Sunday, September 26, 2010

Again with the Wireless Worry

Yesterday's Globe & Mail had an article with excerpts from the book Disconnect by Devra Davis, an epidemiologist.  It's not really that big a deal to stop carrying your phone in your pocket, or text instead of holding it to your head, is it?

Here's some bits that continue to worry me despite the science that suggests it really can't hurt us...

"...people who have used cellphones for half an hour a day for more than a decade have about twice the risk of glioma, a rare kind of brain tumour, on the side of the head where they hold the phone."

"...microwaves, known as non-ionizing radiation, were long thought to be benign because they weren't strong enough to bump electrons from atoms....[but] rats exposed to just two hours of microwave radiation had broken strands of DNA, the damage known to occur in cancer.  The rats also had brain-cell alterations, memory lapses and fluids leaking from their brains into their blood..."

"According to the fine print of the safety and product information brochure accompanying every cellphone, pressing the phone to your ear is a no-no..."  Blackberry specifies that people should "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. (25 mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers) when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to the wireless network."

"The fact that ready money has been there to support those who cast doubt on the dangers of radio-frequency radiation certainly plays some role in the perpetuation of their views, as it did with tobacco, asbestos, benzene, and hormone-replacement therapy."

"The need for research should not be allowed to become an excuse to carry on as though everything is fine, until we have incontrovertible proof that it is not."

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