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  1.    #1  
    Regarding mobile communication, be it GSM, Wi-Fi, 3G or whatever: there is quite a strong opposition against more antennas in Switzerland (Electrosmog! Sleep distubance!? Cancer!?), though there is not really a scientific basis for concern (but also not a hell of a lot of experience proving the long-term harmlessness of the radiation used).

    Are (putative) adverse side effects of mobile communication a cause of public concern e.g. in the US or in other parts of the world at all?
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  2. #2  
    Not generally in metropolitan areas, but concerns have definitely been raised (and expansion projects halted) in many smaller communities.
    "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen."
    - Albert Einstein
  3. hall316's Avatar
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    #3  
    I heard second hand Treo's are worse haha.
  4. #4  
    I can't remember all the specifics but I read an article some time ago that spoke of a study done on just this actually. I can't remember the magazine but it was either Popular Science or Scientific American.

    I searched google to see if I could find it and this is the most official looking link I could find. The study was called the Adelaide Study. Follow the link for more information.

    If I remember correctly, I think they determined that even though the study was done with GSM signals, the effects would be similar for other cell phone signals as well. Kind of scary huh?

    --TechDude
  5. #5  
    I just wonder how it compares to signals from outer space that hit us continually.
  6. #6  
    They only cause cancer if you eat more than one a day.
  7. #7  
    The study suggests that even using a headset is not safe as the radiation will still affect you.

    The experiment was conducted in the 'far field', at distances greater from the mice than the cell-phone is normally held from the head (greater than a hands-span)

    And the industry has played this up, as if such a distinction is vitally important, yet it is actually of un-known scientific significance. However to discount far-field effects would be to ignore the exposure potential of:



    people sitting or standing near a cellphone user

    people who use a hands-free kit.

    potential effects in other parts of the user's body, other than the brain.


    And another page draws parallels to the tobacco industry

    Health and environmental activists were often viewed by the press, at this time, and certainly most of the public, as nothing more than rent-a-crowd radical extremists. Politicians of all flavours, defended the tobacco and asbestos industries -- both were important for their budgets and for the economy.

    "Not established" or "no scientific evidence" were common phrases used to tone down the cries of the activists.

    A favourite phrase to counter cancer claims against cigarettes and asbestos was to trot out The Hockett Defence. This was named by the tobacco industry itself, after Dr Bob Hockett, head scientist of the Tobacco Institute, who told company executives to keep hammering the message 'Men aren't Rodents" when faced with new laboratory evidence of cancers, or worse.

    In my view, the cumulative balance of evidence against cell phones today is about the same today as that against cigarettes twenty years ago.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by bflauaus
    I just wonder how it compares to signals from outer space that hit us continually.
    Yeah, if everything was made of Nerf, and they found a way to make air into a completely nutritional meal, you'd still have some ***** out there with a law suit because they're son sufficated on the nerf side walk, or gagged on a air cracker.

    --TechDude
    Last edited by TechDude; 07/30/2004 at 11:12 AM.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by kazinvan
    In my view, the cumulative balance of evidence against cell phones today is about the same today as that against cigarettes twenty years ago.
    Very good analogy kazinvan! I'm not dead set against cell phones by any means, but I would like to see more studies done on their long term effects.

    --TechDude
  10. #10  
    Has anyone else noticed that the Treo 600 GSM causes a WHOLE lot more interference than the Treo 270 GSM?
  11. cec
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    #11  
    With all the cellphones around today I would imagine that in the coming years that there should be plenty of hard data on cancer rates to see if there is anything to the theory that cellphone use is harmful.
  12.    #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by kazinvan
    In my view, the cumulative balance of evidence against cell phones today is about the same today as that against cigarettes twenty years ago.
    [/i]
    Thanks for all the replies so far. Just to clarify: I am not suggesting or insinuating cell phones or antennas are a health hazard. As I said, there is no evidence for that so far. This does not prove that no adverse effect will ever be found, but the same holds true for anything else: you cannot be really sure e.g. marshmallows have no toxic effects that have not been discovered so far. But how big can a side effect be, if it is not possible to detect it? In that respect, the situation today is certainly better than 20 years ago regarding tobacco/cancer: we have far better measures to detect possible risks.

