“This your brain on cell phones, any questions?”

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) – The now-ubiquitous devices carry such warnings in some countries, though no U.S. states require them, according to the National Conference of State Legislators. A similar effort is afoot in San Francisco, where Mayor Gavin Newsom wants his city to be the nation’s first to require the warnings. Maine Rep. Andrea Boland, D-Sanford, said numerous studies point to the cancer risk, and she has persuaded legislative leaders to allow her proposal to come up for discussion during the 2010 session that begins in January, a session usually reserved for emergency and governors’ bills.

Boland herself uses a cell phone, but with a speaker to keep the phone away from her head. She also leaves the phone off unless she’s expecting a call. At issue is radiation emitted by all cell phones. Under Boland’s bill, manufacturers would have to put labels on phones and packaging warning of the potential for brain cancer associated with electromagnetic radiation. The warnings would recommend that users, especially children and pregnant women, keep the devices away from their head and body.

The Federal Communications Commission, which maintains that all cell phones sold in the U.S. are safe, has set a standard for the “specific absorption rate” of radiofrequency energy, but it doesn’t require handset makers to divulge radiation levels. The San Francisco proposal would require the display of the absorption rate level next to each phone in print at least as big as the price. Boland’s bill is not specific about absorption rate levels, but would require a permanent, nonremovable advisory of risk in black type, except for the word “warning,” which would be large and in red letters. It would also include a color graphic of a child’s brain next to the warning.

While there’s little agreement about the health hazards, Boland said Maine’s roughly 950,000 cell phone users among its 1.3 million residents “do not know what the risks are.” All told, more than 270 million people subscribed to cellular telephone service last year in the United States, an increase from 110 million in 2000, according to CTIA-The Wireless Association. The industry group contends the devices are safe.

In other news….who knew rats could use a cell phone…huh.




  1. bobbo, still no connection says:

    Its stories like this that have encouraged me to strap my cell phone around my schwantz. Hopefully, it will make me sterile and look large and spectectular at the same time. Both attractive to the ladies.

    Now, as to eventual cancer . . . . . . wait . . . . . wait . . . . . I’ve got a call coming in and I just don’t want to answer it, just yet.

  2. bill says:

    “potential for brain cancer associated with electromagnetic radiation.”

    Oh, do you mean like radio and TV broadcasts?

    How about WiFi? Garage door openers?

    Power lines!!! Crap, everyone knows that powerlines give you leukemia!

    right?

    How about the freaking monitor on the computer you are staring at right now?

    I don’t buy it…. we would all be dead long ago from the electricity leaking out of the power sockets in our houses.

  3. McCullough says:

    #1. bobbo- Oh I get it. Bobbo is a man of science as long as it’s the science of “convenience”.

    He he.

  4. Odry23 says:

    [deleted- spam]

  5. bobbo, still no connection says:

    #4–McCullough==Yes, I am a man of science. Aren’t we all??? Well, ok, not all of us.

    But I don’t get your reference to the “convenience” factor. Convenient or not, science is my guide. Understood and misapplied or not, science is my guide.

    Being a man of science is all about testing theories, dealing with the results of testing, always being open to competing theories, finding proof only in a result being replicated.

    Now, I don’t know exactly what has upset you but as I AM A MAN OF LETTERS as well, perhaps some exposition on your part would clear this up?

    All I know is that when strapping a cell phone to my schwantz and going to the local pickup bar, WITHOUT FAIL, an attractive young lass as always commented: “Is that a cell phone strapped to your schwantzenpecker, or are you just happy to see me?” And repeated testing, results oriented, results have taught me that “How you doin?” is the only proper response. She can dial Tokyo later.

  6. Benjamin says:

    Science is your guide, but you apply it base on convenience. You want sweeping changes to our way of life because of your belief in AGW, but if your phone must become bigger to have room for the non-removable cancer warnings, then you don’t want government meddling. Which is it? Do you want to live in a nanny state or not?

    I am ignoring the pedantic details of where you keep your cell phone.

    #6 bobbo, still no connection said, on December 21st, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    #4–McCullough==Yes, I am a man of science. Aren’t we all??? Well, ok, not all of us.

    But I don’t get your reference to the “convenience” factor. Convenient or not, science is my guide. Understood and misapplied or not, science is my guide.

  7. Buzz says:

    We see the images, but nobody says how the test was conducted.

    100X cellphone power with the antenna almost glued to the rat’s cranium while transmission was carried out 24/7 for six months? Gee. We see something.

    Was it that? No can say. Because they no say. Ever.

    BTW, it’s a bad idea to have a continuously transmitting garage door opener remote strapped to your chumbly bits, emitting 24/7. It will cost you in replacement garage door motors…

  8. McCullough says:

    #8. “100X cellphone power with the antenna almost glued to the rat’s cranium while transmission was carried out 24/7 for six months? Gee. We see something.”

    Yes like many of the teens and pre-teens I see walking the streets today.

    BTW, I am not convinced of the “science” either way. It’s too early to know. But, just in case, I use one rarely, mainly because I am not required by my job to wear a leash.

  9. bobbo, still a man of science and letters says:

    #7–now Benji==how do you post such drivel? Not a thing there makes any sense, not a thing you reference to me did I say either now or any recent post. Must be that weird fundamentalist code words of equivalence reference you are using===but sane people don’t carry that book around with them for constant nutjobbing.

    Pendantic would have been much funnier.

  10. Mr. Fusion says:

    When there is something a little more conclusive I’ll pay attention.

