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May 17, 2010

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Jody

I think you are overracting. It seems that the conclusion to the study was that there was no conclusion. There are some odd results, but they are all within the margin of error.

But in any case, you are mistaken about the transmissions from the phone. It is not transmitting at the same level all the time. Most of the time the phone and its transmitter are sleeping.

This is extremely easy to see with a GSM phone and unshielded speakers. You will hear the "chirp, chirp" only every few minutes when the phone is idle. But when you are talking it is almost continuous. When using data it is somewhere in between depending on the amount of data being transmitted.

arild

Having quickly read a bit about this study, like you I do not have the full report, it seems that this study has exactly the same problem as several previous studies. It relies on people remembering how much they used the phone. Firstly our memories are notoriously unreliable: A well known study on memory easily managed to make people believe they had seen Bugs Bunny at Disneyland, something that is not possible, as this character belongs to Warner Brothers: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=98195

And due to the fact that they would have known what the research is about, this introduces what in the social sciences is known as "auspices bias". That is, as they know the reason for the study they try to "please" the researcher by fitting in with what they suspect is the reason for the study, which affects their responses.

Also, with as serious a condition as brain tumour, we all would think "why me", this is a normal human reaction (which is why so many religions were invented). We are not very good at accepting the randomness of life, which again means we might exaggerate our memories of mobile use as it would "explain" our condition.

Also (speaking as a sociologist here) everything has trends and fashions, and cancer is certainly a key issue in the developing world, an illness that is frequently terminal, so it scares us. Hence a lot of research goes on, that often finds "links" between certain activities and cancer. See for instance this (rather amusing list) of what the British tabloid newspaper Daily Mail reports as "causing" cancer: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=269512464297

A key problem here is "link". If someone has used a mobile phone for more than half an hour a few years ago (assuming their memories of the usage is correct) it would indicate they were business people as charges per minute were very high. If so, there might have been other issues making them prone to brain cancer (diet, sleep patterns etc). The mobile phone use is simple associated with the same life style.

All of this is not to say that one should not research and try to find out more, one should, but we need to improve the research methods, currently they are unreliable and prone to errors and not really proving anything.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Jody and arild

Thanks for the comments, both of you. Will respond to both individually

Jody - good points and yes, there are clearly inconclusive findings, but if you look at the quotes from the actual researchers (not those experts who comment on the study) - this is very clearly a big change in what the reserachers say, compared to all the previous studies so far. All previous studies concluded quite clearly 'no link found at all' but this study found clearly some evidence of increased risk for that group with heavy usage. Yes, then there is confusing data, so we may be luckly, that future research proves this study was flawed and there is no link after all. I will be most happy to report that. But equally, this is the first time the researchers themselves report for one group an increased level of risk. That to me, is an alarming finding, don't you think?

It may be Jody as you were first to comment, that when you read this blog it didn't have that actual quote from the leader of the study. Please read that and re-consider, should we really dismiss this?

I had been very comfortable up to yesterday to say unequivocably to anyone anywhere, who asked, 'Tomi, is there a cancer risk to mobile phones' - that there have been many studies and every one of them had found no risk. Today I can no longer say that. This study did find some level of increased risk for heavy users (even if that study is found to be faulty in its methodology, I am not expert enough in medical studies to make that determination haha, that is what scientific peer review is for haha)

About the radio transmission. Thanks. I do recall that rather strongly from my last cellular telecoms training I had at Oxford a few years ago, that the phone transmits 'several thousand times per second' (you know how some things stick in your mind) and I was pretty sure that was at all times, not just when we talk. Now, that was 3G cellular training and my GSM training was so far ages ago, I honestly do not recall at all. Are you sure about it (for GSM)? And do you happen to know if that is so also for 3G ie WCDMA? I have launched the discussion thread at forum Oxford and hope to gain expert commentary there as well. I will bring it here for us if and when.

arild - thanks. I hear you, and your reasons all seem very sensible and plausible and reasonable. There are many reasons why the findings may be suspect. But.. the results could have been 'we found no evidence' - as all previous studies have concluded. This time they said 'we have inconclusive evidence' which is obviously different. And then, they say that their data for the heavy user group did show an increased risk of cancer. Now, just like I wrote to Jody - if we find later, that the methodology was flawed, and this finding was an error - then obviously future research, done 'properly' will reveal the truth and that there is no link. However, even if the methodology was found to be flawed, its possible that insipite of problems in methodology, this research was the first to expose a heightened risk due to long exposure.

