Saturday, June 18, 2016

Cell Phones and Cancer (Yet Again)

A recent study by government scientists again raises the possibility that radiation emitted by cell phones could cause cancer. In the study, rats were exposed to radiation of the type emitted by cell phones for 9 hours a day for their entire life span; a dose never approached by human use of cell phones. There was a barely significant increase in two types of cancer (of the heart and brain), but only in male (not female) rats. The 74-page report is labeled 'preliminary' and was not peer-reviewed, meaning that it has not yet been reviewed by other independent scientists in the same field. That's generally a no-no in terms of establishing a paper's scientific validity.

Although some media duly reported (yet again) that cell phones may cause cancer, this report just isn't very convincing. For a critique of the report, see the article in the New York Times. For an extensive and sometimes humorous analysis, see this commentary.

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