Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
23 May 2010
Mobile phones: Is there an epidemic on hold?
The world's most important study into the dangers of mobile-phone use raises serious worries, writes Geoffrey Lean.
This week, the scientists who had completed one of the world's biggest and most important health studies effectively admitted that it had wasted everyone's time.
They didn't put it quite like that, of course. But after 10 years of research and deliberation, the expenditure of £16.5 million, and comparing the health of many thousands of mobile phone users and non-users in 13 countries, the world's biggest study into whether the phones cause brain cancer – published this week – admitted that its main finding was "implausible" and that its conclusions were undermined by "bias" and "error".
Not that this stopped the mobile phone industry and establishment scientists suggesting that the study has exonerated handsets. But it does no such thing: indeed, as The Daily Telegraph exclusively predicted back in October, it produces evidence that suggests that they pose a very serious threat indeed.
In sober truth, it is extraordinary that this evidence emerged. For the way the study, partly financed by the industry, was set up appears to militate against it. It covered only those aged between 30 and 59, omitting children, teenagers and young adults, who are most vulnerable to the radiation: one study shows that people who start using a mobile before the age of 20 increase their chances of getting the disease fivefold. It chose a ludicrously wide definition of "regular mobile phone users", including those who only made one call a week over six months – a negligible exposure that could not possibly cause harm.
Worst of all, it looked at people who had used their handsets for far too short a time for cancers to have developed. Tumours almost always take at least a decade – usually several – to emerge after the initial damage has been done. But, on average, the people examined for the research had only been using mobiles for just over two years, far too little time for even the most virulent cancer-causing agents to show an effect. As a commentary accompanying the publication of the paper in the International Journal of Epidemiology put it: "None of today's established carcinogens, including tobacco, could have been firmly identified as increasing risk in the first 10 years or so since first exposure."
So the report's much-quoted conclusion that "overall no increase in risk" had been found was not so much a scholarly discovery as a statement of the obvious, which could have been written before a single penny had been spent.
This conclusion, moreover, covered up an embarrassment. For the actual results showed that people who use mobile phones appeared to be less likely to get cancer than those who do not. The authors admit that this is "implausible" and "makes our results difficult to interpret" and suggest that "bias" and "error" is to blame. (Their critics say this proves their case.)
And yet, despite all this, one worrying finding did emerge. The heaviest users of mobile phones – on them for a total of 1,640 hours, equivalent to just half an hour a day over 10 years – were 40 per cent more likely to get glioma, the brain cancer that killed Ted Kennedy.
And they were fully twice as likely to develop it on the same side of the head as they held the handset.
The authors of the study dismissed this result, saying that – wait for it – "biases and error prevent a causal interpretation". But an appendix to the paper provides strong supporting evidence. It got around the cause of bias that most worried the researchers – that fewer people who did not use mobiles volunteered to be studied than those who did – by comparing light with heavier users. And this revealed consistent increases in glioma among those who had phoned most, and those who had used their handsets for 10 years or more.
These results, among the only people who could possibly be expected to develop the disease, are truly worrying.
For only the most powerful carcinogens show any effect after just a decade, suggesting that very many more people will fall victim after 20 or 30 years, or more. And even the heaviest users were relatively modest callers by today's standards: many people, particularly the young, use them for an hour a day, often much more.
During the leisurely course of the research and reporting, the number of mobile users worldwide has doubled to four billion. Their ubiquity, especially among the young, means that if handsets do cause cancer, we could yet see an epidemic – one that this botched, biased and belated study will have done little to prevent.
National Post May 22, 2010
Not according to these stories: "Heavy use of cell phones may increase tumour risk: study" (Globe and Mail); "Cellphone brain cancer link still open ...
This article above provides a very shallow and simplistic analysis of the actual peer-reviewed article that it attempts to discuss. It does not reflect the conclusions from that study, neither does it conduct a complete analysis of the entire study. From the original study, there is a very important conclusion that emerges: extended use of cell phones is linked to a 2-fold increase in glioma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer. Interestingly, the study found this increased risk after approximately 10 years of using the cell phone for 30 minutes/day on average. But 30 minutes on average per day, which the study defines as "heavy use" (data were collected 5 years ago), cannot be considered heavy use any longer, in today's terms.