As we know from other radiation research (at far greater dosages but over shorter periods of testing), there is a fairly consistent pattern that almost any tested frequencies and types of radiation will increase cancer risks if the amounts are big enough. In mobile phone types of radio usage, the previous studies on rats found some quite astronomical over-dosage levels like 20x the output of maximum allowed by phones, over an hour a day or something like that, which did cause cancer in rats. But those levels were impossible to be had in a normally funcitoning phone even if we used it 24 hours a day haha..

But yes, radiation does cause cancer. The point up to now was, that no study anywhere, suggested that any normal usage level of mobile phones at their modest power output had any measured increase in cancer rates. This study did for the first time find that kind of evidence.

Yes, the methodology may have been faulty. I am hoping future research clearly proves this to have been a wrong conclusion to draw and that phones are totally safe. But this is the first time this finding was made, I am concernced now. I do think this can be like the first finding about cigarettes - it was a common view among doctors even, around the time of the second world war and before, that cigarettes were not just 'not dangerous' - that they were actually healthy haha... and obviously we've since learned that the cigarette industry was aware of health risks for years and hid the findings.

I know one study does not a fact prove, haha, but this is a bad sign for us today. We have to wait for more studies, but certainly I am taking this that seriously that I am changing my phone behavior. Even if its only a 'contributing' factor to cancer in the end (like many of your examples) - haha, I have many of those other causes too, an irregular lifestyle of heavy travel, bad sleep, stress etc - so yeah, I want to diminish all my risks of cancer haha, including now, unfortunately, my fave toys...

Thank you both for writing. I do hope this turns out to be an anomaly among research and future research reveals there is no risk..

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Alexander Gödde

Maybe a bit early to react so strongly regarding this study. As to studies generally - I heard a podcast about a journalist (from Harper's?) who found that there was a funding bias to previous studies, i.e. studies funded by the mobile phone industry tended to find that there was no correlation, while others (a lot of them, presumably, funded by groups critical of mobile phones)did find correlations. So if you want to worry, there was reason before.
Still, of course it is best to be careful and limit your exposure.
Regarding the amount of radiation a phone creates in standby: The fact that when left in standby, in a place with good reception, a phone's battery can last for days, while even the strongest ones are exhausted after a few hours of talking would strongly indicate that the radio transmissions are less during that time. Sure, there is overhead for processing of voice data, speaker etc., but not enough to explain a difference of more than an order of magnitude.
The problem here are probably not regular phones in stand-by, but smartphones with always-connected applications such as VoIP. My phone's battery easily lasts a few days if I turn off my VoIP client, but often just a day if I keep it running. Like many people, I am not easily willing to give up the extra connectivity.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out if the study is conclusive, and how much of an added risk of illness people will be willing to trade for connectivity. Since our mobile phones have become so much of a part of our daily lives, I think the scare would need to be pretty big. I for one cannot imagine a life without a mobile phone anymore (and in the way mobile phones find their way into memories of times when there were none, this seems to be at quite a deep conceptual level).

Robin Wilton

Hi Tomi - Thanks for your balanced post on this new research material.

Just a couple of comments on your recommendations; a couple of the ideas you suggest have been around for a while. I remember in the late 80s/early 90s thinking the same as you: (i) an earpiece would keep the phone further from my brain, and (ii) what about some tinfoil shielding.

More technical colleagues (I was at IBM at the time) were sceptical. Like you, I'm going to offer a disclaimer here; this is only anecdotal, and I have no evidence either way: (i) apparently in some cases the earpiece and cable were found to act as an antenna and, essentially, "carry" the phone's radiation directly to the ear. (ii) Tinfoil/shielding, under some circumstances, actually caused the phone to increase its emissions, as it had more difficulty maintaining a strong signal to the nearest base station.

