October 14, 2004 8:41 AM PDT

Study links cell phones, tumors

A Swedish research institute has released a report that links the use of analog cell handsets and a benign tumor--adding fodder to the long-running debate over cell phones and brain cancer.

The Institute of Environmental Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm said Thursday that it has found that 10 or more years of cell phone use may increase the risk of acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor, in humans. Since digital handsets have not been in widespread circulation over that period, the researchers related their findings to analog phones alone.

According to the report--based on a survey of about 150 people already diagnosed with acoustic neuroma and 600 healthy individuals--the risk of developing the tumors almost doubled for those who began using a cell phone at least 10 years beforehand. In addition, the Karolinska Institutet study contends that when the side of the head a person typically held their cell phone against was taken into consideration, the risk of acoustic neuroma was almost four times higher than normal.

The concept that wireless devices may increase the risk of brain cancer is one that has shadowed the communications industry since at least the mid-1990s, when cell phones grew more popular. However, there have been few studies that offer hard proof that a relationship exists between wireless handset use and any illness.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said previously that while mobile phones do emit electromagnetic radiation, the amount of energy dispersed by the devices is similar to that emitted by other common household devices, such as television sets and microwave ovens, and does not pose a measurable health risk.

Acoustic neuroma tumors typically affect the auditory nerve, which is connected to the brain, and grow slowly over a period of years before they are diagnosed. On average, the tumors are found in less than one adult per 100,000 each year.

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The issue most folks don't understand about the cellphone is that the farther you are away from a cell (tower) the more the phone has to provide power for the signal.
If you are within a mile or so of a celltower, you are less at risk as the phone doesn't need the amplification to reach the tower.
However, the lower the signal (farther away) the more the phone needs to compensate. Thus, the radiation level is much higher.

And what you don't know is that the phone companies lower the power levels to the towers on offpeak times (evening and weekends). That is cost effective for them, but not for you.

The most important facet of a society is communication. Its too bad it was first acquired, regulated and controlled by neocons.
Posted by Below Meigh (249 comments )
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Re: Power
If you are within a mile or so of a celltower, you are less at risk as the phone doesn't need the amplification to reach the tower.
However, the lower the signal (farther away) the more the phone needs to compensate. Thus, the radiation level is much higher.
_____________________________________

Are you saying that the receiver needs more power or is it the transmitter?
If it's the receiver then it's a "so what?". But if you mean they vary the transmitter power then it's time to worry. From the next part of your post I'm thinking the whole of your post is a "So what?" ie. FUD.
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And what you don't know is that the phone companies lower the power levels to the towers on offpeak times (evening and weekends). That is cost effective for them, but not for you.
__________________________

This is FUD, So what if they lower the power output, the AGC (Automatic Gain Control) in the handset will increase the gain of the receiver and that will not affect the radiation from the handset. And it does not make any sense at all to reduce the receiver gain at the tower, SO...
Posted by royc (78 comments )
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Thats reassuring
"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said previously that while mobile phones do emit electromagnetic radiation, the amount of energy dispersed by the devices is similar to that emitted by other common household devices, such as television sets and microwave ovens, and does not pose a measurable health risk"

Ever held a running microwave to the side of your head for hours? Would you really want to?

If cell phones are no more dangerous than using an active microwave oven for a pillow at night then they must be safe, right? Excuse me while I go throw my phone away..
Posted by Fray9 (547 comments )
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addictive behavior is part of the problem
your comment about using the microwave as a pillow actually points up the big problem--no one could have predicted at the time these things were introduced that they would become teething rings for socially insecure adults. The number of people I see going around in public with phones glued to their ear, including drivers on the road, is astounding. These people truly are spending as much time with these devices in contact with their heads as they are with their pillows...
Posted by Razzl (1318 comments )
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