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A Balanced Look At Cellphone Radiation

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the who-you-callin'-sensitive dept.

Communications 171

A month back we discussed an article in GQ on the alarmist side of the cellphone-radiation question. Now reader pgn674 passes along a PopSci feature article looking at the current state of cellphone radiation research. It profiles people who claim to be electro-hypersensitive, "who are reluctant to subject themselves to hours in an electronics-laden facility" for studies. The limited research on that condition is still showing that sufferers, in blind tests, are unable to detect radiation at levels better than chance. The article also touches on the relationship of non-ionizing radiation to cancer. The conclusion is that while it seems unlikely high-frequency fields in consumer devices directly cause cancer, they might promote it, and might also indirectly cause other health deficits beyond simply heating nearby tissue — though one skeptical researcher cautions, "The gap between a biological effect and an adverse health effect is a big one."

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Typical (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387356)

who are reluctant to subject themselves to hours in an electronics-laden facility

Which just goes to show how much the tinfoil hat actively interferes with the thought process.... In order to conduct a valid scientific experiment on such matters, it requires a room which is 100% free from other radiation sources. Which means the rooms in the facility are anything BUT "electronics-laden".

But we're already fully aware that being vulnerable to EMR is the very least of these people's problems, which are usually only solved through extensive use of mind-altering drugs.

Re:Typical (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387544)

Now that you mention it, the times I've been in the closest to radiation free rooms (faraday cages for testing cell phones), I felt quite uncomfortable. I always figured it was the poor ventilation of a small room, but just as likely the human body can't live without radiowaves as it is likely radiowaves (wifi) are hurting us.

Re:Typical (4, Funny)

DangerFace (1315417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387864)

Now that you mention it, the times I've been in the closest to radiation free rooms (faraday cages for testing cell phones), I felt quite uncomfortable.

I know what you mean - I always get this weird disconnected feeling whenever I've been away from the internet for a few hours...

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31389894)

It's because you've swapped one psychological addiction for another, Ewan

Re:Typical (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388070)

human body is connected to the human brain and that in most cases is a major source of problem as this brain is badly equipped. conditioned by faulty education, provided with false information by authorities and other gullibles and on top of it all is ill equipped to cope with things that were not common on savannas and jungles that are ape grandpas and grandmas lived on.

OTOH it does not matter whether this type of radiation kills us directly or by making us sick trough our minds. If we (majority of us anyway) feel bad about having technology so close to us then this is enuff. No amount of industrial grade propaganda is going to change that. We learned from bad experiences that industry lies. It may be that in this case they do not but not because they do not want to - it seems simply that the effects are negligible so they do not have to. Possibly they may have even lied but that does not matter because it is (apparently) so safe.

Re:Typical (-1, Offtopic)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388972)

I disagree, while a lot of the claims are absurd, those of us that are hypersensitive still have real issues. I couldn't go to a large electronics store to buy a TV since even the smaller shops with a mere half dozen TVs on display had too many of me to stand. It's a relatively common problem for a subset of people with tinnitus. Likewise, I can't go into certain stores because the loss prevention devices they use up front to detect those tags cause similar pain.

Scoff all you like, but it's definitely a real problem for a subset of the population. Sure there aren't, to my knowledge, people that genuinely have to be kept in a completely radio frequency free environment, but many of us do have to deal with the consequences of stupidly designed electronics causing us problems.

Re:Typical (2, Insightful)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389470)

I disagree, while a lot of the claims are absurd, those of us that are hypersensitive still have real issues. I couldn't go to a large electronics store to buy a TV since even the smaller shops with a mere half dozen TVs on display had too many of me to stand. It's a relatively common problem for a subset of people with tinnitus.

Um... you're not describing a hypersensitivity to electronics. You're describing sensitive hearing.

Read this abstract. Fraud? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389710)

Note that this abstract [wiley.com] of a paper said that the individuals were not able to repeat their demonstration of sensitivity. That shows, probably, that the individuals had some other way of determining whether the radiation was on or off during the first test.

These are the problems in Physics: 1) The wavelength is too long to couple much energy into any one molecule. 2) There is an enormous amount of energy of approximately the same wavelength always present at room temperature. It's known as heat. A wide bandwidth of microwave energy is always there unless the temperature is absolute zero. Absolute zero is -459.67 degrees Fahrenheit or -273.15 degrees Celsius.

Planck's Constant [wikipedia.org] is 1.054571628 x 10-27 erg-seconds. Twenty-seven is a lot of zeroes. See the sub-section, Black-body radiation [wikipedia.org] . Anything that is warm radiates microwave energy.

I'm just guessing, and it's only my opinion, but it seems to me that the Popular Science author is engaging in fraud. Definition of fraud: A deliberate deception used to get a dishonest result.

Heidi Klum radiates microwave energy. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389788)

Don't get too close to Heidi Klum. [ifood.tv] She radiates microwave energy! It's true!

But, of course, so do all women, and men, and everything else at the same temperature.

The article about Heidi Klum was also misleading. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389880)

It wasn't until later that I noticed that the article about Heidi Klum, to which I linked above, was also misleading.

It seems that there are a lot of people willing to take advantage of the low level of science knowledge.

