home
RSS
Cell phones and cancer: Should you be worried?
June 1st, 2011
09:58 AM ET

Cell phones and cancer: Should you be worried?

By now you may have heard that cell phones are "possibly carcinogenic to humans." That's according to the World Health Organization and something some scientists have suspected for a while.  But now that it's coming from the WHO, those who have questioned the safety of cell phones have significant international support.

But why "possibly"? What is that supposed to mean? The latest judgment from the WHO sounds a little wishy-washy, and that's because of the inconclusive nature of the scientific studies on this subject.

The available research on the health effects of cell phone is retrospective. That means scientists are looking into the past at the association between people's behavior and brain health, rather than designing an experiment that will require a controlled setting. Researchers can't control retrospectively how much any individual uses a cell phone, or regulate other environmental factors that might be detrimental to brain health, or even know how far away from the head different people hold their cell phones. Remember that the amount of radiation you receive is related to distance-squared from the source, so the further away your phone is physically, the safer you would be.

In a closer-to-ideal experiment regarding cell phone use, scientists would be able to monitor exact cellphone use of particular users over a given time period under controlled conditions, and track their health as well. That would be a prospective study. They would look at particular groups of users - those with high, medium and low usage - and compare health effects. They would know who has what kind of phone, make sure that person kept the same phone during the entire duration of the experiment, and figure out a way to standardize the phone's distance from the head.

The Interphone study, the largest scientific look at the cell phone health question to date, is a retrospective study. It also is partly industry-funded, and while the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer coordinates it, several researchers who analyze the data receive money from the mobile phone industry.

In May 2010, Interphone published results indicating no connection between cancer and phones. But it defined "highest" exposure levels as using a mobile phone half an hour a day over a 10-year period. In the appendix of the study, published only online, the risk of developing a glioma brain tumor about doubles if you are using a cell phone over a 10-year period.

In general, the Interphone study has many flaws. Among them, participants self-reported how much they used their phones, and memory isn't always accurate. Also, Interphone does not include children and young adults, who could be at increased risk of brain disease from cell phone radiation. Interphone also fails to address cordless phone use. But the bottom line is that while it doesn't prove with absolute certainty that anything causes anything, it is still a reason to pause and think about your cell phone use.

Also, in February, a National Institutes of Health study found that cell phone use is associated with increased brain cell activity, although no one really knows what that means for longterm health.

As you can see, there are a lot of different factors involved here, and it's hard to know what to make of this data. CNN's own Dr. Sanjay Gupta says  he uses a wired earpiece when talking on a cell phone. If you are concerned about cell phone safety, continue to check in with CNNHealth.com and "The Chart" for the latest reporting on medical and scientific studies and keep in mind, if leading neurosurgeons are using wired ear pieces, it may be a good idea to do the same. Here are some tips for minimizing cell phone radiation.


soundoff (947 Responses)
  1. Jack Singleton

    Cordless phone are battery powered microwave transceivers just like cell phones however they are never mentioned as a heath treat. It's not clear why cell phones are targeted. Power output or frequency are never mentioned so apparently they are not a factor. Living near a 50 KW radio station is Ok but cell phones are not? It appears to be an emotionly driven issue with little common sense involved.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Well?

      Your radio station analogy is incorrect. The frequency's used to transmit radio signals is not in the "microwave" category. This would need to be over 1 ghz and radio stations transmit up to 18Khz. Further more the reason why your wireless phone ananology doesn't quite work is because of two reasons 1. Again the frequency transmitted in your house is in a different band width. 2. Usage of homewireless phones fits in to the same usage patternes as hardwire lines. Meaning they are used less often. I hope this helps all reading this.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • Well?

