Respectful Insolence

I’ve caught some flak before over things I’ve written about the almost certainly nonexistent link between cell phones and cancer. Actually, it’s not the kind of flak you probably think, unless you’ve been a long time reader and remember the relevant posts. You’d think it would be believers attacking the mean old skeptic for denying a link between cell phone radiation and cancer, thus making me (obviously) a shill for big telecom. Actually, it was flak from one physicist and at least a couple of skeptics, who didn’t like that I actually left open the small possibility that it could be possible that there is a link. The problem that irritated the crap out of me was not so much that these skeptics make the argument that it’s physically impossible for cell phone radiation to cause cancer. A viable argument to that effect can be made based on how low the energy emitted by cell phones is. No, what irritated the crap out of me is that they made these arguments based on a painfully simplistic view of how cancer originates in which they assume that it’s physically impossible for something to cause cancer if it doesn’t break chemical bonds, which is an idea that’s so 1990s. There’s so much more to carcinogenesis these days than breaking chemical bonds in DNA and causing mutations. There are metabolic changes, epigenetics, and potentially a whole host of other mechanisms that we don’t understand yet, and, unfortunately, these dismissals of a possible link were often based on a high school level understanding of cancer biology.

Still, despite my trying to keep an open mind on the matter, I also don’t want my mind to be so open that my brains fall out, so to speak. Even accounting for the newer, richer, and more complex understanding of carcinogenesis that has emerged over the last decade, I still have to concede that, from a strictly physical, physics- and biology-based perspective, given the low energy emitted by cell phones, the chances that they can do anything to cells that would result in cancer are vanishingly small, Thus, a link between cell phones and cancer is incredibly implausible from a strictly basic science point of view. Not homeopathy-level implausible, admittedly, but nonetheless mighty implausible indeed. Nor is the epidemiological evidence particularly convincing, as I’ve discussed in my usual Orac-ian prose time and time again. Basically, the only suggestive studies all come from the same group in Sweden, which is always a red flag to me (that the studies all come from one group, not that they come from Sweden, I hasten to add). As I said before, whenever one group of researchers keeps finding a result that no other group seems able to replicate or that otherwise disagrees with what everyone else is finding, that’s a huge problem. I’d also have a lot more confidence in this seeming association in “high quality” studies if the association didn’t depend upon a single researcher and if this researcher was not also known for being an expert witness in lawsuits against mobile phone companies.

All of which leaves me very puzzled by the lastest news stories I’m being bombarded with by my readers:

And that’s just a sampling of the articles about this report by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (WIARC). Actually, it’s not a report. it’s a press release. The actual report is scheduled to be published in the July 1 issue of The Lancet Oncology and “in a few days online.”

My first thought in reading about this was to wonder what these guys are smoking. After looking at the press release, my thought was that this is a perfect example of how the paradigm of evidence-based medicine, in which epidemiology and clinical data always trump basic science considerations, even when they are quite firm in their conclusions that a link between an environmental factor and a health outcome is as damned near close to impossible as the proposed link between cell phone radiation and cancer is based on pure physics. The press release describes its results:

The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited2 among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate3 to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate. The Working Group did not quantitate the risk; however, one study of past cell phone use (up to the year 2004), showed a 40% increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period).

And its conclusions:

Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the Working Group, indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.”

“Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings,” said IARC Director Christopher Wild, “it is important that additional research be conducted into the long‐ term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting.”

Funny that Dr. Samet should mention texting. The only verified danger of using cell phones thus far is the increased risk of getting in an auto crash due to the use of cell phones while driving. Be that as it may, what is the “2B classification“? Basically, it means “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” more specifically:

This category is used for agents for which there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. It may also be used when there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans but there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. In some instances, an agent for which there is inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and less than sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals together with supporting evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data may be placed in this group. An agent may be classified in this category solely on the basis of strong evidence from mechanistic and other relevant data.

There are a lot of problems with the claim that cell phones cause cancer, not the least of which is that the science and epidemiology just don’t support it. In particular, the INTERPHONE study, whose results were reported last year, showed no evidence of a link between cell phone use and glioblastoma or meningioma. In fact, to me the decision by WHO is exceedingly puzzling because, if anything, over the last several years the evidence has been trending more and more towards being inconsistent with with a link between cell phone use and brain cancer–or health problems of any kind, other than getting into car crashes because of texting or talking while driving. I note that the INTERPHONE study relied on a dubious subgroup analysis in order to find that there was a 40% increased risk of glioma in the very heaviest users of cell phones that only barely achieved statistical significance and no increased risk of meningioma. Moreover, as I pointed out a year ago, among the heaviest users were reports of implausible levels of cell phone use, as high as 12 hours per day, every day. When a different method of quantifying cell phone use–asking how many calls per day a person typically made–was used, the increased risk of cancer disappeared.

I also note that a brand new study was just published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that doesn’t support the hypothesis that cell phone radiation causes brain cancer, either. The study, out of Finland, bases its hypothesis on the simple physical observation that cell phone energy absorbed from the radio field created by cell phones depends strongly on the distance from the source. As a result of this known relationship, an obvious hypothesis is that, if cell phone radiation causes brain cancers, then one would expect that the brain tumors resulting from the exposure would cluster closer to where the phone was held. In other words, if a person holds his or her phone more on the right than on the left, then one would expect that any resultant tumors would be on the side where the phone was most commonly held more often than random chance alone would predict. The stronger the carcinogenic effect, the more likely it should be for tumors to be found on the side. So the investigators did a fairly complicated analysis in which they tried to correlate laterality of cell phone usage with locations of brain tumors in 888 INTERPHONE subjects.

Guess what they found?

Nothing. Nada. Zip. No spatial correlation between cell phone use and the locations of the brain tumors observed. Using one form of analysis, the investigators found that tumors were located closest to the source of exposure among never-regular and contralateral users, while in another analysis there was no correlation between where a user held his or her phone and where subsequent brain tumors arose. The authors concluded:

In conclusion, the results do not indicate that gliomas are located in excess in the brain tissue presumably receiving the highest-intensity electromagnetic field among regular mobile phone users. Cumulative call time, duration of use, and laterality were not consistently associated with the location of the gliomas.

When considering evidence for a link between an environmental exposure and a cancer, it is important to consider all the evidence. First, there must be biological plausibility. A cell-phone brain tumor link is highly implausible based on physics alone, but probably not impossible. Even in the case where a mechanism is not known, compelling epidemiological evidence can overcome that; such evidence does not exist for a cell phone-cancer link; even the WHO doesn’t claim that. Among the evidence that should exist is a relationship between the environmental exposure and cancer that makes sense scientifically for the specific exposure. In the case of cell phone radiation, this means that the laterality of brain cancers should correlate with the laterality of usage. This Finnish study shows no evidence of any such correlation. In fact, if you take this Finnish study together with the existing studies out there, other than the studies by Dr. Lennart Hardell’s group in Sweden, studies that have serious limitations, in particular recall bias, the evidence supporting a link between cell phone radiation and cancer is so resoundingly nonexistent in epidemiology, preclinical science, and physics that it boggles the mind the WHO would come to even the tepid conclusion that cell phones should be added to Group 2B indicating that cell phone radiation might be carcinogenic. In reality, at worst, cell phone radiation might be reasonably placed in Group 3 (the agent is not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans). More appropriately, it cell phone radiation should have been assigned to Group 4 (the agent is probably not carcinogenic to humans), almost based on physics alone.

Unfortunately, the WHO decision has the potential to do a great deal of damage. A couple of news stories demonstrate why. For example, the ever-woo-loving Tara Parker-Pope at the New York Times writes:

The W.H.O. panel ruled only that cellphones be classified as Category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans, a designation the panel has given to 240 other agents, including the pesticide DDT, engine exhaust, lead and various industrial chemicals.

Look for the headlines on woo-friendly sites likening cell phones to pesticides and lead to appear soon, if they haven’t already.

Then there’s the credibility issue. As Sanjay Gupta put it:

Neurosurgeon and CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta says Tuesday’s announcement, “dealt a blow to those who have long said, ‘There is no possible mechanism for cell phones to cause cancer.’ By classifying cell phones as a possible carcinogen, they also seem to be tacitly admitting a mechanism could exist.”

Well, not exactly. What they are doing, if anything, is demonstrating why scientific prior plausibility is so important. If it is so implausible that cell phone use can lead to cancer, based on physics alone, a measured reading would have concluded that, at worst cell phones are either Group 3 or Group 4, not Group 2B. As David A. Savitz, a professor in the departments of epidemiology and obstetrics and gynecology at Brown University and a researcher on environmental exposures and health, put it, “With few exceptions, the studies directly addressing the issue [cell phones as a brain cancer risk] indicate the lack of association.” Combining unconvincing epidemiological data with extreme scientific improbability from a basic science/physics standpoint should have equaled an assignment to “probably not carcinogenic in humans.”

I close, as I began, by pointing out that, unlike some physicists and skeptics, I don’t dismiss on basic science grounds alone the possibility of a link between cell phone radiation and cancer. In other words, I do not consider such a link to be impossible. I do, however, consider such a link to be incredibly implausible and improbable based on basic science considerations alone. Add to that the essentially negative epidemiological evidence, and, for now, I consider the question of whether or not there is a link between cell phone radiation and cancer to be in essence a dead issue, the question having been answered provisionally (and strongly) in the negative. My conclusion aside, my mind can still be changed by new evidence, of course. Indeed, to mention an example, I frequently tell even anti-vaccine activists that if they can produce convincing scientific data linking vaccines to autism I would seriously consider changing my mind. They have yet to do so, and I have yet to see convincing evidence of a link between cell phones and cancer. Certainly, this WHO report doesn’t even come close to what would be necessary to convince me to reconsider my conclusions regarding the existence of a link between cell phones and cancer. After all, it’s nothing new. There’s no new research presented, and the totality of the research that is presented is arguably misinterpreted. All this report does is to leave me profoundly puzzled as to why WHO would sully its scientific reputation by trumpeting such a dubious report.

Even so, in the spirit of keeping an open mind, I’ll keep an eye out for the full report and perhaps blog further about it after it’s released, either here or at my “more respectable” blogging home.

Comments

  1. #1 David N. Brown
    June 1, 2011

    This reminds me of a “Mythbusters” episode on the “myth” of cell phones causing gas station explosions: They concluded that, to the extent that the story might have a basis in real events, it was probably fires caused by static from the CLOTHES of people yakking on cell phones. I think this can extend to the whole argument here: Even it there were in fact absolutely no causal relationship between cell phones and cancer, there might still be a statistical “link” simply because greater cell phone use coincided with one or more real risk factors. On that principle, it seems all too likely that there will always be one thing or another to give the cell phone/ cancer story a new lease on life.

    David N. Brown
    Mesa, Arizona

  2. #2 Rixaeton
    June 1, 2011

    The W.H.O. panel ruled only that cellphones be classified as Category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans, a designation the panel has given to 240 other agents, including the pesticide DDT, engine exhaust, lead and various industrial chemicals.

    I note that she left off “Coffee” which was included in the same list of other 2B substances as reported on http://www.news.com.au. Reviewing the list of 2B, body talc powder is also 2B. Selective reporting to make things sound worse; why am I not surprised?

  3. #3 stuartg
    June 1, 2011

    The media in New Zealand quotes the WHO decision as using the terms “may” and “possibly”.

    These terms are semantically equivalent to “may not” and “possibly not”.

    Substitute those equivalent terms and the decision, as reported, becomes something completely different! There’s nothing here to even make me think twice about using cellphones.

  4. #4 AnthonyK
    June 1, 2011

    Surely, if there were any link betweent cell phones and cancer, we would have seen a massive jump in the number of sufferers in the past 20/30 years? I mean, from 0% cell phone usage in the 70s to virtually 100% now – a “brain cancer” epidemic would be expected, indeed rampant.
    But this is really just another conspiracy theory about “them” and their wicked, invisible, science rays.
    I think that a strong link can be adduced between thought cancer and internet usage, but that’s just my theory.

  5. #5 Rixaeton
    June 1, 2011

    The W.H.O. panel ruled only that cellphones be classified as Category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans, a designation the panel has given to 240 other agents, including the pesticide DDT, engine exhaust, lead and various industrial chemicals.

    I note that she left off “Coffee” which was included in the same list of other 2B substances as reported on http://www.news.com.au. Reviewing the list of 2B, body talc powder is also 2B. Selective reporting to make things sound worse; why am I not surprised?

  6. #6 DFS
    June 1, 2011

    Orac, you’re just shilling for Big Wireless

  7. #7 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    The gold standard in arguing infinitum over the comparative safety profile of cannabis is to compare it with the risk / benefit / toxicity profile of coffee or caffeine.

    Some have taken on the challenge of saying cannabis is safer than peanuts, but I am not so gung-ho, slowly slowly catchee monkee, quicker if it’s asleep…

    Comparing harms of Cannabis with Alcohol is a no-brainer. Does anyone here have no brain cells left from drinking alcohol? I hear medicine is full of alcoholics? Does anyone here think it’s fun to discuss the effects of alcohol with a non drinker who spends all his time studying the effects of dihidrogen monoxide on the body (Water or DihMon?, ‘marijuana’ or ‘cannabis’ – what’s in a name?)

    Comparing the harms of ‘illegal’ and ‘legal’ drugs, is Taboo to the NIDA propagander machine (see the famous NIC edit drama for moar lulz)

    Oh but let’s compare the harms of these substances to the fragile child:

    http://stash.norml.org/marijuana-consumption-by-pregnant-women-may-reduce-infant-mortality-more-study-needed

    More study needed. Cannabis saves babies lives? Cannabis reduces infant mortality rate from 15.7 to 0, zilch, nada, squat… (but not statistically significant).

    Who cares about the numbers! 2+2=5 for large values of two and small values of five. Any mathematician knows that ;)

  8. #8 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    Orac, you’re just shilling for Big Wireless

    Ya got me. I was just hoping to get a new iPhone 5 for free when it’s released. :-)

  9. #9 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    @Jacob

    Methinks you’re on the wrong thread here. Please stick to the thread you were in before and do not bring cannabis up in unrelated threads. (Actually, I’m getting tired of whole cannabis thing anyway in the thread you’re already in; seeing it metastasize to new threads does not ingratiate you to me.)

    If I see anything more about cannabis from you in this thread, I will be highly tempted to delete it with extreme prejudice. The topic here is the WHO report about cell phones and cancer.

  10. #10 David
    June 1, 2011

    one of the issues with acoustic neuroma that makes the epidemiology very difficult to interpret is that the presenting symptom is often unilateral hearing loss (because – d’oh – the neuroma affects the acoustic nerve). Also true of meningiomas of the petrous region. This may be noticed first on the side where the user most often holds the cell phone (in most other situations both ears detect sound and a mild unilateral defect may go unnoticed).

  11. #11 Giliell
    June 1, 2011

    The media in New Zealand quotes the WHO decision as using the terms “may” and “possibly”.

    These terms are semantically equivalent to “may not” and “possibly not”.

    hmmm, maybe that’s the trick. I once heard somebody arguing (in jest)that they should replace those “smoking kills” and “smokers have a higher risk of cancer” labels with such saying “Well, only a minority of smokers gets asthma”. They would discourage people more because they’d think “I’m always getting the short end of the stick anyway, I’m not taking risks here”.
    How language and the human understanding work is incredible. A lot of liguists argue, that the brain actually doesn’t know a negative.
    (and now that’s a paradoxon)

  12. #12 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    Yes Orac, I do apologise for the fraughtism! You’ve quite right!

    Dude I’m not big on Oncology so I had to google ‘metastasize’.

    CBD inhibits matastasis? What does that mean? Is it good news?

  13. #13 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    It’s a metaphor. It means your cannabis comments are metastasizing throughout my blog like a cancer.

  14. #14 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    You’ve got it in one. I’m an aspie. I don’t see metaphor and I can’t make it for myself. That’s why I’ve developed an algorithm to simulate NT ‘swerving’ behaviour in day to day communication.

    As you can see, it’s nearly there but a little rough around the edges. If one was aspergers then became bipolar instead, would that be seen as partial recovery?

  15. #15 Dr Sam Girgis
    June 1, 2011

    I think the ultimate result of this press release is to 1. state that there is a “possible” link between cell phone use and brain cancer, and 2. make the general public believe that there is an actual link. The data on this possible link is not available and not solid, and more research needs to be done. In addition, heavy cell phone use is a relatively new phenomenon and we may see better data as more time goes by. Ultimately, the jury is still out about this issue.

    Dr Sam Girgis
    http://drsamgirgis.com

  16. #16 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    Except that the evidence WHO used doesn’t even really support their conclusion when basic physics and lack of biological plausibility for such a link are considered.

