Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Post by Dave Levens » Fri, 02 Mar 1990 03:29:00




Quote:Trout) writes:
>...he claimed that cellular phones were extremely
> hazardous and probably highly carcinogenic.
> He claimed that the frequency wavelengths used for cellular phone radio
> transmissions were just about equal to the diameter of the human brain cavity
> This, he claimed, accelerated by the fact that the receiver is always held up
> against the human skull, sets up highly dangerous conditions within the human
> brain...

I certainly hope, if this be true, that the broadcast industry
immediately shuts down all UHF TV transmitters.  They, also, operate
in the 800 MHz band where Cellular Telephony hangs out.  They may
not be as close to the user's skull as a telephone handset
(isn't the RF section usually installed in the vehicle's trunk?)
but they output hundreds of thousands of watts of RF power, while
the typical mobile phone only uses a few watts.

--
Dave Levenson
Westmark, Inc.          The Man in the Mooney
Warren, NJ USA
{rutgers | att}!westmark!dave

 
 
 

Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Post by xrtll!rsni.. » Fri, 02 Mar 1990 19:00:00



Quote:Trout) writes:
>I recently had a discussion with a major electronics guru for a local
>television station.  We were talking about microwave transmitters (radar
>speed guns, garage door openers, that sort of thing), when he made a dramatic
>statement that shocked me:  he claimed that cellular phones were extremely
>hazardous and probably highly carcinogenic.
>He claimed that the frequency wavelengths used for cellular phone radio
>transmissions were just about equal to the diameter of the human brain cavity.
>This, he claimed, accelerated by the fact that the receiver is always held up
>against the human skull, sets up highly dangerous conditions within the human
>brain.

(Stuff deleted)

Quote:>His co-workers seemed to share his
>opinions; one of their technicians was severely injured some years back by
>climbing on a transmission tower during a high-intensity transmission.
>Is this nonsense, an urban myth, or is this actually a matter of risk?

Getting out my handy dandy $2 calculator, I plug in the speed of light
and divide it by the frequency emmited by cellular phones (Approx 800-
900 Mhz) and get the wavelegth of about 30 to 38 cm (about a foot).
Now assuming that we set up some kind of reflector to set up standing waves
we get about 6 inches.  How close this is to the size of the brain cavity
is unknown to me, but what I do know is that the bone in the skull is NOT
a very good reflector of Electromagnetic waves in that part of the spectrum.
If it was, then microwave ovens would have a difficult time cooking
meats with bones in them since everything within 1/2 wavelength of the bones
would be un-cooked.  I have taken a few liberties here with my example
as far as the frequency of microwaves compared to UHF waves, but for this
example I think it is close enough.

Now, as for getting injured by climbing a transmission tower. Well,
personally I would never get too close to a light source being powered
in the 70,000 watt (or greater) range and the same goes for Electromagnetic
Transmission equipment.  Most cellular phones operate in the 4-20 watt
range, the low end being the very portable hand-held units.

As for being frightened of Cellular Phones.  Not me.

                                        Richard Snider
========================================================================

"Hey !  Whats with all the blue lines on the RGB Monitor ???"
"Ummm.....Looks like.....well....Ethernet!"

 
 
 

Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Post by Bob Tox » Fri, 02 Mar 1990 01:58:00


Cellular phones DON'T cause cancer!  In order for electromagnetic
radiation to cause cancer and almost all other problems to the human
body it must be of a high enough energy (frequency) to ionize one's
atoms.

This is what is meant by the term "ionizing radiation", which you might
have heard.  The minimum frequency is that of ultraviolet.  These,
X-rays, and Gamma rays are the cancer danger.  Even these are not a
significant risk to the average person.

The main danger from lower frequencies is if the intensity is so high
that the heating from the absorbed radiation is excessive.  This is the
cooking effect of a microwave oven.  Another danger is induced electric
currents in older unshielded heart pacemakers since it takes only minute
currents flowing directly through the heart for problems.

