Cancer and PowerBooks

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by krohde, Apr 3, 2003.

  1. krohde macrumors member

    May 29, 2002
    Europe, UK
    I sent the following letter to Apple using the Mac OS X Feedback Form:

    I would just like to bring the following information to your attention. Several scientists have proven that chances of developing cancer are increased with the use of cellphones because of the heat that they produce. this heat, so closely to the head can increase body temperatures which will provoke uncontrollable cell reproduction also known as cancer. The new PowerBooks also generate a lot of heat. I have just bought one myself and have now had it for almost 2 weeks, and I have to say that it does bother me and causes some concern with respect to health issues. I do know that Apple resently presented a document wherein they acknowledged that the PowerBooks do generate heat, but it is within safety boundaries and according to specified security rules. I would therefore just like to bring this to your attention: Be warned! Some people might actually become affected by this heat, and a lawsuit could look very grim for the company!!! Maybe Apple should take the first step and undertake a secret investigation of possible links to cancer provocation before somebody else does and brings you in trouble.

    Thank you for listening
  2. yzedf macrumors 65816


    Nov 1, 2002
  3. daedelgt macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2002
    What lawsuit? Every laptop generates heat.

    Sperm production will go down when your using a powerbook on your lap, but other than that, there is no real issue. Heat hasn't been linked to cancer at all. I'm sure a shaved guy in the Australian desert gets more heat to his noggin than you do from a cell phone. Also, the powerbooks are aluminum, which tends to shield any radiation you might have coming from the power supply, cd-rom, etc.

    Sperm count will go down, because your testicles require a very exact temperature range to produce the little baby makers.
  4. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    I don’t think it heat. If that were the case a lot of pet owners who sleep in the same bed as their animals would have cancer. Also, desert dwellers, those that use heaters excessively etc… Would have a higher chance of cancer. It’s just not good science.

    The best hypothesis, and it is a hypothesis, is that certain forms and frequencies of EMR resonate DNA causing damage. DNA is normally self-repairing, but it seems logical that this process could be interfered with.

    I once saw a grid that showed cancer cases dotted along a line that matched up with power lines. After some probing into the study it didn’t show a relation to the power lines and cancer, but demographics and cancer, as it was a poor neighborhood. Houses out of the region, but under the same kind of powerlines did not show an increased rate of cancer. PCBs, substandard living, etc... were more likely the causes. Unless there is a 1-1 cause and effect it hard to prove, and a study must take into account all the variables to be valid.

    If your really worried use a pencil, go out side and play sports, see a play, and go to the symphony for music. All are less carcinogenic and you will be a better human for it. As for me, I'll just avoid the cell phone.
    In any case- The PBs and iBooks are well shielded and temporally decreasing the effectiveness of anybody’s gonads is a good thing, as humans just love to multiply. The real question is our population equilibrium curve an R or an S type.
  5. iPat macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Your not correct......take it from someone with a great deal of study in the field of oncology, heat DOES NOT EQUAL the same radiation given off by cell phones. RADIOWAVES are the SUSPECTED cause of head and neck cancer in cell phone users. Next you'll be trying to say people in Florida get skin cancer more often than people in New York because Florida has an warmer average temperature (Hint - the more intense solar radiation may be a better idea to look into). This is the problem with lay people trying to understand science when they have no science background. I don't know much about transmissions and I don't make wild guesses about them either. This is not to say there counldn't possibly (I am unaware of any studies suggesting this) be an associted health risk with positioning a laptop on your lap, but this risk is NOT from the thermal heat making cells grow faster. Carcinogenesis starts at the level of DNA (you know tumor suppressor gene inactivation, oncogene activation, inactivation of DNA repair enzymes leading to mutator phenotypes, p53 inactivation, Rb, etc. etc. etc). I can assure you that proteins in "warm-blooded" mammals have evolved nicely to handle increased temperature (heat shock proteins, etc, etc). Your argument would also suggest that exercise (a highly exothermic activity) increased your risk of cancer and we know that's not the case. It is also a mutistep process that requires many, many mututions not only in the DNA but also requires something to force the cells to divide. Before you go scaring people, make sure you know what your talking about.
  6. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    Buy an external keyboard and mouse. Put the computer on a desk.

