Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Effect Is Not Zero

I have told this story to a number of people, but reading this article about long-term mobile phone useage being linked to tumors reminded me about it again, so I figured I might as well post a blog about it.

I had a professor in graduate school whose research specialties were high frequency semiconductor devices and wireless communications, for which he had won various awards at UCF. Based on his lectures and discussions in class, he seemed to be not only a talented engineer, but also an interesting guy who was knowledgeable on a whole slew of topics, technical and otherwise.

He said that the studies of the effects of high frequency electromagnetic radiation (used in wireless communication) on human flesh is thus far inconclusive. But then he added " I can tell you this though: The effect is not zero. It's not zero."

He continued by stating that worrying about it will probably cause more harm from the stress than the actual microwaves will, and that he himself uses a cell phone and has a wireless network router in his home. But the point was well taken, at least from me.

So the above article isn't surprising to me, not only because of my professor, but also because it is reinforced by studies that were performed by the (soon to be nonexistent) Swedish National Institute for Working Life. One of their articles gives a summary of the biological effects of radio frequency waves at the cellular level (linked below), while another one (linked at the very bottom) chronicles the study of the effects on actual people (subjects, or specimens if you will) .

The articles:
Mobile phone use 'linked to tumour':

A comprehensive evaluation of the effects of RF electromagnetic radiation on biological cells:

The other study that chronicles the increased likelihood of tumors from prolonged cell phone usage:

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