The public cannot get close enough to radio towers to be at risk without
ignoring signs, climbing fences, and trespassing.  I have been within
600 feet of television antennas without harm without harm without harm :^)

Regarding the quoted "expert" claiming danger from them, many people have
irrational fears and being an technical expert does not protect someone
(from the fear.) People who are afraid to fly airplanes even though airlines
are 100 times safer per mile per person than automobiles and even "small"
planes are as safe as automobiles are an example.

Nikola Tesla, who invented radio and worked within a few dozen feet of
equipment producing millions of volts of electricity, was deathly afraid
of germs even though the chances of his being electrocuted were far
higher.  (He died of old age.)  [To avoid flames, Marconi did NOT invent
radio but he did infringe on Tesla's patents as determined by the U. S.
Supreme Court.  References available on request.]
--

Bob Toxen       {ucbvax!harvard,cloud9!es}!anvil!cavu!bob
Stratus Computer, Marlboro, MA

 
 
 

Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Post by Rob Warno » Fri, 02 Mar 1990 05:07:00


+---------------
| of these relatively low power levels (3 watts for cellular, 1-5 watts for ham
+---------------

Note that all of the portable (handheld) cellulars I have seen are 600 mw max.
[It's the transportables (luggables) that are 3 watts.] Is this to keep down
the human exposure? ...or just to keep down battery drain?  ;-}

Also note that unlike ham and police radios, with handheld cellular the
antenna tends to be held not in front of your face but off to the back/side
of your head. [Given 1/R^2, a *lot* farther from your eyes...]

Rob Warnock
Systems Architecture Consultant

UUCP:     {amdcad,fortune,sun}!redwood!rpw3
DDD:      (415)572-2607
USPS:     627 26th Ave, San Mateo, CA  94403

 
 
 

Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

Post by Brian Cuth » Fri, 02 Mar 1990 16:22:00



Quote:Snider) writes:

[stuff deleted]

Quote:>Transmission equipment.  Most cellular phones operate in the 4-20 watt
>range, the low end being the very portable hand-held units.

>As for being frightened of Cellular Phones.  Not me.

>                                        Richard Snider

Make that .6 watt for handhelds and 3.0 watts for most mobiles and
luggables.

-brian

--
Brian D. Cuthie                                 uunet!umbc3!cbw1!brian

 
 
 

1. Possible Cancer Risk from Cellular Phones?

I recently had a discussion with a major electronics guru for a local
television station.  We were talking about microwave transmitters (radar
speed guns, garage door openers, that sort of thing), when he made a dramatic
statement that shocked me:  he claimed that cellular phones were extremely
hazardous and probably highly carcinogenic.

This is completely outside my area of expertise, so I can only repeat what he
said.  He claimed that the frequency wavelengths used for cellular phone radio
transmissions were just about equal to the diameter of the human brain cavity.
This, he claimed, accelerated by the fact that the receiver is always held up
against the human skull, sets up highly dangerous conditions within the human
brain.  He said that ten years or so from now we're going to see an explosive
increase in brain tumors among cellular phone users.  He also claimed that some
cellular units were far more hazardous than others, but that ALL of them are
carcinogenic.  He said he won't even work on them, and wouldn't wish a cellular
phone on his worst enemy.  This guy is rather eccentric at times, but his
knowledge of electronics is legendary.  His co-workers seemed to share his
opinions; one of their technicians was severely injured some years back by
climbing on a transmission tower during a high-intensity transmission.
Whether this guy knows anything about human physiology is another question.
Is this nonsense, an urban myth, or is this actually a matter of risk?

--
NSA food:  Iran sells Nicaraguan drugs to White House through CIA, SOD & NRO.

BRS Information Technologies, 1200 Rt. 7, Latham, N.Y. 12110  (518) 783-1161
"God forbid we should ever be 20 years without...a rebellion." Thomas Jefferson

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