Re:Typical (1)

kobiashi maru (1717276) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390556)

please attempt to gain proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation before you post.

Re:Typical (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387620)

"Which just goes to show how much the tinfoil hat actively interferes with the thought process...."

Exactly! Tin-foil hats are a plot from the government, they really just amplifying the cellphone radiation! Don't listen to Ondore's lies!

Re:Typical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387754)

I don't think feeding them LSD or the like would actually benefit them any...

Re:Typical (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387818)

it requires a room which is 100% free from other radiation sources.

One may wonder how the subjects deal with the comparatively strong field that usually surrounds them in the form of earth's magnetic field. Better sit very... very... still.

solved through extensive use of mind-altering drugs.

Many modern variants which, ironically, are barely better than placebo...

Re:Typical (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390814)

But we're already fully aware that being vulnerable to EMR is the very least of these people's problems, which are often caused by extensive use of mind-altering drugs.

  There, fixed that for you ;)

SB

Luddites (4, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387364)

A lot of those so-called "radiation sensitive" people are nothing but Luddites in disguise.

In Malaysia, there have been cases of communities in uproar, having many people claiming that they suffer from "excruciating painful headaches" to "cancer" and all that, just because there is a cellphone station nearby.

Those "radiation sensitive" people demand that the authority remove those "radiation hotspots" immediately, and it turns out that, in some of those cases, the so-called "cellphone stations" haven't even begun operation and never emit any radiation !

Luddites !

Re:Luddites (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387602)

Crazy people will be crazy people
OT (mostly):

A lot of those so-called "religious" people are nothing but Luddites in disguise.

In America, there have been cases of communities in uproar, having many people claiming that they have an undetectable "soul" and suffer from "purgatory" to "eternal damnation" and all that, just because there is a magical man in the sky.

Those "religious" people demand that the authority encforce these "holy laws" immediately, and it turns out that, in some of those cases, the so-called "holy laws" aren't even in the bible and never were sinful to begin with (homosexuality)!

Luddites !

I wonder why the above is unnaceptable. Both views are equally insane and unsupported by science. But you can be harsh to the cellphone radiation crazies but not the religious crazies? Is there anything meaningful distinguishing the two groups?

Either we should be more sensitive to the cellphone crazies if indeed sensitivity and equal say is important even for people that are completely wrong. OR if indeed we should be harsh and unforgiving to those spreading falsehoods then we too should jump or religious people with the same or greater energy. So how exactly should we respond these people?

Just thought it interesting that if I posted my rewording of parent's post (in some thread about religion)I'd have been moddded to oblivion but you've been modded up.

Re:Luddites (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387636)

Radiation crazies have been prove crazy, but the religious crazies cannot be prover wrong (or right).

Re:Luddites (2, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387712)

Thats a silly meme. We can disprove tons of things about religion.

The power of prayer for example. It would be easy to set up a bunch of people to pray for one guy, not for another. Simple.

We can prove that the bible is unreliable. We can show that a large portion of the bible is also immoral. This proves that God is either fallible or that he wanted to fuck us over by giving terrible instructions dooming a large chunk of the world. We can show that god is a giant asshole ... repeatedly. We can disprove the bible by contradiction a bunch of times. We can prove that the bible rips off other older religions (so either the real god ripped off someone else's good book and made it come true, or simply the people just ripped off the stories). We can disprove the time line. And so on...

That list goes on for a long LONG time. Eventually the bible will have more holes in it than scarface. The source for the religion is completely worthless (btw, same goes for other well defined religions).

And in the end what makes you think that the cellphone nuts have been more disproven than that? They could say there is extra interdimensional radiation, or undetectable amounts. Or it only affects them when they aren't being tested, who knows. It wouldn't be any crazier than religion, we are just less forgiving.

Re:Luddites (1)

paeanblack (191171) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387838)

You are misunderstanding the concept of "proof". Once you throw the concept of a god into the mix, you throw the ability to prove or disprove concepts out the window.

Finding inconsistencies in the bible only shows that inconsistencies can be found in the bible. Doing so proves nothing about god in the same way that watching an apple fall proves nothing about the law of gravity. Any argument can be justified through the concept of god. It may be unreasonable and unconvincing, but the argument is still both sound and valid.

All you accomplish by attacking the bible is venerating it as a source worthy of examination. It isn't. Just accept that the concept of god is just a logical nuke that makes any reasoned debate moot. That is the real divine power, and trying to fight it is pointless.

Re:Luddites (1, Insightful)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388348)

It may not disprove God but it certainly can disprove each individual religion. Sure God could just create inconsistencies to fuck with us. But Christianity doesn't have that power and fails when the basis for it is crushed.

If the religious need not follow logic then they should be ousted as such. Increasing awareness that a huge group exists which ignores logic and is therefore unpredictable should be a priority. My question was how the hell are we supposed to deal with these people? There is a big disconnect between how we would treat people with totally failed logic driving their ethical decisions and idea of the world and how we treat the religious. Why is that? What difference is there truly aside from popularity of a particular delusion. If schitzofrenics start setting up groups and running for office it wouldn't be stood for...