  11. Steve S says:

    This just in!
    Docs determine that the root cause of all cancers is “life”.

  12. The Monster's Lawyer says:

    Did they make rat-size cell phones or did the little fellahs have to walk around talking on full size phones? Their arms must’ve been tired!

  13. Dr Dodd says:

    It’s difficult to take any of these studies seriously after the global warming study turned out to be one big lie for financial and political purposes.

    More likely they stuck a rat in a microwave oven just long enough to get the desired result thus securing their funding for years to come.

  14. Faxon says:

    Ionizing radiation, Non-ionizing radiation. How many of you geniuses know the difference? I am not worried because I know the difference.

  15. KMFIX says:

    I’d like to know how much radiation my phone is putting out. I regularly use my phone for hours each day.

  16. MikeN says:

    Better to be careful and restrict cell phones usage to emergency situations only. It’s pretty obvious that having such waves near your ear is not good. The only reason nothing is done is the billions in profits being made by Big Telephony.

  17. gquaglia says:

    Glad to see stupidity is alive and well in Maine.

  18. Normal vs. Mad Scientists says:

    Look closely at the two images.

    The top one is a normal rat brain. Normal rats live in the wild and run and eat what they want and do everything rats do for fun.

    The bottom one is a rat that’s been caught, caged, tied down for months unable to move, shocked, fed intravenously, dissected while alive to put in probes, and made to listen to Al Gore for countless hours, saying “I don’t give a rat’s ass if CO2 cools when it hits the stratosphere, I have millions invested in this global warming crap, so keep pushing it, I have got to get my investment back”.

  19. hhopper says:

    According to George Carlin even saliva causes cancer… but not to worry… only when swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time.

  20. theBadSteveO says:

    I’m not surprised about law makers taking action without any evidence or knowledge of the problem. The article is pretty funny stating “Boland herself uses a cell phone, but with a speaker to keep the phone away from her head. She also leaves the phone off unless she’s expecting a call.” I’m guessing she also purchased the radiation shield/reception booster that glues to the battery.

    But, this is nothing new. We’ve had a rash of laws passed making it illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless using a hands-free set while evidence shows it not an obstruction of vision problem but rather an inability for drivers to operate vehicles safely while distracted.

    I say we need more scientists (and less lawyers) in legislative bodies. Only problem is getting these good folks to take one for the team.

  21. Paul Camp says:

    To initiate a cancer, damage must be done to a DNA molecule. That requires a certain amount of energy. The energy is transferred to the molecule by the absorption of an individual photon. The energy of a photon is equal to its frequency multiplied by Planck’s constant. The frequency of microwave photons is so low that they simply do not contain sufficient energy to alter a molecule. Pretty much all they can do is make it vibrate or rotate. To change the molecular structure requires much more energetic photons.

    And that is the reason all the studies are contradictory and equivocal — they’re basically measuring noise. It is physically impossible for a microwave photon to damage a DNA molecule even if you strap the damn thing to your head 24 hours a day.

  22. Animby says:

    So the answer is : Bluetooth.

    Oh, wait – that means putting a transmitter actually inside your ear instead of just next to it. Oh, well. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt. Even for those ‘droids who walk around with a bluetooth device stuck into their ear canal 16 hours a day.

  23. deowll says:

    I own a trac phone and use it on occasion. I suspect the risk is 95% greater for those who walk around with one stuck up against their head all the time. If you could back it off a few inches I suspect the risk would fall a great deal.

  24. well i cant see to many people putting down there phones anytime soon

  25. tc says:

    According to the World Health Organisation, you all can relax

    “Current scientific evidence indicates that exposure to RF fields, such as those emitted by mobile phones and their base stations, is unlikely to induce or promote cancers. Several studies are under way to determine whether the results of some studies on animals have any relevance to cancer in human beings. Recent epidemiological studies have found no convincing evidence of an increased cancer risk or any other disease with mobile phone use.”

  26. Buzz says:

    #9; I know it’s tempting to use our own apocryphal observations to justify belief in strong-sounding news reports. Why, just look at the Bush administration and our perpetual death rate in Iraq, for instance.

    But scientific-sounding reports and scientific research are two entirely different things.

    You don’t see teens on cellphones 24/7. And none of the ones you see have 100 units glued to their craniums, all active.

    The underlying question might be stated as “Do digital low-power communication signals at the power, frequency and wave shape of cell phones cause problems in humans?

    Of course, in this blog we may expect the following headlines:

    Cell phones named as contributing to Swine Flu deaths.

    Rise of Autism linked to pregnant mothers’ use of cell phones.

    HIV follows world-wide spread of cell phone install base…

    etc.

    New rule: Belief in non-science topics not covered under first amendment.

  27. bobbo, the letter?? the spirit?? the common sense/good??? says:

    Heh, heh. I just unstrapped my cell phone and noticed that several pictures had unintentionally been taken while I was having sex with my girlfriend. The phone having fried all the neurons in my schwantzenpecker years ago, what I do when the love making starts is set the phone to vibrate and my girl friend gives me a call. Things pick up from there as I don’t pick up.

    Turns out, my girlfriends vagina looks just like a rats brain. You’d think god would be just a little bit more creative?

  28. bobbo, do cellphone affect memory says:

    and the whole point of my post #34 was to compliment Pedro at #31 for his WHO reference.

    Always good to see great literature referred to in this blog.

  29. Great information. Have you noticed how many articles are headlining that this is so definitive? So great of you to present the real facts that caution and more research is important and necessary.


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