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Is this study linking phones to cancer reliable?

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Without digging into the details it looks reasonable quality for what it is.

Case-control studies, while useful, are relatively low on the hierarchy of medical evidence. 

A more comprehensive meta-analysis found an association between long-term use and low-grade gliomas - but acknowledges that most of the evidence is low quality.

As to whether you want to worry about it that's up to you - everyone has a different threshold for how much risk they are willing to accept. I'd say there are far more concerning things in the world if you want something to worry about, and that being able to speak to my parents on the phone is worth the possible tiny increase in my glioma risk.

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I would think if the risk was significant, there would, by now, be a clearer correlation of an increase in carcinogenic incidence since  the advent of the mobile phone.

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23 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Without digging into the details it looks reasonable quality for what it is.

Case-control studies, while useful, are relatively low on the hierarchy of medical evidence. 

A more comprehensive meta-analysis found an association between long-term use and low-grade gliomas - but acknowledges that most of the evidence is low quality.

As to whether you want to worry about it that's up to you - everyone has a different threshold for how much risk they are willing to accept. I'd say there are far more concerning things in the world if you want something to worry about, and that being able to speak to my parents on the phone is worth the possible tiny increase in my glioma risk.

Wait hang on, so should I worry then? I mean, I live with my family and I’m definitely not going to use technology that could kill them.

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4 minutes ago, djkfslgdljfghdjkfg said:

...I’m definitely not going to use technology that could kill them.

Better sell your car, put away any and all tools, and never light a fire or wear buttons (not being facetious but all these are measurable causes of death - the last by choking).  

 

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7 minutes ago, Prometheus said:

Better sell your car, put away any and all tools, and never light a fire or wear buttons (not being facetious but all these are measurable causes of death - the last by choking).  

 

I know however if I can minimise the risk that would be better. I mean, it isn’t practical not a have a car or have warmth, but I could live without a phone if it means that my family are safe.

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Well the papers above were all for users of phones themselves - i.e. you need the phone glued to your ear. There was nothing looking at the more general environment - but if the effect size was small for the users themselves then it's going to be even smaller for for someone at any distance. 

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1 minute ago, Prometheus said:

Well the papers above were all for users of phones themselves - i.e. you need the phone glued to your ear. There was nothing looking at the more general environment - but if the effect size was small for the users themselves then it's going to be even smaller for for someone at any distance. 

Do you believe study? Where there any flaws with it or reasons not to believe it?

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Posted (edited)

 I think it is important to understand that the risks are minimal, additionally the risks, of YOU having a phone, on your family, was not researched. I suppose it is up to everyone to minimise risk the way they see fit, however from a pragmatic standpoint you could do more harm than good (if you would not allow your family/kids to have a phone); imagine that not having a phone could be stressful when children grow up due to most other ones having a phone. This stress will have detrimental effects on their development, and may induce changes in diet which could have more effects on their health than having allowed them a phone.

Not saying that this IS what happens/would happen, but it is important to think through all the possible effects. The risk, if it exists, is tiny (significant is often misused, a change from 10.000.000 10.000.001 can be significant, if we test a lot (lets say 100000000000000 times). Significance says something about the statistical likelihood (it is not just 'randomness', although that does play a role). 

In my opinion, this type of reaction seems to making life needlessly difficult, with people having a harder time to reach you, which may affect them in detrimental ways. But it is of course up to you. I would personally focus on diet and other things which have more meaningful impacts. Probably not eating meat, not drinking alcohol, not smoking, making sure you exercise daily (but again not too much), making sure you do things which make you happy and reducing stress for you and your family can be much more meaningful.

It is very admirable that you want to protect your family (like everyone should), but one could ponder where to draw the line. You say it is not practical to be without car, which definitely could be the case (depending on your location, job and other things), but is your car super eco-friendly? Do you reduce carbon emissions as much as possible to keep your family's future as healthy as possible (I don't mean these as got-ya's, but to indicate potential things that may have much more impact than not having a phone (which in my opinion could be much more detrimental to your life than the small benefits you gain.)).

Note that there is of course the additional argument (against (smart)phones)) that having a phone could lead to more internet-addiction and less attention spans, but there again, one should weigh ALL the possibilities before haphazardly changing their lifestyles. It remains good to be aware of possible dangers, but please note that  stress and not being happy (= decreased happiness) have real and larger impacts on your life than the possible increase in glioma. 

-Dagl

Edited by Dagl1
Changed numbers so they make sense and changed the last argument to be clearer Anti-phone

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7 minutes ago, djkfslgdljfghdjkfg said:

I know however if I can minimise the risk that would be better. I mean, it isn’t practical not a have a car or have warmth, but I could live without a phone if it means that my family are safe.

