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Senator Harkin promises probe of mobile phone-cancer risks

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 16 Sep 2009 3:19 User comments (9)

Senator Harkin promises probe of mobile phone-cancer risks Iowa senator Tom Harkin recently became chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, following the death of Senator Ted Kennedy. On Monday, Harkin vowed to look into the possibilities of cancer risks from mobile phone use. He said he was concerned that nobody was able to definitively prove that mobile phones could not cause cancer.
"I'm reminded of this nation's experience with cigarettes. Decades passed between the first warnings about smoking tobacco and the final definitive conclusion that cigarettes cause lung cancer," Harkin said. It is estimated that 4 billion people worldwide use mobile phones regularly.

Harkin called a hearing of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, to examine the issue on Monday. "I will pursue this beyond this panel, with the National Institutes of Health," he said afterward.

However, Harkin should be aware that an enormous amount of research has been conducted already on this issue, and no link has ever been found to prove that mobile phones do cause cancer. Simply saying that nobody has been able to disprove it does not make it more plausible, and it is slightly concerning at least that an elected Senator would pursue something on the grounds that nobody could disprove its existence - but it isn't surprising.

Of course, there are reports occasionally that do show that there "might" be links in cases, and just recently the Environmental Working Group showed that radio wave emissions vary from one mobile phone brand to the next. Even with this taken into account however, all the research has shown that mobile phones do not emit waves capable of damaging DNA in cells in a human body.

"This part of the spectrum is known as non-ionizing radiation," Linda Erdreich of science and engineering firm Exponent, said at the hearing. Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, however, made the same leap as Harkin and repeatedly asked Erdreich whether Science had conclusively proved there are no connections - which is a misunderstanding of exactly what Science does.

"Your statement that it is hard to prove a negative is right on," Erdreich replied. Specter replied: "What comes through to me is that we just don't know what the answer is."

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9 user comments

116.9.2009 9:54

"I'm reminded of this nation's experience with SOCIALIZED HEALTHCARE. Decades passed between the first warnings about FREE HEALTHCARE FOR DEADBEATS AND ILLEGALS and the final definitive conclusion that it was a faliure,and caused the death of America" Harkin said. It is estimated that 4 billion people worldwide use mobile phones regularly.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Sep 2009 @ 10:00

216.9.2009 14:53

Senator Harkin has his work cut out for him on this one.

This is because not all radiation is harmful. It all has to do with the TYPE of radiation as well as the WAVELENGTH.

Some radiation is actually good for the body while some frequencies can cause harmful effects. The hard part will be determining which frequency of radiation is harmful and which frequency is benign.

317.9.2009 0:08

If I knew that this was true I would send Free Phones to all the members of the House and Congress !!!!

417.9.2009 0:47

Originally posted by ronhondo:
If I knew that this was true I would send Free Phones to all the members of the House and Congress !!!!
You could send them the iPhone 3GS...it may not cause cancer...but the explosions might be deadly!

517.9.2009 2:09

Quote:
Originally posted by ronhondo:
If I knew that this was true I would send Free Phones to all the members of the House and Congress !!!!
You could send them the iPhone 3GS...it may not cause cancer...but the explosions might be deadly!
lol yeah but the fireworks caused by the iphones would be nothing compared to apple's accusations :P your forgetting last time they talked bout the overheating and exploding phones they practically said its our fault for leaving them in hot places!! so someone should notify the congressmen to keep it in the small bar fridge in their office..or on 2nd thought -dont.. letem live and learn for themselves XD

617.9.2009 10:26

This guy is going to waste tax payer money. I am Senior Chemistry student and my Organic Chemistry teacher showed and proved that the frequency at which Cellphones operate is so weak that it could not cause any damage to biological life. The frequency is NOT as strong as a microwave oven, not even remotely close. PLEASE stop thinking it is. I hate people like this who have NO education in science, but then they DON'T listen to the people that its their job to know and do things like this.

717.9.2009 12:22

Originally posted by flyingpen:
I hate people like this who have NO education in science, but then they DON'T listen to the people that its their job to know and do things like this.
Just like global warming is/isn't an issue? You can read just as much literature from scientists on both sides of this debate. Whether cell phones cause cancer or not is going to be decided by who's running for office and what agenda is served.

818.9.2009 3:23

Quote:
Originally posted by flyingpen:
I hate people like this who have NO education in science, but then they DON'T listen to the people that its their job to know and do things like this.
Just like global warming is/isn't an issue? You can read just as much literature from scientists on both sides of this debate. Whether cell phones cause cancer or not is going to be decided by who's running for office and what agenda is served.
It depends on where citizens choose to get their information. From respected Scientific peer reviewed journals (or a respectable source that reports on them) or from 24-hour cable news networks. For example, it's been shown time and time again that the MMR vaccine does not cause autism in children by legitimate Scientific research published in peer reviewed journals - yet the initial reports, blown up by the media, have had a lingering effect (leading to first child deaths in UK from measles in years) because the research that shows no link is not as "network sexy" as the false original claim.

You mentioned global warming. The funny thing about global warming is that its pretty much blanketly accepted, or extremely close to it, that the planet is in fact warming... but the "cause" the point of dispute. Is it human activity or is it something natural we can't have control over?

918.9.2009 6:31

Originally posted by Dela:
You mentioned global warming. The funny thing about global warming is that its pretty much blanketly accepted, or extremely close to it, that the planet is in fact warming... but the "cause" the point of dispute. Is it human activity or is it something natural we can't have control over?
Yeah, that's what I meant. Same thing goes for Nuclear power. As long as people are ignorant, the politicians they choose will run anti-nuclear campaigns just to stay in office, despite any evidence of safe and clean technology right in front of their faces. Save their hide instead of help educate their constituents. The only thing they believe in is being the face and voice for ignorant zombies. I'm sure there are many people already who are running with the fear of cell phones causing cancer. Whether Harkin knows it or not, he'll be building an army.

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