Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award-winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.

The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks. It draws on growing evidence – exclusively reported in the IoS in October – that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.

Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced. Professor Khurana – a top neurosurgeon who has received 14 awards over the past 16 years, has published more than three dozen scientific papers – reviewed more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones. He has put the results on a brain surgery website, and a paper based on the research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal.

He admits that mobiles can save lives in emergencies, but concludes that "there is a significant and increasing body of evidence for a link between mobile phone usage and certain brain tumours". He believes this will be "definitively proven" in the next decade. Noting that malignant brain tumours represent "a life-ending diagnosis", he adds: "We are currently experiencing a reactively unchecked and dangerous situation." He fears that "unless the industry and governments take immediate and decisive steps", the incidence of malignant brain tumours and associated death rate will be observed to rise globally within a decade from now, by which time it may be far too late to intervene medically.

"It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking," says Professor Khurana, who told the IoS his assessment is partly based on the fact that three billion people now use the phones worldwide, three times as many as smoke. Smoking kills some five million worldwide each year, and exposure to asbestos is responsible for as many deaths in Britain as road accidents.

Late last week, the Mobile Operators Association dismissed Khurana's study as "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual". It believes he "does not present a balanced analysis" of the published science, and "reaches opposite conclusions to the WHO and more than 30 other independent expert scientific reviews".

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Has anyone bothered to look at the SAR on cell phones? It's so low that you'd probably have to have one glued to
your head 24/7 to do any damage....come to think of it, I think some teenagers probably do.
If you are so concerned about microwaves, get a blue tooth headset.
Even the radiation from those isn't enough to bother you.

Plus, just as with cigarettes, I'm of the opinion that unless you are GENETICALLY predisposed for cancer,
it won't bother you. Do cigarettes "cause" cancer? No, but if you are GENETICALLY predisposed to
develop cancer (history in your family) then I don't think they "cause" but can contribute.
I know several people, including my grandfather who smoked UNFILTERED cigarettes from the time
he went overseas in WW1, until the mid 70's (60+ years) who NEVER developed cancer. He quit in the
mid 70's because "he wasn't paying no damn 75 cents for a pack of cigarettes!). He lived 27 more
years, dying at the age of 98, because he didn't want to live anymore.

Man, I'm surprised the guys working at Cingular, Verizon, or Sprint aren't all dead by now, they must be cancer ridden, being bombarded by these rays all day and all night. I think comparing it to cigarettes is retarded because there have been many more years of studies on cigarettes and only 10 years with studying the cell phone. The thing with cancer is, you can get cancer just walking down the street, yeah things help the cancer effects but I doubt people who just use their cell phones regularly will have any issues.

Pretty soon they'll be saying our GPS is going to give us cancer and the clap and the rays from the satellite will fry our car engines...

Anyways, just My Opinion.

Oh and pretty soon all the energy drinks we drink will be worse for us than Chain smoking & Chronic cell phone use put together and we're all doomed to a horrible cancerous death. I'm more worried about getting smashed on the freeway by the thousands of idiots "driving" then my cancerous brain won't matter if it's on my dashboard...

hmmm, I like how the mobile association waved it off like nothing. I believe a cell phone can increase the risk of cancer over a decade. All the highschool teen girls who really have no point in life will die off and the world will be a better place. Case and Point.

If this is true, then I have much to worry about, as I keep my blackberry in my pocket...right next to my....u know..I'm more worried about that getting cancer than my brain. I use a Bluetooth headset all the time, the phone is next to my ear maybe 1% of the time. blah.

The mere fact that somebody had funding to evelop a long term overview of Mobile Phone usage in cancer victims is worrying enough.

I wouldn't worry about it. People can get funding for any kind of research. Remember the ketchup studies back in the mid 90's researching flow rates and the like?

This is very interesting and over worrying. Whilst I, like other Neowinians, are skeptical, I'm not so brainless to ignore such reports. The mere fact that somebody had funding to evelop a long term overview of Mobile Phone usage in cancer victims is worrying enough.

I personally have probably been using a Cell Phone for the past 8 years. My usage doesn't exceed 5 hours a week if that so I'm sure that I am less likely to be a "clinical case" than others.

I'm interested to see also whether having a Bluetooth Earpiece actually ceases this particular threat?

I can't think of one good reason to ignore this finding completely though, so I will be watching my usage and keeping up to date on this story.

