Blackspot

Cancerphone

We are in the early stages of industry denial.

The first study linking cigarettes to cancer was published in 1939, but it took two decades of further medical research before the World Health Organization recognized this fact in 1960. And despite the unanimous consensus that cigarettes kill, Philip Morris – the world’s largest tobacco company – continued its campaign of denial until October, 1999, when it finally admitted on its website that cigarettes are deadly. It took 60 years for the cigarette/cancer connection to become an irrefutable fact. We are now beginning to repeat the same pattern, only this time with cell phones.

A recent article in GQ magazine , which should be required reading for all cell phone users, suggests that we are in the early stages of industry denial. A smattering of research indicates a connection between cell phones and cancer, but well-funded industry-backed studies refute this evidence. When I share this article with friends they often respond with a shrug of indifference, thereby indicating that cell phones have passed from luxury to necessity. Any risk of cancer has been relegated to the same category we accept when we drive a car or board a plane.

It’s disturbing that it’s easier for us to agree that the cell phone/cancer connection poses an acceptable risk than it is to imagine a world where cell phones have been banned. Perhaps this is because cell phones and smart phones are still considered cool – like cigarettes were in the 1950s. We envied the rebel’s pack of smokes just as we now lust after our neighbor’s iPhone.

It is time culture jammers launched a campaign to uncool the cancerphone. Only then will our society be able to have an honest discussion about the risks of wireless devices.

Micah White is a Contributing Editor at Adbusters and an independent activist. He is writing a book on the future of activism. www.micahmwhite.com or micah (at) adbusters.org

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46 comments on the article “Cancerphone”

Displaying 31 - 40 of 46

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BLouis79

I think it's hard to predict the eventual outcome of the cellphone and brain tumours potential link. Best option is to keep the transmitter away from the brain - a wired handsfree is best.

BLouis79

I think it's hard to predict the eventual outcome of the cellphone and brain tumours potential link. Best option is to keep the transmitter away from the brain - a wired handsfree is best.

BLouis79

As an aside, there's probably more evidence that artificial sweeteners in so called "diet" products actually cause obesity, than there is that cell phones cause brain tumors.

For example
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm

Lots of mileage for adbusters when diet coke and pepsi make people fat.

BLouis79

As an aside, there's probably more evidence that artificial sweeteners in so called "diet" products actually cause obesity, than there is that cell phones cause brain tumors.

For example
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080210183902.htm

Lots of mileage for adbusters when diet coke and pepsi make people fat.

Laura Alonzo, R...

As communication technology continues to progress at a faster rate it seems impossible for anyone to know the extent of health risks that users are exposing themselves to. For most people the latest advancement in communication technology simply means another fascinating spectacle that will make life easier by connecting more people faster than ever. The problem is that as users become more dependent on this way of life, we, myself included, forget to consider the health hazards of using communication technology and more specifically, cell phones. As our reliance on cell phones grow the industry denies any potential health risks as a means to stay successful and so the vicious spiral of supply and demand goes on. The desire for instant communication is consuming our life.
While it is a personal choice to buy or use a cell phone this is more often then not an uneducated choice in regards to health and safety. Even if we wanted to educate ourselves the industry makes it impossible for the average person to decipher between fact and fiction, the information necessary to make an educated decision. In other words the cell phone industry is not only denying potential health risks but also our right to academic freedom. In response, I encourage everyone to watch for the film, Full Signal, which will be released March 19, 2010 at the American Environmental Film Festival in Washington. This film focuses on issues surrounding the health affects related to communication technology and should be instrumental in creating awareness about such problems.
As communication technology continues to progress I think it is important that our concerns should be too. What is becoming an even scarier threat are the potential health risks associated with Wi-Fi towers that are nearly identical to cell phone towers as they both emit constant waves of radiation. With the growing demand of instant communication technology, industrial strength Wi-Fi towers are being put up everywhere including inside schools to ensure faster communication. These hotspots subject individuals to radiation for hours without them even knowing. Even those who may not be using laptops or cell phones are involuntarily at risk and without the knowledge of potential health concerns have lost the choice to avoid them. Must we own the air to protect ourselves?

Laura Alonzo, R...

As communication technology continues to progress at a faster rate it seems impossible for anyone to know the extent of health risks that users are exposing themselves to. For most people the latest advancement in communication technology simply means another fascinating spectacle that will make life easier by connecting more people faster than ever. The problem is that as users become more dependent on this way of life, we, myself included, forget to consider the health hazards of using communication technology and more specifically, cell phones. As our reliance on cell phones grow the industry denies any potential health risks as a means to stay successful and so the vicious spiral of supply and demand goes on. The desire for instant communication is consuming our life.
While it is a personal choice to buy or use a cell phone this is more often then not an uneducated choice in regards to health and safety. Even if we wanted to educate ourselves the industry makes it impossible for the average person to decipher between fact and fiction, the information necessary to make an educated decision. In other words the cell phone industry is not only denying potential health risks but also our right to academic freedom. In response, I encourage everyone to watch for the film, Full Signal, which will be released March 19, 2010 at the American Environmental Film Festival in Washington. This film focuses on issues surrounding the health affects related to communication technology and should be instrumental in creating awareness about such problems.
As communication technology continues to progress I think it is important that our concerns should be too. What is becoming an even scarier threat are the potential health risks associated with Wi-Fi towers that are nearly identical to cell phone towers as they both emit constant waves of radiation. With the growing demand of instant communication technology, industrial strength Wi-Fi towers are being put up everywhere including inside schools to ensure faster communication. These hotspots subject individuals to radiation for hours without them even knowing. Even those who may not be using laptops or cell phones are involuntarily at risk and without the knowledge of potential health concerns have lost the choice to avoid them. Must we own the air to protect ourselves?

Anonymous

To all those who claim that "cell phones emit radiation, and radiation causes cancer, ergo cell phones cause cancer":
There are many different frequencies of radiation. LIGHT is electromagnetic radiation (even without the UV component). Do you honestly believe that LIGHT causes cancer?
Cell phones may indeed raise the risk of cancer... but it's not a given conclusion because of the presence of radiation.

Anonymous

To all those who claim that "cell phones emit radiation, and radiation causes cancer, ergo cell phones cause cancer":
There are many different frequencies of radiation. LIGHT is electromagnetic radiation (even without the UV component). Do you honestly believe that LIGHT causes cancer?
Cell phones may indeed raise the risk of cancer... but it's not a given conclusion because of the presence of radiation.

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