Home > Skeptic, Technology > Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? See What a Real Expert Says

Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? See What a Real Expert Says

November 24, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

I’ve written about the issue of cell phones and Wi-Fi and the supposed health risks associated with their use. The resounding scientific evidence shows they are perfectly safe, but the media continues to stoke fear in the public with unbalanced coverage.

When reading a news story about this sort of thing, I always wonder why they don’t ask an actual expert. The answer is that an expert would say how implausible the story is, and that they are silly for reporting it.

That doesn’t sell newspapers.

Instead, they find the one person on the fringe who maintains that there is a magical mechanism by which non-ionizing radiation can harm us. But thankfully, Phil Plait posted on his blog today something I have been looking for a long time.

I’m not a researcher (anymore). I don’t have a Ph.D, so I can tell you what I think, and I can tell you I know what I’m talking about, but I will never have as much credibility as a real university professor in physics or electrical engineering.

Enter this talk by Professor Christopher Davis from the University of Maryland’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. It was given at a National Capitol Area Skeptics meeting, and posted on YouTube. It’s in 5 parts and each part is about 13 minutes long.

It is a fascinating talk and not too technical, so you don’t need a science background to understand the main points. He even touches on backscatter x-ray scanners which have been in the news quite a bit lately. Enjoy!

  1. AJ
    December 6, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Thank you for this! My poor boyfriend is a clinical hypochondriac and stories like this one:


    Send him into extreme panic. Thanks, Yahoo, for randomly putting that story on his home page. -_-

    • December 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

      Yeah I know people like that too. We can’t really blame people for being scared. When news outlets take scientific studies totally out of context, cherry pick data, and only interview people who hold fringe viewpoints, it’s hard not to be scared.

      But saying “Cell phones are safe!” doesn’t get readership. Saying they “may cause health problems” and spouting nonsense to support it definitely does get readership.

      Makes you want to bang your head against the wall, doesn’t it?

  1. May 23, 2011 at 9:53 am
  2. May 31, 2011 at 10:42 am
  3. September 19, 2011 at 6:20 pm
  4. September 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm

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