Are We Alone – Skeptic Check: Cell Phone Danger

by Gary Niederhoff on December 21, 2010

Every ten microseconds, someone places a cell phone call. These portable gadgets are ubiquitous, and increasingly a take-for-granted part of everyday life.

But could cell phones be dangerous? Could holding a microwave transmitter up to your head for hours each day substantially increase the risk of cancer?

We investigate some of the latest thinking on the danger of cell phones, and also explain that everyone – even you – is a radio transmitter.

It’s Skeptic Check on Are We Alone. And we’ve got your number.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: James Geary on Electro-Hyper-Senstivity.
Part 2: Richard Muller on radiation.
Part 3: James Geary on the Interphone study.
Part 4: Devra Davis on the potential dangers of cell phones.
Part 5: James Geary on the potential dangers of cell phones.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Phil January 18, 2011 at 7:58 pm

At about 43:00 in this episode James Geary comments that “anyone who uses a cell phone a lot notices their ear gets warm”. The context of his remark may mislead some listeners into thinking that this heating is caused by the phone’s transmitted radio signal being absorbed in tissue. This is not the case; the transmitted signal is just too weak to cause appreciable heating in this way.

No phone is 100% efficient at converting battery energy to transmitted radio energy. Most of it is lost as heat in the phone’s power amplifier, and that heat has to go somewhere or the amplifier will burn up. So it warms up the phone, along with your hand or your ear or whatever else may be in contact with it.

avatar Geekoid April 29, 2011 at 8:30 am

Devra was painful to listen to. Nothing but Alarmist FUD. There is no evidence that turning on or off has any effect, but she latches onto that as the cause to tell us there is a risk. She moves the goal post, she lumps all studies together as if the quality is all the same.
Yes, yes, buy her book and all your question will be answered.

She’s like the Dr. Oz.

As a side note, when you have people only claiming a study shows this or that, can we get them to site the study and posted here?

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