TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Do Allow Under-9s to Use a Mobile

Re: Do Allow Under-9s to Use a Mobile

John Levine (
25 Jan 2005 04:40:15 -0000

>> MHz. You'd need to be well up into the Terahertz to get a short enough
>> wavelength to cause cellular mutation.

> Impossible? They said it was impossible for man to fly, didn't they?
> And for how many thousands of years?

As the saying goes, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at Edison,
and they laughed at Bozo the Clown.

People who knew nothing about mathematics and physics dismissed the
possibility of powered flight, but people with some knowledge of both
have been thinking about it in concrete terms since Leonardo. By the
late 1800s, the physics of aeronautics was well understood, and the
engineering was simple enough that the Wrights, who had a decent but
not exceptional education, were able to solve the problems of
designing an engine with an adequate power to weight ratio and wings
and stabilizers that could to control a plane.

Similarly, here in the 21st century, we know a lot about the physics
of radio. People have been working and living around high powered
radio transmitters for a century. (Marconi's 1905 transmitter used
between 100KW and 300KW.) Some kinds of radio waves are indeed
dangerous -- high power microwaves can heat the body causing symptoms
from cataracts to flesh burns. The physical effects agree with the
theory that says what frequencies make the water in our bodies
resonate and heat up. But if radio waves were carcinogenic, a century
of radio workers would be dead from cancer by now, but they're not.

Theory, and our observations, also tell us that effect varies with
power, and the emitted power from a hand-held phone isn't 100KW, isn't
100W, isn't even one watt. It tops out at 3/4 W and is usually less
than that. That's not enough power to heat anything.

There's lots of things in this world that really are dangerous, but
this isn't one of them. You do a disservice to yourself and to
everyone else to waste time worrying about utterly implausible radio

You want something to worry about, help us get fat-soluble pesticides
out of the food supply. There's plenty of reason to think they really
are dangerous at low concentrations.



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