CBS News: “8 Dumb Ways to Boost Possible Cancer Risk” – Experts Still Not in Complete Agreement

By B.N. Frank

Following the Benjamins…

Recently CBS News posted an attention-grabbing guide on their website: “Cell Phones & Cancer: 8 Dumb Ways to Boost Possible Cancer Risk.”

There are 2 references listed to validate concerns regarding possible cancer risk:

  1. A 2009 study by the Journal of Clinical Oncology and
  2. A 2011 statement made by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer.

There is also a reference and link provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website where the CDC claims:  “There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question.”

What’s weird, though, is that the CDC acknowledges the IARC statement:

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified RF radiation as a “possible human carcinogen.” (A carcinogen is an agent that causes cancer.)

Even though they acknowledge this, what’s also weird is that the CDC didn’t acknowledge that the WHO classified cell phone radiation as a “possible carcinogen” in 2011.

However, they did acknowledge the WHO about this:

Scientists are continuing to study the possible health effects of cell phone use. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently looking into how cell phones may affect:

  • Some types of tumors (a lump or growth)
  • Our eyes
  • Sleep
  • Memory
  • Headaches

If you’re wondering why the CDC is being so mamsy pamsy, look no further than this 2016 New York Times investigative article:  “At CDC, a Debate Behind Recommendations on Cellphone Risk.”

Just weeks prior to the article being released, the CDC agency recanted the “bold” position it had made previously against the dangers of cell phone radiation.

The former director of CDC division, The National Center for Environmental Health, Dr. Christopher J. Portier, would NOT recant though.

Dr. Portier had also served on the International Agency for Research of Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization.  He said the I.A.R.C. declaration led him to seek a review of the CDC guidelines.

Oh what a tangled web they weave…

Unfortunately, the 2016 NY Times article did not include all relevant facts which led to another investigative article from Environmental Health Trust:

As a public service, Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is posting 500+ internal CDC emails, obtained as part of the FOIA request, detailing how the cell phone industry directed changes in the CDC website content.

Details include:

  1. Information on the risk to children’s health was deleted.
  2. Information on cell towers never saw the light of day.
  3. A scientist well known for affiliations with the wireless industry came on as a consultant to the CDC.

So there’s that.

Even though there is no mention of The American Cancer Society in the CBS News post, The ACS has been used often as a reference to dismiss concerns in regard to possible harm from exposure to RF radiation-emitting sources such as cell phones, WiFi routers, utility “smart” meters, cell towers, etc.

What’s funny about that is the ACS usually includes at least one reference that validates possible cancer risk from RF-emitting sources. 

Unfortunately, ACS statements are not designed for the average reader. They are long, rambling, and stilted.  The validating references are tossed into a sea of “legal speak.”

One example of this is the statement they posted on their website in 2014 in re Utility “Smart” Meters where they seem to actually contradict themselves.

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First they say this:

Because RF radiation is a possible carcinogen, and smart meters give off RF radiation, it is possible that smart meters could increase cancer risk.

Then they ramble for a while, basically shaming everybody for willingly exposing themselves to other RF-emitting devices.

Eventually they say:

Because, the amount of RF radiation you could be exposed to from a smart meter is much less than what you could be exposed to from a cell phone, it is very unlikely that living in a house with a smart meter increases risk of cancer.


Of course, most readers would already be so confused and exhausted by the time they finished reading the entire statement that they would have forgotten that the ACS said this early on:

Because RF radiation is a possible carcinogen, and smart meters give off RF radiation, it is possible that smart meters could increase cancer risk.

The ACS also passes the buck to the World Health Organization as being responsible for more research and conclusions.  That’s probably why there has been no update to this statement since 2014.

So there’s that, too.

Interestingly enough, the ACS receives quite a bit of funding from the Tech Industry.

And utility company field data from Sacramento, CA show smart meter radiation levels can be higher than from cell phones. 

So there’s that also.

But let’s give credit where credit is due.

In May 2016, a representative from The American Cancer Society made a statement regarding research from the $25M US National Toxicology Program Cell Phone Radiation Study.

It was also a long, rambling, stilted statement full of legal speak:

  1. It’s interesting to note that early studies on the link between lung cancer and smoking had similar resistance, since theoretical arguments at the time suggested that there could not be a link.
  2. The new report covers only partial findings from the study, but importantly one of the two cancers linked to cell phone radiation was malignant gliomas in the brain. The association with gliomas and acoustic neuromas had been suspected from human epidemiology studies. The second cancer, called a schwannoma, is an extremely rare tumor in humans and animals, reducing the possibility that this is a chance finding.
  3. And importantly, the study found a ‘dose/response’ effect: the higher the dose, the larger the effect, a key sign that this association may be real.

The ACS statement isn’t entirely accurate, though.  There actually has been U.S. government, telecom industry, and independently funded research available for several decades already that proved harm from cell phone radiation.

Also relevant: Dr. Anthony Miller, longtime World Health Organization advisor, and many other scientists have been insisting that

radiofrequency (RF) radiation from any source – such as the signals emitted by cell phones, other wireless and cordless and sensor devices, and wireless networks – fully meets criteria to be classified as a “Group 1 carcinogenic to humans” agent, based on scientific evidence associating RF exposure to cancer development and cancer promotion.  (Source)

How we use our cell phones and other personal RF-emitting devices is a matter of choice.  But we seem to have no choice regarding the dozens of state and federal bills that have been passed or are still being discussed which will result in installing millions of small cell towers all over the country (including in front of homes). 

RF radiation emissions from cell towers also increase cancer risk.  Firefighters have fought to keep cell towers and antennas away from their stations because of this.  Most of the population isn’t nearly as healthy or robust as the average firefighter:  “Firefighters Don’t Want Cell Towers Near Their Stations, But 50+ Federal Bills Allow Cell Towers In Residential Yards and Pretty Much Everywhere Else.” 

If you don’t like where this is going, contact your elected officials and let them know.   Here’s information to provide as well:

Your neighborhood – or yard – could be next.

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