  17. #17 Mu
    June 1, 2011

    The only people happy about these reports are the trail lawyers. Another case of breast implant hysteria opens up to them; plenty of opportunity to get rich before good science answers the question definitively.

  18. #18 herr doktor bimler
    June 1, 2011

    Tuesday’s announcement, “dealt a blow to those who have long said, ‘There is no possible mechanism for cell phones to cause cancer.’

    That makes no sense. If physicists are saying “There is no possible mechanism for a link between cell-phone usage and cancer”, and someone comes along claiming to have evidence for such a link, the first statement still stands… there is still no possible mechanism for it.
    Can’t see any blow being dealt.

  19. #19 Marry Me, Mindy (fkaP)
    June 1, 2011

    The W.H.O. panel ruled only that cellphones be classified as Category 2B, meaning they are possibly carcinogenic to humans, a designation the panel has given to 240 other agents, including the pesticide DDT, engine exhaust, lead and various industrial chemicals

    Oh for petes sake. Just because something is a poison doesn’t mean it causes cancer. You can die from lead poisoning and never get cancer. Similarly, I always thought the problem with DDT was that it destroyed the shells of bird eggs and therefore wiped out bird populations? That’s not cancer.

    The fact that cellphones are classified the same as lead, DDT, and other pesticides tells me more about the cancer risks of lead anbd DDT than cell phones

  20. #20 Anton P. Nym
    June 1, 2011

    The only people happy about these reports are the trail lawyers.

    I suspect that the yellow press is also overjoyed that they get to break out yet more scary headlines.

    I work at a company that, among other services, handles health information lines for general queries and such. From that perspective it’s a mixed blessing; more misinformation makes for more calls (billable on a per-call basis to our corporate clients) but also makes for longer calls (driving up our cost per call) and adds frustration to the clinical staff. I’m just hoping it ends up a wash.

    — Steve

  21. #21 Brian
    June 1, 2011

    @herr doktor,

    Except that evidence for a link means that there is a possible mechanism. Had physicists said “There is no possible mechanism that I know of”, then you’d be correct. This is not to say that I believe there is such a link, mind you.

  22. #22 Epinephrine
    June 1, 2011

    If a correlation did exist between cell phone use and cancer, why would we assume it has anything to do with the radiation that seems unlikely to be able to be causative? For example, some plastics and resins release volatile compounds that could be responsible, and talking on a cell phone involves holding plastic near your face. The WHO warnign seems to specifically mention radiation, while the evidence (weak as it is) is only correlative with cell phone use.

  23. #23 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 1, 2011

    Considering the contracts some people are willing to sign up for, maybe some of them already had a brain tumor clouding their judgment?

  24. #24 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    June 1, 2011

    I’ve heard rumors about the whole “cell phones cause brain cancer” thing since I was still in highschool. I don’t imagine it is more or less likely to do so than anything else in this world. Personally, I think there are more worth while things to spend on than tests on whether or not this can occur.

    Also, Jacob, really man, stop with the whole “I have aspergers therefore I don’t understand”….fill in the blank. Just because these things may be true for you does not make them true for all of us with AS. I understand metaphors just fine and I use them quite often. And remember, having Aspergers doesn’t mean that sometimes, there are issues that you might have such as understanding metaphors that really have nothing to do with having Aspergers and more to do with issues that are particular to yourself.

    Not trying to be rude, just wanted to make that point.

    That is all.

  25. #25 Raging Bee
    June 1, 2011

    This whole issue shows how lame, dishonest, lazy, and totaly indifferent to the common good American “news” media are. I first heard of this on NPR, where they at least got up front with all the qualifying language that amounted to “no, there’s no evidence of a link at all.” Then I heard it on the “mainstream” “news,” where it was (and probably still is) the top story, with absolutely no regard for what this latest item actually said.

    These are the same “news” outlets that make up wildly exaggerated predictions of paralyzing snow, every week of every winter, just to keep people hooked on their “updates.” Then they act all comically surprised when everyone ignores their dire forecasts and a real blizzard catches everyone unprepared.

    Capitalism may have given us better computers and fighter-jets, but they absolutely suck at giving us decent information about important issues.

  26. #26 NJ
    June 1, 2011

    RB @ 25:

    they absolutely suck at giving us decent information about important issues.

    but…but…but…they’re following Sarah Palin around with heliocpters and everything! Isn’t that all we need to know?

  27. #27 Raging Bee
    June 1, 2011

    Here’s three things the NPR piece mentioned: 1) the alleged link was only between cell-phone use and the specific forms of cancer Orac mentnioned above; 2) there are now about 5 billion people using cell-phones, and there’s been no reported increase in incidences of the specific cancers allegedly associated with cel-phone use; and 3) no one has proposed any specific mechanism by which cell-phone use might cause any form of cancer. The last bit is important: we don’t even have much of a correlation here, and no causation at all.

  28. #28 becca
    June 1, 2011

    Re: DTT first, I would say that it probably was put in the news article because it sounded ‘scary’ rather than because people have a good handle on its potential carcinogenic potential and it is therefore a useful comparison. However, I just ran across this article: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18840457
    DTT is an endocrine disruptor, and the proinflammatory pathways it modulates really are relevant to cancer (on the other hand, they’re relevant to a *lot* of things).
    Can we just all agree that category 2B should be thought of “do not gratuitously expose small children to this but don’t stay awake at night worrying about it”?

  29. #29 Eric Lund
    June 1, 2011

    Surely, if there were any link betweent cell phones and cancer, we would have seen a massive jump in the number of sufferers in the past 20/30 years?

    Not necessarily, because cell phones have only been in widespread use for quite a bit less than 20-30 years. Cell phones only became widespread in the US in the late 1990s (in Europe and Japan it was a few years earlier), and universal only around the mid 2000s (anecdatum: I did not get a cell phone until 2006). If there is any link between cell phones and cancer, then it should only just now be showing up in the data.

    Not that it actually is, mind you. As others have pointed out, the data are still equivocal at best, and nobody has proposed any remotely plausible causal mechanism.

  30. #30 Krebiozen
    June 1, 2011

    If you look at the INTERPHONE study you find there are several subgroups with a statistically significant negative correlation between cell phone use and brain tumors. Use of a cell phone at all during the past year apparently reduces the risk of both meningioma and glioma, by 21% and 19% respectively. That doesn’t fill me with confidence in the positive correlations in a very few small subgroups.

  31. #31 G.Shelley
    June 1, 2011

    Yeah, the BBC went with the scary alarmist headline
    “BBC News – Mobiles ‘may cause brain cancer’”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13608444

    The World Health Organization’s cancer research agency says mobile phones are “possibly carcinogenic”.

    A review of evidence suggests an increased risk of a malignant type of brain cancer cannot be ruled out.

    However, any link is not certain – they concluded that it was “not clearly established that it does cause cancer in humans”.

    A cancer charity said the evidence was too weak to draw strong conclusions from.

    Frist four paragraphs and headline.
    1) “May cause cancer”
    2) “Possibly carcinogenic”
    3) “Can’t be ruled out”
    4) No link is certain
    5) Evidence is too weak

    They also give some context by including other things such as coffee and dry cleaning that are in the same category

  32. #32 Neil Craig
    June 1, 2011

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”Henry Louis Mencken

    But then you know that Orac because you have shown yourself a cgarlatan personally willing to lie to promote such wholy dishonest scare stories. Gaven’t you? Can’t even deny them can you you corrupt fascist liar.

  33. #33 Todd W.
    June 1, 2011

    Uh, Neil? Exactly what scare story is Orac promoting in this post?

  34. #34 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    Arguing with aspergers is never easy.

    Yes, that does 3 meanings.

  35. #35 NJ
    June 1, 2011

    Ah, I’ve been waiting for Neilie-kins to pop back in to a random post and offer another touch of his lunacy. Predicting the behavior of a crank is nearly as difficult as predicting the direction a lead weight will fall on Earth.

    The only remaining question will be whether Orac decides this recent post is enough to drop the hammer, or decides to wait until Neil Craig metastacizes another post with his one of his two favorite dead horses to beat.

  36. #36 Lawrence
    June 1, 2011

    Wow – two completely off-topic posts almost simultaneously.

  37. #37 Geds
    June 1, 2011

    stuartg @3: The media in New Zealand quotes the WHO decision as using the terms “may” and “possibly”.

    These terms are semantically equivalent to “may not” and “possibly not”.

    Semantically speaking, the terms are nowhere close to equivalent.

    Saying something may happen indicates that the default state is “no,” but that said default state might change to “yes.” Saying something may not happen indicates the default state is “yes,” but that said default might change to “no.”

    Think about it this way:

    I may get in a car accident on the way home from work today.

    I may not get in a car accident on the way home from work today.

    One indicates that I admit it’s possible I could, since it can always happen. The other indicates that I often do, but I’m thinking/hoping I won’t today. Vastly different concepts, those. The only case where they’re equivalent is if they’re used together, i.e. “I might get in a car accident, but then again I might not,” which from a semantic position indicates you think of something as close to a 50/50 proposition.

    But, in a vacuum, especially when dealing with the general public from a communication of statistical probability sort of way, “may” and “may not” are wildly different terms. The former says “it’s possible, but not likely,” while the latter says, “it’s probable, but not inevitable.” Of course the words “may” and “possibly” are woefully imprecise in either case, so I’d avoid them in all cases for something like this. But I don’t get paid by the number of newspapers sold…

  38. #38 Denice Walter
    June 1, 2011

    Woo-meisters have been on this case *forever*, some even selling cell phone radiation shields ( I swear, I am not making this up). Additionally, they inform us that computers and other electronic devices will be the death of us yet. *La vie moderne* is killing us!!!!

    I have tried to envision the world that would meet with the approval of our natural health *aficionados*:

    It is Edenic, pastoral, “green”, sustainable, and toxic-free ( except for purely natural toxins). Powered by the sun and wind not fossil fuel or internal combustion or nuclear.. Big Pharma, Orthodox medicine, and vaccines never rear their ugly heads in this paradise. The MainStreamMedia is strictly *Verboten*, as are most forms of popular entertainment, junk food, computers, and cell phones.

    Most folks who have elected to join these enclaves of purity work the land *organically*; they live close to Nature and the animals, who they most decisively do not *eat*. Work is divided by ability and most is physical – which is after all, *really good for you*. Of course, the spiritual and intellectual (pardon me, I need to collect myself… OK) leadership is guided by the founder, who in his wisdom, planned the entire operation, as well as its government and school system. Commerce is by barter- no Wall Street here! There is no mental illness here ( or else it’s scarcely noticed) or chronic disease of any sort. And *no* hospitals! Each person is his or her own doctor; the medicine is food, and the food, medicine……

    As I’ve said previously, I’m not one to do fiction, the awful truth is that what I’ve written above is based on nonsense I’ve either heard or heard from the woo-meisters.

    Any research or suggestion such as that about cell phones- even the most cautious and mildest- will be taken up and used as “proof” that yes indeedy, modern life is killing us. They’ve been telling you so and you *just* don’t listen, do you!

  39. #39 Richard
    June 1, 2011

    when I read the words nada zip nothing,I knew your blog was dishonest.You are saying the cel phones register no activity of any kind?Thats not an argument>Thats rhetoric(note to all you free thinking defenders of everything science producesnomatter what the empiricalevidencesays-i didnt say ANYTHING about cell phones pro or con.Ihave noticed,when criticizing fellow “free thinkers”,there is a distinct stalinist tendency to stomp on me,or CENSOR me

  40. #40 NJ
    June 1, 2011

    Richard @ 39:

    there is a distinct stalinist tendency to stomp on me,or CENSOR me

    Or consider you undermedicated…

  41. #41 TTT
    June 1, 2011

    Until they prove electronic hearing aides cause cancer, I will not worry about cel phones.

  42. #42 Lawrence
    June 1, 2011

    Word salad Richard……

  43. #44 richard
    June 1, 2011

    quick stomping nastiness.you stalinist free thinkers dont miss a beat do you.

  44. #45 Geds
    June 1, 2011

    when I read the words nada zip nothing,I knew your blog was dishonest.You are saying the cel phones register no activity of any kind?

    So…you skipped everything else in the post in order to pick out three words and assume they said something that they didn’t. And you have the audacity to claim that Orac didn’t make an argument. Right…

    See, the “Nothing. Nada. Zip.” referred to a specific study that attempted to correlate tumor location to cell phone location. What the study found was that there is no correlation between those things, hence the “Nothing. Nada. Zip.” That did not refer in any way to any signals being given off by cell phones or anything else.

  45. #46 Ralph Wiggam
    June 1, 2011

    “There may be a link” is useless information.

    “May” means it is a 50/50 chance and “link” is completely undefined. Is it like a link to your second cousin’s brother-in-law’s third wife? Aren’t we all linked to Kevin Bacon?

  46. #47 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    If you try to improvise using the english language to get emphasis, style and personality across, you only get two responses here:

    1) Word salad
    2) Personality Disorder

    The opposite of Love, is Apathy. Remember you shrink loves his own kids, you feed his kids. That’s cupboard love.

    Old Elron Mother Hubbard, souped up her covern, there’s even an ology for cults. Word Chef? Or frustrated crossword puzzle author. Now that Soduku is king, I’m all washed up :s

  47. #48 richard
    June 1, 2011

    As I said,I’m not taking a position.You willfully ignore that,as usual.When,I saw the words nothing et al,I have read enough freethinkers,and their oppressive attitudes to know its rhetoric not a reasoned argument.that doesn’t satisfy me.why cant you just accept that,and leave it alone?That nasty remark about meds-asshole are criticizing the millions of people taking meds provided by the science you’re defending?i write in a stream of consciousness- styleSOWHAT.this aint notermpaper,its a brawl.free thinkers criticizing hurried grammaticals.NOTSOFRE-especially if someone disagrees-you can expect a lynching.

  48. #49 Anton P. Nym
    June 1, 2011

    when I read the words nada zip nothing,I knew your blog was dishonest.You are saying the cel phones register no activity of any kind?

    You seem to have misread what was said. The rest of that paragraph went:

    Using one form of analysis, the investigators found that tumors were located closest to the source of exposure among never-regular and contralateral users, while in another analysis there was no correlation between where a user held his or her phone and where subsequent brain tumors arose.

    It’s not that cell phones register no activity at all; they obviously emit modulated EM. It’s that the studies did not show that proximity to the transmitter correlated with tumour location. (Which argues against tying the strength of the signal to the origin of the tumours.)

    Ihave noticed,when criticizing fellow “free thinkers”,there is a distinct stalinist tendency to stomp on me,or CENSOR me

    Not intending to stomp or censor, but I am willing to be jackbooted enough to ask for one space after each word or punctuation mark to make your points easier to read. (I’m a bit cranky today from lack of sleep, and the headache isn’t helping me parse out what’s written.)

    — Steve

  49. #50 DLC
    June 1, 2011

    Dr Gupta is on record from about 2000 or so as having said “There’s no evidence for that, but trust me, it’s true. ”
    in reference to cell phone – cancer links. He’s on the edge of going all Wakefield on us.

  50. #51 Mu
    June 1, 2011

    Richard, stop making Jacob look sane.

  51. #52 heteromeles
    June 1, 2011

    So you don’t believe that viruses carried on cell phones could cause cancer?

    Not that I’m seriously suggesting it–there’s no evidence, as noted–but I’d look at release of toxic chemicals and/or infectious agents into the faces and ears of users if I wanted to find a cancer cause.

  52. #53 mhops
    June 1, 2011

    I had already lost a lot of respect for the WHO’s scientific positions when my hospital’s acupuncturist referred me to this publication when I asked her what evidence she could provide me to justify her recommendation for acupuncture for just about anything:

    NIH, Acupuncture, Nov. 3-5, 1997, Vol. 15, No. 5 2. World Health Organization. Viewpoint on Acupuncture. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 1979.

    This position on cell phones just drags them down even further.

  53. #54 JayK
    June 1, 2011

    This is the type of news that convinces people that “science gets it wrong now and then” and allows that canard to be used to reinforce anti-science biases in the future.

    There is no way to get out in front of this train, now. The press has it in their teeth and they will be running with it until they have sucked all energy out of the issue, leaving skeptics trying to stammer out the evidence. Too late, we’re always too late.

  54. #55 Chris
    June 1, 2011

    What dismays me is that WHO (and others) are ignoring the risk and benefits for the population they often are working with: those in developing countries where cell phones use has increased due to lack of wired telephone infrastructure, like Africa.

    In fact cell phones can have a much greater positive impact on health, Cellphones Boost Health Across Globe:

    Cellphones particularly are useful in contacting people living in regions with poor infrastructure, where roads, traditional telephone lines, Internet and television are all but nonexistent.

  55. #56 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 1, 2011

    Stalinist free thinkers

    Boy, sing it, sister! That Uncle Joe was such a dirty fvckin’ hippie! All that I’m OK, You’re OK hippie crap is what brought down the Soviet Union. True story!

