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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 tmouse on 4/1/2008 11:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
Well I do not feel that Dr. Khurana's zeal is necessary at this time however the WHO (the medical organization, not the band ; ))study is probably wrong if they did state "no evidence suggests ANY link between cell phones and cancer". It is simply too soon to see a statistically observable increase in brain cancers. In the third world the data is virtually non-existent, in the more developed countries most people never get scans to look for early lesions. While many brain cancers do grow quickly little is known about the time from progression to proliferation, so in 5-10 years we may observe a rapid increase. There is evidence of cell damage from exposure to the electromagnetic frequencies used in cell phones in vitro, but it can be hard to extrapolate. I know epidemiologists who stood firmly behind the idea that the “love canal” disaster had no effect on the persons exposed, but as someone who had seen some of the damage during the clean up; well some of the walls actually "bled" multicolored secretions, and as for smell I was in a full hazmat suit with a Scott air Pac. The national academy study was inconclusive due mainly to the dearth of information, there is simply no common databases to supply this type of information and studies to gather it are expensive, and take a great deal of time and effort so generally only persons for or against make the effort. Unfortunately there are people who will bow to these efforts and suborn their work to the will of the people who pay their bills.

RE: scary facts
By tmouse on 4/1/2008 11:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
As an aside it is never a good idea to simply note the majority of scientists in an area feel this way or that so it must be true. The majority simply follow the most vocal just as in other areas of life. Unfortunately while skepticism IS important for science, Dogma can stifle innovation. Today; new or contrary ideas often lead to the death of the careers of the proponents. As an example the NIH has just begun to fund special sections for projects that are "out of the box", the very NEED to do this speaks volumes.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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