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Cellphones Aren’t Giving You Brain Tumors

Giant Danish study finds no link

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Cellphones Aren’t Giving You Brain Tumors
[ Technology]

The possibility that cellphones cause brain cancer is one of those things that feels like it’s been hanging over our heads, as a society, for many years. If you ask a random person if they believe that their cellphone is giving them a brain tumor, a common response would be, “I dunno, probably.” And they’ll keep talking on their device.

It seems like we’ve just accepted it as a possibility. A report comes out saying there’s a probable link between the two. And that same report gets repeated and passed off as “another report” a year down the road.

But it’s not like the possibility of brain tumors caused by cellphone radiation has prevented the use of cellphones. Even people who think that their device might be giving them cancer are most of the time unable to put down the device. We need them too much. It’s just how today’s society runs.

So here’s some good news: According to an incredibly large Danish study, your cellphones is not giving you brain tumors.

A study published in the British Medical Journal sought to “investigate the risk of tumors in the central nervous system” among Danish mobile subscribers.

Their sample size was 358,403 over the course of 18 years – totaling over 3.8 million total hours. Here’s some of the sciencey results –

The risk of such tumours was close to unity for both men and women. When restricted to individuals with the longest mobile phone use—that is, ≥13 years of subscription—the incidence rate ratio was 1.03 (95% confidence interval 0.83 to 1.27) in men and 0.91 (0.41 to 2.04) in women. Among those with subscriptions of ≥10 years, ratios were 1.04 (0.85 to 1.26) in men and 1.04 (0.56 to 1.95) in women for glioma and 0.90 (0.57 to 1.42) in men and 0.93 (0.46 to 1.87) in women for meningioma.

Conclusion: In this update of a large nationwide cohort study of mobile phone use, there were no increased risks of tumours of the central nervous system, providing little evidence for a causal association.

Hazel Nunn, head of evidence and health information at Cancer Research UK, told the BBC, “These results are the strongest evidence yet that using a mobile phone does not seem to increase the risk of cancers of the brain or central nervous system in adults.”

Of course, I’m no scientist. And one study cannot entirely put an issue to bed. But this is a giant sample size monitored over the course of nearly two decades. Whatever you think, this is some pretty strong evidence that your cellphone is not killing you – at least not with a tumor anyways.

Cellphones Aren’t Giving You Brain Tumors
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  • http://orthomolecular.webs.com Michael Czajka

    The study seems to have some major flaws:

    http://www.bmj.com/content/343/bmj.d6387/reply#bmj_el_271900

  • Peter Drew

    This study focused on brain tumors. There are other good studies that indicate mobile phone use increases the incidence of cancer of the parotid glands (salivary glands) and acoustic neuroma, a non-cancerous tumor that develops on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. And, as an “old guy” who remembers life without mobile “devices,” people lived perfectly well without them. Mr. Wolford writes,”We need them too much. It’s just how today’s society runs.” Do we really need them as much as we think we do? Do people really enjoy being connected to anyone and everyone 24/7? It’s pretty tiring and, frankly, time-wasting. Not constantly using a mobile, prioritizing which callers demand your immediate attention, and just turning the darn thing off for extended periods of time during the day gives people a chance to think, a chance to relax, and reduce any potential ill effects from the RF coming from the phone itself. Technology’s great, as long as it serves us and we don’t serve it. With that said, this old dude’s gotta finally give in and get a mobile phone for my car in case I break down. Pay phones are a thing of the past!

  • http://www.practicalguidetonaturalremedies.com Jira McRae

    Is It Safe to Use a Cell Phone?
    It should be kept in mind that we have only been holding microwave radiation to our brains for a relatively short time. The long term effects will not be know for quite some time. That is the way it was with tobacco and lead paint.

    Cell phones use microwave beams. Research studies have shown that this radiation can penetrate an inch into an adult’s skull. In the case of a child’s head, it penetrates even further. It goes halfway through a 5-year-old’s brain and and almost a third of the way into a 10-year-old’s brain (O.P. Gandt, G. Lazzi, C.M. Furse, “Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Mobile Telephones at 835 and 1900 mhz,” in Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996, 44(10) 1884-1897).

    Dr. Lennart Hardell, M.D., Ph.D. of Sweden conducted a series of case-control studies, in which his group examined long-term cell phone users. He discovered a marked increase in brain and auditory nerve cancer on the cell-phone side of the head (L.Hardell, K.H. Mild, M. Crillberg, “Further Aspects on cellular and Cordless Telephones and Brain Tumors,” International Journal of Oncology (cancer), 2003:22(2):399-407).

    Another research study found a 3.9 fold (390%) increase in the risk of auditory nerve cancer on the same side of the head where the phone was normally used by those who used a cell phone for more than 10 years (S. Lonn, A. Ahlbom, P. Hall, M. Feuchting, “Mobile Phone Use and the Risk of Acoustic Neuroma (nerve cancer), Epidemology 2004 15(6):653-659).

    Then there is a Interphone Case Study, which was carried out in five European countries. It found an 80% increased risk of a tumor on the same side of the head where the phone was used in individuals who had used cell phones for more than 10 years (M.J. Schoemaker, A.J. Swerdlow, A Ahlborn, A. Aivomem, K.G. Blaasas, E, Cardis, et al., “Mobile Phone Use and Risk of Acoustic Neuroma, Results of the Interphone Case-Control Study in Five North European Countries, “British Journal of Cancer 2005: 93(7)842-848).

