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Why Cell Phones Can't Cause Cancer, But Bananas Can

Stashed in: Science!, Light, Texting, Bananas!, Cancer

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Filed under "Most provocative title ever".  :)

True. This puts my mind at ease:

The color we see packs 1,000,000 times more energy than the waves emitted by our cell phones. If we look at the lowest electromagnetic radiation known to cause cancer, the ultraviolet spectrum, we can add a power of ten. This means that for a given amount of ultraviolet light, it would take 10,000,000 times the amount of cell phone radiation to match the same amount of energy.

I was wondering about the bananas. He saves it for the end:

As the chart above shows, some every day things like eating a banana, TSA screenings, or flying on a plane pack with them a definite risk of developing cancer, albeit very small, but verified and real. Bananas for instance, which we all know are a great source of potassium, are also a great source of the radioactive isotope of potassium, which simply occurs  in nature at a certain ratio to non-radioactive potassium. Even just going about your day packs with it 390 microsieverts annually of cosmic radiation coming from space simply from just existing on the planet Earth (if you live at higher elevations its even more).

While I said I’m trying to scare you, I’m really just trying to highlight how silly it is to worry about cancer from cell phones. It is highly unlikely that cell phone radiation can even physically cause cancer and in the small off chance it can, the effect is likely so tiny as to not worry about it at all, especially when a million other things contribute to  causing cancer way more. So go ahead and talk on your cell phones as much as you want, just don’t text and drive.

This is ridiculous.  What about all the studies showing low-energy waves can interfere with cellular pumps, etc.  What about the evidence of increased cancers near body locations exposed to EMF (you may remember for example as far back in the 90's the scandal involving police radar guns and testicular cancer).

More generally, does the author offer any explanation for skyrocketing rates of cancer, when we have many accounts from, for example, colonial doctors in the historical record observing that pre-Westernized societies had almost no rates of cancer?

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