    My question was whether in other countries the carriers also have problems setting up new antennas. So far, there do not seem to be major concerns elsewhere, which I find reasonable.
    “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” (Philip K. ****)
  13. #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by clulup
    Thanks for all the replies so far. Just to clarify: I am not suggesting or insinuating cell phones or antennas are a health hazard. As I said, there is no evidence for that so far. This does not prove that no adverse effect will ever be found, but the same holds true for anything else: you cannot be really sure e.g. marshmallows have no toxic effects that have not been discovered so far. But how big can a side effect be, if it is not possible to detect it? In that respect, the situation today is certainly better than 20 years ago regarding tobacco/cancer: we have far better measures to detect possible risks.

    My question was whether in other countries the carriers also have problems setting up new antennas. So far, there do not seem to be major concerns elsewhere, which I find reasonable.
    In the US, antennas are licensed by local municipalities. Municipalities compete for them because the carriers must pay fees to the municipality in return for the license. That said, hardly an antenna goes in without political opposition.

    This am's NY Times carried a report that the city of New York is going to sell antenna easements on such things as lamp poles and traffic signals. Needless to say, there is all kinds of opposition to this plan. The opposition is not based upon known dangers of RF but rather on speculation about such dangers, i.e., on our inability to prove a negative. [In the US we have a legal system that prospers on such logic.]

    My observation is that society will tolerate huge but known risk while resisting tiny but novel risks. The fear is similar to that of "things that go bump in the night." To compare cell phones, which we are unable to demonstrate cause problems, to cigarettes, that kill hundreds of thousand a year, is, at best irresponsible rhetoric, at worst it is demagoguery.

    The trend is to replace high-energy RF, like broadcast radio and television antennas, with low energy RF like Wi-Fi and cellular, that is to replace tens of thousands of 500kw antennas with millions of micro-watt antennas. Seems like progress to me.
    Last edited by whmurray; 07/30/2004 at 12:27 PM.
  14. hall316's Avatar
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    #14  
    well you have to go sometime.
  15. #15  
    Hmmm, guess that cancer insurance is a good idea. I've got mine, do you?
    “There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order.”
    — Ed Howdershelt
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have."- Thomas Jefferson
  16. #16  
    In response to public concern in the UK, there was a study in the UK by Prof. Steward (called, guess what, the Stewart Report), which (from memory) basically said no known problems but that further study would be useful, more information might reasure the public, exclusion zones around base stations, improved planning controls etc. The Report can be found at:

    http://www.iegmp.org.uk/

    A related site is a database of all UK base stations that is searchable by location - very interesting. You can try it out at:

    http://www.sitefinder.radio.gov.uk/

    If you need a post code to start off with try SW1A 1AA - buckingham palace!
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by jpahl
    In response to public concern in the UK, there was a study in the UK by Prof. Steward (called, guess what, the Stewart Report), which (from memory) basically said no known problems but that further study would be useful, more information might reasure the public, exclusion zones around base stations, improved planning controls etc.....
    Because the absence of evidence is not evidence, such reports rarely ever conclude or reassure. For the same reason, they always suggest a further search for evidence.
  18. #18  
    At the tested rate of 2 hours per day, the subscriber would need to subscribe to a monthly 3600 minute plan. If the research is proved true, I am sure the carriers will offer free chemo or other tretament so long as you commit for two years with a data plan.
  19. #19  
    okay whether it does or doesnt....remember this, what doesnt cause cancer these days...pretty much everything we ingest may or may not cause a mutation in certain reprocessors which prevent cancerious cells...so live and dont care about it at all....
  20. #20  
    isn't the earth a huge iron filled ball that radiates so much of an radio field that it's able to protect us from radiation from outer space?

    If that is true, I'd worry more about foot cancer (because feet are so close to the ground) vs the brain cancer I would get from my little cell phone.

    Just one average, no-so-smart guy's opinion.

    I must admit though that I am surprised as to how much interference the T600 causes with nearby radios while GPRSing...

    -WC-
    Last edited by WildCard; 08/05/2004 at 10:19 AM. Reason: typo fix

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