The Interphone study clearly points towards the risk of brain cancer, and several of the authors gave, during recent days, interviews in which they emphasized the need to be cautious about cell phone use. Sadly, the current piece on the National Post willingly chose to either downplay or ignore those interviews altogether.
The article above is a very selective piece of journalism which only presents data that fit the author's view and, in many cases, are not even an accurate representation of the original result that it refers to.
Furthermore, brain cancer is just one health problem linked to cell phones. Testicular cancer in men holding the phone in their pockets, and infertility, decreased motility of spermatozoids, and altered shapes, were also widely reported in the literature by several studies. Conveniently, those are omitted from the article above.
It is time to make sure that consumers are empowered and they have access to the scientific knowledge that is present in the studies. Most people do not read the actual studies and rely on newspaper articles to *accurately* and *consciously* inform and empower them. Most people assume that these newspaper articles are trustworthy. The one above, unfortunately, is not.
If you read the medical and biomedical literature, you will also find studies which repeatedly conclude that children are at very high risk because 1) they have thinner bones; 2) they absorb more radiation and 3) many of their organs and tissues are still under development, and are more sensitive to damage caused by cell phone-emitted radiation.
Many countries, from the European Union to India, are currently talking about bans on cell phone use in children under 16, or certain ages, and some have implemented these laws, based on known health hazards, because they want to protect their children. If you check the biomedical literature, you will even see the mechanistic explanation for how cell phone radiation causes health problems, and among other things, these are 1). changes in a class of proteins known as heat shock proteins which affect the cell cycle progression, 2). changes in ion channels which exist in every organ in the body, and 3). changes in the blood-brain barrier which has serious and severe consequences.
It is time to know the truth, time to report it, and time to listen and understand. Remember that it took over 10,000 scientific articles and several decades of clear links between smoking and cancer, until many organizations and establishments finally admitted that there "may" be a risk and smoking "may" be dangerous. Prior to that, advertisements were featuring health professionals talking about their favorite brand, children bragging on what their parents smoked, and Santa featured with a cigarette pack on a newspaper cover.
Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/05/21/how-to-invent-a-cellphone-cancer-scare/#ixzz0ofsBDeDx
Everybody is invited to contribute to the forum with articles and/or
Cellphone Antenna Sabotaged with Fire, Bristol
May 21, 2010, approx 2.30am.
A 'T-mobile' repeater was destroyed by fire. All effort was made not to endanger any life and the mast was chosen due to its distance from residential buildings and activity. The fence was cut with bolt-croppers and placed at the base of the antenna, wrapped around the electrical cables powering the mast, was a cut tyre filled with rags soaked in paraffin. Soaked rags were also tied to the cables and tucked into the tyre. Firelighters were used to ignite the lot. The antenna was situated near the central Temple Meads railway station close to a new 'urban development' area.
Destructive acts against the telecommunications infrastructure of capitalist economy are simple and reproducible, as are attacks against other facets of industrial society. The system relies on a network of cables, antennas and power units to enforce and sustain its exploitation. Far from being a faceless abstract enemy, the conduits of commodity production remain attackable at many points, vulnerable to our courage, rage and joy.
Dear Sir, Madam, Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,
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Citizens' Initiative Omega
Member of the Buergerwelle Germany (incorporated society)
Protectorate Union of the Citizens and Initiatives for the Protection
Design flaws make INTERPHONE non-informative
The Interphone Study: A Call for Cell Phone Health Warnings
Rats on junk food pass cancer down the generations
Andrew Goldsworthy: Witness Statement April 2010
Almost 4000 residents object to proposed phone mast in east Hull
The Boy Scouts: A Pact With the Devil
Something mast be done
Phone mast protest
1,500 in campaign against mobile towers after 4 fall ill
Beijing residents fear radiation from maglev railway
Next-up News Nr 1337+1338+1339
News from Mast Sanity
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