Man, I read the title thinking this was about about the jackasses who run stop signs and traffic lights because they're too busy TEXTING while on the damn road!!

Seriously, if you're one of these people, I hope that brain cancer does get you.

Late last week, the Mobile Operators Association dismissed Khurana's study as "a selective discussion of scientific literature by one individual". It believes he "does not present a balanced analysis" of the published science, and "reaches opposite conclusions to the WHO and more than 30 other independent expert scientific reviews".

You know, these kinds of pronouncements would have a greater impact if they were made in a peer review context instead of by those who make and/or sell the offending product or technology.

People that use cell phones die from many other instances such as a brain tumour.

Texting whilst jay walking, whilst driving & whilst walking on the pavement.

Using the phone to make and receive calls with respect to the above whilst driving a motor vehicle.

I don't have a cell phone, as I don't understand the need or the point for one.

However, if it was proven to be fact that cell phones cause tumours then thats an excellent reason not to have one.

I strongly disagree. If cell phone usage causes brain cancer, I think those people texting while driving should have two or three of those things strapped to their head at all times.

they say that mobile phones produce the same microwaves as the microwave ovens. it is HIGHLY suggested that you dont even stand near one of these mentioned ovens when theyre working.

Very interesting, I just happen to live to a radio station in my town as well as quite a few other people. Maybe I should warn them all to move before we all get cancer from it /sarcasm off. When did Neowin get infested with people who will believe anything.

I knew there would be more comments like this... it's amazing how incredibly daft some people can be.

Let's break it down into small steps for the simple-minded:


1. Radio waves have been around for like what, 100 years or so? Obviously there have been long-term studies into this, and obviously since then nothing major has arisen to concern us.


2. Up until now, we have been UNABLE to conduct long-term studies on mobile phone radiation.The studies conducted so far have been SHORT-TERM. So, like the study says, we are only NOW entering the period where we can observe the long-term studies of mobile phone radiation. From 2008-2012 or so. This is the first study to have taken into account the long-term effects of mobile phone radiation.


3. Other EMR studies ARE NOT RELEVANT because the use of mobile phones has a unique method of exposure. NEVER BEFORE have we observed the direct effects of EMR on the brain in this way, because we have never, prior to the use of mobile phones, held EMR-emitting devices to our heads for hours at any given time. EMR studies on the brain in general are not specific enough to be of any interest.

4. This guy is not a politician - there is a link to an actual study with references, and this is written by a recognised neurosurgeon. He wouldn't publish nonsense because he is presumably a professional (and has nothing to gain by causing panic), and because he would not put his name to anything that would tarnish his reputation.


Maybe neowin should ban non-computer related news, because obviously there are a lot of overly-cynical retards among us. Maybe it's got something to do with hating news, after opposing the Iraq war became 'cool' in the early days. Oh look at me, I'm an intellectual - I take a cynical view to EVERYTHING I read, even when it makes sense!

This doesn't mean the study is 100% true - all it means is that we can't dismiss it offhand, and that we should take it SERIOUSLY. Like Co_Co said, we will see whether this study stands up to REAL scrutiny soon, i.e. peer review. We should also expect to see more studies come out in the near future that take a closer look at this whole issue.

(dewaaz said @ #25.1)
I knew there would be more comments like this... it's amazing how incredibly daft some people can be.

Let's break it down into small steps for the simple-minded:


1. Radio waves ... [snipped]

Maybe neowin should ban non-computer related news, because obviously there are a lot of overly-cynical retards among us. Maybe it's got something to do with hating news, after opposing the Iraq war became 'cool' in the early days. Oh look at me, I'm an intellectual - I take a cynical view to EVERYTHING I read, even when it makes sense!

This doesn't mean the study is 100% true - all it means is that we can't dismiss it offhand, and that we should take it SERIOUSLY. Like Co_Co said, we will see whether this study stands up to REAL scrutiny soon, i.e. peer review. We should also expect to see more studies come out in the near future that take a closer look at this whole issue.


Thank you! Well said.

(dewaaz said @ #25.1)
I knew there would be more comments like this... it's amazing how incredibly daft some people can be.
...
Maybe neowin should ban non-computer related news, because obviously there are a lot of overly-cynical retards among us. Maybe it's got something to do with hating news, after opposing the Iraq war became 'cool' in the early days. Oh look at me, I'm an intellectual - I take a cynical view to EVERYTHING I read, even when it makes sense!