      My bad that should be upto 108khz.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • JOANNA

      The WHO tried this scare 10 years ago when my oldest daughter was in high school. It is just a bunch of bologna, like eggs are bad for you, but now they are not....there is more texting going on than a phone in the ear.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • david

      When you half the distance between yourself and an RF radiator, you square the power you're subjecting your cells to. Sequentially halving distance means powers increase like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 264, etc., times. The reason high power radio stations aren't as bad as cell phones is because a cell phone is in contact with your head. Your body receives more localized radiation from it than from the 50,000 watt tower you may live next to.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • david

      Correction.... 2, 4, 16, 256, 65536, etc...

      June 1, 2011 at 12:18 | Report abuse |
    • jambones

      Of course cell phones cause cancer. Almost everything big business pushed down out throats cause cancer. All those waves constantly ripping through our bodies clearly disrupt our cellular structure over time and cause cancer. It is and has been obvious for a long time. Of course they always put out products without long term testing, I mean if big business cared about us at all they would test their products thoroughly. The cancer rate continues to climb and people refuse to change anything they do, most people are imbeciles and sheep. the average american is a fat lazy sheep who has never learned to think, only has learned to absorb what he is told by authority figures as fact. We are a slovenly people mostly incapable of individual thought or action. For the rest of us with brains who base our decisions based up morality and not the almighty dollar, I say it is time for a revolution.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • scared2death

      As a smoker in NYC, I am scared to death of 2nd hand cell phone radiation!!! We need cell free offices, subways, parks. Can you imagine how scary it it going to be to have to sit next to someone in a restaurant while they are transmitting 2nd hand radiation???!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • Ricote

      "Well?" don't know what is talking about and creating even more confusion. Perhaps you mean that a radio station max freq is 108MHz no KHz, just 1000 times higher, also TV stations can transmit huge amounts of RF power in UHF (up to 850MHz) similar to the freq used by cells just a few years ago and even today. On top of that, there is not evidence that a particular freq or band is the trouble. If there is in fact only some frequencies creating trouble in our brain, then the problem will be really hard to track, because cell technology is changing constantly in few years intervals to higher frequencies, so what study in the world can track 10 years cell use of a person. That use will be different, with different frequencies and powers involved and of not of much help.

      However, there is an scary fact that can open a can of worms in this study. If radioelectric energy can indeed create cancer as suggested, TV / Radio stations can be indeed be a huge problem. Using EE common knowledge and a fading RF or propagation calculator (there are a bunch in the web), it is easy to see that there can be levels of radiation similar to what you get sticking your phone in an hear up to 1km around a broadcast antenna 24H a day! And that is not your choice my friend! I remember, it use to be an array of these antenas in the Empire State Building in NYC, I thint they still operate...can you imagine the consecuences if the study is true?

      Of course, it looks still there is a lot of paranoia around this studies since the levels of affected never have been considered significant, I would like that CNN shows real numbers to see. I know as a fact that there are 1/50 people with skin cancer in their lifetime due to radiation from the sun UV mainly or other artificial means and sadly there is no big deal, awareness, or enough research to help to get these numbers lower.

      June 1, 2011 at 13:25 | Report abuse |
  2. killallthewhiteman

    the only thing that you need to worry about is the price of the "cancer free" cell phones.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Greg

      yea.....there's big money in selling Gloom and Doom. Ask Al Gore.......

      June 1, 2011 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
  3. PhilG.

    So THAT'S where my hair went.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Greg Lock

    Well the thing about this type of research methodology is that you can't 100% show a direct cause and effect relationship, but how often do you see a study that shows 100% c/e link? Cancer is corrleated to smoking, but not all smokers get cancer and non-smokers also develop lung cancer. Same for fatty diets. Most likely, cell phones do pose a higher likleyhood of developing certiain types of cancers/tumors just as the study indicated, but the real question is who is going to stop using their cell phones? Do you really see people going back to using the old rotorary phones with the 20ft cords? I wounder radiaition is also transmitted from cordless phones?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • j

      Although correlation != causation, we actually understand the mechanism whereby smoking causes cancer in many people. We also have mechanisms explaining how smoking causes heart disease and emphysema (both of which have a much higher incidence than cancer). Where's the mechanism for how cellphone radiation can cause cancer?

