissions from cell phones can only heat you, and even then it's much less heat than you would get sitting next to an incandescent lamp, taking a dip in a hot tub, sitting in a sauna, or taking a stroll on a hot day. But those things aren't carcinogenic because heat doesn't cause cancer.

      Delete
    2. Fractal antenna? What a load of nonsense.

      Delete
  17. Listen folks, if cell phones cause brain cancer, as so many of you want to believe, why have brain cancer rates in the US remained stable while cell phone usage in the country has dramatically increased? This table goes back to 1975

    http://seer.cancer.gov/archive/csr/1975_2010/browse_csr.php?sectionSEL=3&pageSEL=sect_03_table.05.html

    See? There is no brain cancer epidemic.

    So, again, you're eager to claim a mechanism for an effect that isn't there. That's just delusional.

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  18. No Buzz, I asked about YOUR credentials, not those from the scientists of the National Cancer Institute. (I noticed you avoided answering that question.) Yes, the scientists from the NCA have excellent credentials, but so do many scientist who say there is cause for concern when it comes to mobile phones. You are not qualified to negate their findings. Moreover, there is a difference between "no evidence" and proof that there is no harm. The science on electromagnetic radiation is not exhaustive, as you claim, and I challenge you to find a real scientists (with credentials) that says it is.

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    1. How does one provide "proof that there is no harm?" What scientists suggest this as the standard of considering an agent safe for general use?

      Also, the credentials and ethics of a number of alarmist scientists are not so stellar.

      Delete
  19. I, Shanti, am a person who can point to the NCI fact sheet as a reputable source that says cell phones don't cause cancer. I didn't write the fact sheet so my medical qualifications are not relevant.

    I am also a person who can read a graph that shows that brain cancer cases and deaths haven't changed since 1975 (http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/brain.html), although cell phone use has increased dramatically in that same period. Not only is there no causal connection between cell phone use and cancer, there isn't even a CORRELATION.

    Check out this report on gliomas, for example http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1147 for a complete scholarly analysis of readily and widely available information

    I'm a person who isn't scrounging for an implausible mechanism to cause an effect that isn't there.

    Before you say cell phones cause cancer, you're going to have to explain why rates of nearly all types of cancer in the US have declined or (as is true of brain cancer) remained stable at the same time that cell phone use has become almost universal.

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  20. "Comprehensive review on mobile phone technologies finds no solid evidence of health effects
    26 April 2012
    A new report by the Health Protection Agency’s independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) has concluded that there is still no convincing evidence that mobile phone technologies cause adverse effects on human health."

    http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2012PressReleases/120426Mobilephones/

    ReplyDelete
  21. Oh, Dear Author(s), you are absolutely clueless and you are just spitting utter garbage and nonsense in this article. Sure, someone who never studied science and does not think, may quickly believe you. But someone who has two working neurons, will quickly smell the stink in your logic. You are saying that there is no cancer without DNA mutagenesis - in other words, if something does not mutate DNA, then it's "proven" by your Physics equation(s) that it will not lead to cancer. You could not be more wrong. In fact, there is an entire group of chemicals that are unable (by tests, including the in vitro Ames test) to cause mutations - yet they cause cancer. This has been solved partially, in the biomedical world (of which you seem to be totally ignorant) by the ability of chemicals to cause epigenetic changes. This explains why hexavalent chromium, which (just like non-ionizing radiation) is unable to "break DNA strands", is nevertheless a powerful carcinogen. This also explains why human papilloma virus, and hepatitis virus, and the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, in time, are able to cause epigenetic changes (this is published, abundantly) and lead to cancer (among other health problems). Yes, take your Physics equation, and try to fit the papilloma virus onto it, and you will also conclude and the virus "could not possibly lead to cancer". Your arguments are a shame and a disgrace, not only to the address of Physics, but also to the address of science in general, which is supposed to integrate knowledge from multiple fields. We, non-Physicists, the rest of the humanity in other words, are so so lucky that if we get sick, we won't get a Physicist to scribble down an equation and try to figure out whether symptoms and signs make sense! A piece of advice: sit down and educate your self about real science. If you respond, also inform your reader about how many classes you took in biology, human medicine, and genetics.

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    1. You better alert the National Cancer Institute, which claims in their fact sheet, "Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as from radiation therapy, is known to increase the risk of cancer. However, although many studies have examined the potential health effects of non-ionizing radiation from radar, microwave ovens, and other sources, there is currently no consistent evidence that non-ionizing radiation increases cancer risk." (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones)

      I doubt they're physicists, but they disagree with you, so they must be wrong.


      Delete
    2. You might also explain why there is no sign of increasing brain cancers despite the exponential rise in cell phone use of the last 30 years.

      http://seer.cancer.gov/archive/csr/1975_2010/browse_csr.php?sectionSEL=3&pageSEL=sect_03_table.05.html

      Delete
  22. Buzz Skyline@ You keep pointing, over and over, obsessively, towards a fact sheet that may or may not be scientifically accurate or comprehensive, and like a well-trained parrot keep repeating the same thing. I am talking about scientific concepts and facts. You still have not addressed my questions. Are you able to, or you can only state things that your employer allows you to state and nothing off the script of your terribly flawed and puerile piece? Your arguments and pseudoscience and an insult to intelligence and they are clearly an exhibit of scientific misconduct. As I stated: go and educate yourself. Science, ethics, and professionalism. Improve your ability to entertain questions and discuss a concept.

