TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cell Phones and Cancer

Re: Cell Phones and Cancer

John Stahl (
Thu, 21 Dec 2006 21:36:46 -0500

> Date: Tue, 19 Dec 2006 18:08:22 -0500
> From: Rick Merrill <>
> Subject: Re: Cell Phones and Cancer

> Charles Gray wrote:
>> I don't have the original article from the Washington Post on this,
>> but it has been replicated numerous times. Here is one link
>> Best regards,

> <clip>

> One tool that lets cell phones work is that the base (cell tower)
> tells the cell phone how much power to use. In other words if you don't
> pull up the antenna you brain will be subject to the max power output.

The American Cancer Society seems to have the latest information regarding
the findings of many tests which have been made to find if there is any
relationship between cell phone (and other wireless RF generating personal
devices) and Cancer. A detailed summary can be found at:

Additionally the FCC web site has info about the RF measurement
process and related results along with the specs to be targeted for
the whole cellular system including hand held phones and the radiation
limits for the human body . This URL is:

At the FCC site you will note that they set limits for cell site
transmitters, car mounted cellular antenna output and the hand held
phones with relation to power/radiation measurements depending on the
system/device. Since the majority of consumer RF "exposure" is related
(today) to the hand held devices, the FCC has taken it a step further
to set a maximum SAR or Specific Absorption Rate of 1.6 watts/kg (of
body weight) based upon a tissue (human) sample size of 1 gram. Each
phone manufacturer must test their individual phone models and supply
the SAR to the FCC before the phone is type accepted for use.

As I recall the maximum transmitting power (by spec and by design due
to battery capacity) for a hand held phone is something like 0.7
watts, so there is very little (or no) chance that the phone could
generate 1.6 watts/kg. Perhaps the old car-mounted or bag-phones could
generate that kind of power because their power was variable (as is
the hand held, as you indicated) from around 7 watts down to the hand
held limit controlled by the cell site through the "business" or
control frequency.

Also some of the major cell service companies have on-line info
available about cell phones and Cancer. One web site I found by
Verizon Wireless seems to summarize what is known:

As you might have read there have been some court cases litigated by
person(s) who have determined that their Cancer was caused by cell
phone usage. To date none of these cases have been won by the litigant
as all the scientific tests so far have not shown any causal
effect. However, there is much on going scientific study which might
(or might not) find some probable cause, someday.

But, hey, what about those people who hang a BlueTooth device (it
emits RF energy, too) on their ear and wear it all day long? A cell
phone is only used occasionally, brought to the ear then put back on
the belt or into the purse, or where ever it is stored. What about the
effects of prolonged RF energy from the BT ear piece in direct contact
with the ear/head? That will be another "story", won't it?

Hope the above helps to answer your query. However, if you are looking
for some more practical info as to how the cell sites "talk" with the
cell phones to vary power, etc. and how the whole system works, I
found a web site (can't vouch for its total accuracy though) which
contains a wealth of info regarding the "inner-workings" of the cell
system. It is located at:

John Stahl
Telecom/Data Consultant
Aljon Enterprises

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