    The problem with the cell phones is the power of the radio transmitter/receiver. Never before for any reason have so many people been exposed to such powerful waves at such close range. In the radio bands up to about 110MHz, the poblem isn't too bad because these waves are not as capable of moving through you, but moving into the 800, 900, and 1900 MHz spetrum, the waves are more capable of passing through the body's defenses. Also consider a 900MHz cordless phone. It has a relatively short range. Now imagine how much more powerful the transmitter on the cell phone must be to reach an antenna sometimes miles away.

    A few years back, while the radiotion debate was on the front burner, there was talk about moving cell phones to a radio frequency in or slightly above the FM bands. This would greatly reduce the risk of exposure, but the arguments against it were the lack of security and the inability to include as many phones in the lower bands of the spectrum.
  7. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    iPat makes the better argument.

    I still think that if you truly have fear use a pencil for writing, visit somebody in person instead of email, play sport instead of a video game, watch a play instead of a movie, and play an instrument instead of an MP3.

    Post links to articles in refereed journals. It makes for a better argument.
  8. jlambert macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2003
    lmao, someone would have an extremely difficult time proving the their trusty mac caused them to get cancer. I doubt it would anyways.
  9. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    If that's the case...

    I guess it's time to buy these idiots a one way ticket to Siberia.

    We definitely wouldn't want them to get cancer.
  10. Apple][Forever macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2002

    I'm setting up the ice blocks in my apartment now
  11. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    Agreed. I got a good chuckle out of that "heat causes cancer posting" too.
    What'll be next? Breathing oxygen oxidizes too much cellular DNA, causing increased cancer rates in people who breathe fresh air? Let's sue Mother Nature for having oxygen in the air. DAMN HER!!! ;)
  12. NavyIntel007 macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    This is some disgruntled PC user that's mad cause he has to use a crappy $999 100 lb cross between a george forman and a computer. WAKE UP BUDDY!!!! PC's are much much hotter. My mom has an HP and you can't even leave it on all day.

    What an idiot.
  13. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Nov 1, 2001
    Ok, come on guys, no personal attacks.

    So it was a little baiting - it was more than aptly dealt with by iPat (nice response, btw).

    Let it go,

    Thank you,

  14. G4scott macrumors 68020


    Jan 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    I like the heat. In my physics class, it gets so cold, the heat from my PowerBook is so comfortable warming up my hands in that room...

    Maybe if Apple found a way to transfer the heat energy into electrical energy, or some other form of energy that can be used to power the PowerBook... Oh well. We can't have everything, so I guess this PowerBook/hand warmer is enough...
  15. alset macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2002
    East Bay, CA
    What a joke. I thought for sure he was going to suggest that AP Extreme would lead to cancer (who knows, right?), but this is ridiculous.

  16. janey macrumors 603


    Dec 20, 2002
    sunny los angeles
    i said to maurice: hey you know is it possible that i got leukemia from excessive use of laptops from Apple, especially the PowerBooks?
    his reply: WHAT THE #@!)*&$ ARE YOU SMOKING?!
    me: umm i just read this thread on macrumors that made no sense at all...something about cancer and heat produced by a powerbook
    maurice: (after taking a look at the thread) you're an idiot for listening to that crap

    okay so what...we got two oncologists who say that it's totally false :D that's good...i would hate to think that powerbooks cause cancer :(
  17. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001

    That is the most stupid thing I ever heard from this forum, just think about this:

    -Hot chocolate generates more heat than a powerbook or cellphone.

    -Excersice or workout generates more heat than a powerbook or cellphone.

    -SEX generates more heat (down there) than a powerbook or cellphone.

    -Any warm meal generates more heat than a powerbook or cellphone.

    Those are sciencetist that just want to find their 15 minutes of fame telling something really stupid.
  18. iPat macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2002
    O.K feeling a little bad for being here's my advice to the person who posted the original message. I know that to the untrained eye there is a lot of difficulty dealing with the massive amount of misinformation out there. But there are things that a person can do to minize the amount of misinformation they are getting.

    Three things to remember...especially when reading about science and medicine (especially in the popular news).

