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Thursday, January 7, 2010

What's the frequency, Kenneth?

Over the weekend we worried aloud about the potential for harmful health effects from exposure to cell phone radiation. Now comes the suggestion that there might be positive health effects from such exposure. At least if you're a mouse. Here's the link to the story -- worth it if only to read the sentence "The rest of the mice were non-demented."

Comments (3)

The FDA has known this for years -- that's why they offer MDRs -- minimum daily radiofrequencies.

At least there's a physically plausible mechanism (the low energy waves disrupt the plaque formation even while being too low energy to create any ionizations) for this effect.

Or it could just be an aberrant result -- they happen, even to careful researchers.

Great find.
How are you today? Non-demented, thanks.
Table for two? Demented or non-demented? Non-demented, please.

Bob Park's newsletter has more:

1. CELL PHONES: KEEP YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE MICROWAVE OVEN. Several readers admonished me for my unqualified assertion in last week's WN that "cell phone radiation does not cause cancer." They point out that microwave photons may not eject photoelectrons but they do excite molecular vibrations (heat). That's why your microwave oven has a safety interlock on the door. So does the miniscule energy deposited by the cell phone cook your brain? No! Rapid blood circulation keeps the brain temperature at that of the blood, which is regulated by the hypothalamus at the base of the brain. Thermoregulation is a high priority for the brain. That’s why marathoners run hard for more than two hours, often hatless beneath a midday summer sun, yet their rise in blood temperature is about that of a mild fever.

State Rep. Andrea Boland (D) is pushing for the state to become the first
to require cell phone makers to put warnings on packaging like those on
cigarettes. The bill was filed in October but is on a fast track. It’s
considered “emergency legislation” because there are 900,000 cell phones in
the state. Rep. Bolden's concern was based on a 2006 study in Sweden
showing a correlation between brain tumors and heavy cell phone use.
However, a Danish study that came out in December found that the rates of
brain cancer in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden had remained stable
from 1974 two 2003. Such studies are possible in Scandinavia where record-
keeping is an obsession. If the effect is real, the frequency of brain
cancers should have turned up sharply in 2000. An estimated 277 million
people use cell phones in the US. I doubt if such a label would reduce that
number significantly. Scientific truth becomes something to be negotiated.

A study by the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center found that cell
phone radiation protected the memories of mice genetically altered to get
Alzheimer's disease. The study was led by Prof. Gary Arendash who
previously found that coffee could protect against Alzheimer's. Hmm, I
can’t remember if I’ve had my Coffee. If exposure to microwaves is started
when the Alzheimer's mice are young adults, before signs of memory
impairment are apparent, their cognitive ability is protected. The mice had
been genetically altered to develop beta-amyloid plaques characteristic of
Alzheimer’s as they aged.

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