As I say, please take these comments with a pinch of salt; scientific fact and "common sense" expectations do not always agree...

chip_mk

Typical tech specification of a contemporary mobile phone states something like ‘up to 630 h (2G) stand-by time and up to 12 h talk time’. I doubt the difference in power consumption would be so big if the radio transmission keeps going even in the stand-by mode.

Since the talk time is typically much shorter over 3G connection I guess 3G transmission produces proportionally higher radiation level. I switch to 3G only when I need to transfer many MB of data. Rest of the time I stay on 2G.

Chip

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Alexander, Robin and chip_mk

Thank you guys for great comments.

Alexander - good points. Obviously in this case, as this study was funded partially by the mobile industry - then if they can cause bias in the finding, the 'truth' might be worse than in the finding? But also, honestly - I have been trying 'diligently' to monitor this space (as I have promised my relatives in Finland several of whom have young kids) and I have read the press reporting at least of every 'significant' study that has crossed the news threshold, globally. And up to now, while many said 'may have effects that future studies may uncover' not one (that was otherwse credible, university etc study, reasonable sample size, academic peer review reported etc) had found facts to support a link with cancer and phone use (in humans, one weird study had huge radiation levels far in excess of phones, which did find cancer in rats).

My point is, this - even with its cautious tone and 'inconclusive' final opinion, does find for the first time some connection. To me that is 'total' change where all previous studies - including at least a dozen previous findings from this same group - found always 'no data to support cancer from mobile'.. this study finding is different. I am hoping it turns out to be some statistical anomaly etc, or that the study process indeed somehow corrupted the data as many analysts in the various reported stories had tried to explain.

Thanks about the radiation, I have been hearing that from several sources. I have to go edit the blog.

Agree with point 'will be interesting to see how much people willing to trade' their cancer risk to the utility of the phone. I am not in any way suggesting we should stop using them haha - but also, I do hope I have the integrity, that if we find as strong evidence in some years, as cigarettes were proven to be killers - that I can also come strongly against the industry. Obviously we all hope that will never happen haha...

Robin - thanks! Wonderful stuff, yes, I hear you, we're a bit like the blind leading the blind on this, but great points - yeah, just what we need, an antenna to focus all the radiation into the ear haha, or yeah, enclose the phone inside tinfoil only to find its intelligence jack up the radiation output haha... Both sound very reasonable. I am hopeful we'll have some 'real engineer' advice coming over at Forum Oxford for example to help sort out the silliness and the potentially helpful advice. I will edit the blog to clean out all of my dumb ideas when any are verified to be counterproductive or useless haha.. I really laughed about the antenna part, yeah, good call Mr Telephone man, now my doctor tells me that I have cancer in my ear.... (shouldn't make fun of cancer, sorry..)

Chip - thanks. Yeah, seeming very similar advice from many sources, I think I do have to edit that part of the story. Thanks!

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Mike Stead

1. Modern 3G mobiles emit sometimes thousands of times *less* power than 2G ones to maintain a signal. They have to, or UMTS networks simply don't work. So any study *must* take into account the different network and handset types involved. Someone talking for 12 minutes in a London flat 100m from the nearest BTS will be using about a gnat's testicle worth of power compared to someone in a suburban USA house on a 2G network.

2. The idea of the earpiece acting as an antenna is bogus. Some handsets use it as an FM antenna for RECEIVING the signal. None use it to emit the signal.

3. Covers or cases or shields are also utterly bogus. Anything that can block the signal causes the phone to increase its power output to compensate. These are sold by snakeoil salesmen.

4. Mobile phone manufacturers and network hardware vendors spend literally billions engineering their networks, devices and the global standards to keep the transmitted power in both directions to an absolute minimum. This is mostly to preserve the battery (and therefore keep paying customers connected!), then to preserve valuable spectrum, then to decrease BTS power consumption. The algorithms involved in power control of 3G networks are literally rocket science - I have foot-thick manuals in my loft from a former life as a mobile network RF engineer to prove it.