  56. #57 trrll
    June 1, 2011

    That makes no sense. If physicists are saying “There is no possible mechanism for a link between cell-phone usage and cancer”, and someone comes along claiming to have evidence for such a link, the first statement still stands… there is still no possible mechanism for it.

    I’m with Orac here. Unlikely, yes, but not impossible. Remember, we can see non-ionizing frequencies of radiation. That means that it is possible for non-ionizing radiation at subthermal intensity to produce a lasting change in a biological organism. And note that even though the absorbed photons do not have enough energy to break bonds, the biological changes induced by vision undoubtedly include breaking bonds, because there are changes in neuronal activity that ultimately have to be powered by hydrolysis of ATP.

    Of course, vision is a process honed by millennia of evolution to accomplish a difficult, but selectively highly advantageous, task: to isolate the energy of a photon–so tiny that it is only enough to twist a bond rather than breaking it–from thermal noise for long enough that a proton conformational change can result to amplify that tiny signal. It seems very unlikely that organisms would have evolved something so sophisticated and capable of reacting to the even lower energies of RF photons, and even more unlikely that after going to all of this trouble, they would then use this mechanism to damage the organism. So while not homeopathy-level impossible, it remains a remarkable claim, demanding remarkable evidence (or in Bayesian terms, its prior probability must be considered to be very low). And the touted evidence for biological harm from microwaves does not come anywhere close to meeting that requirement.

  57. #58 Denice Walter
    June 1, 2011

    @ The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge:

    What I learned from my socialist masters:
    the distribution of wealth is unequal and unfair and maintained through capitalism-
    therefore, I aspired to learn the ins-and-outs of this evil system and play them to my own advantage, thus _even-ing out_ the said inequalities through investment. It worked! I am now *more* equal!

  58. #59 NJ
    June 1, 2011

    richard @ 48:

    That nasty remark about meds-asshole are criticizing the millions of people taking meds provided by the science you’re defending?

    Meesa snark makin’ richard angry! Meesa so sad…

    Seriously, now, richie. Anyone with reading comprehension skills would have noted that I wasn’t criticizing ‘millions of people’.

    Just you.

    The term freethinker is pretty vague after all. Someone who hears voices that aren’t objectively present could be termed a free thinker, as could someone who sees visions that no one else does, etc. What makes a freethinker valuable is the ability to convince others that the new idea is worthwhile. And this is done without run-on sentences or words. Without random capitalization or insertion of symbols. Without proclaiming others as repressive.

    So far, though, all you have done is convince millions of people that you are a few cards short of a full deck. Feel free to correct that impression.

  59. #60 Bernard Leikind
    June 1, 2011

    Usually reliable Orac is wrong on this one.

    It is impossible for cell phones or any microwave radiation to cause any cancer.

    Physicists know exactly what happens when any materials absorb microwaves. Any materials includes the complex mix of stuff in our heads.

    The energy goes into that part of the material’s internal energy that involves the random molecular jiggling, rotating, and vibrating.

    The body’s thermal control system, in this case mainly the circulating blood, keeps the temperature rise associated with this influx of energy to a small amount.

    We know of many things that are perfectly natural and entirely safe that do exactly the same thing to the internal energy. These include inflammation, fever, wearing a ski cap and scarf on a cold day, swallowing a cup of hot soup or coffee, and exercise. None of these cause any cancer in the brain or anywhere else, and all of them do just what cell phone radiation does, but more so. And not by just a little, but by a lot.

    If there were some, even unknown, mechanism by which cell phone microwaves might cause cancer, we’d already know about it because we’d see that exercise and ski caps cause cancer.

    Also, why aren’t the cell phone alarmists worried about cell phones causing skin cancer? The skin cells divide much more often than any brain cells, which makes them more vulnerable to the kind of problems that lead to cancer, and the skin cells are exposed to stronger microwaves from the phones.

  60. #61 sophia8
    June 1, 2011

    Jacov @14: Oh do shut up. I’ve got Aspergers, but I know how to be polite. Stop making excuses.

  61. #62 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    It is impossible for cell phones or any microwave radiation to cause any cancer.

    And, right on cue, the physicist to whom I was referring to (not by name) shows up. I can’t resist pointing out to him that chronic, low-grade inflammation is a well-known cause of several cancers (esophageal or pancreatic cancer, for instance). I could also suggest to him that he look up Marjolin’s ulcers if he doesn’t think that heating effects can cause cancer (an extreme example, I know, but it makes the point at least in principle). I also can’t help but point out that his understanding of carcinogenesis is, at best, freshman level.

    It’s rather disappointing that, even though we agree probably 99%, Dr. Leikind seems to insist on that last 1%. It’s not enough that I consider the likelihood of a link between cell phone radiation and brain cancer to be highly, albeit not quite homeopathy-grade, implausible from a strictly physics- and biochemistry-based standpoint and that I view the epidemiological evidence as unconvincing. I have to concede that it’s “impossible,” too.

  62. #63 AJ Milne OM
    June 1, 2011

    Re the scary headlines, I know that ‘scare ‘em with maybe’ thing probably is what they were going for, there, but seriously…

    … seriously, this whole stupid thing has been around the track so many times now, I saw said headlines yesterday at the Google News level, detected the ‘may’s and ‘maybe’s therein, correctly deduced it was the same warmed over statistically empty BS, and didn’t even bother to click.

    So methinik they’re gonna have to up their game, next time, I’m afraid, if they really want the clicks from me. Try ‘really truly possibly maybe. For reals.’ That‘d catch my eye…

    Maybe.

    (/And, all this said, let me just say Orac’s headline, for its part, totally rocks.)

  63. #64 Denice Walter
    June 1, 2011

    @ Bernard Leikind : skin cancer isn’t as scary as brain cancer- woo-meisters enjoy richer fuel for scare-mongering.

  64. #65 KeithB
    June 1, 2011

    Bernard: Why focus on heating effects? Could not electric fields interfere with a cell’s operation in some way that could cause cancer?

  65. #66 Todd W.
    June 1, 2011

    @Bernard Leikind

    It is impossible for cell phones or any microwave radiation to cause any cancer.

    So, Dr. Leikind (I assume “Dr.” based on the certainty with which you speak on matters medical), where can I read your peer-reviewed papers that discuss every known and yet-to-be-discovered form of cancer and how they behave in every bodily location? I await your response with baited breath.

  66. #67 Phila
    June 1, 2011

    If you try to improvise using the english language to get emphasis, style and personality across

    “Try” being the operative word. Experimentation with English requires talents you don’t seem to have. Without those talents, it’s kind of masturbatory, and tends to get the same reaction when attempted in public.

  67. #68 PDelaney
    June 1, 2011

    Funny that no one is worried about skin cancer of the ear near the phone, where the purported “radiation” dose would be much higher, being outside the skull and much closer to the transmitter.

  68. #69 Marry Me, Mindy (fkaP)
    June 1, 2011

    I have no doubts whatsoever were a reliable link between cell phones and cancer to be found, that someone would come up with a mechanism to account for it.

    See, when it comes down to reality vs physics, I go with reality and assume that the physics is incomplete (that’s the real lesson of the bumblebee)

  69. #70 Ash
    June 1, 2011

    Overall I agree with Orac; the evidence doesn’t appear to be that strong. Technically the IARC classification is probably correct though, when you consider how their classifications are defined, but the media spin on it is not. My take is here: http://ashartus.wordpress.com/2011/06/01/the-cellphone-cancer-controversy/

  70. #71 The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge
    June 1, 2011

    KeithB @ 65:

    Bernard: Why focus on heating effects? Could not electric fields interfere with a cell’s operation in some way that could cause cancer?

    I can’t answer for the learned Dr. (?) Leikind, but I can readily see how being exposed to a strong polarizing electric field might have untoward effects on a cell’s operations, which are electrochemical in nature. But when the field is pretty weak, and is going to be going in the opposite direction a quarter of a nanosecond later, for a net field of zero? I’d need some convincing.

  71. #72 Bernard Leikind
    June 1, 2011

    Orac correctly describes the WHO-Interphone researchers’ sub-group analysis. He neglects to mention a fact of that study that was evidently embarrassing to the WHO researchers, missing a chance to display his admirable and trademarked insolence.

    Their data, taken as a whole, showed that cell phone users had a noticeably reduced risk (not a mistake, reduced) of developing brain cancer as compared to the matched group who did not use cell phones. The result was not statistically significant, but it was visible in the data.

    If the result had gone the other way, we know that there would have been lots of chin pulling about the precautionary principle, and calls for more research. The WHO researchers worked hard to find reasons to ignore this reduction in risk.

    Then they undertook their sub-group analysis, which is a well known source of error in such studies. Their full group had an average value. Some of their sub-groups had a lower than average value. One of their sub-groups had a higher than average value. Surprised to find this mathematical necessity in their data, they ignored those sub-groups with lower than average risk and pointed with a raised eyebrow to the sub-group with a higher than average risk. More research is needed.

    But they intend to do the wrong kind of research. Their epidemiological studies will never lead to a definitive conclusion one way or another. Physicists have already done the correct kind of research during a century or more of investigating electromagnetism, quantum mechanics, and thermodynamics.

  72. #73 Matthew Cline
    June 1, 2011

    @Richard:

    So the phrase “nothing at all”, regardless of context, is indicative of Stalinist/oppressive thinking? At least when used by a “freethinker”?

  73. #74 Rory
    June 1, 2011

    On most days, if you used the phrase ‘the three stooges’ in my presence, I’d think you meant Larry, Moe, and Curly (sorry Shemp). After about five minutes on this blog I think I have to change that to Neil, Richard, and Jacob.

    Seriously, be dumb somewhere else. Your signal to noise ration really doesn’t warrant subjecting the rest of us to your stream of consciousness. But maybe I’m just a stalinist free thinker.

  74. #75 Matthew Cline
    June 1, 2011

    But maybe I’m just a stalinist free thinker.

    No, you’re a witch! Quick, compare his weight to a duck!

  75. #76 Mike
    June 1, 2011

    I don’t know that much about cancer, but I do know a thing or two about radio. The one thing I’ve been kind of curious about in this whole ‘Cell phones cause cancer’ thing, is why it’s always -brain- cancer they talk about.

    Given the simple ‘closer to the antenna == more energy’ fact, I would think it more likely to cause -skin- cancer on/in the ear/hand/cheek on the user’s phone-using side. Then bone cancer in the bones of the skull or hand. Only then in the brain – or muscles of the hand.

    In fact, given the layout of many phones, the antenna would be closer to the user’s hand than their head, thus dumping more RF energy there than into the head.

    Of course, I’ve also seen the argument that the reason the phone manufacturers say to hold the phone x distance from your head is because they secretly know it causes cancer – when the real reason is that it improves reception by reducing signal loss into your body.

    I realize the focus on brain cancer may be because brain tissue is more susceptible to cancer than muscle or skin or bone. But the fact that we never hear about an increase in malanoma in the ears of cell phone users kind of reinforces the -lack- of a link between low lever RF from cell phones and cancer in any form.

  76. #77 Yojimbo
    June 1, 2011

    Wow Rory! Man, you totally dissed Curley Joe…

  77. #78 Prometheus
    June 1, 2011

    OK, cell phones transmit on a variety of frequencies, with the 4G phones going as high as 2.690 GHz. “Trrl” notes that we already know that photons in the visible light range (and beyond) are capable of causing changes in biological molecules (else how would we see). The visible (to humans) light spectrum corresponds to frequencies of 400 (red) to 790 THz, or 400,000 to 790,000 GHz.

    Why all the fussing around with frequency? Because the energy of these photons depends on their frequency:

    E = hf

    Where:

    E = energy of the photon
    h = Planck’s constant
    f = frequency

    Thus, a barely visible (to humans) red light photon has almost 150,000 times the energy of the most energetic photon emitted by a 4G cell phone.

    Cell phones have a radio frequency power output of between 0.6 and 2 Watts. By comparison, microwave ovens operate at 2.45 GHz (similar to the 4G cell phones) but at power levels from 500 to 2000 Watts. And before someone makes the common error, this is not the “resonant frequency” of water. If water has a “resonance”, it is up in the infrared part of the spectrum, where bond stretching occurs.

    All of this speaks to the tremendous improbability of cell phones causing cancer and points out that, even if they did cause cancer, the number of cancers would be “swamped” by the cancers caused – using the same mechanism – by wireless routers and RF “noise” created by electric motors.

    On top of all that – as if this fail-parfait needed a cherry on top – there hasn’t been an increase in brain cancers corresponding to the increase in cell-phone usage, even after accounting for the lag between exposure and cancer diagnosis. In short, the WHO has proposed a cause for a problem that apparently doesn’t exist.

    Prometheus

  78. #79 Neil craig
    June 1, 2011

    If you reread it Todd you will find I was agreeing with Orac that the mobile phone scare is false. I merely pointed out the hypocrisy of someone with a record of promoting what he knows to be false scare stories getting uptight about the promotion of a false scare story.

  79. #80 rob
    June 1, 2011

    lol. cell phone use rising in the 90′s is directly correlated to the MMR vaccine causing autism!1!!11!. don’t let your infants use cell phones!1!!111! they will get autism!1!!!

    i think somone mentioned this above:

    why are people so worried about possible cancer issues with cell phone use but don’t bat an eye on driving while talking on the phone or even texting. without looking up any numbers, i would say there are a lot more deaths involving driving and cell phone use than cancers.

    check out this comic and replace the first panel with “I will *not* talk on a cell phone. They cause cancer.”

    http://www.smbc-comics.com/?id=2080

  80. #81 The Gregarious Misanthrope
    June 1, 2011

    You’ve missed the most obvious phone/cancer link with regard to the audio neuroma: lousy call quality. Think about how you have to jam that phone into your ear to try to get that tiny, tinny little speaker where you can hear anything while simultaneously jamming the other hand into or over the other ear to block out noise. Actually, your cupped hand is simply reflecting and refocussing the cell signal back into the brain. Either that or the auditory nerves are apoptosizing out of despair at the quality of sound it is forced to endure.

  81. #82 Doc Rocketscience
    June 1, 2011

    Bernard Leinkin: as a physicist, I refer you to xkcd.com/793/ entitled “Physicists”.

  82. #83 David N. Brown
    June 1, 2011

    @22, 52, 60:
    Exactly what had occurred to me. An adverse reaction to chemicals in the phone’s components seems far more likely than damage from the radio receiver, and the skin would be primarily effected. And, in this scenario, one could expect a continuum of symptoms, from itching to a rash and on up from there.

    David N. Brown
    Mesa Arizona

  83. #84 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    @Doc Rocketscience

    That XKCD comic is hilarious…

  84. #85 ebohlman
    June 1, 2011

    Mike: Brain cancer is scarier than skin cancer or bone cancer.

    rob: People are more scared over things they feel are out of their control than things they feel are in their control. They believe that since they’re good people, they can safely drive while texting. But cancer from cellphone signals isn’t something that can be virtued away.

    Same reason parents in car-culture countries will drive their kids everywhere in order to protect them from kidnappers, even though in terms of relative risk this is like taking up smoking to lose 5 pounds (fortunately the absolute risks are much lower).

  85. #86 HissongPHIL150
    June 1, 2011

    @AnthonyK #4

    You argue that the link between cell phones and cancer is bogus because if there truly was a real connection we would be experiencing a “‘brain cancer’ epidemic.” I very much disagree. Epidemiological studies, especially oncology studies, require time. There just hasn’t been enough time between the widespread use of cell phones and the studies. Yes, researchers can exaggerate exposure and use animal models (shorter lifespan) to probe the field, but ultimately, without a proposed mechanism, only epidemiological studies will tell the effects of cell phone use. As stated by others, a tumor is not the product of one mutation, does not appear overnight and often is not diagnosed for many years. For example, the median age of lung cancer diagnoses in the early 2000s was 70 years old (http://lung-cancer.emedtv.com/lung-cancer/lung-cancer-statistics.html). Most of these cases resulted from smoking or prolonged exposure to airborne particulates and I would guess that most of the exposures occurred for approximately 50 years. We are just starting to maturely understand the mechanisms of oncogenesis due to smoke and particulate inhalation.

    So, let’s say that cell phones can cause brain cancer as effectively as smoking can cause lung cancer. Even if this was true, the first heavy cell phone users (~20 years of exposure) would just now be developing tumors in numbers that would be statistically significant. A “’brain cancer’ epidemic” would not be realized for years and would not be proven for decades. Although, it may be noted that the progression of glioblastoma is faster than most lung cancers and this may decrease the time between exposure and statistical significance. The bottom line is that although we don’t have a mechanism in mind, there was a time when we didn’t understand the mechanism of smoke oncogenesis and we should give more time to the epidemiological studies. We may find something new, we may find a conspiracy theory.