    Apparently there is a connection between extensive use of cell phones, over a lengthy period of time and brain and/or nerve tumors.

    Then there is Dr. Jerry Phillips, Ph.D. Motorola sponsored him to do research studies which would exonerate their products. He discovered only horror stories and negative research conclusions. He published his findings in a research report (J.L. Phillips, O. Ivaschuk, T. Ishida, R.A. Jones, M. Campbell-Beachler, W. Haggren, “DNA Damage in Molt-4-t-lymphoblastold Cells Exposed to Cellular Telephone Radio-Frequency Fields in Vitro,” Biochemistry and Bioenergetics 1998; 45:103-110). Phillips is a outspoken critic of the “all is safe” public image, nor does he trust the studies sponsored by the cell phone industry.

    George Carlo Ph.D, epidemiologist and medical scientist headed the first telecommunications industry-backed studies into the dangers of cell phone use. This may be the largest industry backed study to date. His work revealed preventable health hazards associated with cell phone use.

    In December 2006 an epidemiological study on cell phone dangers published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute hit the media with headlines such as “Danish
    Study Shows Cell Phone Use is Safe”. This was good news for the cell phone industry. Dr Carlo has done extensive work that shows this Danish study was very flawed.

    So why are cell phones dangerous? A cellular phone is basically a radio that sends signals on waves to a base station. The carrier generates two types of radiation fields: near-field plumes and a far-field plumes. Living organisms also generate electromagnetic fields at the cellular, tissue, organ and organism level: this is called bio-field. Both near-field and far-field plumes from cell phones can wreak havoc with the human bio-field, and when the bio-field is compromised says Dr. Carlo so is the metabolism and physiology. Dr. Carlo explains that the near-field plume is the one we are most concerned with. This plume is generated within five or six inches of the center of a cell phone’s antenna and is determined by the amount of power necessary to carry the signal to the base station. A carrier wave oscillates at 1900 megahertz in most phones, which is mostly invisible to our biological tissue and does no harm. The information-carrying secondary wave necessary to interpret voice or data is the problem says Dr. Carlo. That wave cycles in a hertz similar to the body. Your heart for example beats at two cycles per second or 2 Hz. Our bodies recognize the information-carrying wave as an “invader,” setting in place biochemical reactions that alter physiology and cause biological problems that include intercellular free-radical buildup, leakage in the blood-brain barrier, genetic damage, disruption of intercellular communications and an increase in the risk of tumor.

    The health dangers of recognizing the signal, therefore, aren’t from direct damage, but rather are due to the biochemical responses in the cell.

    Here is what happens in your body… In an effort to protect them selves, cell membranes harden, keeping nutrients out and waste products in.

    Waste accumulating inside the cells creates a higher concentration of free radicals, leading to both disruption of DNA repair (micronuclei) and cellular dysfunction.

    Unwanted cell death occurs, releasing the micronuclei from disrupted DNA repair into the fluid between cells (interstitial fluid), where they are free to replicate and proliferate. This says Dr. Carlo is the most likely mechanism that contributes to cancer.

    Damage occurs to proteins on the cell membrane, resulting in disruption of intercellular communication. When cell can’t communicate with each other, the result is impaired tissue, organ, and organism function. In the blood-brain barrier, for example, cells can’t keep dangerous chemicals from reaching the brain tissue, which results in damage.

    The effects from near and far-fields are very similar. Overall, says Dr. Carlo, almost all of the acute and chronic symptoms seen in electro-sensitive patients can be explained in some part by disrupted intercellular communication. These symptoms of electro-sensitivity include inability to sleep, general malaise and headaches. There has been, in recent years, a large increase in conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity (ADHD), autism and anxiety disorder.

    Certainly the cell phone is a very useful tool with a special ability to make an emergency call. There are a variety of techniques that can minimize these issues. Having said all of that…I utilize a cell phone for travel emergencies and not as a constant form of contact.

  • http://qr@qrscandeal.com Dave Lemay

    I’ve been using cell phones since the birth of cell phones. In their early days all had external antennas, which I believe made the possibility of creating tumors even more likely. Initially, I never thought much about that and I spent numerous hours with a phone to my left ear.
    One day I realized that I was getting tinitus ( a wringing in my left ear ), so I got checked out. An MRI revealed that I had a an acoustic neuroma on the left side. Cyber knife radiation was necessary to prevent the tumor from growing into my brain but now I’m also deaf on that side.
    If it was the cell phones of past, then there is no way of proving it but I beleive it was, so now I utilize speaker phone. The good news is that I believe that today’s technologies are less likely to cause issues because the antennas are inside the phone.
    Unfortunately, we all seem to live in that “it can’t happen to me” kind of world. I found out way too late that the phones I had back then rated very high on the radiation charts. Please keep holding your phones tight to your ears as I hate being one of the very few with this problem…

  • Pat

    yeah right!!….how come then brain surgeons can tell you which side you hold your phone to your head? This is a no brainer as far as I’m concerned. Even if there is any slim risk then why risk it? Surely?…it is all purely about profits. They don’t give a toss if you or your kids waste away in a cancer hospital and die an untimely death …so long as they hear the clink of your hard earned cash in their coffers.

  • http://www.mabuzi.com Kevin

    We know it has dangerous side affects when held against the ear close to the brain. Use an earpiece to negate the harmful radiation.

    Reminds me of the cigarette debate. All sorts of specialists paid by the tabacco boys told us there were no dangers. Really and look now.

    The biggest danger is for kids and developing brains.