cell-phones and radiation.

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Bert
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cell-phones and radiation.

Post by Bert » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:08 pm

I carry my cell phone in my shirt pocket.
Today someone warned me that the radiation produced by a cell phone can cause cancer so it is not a good idea to carry my phone like that.
Have any of you heard anything about this?
I have heard that people who talk on their cell a lot can get problems (tumors?) in their head but this is the first time I heard anything about a phone that is on standby producing enough radiation to cause problems.

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Yhevhe
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Post by Yhevhe » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:25 pm

I've heard that a lot since some years ago. I've heard you can even get cancer in other parts of your body with cell phones radiation.

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edonnelly
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Post by edonnelly » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:25 pm

Much as I hate cell phones and would love for there to be a reason for them to have to disappear ...

Legitimate scientific studies have debunked all of the talk about any association between using these devices and tumors in the brain. Lots of people get brain tumors, and lots of people use cell phones, but there's no connection between the two.

I doubt anyone has addressed your specific question (carrying one in your pocket) but it seems exceeding unlikely to have any real risk.

Carola
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Post by Carola » Thu Oct 13, 2005 10:58 pm

There is quite a lot of material on the internet about this - I found one from a university:
http://www.csu.edu.au/acad_sec/safety/m ... health.htm

Like most women I carry mine in my bag or briefcase, but I don't use it enough to worry about the effects. They are very useful if my car breaks down or I need to communicate with home or the office, but I 'd rather talk to my friends over a good dinner when we can all relax. But then again I'm not 14 years old either :wink: Maybe If I was I would also use them 18 hours per day!
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Post by sisyphus » Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:41 pm

There was a lot of discussion about this in Britain. Concerns stem from the electromagnetic radiation ("radio waves") emitted close to the brain from the device whilst it is transmitting. That means when, and only when, you are talking on it (or sending other data). Yes the 'phone will ping the base station periodically, but we're talking millisecond transmission times, relatively infrequently.

This should be easily improved by moving the 'phone's antenna away from the brain (inverse square law). Early thoughts were that hands-free sets would therefore solve the problem. Unfortunately studies found that the wire connecting the 'phone to the headset acted as an antenna itself. :(

The concerns are only suspicions - there is no consistent evidence that e/m radiation has dilatory health effects (certainly not at mobile 'phone frequencies, at the strengths we're talking about). Mind you, the "official" studies in Britain were largely sponsored or conducted by the government. That's right, the people who sell mobile network licences and made billions of pounds from their 3G sale. i suspect that's the same in most countries. The mobile telecomms industry is big bucks, therefore has a very influential lobby.

The people who really have my sympathy are those with relay stations next to their homes. i have a friend who had one installed at the bottom of his garden (just outside his boundary). Because it's on a steep hill the antenna is on the same level as his ground floor. There's not a legal thing he can do about it, and now he'll never be able to sell his house because of it.

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GlottalGreekGeek
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:40 am

Cellphones use frequencies ranging from TV/FM to microwave. It is the latter end of the spectrum which is causing the worry, since TV/FM waves, as far as I know, have little to no effect on the human body. Microwaves are dangerous mainly because they are at the perfect frequency to excite/heat up water molecules. Humans are mostly water. It is a completely different problem than that posed by, say, gamma rays, which directly disturbs DNA.

Cellphones tresspass somewhat into microwave territory because there is so much competition between cell phone, radio, and TV for those precious frequencies.

What is more scary about cellphones is that they occasionally explode. The more powerful the cellphone, the more powerful the battery, the more likely it will explode and the explosion will be bigger. Cheap/poorly made cell phone batteries are more likely to explode than good cell phone batteries.

Most of this information came up in the Physics course I took last year, while we were discussing waves.

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nostos
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Post by nostos » Fri Oct 14, 2005 4:11 am

GlottalGreekGeek wrote:What is more scary about cellphones is that they occasionally explode. The more powerful the cellphone, the more powerful the battery, the more likely it will explode and the explosion will be bigger. Cheap/poorly made cell phone batteries are more likely to explode than good cell phone batteries.
!!!!!!!!!! I've never heard of this! How big is the explosion? Can it kill you??
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GlottalGreekGeek
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Fri Oct 14, 2005 5:00 am

nostos wrote:!!!!!!!!!! I've never heard of this! How big is the explosion? Can it kill you??
I haven't heard of anyone dying from cellphone explosions, but people have lost one or both of their buttocks from a cellphone in the back pocket. I suppose if someone was talking on the phone while it exploded it could be deadly.

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1%homeless
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Post by 1%homeless » Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:05 am

since TV/FM waves, as far as I know, have little to no effect on the human body.
I'm not quite settled on the issue of these waves yet. But I'm tending on your side.
I haven't heard of anyone dying from cellphone explosions, but people have lost one or both of their buttocks from a cellphone in the back pocket.
I'm sorry, but this made me laugh.
Concerns stem from the electromagnetic radiation ("radio waves") emitted close to the brain from the device whilst it is transmitting.
Radio waves are just only one of the many spectrums of electromagnetic radiation. Light can also be considered electromagnetic radiation.

I've been concerned about issues with Electromagnetic radiation for a while because I'm such a worry wart and a curious george. It's not just cell phones, it's the entire technological world. This makes for good ghost stories for luddites. (I still have a place in my heart for luddites though.) Anyway, there are certain radiation frequencies that is proven bad for you. So far, X-rays and Gamma are confirmed. UV is pretty much confirmed, but paradoxical in that produces vitamin D in humans... Then there are the effects of radiation from powerlines that has been documented quite well. I can't remember the frequency that powerlines emit though... As for household electronic devices there has been studies, but the one I've read is from this book:

"Electro pollution : how to protect yourself against it" by Roger Coghill

Well for your question Bert, I think GGG explained it quite nicely and I can't add much more to his post. The concerns are not unfounded and there are many conflicting studies. Again -more silly data digging just for a simple answer. But from a toxicologic point of view, something is bad to your health according to it's level of dosage/time of exposure. I didn't believe there was such a thing as water poisoning! I suppose we will get an answer for the level of "toxicity" for every spectrum one day...

On standby, it still does emit radiation. Really, I've read the only way to truly make sure that it doesn't emit radition is to remove the battery. :twisted:

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GlottalGreekGeek
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:28 am

1%homeless wrote:Then there are the effects of radiation from powerlines that has been documented quite well. I can't remember the frequency that powerlines emit though
Very low, so low its near the edge of what instruments can detect. It's so ridiculously low I think even human skin can block it easily.

Señor Boethius
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Post by Señor Boethius » Sat Oct 15, 2005 4:46 am

I always keep my cellphone in my front pants pocket. Does that mean my little Boethius' will have problems?? :D :D :D

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1%homeless
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Post by 1%homeless » Sat Oct 15, 2005 5:38 am

Does that mean my little Boethius' will have problems??
Most likely. I remember reading about reduction in sperm count. :wink:

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nostos
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Post by nostos » Sat Oct 15, 2005 2:55 pm

Yes me too; some european scientists (I think they were from Holland?) did a study and said something like your sperm count is reduced by about 30%.

If it's true -every once in a while cell phones do go kabloom - then your little Boethius ought to be shrunk with fear at the very thought! :P
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Bert
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Post by Bert » Sat Oct 15, 2005 6:32 pm

Thanks for the responses.
I feel somewhat better about this radiation thing but I don't feel very good about anything blowing up in my shirt pocket.
I am thinking that my van blowing up is more likely to happen than my phone blowing up and I keep on getting in it.

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