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

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

Dave Garland (
Wed, 26 Jan 2005 00:46:18 -0600

It was a dark and stormy night when John Levine <> wrote:

> That's not enough power to heat anything.

With all due respect, heating may not be the mechanism. EM waves can
affect things in other ways. Want an example? Hold a fluorescent
tube up next to a transmitter antenna, or near a high-tension line, it
lights up. (Hold up an incandescent bulb, which is optimized to
produce light from heat, and nothing happens.) I once made small neon
tubes without electrodes, and lit them by putting them in a microwave
oven, the lighting mechanism was by direct excitation of the gas (neon
lamps don't use heat to make light). The tubes were stone cold when
removed from the oven.

Some studies have indicated that things like the shape of the waveform
make a difference. Some studies that have nothing to do with safety
show effects on nerves and enzymes that are unlikely to be thermal in
nature. Do a PubMed search on "electromagnetic radiation", you'll get
over 8000 hits. Look at all of them that relate to interactions
between EMR and biologic systems, not just those related to cell phone
safety. There doesn't seem to be any dispute that EMR can have
biologic effects that are not caused by heating.

None of which is to say that cell phones are dangerous. I have no
idea. But it seems foolhardy to flatly say they can have no effect

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