Archives for posts with tag: cell phones

From the Telegraph:

A large study of mobile phone users has found no evidence that longer-term users are at an increased risk of developing brain tumours.

However, the Danish study, published in the journal BMJ Open, has been criticised as being “worthless” by fellow academics who say its methods are “seriously flawed”.

The team from the Institute of Cancer Epidemiology in Copenhagen looked at over 350,000 people who subscribed to mobile phone contracts before 1996, comparing brain tumour rates in them with non-subscribers. They looked for new diagnoses of brain tumours between 1990 and 2007.

The team concluded: “There was no association between tumours of the central nervous system or brain and long term (10 years or more) use of mobile phones.”

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But others strongly disagree.

Denis Henshaw, emeritus professor of human radiation effects at Bristol University, said the researchers had wrongly classified the 88 per cent of the Danish population who started using a mobile phone since 1996 – for whom there is no subscription information for legal reasons – as non-users.

They also removed business users from the study, who are likely to have been the heaviest users.

He concluded: “I consider the claims in the study to be worthless. This seriously flawed study misleads the public and decision makers about the safety of mobile phone use.”

Critics of such studies also point out that brain tumours tend to take decades, not years, to develop.


From the Idaho Statesman:

If you use an electronic device (and who doesn’t), you carry around a significant amount of cadmium, a heavy metal that is toxic if ingested.

It won’t hurt you while you’re using your cellphone, iPod or computer monitor, but once you’re done with it, that’s a different matter. When cadmium lands in a landfill, it can end up in drinking water.

College of Idaho professor Sara Heggland wants to help prevent that by scientifically establishing the link between cadmium and osteoporosis and other bone maladies. She hopes that data will help raise the awareness of consumers and agencies and help shape the policy and practice of disposing of electronics.

“I love my iPhone. I love my iPad,” Heggland said. “But we need to come up with responsible ways to prevent e-waste from getting into landfills and our environment and ultimately into you and me.”

One recent breakthrough for Heggland and her students was demonstrating that cadmium causes osteoblasts, the cells that form bones, to destroy themselves. Now they’re studying how that process, dubbed “programmed cell death,” happens.

“In promoting the death of bone-forming cells, it therefore promotes the development of osteoporosis,” a disease that mostly affects post-menopausal women, Heggland said.

And cadmium packs a double whammy for females, since “women accumulate cadmium more during their reproductive lifetime than men,” she said. “Why that is, is still under debate.”

Now the C of I research team is trying to determine the role of estrogen in that process.

The team also has determined that cadmium gets deposited in the extra-cellular matrix of bone instead of calcium, and wants to figure out what replacing calcium does to the strength of bone cells.


From the Lexington Minuteman:

When Dave Walko retired, he planned to move to Lexington and live a quiet life with his wife Sophia.

Seven years ago, he purchased a fourth-floor unit in the Muzzey High Condominium complex at 1475 Massachusetts Ave. after interviewing with the Lexington Housing Assistance Board (LexHAB). The former director of athletic development for Boston University, Walko was an athlete in his own right.

“I was playing international basketball (on the over-40 Team Watertown). I was in prime shape and I was doing fine,” said Walko, now 64.

Soon after moving in, Walko discovered there was a network of cell antennas “hidden in the cupola” — the dome rising from the roof about 40 feet from his bedroom. Three years later, he developed cancer, which he believes was related to exposure to the cell tower.

Walko beat his cancer in 2007 but said living so near to the cell tower has exacerbated an existing condition. Walko, who is hypersensitive to the frequencies emitted by cell phones and computers, said he cannot use a cell phone or sit at a computer without experiencing discomfort, with symptoms ranging from headaches to atrial fibrillations.

“It’s terrifying,” he said. “You shouldn’t have things mounted where people are living 40 feet away.”

Walko said had he known about the existence of the cell tower, he never would have moved in. “Why wouldn’t [LexHAB] disclose this?” he said.

Representatives from LexHAB could not be reached for comment.

Walko said he feels unsafe in his own home and nobody in the community is doing anything to help him.


From The Telegraph:

Mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections pose a risk to human health and should be banned from schools, a powerful European body has ruled.

A Council of Europe committee examined evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and concluded that immediate action was required to protect children.

In a report, the committee said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognise the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol.

The report also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.

Fears have been raised that electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless devices can cause cancers and affect the developing brain.


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