TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Don't Allow Under-9s to Use a Mobile

Re: Don't Allow Under-9s to Use a Mobile

Mark Crispin (mrc@CAC.Washington.EDU)
Thu, 20 Jan 2005 10:08:43 -0800

On Wed, 19 Jan 2005, Linc Madison wrote:

> The risk of adverse effects from using a cellphone seems to be
> substantially below the risk of winning the lottery. Not quite
> actually zero, but pretty damned low.

More to the point, the notion that radiation from a normally-
functioning and normally-operated cellphone could cause harm
to its user flies in the face of physics. I'd say "common sense" too,
except that the general public is often ignorant of the necessary

The wavelengths are too long (the signals are simply too fat) to cause
the sort of damage envisioned by the technophobes. Conceivably,
cellphone radiation could warm up the brain, but only a misiscule
fraction of the warming that would occur by being outside on a nice
day -- or wearing a hat.

Unfortunately, that term "radiation" is widely misunderstood, almost
as much as "theory", leading people to people think about Doc Bruce
Banner turning into the Incredible Hulk. Light bulbs, home heat,
stereos, TVs, etc. all spew out radiation -- that is their purpose!

The greatest danger caused by use of cellphones is the lack of
attention to the world around the user. It could be someone driving
while yammering on the phone, or having a loud call on public
transportation to the annoyance of others.

-- Mark --
Science does not emerge from voting, party politics, or public debate.
Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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