Although we try at the BAS website to blog about Bay Area issues, sometimes national issues are so important they swamp our local focus. The issue of cell phone radiation and cancer is one of them. Of course, as members of society, Bay Area residents are tuned into this controversy as well, so perhaps it is not inappropriate to comment on it.
Do cell phones cause brain cancer? There is no epidemiological evidence to suggest the link, only anecdote (and two anecdotes, despite the common practice in the press, do not constitute "data"). Is there a reason to suspect that cell phone radiation -- close to the brain, and in the case of many heavy cell phone users, as much as several hours/day -- might be dangerous?
Well, no. Not according to basic physics. Few people have been as clear on this issue as beloved skeptic Bob Park (though the irascible Park would probably grump about being termed "beloved", but it's true!) Author of "Voodoo Science" and "Superstition", and editor of the wonderful weekly e-newsletter, "What's New" (subscribe if you don't already), his latest What's New post so succinctly summarizes the physics, I wanted to share it with all of you.
Here's the conversation I have several times a day with total strangers:
Caller: do you use a wired earphone?
You can find more on Bob Park at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_L._Park