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  (Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC)
Scientifically baseless lies and attacks are inexcusable; CEA should take note and ban Santor/Dexim

The 2014 Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2014) has come and gone and there's plenty to be excited about.  But after a week of reflection I feel compelled to speak out about something I saw at the opening "Unveiled" event.

I. Digital Snake Oil

The culprit was Shenzhen, China-based Santom Ltd. -- a company who also goes by the name "Dexim" (maybe they're two different companies, but in the Americas, the company's full name is "dexim Santom USA Inc."  At the Unveiled event they made the sensational claim to have a product that protects you from:
  • leukemia
  • bone cancer
  • skin cancer
  • ephysema
  • bronchitis
  • ... and more!
Santor flier lies

How do they do this?  They put a cover on the back of your cell phone with a battery in it!

.... uh, wait what?

Clearly this Chinese gadget maker who has an Americas outpost in Ontario, Canada is counting on its target audience (Apple, Inc. (AAPL) iPhone 5/5S owners) to be gullible.  I take that back -- they're counting on them to be glaringly gullible. 

Their "XPowerSkin" appears -- in my professional opinion -- to be a handy backup battery and a passable bumper, but its maker is using lies to try to generate interest and push a cheap product to be sold at a higher unit fee.

bronchitis
Someone call Sweet Brown -- a Chinese company claims cell phones cause bronchitis.

I'm disappointed that the show organizer (the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)) would invite Santom if they were aware of its pitch.  But I'd imagine the weren't.

Let be clear.  It's utter fear-mongering malarkey to suggest that smartphone, tablets, or any other form of wireless devices cause this laundry list of cancers.  Even among wireless fearmongers, the kinds of claims Santom is making are extremely uncommon.

II. Electricity != Nuclear Decay

It appears the "engineers" over at Santom Ltd. must have slept through high school biology and physics, or they would have learned:

Radiofrequency waves are electromagnetic fields, and unlike ionizing radiation such as X-rays or gamma rays, can neither break chemical bonds nor cause ionization in the human body.

Those aren't my words -- they're the words of the World Health Organization (WHO) -- one of the medical field's most reputable international authorities.  The WHO writes:

A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.... research has not been able to provide support for a causal relationship between exposure to electromagnetic fields and self-reported symptoms, or “electromagnetic hypersensitivity”.

...[R]esults of animal studies consistently show no increased cancer risk for long-term exposure to radiofrequency fields.

The largest retrospective case-control study to date on adults, Interphone, coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was designed to determine whether there are links between use of mobile phones and head and neck cancers in adults..... there was no consistent trend of increasing risk with greater duration of use. The researchers concluded that biases and errors... prevent a causal interpretation.

In other words scientists say there's no evidence that cell phones or Wi-Fi are causing brain cancer by beaming waves through your skull.

When most of us who passed high school science hear "radiation" in the context of disease, we think of ionizing radiation from radioactive isotopes.  Ionizing radiation of course can cause enormous damage including leukemia, lung damage (ephysema), skin cancer, etc.  Again that's ionizing radiation -- the kind you might encounter while playing with plutonium, drinking a nuka cola, or rushing out of your bunker to try to save a teenager during an atom bomb test.

But ionizing radiation by no means isthe same as nonionizing radiation, more commonly refered to as low-energy electromagnetic waves/signals.  Comparing low-energy electromagnetic waves to ionizing radiation (which includes both particle and high energy EM waves) is like saying the Earth is a star.  It's ignorant, it's wrong, it's just plain stupid.

Santom-dexim
Santom-dexim was advertising wireless speakers right next to pamphlets blaming cancer victims families for supposedly causing the disease with their cell phones.
[Image Source: jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

Even Santom-dexim seems to realize this.  Not only did they use CES as a platform for this baseless fearmongering campaign, in an epically hypocritical twist -- ready your facepalm -- they were also promoting wireless Bluetooth-enabled stereo speakers right next to their fliers telling you that wireless signals cause cancer

III. Sometimes, Bad Science Can Get Personal

At the event where they were handing out these fliers I confronted dexim Santom's employees.  I informed them: "You do realize there's no scientific evidence that cell phones cause cancer?"

The dexim Santom representative responded, but refused to back down from his company's claims.  In broken English he argued that "everyone knows" cell phones are "bad for the health".

To his understanding the causative mechanism was chips inside the phone "getting hot".  He claimed the signals and heat triggered cancer and that the rubber case with its lithium ion battery somehow blocks those foul cancer rays.

Leukemia
I was fighting leukemia before I or anyone else in my family ever got a cell phone contract.
[Image Source: Mayo Clinic]

Normally I would laugh off such fantastically ridiculous claims.  But when you start to attack the victims you've sunk to a bizarre new low, and you should faces consequences.