Re:Luddites (1)

Prof.Phreak (584152) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388036)

You're assuming that folks who believe in god follow logic---they don't. If they did, they wouldn't believe in god. So proving things via logic doesn't work (ie: what's totally contradictory and unreasonable to you is just a perfect illustration of the power of god and His mysterious ways---``you're just a puny human trying to understand the infinite being---of course things will seem crazy, but you must have faith!'').

Re:Luddites (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388252)

That's fine. But then they should be paraded publicly as people that admit freely that they don't believe in logic. That would put a sour taste in moderate's mouths.

Re:Luddites (1)

aplusjimages (939458) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389274)

... they should be paraded publicly as people that admit freely that they don't believe in logic.

They do that themselves by putting these little fish icons on their car or by keeping their "Bush Cheney 04" stickers on the bumper.

Re:Luddites (4, Insightful)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388642)

You appear to have mistaken "logic" for naturalism. Logic is a method for arriving at a consistent response to a given set of data assuming certain axioms. That you believe that religious people even exists is a logical conclusion based on certain axioms. For example that the data from your senses is reliable and that what others tell you of their beliefs is true or can be inferred from their behaviour.

There are libraries of theological works that can not be attacked on the logic of their arguments but only on the strengths of the axioms they assume and the data they use.

I can see why you have failed in your attempts to convince religious people if you are that ignorant about the tool you are attempting to use.

Re:Luddites (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390490)

Yea. The whole universe is simulation run by aliens... probably for a school project.--Prove it wrong.

Or I am the only truly conscious entity in the universe, the rest of you are just fake imitations of sentience. Prove that wrong.

These things cannot be proven/disproven with logic or science anymore than there can be a proof of god one way or another. The truly logical faith is agnostic.

Re:Luddites (3, Insightful)

wickerprints (1094741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388706)

Invoking God is the religious equivalent to dividing by zero in mathematics. By claiming that an omniscient, omnipotent, everlasting deity is the reason why everything is the way it is, nothing is truly falsifiable and anything can be made to be true. It's pointless to try to convince someone that their faith is illogical, because the very act of belief is not rational.

Re:Luddites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390560)

because the very act of belief is not rational.

And yet you believe... what i don't know*.... but you probably believe a lot more than and math or science could ever prove or "know"...

*you at least believe that belief==not rational for some value of belief. Is that an axiom, or a theorem or just an assertion.

Re:Luddites (0, Offtopic)

JackieBrown (987087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387908)

I have mod points and really want to modd you as troll or off-topic since the post you replied to had nothing to do with a) Religion b) America.

But you are incorrect. Bashing religion (and America) is usually considered politically correct by the "open minded" slashdot community.

Heck, just look at the X-box "Gender Expression" posts
http://games.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/03/06/1735200 [slashdot.org]

I did a search for Christian and religion and no thread that bashed either had been modded "to oblivion."

Here is a good example since the article is a little more "aged."
http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/27/1924221 [slashdot.org]
The posts with the word religion in it that were negative or mocking were all at least in the postives and most +4 and up (the only exepection being one post that compared the AIG to a religion.)

Re:Luddites (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388528)

But you are incorrect. Bashing religion (and America) is usually considered politically correct by the "open minded" slashdot community.

Well, bashing atheism is usually considered politically correct in America by the "open minded" theist community, so why not go for some balance?

Re:Luddites (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388684)

Can't I just bash both sides with a hammer? It's a nice hammer. It doesn't fly yet but I'll figure that out soon.

Re:Luddites (2, Insightful)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389216)

Apart from the obvious cries of "Offtopic", I would like to add one thing:

the so-called "holy laws" aren't even in the bible and never were sinful to begin with (homosexuality)!

Lev. 18:22

You do your cause no good by being completely wrong (and I say this as one who is pretty apathetic about religion).

The 5.4GHz==harmful crazies are more of an immediate problem than religious crazies because getting something banned is a lot easier than getting it unbanned, and because these idiots like to dress their nonsense up as science far more than the religious ones, and psuedoscience is potentially very harmful to our society, if it ever gets hold.

On the other hand... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387638)

the other han,d there is a tremendous psychological incentive here to wishfully believe that there is no danger-- because the proposition that cellphone radiation near your head (or wifi for that matter) actually is dangerous leads to thoughts horrific to contemplate-- namely that you'd have to stop/reduce the amount of calls you do, or worse, to live in a wifi-less world.

I strongly suspect that people are more likely to believe things that do not challenge/threaten their current lifestyle (or whatever it is that makes the money).

So I wonder if any of that bias leads to a more ready dismissal of the cellphone/cancer danger. As Lessig said in his latest website chat [blip.tv] , 75% of studies not funded by the cellphone industry found evidence for a connection.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

DemonBeaver (1485573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387954)

If I had mod points, I'd give you Insightful. Why AC?

Re:On the other hand... (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387980)

I strongly suspect that people are more likely to believe things that do not challenge/threaten their current lifestyle (or whatever it is that makes the money).

Oh yes. There's a lot of psychology on the subject. Confirmation bias - people assign more weight to evidence that supports their prejudices. For example, if someone survives a major disaster, religious types will point to the miracle, whereas if someone is killed in improbable circumstances, few religious types will give God the credit for that one.

