Cell Phone Radiation — Scientific Evidence Accumulating?

I wouldn’t usually like to end a post title with a question mark — it does remind me of yellow press. But what else can I do writing about a book I haven’t read myself?

Judging from a NYTimes book review of „Disconnect“ by Devra Davis, though, the German radiation paranoia might turn out to be quite sensible. To put it cautiously: It is at least scientifically plausible that cell phone usage (i.e. holding it to your head while speaking) is linked to brain cancer:

Over all, there has not been a general increase in its incidence since cellphones arrived. But the average masks an increase in brain cancer in the 20-to-29 age group and a drop for the older population.

“Most cancers have multiple causes,” she says, but she points to laboratory research that suggests mechanisms by which low-energy radiation could damage cells in ways that could possibly lead to cancer.

And as with other historical (smoking) and contemporary (plastic bottles) issues of the kind, it is very plausible that the industry (and also industry-sponsored research) are trying to tell us everything is alright:

He [Henry Lai, a research professor in the bioengineering department at the University of Washington] maintains a database that holds 400 scientific papers on possible biological effects of radiation from wireless communication. He found that 28 percent of studies with cellphone industry funding showed some sort of effect, while 67 percent of studies without such funding did so. “That’s not trivial,” he said.

I’m really curious how this topic will be seen 50 years from now. In the meantime — there are a lot of other reasons to not use cell phones too much, anyway! :)

Datum: Samstag, 20. November 2010 1:54
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