5. The link will be tenuous, if it exists. I can prove 100% that eating tomatoes will kill you, as 100% of people who eat tomatoes die. Hang on, was that cause and effect? Maybe not. I would hope that the study had effectively removed all confounding elements like socio-economics, age, diet, environment, other technologies used (DECT handsets at 2.4GHz get FAR more use than mobiles in modern houses). Etc, etc.


The risk to your children from going to the playground is FAR FAR higher than any mobile could ever be. Every year hundreds of children around the world die in playground accidents, many thousands more are disabled for life. But we accept this risk in trade for the joy and benefits from physical activity that playgrounds bring. Ditto cycling. Or any other activity.

The media will seek to sell lots of papers, generate lots of hits etc on this. The cry "Will no-one think of the children!" will echo for years. The perfect mix of a ubiquitous technology, apparent risk to innocent children, something *forced* on you by your council allowing the installation of a mobile mast nearby, and the involvement of massive business is a perfect storm for media outrage.

I despair, I really do. But I'm not worried one jot about letting my wife or children use mobiles.

Mike

Sami

Wow, lots of points to make. I will probably miss many and repeat what others have already said, but:

1) As already pointed out, the phones do not emit nearly as much radiation when "idle" than when speaking; the standby time-vs-talk time figures give you a rough estimate on the differences between transmit levels.

2) The vast majority of scientific studies end up officially as "inconclusive" since the proof for something like this really has to be airtight. That they have raised concerns about increased usage causing cancer is, indeed, a cause for concern. But not panic.

3) The usage of a handsfree headset has been mentioned as a way of avoiding radiation; I believe it does, but it was also mentioned that it possibly also acts as an antenna / conduit for the radiation in some circumstances. I don't know if this is actually the case, but just to be sure I could recommend Bluetooth headsets. Bluetooth maximum transmit power is far less than the cellular.

4) 3G maximum transmit power is less than on 2G, but Mike's point on "Modern 3G mobiles emit sometimes thousands of times *less* power than 2G ones to maintain a signal" is not true. While 3G transmission powers are generally less than 2G, the difference is not "thousands" of times. Check out the maximum transmit power levels of various devices on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DBm - most 3G devices are power class 3, i.e. have max transmit power of 250mW. And, of course, it is important to remember the devices rarely transmit at maximum power. In comparison, Bluetooth headsets have maximum transmit power of 2.5mW - a hundredfold difference. WLAN falls in between BT and cellular, but is much closer to Bluetooth.

5) Believe it or not, it actually IS possible for low levels of radiation to be good for you and high levels bad. UV radiation is a good example.

6) Arild's point on that the users must have been business people if they used the phone a lot a few years back is not true; cellphone charges have been quite reasonable for 10 years or more in many countries. Also, Arild's point on reporting bias after having been diagnosed with a tumor cannot apply if the study was constructed even half-

Sid

A few things about power and radiation that need to be considered from the technical point of view:

GSM - GSM Radio behaviour uses frequency hopping. So the phone itself does not stick to one frequency for a large period of time.

3G - Not only is UMTS radio power much lower than GSM, but it is also spread spectrum, not concentrating on any specific frequency (UMTS is spread across 5Mhz).

Both of those behaviours, combined with the fact that the wavelengths typically used do not correspond to size of human cells, make it very hard for mobile phones to have an effect. But nothing is impossible.

Not having the study methodology in front of me, the standard study statistical disclaimer should apply: "correlation does not imply causation". How do we know it isn't raising your hand to the ear for more than 30mins/day that's causing the slightly positive results? As a distant theory, maybe that constricts blood-flow to the brain in a way that affects cancer forming cells?

Romain Criton

@Tomi
about wi-fi: since wi-fi transmit less power than cellular, it should be less dangerous
about wrapping The phone in tinfoil: won't help you much since The phone Will have to transmit at a higher power
what would protect you would be to wrap YOURSELf in tinfoil... or at least your most sensitive parts... Think tinfoil hat, tinfoil shirt or.... tinfoil underpants...

