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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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RE: scary facts
By Lord 666 on 3/31/2008 11:41:51 PM , Rating: 5
The same WHO that censored the impact of Chernobyl's health impact and mortality?

Please remember that Christopher Columbus was not a geographer, Thomas Edison never went to school, and Anand Lal Shimpi started something big when he was 15.

RE: scary facts
By masher2 on 4/1/2008 12:19:58 AM , Rating: 3
> "The same WHO that censored the impact of Chernobyl's health impact and mortality?"

Stuff and nonsense. If anything, the linear exposure model used by the WHO slightly overestimates the results of Chernobyl's effects. The WHO simply refused to bow to the demands of anti-nuclear activists, who wished to portray the event as far more deadly than it actually was.

> "Please remember that Christopher Columbus was not a geographer..."

Columbus also thought the experts were wrong, and that the world was only 1/4 the diameter it actually was....which is why he thought he'd reached the Indies when he landed in America.

> "...and Anand Lal Shimpi started something big when he was 15"

And this proves cell phones cause cancer?

RE: scary facts
By slunkius on 4/1/2008 1:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
The WHO simply refused to bow to the demands of anti-nuclear activists, who wished to portray the event as far more deadly than it actually was.

it's a real pitty you were not living in a soviet union in the time of the event. i'm sure you would have volunteered to disaster management squad, you know, those guys who went there to fix the mess.

RE: scary facts
By MeTaedet on 4/1/2008 1:10:54 AM , Rating: 2
Who up-voted that? Really now...

Please remember that Christopher Columbus was not a geographer, Thomas Edison never went to school, and Anand Lal Shimpi started something big when he was 15.

I am so very tired of seeing this fallacy on Daily Tech. I've already seen it some 20 times or so.

Do the following phrases mean anything to you?

Availability heuristic
Spotlight fallacy
Misleading vividness
Thought terminating cliche
Proof by example
Cherry picking
Fallacy of insufficient sample

And there was an appeal to novelty earlier.

I do wonder how many more people than those three you cited have made claims out of their depth and beyond their area of study and been wrong?

Masher never said that he was necessarily wrong because we wasn't an epidemiologist or oncologist, only that he wasn't as trustworthy a source as he might otherwise be. In the absence of any information or understanding upon which to predicate a truth-value statement about one notion or another of opposite purport, one is often left to do no more scientifically rigorous than to trust what another, hopefully credible person, says. After all, one can't gain a perfect grasp of all fields of science. Therefore, given the choice to believe what one of two men says, each saying the opposite, it is sensible to choose to believe what he says who be formally trained in the field most relevant to the matter in question. Taking a brain surgeon at his word that cell phones cause brain cancer over the word of oncologists et al. who say they don't isn't particularly sagacious, unless we have reason to suspect mendacity or deceit on the part of the latter group for some reason.

RE: scary facts
By Lord 666 on 4/1/2008 11:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
Greed would be the reason for deceit and there is a ton of change to loose if there is a correlation.

Case in point, the pharmaceutical industry. You can cherry pick examples of pulled drugs or ones that have later proved less effective after approval (Rezulin, Avandia, Vytorin, or Prozac) but the one that really comes to mind is Vioxx. There was evidence that Merck was aware of the issues prior to releasing along with the FDA. It passed many subject matter experts (Merck, independant studies, and FDA), but only after a off-label research study using Vioxx to treat colon cancer exposed detrimental circulatory effects.

An IT example of this is Windows Home Server... I was even a beta tester for this product. How did "experts" miss the file corruption issue, should we question the Q/A methods, manufacturer, or beta testers? It was only the end users who unfortunately found the problem after their files were corrupted (did not include me)

Experts can sometimes suffer from tunnel visioned or for malicious resons such as greed ignore conflicting evidence. Either way, the truth is out there for someone to find.

"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad

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