  86. #87 palindrom
    June 1, 2011

    Denice Walter @38 –

    Shields against cell phone radiation? That’s not the least bit surprising. Have a look at this!

    http://www.stopabductions.com/

  87. #88 Doc Rocketscience
    June 1, 2011

    As they say: it’s funny ’cause it’s true.

  88. #89 Kelsey
    June 1, 2011

    Excellent post as always, Orac. Thanks again.

    Would someone be kind enough to point me to some epidemiology numbers regarding incidence of various cancers/tumors involving the head and central nervous systems in the time period of interest? My Google-fu is failing me, apparently…. Many thanks in advance.

  89. #90 Krebiozen
    June 1, 2011

    @Kelsey
    Try this page. You can alter parameters if you wish.

  90. #91 Jay Ploss
    June 1, 2011

    Thanks for being such a fount of reasonable analysis, Orac. I have no idea how you manage to be so prolific, but I’m grateful that you are!

    Jay

  91. #92 anandine
    June 1, 2011

    News reporters seemed to think that if you hold a phone to your head, not only do you get the radio waves going from the phone to the cell phone tower but also that those going the other way are increased, as though radio waves leave the towers and, instead of spreading uniformly, preferentially gather around cell phones like a magnetic field around a pole.

  92. #93 Vicki, Chief Assistant to the Assistant Chief
    June 1, 2011

    HisSongPHIL:

    Your argument suggests that it’s too soon to be sure cell phones aren’t causing cancer. But if there were definite evidence that they were, few if any people would be saying “it’s too soon to tell, most cancers take longer to develop, so we shouldn’t be warning about anything that new.”

    If you argue “we don’t have a long enough data set to be sure cell phones don’t cause cancer,” it’s too soon to be saying they do cause cancer. Not unless you make a policy of listing any substance or technology that has been in common use for less than (let’s say) 30 years as a potential carcinogen.

    As far as I know, nobody is doing that, as a general case. Is stevia a “potential human carcinogen”? How about my iPod touch? Every medication introduced since 1981?

    To be warning people about cell phones, you either need a reason to think they are more risky than other new technologies, or a policy of warning against all new devices. And specifically of identifying all those new devices as potential carcinogens.

    There are often good reasons to avoid being an alpha tester: let someone who is more desperate try the new medication, let someone else be the first person to use the new device in case it explodes on hot days. But we have enough of a data set on cell phones to place some limits on things.

    My cell phone may be a low-level risk. My recent round-trip flight (NYC to Madison) was probably a greater cancer risk, and breathing New York air is worse than either.

  93. #94 WScott
    June 1, 2011

    A general observation on the “there’s no known mechanism, therefore it can’t possibly be true” comments. While valid from a technical perspective, that’s a lousy argument in terms of persuading non-technical people of your position. It plays right into the “scientists think they know everything” meme, and makes it look like you’re rejecting evidence just because it doesn’t fit your “narrow world view.”

    Put down the gun: I’m not saying that IS what you’re doing, just that you make it easy for deniers to CLAIM that’s what you’re doing. I’ve seen too many people duck into the punch with this one.

    A better way of phrasing it might be: “Well for starters there’s no known mechanism for [claim], so that always makes me want to take a hard look at the evidence. And in fact the evidence says [doesn’t support claim].” Which is basically what Orac said. It’s just a question of tone: by all means use the lack-of-mechanism to introduce discussion of the actual evidence. Just please don’t close with it and think you’ve persuaded anyone.

  94. #95 Kristen
    June 1, 2011

    It’s so funny (not haha, but in a cosmic sort of way). I just got this email from WebMd:

    Cell phone use may cause cancer, the World Health Organization announced Tuesday.

    There is not enough long-term data to link cancer and cell phone use directly, reported a
    group of 31 scientists from 14 countries.

    But there is enough information to issue an alert.

    With Tuesday’s announcement, WHO now groups cell phones in the same hazard category
    as chloroform, lead, and engine exhaust.

    BTW, this is the first email they have sent me in about two years.

  95. #96 Bernard Leikind
    June 1, 2011

    Dear Orac,

    When I suggested that you were mistaken in thinking that cell phones don’t cause brain cancer at only 99.99% certainty, instead of believing (correctly) that it is impossible for microwaves to do so, I was only sending you a little Respectful Insolence. I admire your essays, here and on your other site.

    I freely grant that you know more about cancer and carcinogenesis that I do. That is why my argument does not rely upon that knowledge or lack of it.

    We know exactly what happens when any material absorbs microwaves, and we know plenty of other things, from wearing a ski cap to exercising to parts of the innate immune response and normal metabolism that do exactly the same thing, only more so. I have said nothing about ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays, carcinogens all, breaking chemical bonds in DNA and that microwaves cannot do so. That happens to be true, but I know that there is more to carcinogenesis than damaging DNA, and I know more than the typical college freshman about it.

    I took you advice and looked up Marjolin’s ulcers. They are frightening. The photographs are ugly. No one is saying that cooking your head isn’t bad for it. The power level involved with microwaves is less than a tiny Christmas tree light, a watt. This is smaller than the normal and easily handled fluctuations in power flows in the human body. The basal metabolism of that portion of my brain that absorbs a cell phone’s microwave emission is several times that cell phone’s power output. (Measured in watts/kg.) Our thermal control systems can handle 2000 watts without trouble, but you’d be sweating a lot. Divide this by your mass, in kg, to find the energy that appears in your brain due to the chemical reactions in your leg muscles. It’s carried there by the blood. Even though Marjolin’s ulcers, a deadly form of cancer, involve chronic inflammation, I think, if you were to speak more precisely, you’d say that the inflammation is not the cause of the cancer, but the original injury, perhaps a thermal one, was the cause.

  96. #97 Bernard Leikind
    June 1, 2011

    Orac,
    Some of your readers ask why just pay attention to thermal effects, heating, and not other possible effects.
    The answer is that all of the energy that tissue absorbs from microwaves goes into that part of the tissue’s internal energy that has to do with the random jiggles, vibrations, and rotations that we call, colloquially, heat energy.
    The oscillating electromagnetic fields travel into the organism, grab onto whatever they can, and try to shake it. The fields love to shake water molecules, but they will shake other molecules or even parts of large molecules. The oscillating fields try to shake whatever they’ve grabbed at about a billion times per second. But the molecules the fields grab and shake are in the tissue and are close to lots of neighbors. We know from direct measurement that all these molecules are rattling against one another a thousand or hundred thousand times faster than the microwaves are shaking them. Even a small amount of extra energy in a molecule, water molecule, glucose molecule, serotonin molecule, or DNA or RNA molecule, ends up immediately spread throughout the tissue as thermal energy. The mechanism by which the fields grab and shake the molecules involves the polarization that one of your readers mentioned.
    In a living organism, the blood circulating picks up some of the extra energy from any local heated region and spreads it throughout the organism.
    By the way, modulation of the signal has nothing to do with this. The length of time that the signal is in the one state or the zero state, considering digital modulation, is much longer than the frequency with which the field is shaking back and forth. Everything interesting happens on much shorter time scales.
    If a researcher wishes to propose a mechanism by which cell phone radiation might cause cancer, she must begin with these well-established facts. Then she must also explain why her mechanism doesn’t operate with all the other processes that do the same thing as the microwaves only with much greater intensity.

  97. #98 Bernard Leikind
    June 1, 2011

    For Kelsey, reader 89, who asks to see the data on cancer rates, the best source is the SEER database maintained by the Center for Disease Control. http://seer.cancer.gov/
    I like the Fast Stats section where you can easily create your own queries and see the answers in seconds in graphs or tables.
    If you were to do this for brain cancer, age-adjusted incidence, either for all ages or just people over 50 years old, since 1975, you would see that the rate of this rare cancer was gradually increasing until about 1990. After 1990 or so, the incidence has a slow decline.
    Is this due to the beneficial effects of cell phones?
    I don’t know. I report. You decide.
    The American Cancer Society web site also has excellent data.

  98. #99 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    @Fellow Auties.

    I don’t really believe that excuse either but who ever cared about that?

    If they like you anyway, you don’t need the excuse.

    If they don’t like you to start with, the excuse will just enrage them more (I took this option because I couldn’t resist it – a cheesy classic – and it made a really good screenshot where it is nestling.

    It all depends on the context in which it will end up I guess. If I don’t make much sense here, maybe after the edits, and maybe for a different audience ;)

  99. #100 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    Even though Marjolin’s ulcers, a deadly form of cancer, involve chronic inflammation, I think, if you were to speak more precisely, you’d say that the inflammation is not the cause of the cancer, but the original injury, perhaps a thermal one, was the cause.

    In retrospect, I should have refrained from mentioning Marjolin’s ulcer. It was an intentionally extreme example to sarcastically demonstrate that temperature can be a cause/contributor to cancer, a point you appear to have missed. As for your last statement, nope. Wrong. Multiple other cancers can be the result of chronic inflammation through mechanisms we don’t yet understand well. These include pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer, colorectal cancer, oropharyngeal cancer, gastric cancer, and several others.

    Actually, speaking of gastric cancer, H. pylori infection can result in chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which can over many years, significantly predispose to gastric cancer, making it a major cause of gastric cancer in this country. It also can cause gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma. In fact, chronic gastritis from almost any cause can greatly increase the risk of gastric cancer.

  100. #101 Mandrellian
    June 1, 2011

    Finally, proof that e-phones give you mind-cancer with their wicked science-rays. Luckily there’s a tiny plastic button called the Radiguard (google it), which protects your precious brain lubricants by absorbing evil electromagnetic doom-waves. It also absorbs IR radiation while not heating up! Somehow! Physics be damned!

    Seriously, this thing is as big a scam as those Power Balance things: http://bit.ly/jJKVWe.

  101. #102 timgueguen
    June 1, 2011

    Haha, I don’t have a cell phone! Therefore I shall live forever, unlike the rest of you unfortunate wretches.

    On the other hand I do like bannanas, which I’m told are slightly radioactive. Maybe I shouldn’t be so smug.

  102. #103 jre
    June 1, 2011

    For me, as for Orac, the credibility needle for this one is hovering at the level of 1% or less. I looked up some of the relevant studies a while back for a combination of reasons (needed the information for work, and someone brought up cell phones in the middle of it). As I recall, the regulatory limit on radiated emissions from a cell phone is 2 mW/cm2, or 20 W/m2 — quite a bit less than you’d get from going outside in the daytime. A simulation of worst-case conditions (well-insulated cell-phone held to the head for hours while transmitting constantly) got a temperature rise in brain tissue nearest the cell phone of about 0.5 deg. C, which doesn’t even qualify as a fever. All in all, the physics lend very little credibility in the idea that cell phones cause cancer, and the epidemiology isn’t helping.

    And Orac — I have to agree with Neil @32: stop being such a cgarlatan!

  103. #104 Orac
    June 1, 2011

    Is that anything like being a Cdesign Proponentsist? :-)

  104. #105 jre
    June 1, 2011

    On further reflection, I think “Don’t be Such a Cgarlatan!” is a new book by Randy Olson.

    That, or maybe a cgarlatan is someone who likes to be Bill Clinton in role-playing games.

  105. #106 Jacob
    June 1, 2011

    Don’t be such a THCancer killer! >_<

  106. #107 JohnV
    June 1, 2011

    Do cgarlatans engage in homologous recombinaltion tiniker?

  107. #108 mad the swine
    June 1, 2011

    If it helps, my local newspaper reported this ‘news’ with the front page headline ‘WHO study: cell phones as carcinogenic as coffee’. Or something like that. Coffee was involved somewhere.

    So a little bit of good news on the media hysteria front.

    (Although if Starbucks suddenly faces a class action lawsuit for creating a public health hazard, you’ll know the source of the problem.)

  108. #109 Anonymous
    June 1, 2011

    Today’s El Diario ran this as their (full) front page color splash, an image of a woman on a cell phone with the words

    CANCER
    MOVIL

  109. #110 Poodle Stomper
    June 1, 2011

    Actually, speaking of gastric cancer, H. pylori infection can result in chronic inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which can over many years, significantly predispose to gastric cancer…

    Wrong Orac. You don’t know what you’re talking about. See, the H. pylori can’t jiggle the molecules fast enough to cause cancer! Physics has spoken!…never mind that there may be plenty of reasons why, biologically, cancer would be induced, physics doesn’t worry about that!

  110. #111 Denice Walter
    June 1, 2011

    @ jre: re *cgarlatan* Clinton. Best laugh all day. But now I have *that* unsavory image stuck in mind.

  111. #112 healthphysicist
    June 1, 2011

    I’m siding with Bernard on this.

    The thermal energy associated with a cell phone is trivial…akin to doing or not doing jumping jacks.

    In other words, going outside in the summer might cause cancer, doing jumping jacks might cause cancer, living might cause cancer.

    Using that logic, everything might cause cancer.

    Causation loses meaning.

    Orac lists unexpected causes of cancer….bacteria, extreme temperature, chronic inflammation, etc. That’s fine. But that doesn’t mean we should state that everything might cause cancer. Everything might….but if everything doesn’t, there’s no reason to select cell phones as something that does, without better evidence.

  112. #113 Zavalix
    June 1, 2011

    No matter how many times REAL science denies this pseudo-researchers theories some people will still believe on it mostly because of the sensationalism and the attractive idea of going against the system in all means… Right now it’s cellphones but I bet my pants in some more years there’s going to be a Wi-fi research that finds a casual link between wireless internet and AIDS (as ridicule as it sounds).

  113. #114 Gopiballava
    June 1, 2011

    @WScott:
    “A general observation on the “there’s no known mechanism, therefore it can’t possibly be true” comments. While valid from a technical perspective, that’s a lousy argument in terms of persuading non-technical people of your position.”

    What I say to people is, “Why cancer? Why not some other medical problem?” I point out that there have been some models suggesting that blood/brain barrier permeability may be affected by RF.

    Then I point out that this sort of RF is non-ionizing, and there really is no known mechanism.

    What I find this does is get people away from a silly version of the precautionary principle: Make them understand that there is a far, far broader range of problems than they can conceive of. So, the attitude “we haven’t shown it’s 100% safe so we should say it might do X” falls apart because X is just too insanely massive.

  114. #115 MS4
    June 1, 2011

    As per why it is brain cancer and not skin cancer I think that logic goes “Neurons communicating with electricity therefore an electric field would damage neurons causing brain cancer” Which clearly misses that most cancers inside the skull are from different cell-lines but that digresses. I moaned when I saw the alarmist TV banners today on CNN about this.

    Per Bernard one plausible mechanism I have seen goes as follows “An alternating electromagnetic field that is too weak to break bonds may still have subtle effects on the strongly polar dipole molecules often used in intercellular signaling. Then something something something, CANCER!” Yeah extremely unlikely though the confidence is at 99.9% instead of 100%. We should always keep a look out for these kind of effects and never be too confident.

    However, I am with Orac on this one, with his regular distinction between EBM and SBM, what we need is a good study from an impartial group that shows something significant before headlines and news-conferences. And while we can be upset about CNN and FOX taking off on this, that behavior is to be expected, the blame lies on the WHO for their clearly arbitrary use of their own criteria, and unethical use of their own credibility.

    PS What does a RR of 40% for gliomas translate to into for Absolute Risk?

  115. #116 george.wiman
    June 1, 2011

    I remember a breathless FOX report with some medical creature in their employ, to the effect that 8 or nine people (I forget) had been struck by lightning while using cell phones. As many and as often people use cell phones, it sure would be odd if nobody was ever struck by lightning while using one.

  116. #117 Anglachel the Common Sense Pagan
    June 2, 2011

    Wow, so many off-topics going! I really do regret feeding the troll earlier, but I couldn’t really resist. I can’t stand it when others use the whole “I have aspergers therefore” fill in the blank. You may think it is funny Jacob, or enjoy pissing people off with that, but you paint a certain picture of autism and Asperger’s that I don’t want to be associated with. I dislike being stereo-typed, and by doing and saying such things, you aren’t helping!

    That aside, I knew it wouldn’t be long before someone came in, frothing at the mouth, pointing a finger at Orac and shouting “YOU SOCIALIST!!” I have no idea how one gets that from reading this well written essay, but then again, I’m not nuts! I do find it amusing that every time someone opts to think for themself and decide to share those thoughts the crazies will always find a way to their blog and start the name calling. Still waiting for that whole “Burn the witch!!” comment, which doesn’t really seem long in coming.

    I agree with this post. The chances of cell phones causing cancer are about the same as my nail file. You are in more danger from breathing in when carefully walking across a busy highway than from using a cell phone.

  117. #118 Raging Bee
    June 2, 2011

    I thought a “cigarlatan” was someone who only pretended to enjoy smoking cigars.

    Or maybe it’s someone who poses with cigars to make himself look manly. Like maybe Rush Limbaugh?