    ReplyDelete
  23. So you don't trust the National Cancer Institute? Or Public Health England (http://www.hpa.org.uk/NewsCentre/NationalPressReleases/2012PressReleases/120426Mobilephones/)? Or this study showing that glioma incidences haven't risen with cell phone use http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e1147 for a complete scholarly analysis of readily and widely available information? Or data you can see with your own eyes http://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/brain.html?

    If you don't believe them, why would anything else I say convince you?

    There's no reason to delve into hypothetical and sketchy theories about possible cell phone cancer mechanisms when there's no indication that cancer rates have risen over the last 30 years.

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  24. You are *still* missing my point (or you are just acting as if you did). I asked you a question, from your own article and own statement, about the necessity for a DNA mutation in order to cause cancer. As simple as that. You *still* were not able to answer that. (FYI: authors generally are able to back up their statements. Unless someone else wrote that for you, or told you what to write). Shameful.

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  25. @Buzz Skyline:
    Also, FYI: I trust *data* (do you know what that is?) Not fliers, not fact sheets, not reports, not summaries, nor abstracts. *Data*. That seems to be one of the essential differences between the two of us. You speak like a propaganda spokesperson with an agenda, I speak like a thoughtful scientist. Scientists look at data. Again, not summaries made by others. *Kindly please* do yourself and your readers a favor, and educate yourself. This should have happened before the APS made from itself a laughing stock by having you write about biology, without having neither a background nor the understanding of the field.

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    1. OK, here's some data for you http://seer.cancer.gov/archive/csr/1975_2010/browse_csr.php?sectionSEL=3&pageSEL=sect_03_table.05.html

      Look at that and tell me why you think cell phones cause brain cancer if brain cancer rates have been steady since 1975 while cell phone use has exploded.

      Delete
  26. @Buzz Skyline:
    You still failed to address my questions. How come you state that mutations are needed for carcinogenesis when an entire field of science has shown otherwise? Mutations are one mechanisms, but cancer and biological changes in genes may also occur through other mechanisms. They are called *epigenetic*. Are you familiar with the concept?

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  27. There's no reason to address a mechanism that's not relevant to RF in an article about electromagnetic radiation.

    Electromagnetic radiation at UV frequencies and higher can damage DNA (and may cause cancer), at lower frequencies it deposits heat. I have not seen any claim that heat can lead to the epigenetic cancers you are so excited about. That's good, because we're exposed to heat all the time. And if heat at the levels of cell phone powers caused cancer, we'd be in huge trouble.

    In fact, because cancer rates have not risen in correlation with cell phone adoption, there's not a reason to search for a mechanism at all because there's no effect to explain.

    Why are you predisposed to believe that cell phones cause cancer if after 30 years of cell phone adoption, cancer rates haven't increased (and in some cases have decreased)?

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  28. Hi, I am not talking about cell phone and cancers now. I am talking about your erroneous statement that you made in your article. Again - please note the difference. I am repeatedly trying to point you towards my question, which you either did not see, or you are merely acting as if you did not see it. Once again, this is about your flawed statement in an article you authored. When someone points out a factual mistake that you made, and you *still* are avoiding getting your facts straight, that goes beyond ignorance and it borders somewhere in scientific misconduct. Your article is deeply flawed, I pointed it out, but you seem unwilling and/or unable to correct your own factual mistakes. I hope you will not provide an example to others, who should follow the principles of ethical and professional conduct in science writing and reporting.

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    1. I'm talking about cell phones and cancer. If you want to talk about something else, go somewhere else.

      Delete
  29. FYI: the study of mechanisms is temporarily independent of epidemiological studies. In other words, if you failed to understand that sentence, historically, science does not study molecular mechanisms only after epidemiological studies are concluded. The two happen in parallel. This, once again, clearly illustrates how unfamiliar you are with the general principles of scientific inquiry. Please tell APS to get someone, next time, who actually 1). knows how to write accurately, 2). is familiar with biology when writing about biology, 3). is able to address questions from their own article, should they come up, and 4). has some basic understanding of how scientific inquiry is conducted. Each and every one of your statements depicts your ignorance. With that, I believe I am done wasting my precious time trying to familiarize you with concepts that you should have studied in college. Once again, your article is actually flawed, so is your reasoning, and you should, as I stated, educate yourself before delving into a topic in which you are unable to address basic questions.

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    1. Study mechanisms all you want. But to claim that they produce cell phone related cancers while there is no indication of a correlation is bizarre.

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    2. We've done the experiment - exposed millions of people to billions of hours of cell phone emissions, but cancer rates are unchanged. If you get excited about looking for ways cell phones could cause cancer, even though they don't, more power to you. Why anyone would care is beyond me.

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  30. Dear Buzz Skyline
    This is a very strange discussion on a physics forum. Your article and your responses to the comments are clear evidence that you wrote it just to provoke a reaction. I hope at least had some fun with it. I truly hope that you are more intelligent what this article makes you out to be.

