Tuesday, July 03, 2012
After 200,000 years or so of putting up with imposters, the creator has
been exposed. CERN will hold a press conference with the details tomorrow.
The spectacular increase in the use of wireless communication over the past
15 years led the Federal Communications Commission to start planning its
first review of wireless safety since 1996. A BBC News Report in 1996
showed terrified refugees clogging a primitive road to escape the fighting
in Kosovo. Refugee lines are as common as war, but a farmer dangling his
legs from the back of a dilapidated oxcart was talking on his cell phone. I
have trouble understanding why there was a war in Kosovo in 1996, but the
use of a cell-phone by an ordinary farmer, in a country most of us could
not point to on the map, was no mystery: Its an amazing technology that
would soon spread over the entire planet. In 2012, according to industry
figures, the worlds 7 billion people use a near-saturation 5.6 billion
cell phones, although the International Agency for Research on Cancer,
along with its parent organization WHO, classifies cell-phone radiation
as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Many other organizations and writers
cite the IARC warning, including Ronald Herberman, MD, director of the
respected University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, who issued an advisory
to 3000 faculty and staff warning of the cell-phone cancer risk. The
Federal Communications Commission, however, insists there is no scientific
evidence that wireless phones can lead to cancer. The National Cancer
Institute agrees (http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/93/3/166.full)),
along with other federal science agencies. Why is there disagreement?
This is a science question, not an election. Lets look closer.
Do epidemiologists learn nothing? We've been through all this before --
three times. The most grievous error in the war on cancer is to confuse
correlation with causality. 1996 was also the year the National Academy of
Sciences released its exhaustive review of the health affects of power-line
fields, showing conclusively that there are none. Cancer is the
uncontrolled division of mutant cells in the body. Mutant strands of DNA
are caused by external agents that supply enough energy to disrupt a
chemical bond, including photons of wavelengths shorter than visible light;
that is, bluer than blue. Epidemiology looks for correlation between
exposure to potential cancer agents and subsequent development of cancer.
Science by contrast is more concerned with the mechanism. Epidemiology is
important. They should get it right.