Radon gas, which leaks up from the ground and concentrates in enclosed buildings, causes 3% of lung cancers... do you worry about that, and that is a measurable risk. Incidence in mobile phone use is not measurable, so why worry about it. It's "possible" but why worry about that particular possibility when there are countless possibilities of equal worth? Why not worry about all of them and totally consume yourself with anxiety. Something is going to kill you eventually... prioritise risk to the most likely.

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10 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Radon gas, which leaks up from the ground and concentrates in enclosed buildings, causes 3% of lung cancers... do you worry about that, and that is a measurable risk. Incidence in mobile phone use is not measurable, so why worry about it. It's "possible" but why worry about that particular possibility when there are countless possibilities of equal worth? Why not worry about all of them and totally consume yourself with anxiety. Something is going to kill you eventually... prioritise risk to the most likely.

But I can’t ignore it, I don’t just want to say ‘I’ll just see what happens’ because I’d feel incredibly guilty. I would accept the risk if I lived on my own, I really would. Even if it was proven by every study to cause brain cancer I would still use it, but I didn’t live in my own. If just want to protect them, I don’t know how I can Ignore it.

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1 minute ago, djkfslgdljfghdjkfg said:

But I can’t ignore it, I don’t just want to say ‘I’ll just see what happens’ because I’d feel incredibly guilty. I would accept the risk if I lived on my own, I really would. Even if it was proven by every study to cause brain cancer I would still use it, but I didn’t live in my own. If just want to protect them, I don’t know how I can Ignore it.

You need to be philosophical and not let statistically spurious things like this immobilize you.

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, djkfslgdljfghdjkfg said:

But I can’t ignore it, I don’t just want to say ‘I’ll just see what happens’ because I’d feel incredibly guilty. I would accept the risk if I lived on my own, I really would. Even if it was proven by every study to cause brain cancer I would still use it, but I didn’t live in my own. If just want to protect them, I don’t know how I can Ignore it.

We live on a giant magnet and we're surrounded by wires coursing with electricity, not to mention were litterally bombarded with radio waves and light, do you worry about that?

Edited by dimreepr

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7 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

We live on a giant magnet and we're surrounded by wires coursing with electricity, not to mention were litterally bombarded with radio waves and light, do you worry about that?

His point isn't that though, it is that he wants to minimise harm within reason. What is considered within reason is highly subjective. But he cannot change the fact that we live on this planet. I suppose he could shield himself and his family from radio waves, but have those been proven to be dangerous (I'm genuinely interested, although I suppose that researching such a thing is basically impossible, at the moment)? He may worry about those things you mentioned, but most of those cannot be changed, while there are plenty (although they are small minority in the western world) that live without a phone. So asking if he worries about stuff that realistically cannot be changed may not actually be very helpful. 

I do realise that in my first response I also mentioned other things, but as I said then as well, I believe those to have more meaningful impacts on health and they are things that can be (more) easily changed. 

*just assuming its a he, apologies if she is a she.

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Just now, Dagl1 said:

His point isn't that though, it is that he wants to minimise harm within reason. What is considered within reason is highly subjective.

It's all about the energy, as far as I know sunlight is the only one with enough energy (watts per square meter) to be potentially carcinogenic. IIRC a smart phones transmission's are less than a watt.

Quote

 At the upper reaches of our atmosphere, the energy density of solar radiation is approximately 1,368 W/m2 (watts per square meter). At the Earth's surface, the energy density is reduced to approximately 1,000 W/m2 for a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays at sea level on a clear day.

 

22 minutes ago, Dagl1 said:

I do realise that in my first response I also mentioned other things, but as I said then as well, I believe those to have more meaningful impacts on health and they are things that can be (more) easily changed.

That's off topic.

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1 hour ago, djkfslgdljfghdjkfg said:

I know however if I can minimise the risk that would be better. I mean, it isn’t practical not a have a car or have warmth, but I could live without a phone if it means that my family are safe.

Three words: inverse square law

Any effect on the user is almost indistinguishable from the background levels of disease (hence the lack of good evidence for any harm). That is for a phone a few centimetres from the user. For a family member a few metres away, the effect is going to be at least 10,000 times smaller; effectively non-existent.

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"Is this study linking phones to cancer reliable?"

If it was, I'd expect to hear about it on the news headlines rather than a discussion forum.

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Posted (edited)

I would think the sun itself is more a contributor than a cell phone. Thinking back on the days when I use to test x ray machines for compliance. Even their levels is less than our everyday exposure to the Sun. A cell phone doesn't even compare.

Edited by Mordred

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Posted (edited)

X-rays act on electron's orbitals.
Microwaves on intermolecular bonds.

For a guy who's always on his phone, Mordred, you better hope one effect isn't worse than the other.
( don't know how you manage to contribute to the forum on your phone, I can barely read the texts )

edit; should be intramolecular

Edited by MigL

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17 hours ago, MigL said:

 

( don't know how you manage to contribute to the forum on your phone, I can barely read the texts )

Practice lol after a few laptops died I learned to make do.

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