      The article should have mentioned that cellphones are now placed in the same carcinogenic category as caffeine and nickel.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
  5. Kerry M. Berger

    This is going to become a political hot potato in this country. The WHO report says more research needs to be done, but let's watch as the US Industry does everything to squash evidence and try to influence our illustrious GOP Politicians in Washington, D.C. with bribes to politicize this making decisions on the basis of expedience rather than scientific research results. I'm certain Congress will use this to try to pull further funding from the CDC, NSF etc since these Legislative clowns are at a loss as to how to properly address this nation's ills. Pax Americana.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tim

      I am surprised that the study was even able to get publised. Big business is slipping. It is a good thing Americans like thier cell phones and have the attention span of a gnat. I would not sell your cell phone stock just yet.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  6. bob dobbs

    Seems like natural selection in action to me.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ECJ

    One of my physics professors at the University of Illinois (who is also an astrophysicist at Fermi Lab near Chicago) says that cell phones lack the radioactive intensity to physically break the bonds that hold DNA together, meaning they cannot mutate DNA and cause cancer.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • everyone

      You're kidding right?

      June 1, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • Well?

      I think you are right for short term use. The problem is long term exposure has never been examined. My point is okay it cannot break a cell and cause mutation after 10 exposures but what about after 1000? My teenage daughters easily use their phones 10 – 20 hrs per week.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • MD/PhD Student

      It does not matter how many exposures to low-intensity radiation DNA undergoes, it will never, ever, not in a million years, ever break a chemical bond in DNA.

      A good comparison would be shooting a Nerf gun at a brick wall, or firing a rifle at a brick wall. If I fire the Nerf gun 1,000 times at the same spot it will not have any appreciable effect on the integrity of the brick wall whatsoever. If I fire the rifle once, it will severely damage the wall.

      This is all correlative data and I will remain extremely skeptical until a REAL scientist shows something besides crappy correlative data.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      RCJ is absolutely correct. Basically the energy input is not great enough to overcome the energy holding the molecular bonds together. So it can't overcome that connection and break it. It's a bit like bouncing a tennis ball against a block of steel. Term doesn't matter, there is no wearing down of a molecular bond. It doesn't get tired or old, it either is connected or is not.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:03 | Report abuse |
    • AboveItALL2

      ur teacher is an ignorant putz who probably has a part time sales job with one of the wireless phone companies!!!

      June 1, 2011 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Justthinkin

      @MD/PhD Student Perhaps the nerf gun didn't break the brick wall. But would one rain drop bring down a mountain? Therefore is is impossible for the rain to erode a mountain?

      June 1, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
    • Mike Varney

      Thus the problem with analogies. The nerf on the brick wall is still classical. However, the photoelectric effect is intrinsically a quantum phenomena that has classical repercussions. In reality you could fire a billion nerf balls at the wall and still not damage it, or a trillion... intensity (number of photons) of the radiation will not ionize the molecule, thus it cannot cause cancer.
      Heating is a different matter, and the power output of a typical cell phone is easily handles by the human body's thermal regulation system. Your cat sitting on your lap dumps more heat per steradian than a cell phone will.
      I used to say "Basic physics" But if so many cannot understand these facts... perhaps it is not simple enough?

      June 1, 2011 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  8. everyone

    Yes, and cigarettes are good for you. Just ask big tobacco.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Dave

    They're just comming to this conclusion now??? Way to go science! Look at all these women that talk on cell phones when they are prgnant...do you think that can contribute to all these autistic kids being born. Autism is up over the past 15 years...and so is cell phone usage. Just food for thought.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Well?

      The thing that is not being brought up that has been tested and is in the middle of an on going research is cell phone tower signals. This is the same thing really as having a cell phone on your ear. Germany and other European countries are testing the effects over time and proximity to these signals. mean while we keep upping the anti....moving to 4 G now right everyone.....yes....more info, more data.....

