Skepfeeds-The Best Skeptical blogs of the day

Study finds no brain cancer link to mobile phone use

Posted in News by Skepdude on May 17, 2010

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT YAHOO NEWS

PARIS (AFP) – The largest study to date of the safety of mobile phones has found no clear link to brain cancer, although it said further study is merited given their increasingly intensive use.

“The study doesn’t reveal an increased risk, but we can’t conclude that there is no risk because there are enough findings that suggest a possible risk,” the study’s chief author, Elisabeth Cardis, told AFP.

The results of the Interphone study, which included 2,708 cases of glioma tumours and 2,409 meningioma tumours in 13 countries over a 10-year period, is due to be published on Tuesday in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

It found no increased risk of glioma or meningioma tumours after 10 years of using a mobile phone, although it found “suggestions of higher risk” for the heavyest users.

The heavyest users who reported using their phones on the same side of their heads had a 40 percent higher risk for gliomas and 15 percent for meningiomas, but the researchers said “biases and errors” prevent making a causal link.

Given that the heavyest users in the study talked an average of half an hour per day on their mobile phones, a figure which is not heavy by today’s standards, the researchers recommended further research.

They also cited the need for the study of the impact of mobile phone use among young people, who have rapidly become intenstive users, and who were not included in the Interphone study.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT YAHOO NEWS

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Skepnews – 7/24/08

Posted in Skepnews by Skepdude on July 24, 2008

  • Cancer center director warns of cell phone use – The head of a prominent cancer research institute issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff Wednesday: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science and he believes people should take action now — especially when it comes to children. – Maybe it takes too long to get the answer YOU WANT from science. It seems that there were some serious studies on the matter ( one involving 420,00 participants) and they all came back with no association, except for a remote correlation with one specific type of brain tumor. Let’s see, he’s ignoring existing studies, citing unpublished (thus not peer reviewed) data and bringing children in. Sound familiar?
  • Cancer Vaccine??Researchers have developed a plant-based cancer vaccine capable of kick-starting the body’s immune response and being tailored to a patient’s specific tumor type, according to a study released Monday. While they have not yet determined whether the immune response is sufficient to destroy the cancer, the researchers are hopeful that the technique could one day lead to a cure for at lease some types of the deadly disease – Too bad vaccines cause autism, so we won’t be able to use this one if it pans out. What you don’t trust Jim Carrey?
  • Amanda Peet backs up her vaccination statementsHowever, I still believe that the decision not to vaccinate our children bodes for a dangerous future. Vast reductions in immunization will lead to a resurgence of deadly viruses. This is as indisputable as global warming. I know a lot of parents who secretly use as a justification, “Well, enough other people are vaccinating, so therefore, we don’t have to.” – I understand why from a PR point of view Amanda Peet must apologize for using the word “parasite” in regards to the parents that refuse to vaccinate kids. Thankfully I don’t have to worry about PR so let it go on record that THOSE PARENTS THAT REFUSE TO VACCINATE THEIR CHILDREN ARE NOT ONLY PARASITES BUT DOWNRIGHT IRRESPONSIBLE AND SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE IF THEIR KIDS DEVELOP THE DISEASES THAT THEY WERE NOT VACCINATED FOR. That said, Amanda Peet remains my favorite Hollywood actress!
  • Kidnapped a little girl, forcefully married & converted to Islam? No problem, not in Pakistan – A Christian father in Pakistan is trying without success through the courts to gain custody of his two pre-teen daughters who were kidnapped and made to convert to Islam. The kidnappers, who had married the girls, had also filed for custody of the girls at a local police station on 28 June, asserting that the sisters had converted to Islam and their father no longer had jurisdiction over them. – What? And hear this, the judge agrees with the kidnappers! Ah, is there anything we won’t turn a blind eye on for our “allies in the war on terror”?
  • Radovan Karadzic was practicing CAM – Could this be the moment when alternative medicine finally gets the reputation it deserves and is seen for what it is – a massive social and intellectual fraud? Everything that is wrong with complementary and alternative medicine is contained in the two stories that have dominated the news this week – the discovery that Radovan Karadzic had reinvented himself as a white-haired guru offering homeopathy, energy medicine and acupuncture, and the story of Dawn Page, a woman who is now brain-damaged after she went on a “detox diet”. For alternative medicine is not only founded on lies and falsehoods, but it can be very bad indeed for your health – Do you think the fact that a guy like Karadzic can easily infiltrate the (S)CAM community will deter the believers? I don’t think so. I mean, they already know you don’t need any kind of accreditation to become a (S)CAM practitioner. The likely result? They’ll consult a psychic before they sign up with their new (S)CAM “doctor”! **DEEP SIGH**

DROP THAT CELL PHONE NOW!!!11!!!

Posted in Denialism, Medicine by Skepdude on July 24, 2008

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “DENIALISM”

DROP YOUR CELL PHONE NOW!!!!111!
(don’t send me the bill for the replacement)

I’m sure others will cover more of the scientific details, but science aside, we should examine why today’s statement on cell phones out of Pittsburgh is so ridiculous. Setting aside the lack of data connecting cell phones and health problems, this is horribly irresponsible.

Here’s the thumbnail: an alarmist report was released by the UP Cancer Institute’s Center for Environmental Oncology. It was apparently targeted at the university community, and stated that despite lack of current evidence, the community should worry about cell phones this instant.

On the official website, no author is listed. But authority is invoked…sort of…

The Case for Precaution in the Use of Cell Phones: Advice from University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Based on Advice from an International Expert Panel

Advice from UPCI based on advice from a international panel…a panel whose names are deceptively listed at the bottom of the report, as if they have endorsed it.

So who wrote and released this irresponsible, panic-infused report?

A driving force behind the memo was Devra Lee Davis, the director of the university’s center for environmental oncology. “The question is do you want to play Russian roulette with your brain,” she said in an interview from her cell phone while using the hands-free speaker phone as recommended. “I don’t know that cell phones are dangerous. But I don’t know that they are safe.”

Hey, I don’t know for an absolute certainty that my popcorn won’t spontaneously combust, but I’m not yelling fire either.

From NPR:
“She said 20 different groups have endorsed the advice the Pittsburgh cancer institute gave…”

Read carefully…these groups didn’t endorse the report…they endorsed advice similar to that given in the report. The irresponsibility is tumesceing rapidly.

The warning is also apparently based on unpublished data from a poorly done study, but that won’t deter the cell phone panic squad:

Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn’t wait for a definitive study to come out

Of course not. That would be too…scientific.

At least some of the students are smart:

“I think if they gave me specific numbers and specific information and it was scary enough, I would be concerned,” [the student] said, planning to call her mother again in a matter of minutes. “Without specific numbers, it’s too vague to get me worked up.”

I can’t think of a comparable event to this. Will the University distance itself from this rogue cellphone savior?

(all quoted news reports from http://www.npr.org)

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE ORIGINAL ENTRY AT “DENIALISM”

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