Cell Phone Cancer Study Provides Few Answers

Friday, May 21, 2010


A long-awaited, 10-year study on cellphones and brain cancer was published this week. The conclusion? That depends on which headlines you read. One of the study's authors, a founder of an environmental health advocacy group and a science reporter try to explain how one study can produce so many conflicting reports.

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Comments [10]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Forget it, folks!

The debate was lost a while back simply by the seductive power of this technology. People want their wireless and whether it be possible brain cancer (notice that kids are intelligently using text, avoiding head contact) or distracted driving (the same kids, stupidly texting while behind the wheel) they are going to get it. Even modern smart phones are moving you away from head contact. Whether Blue Tooth or the simple speaker option, it isn't that hard to follow anecdotal common sense precautions. Of course, laptops, wireless readers and Ipads (simple commercial mention) avoid the head.

In fact, I'm going to try to set my Obama-inspired (a political endorsement), free TracPhone cell phone for the poor from SafeLink (too more commercial endorsements from me) to its speaker option real soon. I just noticed it yesterday.

Safe wireless use, my fellow addicts!

May. 27 2010 09:40 AM
Carl from Vancouver

Krewski has figured out how to craft his message to water down any damning findings. His employer, the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre in Ottawa is funded in part by the wireless industry. According to CBC's Marketplace, Nov. 25, 2003, the Canadian Wireless and Telecommunication Association (CWTA),a cell phone industry lobby group along with its members invested $1 million to help establish the R. Samuel McLaughlin Centre for Population Health Risk Assessment at the University of Ottawa, where Dr. Krewski is doing his cellphone research.

This is an OLD debate. There were strong indications from the WTR study (paid for by the wireless industry, 1993 to 1999, $28 million) that cell phones were problematic. Micronuclei in the blood, single and double strand breakage of DNA, leakage of the blood brain barrier (which was 1st discovered by Allan Frey in the '70's).

Why doesn't the government fund efforts to replicate the REAM (thousands) of studies that show negative health effects?

May. 24 2010 07:37 PM
Paul from panama city beach, fl

Although I am from the future and therefore have the benefit of hindsight, I am surprised that my ancestors considered cell phone radiation to be a valid concern at this stage of development, especially with the advent of Blue Tooth technology and the ever-increasing advancements of mankind.
As I know you did not waste valuable resources to study a problem that will not exist by the time the results are finalized, I shall simply say, don't worry about it.

May. 23 2010 09:30 PM
Michael Cummings

I am blind. I also am a physician and psychiatrist, certified in general and forensic psychiatry, as well as NIMH trained in psychopharmacology. My comment is that the internet sites whcih are careful to label their grafic controls are very much appreciated. I use GWMicro's text to spech program , Window-Eyes and am comfortable on about two thirds of web sites, so long as they remember to label their graphic control characters. Also, web sites which offer a "text only" version are highly appreciated, as such options speend up response times enormously!

Finally, I just wanted to say that I greatly appreciate On the the Media, as the media must never forget to examine itself.

Good job!,

Michael A. Cummings, M.D.

May. 23 2010 08:45 PM
Rochelle Kaskowitz from little rock

I just listened to the report, also. I felt as though Dr. Krusky may have chosen to err on the side of not causing cell phone users to be concerned, rather than presenting us with a balanced report, so that we can decide for ourselves what to do. But perhaps that type of report is the media's job. Anyway, it seems to me that these facts -- the severity of the possible injury (brain cancer), the 40% more injuries to those reporting the most cell phone usage (even if the usage wasn't verified), and the dramatic increase in both cell phone usage and cell phone power -- provide a reason for concern and cautionary warnings.

May. 23 2010 03:46 PM
Brooke Gladstone from Brooklyn, NY

Sharon - The Interphone study did follow up using cell phone usage records in many cases. The other problem with the study of the high usage people, was that the size of that group may have been too small to be statistically significant.

May. 23 2010 03:30 PM
Sharon Mast from Bronx, NY

I have just heard Dr. Daniel Krusky state that self-reports of cell phone use may have been inaccurate, thereby compromising the validity of the study. Why would a study rely on self-reports for something that can so easily be measured via cell phone usage records?

May. 23 2010 10:11 AM
Devra Davis from Washington, D.C.

In 2008, the National Academy of Sciences issued a report noting that this area of research does not get millions in funding and it should. As my new book will show, there is ample evidence that pulsed microwave-like radiation from cell phones today disturbs cells. Information on this can be found at www.environmentalhealthtrust.org

May. 22 2010 01:57 PM
D Eltoft from Iowa City, IA

This research area gets millions in funding by investigating a thought that has no credible real world evidence. The extraordinary claim that cell phone radiation can interact with human tissue requires extraordinary evidence. If this same statistical data were presented as an analysis of the correlation between thinking very hard and brain cancer we would no longer fund further studies. Before a proposed cell phone - physiological study is funded it should be required to at least propose a mechanism by how the radiation could effect cells.

May. 22 2010 12:18 PM
PL Hayes from UK

I got distracted while listening so sorry if the following is spurious but (possible) relative risk increases should *never* be considered in isolation. For example, a suggestion of a 40% increase in a very small absolute risk is not something to panic about even if it is later confirmed.

May. 22 2010 07:45 AM

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