The iPhone and the brain cancer debate.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Jade Cambell, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. Jade Cambell macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I think i'm the first one posting on this topic. Everyone knows about the debates going on about mobile phones causing brain cancer or other undesirable physical effects. But no one's ever applied it to the iPhone.

    I'm fully aware that the radio waves emitted by cell phones and cell towers do mess with the cell structures inside our bodies. That's physics and biology. The question is, what effect does that have? And is the level of radio waves being emitted by new phones like the iPhone, strong enough to cause any diseases farther down the road? I know that ten years ago, those big clunky mobile phones emitted something like 3 watts, and phones like the iPhone emit a tiny fraction of that.

    However, as much as the FDA would like to convince me that my phone is perfectly safe, I like to try and find things out for myself. The problem is, if it does take 30 or 40 years to develop cancer from using a phone, no one has used a phone for that long so it's impossible to prove it. They've given Rats cancer by exposing them to mobile phone radio waves, but rats aren't humans. They cooked an egg in 65 minutes, by placing two mobile phones on either side of it, and starting a call from one to the other. But again, an egg is not a brain.

    Furthermore, i've heard different debates about whether a wired headset reduces the radiation exposure to your brain, or whether it actually acts as an antenna and messes with your brain even more. I listened to music alot on my iPod, and if my iPhone is going to replace my iPod as my music player, I need to know that when i'm listening to music, i'm not getting bombarded by radio waves. I realize that there's no way around that when i'm making a call, or using the internet or something, but when i'm just in the iPod part, listening to music, would the very fact that I am in a spot of cell reception cause radio waves to be transmitted up through the earphones and into my head?

    Earlier today, I could've sworn that I could feel the difference in my ears and in the immediate parts of my brain, when the earphones were plugged into the iPhone, and when they were not plugged in. However, I'm fairly certain that it was all in my mind, and because I was imagining radio waves piercing my brain when the thing was plugged in, it made me feel different.

    I just don't want to wake up in a hospital bed when i'm 45 years old, dying of brain cancer, and some bimbo on the news channel appears on the TV screen in front of me and says "Sorry folks, we didn't know that with mobile phones, brain cancer is not a matter of 'if' but 'when',". It'll be like a repeat of the hygiene scenario with doctors and pregnant women in the 18th century, and a repeat of the X-ray fiasco in more recent times. The FDA doesn't want to disclose any information that might reduce cell phone sales, and they're the ones that decide which information gets released to the mass public.

    In either case, I don't use my iPhone for large amounts of time, so i'm not totally freaking out. I put it in airplane mode when i'm at home, because I have a computer and a land line at home, and I have no reception at home anyway. And when i'm out of the house, I don't make too many phone calls or anything, but I really need to find out whether the earphones transmit radio waves when i'm just listening to music.

    Anyways, I hope a thread like this doesn't put a bitter taste in peoples mouths, considering i'm sticking it in along with all these threads of excited iPhone buyers, but I think it's completely relevant to this product, and it's something we should all think about. Any information, stories, evidence, counter-evidence, experience, thoughts or ideas are greatly welcomed here.

    Thanks,

    Jade
     
  2. SkyBell macrumors 604

    SkyBell

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    #2
    This a very touchy topic, and I must say, you've posed an interesting question which could be the subject of a nice debate (for once.)

    It's hard to tell with these things. They say that aspartme, the sweetener used in diet soft drinks, has been shown to cause cancer. Of course, no one knew that when it came out. Same with everything. It takes a half century to even get a good estimate. The iPhone could be the same way, but chances are, you won't be using it in 5 years, so no one really has the money to invest in a research project for something that won't last a decade.

    I'm feeling very philosophical right now, unusual for my teenage self. :)
     
  3. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #3
    I have a very hard time believing that radio waves can interact with a cell to transform it into cancer.

    If there is a peer reviewed article saying that it does so in rats, please post up the URL, I would love to see their methods and conclusions.
     
  4. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #4
    There is no debate. This issue was debunked a long time ago.

    ...And a cell phone can't cook an egg.
     
