CELLRAISER: Renowned cancer expert says we are underestimating the risk of mobile phones | PDF |. Disconnect, a book about cell phones by Devra Davis. 1 of Devra Davis’s Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family. The disconnect. Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family by Devra Davis.
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It is instead a tract that conspiracy theorists will love that sheds no objective light on the often confusing scientific data in this area.
The tag line on the jacket sets the tone: If you were expecting an objective review of the often confusing scientific data in this area, you should avoid this book. Disconnect focuses almost exclusively on studies that support its alarmist conclusions while either ignoring or falsifying information about studies showing no harm. The quality cevra scientific studies varies greatly.
Disconnect is highly selective and totally biased in discussing only studies that support its point of view, it rejects contrary studies accepted by the majority of mainstream scientists as the product of some vast conspiracy, and it completely misstates disconmect findings of key studies that find no harm from cell phones. She interviewed only a relatively small group of dissident scientists who are outside of the mainstream.
Part I: Major Misstatements
The book is completely lacking in objectivity. There are so many things wrong in Disconnect that it is difficult to know where to begin. We will start by reviewing a few of the most blatant examples of how it misrepresents key findings of some of the most important cell phone studies.
Early in DisconnectDavis gets some facts on basic physics wrong. On page 17 she states:. Electromagnetic waves ability to travel depends on how long they are. The faster a wave oscillates and the smaller it is, the shorter the distance it can reach. Hello, did she check with NASA? The Voyageur 1 is the most distant man-made object. Travelling at the speed of light, it takes Its transmitter operates in the X band at approximately 5X the frequency of a cell phone, and at 19W or only roughly X dais power of a cell phone.
A first year physics student could tell her that all electromagnetic waves follow the inverse square law. The frequency has no effect on distance. Davis only discusses a handful of the thousands of studies that find no harm from either EMF or cell phones.
Environmental Health Trust DISCONNECT – Environmental Health Trust
She gets some critical facts about these studies completely wrong. A prime example is the claim by Davis that all studies that have looked at cell phone eevra for devrra period of more than 10 years have found an ddevra risk of brain cancer:.
But when you look at those devrw studies that included people who dsvis used phones for a decade or more, the results show that heavy cell phone use causes brain tumors. If you consider all of the studies that have been published, most of them have not followed people dizconnect a decade. But if you examine only those studies that have analyzed people for a decade or longer you find one thing: Every single one of them shows that long-term heavy use of cell phones has increased the risks of brain tumors.
This is totally false; several important studies find no harm. All of the studies that Davis refers to are a particular type of case control study. The case control studies she cites are considered much less discknnect because they depend on memory to assess past exposure. People diagnosed with brain cancer and healthy controls respond to a questionnaire in which they are asked to remember how much they used dacis cell phones.
Recall is known to yield different estimates than actual phone records. In addition, because people who have had cancer have heard about the potential link to cell phones, they are more likely to err by reporting higher exposure than controls. Therefore such studies are subject to a limitation called recall bias. Davis does not even mention this key weakness. Most of the 10 year plus studies that Davis refers to were the work of a single Swedish researcher, Dr.
His methods have been widely criticized. Most of the others were components of the Interphone study. The final conclusion of the Interphone davvis is important: Overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones. There were suggestions of an increased risk of glioma at the highest exposure levels, but biases and error prevent a causal interpretation.
The possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation. In the text, the authors discuss the considerable evidence for recall bias that they found during daavis study. The overall conclusion of no increase in risk is the key finding. One of the most important studies on cell phones was a Danish study ofcell phone users.
Exposure was assessed based entirely on actual cell phone records. It also used actual medical records to verify the diagnosis. Such studies do not suffer from any recall bias. Because it is based on objective data, it carries much more weight than memory based case control studies. While this particular study has other possible limitations, it is one of the few that is based davs actual hard data. Davis gets most of the major facts about this key study completely wrong.