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    1. You're going to have to be a tad more specific.

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  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  32. Feel free to leave a comment, Lloyd. Just don't include the link.

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  33. what about this paper:

    Meta-analysis of long-term mobile phone use and the association with brain tumours.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18425337

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    1. This one is newer and has more participants:

      http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-info/healthyliving/cancercontroversies/mobilephones/mobile-phones-and-cancer

      From the article: "The largest study so far on mobile phones and cancer is part of the Million Women Study and included around 790,000 women. It found no link between use of mobile phones and brain tumours or 18 other types of cancer. There was also no increased risk for most types of brain tumour, including the two most common (glioma and meningioma). But they did see a raised risk of one rare type of brain tumour (acoustic neuroma) for women who had used mobile phones for at least five years. But in an update to the findings, based on including another two years of data in their analysis, there was no longer a raised risk of acoustic neuroma."

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  34. BuzzSkyline is a complete moron, if he trusts everything he finds on a .gov website.

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  35. Touche, Annonymous. It's like arguing with Socrates.

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  36. This was a most enjoyable read. Hilarious.
    Buzz's empirical data is overwhelming, irrefutable proof.
    Like global warming, Scientists tend to see and/or Cherry-Pick results that support their political leanings and/or the views of the source of their financial benefactors.
    No matter what data is presented, you cannot draw any scientific conclusions using 150 data points (years) of the total of 4,540,000,000 years of the planet's existence.
    Maybe one day the data will show that heating tissue 24 hours per day for 50 years will cause cancer. But, who cares?

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  37. Your tissue *is* heated everyday, to nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit! Oh my, your metabolism is trying to give you cancer! There are plenty of people who live in environments where the ambient temperature reaches well over 100 degrees everyday.In fact, spending time in saunas at temperatureas of 176 degrees and above actually *extends* your life expectancy (http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-17617/to-extend-your-life-spend-time-in-a-sauna.html). Heat, is not carcinogenic.

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  38. This is really a big crock of horsesh*t. Your arrogance is palpable. Science has really no idea how cancer is formed. In fact, there is ample evidence that cancer is not what institutionalized science has been chasing for 50 years. That is, its own tail. That you cite science that has proven nothing nor knows how to cure cancer is laughable.

    Your assumption, which is based on ignorance, is that DNA must be mutated by the direct force of energy waves in some manner, to "create" cancer. About five years ago there was a report in New Scientist that 41 types of cancer were associated with unique viruses. It is more likely that in some way EMF interrupts the body's natural energy field or energy operation and somehow this interruption allows viruses to attack and mutate cellular tissue. Furthermore, there is some evidence that this may actually be in some way involved in the evolution of species as a substantial amount of human DNA contains viral strands.

    Institutionalized science has been chasing its tail if this is accurate to any degree. The fact that you cite junk science simply proves your level of ignorance. When anyone tells you they are certain of something, they are selling something certainly.

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    1. It's not that complicated. Cancer consists of abnormal cells. In order for a cell to become cancerous, most of the cell has to be intact. Anything that destroys an entire cell (e.g. excessive heat or other forms of radiation with wavelengths the size of a cell or larger) can't do any damage that would cause cancer. They can only destroy the cell entirely, and a dead cell can't be cancerous.

      If the heat that cell phones produce in your head caused cancer, then saunas would be way more cancerous than cell phones. And yet, saunas seem to be good for your health, if anything. If the heat from cell phones somehow encourages viruses (which are certainly of a size suitable to damage DNA or other sub-cellular structures), so would saunas, or hot baths for that matter. Again, hot baths and saunas do not seem to be cancerous (or facilitate cancer-causing viruses), so neither do cell phones.

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  39. I agree with you

    If cellphones can cause cancer we will notice that
    at least we all know that person from our family that use his/her smart phone all the time

    cancers studies said the cellphone is more dangerous on kids but almost all the kids using smart phone now and we did not notice any changes

    I don't understand why people want cellphones to be cancerous

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  41. "First of all, cancer can result when damaged DNA causes a cell to run amok. So for radiation to cause cancer, it has to damage DNA."

    Respectfully Sir but you would flunk my first year logic class with answers like this.

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  42. Replies
    1. Oncologists posit several theories about the origination of cancer most do not posit a change in DNA as the first event.

      For example

      "We’re not going to make major advances in the management of cancer until it becomes recognized as a metabolic disease." Doctor Thomas Seyfried MD PhD, Note FOOD can and MUST be used to prevent and treat cancer

      “Just by decreasing a cell’s oxygen content by about one-third, cancer is automatically induced. Nothing more is required for cancer to develop.” Doctor Otto Warburg 1924

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    2. It's a good thing we knew so much about cancer in 1924. Any update on Dr. Warburg's hypothesis in the last 90 years?

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  43. I think cellphones are safe.

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    1. They are far safer than sunlight, pollution, obesity, environmental chemicals, driving, flying or even living at home...and the list goes on. How many of the by 4.4 billion cell phone users (2015) have been killed by cell phone "radiation"? None.

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