Jopson: "Time to debunk the top 3 mobile myths"
[MOBILE MYTH No.1 ... BRAIN TUMOURS]
Jopson: "Your mobile phone is effectively a radio that uses high frequency microwaves coming in and going out. So, are we all frying our brains? Well, the largest ever mobile phone brain tumour study says "No". The survey of 400,000 Danish people who used a mobile for over 10 years found that tumours were no more likely than normal. Studies on longer-term effects are ongoing.
Mobile phones do get suspiciously warm when you talk on them for a long time, but that's got nothing to do with microwaves cooking your head. That's just the battery warming up as you use it. And that would have as much effect on your brain as using a hairdryer."
The BBC programme ignored recent research such as the peer reviewed Hardell study, published on PubMed and widely reported (apart from the BBC) when it came out last September (2007). I.e. more recent than the Danish study.:-
"Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years." by Hardell L et al. at Department of Oncology, University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden.
The aim: "To evaluate brain tumour risk among long-term users of cellular telephones."
Conclusions: "[The] Results from present studies on use of mobile phones for > or =10 years give a consistent pattern of increased risk for acoustic neuroma and glioma. The risk is highest for ipsilateral [same-side] exposure."
Marty quoting one - disputed - source and using it as the only basis of his piece to state to the UK population at large that "So, are we all frying our brains? Well, the largest ever mobile phone brain tumour study says "No". The survey of 400,000 Danish people who used a mobile for over 10 years found that tumours were no more likely than normal." You've categorically stated that Mobile Phones do not cause brain tumours, despite many studies and evidence to the contrary. This is highly irresponsible to say the least.
In the blog attached to the BBC One Show site the programme makers stated that the Petroleum Enforcement Officers guidelines including "Radio transmissions from individual mobile telephones are generally too low to induce currents in nearby equipment and the risk of incendive sparking from the battery is low, however they should not be used in the hazardous areas that exist when actually dispensing petrol." This should have been stated by Marty Joplin at the end of his piece, but wasn't.
Thirdly, giving the impression that mobile phones are OK to use anywhere in hospitals as long as they are not used in cardiac wards - "if in doubt, ask" is equally irresponsible. If signs say "don't use mobile phones" they are probably there for a good reason - perhaps the signs are adjacent to, below or above a sensitive area. And what about intensive care wards? No mention.