You even see the same ting with climate change deniers, and people who justify unhealthy behaviour on account of debunked research showing it's healthy.

Re:On the other hand... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388758)

... whereas if someone is killed in improbable circumstances, few religious types will give God the credit for that one.

Sure they will. "It was his time".

Re:On the other hand... (5, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388080)

As Lessig said in his latest website chat, 75% of studies not funded by the cellphone industry found evidence for a connection.

As a matter of interest, who *were* they funded by? People with an interest in proving a link between RF from mobile phones and cancer?

Re:On the other hand... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388250)

Mod this up.

"Cellphone Industry" studies are far more likely to be scrutinized and finely-combed looking for flaws then "independent" studies (is any study truly independent?).

I've known electrosensitive people and they've all been whackjobs who wouldn't know what science was even if you served it to them on a plate with a sprig of parsley on it.

Too easy just saying luddites (was: Re:Luddites) (3, Insightful)

beh (4759) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387796)

Obviously, yes, there are those people claiming hypersensitivity, basing it simply on their fear of the radiation getting to their bodies.

But, I wouldn't go as far as saying that there is no danger at all because of them, much the same way I wouldn't conclude the radiation being dangerous if non of these people claimed hypersensitivity.

The question to me comes down to long-term exposure damage, which we cannot much about yet - and it would be difficult to force companies into very long term safety tests before being allowed to market their devices. But I do feel that the subject should stay under investigation for longer.

In the time after WW-II, US armed forces tested how their troops could fight near the blast of a nuclear weapon - and, hey, pretty much everyone was healthy in the first tests afterwards. Cancers don't measurably spring up within hours of a test. Still, you have claims from soldiers claiming their cancers were caused by those events decades later...

In Germany, soldiers working on mobile radars are trying to get compensations for tumors they seem to have received by operating the radar devices. Yet, I bet you, on the first tests of those, there were no permanent health problems reported in the days/weeks after the initial tests.

Most famously, big tobacco - your first cigarette isn't clearly measurable the one killing you. Neither is the second, third, twenty-first or onehundredfifthyfourths the lethal one. There is no doubt left about cigarettes being lethal now, but big tobacco made lots of profits over the years by claiming that cigarettes are safe, and that noone could ever link any individual cigarette to lung cancer. And it's still the argument used now by smokers against 'too heavy handed' anti-smoking legislation - why should smoking be banned in pubs. Let non-smokers go somewhere else. Or - more ridiculously, smokers in some countries (like the UK) actually claiming it's breaching their human rights if you prohibited them from lighting up in public. (Who cares about the human rights of the non-smoker next to him, if noone can prove it was 'my' cigarette that gave him lung cancer)?

Neither of those examples can obviously prove whether there is cellphone tower radiation is harmful; much the way that the luddites trying to raise panic about them can prove their harmful, nor that their existence proves cell phone radiation harmless.

What I would wish for - is that the subject stays under some form of independent investigation - without any lobbying from either side. (don't see though, how that could ever happen)

Re:Luddites (1)

genkernel (1761338) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387922)

I agree that there is reason to be skeptical of people who call themselves radiation sensitive. And given how the word "cancer" has been thrown around as a means of fear-mongering, I take all of those accusations with a grain of salt as well. However, I think there is evidence to suggest an indirect effect. Some studies suggest that radiation, even non-ionizing radiation, can interfere with the blood brain barrier, allowing potentially harmful chemicals to pass through in greater quantities (or simply pass through at all). This would not cause cancer, but a variety of other conditions (which might cause cancer), and only indirectly.

Some articles to take such positions include this [emfacts.com] one, which notes that lower SAR values have the potential to be more damaging than higher ones. and this [google.com] scholarly article, which also suggests using such radiation to treat cancer. It should be noted that this is a somewhat newer area of research. According to the later article: "Clearly, the highly complex physical and biological phenomena involved requires the development of new experimental, measuring and observation procedures; these were not always completely controlled in the early research projects".

Re:Luddites (4, Insightful)

nickspoon (1070240) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388410)

Name-calling isn't going to help anyone. The fact of the matter is, to some people hyperelectrosensitivity or whatever the buzzword is nowadays is a very real phenomenon. It has been shown pretty conclusively that the electromagnetic radiation itself does not cause the issues (in one study researchers used an inert box with blinking lights on it to produce the same effect), but that does not mean that the condition is unimportant, or not to be taken seriously. That would be like telling a schizophrenic "none of that stuff is real, shut up".

Rather than laughing at these people, we should consider their problem a mental disorder and treat it accordingly. This does, of course, mean that you consider the condition the problem, not the EM sources.

Re:Luddites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390102)

How often are hypercondriacs met with sympathy?

As for schizophrenics, yes you won't help their delicate condition by telling them it's all on their head but face it: it is.

Re:Luddites (2, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390656)

but that does not mean that the condition is unimportant, or not to be taken seriously.

I think in this case that's exactly what it means.

"Promote" It? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387372)

How much "promotion" does it take to

Re:"Promote" It? (4, Funny)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387442)

not finish your sentences?