  5. Jade Cambell thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Here is the link that talks about the Rats:

    http://www.cqs.com/cell.htm

    And in this discussion here, the last post, (post #4) shows an egg being cooked in 65 minutes, by two cell phones.

    http://www.algeria.com/forums/health-science/17726-mobile-phones-unhealthy.html

    I really want this stuff to turn out to be not true. But there is some evidence pointing towards it. After all, it is radio waves. A-Bombs kill people with radio waves. Microwaves kill food with radio waves.

    And this isn't about whether or not i'll be using the iPhone in 5 or 10 years. Because it applies to all cell phones. I directed it at the iPhone for this particular board, and also because I was hoping to get some information about the earphones and whether radio waves get carried up through them.
     
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

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    #6
    What else is there to be said? the debate rages on for all cell phones about whether they pose a risk or not, and the iPhone is no exception, nor is t any different. So waht exactly is the point in giving special attention to the iPhone over other phones?


    Is it? Cite your sources, please.


    And it looks like you already came to your conclusion. End of discussion, right?
     
  7. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #7
    That is complete and utter BS. It simply isn't possible. Members in this thread did a good job of debunking this.

    No, they don't.
     
  8. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #8
    RF can only induce heat. Walking outside (obviously, during daylight) causes far more heating of tissue than can be done with a cell phone transmitter. Electromagnetic energy needs to be at much higher energies (smaller wavelengths) to affect molecular structures. RF is non-ionizing radiation, as opposed to X-rays and gamma rays which are ionizing forms of EM radiation. It's ionization that damages the atoms and molecules in cells.

    Again: No. Nuclear explosions harm people with ionizing radiation - gamma rays. Also, high-energy particles are emitted that can also effect atoms and molecules. (Of course, this all assumes one survives the heat blast.)

    RF is non-ionizing radiation. RF can only cause heating. Microwave ovens "kill" food with heat.
     
  9. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #9
    There are many peer reviewed papers outside of Science and Nature (as listed on that page).

    Many papers (good papers even) do not make the cut in those journals.

    If the science is good, it should have been published elsewhere.

    If, as I suspect, it's not, then it is not suprising that there aren't publications listed.

    That's why peer review works -- the science has to pass muster.
     
  10. TurboSC macrumors 65816

    TurboSC

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    #10
    Yea well once all you bastards are dead, I'll be laughing in my vault.

    *adjusts tin foil hat*
     
  11. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #11
    Hey we're all gonna go, it's just a question of when and why.

    Save some foil for me.
     
  12. Jade Cambell thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    :D

    So, the radio waves are really completely different than those used in microwaves, x-rays, and A-bombs? I'm gonna look more into that, and if it's true, i'll be very relieved. What about the earphones? Does the cell signal go through the earphones, or is it just an audio transmission device that carries the audio from the cell phone to the ears?

    How does a microwave kill the food with pure heat that quickly? The microwave and the cell phone are both non-ionizing RF, so how does the microwave use that same technology to heat up food in a matter of seconds?
     
  13. Sobe macrumors 68000

    Sobe

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    #13
    microwaves and radio waves are low energy.

    X rays and gamma are high energy.

    UV (sunburn, skin cancer) are more powerful and are closer to x rays and gamma but still less powerful.

    Basically you need enough energy to cause problems. Extended exposure doesn't equal high energy.

    I have no idea about the earphones, but I would imagine it's just audio or in the case of bluetooth whatever control signals need to be beamed back and forth.

    I believe it is a question of the amount.

    Here's a real good link I found on some discussion site that might help:

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/microwave.htm
     
  14. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #14
    Yes. :)

    Correct. No need to worry (although, even if the cell signal did go through the earphones, there would be no need to worry). ;)


    Simply, microwave ovens use a specific frequency of microwaves that causes water molecules to vibrate, thus creating heat.
     