I think it's probably a combination of that and a distrust for all these studies and papers published by nutjobs out there. It can be hard to filter the sane sources from the foil-hat-wearing kooks when the media sensationalizes everything equally. And yes, there are more idiots that post here than rational people. The internet was much brighter place before AOL brought every moron on-line.

(dewaaz said @ #25.1)
I knew there would be more comments like this... it's amazing how incredibly daft some people can be.
...
1. Radio waves have been around for like what, 100 years or so?
...
2. Up until now, we have been UNABLE to conduct long-term studies on mobile phone radiation.The studies conducted so far have been SHORT-TERM.
...

Radio waves have been around for ever, they aren't man made.

And even longer studies have been done on just mobile phones, One study followed people for 21 years.

HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PAPER: http://www.brain-surgery.us/mobilephone.html


The whole point here, for all you experts keen to shoot this guy down, is that this is the first time anyone has taken a LONG-TERM view of things to get a good picture.

We're talking 10+ years here, and no ****, most of us in 10 years will be using mobiles... hence the need to carefully consider NOW what we do.

The whole reason a lot of literature points to no danger is because they are SHORT-TERM. If cancer takes around 10 years to develop, you need to consider results over a LONG period. Does that make sense?

The "incubation time" or "latency" (i.e., the time from commencement of regular mobile phone usage to the diagnosis of a malignant solid brain tumour in a susceptible individual) may be in the order of 10-20 years. In the years 2008-2012, we will have reached the appropriate length of follow-up time to begin to definitively observe the impact of this global technology on brain tumour incidence rates.


And for you EMR experts, we're talking invisible radiation here that you might not even feel. It doesn't HAVE to disturb the picture of a CRT to be serious enough to cause health issues.

If you look at this guy's paper, there's a fair few references listed so he's obviously done his homework. And if he is the first person to take a long-term view, then he has something important we need to listen to... something that we haven't heard before. And it's that mobile phones CAN increase the risk of brain tumours, however inconvenient it might be to start avoiding using them.

Note that using bluetooth headsets or unshielded handsfrees can be just as bad (as mentioned in the paper).


Looking forward to reading the replies to come from all you cancer experts on Neowin taking issue with this study Can't wait to read YOUR studies on mobile phone radiation

While it looks legit, especially having all the methods and info put up on the website I'm still skeptical until I see this in a peer-reviewed journal. Usually breaking studies and important medical research is put in the New England Journal of Medicine, Nature, or The British Medical Journal, etc. You can claim anything and back it up but until its been reviewed and verified then its just one guy's opinion.

I have said this in threads before about needing longer times to do studies...

but at the end of the day people will do as the please... i just hope they dont complain if they get brain cancer

(michael.dobrofsky said @ #24.4)
Yes, there seems to be an unusually high number of cancer/cell phone/radiation experts browsing Neowin. :rolleyes:

surely you knew this already? this place is packed with experts in everything! what's even more amazing is the fact that 80% of them are under the age of 20

(ZombieFly said @ #24.5)

surely you knew this already? this place is packed with experts in everything! what's even more amazing is the fact that 80% of them are under the age of 20 :)

lol

It doesn't matter if you use your cellphone or not. The waves (from other cellphones and towers) penetrate your body constantly anyways.

Another day, another study. You could pretty much apply everything in this study to your Wi-Fi connection and use of electronics in general (not direct contact to the body but still enough of the so-called dreaded electro-magnetism). Nice sensational (irrational) title to get people's attention. This is simply junk science even if spread by a somewhat credible individual.

I think people should notice that this guy did not conduct a clinical study or trial, but rather conducted a literature review which (by my understanding) is a review/study of the current literature (published studies and papers) on the subject. So this guy didn't actually do any new research, but just reviewed and summarized available knowledge on the topic.

If everything they say in the article about this scientist is true, I would be inclined to respect his opinion when he states his findings, considering all the awards and stuff this guy has won. For those who cite studies about mobile phones NOT causing cancer, it is pointed out in the article above that many of those studies do not follow mobile phone users for long enough periods of time. This scientist apparantly is a cancer expert and claims that many cancers take more than 10 years to develop (which I am inclined to believe is true), which would explain why many studies have not found increases in cancer risk.

Anyway, I think people should definately be wary about this topic and pay attention when seemingly-renowned scientists offer their opinions and spend their time studying this stuff. I think this is probably pretty credible evidence and I want mobile phone companies and handset manufacturers to pay attention to this to help minimize everyone's risk... it's not going to do mobile companies any good if their customers are dropping like flies from cancer down the road.