  118. #119 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    There is so much biased misinformation here I don’t know where to start.
    How about with…There is no known mechanism that explains how smoking tobacco causes lung cancer. I say we should stop stomping on the rights of smokers in the schools and let them smoke. If there turns out to be a problem, how many children would really suffer? Lets just call them collateral damage to a lifestyle some are willing to die (and kill) for.
    Biophysicists have observed many biological responses to microwave radiation that are not understood. Some are certainly not the best thing for humans. Enzymes passing through the blood brain barrier have been shown to cause DNA damage. Guess what, it didn’t take knocking an electron out of orbit to cause that damage, so the physicists that say it’s impossible, are not looking at all the way in which damage can occur.
    Oh, and about just one group of scientists continues to report health concerns……you are not up to date. Studies from all over the world continue to show biological response and negative health effects, of which cancer is the most significant, but not the only problem. There are a couple dozen low level physiological symptoms related to microwave exposure, including sleep problems, irritability, headaches, loss of concentration, ADD, etc. I guess the loss of “quality of life” is of no consequence when we’re talking about a trillion dollar industry, and addictive instant gratification for the masses. The defense of cell phones in this article reminds me of a smokers defense of their “right to smoke”, no matter what “rights” the person next to you looses as a result of your actions.
    There are thousands of studies dating back 40 years that show negative biological response to microwave radiation. The Russian equivalent to our ICNIRP, the RNCNIRP, that sets the standards for exposure, have released a paper to the world entitled “The Health of Future Generation is at Risk. You should look it up, but then again, it’s from the stupid commies. Their scientists can’t be as smart as ours right??? The government of Germany has issued warnings about wifi, many times weaker than cellphones. Sweden, Finland, Italy, and many more GOVERNMENTS have issued precautionary warnings. But I’m glad we have someone as knowledgeable as you to set us straight. And, just what are your credentials???

    Here is some simple electronic theory.
    If you subject an electric field to another electrical field, both fields will be altered. Everyone has seen what metal filings look like on a piece of paper with a magnet under it. Now put 2 magnets next to each other and watch the first lines of flux change.
    If you put an electric field next to your head (or RF/MW)the currents in your brain will change.
    Btw, there was a peer reviewed study just released in Feb, that proved that the brain consumes more glucose on the side the phone is on, when exposed to MW radiation.
    I’d provide links that support all this, but I think it’s of no use.
    Enjoy your microwave lobotomy.

  119. #120 jay
    June 2, 2011

    Am I being excessively cynical in that I read ‘more study is needed’ as actually ‘more research grants are needed’?

  120. #121 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    There is so much biased misinformation here I don’t know where to start.
    How about with…There is no known mechanism that explains how smoking tobacco causes lung cancer. I say we should stop stomping on the rights of smokers in the schools and let them smoke. If there turns out to be a problem, how many children would really suffer? Lets just call them collateral damage to a lifestyle some are willing to die (and kill) for.
    Biophysicists have observed many biological responses to microwave radiation that are not understood. Some are certainly not the best thing for humans. Enzymes passing through the blood brain barrier have been shown to cause DNA damage. Guess what, it didn’t take knocking an electron out of orbit to cause that damage, so the physicists that say it’s impossible, are not looking at all the way in which damage can occur.
    Oh, and about just one group of scientists continues to report health concerns……you are not up to date. Studies from all over the world continue to show biological response and negative health effects, of which cancer is the most significant, but not the only problem. There are a couple dozen low level physiological symptoms related to microwave exposure, including sleep problems, irritability, headaches, loss of concentration, ADD, etc. I guess the loss of “quality of life” is of no consequence when we’re talking about a trillion dollar industry, and addictive instant gratification for the masses. The defense of cell phones in this article reminds me of a smokers defense of their “right to smoke”, no matter what “rights” the person next to you looses as a result of your actions.
    There are thousands of studies dating back 40 years that show negative biological response to microwave radiation. The Russian equivalent to our ICNIRP, the RNCNIRP, that sets the standards for exposure, have released a paper to the world entitled “The Health of Future Generation is at Risk. You should look it up, but then again, it’s from the stupid commies. Their scientists can’t be as smart as ours right??? The government of Germany has issued warnings about wifi, many times weaker than cellphones. Sweden, Finland, Italy, and many more GOVERNMENTS have issued precautionary warnings. But I’m glad we have someone as knowledgeable as you to set us straight. And, just what are your credentials???

    Here is some simple electronic theory.
    If you subject an electric field to another electrical field, both fields will be altered. Everyone has seen what metal filings look like on a piece of paper with a magnet under it. Now put 2 magnets next to each other and watch the first lines of flux change.
    If you put an electric field next to your head (or RF/MW)the currents in your brain will change.
    Btw, there was a peer reviewed study just released in Feb, that proved that the brain consumes more glucose on the side the phone is on, when exposed to MW radiation.
    I’d provide links that support all this, but I think it’s of no use.
    Enjoy your microwave lobotomy.

  121. #122 Denice Walter
    June 2, 2011

    @ Raging Bee (118)- But then again, after being chided about the um… symbolism, Freud, a smoker, supposedly remarked,”But then, sometimes a cigar is only a cigar”.

  122. #123 Todd W.
    June 2, 2011

    @Joe

    Studies from all over the world continue to show biological response and negative health effects, of which cancer is the most significant, but not the only problem.

    Citation needed.

  123. #124 JayK
    June 2, 2011

    Well, Joe, I have an advanced degree in electrical engineering, amongst others. I may not have the biology degree (yet) but I do understand the workings of fields and the energies involved. Orac and many others here are cancer researchers, and others are physicists that understand more of the molecular interactions. Our various biases are countered by each other. You, on the other hand, have provided nothing of significance, much like Jacob. You claim to have citations, yet withhold them in a fit of petulant rage. If you want a discussion I’d suggest changing your pseudonym, because you’ve poisoned the well already.

  124. #125 JayK
    June 2, 2011

    Well, Joe, I have an advanced degree in electrical engineering, amongst others. I may not have the biology degree (yet) but I do understand the workings of fields and the energies involved. Orac and many others here are cancer researchers, and others are physicists that understand more of the molecular interactions. Our various biases are countered by each other. You, on the other hand, have provided nothing of significance, much like Jacob. You claim to have citations, yet withhold them in a fit of petulant rage. If you want a discussion I’d suggest changing your pseudonym, because you’ve poisoned the well already.

  125. #126 novalox
    June 2, 2011

    @joe

    Saying that you are going to provide links for your evidence, but then stating that you are going to withhold them doesn’t lend much support to your side.

  126. #127 jre
    June 2, 2011

    As Orac pointed out at the very top, the challenge here is to keep a window open to the possibility, however slight, that there are real biological effects from non-ionizing EMF. It’s a challenge because the barrage of bushwah from the superstitious community is so intense that actual evidence tends to be drowned out. One member of my family who has gone full-altie was persuaded a few years ago to give up his microwave oven. The critical factor was an article in mercola.com claiming that microwaves were unnatural because the sun is powered by DC, and that Russian microwave engineers had seen their life-force diminished by proximity to the deadly waves. Much of this was the same baloney cited by Joe: a hopeless mishmash of pseudoscience and vitalism. But nobody, once persuaded by this hooey, will ever give it up. The best we can do is to try constantly to reach anyone who is still allied to reality, counter the pseudoscience and remain open to the real science.

  127. #128 JudgeJacob
    June 2, 2011

    Changing pseudonyms is not good sport. It’s like hunting with guns. It’s for pussies ;)

  128. #129 Tim Martin
    June 2, 2011

    Sorry if I’ve missed discussion of this in this long thread, but I have a few questions.

    …they assume that it’s physically impossible for something to cause cancer if it doesn’t break chemical bonds…

    We’re talking about nonionizing radiation here, right? What are some examples of nonionizing radiation causing cancer? How does it work?

    Specifically, how do UV rays cause cancer if they are nonionizing?

  129. #130 healthphysicist
    June 2, 2011

    Dimer formation between the DNA pyrimidines. Also, indirectly by imparting energy to certain molecules called chromophores which then break apart water to form free radicals. The free radicals oxidize the DNA.

    http://theoncologist.alphamedpress.org/content/6/3/298.full

  130. #131 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    @JayK

    It’s just a time issue, not a fit of petulant rage.
    I though my bias was no stronger than Orac’s.

    @Judge Jacob….I agree!

    Let me know if anyone has 100% evidence that any of this information is inaccurate. I know some of you will criticize these scientists, but they are as knowledgeable as you, and until someone can provide real answers, we should be careful. We’re not talking about a loss of profits from not being precautionary, were talking about damaging the human being. Any real scientist should understand this.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18363669/CHILDREN-AND-MOBILE-PHONES-THE-HEALTH-OF-THE-FOLLOWING-GENERATIONS-IS-IN-DANGER

    http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/t-mobile-deutsche/

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/34567810/Review-of-the-Information-on-Hazards-to-Personnel-from-High-Frequency-Electromagnetic-Radiation

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545575

    http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/niemr/ecologsum.php

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10844985

    http://www.magdahavas.com/2011/03/06/pick-of-the-week-24-microwave-radiation-affects-the-heart/

    http://www.magdahavas.com/2011/02/23/pick-of-the-week-22-a-very-important-symposium/

    Martin Blank has some interesting findings:
    http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/cc-video/

    ???

  131. #132 herr doktor bimler
    June 2, 2011

    There is no known mechanism that explains how smoking tobacco causes lung cancer.
    TMB;DR
    (too much bullshit; didn’t read).

  132. #133 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    Limited information is available about the molecular mechanisms of damage caused by tobacco smoke within specific organs.
    http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/tcrb/TRIP/html/biologic.html

  133. #134 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    @JayK

    It’s just a time issue, not a fit of petulant rage.
    I though my bias was no stronger than Orac’s.

    @Judge Jacob….I agree!

    Let me know if anyone has 100% evidence that any of this information is inaccurate. I know some of you will criticize these scientists, but they are as knowledgeable as you, and until someone can provide real answers, we should be careful. We’re not talking about a loss of profits from not being precautionary, were talking about damaging the human being. Any real scientist should understand this.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/18363669/CHILDREN-AND-MOBILE-PHONES-THE-HEALTH-OF-THE-FOLLOWING-GENERATIONS-IS-IN-DANGER

    http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/t-mobile-deutsche/

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/34567810/Review-of-the-Information-on-Hazards-to-Personnel-from-High-Frequency-Electromagnetic-Radiation

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20545575

    http://www.hese-project.org/hese-uk/en/niemr/ecologsum.php

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10844985

    http://www.magdahavas.com/2011/03/06/pick-of-the-week-24-microwave-radiation-affects-the-heart/

    http://www.magdahavas.com/2011/02/23/pick-of-the-week-22-a-very-important-symposium/

    Martin Blank has some interesting findings:
    http://electromagnetichealth.org/electromagnetic-health-blog/cc-video/

    ???

  134. #135 Censored Analyst
    June 2, 2011

    when I read the words nada zip nothing,I knew your blog was dishonest.You are saying the cel phones register no activity of any kind?Thats not an argument>Thats rhetoric(note to all you free thinking defenders of everything science producesnomatter what the empiricalevidencesays-i didnt say ANYTHING about cell phones pro or con.Ihave noticed,when criticizing fellow “free thinkers”,there is a distinct stalinist tendency to stomp on me,or CENSOR me

    Perhaps I would agree with you if you appeared educated and wrote in legible English.

    But I am not going to be mean and tell you that you need to take your medication. That’s mean. Some people are just born dumb.

    But that being said, I love my iPhone, and radiate myself to hell with it knowing that they could have negative consequences in the future. I definitely think cell phones may be able to cause cancer, but more excitingly, they have the potential of being a good birth control device for men.

  135. #136 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    I posted several links but the blog owner is holding them.

  136. #137 healthphysicist
    June 2, 2011

    Tobacco smoke contains Pb-210 (a beta emitter) which decays to Po-210 (an alpha emitter).

    These certainly contribute to carcinogenesis via direct and indirect (free radical formation) DNA ionization.

    Then there are all the other chemicals in smoke which are also inhaled.

  137. #138 Chris
    June 2, 2011

    Joe, any post with more than two links is automatically put into moderation. Orac does live in his computer (even though it looks like it), so you need to wait while he goes about his real job and life to release it from moderation.

  138. #139 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    @ Chris

    I figured he would want to check all the links before posting. Just wanted to let all know I just got back from my real job, and would love a real discussion that actually answers some of these questions.

  139. #140 JayK
    June 2, 2011

    Joe, learn how to do real citations, then. PMID’s, DOI’s or any article standard of citation is fine. Avoid links, and avoid being a dick.

  140. #141 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    @ Chris

    I figured he would want to check all the links before posting. Just wanted to let all know I just got back from my real job, and would love a real discussion that actually answers some of these questions.

  141. #142 Joe
    June 2, 2011

    @ Chris

    I figured he would want to check all the links before posting. Just wanted to let all know I just got back from my real job, and would love a real discussion that actually answers some of these questions.

  142. #143 Chris
    June 2, 2011

    One simple word! I meant to say “Orac does not live in his computer.”

  143. #144 Sarah Scoles
    June 2, 2011

    I was surprised to hear this press release reported as absolute fact on NPR.

  144. #145 Peter
    June 3, 2011

    @Joe
    “There are a couple dozen low level physiological symptoms related to microwave exposure, including sleep problems, irritability, headaches, loss of concentration, ADD, etc.”

    Picking up on your ‘symptoms’, I thought you might be interested in my personal experience.

    I worked for a Tetra network operator and we were putting up a new basestation/mast. We sent round health questionaires for people to fill in, in the weeks before and after switch on. In the weeks following the date of swotch on, we got a large number of people complaining of health effects, including, yes you’ve guessed it, insomnia, disturbed sleep patterns, headaches, and rashes. We had to call off the study when we got hit by a lawsuit claiming we had so destroyed someone’s health that they were on long term sick. At that point we had to come clean and confess that the mast had never actually been switched on. (We were planning on doing it later and see if there was any rise in problem at that point)

    Of course this was not a properly conducted study, double blinds etc, but it gavve me enough information to came to a conclusion.

    – If you suggest that something may cause a health problem, lots of people believe it, and some even start getting the suggested symptions.
    – people are idiots.

    If you are going to make statements as definitive as “studies show…..there are…”, please provide actual references…..or I may just conclude you are blowing smoke.

  145. #146 anon
    June 3, 2011

    @ joe
    Some simple corrections fo you.

    “Here is some simple electronic theory” >electromagnetic theory…

    “If you subject an electric field to another electrical field…” > electric field or actually I think you mean an electromagnetic. Its difficult to tell.

    Everyone has seen what metal filings look like on a piece of paper with a magnet under it. Now put 2 magnets next to each other and watch the first lines of flux change.
    If you put an electric field > electromagnetic field. Actually a changing electromagnetic if you want to be correct.

  146. #147 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    Ok, i read the article again, and want to apologize for not taking the time to see where I was. Someone sent me this link, knowing it would get my attention. So this appears to be a site run by a surgeon/scientist, and visited by like-minded “scientists”. And Orac did state right off that there could be a small possibility of negative health effects (thanks for a somewhat open mind).What got me riled up upon first read, and gave me the impression that Orac is blowing smoke is:

    “There are a lot of problems with the claim that cell phones cause cancer, not the least of which is that the science and epidemiology just don’t support it. In particular, the INTERPHONE study, whose results were reported last year, showed no evidence of a link between cell phone use and glioblastoma or meningioma.”

    I have read some of the individual papers of the scientists involved, and this simply is not true. What you are repeating is what the WHO and the FCC and the Telecoms are reporting. Even Elisabeth Cardis (director of the study) has stated publicly that she believes we should follow the precautionary principle, especially with children, as a result of the Interphone study.

    “In fact, to me the decision by WHO is exceedingly puzzling because, if anything, over the last several years the evidence has been trending more and more towards being inconsistent with with a link between cell phone use and brain cancer–or health problems of any kind, other than getting into car crashes because of texting or talking while driving.”

    Maybe that is true of brain cancer, but I think there is plenty of new evidence coming out that suggests there could be hazards. I would need your input as to why Martin Blank, Jerry Phillips, David Capenter, Henry Lai, and many more of (your?) peers are full of shit, and their work is worthless. Can you support your denial of these scientists work? Have you even read what your peers have published???
    Do I have to find all these links because you have not even read the papers?
    And I’m sure I read a research paper that found that there was a loss of cognitive function for 15 minutes or so after a cell phone call. Isn’t it more likely that that is why driving while celling is an accepted hazard? It seems there a less incidence of accidents from putting on makeup, eating, reading, even getting a BJ, while driving.