      June 1, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • Papa R

      Dave, a good chunk of why Autism is up so much in the past several years is because they keep widening the symptoms. You should look up Penn & Teller's "BS" episode about autism and vaccines... very entertaining, and informative.

      June 1, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • MD/PhD Student

      Your speculative correlation is silly at best. Cell phones have nothing to do with autism. More likely that the methods we use for labor induction are involved.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
  10. Dennis

    EMR refers to Electromagnetic Radio-frequency Radiation which is the potentially dangerous frequency emitted by cellular or mobile phones. High frequency ionizing forms of radiation exists as X-rays, Gamma rays and forms of nuclear radiation known to be hazardous . Non-ionizing radiation of lower frequency ionizing forms such as early cell phones were thought to be safe. That view has changed since cell phones and mobile phones have grown in strength from low-level radio waves to high-level microwaves. No scientific study has proven conclusively that the use of cellular phones is hazardous to human health, yet continued use of higher frequency phones could adversely affect the central nervous system, diminish the effectiveness of the immune system and facilitate the development of cancer according to scientific research. Perhaps this is why governments and health organizations worldwide are spending millions of dollars towards on-going research to determine the long term effects of exposure to E.M.R from cellular and mobile phones.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Papa R

    Not saying they are not dangerous, but if they were as bad as some believe, wouldn't we have seen a much more intense increase in localized cancer in the hands, being that it's transmission is focused more out from the head..closer to and through the hand, not to mention all the time spent texting... ? Just a thought.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Susanne

    Dave, maybe diagnoses of autism and such are up because the criteria for diagnosing them have become more broad and therefore more people meet those criteria. That doesn't necessarily mean the incidence has gone up.

    And as for a link to brain cancer, I'm not so sure cell phones are to blame. My mother died of glioblastoma brain cancer, but was not a regular cell phone user. Her doctors (some of the best in the neuro-oncology field) said they do not know why people get what my mom got. They likened it to a case of extremely bad luck. While I am unsure of any cell phone link, I do use an earpiece with mine just to be on the safe side.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. BrewtownPsych

    Dear CNN, based on this information and the inconclusive evidence (not to mention lack of peer-reviewed studies) it is irresponsible of you to even run this story.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. j

    What this article kindly forgot to mention is that cellphones are now placed in the class 2B category, meaning that while it is "possibly" carcinogenic, it's also in the same company as caffeine, nickel, red dye no. 2, etc. So, will all you coffee drinkers stop drinking coffee because caffeine may "possibly" be carcinogenic?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. JEN

    THIS IS NOTHING COMPARES TO SMOKERS, LAZY FAT=S, PEOPLE WHO DON'T LIFT WEIGHTS AND EAT HEALTHY FOOD DAILY, AND HEAVY ALCOHOL DRINKERS

    June 1, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. joe

    CELL PHONE CAUSES CANCER AND SO DOES THE GOP.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Derek

    The study is so weak it is hard to take seriously. Since cell phone use has skyrocketed over the past 20 years or so we should be seeing a steady increase in brain cancers if there is an association. The brain cancer rates are flat/stable almost across the age spectrum. The only increases noted in a few statistics are attributed to new and better tests to find cancers of any type and these findings are in the over 65 age groups (Cancer Research UK). So where is the real world evidence?