Believe me, I'm not one to cry foul or preach political correctness very often.  I'm a staunch supporter of free speech.  And that's why on the off occasion where I see truly hateful, snake oil like this I arm myself against it with words as my weapon.

Am I taking all this a bit personally?  You bet I am.  I am a cancer survivor.  A little over ten years ago, after my freshman year of college I found myself unexpectedly in a war.  My body was destroying itself.  After being tested for everything from the flu to Lyme disease, I found myself diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML).

Sound medicine and good science saved my life from a terrible disease and I will never forget that.  Today my health has never been better.  Last year I ran my first marathon.

cancer patient
When you lie and blame patients' cancer on the victims and their families, you deserve to be condemned. [Image Source: CARE | Karen's Blog]

But as good as I have it, I will never be able to fully forget seeing many people who were not as young or lucky as I was.  Many of my hospital ward neighbors during those days of IVs and hospital gowns didn't make it to see "remission", much less a "cure."  My heart goes out to the surviving loved ones of those who died on those hospital beds.

As a scientist, as a reporter, and -- yes, as a cancer survivor, I find it disgusting to market such lies to the public to sell a product, exploiting cancer deaths to sell your cheap cell phone case.

IV. Blaming the Victims and Their Families -- Are you Kidding Me?

But where I think where Santom sinks to its ultimate, low, though, is when its marketers choose attack not only cancer victims (blaming them for causing their illness), but their family members as well, stating in broken English:

Cellphone Radiation was impacted (sic) your families health!

attacking cancer victims
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

No, you Santom nincompoops, it has not.

What is remarkable about this statement as it transforms one of the most wildly unfounded and sensational claims of cell phone illnesses (bronchitis -- really?) and takes it to a whole new realm of offensiveness.  Basically, dexim Santom is accusing the families of people who get leukemia, skin cancer, etc. of causing the cancer.

This is an amazingly offensive claim -- I've never heard of even those who fear cell phone towers restorting to such accusations of cancer victims' families.  It's an incredibly cold-hearted and poorly thought out claim, even on top of the fundamentally incompetent science that backs it.

While a small minority of cancers are due to occupation exposures (asbestos, benzene, etc.), anyone with a graduate level biochemistry, cellular biology, or cancer biology background will tell you that cancer does not occur overnight.  It is the culmination of dozens of mutations which took the diseased cells to their breaking point.

Mutations may be impacted by certain environmental factors (diet, etc.), but more than anything are a heavily stochastic (random) process.  My cancer, fell into this category.  As my doctor told me, it was basically a roll of the dice in terms of mutation events.  I had rotten luck.

My luck has since turned, but I can not help but be appalled at the decision of this company to accuse the families of unlucky cancer victims of causing their loved ones' disease.

Genetic roll of the dice
Many cancers are effectively an unlucky dice roll in terms of genetic predispositions and random mutations -- to blame the victims and their families is heartless.
[Image Source: UCLH.org]

Why not just sell your product as a backup battery?  Why lie to customers?   Why capitalize on human suffering to make a cheap buck??

Now I realize likely only a handful of employees at Santom and its dexim brand were involved in this ugly effort.  But that doesn't change the blame born by the company and whoever committed it to this reprehensible advertising pitch.

That move definitely earns dexim Santom my "worst in show" award.  Now, I don't usually give a "worst" award for anything, as there's a positive to even the most flawed products.  But I see no positive in spreading lies about cancer.  That kind of thing earns you a rare "worst" destinction.

Santor lies
[Image Source: Jason Mick/DailyTech LLC]

It's a free market, but I recommed that readers refuse to do business with dexim Santom USA and its foreign parents.  I also suggest you boycott the "XPowerSkin" iPhone case that was promoted by these falsehoods.

I hope the CEA takes note Santom's statements, as well, and does not give them such a prominent showcase in the future to spread fear, uncertainty, and disinformation (FUD) discrediting an otherwise superb industry event.  Feel free to email either Santom or the CEA with your thoughts.


Comments     Threshold


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RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By BillyBatson on 1/15/2014 10:07:49 AM , Rating: -1
Most articles on DT would get a Fail if handed in as completed work on any classroom in any grade level. It's something we just have to deal with or get voted down by people like reclaimer who tell us we are the problem for complaining not DT for the garbage writing.

Also great job Jason, useless article, none or us here would even know about this company if you had just kept this article to yourself. Now I am seriously going to buy one of their products in spite.


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By hpglow on 1/15/2014 11:18:28 AM , Rating: 2
And yet I'm sure the site makes more money than you do.


By ClownPuncher on 1/15/2014 11:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
So is Santom Dexim. And?


By BillyBatson on 1/15/2014 12:30:36 PM , Rating: 3
What point does that prove? I am also sure the NY Times makes more than dailytech, where articles are less bias and actually proof-read.


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/2014 11:35:08 AM , Rating: 1
Uhh in our public school system? This would be A++ college prep writing lol.