@Mike Stead, regarding your point #2
whereas it is correct that no phone uses the earpiece wire as an antenna, it is actually true that The wire can unvoluntarily act as an antenna emitting cellular signal, so this is absolutely not bogus. You see, antenna work both ways: so if the wire can receive signals, as in your FM radio example, it can also emit rf signals
now i don't know exactly how much of The cellular rf Power The earpiece may transmit, so i can't tell if it is equivalent to holding The phone to your ear

Jody

I think I'll go with the BBC one this one.

"No proof of mobile cancer risk, major study concludes", http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8685839.stm

Plus there is also this little fact that they mention, "There is no known biological mechanism by which mobiles could cause cancer". Remember that the "radiation" from a mobile phone is electromagnetic. This is totally different from the ionizing radiation that typically causes DNA damage.

Of course the spread of mobile technology is easily traceable as Tomi has been analysing for years. And countries usually track cases of cancer. So it is a simple matter to do an epidemiological study that tracks rates of both over time. If there is any increase in brain tumours over time then it should relate directly to the market penetration of mobiles by each country. And this is easy to do and the fact that it has never been reported makes me believe there is no link to be found.

Jody

I should have read the BBC article more fully.

"The overall rate of brain cancer has not risen in countries where use has long been prevalent - like Sweden, and studies have mostly found no evidence of an increased risk. This latest research is consistent with this."

Alex Birkhead

Hi Tomi, Kudos for putting this and yourself out. Hopefully, something you'll be able to raise a wry smile over one day, but the big C is definitely something to be better safe than sorry. Good comments, too.

Tomi T Ahonen

Hi Mike, Sami, Sid, Romain, Jody (twice) and Alex

First just a general observation to all - did you notice that the press now report that this final report of the study has been argued about by the researchers for ..six years.. until they got the wording so that all agree. I think again, there is more to this, if it was an easy obvious case of nothing to it, why couldn't they resolve the wording in a month or two or three. Six years of argument? I do sense a little bit of a stink somewhere underneath haha.. hoping its just me haha and my suspicious mind :-)

About comments, great stuff, thank you all!

Mike - thanks. I really appreciate the technical stuff and I also understand your 'despair'. I trust you understand my view too. Up to now, we've had the quarterly media scare on some slow news day, when some clueless journalist has picked up some published phone-cancer study and reported in big headlines, experts say phones cause cancer. And when I've hunted down who said what in what study, we have always found that the study was totally clear, no evidence whatsoever, and the only recommendation was that a further longer study was recommended - or that some expert who was not part of the study disagreed and said the sky is falling. But the studies have been CLEAR and conclusive, no harm.

This study - which I have not yet read obviously but hope to do - according to published reports found 40% increase in one type of brain tumors and 15% increase in the other type of brain tumor - but only for the heavy user group. This is the first time any study on humans has found any such data. The researchers have spent the last 6 years arguing how to present the data, which says something. Its not clear-cut. Now, its two possibilities - one, that there is no harm in reality, and this is a mistake. In that case, ok, this one blog took a day out of my life considering the rushing around to read several dozen press stories about it, launching two Forum Oxford threads on it, and the blog here and our discussions. I think out of my effort, that is not a big cost, considering the only alternative.

It is equally possible that this finding did for the first time uncover a previously unknown risk - remember there was a time when legitimate scientists and doctors thought cigarette smoking actually had a positive effect on health. So in the case that if there actually is a risk, then that will be revealed in follow-up studies, and some day we would be as sure of phone effects to cancer as we today are of cigarette smoking. Its either or. Either there is no effect - and future studies will show, or there is an effect and this was the watershed moment. I do think I needed to make that blog and also, that this time 'it is different' from all those earlier truly false alarms where some clueless journo had massacred the truth... Make sense?

