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"It's not a tumor!"
Top British researcher says cell phones more harmful than asbestos or cigarette smoke

Dr. Vini Khurana, a top British neurosurgeon and medical researcher, is trying ardently to grab people's attention about what he sees as a grave risk to health.  He has published over 30 papers; his specialty -- cell phones and their links to disease.  He has reviewed over 100 papers on the links between cell phones and cancer.  His latest research, currently under peer-review prior to journal publication, emphasizes a strong link between cell phones and tumors.

Not one to shirk from using strong language on the topic, Dr. Khurana states controversially, "Mobile phones could have health consequences far greater than asbestos and smoking."

The number of users is the first aspect to look at, says Dr. Khurana.  Over 3 billion people worldwide use a cell phone, according to Dr. Khurana.  Only about one billion people worldwide smoke, evidence to his claims.  The smoking population incurs approximately five million worldwide smoking related deaths a year. 

The doctor expresses no uncertainty about whether cell phones cause cancer.  He states emphatically, "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumors."

Government action is a necessity says Dr. Khurana, but he declines to elaborate on possible measures.  The cell phone industry meanwhile scoffs at the research.  Britain's Mobile Operators Association, a major telecomm collective commented that the new study was "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual."

In the U.S. last September, a research study by the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme indicated that there was no cell phone-cancer link.  However, the normally conservative National Academy of Sciences reporting at the bequest of the Food and Drug Administration ruled that there was a possible link, but more research was needed.  The National Academy of Sciences suggested studies on the effects of use on children and pregnant women and a comparative study of heavy users and the general population. 

In February, DailyTech reported in a study appearing in a U.S. medical journal, which indicated that heavy cell phone use raised the risk of some tumors as much as 50 percent.  Cancers of the salivary gland in particular were found to be the most commonly induced type.  This study differed in that it looked at the effects of long term use.  Also it was among the first studies to examine cancer rates in other organs besides the brain.

Many doctors have expressed concern since the 1980s, when cell phones came into widespread use, that the electromagnetic radiation from the cell phone transmissions might increase mutation rates, upping individuals' cancer risk.  With evidence mildly supporting such conclusions mounting, similar concerns have recently been voiced about Wi-Fi.  Sir William Stewart, chairman of Britain's Health Protection Agency, demanded a thorough investigation of possible cancer/Wi-Fi correlations, based on the fact that Wi-Fi exposure to electromagnetic fields is often even more prolific than that from cell phones.  Allegedly, some people are sensitive enough to Wi-Fi that it causes them headaches.  The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying for a countrywide ban on Wi-Fi.

The new research from Dr. Khurana also follows in the conclusions of other European studies.  A study in Finland found that cell phone users of 10 years or more were 40 percent more likely to get a brain tumor on the side of the head they usually hold their phone.  A follow up study in Sweden indicate this risk to be closer to four times as great.

Cell phone use is currently banned on planes due to interference dangers, however, most analysts agree that a national level ban in any industrialized nation is impractical.

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By Mootang on 3/31/2008 6:55:14 PM , Rating: -1
I was listening to NPR on the way to work this morning, and heard a version of this story, save claims about cigarette smoking. Some of the text in this article is uncannily akin to the story I heard.

That said, I think I will be replacing my cell phone as my primary alarm clock.

RE: Plagiarism?
By Duwelon on 3/31/2008 7:09:42 PM , Rating: 1
If you're going to call plagurism, you better back it up with more than just "I heard".

RE: Plagiarism?
By Mootang on 3/31/2008 8:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's not my name on the line, and I'm too lazy to go spend my time researching to prove something like that. I'm glad of this article because the public needs to be educated, but perhaps the author could watch how he or she reports stories; for that matter he/she might not have been aware that their words were very similar to the words of another.

Not to mention I did say that the NPR story did not give any mention of the comparison between cell phones and cigarette smoke, so it is by no means a direct or over arching instance of plagiarism.

I'm glad to see this is getting some attention, something that almost everyone uses should not put us all in mortal peril years down the road without the public being aware of the risks associated with use.

RE: Plagiarism?
By Ringold on 3/31/2008 11:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
So DailyTech is guilty until proven innocent, even by someone that makes unsubstantiated claims against them?

Sounds like our legal system!

These people probably all get the news from a small number of original sources. I think it's not at all shocking that two or more news providers sound quite similar to each other. If they got too creative, they could begin to distort the actual story I would imagine.

At any rate, the burden of proof isn't on DT. At least, thats how my moral system works anyway.

RE: Plagiarism?
By Diesel Donkey on 3/31/2008 8:22:09 PM , Rating: 1
Indeed, I think you should replace that cell phone. My phone wakes me up with audible noise. Yours sounds pretty useless in this capacity if it attempts to wakes you with imperceptible (though potentially harmful) radiation :)

RE: Plagiarism?
By daInvincibleGama on 3/31/2008 8:33:14 PM , Rating: 2
... nice. Well done.

RE: Plagiarism?
By Mootang on 3/31/2008 8:38:05 PM , Rating: 2
Audible noise? As does mine. What purpose does your comment serve?

RE: Plagiarism?
By Diesel Donkey on 3/31/2008 8:45:24 PM , Rating: 2
The purpose of my comment was to express my amusement with the accidental insinuation of your post that your phone was emitting harmful radiation while behaving simply as an alarm clock. I'm just not quite sure what your phone's alarm capabilities have to do with the wireless transmitting abilities that the article suggests may be dangerous to our cells (no pun intended).

RE: Plagiarism?
By Mootang on 3/31/2008 9:00:36 PM , Rating: 2
Well think about it. When a cell phone is turned on (unless it has an 'airplane mode' as my previous model did), it is communicating with your wireless provider, which emits radiation that, as this article states, could potentially be harmful. What I was implying is that by using a cell phone as an alarm clock is subjecting you to excess radiation that could be avoided by simply turning the phone off and using a different device that does not emit radiation to the same degree, if at all, might be beneficial to my, or anyones health.
Clear enough?

RE: Plagiarism?
By Diesel Donkey on 4/1/2008 3:02:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yup, I see what you're saying. I guess I didn't really think it all the way through because I use a Palm Treo and I turn off the wireless transceiver when I go to bed. However, I would think that your cell phone is emitting orders of magnitude less radiation when it is just keeping in touch with the nearest tower, as opposed to when it's actually transmitting during a call.

RE: Plagiarism?
By mindless1 on 4/1/2008 5:49:30 AM , Rating: 1
First, as an alarm clock you won't have nearly the exposure level unless you were holding it to your head (if the radio is on at all in this mode). Distance matters quite a lot.

Second, you may not know how news distribution works, at TV and Radio stations, apparently here too. Ever heard of a news feed?

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