Reasons I'm Not Reading This (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387382)

1: "GQ"
2: "PopSci"
3: The entire summary reads like a news announcer sounds. I can actually hear in my head as I read it, my inner voice's pitch changes exactly like a certain bored-out-of-her-skull Asian Reporter.
4: kdawson :(
5: ...
6: Profit! (wouldn't be a list on /. without it!)

I wasted my time and proved you right. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387482)

You were right. Fraud Alert, in my opinion.

Re:Reasons I'm Not Reading This (1)

Vexorian (959249) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388356)

It was way easier to skip it, just do it at the word "balanced". Reporters think balance is to give the same attention to both sides of the discussion. But scientific issues work differently, science requires you to be biased towards the theory that is actually supported by evidence. Using journalism's balance in science is the Arkansas school board approach...

You know who else is electro-hypersensitive? (1)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387384)

You know who else is "electro-hypersensitive"?

Dracula, that's who.

And he has about as good a chance of existing as a real "electro-hypersensitive" human being.

Re:You know who else is electro-hypersensitive? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388262)

Huh? Dracula is supposedly sensitive to UV radiation, not radio waves.

The entire human race is sensitive to UV radiation and some are definitely more sensitive then others.

Re:You know who else is electro-hypersensitive? (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388470)

Though cellphones use microwaves, and not radio waves.

Re:You know who else is electro-hypersensitive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31389910)

Though cellphones use microwaves, and not radio waves.

Microwaves is usually considered everything between 300 MHz and 300 GHz.

Radiovawes is everything greater than 0 and smaller than 300 GHz.

So every microwave is a radio wave.

I'm calling CQ bullshit CQ bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387386)

Utter bullshit, these people receiver more radiation energy from every shortwave broadcast station on the planet than they will from 100 cellphone towers. It is all in their pathetic fucking heads. Hell, given good band conditions, my 1.5kw amateur station radiates them more than a city full of cell phones.

Go ahead, fear the cell phone if you want. The body absorption rate is higher at 146mhz, and I can legally run 1500 watts there, and make a habit of running 5-50 watts.

While they are bitching... why not study how much more radiation they are getting from the local weather radar.

Re:I'm calling CQ bullshit CQ bullshit (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387398)

1) Inverse-square radiation law for distance - The phone transmitter is in contact with your head

2) Energy of EM photons are proportional to frequency

The energy is fixed at a low level... (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389250)

"2) Energy of EM photons are proportional to frequency"

The energy is fixed at a low level, so that a local cell of a cell phone transmitter will not interfere with other cells.

Talking about "photons" doesn't really make sense until the wavelength is much shorter.

Re:The energy is fixed at a low level... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31389792)

No. Photon is a standard term. Why is it in quotes? Microwave photons have more energy per photon than short wave or CB radio. As frequency goes up so does the energy.

Re:The energy is fixed at a low level... (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389996)

See this comment [slashdot.org] .

It is useful to talk about photons when the wavelength is very short, near the size of a molecule, and therefore the energy is very high, high enough to act powerfully on one molecule.

At longer wavelengths, talking about wavelength is more relevant, because that gives the proper idea: A long wavelength doesn't couple much energy directly into any one molecule. Instead, all the molecules just vibrate a little faster. Talking on a cell phone raises the temperature of the side of your head due to absorption of microwaves an amount too small to be measured.

Re:I'm calling CQ bullshit CQ bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387552)

Anonymous Coward DE another Anonymous Coward You are S9+80 here and annoying all your neighbors with TVI. Pls QRP. QSL?

Re:I'm calling CQ bullshit CQ bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387772)

I would rather run 1500W on 2.4Ghz, blocking all wifi and cooking dinner at the same time.
Or 1500W on 160M with a half wave vertical dipole and get a qso card from every country

For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (5, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387478)

Check out your pharmacy. I'm fairly sure there are some Bach flowers tinctures available by now that can cure the problem. If everything fails, get a few healing crystals.

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387568)

I recommend investing in a Q-ray accessory. It'll change everything, by doing something. ...exactly!

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (1)

Bazman (4849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387780)

I had some back pain once, and a friend suggested healing crystals. Suddenly I became aware of a pain in the region just below my back and above my legs.

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387994)

I had some back pain once, and a friend suggested healing crystals. Suddenly I became aware of a pain in the region just below my back and above my legs.

Your taint?

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (1)

horatiocain (1199485) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388160)

I had some back pain once, and a friend suggested healing crystals. Suddenly I became aware of a pain in the region just below my back and above my legs.

Your taint?

*whoosh*

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (2, Funny)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389260)

I don't think that's how you're supposed to use them, but whatever floats your boat...

Re:For all those hyper-electrosensitives out there (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390006)

By the way: I’m selling infallible anti-cellphone-radiation healing crystals for only $5000 a piece!
Remember: Infallible! Or money back!

(The best strategy to deal with idiots, is to make money (or power) off of them. It’s called natural selection. Bill Gates understands this. Steve Jobs does. Every politician understands it. Etc, etc, etc. ;)

The gap (1)

silverdr (779097) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387588)

The gap between electronics which (as a byproduct of what it is designed to do) emit microwatts of electromagnetic radiation, yards away from one's body and brain, and a cellphone emitting watts of electromagnetic radiation an inch away is at least as big if not much bigger.