    “I note that the INTERPHONE study relied on a dubious subgroup analysis in order to find that there was a 40% increased risk of glioma in the very heaviest users of cell phones that only barely achieved statistical significance and no increased risk of meningioma. Moreover, as I pointed out a year ago, among the heaviest users were reports of implausible levels of cell phone use, as high as 12 hours per day, every day.”

    The study defined “Heavy user” as 30 minutes a day, which in 2000, when the study began, maybe that was true.
    But in 2011….we are all in the “Heavy User” category I bet. I have not seen any references to the 12hrs/day that Orac mentions.

    “When a different method of quantifying cell phone use–asking how many calls per day a person typically made–was used, the increased risk of cancer disappeared.”

    I don’t understand the relevance of that statement. People have different habits on holding the phone, speakerphone, duration of call etc.
    The only reports I have seen that claim 0% increased risk are the manipulated studies in which they try to find cancer in a 3 year period. Do you have references on where that comes from?
    out of time.

  147. #148 JayK
    June 3, 2011

    Joe, I’ll review the peer-reviewed links you’ve provided. In the future, you don’t need to put the link, but just put the PMID or the DOI. The scribd links are all non-peer reviewed communications from unverified sources. I have no reason to review them or take them seriously. The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection appears to have some patina of scientific knowledge, but I’m not convinced that they are anything more than rejectionists that are blowing a lot of smoke where there isn’t any fire.

  148. #149 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    “The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection appears to have some patina of scientific knowledge, but I’m not convinced that they are anything more than rejectionists that are blowing a lot of smoke where there isn’t any fire.”

    It’s the Russian equivalent to our ICNIRP. Your comment makes you sound uneducated on our own standards setting body???
    It’s the RNCNIRP that gave the warning, not our ICNIRP.

  149. #150 JayK
    June 3, 2011

    Oh, I didn’t see Joe’s latest brain farts. Screw this, I have other research that I could be doing. You’re a clueless paranoid git, Joe.

  150. #151 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    I understand your comment about SCRIBD. I have accumulated thousands of pages of documents over many years. It’s hard to find the original papers on the web sometimes. For times sake, I have just had to google the document name to produce a copy that can be linked to. It’s hard to find the time to go back and re-find years worth of research. I wish I had better organized my information.

  151. #152 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    @ JayK
    Would you please comment on the research the scientists in this field have performed please.

  152. #153 Chris
    June 3, 2011

    Joe, Henry Lai is a crank with tenure. He actually worked with uber-quack Hulda Clark:

    Don’t forget, Dr. Clark and Dr. Henry Lai, among others will be speaking Sunday, Oct 12, in Seattle Please attend if you are able and do share with us all that you learn.

  153. #154 JayK
    June 3, 2011

    The fact that you don’t understand citations, the importance of peer-review and the obvious obsession with an issue that doesn’t show up in epidemiology suggests that you aren’t a professional. Also, Martin Blank studies mostly low frequency emission effects, not cell-phone microwave frequencies, at least all of his recent study, which would suggest that he moved away from microwave frequency effects after there wasn’t a corresponding epidemiological effect to be found. He suggested caution and watchfulness, not paranoia.

  154. #155 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    @ Chris

    I have heard that Henry Lai is a quack. Is this because he was challenged by others, and the claim was made that he falsified data? I read that a peer review panel found he had done nothing wrong. Is this incorrect, and if so can you give something of worth to prove it, other than an opinion.
    Never heard of Hulda Clark.
    Thanks.

  155. #156 Calli Arcale
    June 3, 2011

    And I’m sure I read a research paper that found that there was a loss of cognitive function for 15 minutes or so after a cell phone call.

    Just an FYI, Joe — that isn’t much of a citation. Besides which, “loss of cognitive function after 15 minutes” doesn’t pin that to radiation rather than the conversation (for all we know from this not-really-citation, that could be equally true of landline calls on phones with corded handsets, speakerphones, intercoms, etc). It also isn’t the same thing as “brain cancer years later”. Could it be connected? Yeah. Is it? God knows; you haven’t even given us enough to know the study even exists, much less that you remember it accurately.

    Isn’t it more likely that that is why driving while celling is an accepted hazard? It seems there a less incidence of accidents from putting on makeup, eating, reading, even getting a BJ, while driving.

    Wow. You seriously think talking on the phone while driving is more hazardous than receiving fellatio while driving??? Even if you’re right that cell phones cause cancer and loss of cognitive function by virtue of the radiofrequency radiation, that degree of hyperbole is, frankly, ridiculous.

  156. #157 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    @JayK

    Wow, you’re smart!
    I have worked with electronics and electricity for 30 years.
    I am not a scientist or a doctor. I do not know how to use the tools of your trade, and this is the most I have blogged in my life. I am from a family of engineers and scientists for what thats worth.
    You have not proved anything to me.
    When I got involved with electricity in the 80′s, the first thing I was told was this industry has a high rate of cancer. Have we proved that is not true?
    My stepdaughter has an 11 year old cousin, currently on his death bed, body riddled with cancer. His family has no history of cancer. He grew up right under a high tension power line. But sure, it could just be the water.
    I have listened to arguments like this many times, only to find out that the “paranoid” ones were correct, but too late to avoid damage.
    If there is any possibility of harm to humans, then I am concerned. I am concerned for my children who will think it’s ok to sleep with a cellphone under their pillow to make sure they don’t miss a tweet.
    Pregnant women have hundreds of chemicals showing up in the umbilical cord. Most waterways are polluted with meds and chemical pollutants. Bt toxin is showing up in 80% of the population from GMO’s etc. Is this what we get for listening to logic like yours?
    If we were just talking about profits I might agree with you.

  157. #158 Jacob
    June 3, 2011

    Don’t forget, a guy like JayK would make someone ill so he could profit from treating them if he thought he could get away with it.

    He’s a professional, he likes the profit. Not the people, the profit.

    1 in ~23 is a sociopath!

  158. #159 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    Citation: Salford LG, Brun AE, Eberhardt JL, Malmgren L, Persson BRR 2003. Nerve Cell Damage in Mammalian Brain after Exposure to Microwaves from GSM Mobile Phones. Environ Health Perspect 111:881-883. doi:10.1289/ehp.6039

    Citation: Kundi M 2005. “Epidemiology of Health Effects of Radiofrequency Exposure”. Environ Health Perspect 113:A151-A151. doi:10.1289/ehp.113-a151a

    Citation: ICNIRP (International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) Standing Committee on Epidemiology, Ahlbom A, Green A, Kheifets L, Savitz D, Swerdlow A 2004. Epidemiology of Health Effects of Radiofrequency Exposure. Environ Health Perspect 112:1741-1754. doi:10.1289/ehp.7306

    Citation: Huss A, Egger M, Hug K, Huwiler-Müntener K, Röösli M 2007. Source of Funding and Results of Studies of Health Effects of Mobile Phone Use: Systematic Review of Experimental Studies. Environ Health Perspect 115:1-4. doi:10.1289/ehp.9149

    Citation: Markovà E, Malmgren LO, Belyaev IY 2010. Microwaves from Mobile Phones Inhibit 53BP1 Focus Formation in Human Stem Cells More Strongly Than in Differentiated Cells: Possible Mechanistic Link to Cancer Risk. Environ Health Perspect 118:-. doi:10.1289/ehp.0900781

    Citation: Kundi M 2009. The Controversy about a Possible Relationship between Mobile Phone Use and Cancer. Environ Health Perspect 117:316-324. doi:10.1289/ehp.11902

    Citation: Vanderstraeten J, Verschaeve L 2008. Gene and Protein Expression following Exposure to Radiofrequency Fields from Mobile Phones. Environ Health Perspect 116:1131-1135. doi:10.1289/ehp.11279

  159. #160 Chris
    June 3, 2011

    Joe:

    I have heard that Henry Lai is a quack. Is this because he was challenged by others, and the claim was made that he falsified data?

    His PhD is in psychology, not neurology or any other appropriate discipline. And you really need to look up Hulda Clark and her zapper.

  160. #161 Jacob
    June 3, 2011
  161. #162 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    Thanks Chris. I will check that out.

    Still no comments on Martin Blanks presentation from the commonwealth club? I don’t mind if you skip all the non-scientific stuff, but what about the real science presented?
    -DNA makes a perfect fractal antenna.
    -release of stress protiens.
    -DNA breaks.

    Maybe a persons health and immunity, combined with genetics, causes all sorts of different reactions in people.
    It would be very hard to study to the degree some want unless you had a group of clones, seems to me.

  162. #163 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    Owner holding list of DOI’s.

  163. #164 lilady
    June 3, 2011

    Yes, Joe you really need to look up Hulda Clark…if as you state you have no idea about he and her connection with Henry Lai.

    If you chose to talk about the long-term consequences of kids and adults addicted to cell phones and their addiction to “keeping in touch” constantly, we might debate that. There is absolutely no proof that cell phone use is implicated in cancer.

    Unfortunately, 11 year old kids do get cancer and again there is no proof that living in proximity to a cell phone tower increases the incidence of childhood…or adult…cancer.

    Time to give it up, Joe.

  164. #165 JayK
    June 3, 2011

    Martin Blanks’ presentation was error prone and rambling and conflated evidences at ELF to that of microwave frequencies. He rapidly repeated himself on the whole “stress proteins” without giving even a minor citation of the existing research. His description of DNA wasn’t even above that of a layman, and it was difficult to say that he actually has any understanding of the biological processes that create the stress proteins he talks about. The most telling point was that he claims the only reasons for a cell to create stress proteins was because something was potentially harmful. This isn’t my area of expertise, but I do understand that there are entire processes that he left out, seemingly from convenience in order to continue to confirm the bias of the conference, that is that EMF is hazardous and we should turn off EVERYTHING NOW! Seemed like a lot of fear mongering while they presented nothing that disagreed with their hypothesis.

    Stick with peer-reviewed articles in the future, Joe. That video lowered my respect for Dr. Blanks. He has quite the CV, it was a shame to see him lower himself to the crowd.

  165. #166 D. Goldreich
    June 3, 2011

    I thought this was good commentary:

    http://www.calamitiesofnature.com/archive/?c=541

  166. #167 Joe
    June 3, 2011

    @JayK

    Noted. What peer reviewed papers do you have concerning RF/MW/EMF and health concerns that make you qualified to speak? Anything else is just total bullshit from a huge ego, according to you.

  167. #168 Jacob
    June 3, 2011

    Remember, how you feel is not a fact, it’s an opinion, so unless you’ve got a PMID to prove that an insecure little jerk is annoying you…

  168. #169 Jacob
    June 3, 2011

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/power-lines-contaminants-pcb.html

    Is, i dunno, me stoopid, can someone weed the label for meh?

  169. #170 JayK
    June 3, 2011

    I told you my basic qualifications before. I also didn’t say that someone has to have peer reviewed papers in order to speak, and I don’t even see where I implied that. I did say that it is obvious that you have no professional capabilities in science or in the area as you don’t even seem to understand what citations require, nor do you even seem to be able to communicate in any sort of educated manner. Your entire qualification in this area appears to be an obsessive paranoia about new technology based on anecdotal evidence of a personal relationship with someone afflicted with cancer that happens to live around high voltage lines (as does a significant portion of the entire US population).

    My background is electrical engineering which includes a depth in physics and later in optical physics. While I’m far from an expert, I can read and understand professional communications on the topic, and I can spot those using “sciency” words and phrases to avoid dealing with oppositional research or where they are fudging because data or experience doesn’t exist. Dr. Blanks’ presentation was full of avoidance and implication without citation. His “preventative doctrine” commentary was ridiculous and ignored the fact that while a possible mechanism might exist there was no data to even suggest that the issue had any real applicability. Add to that the fact that most of his research has moved from microwave frequencies to ELF and it seems to indicate he has little real interest in cell phone radiation. His papers on the topic stopped around 2001. He also seemed to think Henry Lai was reputable.

    If you want more evidence that Dr. Blanks’ “friends” are made up of quacks that have abused science, this webpage contains a series of links to debunkings:
    http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/11/levitt-and-lai-peddling-discredited-emf-science/

  170. #171 lilady
    June 3, 2011

    @ JayK: Excellent link that you provided. Joe, please read it; I found the section about EHS (Electro-Hypersensity Syndrome very interesting and another instance of made-up syndromes to “explain” psychosomatic symptoms.

  171. #172 Krebiozen
    June 3, 2011

    @Joe
    It looks to me as if you have fallen into the trap of looking for data that supports a preconceived idea. As long as you ignore all data that doesn’t fit with your preconceptions, you can find evidence to support almost any crazy idea. To get a real idea of what is going on you need to look at all the evidence, and make a careful assessment of prior plausibility, reliability, number and size of studies, possible biases etc. Making a big pile of evidence that supports your ideas isn’t the best way of finding the truth. Unfortunately, it’s a good deal more complicated than that.

    Orac wrote: “…the INTERPHONE study, whose results were reported last year, showed no evidence of a link between cell phone use and glioblastoma or meningioma.”

    You responded: “I have read some of the individual papers of the scientists involved, and this simply is not true.”

    The INTERPHONE study is a single paper. I suggest you read it as it looks to me as if you have not. Orac is quite right – it found no link between mobile phone use and the commonest forms of brain cancer, and it is a big study which gives it a lot of statistical power.

    Its key message included the statement: “INTERPHONE is the largest case–control study of mobile phone use and brain tumours yet and includes the largest numbers of users with at least 10 years of exposure. A reduced OR for glioma and meningioma related to ever having been a regular mobile phone user possibly reflects participation bias or other methodological limitations. No elevated OR for glioma or meningioma was observed >10 years after first phone use”.

    As Orac pointed out, it was only a sub-group analysis that found an increased incidence of glioma in some small sub-groups. Sub-group analysis is notoriously problematic, as if you divide random data into small groups, you will find statistical anomalies, 1 in 20 of which will be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. As many have pointed out before, picking out those statistical anomalies that fit with your preconceptions and ignoring those that don’t is the equivalent of shooting at a barn door and then painting a target around your hits.

    The sub-group analysis that found the 40% increase in gliomas divided the data into 48 sub-groups so you would expect at least two of these to show statistical significance by chance alone.

    Why do you ignore all the negative correlations between mobile phone use and brain cancers in subgroups? There was a statistically significant 39% reduction in gliomas in people who used a cell phone for between 1 and 2 years. Why is that less noteworthy than a 40% increase in gliomas among those with cumulative use >1640 hours?

    I’ll leave others to assess the work of the scientists you mention.

    You completely miss the point Orac made about those in the heaviest cell phone use group.

    You wrote: “The study defined “Heavy user” as 30 minutes a day, which in 2000, when the study began, maybe that was true. But in 2011….we are all in the “Heavy User” category I bet. I have not seen any references to the 12hrs/day that Orac mentions.”

    This was self-reported use, and there is a likelihood of recall bias with self-reporting. As the study reported, “there is evidence that cases tended to overestimate their past exposure more than controls did”. In other words if you ask someone with a brain tumor about their cell phone use, they are likely to exaggerate use compared to someone without a brain tumor.

    BTW the heavy use category in the study was actually >1640 hours a year, which is >4.5 hours a day.

    To quote the study itself: “Some subjects reported very high daily average call times and this was more common among cases than controls. Thirty-eight cases and 22 controls reported >5h use/day and 10 cases and no controls reported >12 h/day. There is reasonable doubt about the credibility of such reports. Excluding all subjects who reported >5h use/day reduced the ORs in the highest decile of cumulative time from 1.40 to 1.27 (95%CI 0.92–1.74)”. To put it another way, when the least credible data was removed, statistical significance disappeared.

    Orac wrote: “When a different method of quantifying cell phone use–asking how many calls per day a person typically made–was used, the increased risk of cancer disappeared.”

    You responded: “I don’t understand the relevance of that statement. People have different habits on holding the phone, speakerphone, duration of call etc.”

    The relevance is that it suggests that either random statistical wobble or some sort of bias was the reason for the increased OR for glioma in the group reporting the greatest number of hours use. If it was a real effect you would expect an increased OR for glioma when looking at number of calls as well as hours of use. As the study pointed out, in a sub-study looking at accuracy of self-reporting, “Errors were larger for duration of calls than for number of calls, and phone use was under-estimated
    by light users and over-estimated by heavy users.”

    You wrote: “The only reports I have seen that claim 0% increased risk are the manipulated studies in which they try to find cancer in a 3 year period. Do you have references on where that comes from?”

    The INTERPHONE study looked at >10 year use and found 0% increased risk. What do you mean by “manipulated studies”? Ones that didn’t agree with your preconceptions?

  172. #173 herr doktor bimler
    June 3, 2011

    -DNA makes a perfect fractal antenna.

    That just there is hilarious.

  173. #174 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 3, 2011

    http://news.discovery.com/earth/power-lines-contaminants-pcb.html

    Is, i dunno, me stoopid, can someone weed the label for meh?