    1. Remember that science isn't about JUST being right or's about accumulating evidence to suggest something may or may not be occurring. Things that seem clear-cut and convincing often aren't as they seem because they're much more complicated (or simple?). Often we need to believe something that is incorrect before we can come to the correct conclusion.

    2. The popular media loves to make big deals out of everything. It's often true that once believed "truths" are often disproved....but it is a step by step process of accumulating a little evidence.....then someone else gets a little evidence....then someone else, etc. etc. etc. Eventually you hope there's enough to convince people. But just because it's in writing doesn't mean it's true and just because science and the medical community dismisses something doesn't mean it isn't true. Point is you need to evaluate everything critically.

    3. There are scientists who aren't good at what they do...just like every other profession. When someone makes an unbelievable statement that "bucks" everything known about a subject, they're either crazy or unbelievable geniuses.

    So your scientists are either crazy or the best thing to happen since sliced bread and internists and the medical community need to do whatever is takes to convince patients to keep their body temps as low as possible, don't take hot showers, etc., etc., etc. Is it a possibility? Sure! Is it at all likely? NO!
  19. FelixDerKater Contributor


    Apr 12, 2002
    Nirgendwo in Amerika
    Actually, it depends on how hot it is. Constant burning (not just heating) of an area, such as the skin or the esophoagous and stomach, can lead to cancer. We all know about skin cancer, but the PowerBook's heat is not going to cook you legs like the sun does. In country's such as Japan where food is eaten at extremely high temperatures, and the esophaous and stomach are burnt repeatedly, there is a statistically significant increase in the number of cancers in those areas.
  20. iPat macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2002
    I don't want to get into a lecture about every case of cancer but.... While it's true that things like esophageal reflux can lead to precancerous conditions such as intestinal metaplasia (Barrett's esophagus) and chronic gastritis can be a premalignant condtion to stomach cancer (usually H. pylori considered a carcinogen and NOT the cause of gastric ulcer), the only documented studies looking at the higher incidence of esophagela and stomach cancer in China, Japan, South Africa, etc. suggest that this is due to genetic predispositon, fungus-contaiminated foods, high levels of the a carcinogen called nitrosamine within the food, and a host of vitamin deficiencies and heavy metal contamination of food. Not because they eat their food too hot and it burns the esophagus and stomach.

    Things aren't always what they seem. Women have a lower risk of lung cancer. Is it because of something a complicated as polymorphism in their HLA loci/P450 polymorphisms or is because something as simple as they smoke less? It takes a lot of time and energy to try and figure it out. Don't rush to conclusions.
  21. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2001
    London, UK
    Maybe some sort of microwave oven can be incorporated into the laptop - then it really WOULD be a dual-purpose machine...

  22. iGav macrumors G3

    Mar 9, 2002
    It's very warm in my office at the moment.... so a huge fan has been switched on and is partly aimed at my PowerBook to keep it cool, I had to do it alot last summer on my old Rev A Ti 500MHz which incidently was like a furnace in comparison to my current 1GHz Ti.... I've checked for tumours and I'm lump free...

    Incidently who actually uses a laptop on their lap??
  23. maradong macrumors 65816


    Mar 7, 2003
    Actually Cancer is not a result to heat but to the waves emited by the cell phones, transformed in the coprs to heat.

    And it is not yet proven.
    Really that s nonesense
  24. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    iPat, again I think you make the best case here.
    I don't believe that you’re being overly harsh.
    I hope that krohde decides that this is a safe place to post.

    Many of the people I work with lament that there is no "classical" education any more. I just smile and know that times change. When my father was in high school they hadn't discovered DNA yet, there were only computation machines, and shop was a required elective. Now every (we hope) student that goes through high school is well versed in the basics of genetics, chemistry and physics. Programming is a suggested elective and what was once offered as the first year of collage level chemistry is taught during the first semester of high school chemistry.

    Knowledge and the focus of learning/understanding changes with the times. We are in an odd transitional state, where it is difficult for the general population to catch up with the latest information about science and technology. We see the products (the effects) and little care or know about the fundamental concepts (causes) that underlie its creation.
  25. beatle888 macrumors 68000


    Feb 3, 2002

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