    June 1, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Rob

    WHO is only keeping back the full truth and being careful how they word statements to keep from being sued by the cell phone companies. Stay tuned, more to come. The age of the electronic cigarette is upon us, as I predicted.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • MD/PhD Student

      You're going to be sorely disappointed.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:04 | Report abuse |
  19. DB

    Lets say cell phones have no impact on health, how much of a task it is to hedge against a possibility that it may? I've tried to keep cell phone of the desk since the beginning when I can. Likewise, I have relegated non-stick pans to occasional use. Why would you want to be in a position to hurt your young ones early in life, just because you believe in something too strongly.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Bry

    ....well ya gotta die of something. i highly doubt however that cell phones are the cause of any cancer in a short period of time. i feel like you would literally need to never set your phone down in order for it to cause any type of severe health problems.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Mike

    This is rubbish, just the WHO covering itself politically. The physics are crystal clear: cellphone frequencies lack sufficient energy to break chemical bonds, and by a very wide margin. It is impossible for them to damage cells or genes. Cellphone frequencies may cause minor heating in tissue, but heat does not cause cancer. This is simply another episode in which people try to gain influence by making the pubic afraid.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Phil, Ohio

    Cell phone cancer?
    No!
    Any one ever think about all the amateur radio (ham) operators walking around with what most call Walki-Talki (Handy Talkie or HT). Some of those 2-way radios pump out almost 10-Watts! How may Hams have died from brain cancer?
    Not many, I'll bet.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • wa2go

      Hams don't transmit non-stop for hours on end though, they mostly listen. The problem (the radiation) is produced only when you are transmitting (talking).

      June 1, 2011 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  23. Sarah

    High Tech Forum posted a rational discussion of this issue, and extends it to the wider debate about cell towers. The author looks at a lot of the data. http://www.hightechforum.org/a-rational-discussion-on-cell-phones-and-towers/

    June 1, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Melissa

    Yes, and milk is bad for you. So is cheese, any kind of sugar, sleeping, driving a car, and just about everything else on the planet. I wish they'd knock off the fear mongering.

    June 1, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. DB

    Ask yourself, as you 'rubbish' the WHO study, whom are you championing for? Not self, I can see. Yes, we all know about ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. However, heed to statistical data coming forth. The effect is present, while the cause could be debated. It is the effect that will harm you.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. sardukar

    Expect all natural organic cell phones in the stores near you..for a price that is..

    June 1, 2011 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Patrick

    I work for a wireless ISP and I'm around RF everyday. We use different frequencies than cell phones but there is no evidence that the high powered radios we use cause cancer or any other health problems. I'm not worried about it.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. justin

    I have aspergers wich is on the autism spectrum as do my brother and father. Im the youngest at 30 and we only unwired in the last ten years. Clearly no link. Autistic childeren are no longer killed at birth or early years for being witches, oracles or possesed. Thus we are more likely to breed and pass on our traits. Then throw in modern medicines ability to properly diagnose and Wammy more autistics thank you very much. By the way we see ourselves as an evolutionary option not as a disorder or disease. I for one could never want to be one of the norms.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Jim456

    "Cordless phone are battery powered microwave transceivers just like cell phones" ...

    The frequency is very close to the microwaves frequency but not in standby mode. Only when the phones are in use or login in. Sometimes you can hear your cell phone logging into the next tower or searching for a signal (like in the stereo or a radio nearby). This is the moment (when not in use) they transmit close to microwave frequency. Also not very healthy to have a cell phone or a cordless phone close to the space someone is sleeping.

    I do also no like cell phone towers close to my house and I would never live close to one. Very important for us as I am a house hunter right now.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Sean

    Hmmm, well I want cell phones banned from bars, public places, and the whole hooplah! You find my smoke irritating, I find your bucolic, self centered conversations irritating, and apparently dangerous to the public welfare.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Haywood Jablomey

    In 2011, cell phones are 'possibly' related to brain cancers, the same way
    in 1940s, tobacco smoke was 'possibly' related to lung cancer.

