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Monday, March 31, 2008

If It Ain’t One Thing…

posted by on March 31 at 14:14 PM

A study by an award-winning cancer expert shows that cell phone use could kill more people than smoking, it is reported.

According to the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, the study, headed by Dr. Vini Khurana, shows that there is a growing body of evidence that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer.

Khurana — one of the world’s top neurosurgeons — based his assessment on the fact that three billion people now use the phones worldwide. That is three times higher than people who smoke. Smoking kills some five million globally each year.

Yes, but what’s the risk of using a cell phone while smoking and driving?

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even if this is true (which I doubt), doubling the risk of brain cancer (which is extremely rare) hardly makes cell phones "more dangerous" than smoking.

Posted by josh | March 31, 2008 2:23 PM

Yes, and the entire second half of the article is devoted to what a kook this is. But you couldn't say that, of course, because that wouldn't be sensational.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 31, 2008 2:35 PM
Posted by umvue | March 31, 2008 2:36 PM

well I quit smoking and now i get a brain tumor instead...maybe I can smoke my cell phone.

Posted by sammyonrye | March 31, 2008 2:41 PM

I refuse to believe that my sweet little Blackberry would ever do anything to hurt me. He just sits over there looking so adorable and blinks his cute little red light so I know to come over and read another dirty text message... That little guy wouldn't harm a fly!

I love you little Blackberry :)

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | March 31, 2008 2:43 PM

"Yes, but what’s the risk of using a cell phone while smoking and driving?"

You forgot to add obesity to the equation.

Posted by Hernandez | March 31, 2008 2:44 PM

One of my 3 friends (seriously, ages 45, 38, and 37) recently diagnosed with brain cancer was told by his doc to never, ever, hold his phone to his head again. Instead he said use the headset (not bluetooth either).

Posted by scharrera | March 31, 2008 2:45 PM

Your BlackBerry blinks? Wow, you must have one of the older ones.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | March 31, 2008 3:08 PM

There's no risk.

Until you try to turn and break while your cigarette falls out into your lap as you try to use your Crackberry ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 31, 2008 3:28 PM

It less than two weeks old, FYI... Hence my passionate love affair with it. And as far as I know they all blink unless you tell them not too. My Pearl blinked too, but he got old and kicked to the curb... Cuz thats what happens when you get old. Hehehe. Personally I like the friendly little blinking. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

Confidential to Will:

Driving while crackberrying is dangerous... Irresistable... But dangerous :)

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | March 31, 2008 3:52 PM

Yes, but what’s the risk of using a cell phone while smoking and driving?

I dunno. Singed earlobe?

Posted by NapoleonXIV | March 31, 2008 4:01 PM

Here, calm down/

Posted by Gabriel | March 31, 2008 4:02 PM

thanks, gabriel @12. summed it up nicely. i also noticed how "unscientific" the bolds looked. even though i am unqualified to judge many of the claims in the original paper--THAT was a red flag.

Posted by ellarosa | March 31, 2008 4:59 PM

@10 - I know. Even if you're stopped in traffic on I-90 ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 31, 2008 5:32 PM

After giving this some consideration, I find that I'm not at all disturbed by the thought of heavy cell-phone users dying early.

Posted by MarkyMark | March 31, 2008 7:13 PM

Nicely done Gabriel. This article reminds me of one I read some years back in the nytimes. So I searched their now free archives, yay free archives, and found this:

Do cellphones generate the kinds of radiation that could conceivably cause cancer? Dr. Robert L. Park of the American Physical Society addressed that question last year in an editorial in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

''All known cancer-inducing agents -- including radiation, certain chemicals and a few viruses -- act by breaking chemical bonds, producing mutant strands of DNA,'' Dr. Park wrote. ''Not until the ultraviolet region of the electromagnetic spectrum is reached, beyond visible light, beyond infrared and far, far beyond microwaves, do photons have sufficient energy to break chemical bonds. Microwave photons heat tissue, but they do not come close to the energy needed to break chemical bonds, no matter how intense the radiation.''

In other words, cellphones, which operate with radio frequencies in the microwave range, do not emit ionizing radiation, the type that damages DNA. So I would say at this point, cancer is the least of one's worries when it comes to using cellphones.

Fox News!
We report *Sensationalist headlines without one fucking second of fact checking* You decide *to stop reading Fox*

Posted by Adam G | April 1, 2008 1:53 AM

Thanks for posting, that Adam. I just came here to scream "This is non-ionizing radiation, people!" but you beat me to it, and in a much more intelligent manner.

There is no known mechanism by which cell phone radiation could cause brain cancer. Hell, it's more plausible that chemicals in the phone's plastic case are leeching through your skin and skull, causing brain cancer. If you're worried about that, never touch anything plastic again.

Posted by Mike | April 1, 2008 8:27 AM

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