Cellphones And Cancer, Ctd

Jun 3 2011 @ 7:07pm

A reader writes:

You should tell your very informed reader that he has little to worry about on the effect of cell phones on teens' brains.  My god, what teenager would be caught dead "talking" into a phone?  I certainly don't know any.  It's their thumbs he should worry about!

Another writes:

I'm a professor of physics at a major research university.  My area of specialization is the interaction of matter with microwave radiation.  I run a large research group, give talks all over the world on my work, and have more than 100 peer reviewed publications on the subject.  It is safe to say that I am one of the world experts in this area.

A reader of yours  wrote "(Devra) Davis points to evidence that cell phone radiation can break down DNA, and can disrupt the blood-brain barrier. The effects are even more significant with newer phones than older "2G" phones."

I cannot emphasize enough that there is NO KNOWN PHYSICAL MECHANISM THAT WOULD ALLOW MICROWAVES TO CAUSE CANCER.   In fact if it was possible, it would be inconsistent with what we have learned over the last 100 years about quantum physics.   It is fair to say that these tenets of quantum physics are as well verified as any physical theory ever.  Since the epidemiologically data is "inconclusive" (which means no correlation has been found), and every practicing physicist will tell you the same thing as me,  I find it mind boggling that someone would pay attention to someone like Davis, whose working physical knowledge is spotty at best.

Why believe such a thing?   There is of course a long history of such scares, going back to the "power lines cause cancer days".  But there is no basis whatsoever.   And the mumbo jumbo physics of people like Davis keep this absurd idea alive.  Why not believe the phases of the moon cause cancer?   Or the color red causes cancer?   Or being a Capricorn causes cancer?   It would make as much sense.

Another:

As to Devra Davis' book. According to Amazon.com, it's full title is "Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family." This is not the kind of title that gives me much confidence that the book is a reasoned look at the issue.