    Let’s see. Someone said, “Hey, I wonder if PCB levels are elevated near power lines, which have PCBs in them*. Oh look, PCB levels are elevated near this source of PCBs. Maybe the electro-magnetic fields are somehow trapping PCBs from other pollution sources (did I mention this is a PCB source?).”

    [facepalm]

    *COI: my job sometimes requires me to specify replacements for electrical wires and equipment containing PCBs.

  174. #175 Jacob
    June 3, 2011

    There was an article in the Guardian a couple of months back which explained how the clustering effect arises from a random distribution. Good pictures iirc

    Will try to find it….

  175. #176 Jacob
    June 3, 2011

    I couldn’t find it but this is dynamite:

    http://www.shadyhousepub.com/mpiu/nixon-slurs-jews-and-marijuana/

    omg!

  176. #177 weezmgk
    June 4, 2011

    Jacob, would you kindly sod off with the off-topic cannabis rubbish? Nobody cares- and you’re boring.

    Orac, I’ve been looking for a scientific rationale for even having SAR figures at all. Haven’t had any luck.

    Mobile phone sigs are non-ionising radiation, so there’s really no purpose for SAR figures. Moreover, some mobile phone makers recommend spacing the phone a few mm away from the ear while in use ‘for safety.’ Given the inverse square law, a few mm will make sweet FA difference in field strengths.

    If you can point me to the genesis for the establishment of SARs, I’d be most grateful.

  177. #178 Andyo
    June 4, 2011

    My stepdaughter has an 11 year old cousin, currently on his death bed, body riddled with cancer. His family has no history of cancer. He grew up right under a high tension power line. But sure, it could just be the water.

    We lived nowhere near a power line and my mom died of cancer. Therefore, not living near power lines causes cancer too.

    Whew! Logic is much easier than I thought!

  178. #179 Peter
    June 4, 2011

    @Joe

    “I have worked with electronics and electricity for 30 years”

    Really? From an earlier post…..

    “Here is some simple electronic theory……” etc etc

    Ho ho ho

  179. #180 Jacob
    June 5, 2011

    No.

    People do care, they care more about safe medicine than your tenures.

    That’s why we are going to keep going, you won’t hear the last of it until you open your mind to the truth, or go to your grave resisting the truth.

    http://www.ccic.net/index.php?id=208,0,0,1,0,0

    get an education. It’s ok for my kids to starve but not yours? Think again, try thinking with your guts this time.

  180. #181 Joe
    June 5, 2011

    Post 159 finally arrived with DOI’s.

    JayKass, learn how to do real citations, then. PMID’s, DOI’s or any article standard of citation is fine. Avoid links, and avoid being a dick.

    JayKass, I reviewed the links you’ve provided. In the future, you don’t need to put the link, but just put the PMID or the DOI. The Skeptic North links are all non-peer reviewed communications from unverified sources. I have no reason to review them or take them seriously.
    ———————————————————–
    Those links, like this site are just commentary and opinion.
    I ask you to forward your comments to:
    Martin Blank, PhD, Associate Professor, Columbia University, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics; Researcher in Biolelectromagnetics; Author of the BioInitiative Report’s (www.Bioinitiative.org) section on Stress Proteins; Editor of the journal Pathophysiology’s special issue on Electromagnetic Fields in March 2009; and Past President, Bioelectromagnetics Society. Dr. Blank holds a PhD from Columbia University in Physical Chemistry and a PhD from Cambridge University in Colloid Science, an interdisciplinary (biology, physics and chemistry) department.

    If you are right, I certainly feel he (and all the others) need to be exposed as frauds. I am not interested in phony science from you or them.

    A lot of us are tired of listening to overblown ego’s arguing like preschoolers, defending their pre-conceived ideas. Honest science please.

    Lilady:
    “If you chose to talk about the long-term consequences of kids and adults addicted to cell phones and their addiction to “keeping in touch” constantly, we might debate that.”

    Your right. This post is suffering from ADD.

    “There is absolutely no proof that cell phone use is implicated in cancer.”

    Should read: There is not substantial proof that cell phone use is implicated in cancer. See below.

    Krebiozen:
    Thanks for some real information, I value your input.
    I should have said, I have read papers written by various authors about their involvement in Interphone.
    I don’t discount the negative results, and I understand that they outweigh the positive ones. Cancer, and genetic destruction should not be taken lightly, however. You have to prove that qualified scientists are wrong, before you can discount their findings with such certainty.

    “To me, there’s certainly smoke there,” said Elisabeth Cardis, who leads the Interphone project. “Overall, my opinion is that the results show a real effect.” Cardis is with the Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL) in Barcelona. She moved there two years ago after working on Interphone at IARC for close to a decade.

    “There is evidence that there may be a risk; Interphone has made that a little stronger,” said Bruce Armstrong of the University of Sydney, another member of Interphone. “It shows some indication of an increased risk of gliomas, but I cannot say this with certainty.”

    Siegal Sadetzki, the Israeli member of Interphone, goes further. She pointed out that while the risks are inconclusive, a number of the results show some consistency. These include increased risks among the heaviest users, the fact that the risks were highest on the side of the head the phone was usually used and that the tumors were in the temporal lobe of the brain, which is closest to the ear. Sadetzki is with the Gertner Institute outside Tel-Aviv. “The data are not strong enough for a causal interpretation, but they are sufficient to support precautionary policies,” she said.

    Jack Siemiatycki of the University of Montreal, a member of the Canadian Interphone group, called the Interphone “genuinely perplexing, enigmatic and paradoxical” because, as he put it, “the data were dirty.” (Siemiatycki said his perception of the risk has gone “from implausible to something higher.”)

    The work of the Swedish team lead by Lennart Hardell, which has attracted worldwide attention, is dismissed in a single sentence: “However, the methods of these studies have been questioned.” This is in fact an opinion of some members of the Interphone group, sometimes known as the ICNIRP contingent. The critical review was written by ICNIRP’s committee on epidemiology. Three Interphone members were on that panel: Anders Ahlbom, Maria Feychting and Tony Swerdlow.

    In an interview, Hardell, who is with Örebrö University, challenged this criticism. “I cannot understand their statements, either they do not understand or have not read my papers,” he said. In a statement, Hardell stated that he sees the Interphone study as supporting his own work, which shows that “the continuing use of a mobile phone increases risk of brain cancer.”

    Industry funded study:

    Mobile Telecommunications and Health
    Summary of the ECOLOG study for T-Mobile, 2000
    · Mobile Telecommunications and Health. Read the full ECOLOG report.
    · Appendix E, research database listing (in German)
    In 2000, the same year the Stewart Report was commissioned by the UK Government, T-Mobil in Germany (the parent company of T-Mobile) commissioned a highly-rated independent research institute, the ECOLOG Institute in Hanover, to review all relevant available research to date with regard to the health risks from mobile telecommunications.
    This review of over 220 peer-reviewed and published papers found strong indications for the cancer-initiating and cancer-promoting effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields used by mobile telephone technology. Experiments on cell cultures at power flux densities much lower than the guidelines, yielded strong indications for genotoxic effects of these fields, like single and double stranded DNA breaks and damage to chromosomes. The findings that high frequency electromagnetic fields influence cell transformation, cell growth promotion and cell communication also point on a carcinogenic potential of the fields used for mobile telephony. The study also found teratogenic effects (birth deformities) and loss of fertility in animal studies. Moreover, disruptions of other cellular processes, like the synthesis of proteins and the control of cell functions by enzymes, have been demonstrated.
    Numerous experiments on humans as well as on animals proved effects on the central nervous system, which reach from neuro-chemical effects to modifications of the brain potentials and impairments of certain brain functions. Loss of memory and cognitive function, for instance, have been demonstrated by animal experiments. From experiments with volunteers, who were exposed to the fields of mobile telephones, there is clear evidence for influences on certain cognitive functions. Possible risks for the brain also arise from an increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier to potentially harmful substances, observed in several experiments on animals exposed to mobile telephone fields.
    The ECOLOG report also found indications for disruptions of the endocrine and the immune system. High frequency electromagnetic fields cause stress reactions, showing up in an increased production of stress hormones in experimental animals and they lead to a reduction of the concentration of the hormone melatonin in the blood of exposed animals and humans. Melatonin has a central control function for the hormone system and the diurnal biological rhythms and it is able to retard the development of certain tumours.
    A common observation in many of the studies was the importance of pulse modulation. Pulse modulated fields seemed to have a stronger effect than continuous fields and that in some cases, it was the pulse of a certain frequency which triggered the reaction, and absence of pulse, or pulse of a different frequency, led to less significant effects or no effect at all.
    In sum, the ECOLOG report came to dramatically different conclusions than the Stewart Report and called for an immediate downward regulation of the power flux density that should be allowed by the guidelines, by a factor of 1,000.

    Translator’s Note
    In my translation from the German, I have consistently applied the following evidence categories as defined by ECOLOG-Institut in April 2003:
    ECOLOG Evidence Categories:
    · evidence (German: Nachweis): consistent results of identical studies are available
    · consistent indication (German: konsistenter Hinweis): (strong) indication from different study designs considering the same (patho)physiological endpoint are available
    · strong indication (German: deutlicher Hinweis): consistent results from comparable studies are available
    · indication: similar results from comparable studies are available
    · weak indication: single study results are available
    This report and its translation have been misrepresented at times. Here is a description of the circumstances from the original author:
    · Statement by Dr Hans-Peter Neitzke, ECOLOG-Institute
    Andrea Klein

    · Mobile Telecommunications and Health. Read the full ECOLOG report.
    · Appendix E, research database listing (in German)

    An example of industry manipulation:
    U.S. Air Force—sponsored study performed by A. W. Guy et al:

    Thus Guy has described the environment: 100 control group
    rats and 100 radiation exposed rats, all of which lived in
    identical environments.
    After the experiments were completed, the researchers
    reported that eighteen malignant tumors developed in the
    exposed rats as compared to five in the control group rats. Such
    a difference the researchers claim is “statistically highly
    significant.” They also state that
    at face value this last finding suggests that low levels of
    microwave radiation can cause cancer in mice (and by
    inference to humans) . . . (K. R. Foster, and A. W. & Guy, “The Microwave Problem,” Scientific
    American 255, no. 3 (September 1986):32-39.).

    The initial research findings were made known
    substantially as stated earlier. However, sometime later the
    researchers “reconsidered” their results and reversed their
    opinions.
    The “politically correct” position is restated in the
    Scientific American article as:
    For one thing, the total number of malignant tumors in the
    control animals was lower than the number expected for the
    particular strain of rat; the rate of malignancies in the
    exposed rats was about as expected . . .

    These researchers found extraordinary results. They found
    entirely unexpected results. They found results that the
    business community, in concert with the U.S. military, could
    not accept. The researchers initially published those research
    findings as what the findings represented: evidence of cancer
    formation in rats that had been exposed to low-level
    radiofrequency radiation. Interestingly, since the initial findings
    were published and since the time of the restatement of those
    findings, the principal researcher of that team has received very
    little research funding from the sources that had funded him
    generously earlier.

    Bye.

  181. #182 lilady
    June 5, 2011

    I see that Jacob is sub-therapeutic on his cannabis medication…again.

    Fool, according to the link you provided, there is no ongoing study and no proposed study in the “recruitment” stage for treatment of autism spectrum disorders.

    I do see however, many studies for treatment with cannabis of alcohol abusers, psychotic patients and schizophrenic patients. So tell us, why you are on cannabis medication or do you buy your cannabis from “dealers.”

    The subject of this post are cell phones and cell towers, not cannabis. Time for Orac to moderate your comments.

  182. #183 Jacob
    June 6, 2011

    @lilady

    I haven’t called on Orac to moderate your comments, because I don’t need his help like you do.

    In answer to your questions:
    1) I was not trying to provide a link to a cannabinoid-autism related study, you made that assumption. I was merely trying to point out that ‘someone’ who is clever enough to ‘run’ a ‘research facility’ thinks that cannabis ‘might’ be medicine for something. Do you disagree that cannabis is medicine for at least one condition?

    2a) I am not on cannabis ‘medication’ I am on ‘street cannabis’ so to say it doesn’t work, you actually mean, I need proper quality controlled medicine, which is what we are campaining for.

    2b) What is a ‘dealer’? Is it supposed to have a negative connotation? The last time my friend bought some, it was off a primary school teacher.

    3) lilady, the things you say about neuro-diverse people are circulating nicely. We have your real identity. Do you want to keep your job?

    4) If you’ve got an autistic child, I feel sorry for him or her.

    5) Please answer the question, are you overweight, or shall we publish a picture of you and let persons unknown judge you mercilessly?

    Regards,
    no one, and everyone.

  183. #184 lilady
    June 7, 2011

    @ Jacob: To answer your questions.

    Cannabis “may” be a treatment for some conditions. Cannabis is not a treatment for autism…or a treatment for phonies who claim an autism diagnosis.

    You use street drugs, not medically prescribed cannabis because you have none of the disorders that cannabis “may” be a treatment for.

    You know what a dealer is and no one cares if you score your drugs from the Queen of Rumania…or a school teacher…they are dealers.

    “We have your real identity” (shudders) “Do you want to keep your job” (quaking in my boots)

    I don’t have an autistic child and my daughter who is a brilliant beautiful woman considers herself fortunate to have great parents.

    I’m not overweight…so sorry to disappoint you and feel free to publish a picture of me.

  184. #185 Doc Rocketscience
    June 7, 2011

    Jacob, are you making threats? Over the internet? Y’know you can get into a lot of trouble doing that.

    Oh, wait. “We have your real identity”? “No one and everyone”? I get it now. You think you’re Anonymous. That’s soooo cute. But you keep posting under a name. Oh, let me guess, you’re behind over 9000 proxies.

    Tell me something, Jake, were you high when you posted that last comment? Are you high right now?

  185. #186 David N. Andrews M. Ed., C. P. S. E.
    June 7, 2011

    Jacob, you’re a really nasty piece of shit.

    Fuck off.

    Now.

  186. #187 Jacob
    June 7, 2011

    Mirrored David.

    No I did not make a threat, just as there’s no word salad, only play. Get real.

    You expect me not to reply to people who say mean things about people like me? Get real.

    Just because someone is x and you’re not, etc…

  187. #188 lilady
    June 8, 2011

    Hmm, seems like a threat to me:

    “We have your real identity. Do you want to keep your job?”

    I also know of an esteemed cancer surgeon/researcher who writes some great articles on his blog, who was the recipient of threats and a letter writing campaign to get him fired…generated by the anti-vax mob.

    BTW, I have received numerous threats for my advocacy on behalf of the developmental disabled/mentally ill population when I testified at public hearings, hearings for siting of group homes and wrote articles about the deplorable conditions existing in large institutions/human warehouses for these populations.

    Many threats were hurled at me, when I organized a group of concerned parents pushing my State to enact required school bus drivers and matrons aboard fingerprinting and criminal background checks, prior to being hired. I don’t want to go into the gruesome details of a special education toddler who was sodomized and required surgery to repair his rectum.

    So while you were otherwise engaged in your addictions and searching for a “diagnosis”, I put myself “out there” to provide a safety net for vulnerable kids and adults who really are quite disabled.

  188. #189 Jacob
    June 8, 2011

    lilady, I misunderstood.

    My hint at your identity was going to be : Bigman or Biglady. I hadn’t cracked your encryption yet. You label me the opposite of what I am, so I have to assume you label yourself inversely in accordance with your thought disorder.

    Remember the old ‘I know your parents! etc….’

    It’s the same online as in real life. Hollow threats by online people who are too nice to do anything nasty in real life. Just noise.

    You said “Cannabis is not a treatment for autism.” [citation needed]

    Please don’t be like Thingy.

    Thank you.
    J

  189. #190 lilady
    June 8, 2011

    @ Jacob: It was a threat and I know you cannot “crack the encryptian yet” Explaining it away as a childhood taunt, doesn’t “cut if for me”.

    You made the original assertion sans citations about cannabis being a treatment for autism. You also provided us finally with a link with your posting at # 180 above and I merely perused the link to locate any studies to back up your theories of autism treatment. As they say, the ball is in your ballpark for citations.

    If you want to achieve some success on this blog, stop derailing each and every discussion (the subject of this discussion are cell phones and cell towers), stay on point and organize your thoughts in coherent sentences so that Orac doesn’t have to warn you about “moderation”. Otherwise, you will be treated and derided for your one-trick-pony “theories” and we will classify you as just another crank Thingy-like troll.

  190. #191 Jacob
    June 8, 2011

    @ lilady:

    I forgive you.

    If you are a medical professional and you are interested or suspicious about medical cannabis, then why don’t you contact Dr Bob Melamede?
    I doubt he can tell you a UCI study, we all have to wait for that to be written up.
    Dr Bob will I’m sure be able to tell you about his company’s cannabis based autism treatment.

    http://www.cannabisscience.com/news-a-media/press-releases/227-cbis-negotiates-several-commercialization-deals.html

  191. #192 lilady
    June 9, 2011

    @ Jacob: You forgive me!!! LOL.