Sami - thanks once again to you and technical details, and also for your similar reply at Forum Oxford. I knew I could count on you haha.. (you note I had already posted an update to the blog, I will do another later when I have collected all the different comments here and at the Forum)

Sid - thanks. Thank you for the technical stuff, and for the commentary about causality and correlation. I am also going to be somewhat 'lazy' about the topic here in the sense, that I don't think its a 'mobile money consultant' job to rigorously examine the methodology of the scientists involved. Their work has been published and its the job of other health research scientists to expose any weaknesses in their methodology and conclusions haha (although I do want to read the study). I will happily let the real experts explain where the errors are if any, and what an independent peer review of the published findings will conclude - and report on those when we get those of course.

Romain - great point about tin-foil haha loved the tin-foil underpants (makes me think of David Letterman jokes haha, "I'm not wearing pants!"). Hey, I meant not to wrap the phone, but to use a tin foil 'shield' on the 'body side' in the pocket of where I keep the phone. In my case rather easy, as I have my passport in the same pocket - so not to wrap the phone - or myself - but to just add a sheet of tinfoil but keeping it permanently between the phone and me. Good idea or silly science?

Jody - great comments thanks. Good point about early adopter markets should have higher rate (I used that argument myself when the crazy 'bees are confused by mobile towers' story spread what a year or two ago). Makes very much sense.

But I read that BBC article too, and earlier BBC had a different news item on it. The point I see in several of the stories is that 40% increase in brain tumors - on the side that the person holds his phone - of one type and 15% of the other type, in heavy users. This finding then is explained away by the researchers in the conclusions 'as inconclusive'. They do not say 'did not occur' or 'was definitely not' the cause. I do think that BBC article is again taking too general a sweeping statement. It does bug me that I haven't read the actual published article yet, but there were enough published quotes by the actual researchers involved including the study's director, that I would not be able to conclude as the BBC did that there is no proof. But again, I appreciate it that you posted the link and yes, that is clearly what the BBC says now. Meanwhile, when CNN first reported it, CNN said no proof. Now CNN today said the same study has said there is a risk among heavy users. I think the press themselves are having a very hard time with this story haha..

Alex - thanks! Yeah, hope this will be something we can laugh about some day.

Tomi Ahonen :-)

Romain Criton

@tomi
yes the tinfoil shield will probably greatly reduce body exposure to rf, however this will still degrade the reception. I don't know exactly how much, but having worked at a mobile phone manufacturer (in sw, not rf Team), i remember how sensitive is a phone to outside perturbation. For instance they had once to subtly change the mechanical design so as to avoid that the user rests his finger on the antenna while calling, which hampered the reception. Or they also had to change the back cover a little in order to slightly prop up The phone when it layed on a flat surface like a table, again to improve reception. Seems like Rf engineering is more art and magic than a science...

Rita El Khoury

Hello Tommi,

As I pointed to you on Twitter, your statement "It cannot possibly be that 'little amounts of radiation is good for you but only in moderation' haha like with many food products" gives the pharmacist/medical researcher in me a little itch.

Before I go on to explain my POV, let it be known that I still haven't read that study fully to see what the fuss is all about.

Back onto the topic, you point a linear relation between dosage and effect. If only it was that simple with medicine! Our lives as scientists would've been much easier. The thing is that the body is a butload of complicated pathways, and while sometimes a small amount of substance X can cause effect Y, it's not a given that double the amount of substance X will give an increased Y effect. This is mainly due to the fact that different pathways can be involved/saturated at different levels of exposure to whatever substance X is.

The most obvious and documented example is Aspirin. At the regular 300mg level, it's an antipyretic, meaning it decreases the temperature of the body. At toxic levels, Aspirin causes hyperthermia, ie it increases the body temperature. Just the opposite! I won't go into the details, but it gets even more complicated when you consider that at 81-100mg, Aspirin is an anti-coagulant used to prevent heart disease. The end conclusion being that different amounts of a certain substance can have different effects on the body.

Another example, still unexplained scientifically, is the whole Homeopathy domain. If you don't know what that is, it's an alternate medicine that gives you infinitesimally small and well agitated amounts of a substance that causes the SAME symptoms as the one you're having, to cure you. As an example, we have Apis Mellifica, the venom of the bee, which is used in homeopathy to cure bee stings, swelling, redness, oedema. As I said, it's still not scientifically proven, but people who have used homeopathic remedies tell you that they work. As with everything in science, I believe that we should not dismiss something on the basis that we don't understand it or can't explain it, we should just consider it a possibility until a tangible study proves it true or not.