I mean, they never seem to specify a phone model, network, carrier, signal type, type of usage scenario, any of this stuff. I sure haven't looked at this guy's research, but it seems to me to be as conclusive as jamming your hand onto the stove and saying "through several clinical tests we have proven that stoves are hot." WHAT STOVES? What type, in what usage scenario, during what activity? The problem is the ambiguity, which I'm coming to find has further saturated the sciences than anyone finds useful.

There is a method to document and cite your sources, MISTER SCIENTIST. I wish they would say something specific in articles like this, like "Users of phone model LG-223x get brain cancer and users of Nokia-EG452 do not." or something specific like that.

But, in favor of the article, people that talk on their cell phones next to me anger me equally as much as smokers do. No matter which cancer causing addiction you're using, you're still creating air pollution! Whether it be verbal or smoky, it's all crap!

This is funny, because i remember reading an article a short while back saying the scientists have concluded that mobile phones can't cause brain cancer, which i was delighted about because overuse my mobile phone!

Here is an article, it's not from the site i saw originally saw it on, which i think was Neowin, but it confirms my quote.

http://time.blogs.com/daily_rx/2006/12/cellphones.html

I heard this gets mixed reviews from scientist, some say it does and some say it doesn't.
As if all the cellphone towers are any better for us, either way we're already dead.. lol

People panic over the radiation emited by cell phones, yet they see no problem in ingesting food they nuked in their microwave oven which is about a million times more powerful.

Yep, I'm worried alright.

What a load of CRAP.

The whole base for the cancer concern is related to radio waves, and it has been proven that you are saturated with more radio waves of all ranges minute by minute everyday. There are more then enough radio

Almost all the studies that show cell phones are dangerous have a major flaw, they count increase of cases based upon the groups, but ignore other factors, including population growth. One study even used several groups of people from Russia that had just starting using cellphones over the last few years, and had a high cancer rate, ignoring the factors related to location and exposer to radiation from local Nuke plants and such.

Some of the towns used are the same ones used to show how Nuke power as dangerous to local environment, (only Russian design based power plants are an issue, they are called Rad + as they add radiation to the environment, where western designed, such as US/Japan/France are Rad -, the absorb background radiation).

There are current 2 studies that show 802.11 signals are more dangerous then cell phones, and the signals are everywhere now a days.

the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced.

Europe seems to overreact to everything anymore. AntiTrust, Windows/Microsoft stuff, etc. They just want attention.

Europe seems to overreact to everything anymore. AntiTrust, Windows/Microsoft stuff, etc. They just want attention.

Wow, what a really insightful, thoughtful and interesting comment.

How many people do YOU know that have a phone semi permanently attached to themselves?


That's right no one, but the "study" does make for sensationalistic headlines don't it?

Here in the US I'd swear people have the phones surgically grafted onto their cheeks they use them so much.
I've been using one myself for almost 20 years now, though somewhat infrequently (you never get over how MUCH it used to cost per minute 20 years ago).
While important to not chicken little and freak out, I think people would be well advised to pay attention to this warning.

We do know that above ground high power transmission lines DO cause cancer, especially in children that live and go to school near them. X-rays are capable of causing cancer as well. We also know that microwaves (inside your microwave) cook food and explode oil. Outside the microwave choclate can still be melted. Yes there are naturally occuring radio, X and cosmic rays bouuncing all over the univers, and you are bathed in radio, TV etc signals even under you tin foil hat. But I think generally these are much weaker than what we are talking about. My point is that not all signals are the same strength and not all wavelengths have the same effect. Even the visible light spectrum at very high power (the sun) can give you cancer as well. (ever hear of skin cancer people?)

I think it is a GIVEN that near proximity man-made energy waves of any type CAN become cancerous or even directly fatal at the right distance and amplitude. Now the real questions are "how close?" and "how powerful?"

I know I for one will be limiting my use even more until there is more reliable data from either side.

I'd like to read more and thank Troll for the info. Jumping on bandwagons or rushing to judgement helps little, but if there is truth to it...

No problem. Not that I necessarily believe or don't believe it. I just happen to find it interesting. Glad others do too

I just know that every cellphone or wireless phone I use without an ear piece gives me uncomfortable feeling in my head up to the point in which I lose focus .