  15. Jade Cambell thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    But if microwaves are low energy, that doesn't sound good. If low energy radio waves can do what a microwave does.. then what does that mean about what the cell phone does to the brain?

    edit: nevermind. EricNau already answered my question. :)
     
  16. gr8tfly macrumors 603

    gr8tfly

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    #16
    Radio waves are electromagnetic waves. "Microwave" is the name applied to RF in frequencies starting around 1000MHz (1GHz), and going on up to 50GHz or more. Light, X-ray, and gamma rays are the same, just much, much higher in frequency (and, as a consequence, higher energy). They are usually referred to by wavelength, rather than frequency (like 625nm is red light). There are probably many charts of the electromagnetic spectrum on-line. So - RF, microwaves, infrared, light, UV, X-rays, and gamma rays are all the same. Just different frequencies/wavelengths.

    Microwave ovens use RF energy to excite molecules. Excited molecules are hotter than "calm" ones. They operate are MUCH higher power (many orders of magnitude) than cell phones. There are a bunch of sites on how microwave ovens work, so I'll leave it there.

    On the earphone question: The phone's designed so the RF doesn't appear in the audio output circuit or headphone. Not sure if that answered the question.

    There is some effect of time vs. exposure: maximum exposure for a given specific absorption rate (at which tissue absorbs RF energy) are based on 6 minute averages for controlled environments and 30 minutes for uncontrolled. Which is saying the longer you apply the energy, the warmer the tissue.

    some starting places for more info: http://www.fcc.gov/oet/rfsafety/rf-faqs.html

    http://www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/exposure_regs.html
     
  17. Jade Cambell thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I'm pretty sure that answered the question. You're saying that nothing but audio get's transmitted through the earphones. Correct?
     
  18. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #18
    Oh my god STOP!

    Radio, x-ray, gamma,ultra-violet, infra-red, and whatever other 'waves' you discuss are all different frequencies. You can't have radiowaves in microwaves. You can't have radiowaves in gamma rays (which would kill you). You (the OP) really don't have a clue about what you're talking about. You seriously don't and you really need to stop this crap.

    Not to mention that the 'iPhone hasn't been discussed' in the brain cancer discussion is no different than any other mobile phone. It should be clearly understood that cellphones all work on the same frequency spectrum. None of which are at this time considered hazardous to brains.

    'Only audio gets transmitted through the headphones'???? Are you serious? Where do you drum up such paranoia? Its simply sound. Not deadly radiation.
     
  19. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

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    #19
    hmm

    Maybe if you stay in Steve Jobs' RDF (Reality Distortion Field) long enough.
     
  20. OllyW Moderator

    OllyW

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    #20
    If you are that worried about having your brain fried, don't bother having a mobile phone.

    The human race seemed to cope rather well before they were invented. :)
     
  21. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

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    #21
    BBC Panorama (that leviathan of a good journalistic show :rolleyes:) found that wireless internet uses the same type of radiation, and to similar strength, as you would receive from living under a phone-mast. Now living under a phone mast, incidentally, is not allowed in the UK due to health reasons.

    Can someone do some debunking on this for me?
     
  22. pooryou macrumors 65816

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    #22
    Has anyone actually read the iPhone manual?
    You may be surprised at what it says in there, judging by a lot of the comments in this thread. There is no mystery here and nothing to debunk.
    And anything about cooking eggs is totally irrelevant...

    How many people follow these safety guidelines? If you carry your iPhone in your pocket (I do) you are already breaking them.
    The truth is we don't really know whether it is safe or not, but there are good reasons to be cautious.
     
  23. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #23
    Please summarize. We're not going to read that.
    (Why am I still replying to this thread?)
     
  24. PDE macrumors 68020

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    #24
    Thanks, I was just going to post this. There have been many studies in europe and I think the general consensus now is that average mobile phone users need not worry (I'm not going to looking for the studies, but I'm sure you can google to find references to them) Even so, you'll notice that because of the very heated debates a few years ago, it seems that more people use handsfree over there than in the U.S..

    IMO, it makes sense to be cautious and just use a handsfree whenever possible.
     
  25. EvryDayImShufln macrumors 65816

    EvryDayImShufln

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    Sep 18, 2006
    #25
    There is one thing that bugs me though. When I use my iPhone for an extended period of time, I feel my hand heating up and feeling weird, not as a result of the heat of the iPhone (because it does get slightly warm).

    That's why I want to get a case and see if this still happens.
     

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