Re:The gap (1)

tagno25 (1518033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387778)

the typical cell phone only transmits at ~1W

Re:The gap (1)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387854)

Mobile phones emit a couple of hundred milliwatts *at full power* - and usually far less than that. The transmit power is turned down to the minimum required to reach the cell tower, which is why your battery goes flat extremely quickly when you've got a poor signal.

Compare a mobile phone battery with a PMR handheld battery, which powers a transmitter that puts out about 5 watts on a very intermittent duty cycle. The battery for a Motorola Mototrbo (similar computer and DSP bits to a Nokia N73, UHF or VHF radio stack) is about the size of three whole iPhones.

i'm safe (0, Troll)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387618)

My chiropractor assures me that my bag of crystals and wrist magnets will protect me. Besides, with a little acupuncture I'm good as new, plus I never microwave food so I get lots of anti-oxidants. Well, I'm off to sharpen my razor by putting it under a paper pyramid.

Re:i'm safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31387732)

It's worth noting that there are two kinds of chiropractor.

Ones who care about your actual bones and ligaments and actually have equipment that tests bone alignment, versus the ones who blather about "the light inside our bodies".

Just sayin'.

(Captcha: "supple". Hah.)

Re:i'm safe (0, Offtopic)

networkzombie (921324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387894)

Bone alignment? Do you really think your bones can get out of alignment without leaving their sockets? If you are having problems with your bones go to your doctor, not a chiropractor.

Re:i'm safe (3, Informative)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388084)

Bone alignment? Do you really think your bones can get out of alignment without leaving their sockets? If you are having problems with your bones go to your doctor, not a chiropractor.

Bones don't generally have sockets to fit into. Believe me. I broke my humerus in July last year and I have the X-Rays [glitch.tl] to prove it. Speaking generally our bodies are held together with string. The tension on the string varies dynamically and tries to keep everything fitting together.

When I started getting knee pain from cycling I consulted several doctors. They all suggested I wrap a bandage around the knee and wait for it to get better. It didn't.

Then I went to a bike shop which caters to the racing crowd and they helped me get the bike fitted properly. They sold me some gear to help with that. They also recommended an osteopath to see. This particular person is a bike rider too, and understands the injuries you can get.

So between the bike fit and a bit of help from the osteopath my condition improved. A doctor who did a lot of bike riding may have helped as well, but I wasn't lucky enough to meet one of those.

Re:i'm safe (2, Insightful)

drewlake2000 (704213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390956)

osteopath != chiropractor.

Re:i'm safe (1)

Sheen (1180801) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388568)

i got a rock repelling tiger to sell you!

Case study is worthlesss (1)

climate_control (1381507) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387698)

The author seems convinced that Per Segerbäck is allergic to radio waves, even though Segerbäck doesn't demonstrate this in a blind test, and a psychosomatic explanation looms large behind every incident described. This article is worthless to those looking for scientific evidence on the subject.

Re:Case study is worthlesss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31388106)

The same is true for radioactive radiation. it can only be detected in a blind test at very high levels. lower levels, which cause minor annoyance like cancer, can not be detected in a blind test.

"unable to detect radiation"? (2, Interesting)

BitterKraut (820348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387740)

So x-rays must be completely harmless if I can't "detect" them? Think of airplane noise, as it is permanent near large airports. Would be ridiculous to claim it seeds tumors in human bodies. It just disturbs attentiveness, concentration, calmness, sleep. If you are a sensitive person, these disturbances may severely affect your quality of life. Noises can be heard, i.e., "detected", so there's no dispute as to the possible harm they can do. But how adequate are these criteria? Consciousness is not a system monitor. It is a bonus that some species were endowed with. The human body is not a robot. Our physiological systems were not designed. They're not just modules with interfaces. Their behaviour is not just determined by a set of formal rules and a specified input. They're not circuit boards. When our bodies and their functions gradually evolved in nature's history, they were not exposed to electromagnetic fields of the quality that is in question now. As long as life is not understood (and it isn't, unless we'll have succeeded in building living cells from scratch), it is not unreasonable to be cautious. The cancer claim is notorious because any lesser claim is not shocking enough to make it to the news. It is a suicide bomb of reputation: You get some attention at the expense of credibility.

Re:"unable to detect radiation"? (1)

Mabbo (1337229) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387774)

As long as life is not understood (and it isn't, unless we'll have succeeded in building living cells from scratch), it is not unreasonable to be cautious.

Your brain waves make me feel ill. At all times. What? You can't prove me wrong, because life is not understood yet, so, to be cautious, please move to the other side of the ocean, so that I can feel better. It's the only way. What's that? You think this argument makes no sense? That it's unreasonable for everyone else around me to have to change their lives to suit my personal form of insanity?

Re:"unable to detect radiation"? (2, Insightful)

BitterKraut (820348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387850)

There is no scientific way of deciding what is worth preserving and what isn't. That's why we have politics. To ridicule the cautious has always been a political strategy. Sometimes it was necessary for progress, sometimes it led to desaster. Those who think they know the outcome in advance are just as superstitious as the overly-cautious.