Also , the ear closest to phone gets warm, without the phone touching it.... these things caused me limit my use of wireless communication with out an earpiece

... that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer.

This is the only detail we really have about how they did the study. Since these people have been using cellphones since 1998 and earlier, I assume that they use their cell more than most people, which is why they're effected by the radiation from the cellphone.

... invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.

Considering other studies have shown no link between cellphones and brain cancer, I assume that as long as you limit the use of your cellphone, you have nothing to worry about.

i really don't understand this, i guess this guy is a scientist and obviously believes what he is saying but i prefer to trust the many studies (including the WHO as mentioned above) that show it really isn't dangerous.

mobile phones emit very little energy into the brain. the change in heat in the brain due to use of mobile phones is tiny compared to natural fluctuations in heat due to the body and the external environment. it's like saying going to hot countries too often causes cancer. when people hear radiation they immediately think of gamma radiation, like phones have uranium in them or something.

I wouldn't exactly say that is true.

Take any cell phone and place it next to or near a crt computer monitor or tv. Now accept a call from it....it will disrupt the crt pattern and cause the monitor to distort the picture on the screen. That to me says that it emits at least some energy and/or radiation. Now take that and multiple that by how may times a day you talk on your phone by how many years you use a phone and that you could be rather scary.

Now also think of how complex and powerful those phones are getting....some are capable of replacing computers for simple tasks. That scares that crap out of me in the amount of energy it releases.

(TechMedik said @ #3.1)
I wouldn't exactly say that is true.

Take any cell phone and place it next to or near a crt computer monitor or tv. Now accept a call from it....it will disrupt the crt pattern and cause the monitor to distort the picture on the screen. That to me says that it emits at least some energy and/or radiation. Now take that and multiple that by how may times a day you talk on your phone by how many years you use a phone and that you could be rather scary.

Now also think of how complex and powerful those phones are getting....some are capable of replacing computers for simple tasks. That scares that crap out of me in the amount of energy it releases.

That's funny, I've answered my cell phone in front of my CRT and it hasn't affected the display at all. And that's sitting less than 2 feet away. I've also talked on my cell infront of my CRT tv less than a few feet away and it was not distorted at all. You must have some super cell phone or something. That being said, I rarely use my cell phone and if I do it's mostly for text messaging.

(TechMedik said @ #3.1)
I wouldn't exactly say that is true.

Take any cell phone and place it next to or near a crt computer monitor or tv. Now accept a call from it....it will disrupt the crt pattern and cause the monitor to distort the picture on the screen. That to me says that it emits at least some energy and/or radiation. Now take that and multiple that by how may times a day you talk on your phone by how many years you use a phone and that you could be rather scary.

Now also think of how complex and powerful those phones are getting....some are capable of replacing computers for simple tasks. That scares that crap out of me in the amount of energy it releases.


Are you serious? First off, GSM phones, not CDMA/TDMA, are the phones that cause signal interference with CRTs, speakers and certain devices. You only notice that interference because the proximity of the frequency of each device. Not because the phone is so powerful it disrupts any electrical device its near. Another thing, just because a phone is getting more advanced, doesnt mean its output of energy will necessarily increase. Power consumption will increase but not its signal.

To align your logic with this article is completely absurd.

(Kreuger said @ #3.2)
That's funny, I've answered my cell phone in front of my CRT and it hasn't affected the display at all. And that's sitting less than 2 feet away. I've also talked on my cell infront of my CRT tv less than a few feet away and it was not distorted at all. You must have some super cell phone or something. That being said, I rarely use my cell phone and if I do it's mostly for text messaging.

I've noticed that only when phones are on the EVDO/EDGE networks (the old analog network) that they interfere with CRTs, radios, etc. I've had my cell phone sitting on my desk next to my computer speakers numerous times, and it only interferes when I get calls on (or when it's transitioning back to) the analog network. All the times I've received calls or texts while my phone is on the digital network I've never heard any interference from either my computer speakers or my radio.

I've seen so many of these studies I don't know what to believe anymore. I've seen numerous studies that say cell phones don't cause cancer, and I've seen numerous ones like this that suggest that they DO indeed cause cancer.

Makes me wonder if studies like this one are indeed genuine and are funded independently, and the ones that say that cell phones don't cause cancer are funded by the wireless phone carriers...

This kinda scares me considering the fact that I have a shiny new cellphone which I plan on using for at least 3 years.