I’ve heard you can get eyeball cancer from watching bad televison programming.
No, I lied…but apparently they are people making bank off the idea that cell phones cause ear cancer, which is about as ludicrous. An Australian science show has had to retract another episode after it was exposed as credulous bunk. This show accepted without question the fear-mongering nonsense of Devra Davis, who has written a book claiming that cell phones cause cancer.
I mean, really, the show had some of the most obvious examples of bad methodology I’ve seen in a long time. For example, it purports to show that cell phone radiation is penetrating right into people’s heads with pseudocolored imaging: how horrifying, they show a picture of a child holding a cell phone with a bright red tint over the side of her face with the phone, shading into yellows and greens and blues on the far side of her head. But I’m looking at it and wondering what kind of camera they were using to measure that, and I realize it was no camera…these were stock photos that someone had painted over.
Then Davis makes this claim:
The reality is that every single well-designed study ever conducted finds an increased risk of brain cancer with the heaviest use of cell phones, and the range of the risk is between 50% and eight-fold.
Apparently, her definition of “well-designed study” is one that gives her the results she wants, because that is simply not true. Only a few studies have found a very weak correlation between cell phone use and cancer, and those have tended to be case control studies, in which people with those cancers are asked to retrospectively report on how much they’d used cell phones in the past…and they’re clearly over-reporting their frequency. So quite contrary to what Davis is saying, the studies that find an effect tend to be methodologically flawed.
Here’s a believable analysis of Devra Davis’ work.
Disconnect [Davis’ book] is a good example of the kind of material used by the EMF alarmist movement. Virtually all the alarmist studies that Davis cites used a poor methodology and/or have not been replicated in follow up studies. In fact, most have been refuted by far more comprehensive and rigorous studies. In many cases, serious flaws have been found with studies that show harm. It is at odds with the conclusions of mainstream expert groups such as the SCENHIR (* 5 P 8): It is concluded from three independent lines of evidence (epidemiological, animal and in vitro studies) that exposure to RF fields is unlikely to lead to an increase in cancer in humans. Disconnect is designed to bamboozle and scare the lay reader, not to inform.
But the creators of that science show shouldn’t have needed to read that — they should have been able to see the hokey ‘evidence’ Davis was throwing at them and seen that there was something fishy going on.
If Australians want to be afraid of something, they ought to step outside and look at that giant ball of plasma in the sky that is showering them with intense radiation all the time. Does anyone seriously think that cell phone emissions are at all comparable?