Cellphones - still not harmful

Clean bill of health


Chris Keall

A major "study of studies" by the UK government's Health Protection Agency has found "there is still no convincing evidence that mobile phone technologies cause adverse effects on human health."

The study did say that more work was needed on the effect of radio frequency fields on brain activity, and on the possible association with behavioural problems in children and that "excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged."

A summary of the report also cautioned that:

There is little information on risks beyond 15 years from first exposure. It is therefore important to continue to monitor the evidence, including that from national brain tumour trends. These have so far given no indication of any risk.

Telecommunications Users Association head Paul Brislen told NBR it is possible to look back further.

"There is no evidence that cellphone use causes harm because cellphones are just radios you hold up to your head. Radios have been around for 100 years and the capability behind them is well understood. There is no danger from them," Mr Brislen said.

"Over the past 100 years the usage of cellphones has gone from zero to well over 100% of the population but in that time the incidence of brain tumours or brain cancer has not increased at all. The reason researchers can’t find any evidence is because there is no evidence – it’s high time we accepted the findings and simply stopped worrying about it."

Mr Brislen - who survived lymphatic cancer - added: "My advice for those that are concerned about cellphones is to pop it back in the box and send it back to the phone company. That way you’ll be completely safe."

Reality check
The Tuanz boss earlier offered a reality check over a UN World Health Organisation (WHO) report last year that said low-level radio frequency electromagnetic emissions, such as those caused by mobile phones, should be reclassified as a possible human carcinogen on its "Group 3" list.

Mr Brislen noted it was difficult to prove something was non-carcinogenic. WHO's Group 3 list includes 508 items, including coffee, tea, talcum powder and fluorescent lighting.

There is only a single substance that has made WHO's "Group 4" list as "Probably not carcinogenic to humans" - caprolactam (a liquid associated with the manufacture of nylon).

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9 Comments & Questions

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hear! hear!


Well, one thing for sure is that Mr Brislen's analogy equating a cellphone with a radio is inept and misleading. Radio's receive and do not transmit. Cellphones do both.


I'm well aware that radios don't transmit, however the use of radio spectrum remains valid. It's the same stuff coming or going.

Now power wise, you're right, the cellphones do indeed generate a power output SO VAST it is measurable. Let us compare several devices:

Walkie Talkies: 0.1-5W
Wifi modem: 0.1W
Car remote control: 0.001-0.1W

and cellphones?


(source: EMF Explained http://www.emfexplained.info/?ID=25186)

The upshot is, once you've finished worrying about the harmful effects of TV and radio masts, car remotes, walkie talkies in the courier van/taxi, coffee, alcohol, red meat and nicotine, if you're STILL keen on fretting about something go for baby monitors. And if you're still concerned, by all means let's take a look at cellphones.




ummm, radios do transmit, and have done for dozens of years. they weren't exactly 'handheld' back then (more 'carry on your back'), but they definitely transmitted.

the real problem was that they weren;t used frequently enough compared to cellphones of today to expect to see any sort of effect.


I think our anonymous friend is talking about AM/FM radios, you know, the transistor, the wireless.

clearly we need some new words in this industry.


The most hilarious part about the tinfoil hat argument is that having more cell towers reduces the power that cell phones transmit at, because they don't have to work so hard to reach the nearest tower. For example having a cell tower in a school would reduce the amount of exposure to EMR that the students receive from each other's handsets.

On a similar theme, power drops off exponentially over distance, so a handset at arm's reach is the equivalent of a cell tower a hundred meters away. Which means that sitting in a room with several handsets is the same as sitting in the middle of a field surrounded by that many cell towers.

And of course the worst case scenario is when you are with several cell-phone users when you are out of range of a cell (eg. a rail tunnel or a plane at altitude). Then the phones transmit at maximum power in the forlorn hope of finding a nearby tower. This is why so many planes crash every day. (Most of the crashes are covered up because the telco lobby doesn't want the truth to come out).


Yes, that certainly seems to be an entirely plausible explanation as to why planes crash. Lucky there's a genius like you to think of it!! The rest of us can now rest easy. PS: Just wondering if you're also able to shoot down that ridiculous "earth is round and it travels round the sun" nonsense!


Cellphones are dangerous, just check your last bill.....phew!


I think the studies are not detailed enough. People should look for other jobs and some should consider <a href="http://work-fromhome.co.za">work from home</a> alternatives out there.


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