    I see nothing at the link you provided for treatment of autism with cannabis. The link discusses a “revolutionary” treatment/cure for cancer.

    Before you leap to cancer as your primary diagnosis, consider getting a storefront “pain doctor’s” diagnosis of lower back pain. Even if the Oxycontin you score at the storefront doc-in-the box, is not your drug of choice, I believe you can do a “street exchange” for pot.

    Have you tried snorting, smoking or injecting bath salts? I hear that is the latest street high…now that aerosols and airplane model glue is under lock and key at local hardware stores.

  192. #193 Jacob
    June 9, 2011

    @lilady:

    My doctor and I did actually discuss the option of oxycontin, so that I may swap it for cannabis. We were being jocular of course! That was last summer, and if we’d done it for real that would be fraud. How do you know about that scam? Are you an Oxycontin addict?

    No I have not used ‘bath salts’ but I have worked with recovering users of ‘bath salts’ from their ‘poly-drug abuse’ situations. They mix four or five drugs at a time these days! Rather tricky to work with. That’s why you prefer to put them in prison rather than treating them, because it’s simply too much of a challenge. Can’t say I blame you.

    It’s a dirty job but somebody has to do it.

  193. #194 W. Kevin Vicklund
    June 9, 2011

    Trying to find a cannabis based autism treatment at the site Jacob linked to?

    Search Keyword autism

    Total: 0 results found.

  194. #195 lilady
    June 9, 2011

    In Jacob’s world, he sees autism on every site he links to.
    He has also participated in “many” studies and now claims he “works with recovering users of bath salts….” as a drug counselor???

    In his alleged mind, he’s the master of the universe…pathetic.

  195. #196 Jacob
    June 9, 2011

    Kevin, you won’t find it, they had to withdraw the PR so that they could re-release it to coincide with the release of the UCI study. CBIS are the company who standardised the extracts for the study.

    You can still find lots of copied of the original withdrawn PR. Here’s an example of one of the hundreds out there: http://groups.google.com/group/nyc.announce/browse_thread/thread/52b4b12942ec3b20?pli=1

    It’s not fake. I’m not fake. lilady you are being silly. Stop it at once.

    Full text:

    Cannabis Science and The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A)
    Partner to Advance Successful Cannabis-based Autism Treatments
    Last Update: 3/17/2011 8:57:03 AM
    Cannabis Science and The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A)
    Partner to Advance Successful Cannabis-based Autism Treatments
    Results Documented By Health Care Professionals At The University of
    California Irvine Medical Center (UCI), Dr. Melamede to join UF4A
    Board
    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Mar 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Cannabis
    Science, Inc. (CBIS), a pioneering US biotech company developing
    pharmaceutical cannabis products, is pleased to announce the
    partnership with The Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A) to
    build on the Foundation’s success with its proprietary cannabinoid
    formulations for Autism treatment. The partnership will focus on
    advancing the medical cannabis treatments for Autism in conjunction
    with the successful cannabis treatments of Joey and 10 other families
    that are now being documented by The University of California Irvine
    Medical Center (UCI) for the Foundation.
    These successful Autism treatments and pioneering efforts of Joey’s
    Mom, Mieko Hester Perez, can be fully reviewed at .
    Mieko and the successful treatment of her son has garnered wide-
    spread
    media interest including television appearances and interviews with
    KABC 7 – Los Angeles & San Francisco, 20/20 ABC, Good Morning
    America,
    Fox Morning News, Fox News Rhode Island, CBS Early Show, KCAL 9 & CBS
    2 Los Angeles, The Doctor’s TV Show, KABC 790 w/ Peter Tilden, Montel
    Williams, The Tom Joyner Show, The Kim Frasier Show w/ Dr. Lester
    Grinspoon, The Bill Press Show, NORML’s Podcast w/ Russ Belville,
    Thomasina Tafur radio show. Featured interviews: Autism Spectrum
    Magazine, Treating yourself Magazine, Huffington Post, Autism Spot,
    Celebstoner, disability scoop, Autism Support Network, Kush Magazine
    August 2010 Issue Cover, High Times Medical Marijuana Magazine Winter
    2011 Issue, Treating yourself Magazine (Joey’s sibling interviewed
    Issue #23, Weed World UK Issue #89, Now Magazine UK Publications,
    Medical Cannabis Journal Issue, LA JEMM – Ethical Use of Medical
    Marijuana in the Treatment of Children with Autism, Orange County
    Register, California, The Revolution – Argentina publication. 2010
    Recognized by the National Organization to Reform Marijauna Laws
    Woman’s Alliance as one of the woman making history in the medical
    marijuana movement.
    Mieko Hester Perez, Founder and Executive Director of The
    Unconventional Foundation for Autism (UF4A) stated, “We believe that
    this new partnership with Cannabis Science will give us additional
    push and resources required to advance our Autism research. To date,
    we have already partnered with the University of California Irvine
    Medical Center to oversee our cannabis-based Autism research.
    Included
    in this group of advisors is the Dean of Medicine at UCI, and child
    psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca Hedrick M.D. Dr. Melamede of Cannabis
    Science
    will be an outstanding addition to the Board of the Foundation. His
    extensive knowledge of cannabinoid science should prove invaluable in
    our mission.”
    As part of the new partnership, Dr. Robert Melamede, CEO of Cannabis
    Science, will be joining the board of UF4A as a scientific advisor.
    Dr. Melamede will work with UF4A to further assist in documenting the
    case studies and oversee the deployment of the Company’s proprietary
    cannabinoid treatments on Autism patients alongside UF4A and medical
    professionals. He will also work with UF4A’s legal advisors to
    progress the legalization of medical marijuana initiatives.
    Dr. Robert Melamede Ph.D., Cannabis Science Inc., President & CEO,
    stated, “Cannabis Science’s partnership with UF4A is another
    instrumental step in reaching our long-term goal of FDA approval of
    the Company’s products. The successful results from the Autism
    patients treated as documented by UF4A are very encouraging and we’re
    excited to tap into UF4A’s proven track record; providing our
    scientific expertise to help develop more refined treatment plans
    with
    Cannabis Science’s formulations and extracts to achieve
    scientifically
    accepted patient outcomes. I’m also extremely excited to be working
    with the medical professionals at the University of California
    Irvine.
    This is a win-win for both our organizations in breaking new ground
    for medical cannabis treatments. Our partnership will enable both our
    Company and UF4A to expound upon studies and anecdotal evidence
    obtained by UF4A in order to catalogue verified case studies and
    solid
    science behind the treatment plans. This evidentiary step will help
    the UF4A and Cannabis Science partnership to move towards formal FDA
    testing to officially approve UF4A’s successful treatments of Autism
    using medical cannabinoid extracts and formulations under the
    direction of physicians. ”
    UF4A Case Studies
    Mieko Hester-Perez and her son “Joey” have inspired many additional
    parents with autistic children to step forward. Studies are underway
    with these children with oversight from Child & Adolescent
    Psychiatrist Dr. Rebecca M. Hedrick, M.D.
    Dr. Hedrick is a child and adolescent emergency attending physician
    and covers the consult liaison service at UCI Medical. She runs a
    child and adolescent outpatient psychotherapy and medication
    management program. She also works with the Regional Center of Orange
    County in the treatment of individuals with developmental
    disabilities.
    Associate Training Director, Psychiatry & Human Behavior School of
    Medicine M.D., Phone: (714) 456-8775 Fax: (714) 456-7605 Email:
    rhedr…@uci.edu
    About UF4A
    The Unconventional Foundation for Autism, UF4A for short, is a non-
    profit organization. The mission of UF4A is three fold: (1) to raise
    awareness and support for families afflicted with this mysterious and
    misunderstood condition known as Autism; (2) to raise funds for
    cannabis-based medical research and clinical trials; and (3) to
    campaign for a rescheduling of cannabis from Schedule 1 narcotic (no
    accepted medical benefits) to a lower schedule so that the
    appropriate
    research may be conducted, and so that all patients have access to
    medication. A listing on Schedule 1 is tantamount to a research
    blockade and, frankly, is unacceptable where millions continue to
    needlessly suffer and subject to criminal punishment should they
    choose to use cannabis under the direction of their physician. The
    Schedule 1 listing fails to reflect the prevailing medical view that
    cannabis has accepted medical benefits. UF4A is quickly becoming a
    leading advocate in the fight for nationwide investigation, research
    and analysis of the legalization of Medical Marijuana.
    The partnership promises to advance the innovative medical autism
    research headed by Executive Director Mieko Hester- Perez. The
    Unconventional Foundation Autism’s partnership focus is to bridge the
    gap between parents, scientists, and medical professionals to provide
    a better quality of life for our children diagnosed with the
    misunderstood condition known as Autism.
    About Cannabis Science, Inc.
    Cannabis Science, Inc. is at the forefront of pharmaceutical grade
    medical marijuana research and development. The Company works with
    world authorities on phytocannabinoid science targeting critical
    illnesses, and adheres to scientific methodologies to develop,
    produce
    and commercialize phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products. In
    sum, we are dedicated to the creation of cannabis-based medicines,
    both with and without psychoactive properties, to treat disease and
    the symptoms of disease, as well as for general health maintenance.
    Forward Looking Statements
    Forward Looking Statements; This Press Release includes forward-
    looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the
    Securities
    Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. A
    statement
    containing works such as “anticipate,” “seek,” intend,” “believe,”
    “plan,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “plan,” or similar phrases
    may be deemed “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the
    Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Some or all of the
    events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may
    not occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences
    include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of
    competition, and the Company’s reliance on existing regulations
    regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis
    Science, Inc. does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to
    update
    the results of these forward-looking statements.
    SOURCE: Cannabis Science, Inc.
    Copyright Business Wire 2011

  196. #197 Jacob
    June 9, 2011

    lilady this is a copy of the last email I got back from Prof SBC. He would have been able to access that link back in April.

    from Professor Simon Baron-Cohen ****@cam.ac.uk
    to ARC < ****@gmail.com>
    date 2 April 2011 00:23
    subject Re: CBIS & UF4A [via ARC website]
    mailed-by hermes.cam.ac.uk
    Important mainly because it was sent directly to you.
    hide details 2 Apr
    thanks jacob. fascinating! best, simon bc

    On Mar 21 2011, ARC wrote:

    emailName:
    Jacob ******

    Email:
    ****@gmail.com

    emailMessage:
    Dear Simon,

    You may or may not remember me, I took part in the mind reading software experiment.

    Have you seen: http: //www.cannabisscience.com/news-a-media/press-releases/ 222-cbis-and-the-unconventional-foundation-for-autism. html

    Mieko Hester Perez is about to make a Documentary with the UK Discovery channel, starting next week.

    GW Pharma who make Sativex might be interested in some sort of collaboration I imagine.
    http: //www. gwpharm.com/ Sativex. aspx

    There is even a facebook group, ‘Cannabis for Autism’ which has some 300+ links on the subject!

    Hope you are well, all the best

    Regards,
    Jacob


    ————————————————————
    Simon Baron-Cohen, FBA
    Professor of Developmental Psychopathology,
    Director,
    Autism Research Centre,
    Cambridge University,
    Douglas House, 18B Trumpington Rd,
    Cambridge CB2 8AH, UK.
    Tel 01223 746057 Fax 01223 746033,
    http://www.autismresearchcentre.com

  197. #198 Lawrence
    June 10, 2011

    Ummmmm…Jacob, “mind-reading experiment?” Really?

  198. #199 Jacob
    June 10, 2011

    Yes Lawrence, or ‘Reading the mind with the eyes’ to be precise.

    I’ve still got my free copy of the software. Anyone want a copy?
    Lawrence if you think I imagined it, you are clutching at straws, really.
    Sometimes things just are what they are.

    I just told a huge group of schoolgirls (over age 16) that there will be no more adults lying to teenagers about drugs. They are going to tell their parents.

    I get it. I’m right, so you keep fishing for proof in the hope I will give away my real identity so you can track me down and explain properly with your boots?

    Really, my audience thinks you are beginning to look really sad, silly, and resistant to even looking at ‘the competition’.

  199. #200 Jacob
    June 10, 2011

    lillady, Damn, you found me and my alleged mind cult. You must be psychic!

    Master of the Uncademic Universe Cult Search Results.

    Ok I admit it, I am master of universe and I am working it bigtime. mamasatya x

  200. #201 Jacob
    June 10, 2011

    lilady, I have to ask you, did you know that those search results would come up when you presented me with those two very clear ‘keys’ (incongruous with your regular style so I suspect you have tried to insert a suggestion in order to attempt to derail me and loose me in the Book of Daniel, or word salad, or things unmentionable)?

    http://www.twelvetribes.com/ friends of yours? Were you fishing for new members?

  201. #202 llilady
    June 10, 2011

    @ Lawrence: Aren’t we just dying to know the real identity of the troll…not!

    Jacob is not a drug counselor, is paranoid, “gaming the system” and still addicted to one of more “street drugs”.

    A b.s. artist who probably trolls the internet for “school girls over the age of 16″ (past the age where they are legally entitled to “give consent”; degenerate bastard.

  202. #203 Jacob
    June 10, 2011

    llilady you are making far to many assumptions. Here, let me help you:

    I said: No I have not used ‘bath salts’ but I have worked with recovering users of ‘bath salts’ from their ‘poly-drug abuse’ situations.
    You put up the strawman argument that ‘I claim to be a drug councillor’ so that you can knock down your own fallacy.
    Or is it that ‘Counselling’ is the only therapy that is properly researched and approved for the recovery of poly-drug users?
    You make another error, in that you assume I said what I said to those girls online. I was actually outdoors in the real world and I said it to their faces in the flesh. Something you are too paranoid to do yourself!

    They really, really liked what I said. Even I could see that ;)

    Think. Work harder.

  203. #204 JayK
    June 10, 2011

    @lilady: Who knew pedobear was a stoner?

  204. #205 Jacob
    June 10, 2011

    Yes Jay, more female admirers than you could possibly imagine.

  205. #206 lilady
    June 10, 2011

    @ Jacob: Are you dyslexic as well? I never said you used bath salts and you stated you “worked” with recovering users of bath salts. I merely made the observation that you are unqualified to “work” with or counsel drug abusers or recovering drug abusers…being that you are still addicted to pot and other drugs.

    You’ve fried your brain due to your multiple long-standing addictions…I’ve counseled drug abusers and know only too well your line of b.s. and your deranged thinking processes…and your “audience” is only in your mind.

  206. #207 Jacob
    June 11, 2011

    @lilady,

    Yes you did make that mistake. Don’t lie and don’t try to backtrack.
    No you CANNOT prove that cannabis is addictive or that I am an addict.
    I do not know of any medicine or drug to which I am ‘addicted’
    I prefer to rely on cannabis as a pallieative treatment for autism. Preference is not even dependency, let alone addiction.
    Tell me, what qualification does one need in order to be able to ‘work with’ drug abusers?
    Lilady, the only leg you have to stand on is the fake one that you made up about me.
    Are you challenging the audience to come and help you out here? ;)

    David and Jay are gone, you’re being dumb on your own now.

    Face facts, I may not know your identity, but other people in your industry will recognise you and they will see two possibilities:

    a) Jacob is as lilady says or,
    b) Jacob is genuine.

    If b, lilady, you should not have a job that involves neurodiversity within 2 years by my reckoning. It will take 2 years to get rid of you.

  207. #208 Jacob
    June 11, 2011

    You said, in jocularity, Have you tried snorting, smoking or injecting bath salts? I hear that is the latest street high..

    Which isn’t very funny when you know the harm that methedrone can cause. You make it sound attractive to teenagers. You have no idea what you are doing.

    The UK 2010/11 government drug strategy, ‘Reducing demand, restricting supply, building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life.’

  208. #209 Orac
    June 11, 2011

    Note that morphing to avoid my moderation filters is a bannable offense. You have done this twice now.

  209. #210 lilady
    June 11, 2011

    Jacob: Why don’t you just go away. I grow weary of trying to understand what you are saying and your insatiable need for attention.

    Hint: “other people in my industry (not an industry but health care profession) DO recognize me” (and) know that lilady nailed the troll to the wall.

  210. #211 Billy Goat Gruff
    June 12, 2011

    @lilady STOP feeding the troll. There’s no point in answering any of his posts.

    @orac Do your job, and ban this troll (jacob).

    By feeding the troll, you are only doing more harm than good, both to him and this blog.

  211. #212 delurked lurker
    June 12, 2011

    @211 Billy Goat Gruff

    Agreed to everything you said. lilady please stop as I don’t know whats worse, the banal blatherings of the drug addled fool or your constant baiting.

    Orac please please do the right thing and ban him.

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