    The difference will be, the magnitude of litigation over cellphone-induced rare brain cancers will be bigger. At least as big asbestos, probably even bigger. Bank on it.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Loser

    Well i have no friends and never call anyone and no one ever calls me, so looks like i wont get cancer 🙂

    June 1, 2011 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joe

    I was watching the news this morning and they were kind of joking about all this and making light of it. You know I bet the same thing was done decades ago when studies started showing that cigarettes can really harm your health. Now after all these years we know better about cigarettes. Since cell phone use really took off only 15 years ago, it could be at least another decade before we see the first of these radiation cases start to show up. Once that happens it will be too late for a certain sement of the population to heed these warings. In the end a few decades from now we will all know how bad these phones really are for our health.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jim456

    Sean, Haywood.. you are right. It´s like smoking. I think the risk is there and everyone has to decide how to use these devices. Like with smoking it "can" cause cancer but it does not have to.

    Most evident for me is how warm and even hot your ear will get when you use a cell phone so close to your head. It is not because you have a hot chat 🙂

    June 1, 2011 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. James

    This is really big guys.. I can't believe some of the responses im reading, Studies about 15 years ago showed that cancer showed in rats exposed to cell phones. Now they actually say that there's a chance cell phones are dangerous to humans.. This is no different than when cigarette studies first showed that you can get cancer from them and then years later they say that they're cancerous. By then it was too late. Do what you want but at least keep an eye on your children's use, they arent as resistant as adults and I really believe this is going to be a big issue in the next 10-15 years.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Jim456

    We can wait until AT&T sponsors a study telling you exactly the opposite thing: Cell phones are good for you 🙂 It´s a big industry and they want your dollars. They have a good reason, don´t forget 🙂

    June 1, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. greg

    Hmm, What about those full body scanners at the airports? They won't allow TSA agents to wear radiation tags to monitor long term exposure.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Jim456

    I suppose this may become a problem too

    June 1, 2011 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. AboveItALL2

    Got to get rid of a whole lotta trash in profound ways...that is this latest message from the almighty!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. AboveItALL2

    Bigshot Obonzo advocates cellphone usage while he is taking a dump!!!

    June 1, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. the seeker 3

    inconclusive results = front page cnn. What a waste of time.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Barry

    A commentator on CNN recently said that it took many years (decades) for the public to understand and accept that there was a link between cigarette smoking and cancer, and it will take time for the public to accept that there is a link between cell phone use and brain cancer.

    I, for one, am grateful for what the scientific community has done and is doing to keep the public healthy and safe.

    I’m sure there will always be those who doubt, scoff and mock. I guess there will always be these folks.

    Incidentally I’m having great difficulty convincing my own family that there is a link between our actions (eg., how we’ve abused and polluted the earth) and subsequent adverse consequences (such as the increase in cancers and other diseases, the extinction of certain species, increased storms and changing weather patterns, etc.).

    I guess I’m going to have to accept that there are some people who cannot be convinced, no matter how strong the evidence.

    June 1, 2011 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Ricote

    "Well?" don't know what he is talking about and creating even more confusion. Perhaps you mean that a radio station max freq is 108MHz no KHz, just 1000 times higher, also TV stations can transmit huge amounts of RF power in UHF (up to 850MHz) similar to the freq used by cells just a few years ago and even today. On top of that, there is not evidence that a particular freq or band is the trouble. If there is in fact only some frequencies creating trouble in our brain, then the problem will be really hard to track, because cell technology is changing constantly in few years intervals to higher frequencies, so what study in the world can track 10 years cell use of a person. That use will be different, with different frequencies and powers involved and of not of much help.

    However, there is an scary fact that can open a can of worms in this study. If radioelectric energy can indeed create cancer as suggested, TV / Radio stations can be indeed be a huge problem. Using EE common knowledge and a fading RF or propagation calculator (there are a bunch in the web), it is easy to see that there can be levels of radiation similar to what you get sticking your phone in an hear up to 1km around a broadcast antenna 24H a day! And that is not your choice my friend! I remember, it use to be an array of these antenas in the Empire State Building in NYC, I thint they still operate...can you imagine the consecuences if the study is true?