For example on page she says it included only two cases dsiconnect had used a phone for a decade. The real number of users for a decade or more was 53, 42, for years, 10, for years. No increase in brain cancer or any other illness was reported for any class of cell phone users including the long term users. All of us have cell phone bills that devfa detailed records of our use; and most of these can be accessed online.
These were not used in this study, or in any study of the industry to date. This is also false. The Danish study used cell phone records to establish the number of years of use of a cell phone for each of theindividuals in the study.
The authors obtained the approval of the required Danish government agencies such as the Danish Data Protection Board to protect the privacy of the information.
The study was entirely based disdonnect record linkage. Another example of a major falsehood in the book is the section she calls My Unpublished Result. Papers showing no increase in the overall brain daavis rate adjusted to the entire population have been published, while those taking a more sophisticated look at growing rates of brain tumors in young persons remain under review.
Davis claims she has unpublished results showing brain cancer is increasing in young adults. Technically these time trend data may have limitations. For example, in the 70s and mid 80s new technology led to apparent increased rates of brain cancer, due to better diagnostic equipment.
However, since the mid 80s, which happens to coincide with the introduction of cell phones, overall brain cancer incidence rates have been constant. Contrary to what Davis claims, at least 4 studies dxvis been published for brain cancer by age group.
None shows any significant increase for any age or sex group that can be linked to cell phones. For example, another Danish study 17 looked at incidence rates by age group in five Northern European countries. No significant change in brain cancer rates were found for any age group. A recent Devrx study came to a similar conclusion.
Brain cancer is one of the rarest forms of cancer. For example it ranks at 15 in Canada. There are more than 4 billion cell phones in use worldwide. The absence of any change in the incidence of brain cancer is the disconnecg evidence against any connection with cell phones. Davis mangled commentary on these brain cancer studies are the most blatant examples of the many misstatements in Disconnect. She devotes a whole chapter of the book to defending Dr.
Hugo Rudiger, who was found guilty of disconncet fraud; the most serious offense in science. Rudiger had published a couple of papers purporting to show that cell phone radiation can damage DNA.
If true, this would be quite serious. A couple of other scientists reviewed the data in his paper and found compelling statistical evidence that critical parts of the data were cooked Lerchl et al. The University of Vienna held two inquiries and found that Rudiger was guilty of scientific misconduct and recommended that the papers be withdrawn.
Davis spins these damning facts into an elaborate whodunit claiming that Rudiger was the victim of an elaborate conspiracy and frame-up. This is simply not credible.
A Disconnect between cell phone fears and science – Science-Based Medicine
Davis devotes another chapter to the assertion that cell phone radiation affects male fertility. On page she states:. A report from researchers 8 garnered headlines around the world, such as Cell Phones Lower Sperm Count. The Cleveland researchers referred to their results, in ddavis customary voice of science, as preliminary, and duly called for more research.
Despite this caution, she proceeds to tie together a handful of disparate sperm studies to back up her sensational claim that cell phones reduce male fertility. She ignores the fact that all of the studies she cites have been criticized for poor methodology, and some have failed attempts at replication.
The authors reported 8 that reduced sperm quality was associated with duration of daily exposure to mobile dsiconnect assessed by interview and with duration of use of mobile phones assessed by questionnaire. However, possible confounding due to lifestyle differences associated with differences disconnectt the use of mobile phones may have biased the results of both studies.
We must remember that we live in a world in which some continue to believe evolution itself is a sort of preliminary theory. Davis devotes large sections of the book to SAM specific anthropomorphic mannequinthe model head that was developed by international standards bodies IEEE and IEC and is used by cell phone manufacturers to test and certify compliance with RF exposure safety limits.
This limit, which is known as the SAR specific absorption rateis set at 1. She states on pages In coming up with ways to estimate exposures from cell phones, scientists in relied on a fellow named SAM, which stands for Standard Anthropomorphic Man [ sic ]. SAM is not an ordinary guy. He ranked in size and mass at the top 10 percent of all military recruits in weighing more than two hundred pounds, with an eleven-pound head, and standing about six feet two inches tall…These standards were set in and based on SAMs big brain, not for the much smaller heads of children, of women, or other adults.