Also I'm not saying we can't offer criticism, I do it too. But you don't have to be a rude cunt about it. DT didn't ask you to visit here and read stuff for free.

So the article is "useless" because it informed you about something you previously weren't aware of? Uhhh that's not ironic, its retarded. That's the POINT of news blogs!


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By BillyBatson on 1/15/14, Rating: -1
RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By BillyBatson on 1/15/14, Rating: 0
By ClownPuncher on 1/15/2014 6:21:18 PM , Rating: 3
Is that some sort of self fulfilling prophecy? "If people think I'm an idiot, it must mean I am very smart!"


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By lexluthermiester on 1/15/2014 2:25:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
you don't have to be a rude cunt about it.


Seriously with that? GROW UP! Get a clue, use your head for something more than a seat cushion, improve your vocabulary & the use thereof and last, but certainly not least, do quit displaying how much of a rebellious twinkie you are for all the world to see. Eh? It's getting really sad....


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By Reclaimer77 on 1/15/2014 5:07:08 PM , Rating: 2
Vocabulary?

Half the people posting here don't use spell check, have the grammar of a 5'th grader, and can't even punctuate half the time.

My vocabulary is excellent. Wow, I used a curse word (that's not even considered that vulgar in most places), the horror.

It got my point across and I felt it was warranted. Just deal.

quote:
do quit displaying how much of a rebellious twinkie you are for all the world to see. Eh?


I have no clue what you mean by this.

Lately Jason has been taking a lot of flak by idiots with the attention span of a gnat. His offenses include long informative articles, and using lots of pictures. Personally I think he's writing the best stuff I've ever seen from him lately, and as a frequent patron here, I don't appreciate this kind of bullying and pedantic nitpicking.

And you question MY intelligence and maturity?


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By BillyBatson on 1/15/2014 5:39:39 PM , Rating: 2
Reclaimer; i am not going to argue your use of the word.... HOWEVER "not that vulgar" ? It is considered the MOST vulgar word of all the english curse words and it is throne word that can't be used even jokingly in front of most females without getting a palm flying at you. Go ahead and use the word, but know that it's the worst word lol


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By japlha on 1/16/2014 11:16:37 AM , Rating: 1
Don't believe everything the feminists tell you. Who made you the authority on what is the most offensive word? Don't be making assertions on my behalf or everyone else because I don't agree with you.
Reclaimer is allowed to use any words he wishes even if you think it's the MOST offensive word in the history the universe.
If you are that offended by a word then get off internet and go crawl under your bed.


By lexluthermiester on 1/16/2014 3:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
have the grammar of a 5'th grader


Glad you mentioned the fifth grade, because that is the level of maturity and civilized behavior you are displaying. Good job.

I'm well aware of your intelligence. Maturity is another thing. How about you kick the maturity up a few notches to match your intelligence.

quote:
My vocabulary is excellent. Wow, I used a curse word (that's not even considered that vulgar in most places), the horror.


Perhaps your known vocabulary is indeed expansive, yet that is not the issue. It is your choice of words that make you come off like the literal spoiled-brat fifth grader. Low, debase and pathetic.

quote:
It got my point across and I felt it was warranted. Just deal.


Did you? Didn't see that myself. All I saw was someone showing off how easily angered and provoked they are.

quote:
I have no clue what you mean by this.


And that's the point.

quote:
Lately Jason has been taking a lot of flak by idiots with the attention span of a gnat. His offenses include long informative articles, and using lots of pictures. Personally I think he's writing the best stuff I've ever seen from him lately, and as a frequent patron here, I don't appreciate this kind of bullying and pedantic nitpicking.


I'm not taking issue with Jason's articles. Most of them are lucid to the point of being nearly inspired. The issue hear is your very poor choice of words and the questionable need to even use them.

quote:
And you question MY intelligence and maturity?


Not your intelligence[although your choice words and intent does lend to questioning such], but rather your maturity, and rightly so...


RE: Erm, can someone clarify for me....
By mike66 on 1/15/2014 7:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stop being pussies

quote:
be a rude cunt

Whats up, not getting enough are you? maybe it's showing in your style of writing. Women can tell when your a sexist pig you know by your language. If you speak and think like that then no self respecting women would want to be anywhere near you. Ask your mother.
quote:
retarded

Not a very nice term either. Maybe you should re-think your situation.


By MrBlastman on 1/17/2014 9:45:49 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Whats up, not getting enough are you? maybe it's showing in your style of writing. Women can tell when your a sexist pig you know by your language. If you speak and think like that then no self respecting women would want to be anywhere near you. Ask your mother.


Here's some news for you: Women aren't the only thing to live for in life. Heck, they are probably one of the worst things a man can live for. There is so much more to this world than "poon."

Besides, they can be an ever-living pain in your backside.


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