Re:"unable to detect radiation"? (1)

nido (102070) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387998)

One reasonable post amongst a hundred scoffers. I salute you, good sir. :)

I wonder how the technology worshipers among us would scientifically study this issue. You'd have to isolate the influence of radio waves on a human body-system. The problem is, of course, finding controls in a radio-free, transient electromagnetic field-free, man-made-chemical-free world...

Science is hard to do when your experiment has a billion variables.

Re:"unable to detect radiation"? (3, Insightful)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388454)

The people unable to detect the cellphone radiation are people who claim to get headaches and whatnot from said radiation. If there is no correlation between reported headaches and actual presence of radiation, then obviously that is a relevant find suggesting that the headaches are in fact not related to cellphones or electronics.

Re:"unable to detect radiation"? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390212)

There is a sneaky error in your logic. Since in reality it’s impossible to find that there is no correlation in general for everything.
You can only find that there is no correlation in the subset of reality that you actually test for.

Your argument is like creating a firewall that by default lets everything trough, and has a huge set of filters of what to block. You know someone will find yet another way around one of your rules. Which is why no firewall or real security system is designed that way around. They always block first, then open only what’s necessary.

(Don’t mix this up: I’m not making an argument for or against there being a correlation. I’m making an argument, that your argument is a bad argument. ^^ [Btw: I don’t think there is a correlation. Because I know enough of physics.])

Buh? (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387816)

The conclusion is that while it seems unlikely that high-frequency fields in consumer devices directly cause cancer, they might promote it,

Like, how? They take out public service ads? "Hey, kids, cancer is your friend!"

My take (2, Interesting)

Artem Tashkinov (764309) | more than 4 years ago | (#31387930)

A critic in me reckons that increased cancer levels (if there are any) may be attributed to overall worsened environment conditions (pollution, etc.), decreased food quality (and mass usage of food additives) and mass hysteria related to the risks of adverse health effects caused by EMF radiation.

Anyway, I really believe anyone can make his life safer (as for now God really knows if EMF radiation can interact with our own electric fields) by using mobile phone as little as possible - I speak on my cellular for no more than two minutes a day.

If it's a balanced perspective you want... (4, Funny)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388118)

... then I guess we'd better wait for the Fox News coverage! They'll be fair, too!

Glenn Beck: "What I wanna know is, why don't these cell phone companies deny this rumor that their phones are cooking my brain? I'm not saying my brain is actually fried, but it sure feels that way and why won't they deny it?"

Re:If it's a balanced perspective you want... (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390116)

I don’t trust anyone who claims to have “no bias” (aka is “neutral”). Because I know that in physical reality, there is no such thing.

Every human’s senses do massive filtering and processing. And our brain can by definition only store information by its difference from everything. And so, our very thought processes only work trough bias.
Plus, the vast majority of our information input (e.g. everything on the Internet) is already processed by many brains and machines executing the instructions given by brains. So it’s by definition already extremely biased.

What we call “neutral” is nothing else than what we think “fits the reality of a certain group”. But every group, and in fact every person has different views on at least some topics (which is why Wikipedia’s “one truth(iness)” is doomed to fail). And which group that is, also differs. Plus, what we think fits, does not have to.

So someone who is ignorant of those basic physics, can’t be taken serious in my book.
Because the better you know someone’s bias, the better you can adjust your corrective lenses. And those who claim to be “neutral” are hiding their obviously existing bias the best. Which makes it hardest, to know what is bullshit, and what not.

do they have any potential? (1)

distantbody (852269) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388126)

Does a micro-wave have ANY potential to break an atomic bond? If the answer is 'yes' then I think the simple conclusion would be that wireless radiation could cause cancer. Of course the next issue would be probability.

On a different angle, microwaves produce heat in the absorbing material, and the warmer matter becomes the more likely atomic bonds are to break, so another simple (I'll stress simple) conclusion could be that microwaves increase the likelihood of cancer.

Those two conclusions, however simple, would concern an average person. The next step of quantifying the risk takes a lot of research, with a lot of variables and equations and, and would be venerable to fudging from any vested interest (perhaps all of the contradicting papers over the years are evidence of that). I guess the most reputable answer only time will tell.

Depends what you mean by an atomic bond (3, Informative)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388282)

Microwaves can definitely break hydrogen bonds. (You can boil water in a microwave oven.) Therefore they could, in principle, disrupt proteins. However, in order to do this, considerable energy is needed; you need to reach temperatures over 40C in human beings, an increase of 3 degrees over normal body temperature.

The issue is one of penetration. For the radiation from cell phones this is very low. The depth affected is comparable to that which is warmed by, for instance, sunshine. Except for a cell phone close to the ear - where most of the heating comes from the battery and the electronics getting warm - the effect from all combined sources is very small, much smaller than the effect of sunshine or even an incandescent lamp a couple of meters away.

So, barring the discovery of some kind of magic effect, the conclusion has to be that the risk is negligible because the absorbed radiation is infinitesimally small compared to the energy absorbed from the other wavelengths of incident radiation.