Back to the article at hand, I'm not saying that small amounts of radiation definitely reduce the amount of brain cancer, I'm saying that it's possible that a linear relation doesn't exist (or exists but is broken at incredibly small and incredibly high dosages) and that small amounts have a different effect than high amounts. Just possible.

As a mobile enthusiast, I'm very concerned by this study. I have lately noticed a lot of headache and while I don't know for sure, I've definitely changed a lot of my habits. Turning Off WIFI when not necessary, putting my phone on Offline/Flight mode at night, keeping it away from me when not necessary...

Romain Criton

@Rita
Now I'm going off topic but as far as I know the therapeutical efficiency of homeopathy (beyond placebo effect, that is), has never been conclusively proven in any serious scientific study, or at least it is still subject to intense debates among the scientific community.
Pretty much like this whole "cell hpone & health" issue actually, so I guess it's not that much off topic after all !

Matthew Artero

We don't have to worry about this too much. New uses of existing tech and new tech will solve the problem.

For example, a phone doesn't have to send a signal as much as it does because the towers are already doing that. The only time a phone needs to send a signal is when it detects it is now using a different tower.

More towers with weaker signals can be used so phone can also send weaker signals.

They'll think of something. If they can protect radioligists they can protect cellphone users.

Jenna

These are just the products and effects of our modern fast paced world. We just have to accept and fact the truth and well do something about it. Thanks for the news. By the way, this group of medical research assistants might interest and help you in some ways. More power!

Polly

A key problem here is "link". If someone has used a mobile phone for more than half an hour a few years ago (assuming their memories of the usage is correct) it would indicate they were business people as charges per minute were very high. If so, there might have been other issues making them prone to brain cancer (diet, sleep patterns etc). The mobile phone use is simple associated with the same life style.

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Unfortunately now most people just can't live without their mobile phones, especially managers and businessmen, who have to be in touch with their colleagues all the time.

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Available for Consulting and Speakerships

  • Available for Consulting & Speaking
    Tomi Ahonen is a bestselling author whose twelve books on mobile have already been referenced in over 100 books by his peers. Rated the most influential expert in mobile by Forbes in December 2011, Tomi speaks regularly at conferences doing about 20 public speakerships annually. With over 250 public speaking engagements, Tomi been seen by a cumulative audience of over 100,000 people on all six inhabited continents. The former Nokia executive has run a consulting practise on digital convergence, interactive media, engagement marketing, high tech and next generation mobile. Tomi is currently based out of Hong Kong but supports Fortune 500 sized companies across the globe. His reference client list includes Axiata, Bank of America, BBC, BNP Paribas, China Mobile, Emap, Ericsson, Google, Hewlett-Packard, HSBC, IBM, Intel, LG, MTS, Nokia, NTT DoCoMo, Ogilvy, Orange, RIM, Sanomamedia, Telenor, TeliaSonera, Three, Tigo, Vodafone, etc. To see his full bio and his books, visit www.tomiahonen.com Tomi Ahonen lectures at Oxford University's short courses on next generation mobile and digital convergence. Follow him on Twitter as @tomiahonen. Tomi also has a Facebook and Linked In page under his own name. He is available for consulting, speaking engagements and as expert witness, please write to tomi (at) tomiahonen (dot) com

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Tomi's eBooks on Mobile Pearls

  • Pearls Vol 1: Mobile Advertising
    Tomi's first eBook is 171 pages with 50 case studies of real cases of mobile advertising and marketing in 19 countries on four continents. See this link for the only place where you can order the eBook for download

Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009

  • Tomi Ahonen Almanac 2009
    A comprehensive statistical review of the total mobile industry, in 171 pages, has 70 tables and charts, and fits on your smartphone to carry in your pocket every day.

Alan's Third Book: No Straight Lines

Tomi's Fave Twitterati