• 09 JAN 07
    • 0

    #627: George Carlo on the latest Hardell study

    From George Carlo:

    Weblog (4 January 2007): Dr. G. Carlo


    Last week, Dr. Lennart Hardell and his colleagues published a very well conducted epidemiological study of testicular cancer as it relates to mobile phone use. It appeared in the International Journal of Andrology and is posted on our Safe Wireless Initiative website. The study found no link between the use of mobile and cordless phones and testicular cancer. This negative study is extremely important for a number of reasons, but two particularly come to the fore:

    1. The finding of no link between mobile phones and testicular cancer is consistent with what we know about the biological mechanisms of harm induced by information-carrying radio waves. The main opportunity for exposure in the testicular region occurred while the phone was being carried on the waist or in a pocket. The short burst pinging of radio signals to keep track of the location of the phone relative to nearby base stations while in that position are not adequate to trigger the biological protective responses associated with adverse biological effects. The time interval necessary to trigger the responses would not have been expended following these short location pings. Thus, there would have been inadequate exposure to cause tumors. Had this study found effects, it would have cast doubt on either the methods used in the study or the collective knowledge we now have on the biological mechanisms.

    2. The study followed similar methods used by these investigators to study the link between brain cancer and mobile phone use thereby validating those methods and the previous findings. The epidemiological approach followed by Dr. Hardell and his colleagues has been inappropriately criticized by scientists employed by the mobile phone industry and by other groups who carry the industry position on this issue. Most recently, the authors of the Danish study summarily dismissed all of Dr. Hardell’s previous findings showing statistically significant effects on the basis of the methods used. The main criticism has been that the questionnaire used by the investigators creates recall bias and thus result in false-positive findings. The glib criticism used in the back hallways – part of the mobile phone industry’s cowardly whisper campaign to discredit Dr. Hardell’s very important work – is that these methods will find a risk whenever they are employed. That is clearly not the case here.

    Most interestingly there has been no media coverage of the testicular cancer study. This underscores that reality that media coverage of ‘negative studies’ is primarily propagated by the mobile phone industry itself. In this case, the industry does not want to give credence to the prior work of Dr. Hardell, so they are silent and so are the media.

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