You get much more penetration for lower frequency radiation - up to VHF - than for microwaves, and for the best part of a hundred years we have been exposing people to rather high doses of it. The radiation from the converter stages of a superhet radio or a VHF/UHF television greatly exceeds what you get from wi-fi or your DECT phone. But strangely, nobody suffered from headaches as a result of listening to AM radios, perhaps because they did not know that radio and TV receivers actually emitted radiation, often at several volts per meter.

Re:Depends what you mean by an atomic bond (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388824)

But strangely, nobody suffered from headaches as a result of listening to AM radios,

You've obviously not spent nights trying to listen to rock and roll on WOWO after your local station signed off...

Re:Depends what you mean by an atomic bond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31388838)

Nope, microwaves can't break hydrogen bonds. They're not even ionizing as the energy of a single photon is way below the threshold needed to push one electron from one orbital into the next.

Microwaves simply supply kinetic energy. Bond energy usually is about single- to double-digit eV (electron Volts), whereas the energy of a microwave photon is measured in meV (milli electron Volts). That's several orders of magnitude in difference. Please also note that you cannot say that a thousand photons would suffice to do that - the energy to break a bond has to be supplied by a single(!) photon with just the right amount of energy, with the energy of a photon being dependent on its frequency only.
That also means that the difference between a 600W and a 900W microwave oven is the amount of particles its pumping out. Not the actual energy of the particles themselves.

Re:Depends what you mean by an atomic bond (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390970)

GP said hydrogen bonds you moron. The non covalent bonds that form between hydrogen and other elements because the hydrogen ends up quite ++ charged with only a single proton. Very important in proteins (aka beta sheet and alpha helix have a lot of H bonding) and bond energy well below 1eV. Do a Google idiot.

It's just about getting on disability (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388260)

It's just about getting on disability in Sweden. They're the laughing stocks of the world to buy into this kind of fraud.

A big gap? (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 4 years ago | (#31388272)

"The gap between a biological effect and an adverse health effect is a big one."

IMO the gap not as big [slashdot.org] as some scientists try to paint. And heck, that was about food, stuff which is digested by our stomach on a chemical level.

The radiation which directly influences the organs? Hell yes.

tinfoil hat reccommended (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31389298)

sry, but bullshit is bullshit. id like to sit these ppl down, give em an antenna and let em guess if its transmitting or not.

The SUN fuckers, do you know it? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31389970)

You know what radiation is a hundreds of thousands of times stronger than cellphone microwaves, and incredibly brighter?

THE SUN!

If you are in fear of getting sick from microwaves, you MUST have hundreds of thousands of times more fear of sunlight. It’s simple physics.

So? Your choice?

Radiation?! Don't Hold It Next to Your Brain, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31390298)

That's why I use a headset and keep my phone in my pocket right next to my genitals.

Cell phone radiation, long term effects (1)

galadriel (42210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390360)

Here's a review of the scientific research on brain cancer and cellphones:
http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=3073 [sciencebasedmedicine.org]

"So where do we stand now? My interpretation of the evidence thus far is that we can say with some confidence that there is no short term risk of brain cancer from cell phone use. However, after more than ten years the evidence is less clear but trends towards either no detectable risk or a very small risk that barely rises above the noise."

Could scientist please return to being objective? (1)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 4 years ago | (#31390638)

The people that ran this study started off their article ok, but it turned in a heap of false information. There is so much wrong with the entire bullshit "science" used to support the argument that cellular phones and non-ionizing radiation causes cancer and "other health problem" that it is starting to become a real problem. This is turning into another carbon dioxide(CO2) scare and I am getting tired of some people attempt to scare the shit out of the majority of the populous.

Hell, I believe the fact that the "alarmist" article was in GQ, and not some respectable scientific journal, is a great indicator of the uselessness of the information contained in said article. It is people like the author, Christopher Ketcham, and frauds, like Michael Kundi, that perpetuate false information, like the existence of "Electro-Hypersensitivity"(EHS). These people have done nothing more than give hypochondriacs another excuse to seek attention from the medical community and given lazy people a way out of contributing to society. The article should be titled, "Examples of Why Sweden is Out of Touch with Reality".

The really sad and dangerous issue in this article is the obvious misdiagnosis of Mr. Segerbäck. First off, his getting sick when he heard a phone ring points to Pavlov's Dog Experiment. Any living being can be conditioned to react a certain way to external(and internal) stimulation and this is an obvious example. I am willing to bet that if someone stuck a cellular phone in his out, without Mr. Segerbäck being aware, then left the phone continually connected to a call, Mr. Segerbäck would show no adverse reactions.

What is Mr. Segerbäck has some type of cancer(no, not from a cellular phone, as you cannot get it from such a device) and it is a paraneoplastic syndrome that is causing his adverse reactions? At best, Mr. Segerbäck is a hypochondriac and at worst, he has real and serious health problem, which he needs to seek immediate treatment(which, again, would not be caused my electromagnetic/non-ionizing radiation, because it is impossible).

Until real scientist in truly objective setting run a study on EHS and give honest and objective scientific evidence that it exist, then I will continue to believe such a condition to be utterly false.

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