Friday, May 27, 2011

Dr. Bob Park: Cell Phones Do NOT Cause Brain Cancer

Dr. Robert Park, PhD. an emeritus professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park and a former Director of Public Information at the Washington office of the American Physical Society, runs his weblog "What's New?" in which he talks about, among other things, typical Media (and therefore Public) misunderstanding of even basic Physics, particularly the "hype" that cell phones cause cancer. San Francisco in particular seems to be especially mis-informed. In any regard, here is his latest, and reveals what I find anyway to be his pleasurable writing style. 


Dr. Sanjay Gupta, MD, the Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN, uses a wired earpiece to avoid radiating his brain with microwaves. I don't even use a cell phone, so am I safer than Sanjay Gupta? No not unless Sanjay keeps his cell phone in his pants pocket when he uses the earpiece. Our gonads dangle in that silly scrotum to keep them slightly below body temperature, but they do seem dangerously exposed. Microwaves from the cell phone might raise their temperature a bit. The most that could happen would be an infinitesimal decrease in the fertility rate. At least that's in the right direction. Sanjay Gupta is a good writer, and he's probably a good doctor. I listen to him whenever I can. My mother would have said, "He's a REAL doctor," as opposed to the PhD scientist kind. Trust me Mom, an M.D. is not a scientist.


Here's the conversation I have several times a day with total strangers: 

Caller: do you use a wired earphone? 

BP: No. 

Caller: would it be too much trouble? 

BP: No. 

Caller: Wouldnt you be safer? 

BP: No. 

Caller: How do you know? 

BP: Quantum physics; all cancers are caused by mutant strands of DNA. Electromagnetic radiation can't create mutant strands of DNA unless the frequency is at or higher than the blue limit of the visible spectrum the near-ultraviolet. The frequency of cell phone radiation is about 1 million times too low. 

Caller: Wow! When did this news break? 

BP: Albert Einstein let it out in 1905. Robert Millikan, considered to be the world's top physics experimentalist, spent a decade constructing an experiment to test it. It confirmed Einstein's theory perfectly. 

Caller: I'm shocked! Are you sure this is right? 

BP: Virtually the entire modern world rests on it. 

Caller: Why am I just hearing about this? 

BP: Because Sanjay didn't tell you. We all depend on the news media to keep us informed, and the news media all over the world let us down on this one. And we scientists should have been screaming louder. 


Shecky R. said...

"...all cancers are caused by mutant strands of DNA. Electromagnetic radiation can't create mutant strands of DNA..."

Even if that statement were true, it is largely meaningless.
"A" doesn't have to "cause" "B" -- "A" may cause "X" which causes "Y" which causes "Z" which then causes "B" (somewhat as in chaos theory, the butterfly's flapping wings "causes" a hurricane 6 months later). The verdict is still out on any cell ph./cancer connection and may not be settled for another 10-20 yrs., until a young generation grows up having used the devices for most of their lives. Park assumes way too much, if his only basis is quantum physics.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Park, perhaps you are a talented physicist, but your post is perhaps a reflection of mild dementia. Your allusion to Einstein is irrelevant in this context, as he was referring to an entirely different phenomenon. Unfortunately Dr Park, snide doesn't fir you well, especially when your post misses the mark. Not a fan sir.

Steven Colyer said...

I don't think he's reading this, Anon. He has an e-mail address. You can go to his website and find it there. Bear in mind he's been on top of this issues for years, if not decade.

Shecky R., thank you very much. I'll look into it.

Phil Warnell said...


You might be surprised that even in my line of work I find some consumers who see this as a danger. I ask people who are so concerned if they know the whole universe is awash with microwave radiation. I also inquire of anyone who so complains if they know what the wave length parameters of microwaves are; with not finding yet one person who gave me an answer.

I also confronted by people who feel it's necessary to shield their house wiring so as to reduce their exposure to magnetic fields, while never considering that it’s the earth’s own which protects us from most of the wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation for which there is real reason to be concerned.

Bottom line, is asking such questions or pointing these things out seldom helps as their fears are not grounded in reason, yet only based on what they believe happens to be reason.

"[Thought] seems to have some inertia, a tendency to continue. It seems to have a necessity that we keep on doing it. However ... we often find that we cannot easily give up the tendency to hold rigidly to patterns of thought built up over a long time. We are then caught up in what may be called absolute necessity. This kind of thought leaves no room at all intellectually for any other possibility, while emotionally and physically, it means we take a stance in our feelings, in our bodies, and indeed, in our whole culture, of holding back or resisting. This stance implies that under no circumstances whatsoever can we allow ourselves to give up certain things or change them."

-David Bohm & Mark Edwards, "Changing Consciousness"_, p. 15

Steven Colyer said...

Yes Phil, your "consumers" (is the "customer always right?" ... NO! ... but don't tell THEM that! .. lol) may wish to direct their fears to bigger worries, which in my mind is is what Big Energy, Big Pharma,Big Banking, or more distinctly what the hell Big MONEY is doing to all of us ... which is pretty much what I like to do to my wife ... but in their case in a nastier way, and definitely not a kind and loving way.

Aw, I don't even know why I try to do what I do at times ... which is to do my bit salvage our species to the extent we can be salvaged ... because sometimes I think in that regard: do we deserve to be? Do we?

Plato said...

WiFi from Laptop can Damage Sperm DNA
Using a laptop with the WiFi turned on may damage sperm, according to a landmark study on the effects of microwave radiation on sperm. The study was presented at the meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine in Denver, Colorado.

“This is the first scientific study showing that a laptop computer connected by WiFi may damage DNA and decrease sperm mobility in only four hours,” said Conrado Avendano, Research Director at the Nascentis Reproductive Medical Centre in Argentina.

Previous studies on microwave radiation from cell phones found that the radiation from a cell phone can decrease sperm quality, and advised against men carrying cell phones in their pant pocket. This new study is the first to investigate the impact of microwave radiation from wifi-enabled laptops on sperm. In four hours of exposure, the scientists found decreased sperm motility and DNA damage.

The human sperm was exposed to a laptop computer connected to the internet with WiFi, which transmits data using pulsed microwaves.

Steven Colyer said...

And in an odd way, Plato, this may help the world's overpopulation problem. :)