Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cancer link to Mobile Phones

Now, there's probably a certain amount of 'meh' to this story, but still, it makes for interesting reading, and as one of the few people left in the country that does NOT own a mobile, it makes me baulk at ever getting one. (not that I need any excuse, I find the idea of someone being able to contact me at all times ridiculous).

From the Guardian.

'Mobile phones do not pose health problems to adults in the short term but there is a "slight hint" of a cancer risk for long-term users, according to the results of a study which could not rule out risks of brain or ear cancer for those who have used mobiles for more than 10 years.

"We found no association between incidence and exposure for people who have used their phones for less than 10 years," sais Lawrie Challis, chair of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research programme. "But we cannot rule out the possibility [of] n association for exposures for more than 10 years. The numbers appeared to show some slight hint ... it's a faint suggestion that needs to be followed up

The researchers involved in the six-year study said they would further investigate in the next phase of their work, which would also examine the effects of mobile phones on children's health.

The £8.8m MTHR programme is a joint project funded by government and the mobile phone industry in response to Sir William Stewart's independent inquiry in 2000 into the safety of mobiles. He has concluded that mobile phones seem to pose no problems but has recommended further research.

The group's report, published yesterday, collates the work of 28 studies it has backed, as well as other research from around the world that has looked at the effects of mobile phones on health factors such as blood pressure, brain function and cancer. It concludes that there is no evidence of short-term effects from either GSM or 3G handsets or base stations.

There is also no evidence, the researchers say, of the phones causing the symptoms described as electrical hypersensitivity, a phenomenon affecting up to 4% of people in the UK who describe a sense of tingling or dizziness in the presence of electrical signals.

For the long term, however, there is less certainty. Paul Elliott, an epidemiologist at Imperial College London, said: "In some of the studies there was an excess of malignant brain tumours and acoustic neuromas [ear cancers]. But the excess is quite small and is at the borderline of statistical significance."

Regarding the question over the effects of mobiles on children, Professor Challis said: "At this stage we have no evidence at all that mobile phones or masts hurt children. But we do know that [regarding] a number of other environmental agents - lead, tobacco smoke, ultraviolet radiation, ionising radiation - children react differently to them and often more severely, than do adults."

The professor said that his group's findings did not contradict the advice from Sir William, who, in 2005, urged parents to limit their children's use of mobile phones as a precaution, and advised that under-eights should not use them at all.

Starting next year the MTHR researchers will begin a £6m health study on more than 200,000 mobile phone users from across Europe."

Yesterday I ran past a bus stop in Rathfarnham, there were five people sitting on the wall waiting for a bus, EVERY one of them had their mobile open and were staring at the screens. It was almost zombie like. Not talking, but texting or reading texts. I laughed and trundled on. But Ireland seems to have a real mobile problem. I must admit, I don't get it. But the Little Goth Kid's generation are mobile compliant. Text speak is rampant, stupid annoying ring tones saturate the air, downloaded adverts, they're bombarded with mobile related crap daily.
I once asked her if she could go without her phone for a day. Her startled expression was comical as was her, 'Well, why would I want to do that?" answer.
It was unthinkable.
How weird is that?



Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Hmm, I'm on my 2nd. TLGK's probably on her 3rd or 4th.

11:15 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

How many years have you clocked up then do you reckon?

11:16 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

I think I'm in my 9th year, having initially resisted getting one for several years.

11:25 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Just had a look... on the current phone there's a total 232hours call duration over the four year period. I reckon that's low. Does the study allow for usage since, presumably, higher usage on calls would expose the user to more radiation?

11:29 a.m.  
Anonymous Shebah said...

Well, I hope there is no risk - I have two mobys - and my ipod shuffle - so if any of this tech is dangerous, I'm fucked. I agree with your little goth kid - I can't got out without my mobile. It's like my baby dummy - a grown up comfort toy.

11:32 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Think there was some study on SAS radio operators in the early 80s, when they carried around the brick-like precursor to mobile fones. They were found to have higher rates of cancer in the hip, where the phones were being carried, than the rest of the unit.
Im sure the companies have dampened the risk somewhat for public use, but its still slightly worrying...

I've prob had a mobile for 7 years now meself.

11:38 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Sheepw, the companies sell the phones as design gadgets... when EVER did you see a mobile advertised as having the safest/highest radiation shielding? They don't go there - and it must be a conspiracy not to do so - because it's the great unmentionable in the cell phone industry.

11:43 a.m.  
Anonymous sheepworrier said...

True conan - if they sold them as having 'safe' radiation output, it would mean admitting there was any radiation output to be worried about in the 1st place.

Although I'm prone to the odd conspiracy theory, its difficult to imagine a worldwide conspiracy by all goverments to cover-up the ill effects of mobile usage. Its too far-reaching. Surely some gov would come up with empirical evidence stating mobiles to be dangerous to its citizens...?

11:55 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

Sheepw, it's too early for comprehensive longitudinal studies. When I say 'conspiracy' I mean only among the corporate interests - networks and phone manufacturers. I must look at the Irish mobile networks' websites to see if their FAQ pages address the radiation issue.

12:03 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Even if there was some evidence of radiation, I'd imagine it would still be nigh on impossible to pry mobiles from folk's text weary fingers.

12:30 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I didn't get one until we moved here last summer and I've used it a whole 5 times. Kind of a waste, really.

1:50 p.m.  
Anonymous eva said...

I've somewhat started to ignore these cancer scare reports, because I think in this day and time it seems we can get cancer of virtually everything - anything from crispbread and deodorants, to the wrong kinds of fats and hell, even the air that we breathe (and that one is a bit difficult to avoid eh?).
So well, I read these things and turn the page. As for mobile phones, I own one - an ancient f*cker - but I rarely use it and I really don't like them. I especially HATE all those bl*ody ringing tones and yeah, the "zombie side effect" is quite sad...

1:51 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Well done Medbh! Huzzah.
Eva, it was quite comical, especially as they were in a row.

1:55 p.m.  
Blogger finn said...

nice try, fatcat.

2:02 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Is it working? Do you feel yourself coming out of the mist?

2:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Sheesh ... said...

Ooh - did anyone see 'Thank You for Smoking'??? I don't think it is spoiling it for anyone to say that at the end of the film, he switched from lobbying for cigarettes to ............... mobile phones!

7:33 p.m.  
Blogger Annie Rhiannon said...

It's worth it.

12:04 p.m.  
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