    Of course, it looks still there is a lot of paranoia around this studies since the levels of affected never have been considered significant, I would like that CNN shows real numbers to see. I know as a fact that there are 1/50 people with skin cancer in their lifetime due to radiation from the sun UV mainly or other artificial means and sadly there is no big deal, awareness, or enough research to help to get these numbers lower.

    June 1, 2011 at 13:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Ray J Wells

    I agree with the physics that says cell phone radiation cannot directly break DNA bonds to cause cancer – it can't happen. But the WHO report is not claiming that. DNA and other life controlling moleciles replicate or manufacture other molecular structures. If the radio waves could be shown BY EXPERIMENT to interfere with these operations, should take notice. Information such as signal strengh and radiation patterns for all devices might be useful for taking precautions if you are concerned. Time to read the manual.

    June 1, 2011 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Terry

      Ray or any one else who can answer, I have read the objections of many who say the type and intensity of cell phone radiation is insufficient to break chemical bonds which is true. Does anyone understand that mutations don't just happen while DNA molecules are just sitting there. During mitosis when the strands are splitting (breaking their own bonds to replicate) is when DNA is most vulnerable and why tissue types that have a higher rate of mitosis are more likely to get cancerous mutations.....so my question is this; is there any possible disturbing interation between RS and DNA/RNA while it is in the process of splitting its own bonds?

      June 4, 2011 at 16:20 | Report abuse |
  45. yoi

    Everything in moderation.

    June 1, 2011 at 13:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Mike Varney

    http://scientificilliteracy.blogspot.com/2011/05/i-see-dumb-people-7-monster-under-bed.html

    June 1, 2011 at 13:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Barry

    Ricote

    Are you convinced that there is a link (if we can’t be so bold as to say causality) between tobacco use and certain forms of cancer and other diseases, such as Emphysema, heart disease (Arteriosclerosis), heart attacks and stroke?

    I wonder if the tobacco industry would argue to the contrary about this.

    What little information I saw about a study on the correlation between cell phone use and brain cancer may not be conclusive, but it sure caught my attention.

    I look forward to further study, and meanwhile I plan to take a sensibly cautious approach.

    Besides I think that people have become carried away with cell phones and other electronic devices.

    I’m amazed to see how often people isolate themselves and seem oblivious to others, as they walk, ride, drive past them. They seem to be unable to function, without their cell phones. That’s sad.

    I’m amazed at how extensive this has become and can’t help but think that this can’t be healthy for people, psychologically, socially or in a number of other respects.

    Can you hear me now?

    June 1, 2011 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Alexander Graham Bell

    The brains of cellphone addicts will be dead long before cancer can hit them.

    June 1, 2011 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. rev_cletus

    Google Bob Park +cell phones

    "All known cancer-inducing agents—including [ionizing] radiation, certain chemicals, and a few viruses—act by breaking chemical bonds, producing mutant strands of DNA. Electromagnetic radiation [the kind produced by cell phones] is absorbed by molecules as discrete packets of energy called 'photons.' The energy of a photon is determined by the wavelength; the shorter the wavelength, the higher the energy. Not until the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum is reached, beyond visible light, beyond infrared and far, far beyond microwaves, do photons have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. It's a little like trying to hit an object across a river with a stone... it won't matter how many stones you throw if you can't throw that far. Microwave photons heat tissue, but they do not come close to the energy needed to break chemical bonds, no matter how intense the radiation...

    Regardless of how convincing the evidence exonerating cell phones may be, there will continue to be those who will argue that the issue has not been completely settled."

    But, hey – why should science-ignorant 'Murkins listen to a guy with a PhD in physics, who happens to know what he's talking about?

    Morons.

    June 1, 2011 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • elizabeth

      Thanks Everything in moderation.

      June 6, 2011 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • elizabeth

      Thanks. Please talk to the people at WHO to have good explanation before coming out to alert the public about health risk.

      June 6, 2011 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
  50. news?

    This may have been new news about 10 years ago...

    June 1, 2011 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Mike


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.