Environmental Health Trust

New Expert Warning: Claims That Cellphones Are Safe 'Endanger Public Health' and Are 'Ludicrous'


Teton Village, WY -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/06/2016 -- The widely publicized article claiming that cell phones are safe by the Australian sociologist Simon Chapman contains a number of major errors and cherry-picked data, according to newly published critiques by Environmental Health Trust scientists.

In a series of newly published articles, Environmental Health Trust experts reject a widely-publicized article asserting no connection between brain cancer and mobile phones. Experts say the article published in Cancer Epidemiology by the Australian sociologist Simon Chapman contains a number of errors, false assumptions and cherry-picked data and are calling upon the journal's editor-in-chief to retract the article.

These newly published appraisals (Bandara 2016, Morgan 2016, Wojcik 2016) debunk the claim by Chapman et al that "After nearly 30 years of mobile phone in Australia among millions of people, there is no evidence of any rise in any age-group that could be plausibly attributed to mobile phones."

"Given the radical changes in uses and users of phones today, arguing that the absence of a general epidemic of brain cancer today is proof of safety is ludicrous. Average rates of cancer cannot show us what's happening in the youngest age groups where rates are rising rapidly," adds Devra Lee Davis. "By showing only that part of the data that supports his view, Chapman is playing fast and loose with science and putting us all at grave risk," she adds. "He basically ignores rising brain cancer rates in the U.S. and Australia that have grown rapidly in those under age 65 that have incurred the greatest use of phones for the longest time. Instead he points to the lack of an overall population increase in the disease as proof phones have no effect."

"The assertion that mobile phones are safe is a massive disservice to global public health," says Dr. Anthony B. Miller, senior advisor to the World Health Organization. "New studies from the U.S National Toxicology Program confirm that animals develop the same tumors of the brain that are increased in the heaviest regular cell phone users. We cannot afford to treat people like lab rats and must take steps to reduce exposures at this time, while continuing to study the issue in a serious manner."

"Chapman has Cherry-picked his data," notes L. Lloyd Morgan senior scientist with EHT. "For example, the paper referred an Australian paper that had reported a large increase in brain cancer, 'found an increase in incidence of the aged 65 and over,' but fail to the report the full statement from that same paper: "A significant increasing incidence in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) was observed in the study period [2000-2008] (annual percentage change [APC] 2.54; 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.4-4.6, n =2275), particularly after 2006. In GBM patients in the [under age] >65-year group, a significantly increasing incidence both for men and women …' Invoking only those data that support his view and ignoring information from the same paper that contradicts his view is a ludicrous and dangerous method of analysis.

Additional concerns are raised about the Chapman report by clinical director and forensic expert Damian Wojcik of New Zealand who adds that the Chapman fails to take into account evidence that the locations of brain tumors that are increasing in the young are precisely those to be expected to be associated with mobile phones. Recent report from the National Cancer Institute Surveillance End-Result and Epidemiology program confirm that brain cancers located in the cerebellum and frontal and temporal lobe (front and sides of the head where cell phone radiation penetrates the skull) have increased in younger Americans.

The scientist's also point out that Chapman does not analyze information on actual minutes of mobile phone use by a person, but estimates this based only on the number of mobile phone subscriptions.

"It is irresponsible to give assurances on microwave/radiofrequency radiation (from wireless devices) based on just cell phone subscriptions as Chapman does, while ignoring a solid and growing body of scientific studies showing serious health problems in those studies that have information on actual cell phone use," states Dr. Pri Bandara, an Australian clinical researcher, pointing to several research studies indicating increased risk in people who used cell phones for more minutes a day than others.

Morgan noted that there is no funding source for the Chapman paper indicated but Chapman worked with the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (AMTA) in the past. Professor Chapman published a book with the AMTA and then a paper in a journal which acknowledged "Funding for this study was provided by the AMTA."

More Detailed Bios of the Experts Speaking Out

Senior EHT Advisor, physician-epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Miller is currently Professor Emeritus at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto. He has served as Director of the Epidemiology Unit of the National Cancer Institute of Canada, Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics, University of Toronto, Senior Epidemiologist, International Agency for Research on Cancer, and Head, Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, 2000-03; consultant to the Division of Cancer Prevention, U.S. National Cancer Institute and to the World Health Organization.

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, is President of EHT, a non-profit scientific and policy think tank. Currently Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University, Hadassah Medical Center and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, she was Founding Director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council and Founding Director, Center for Environmental Oncology, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Dr. Davis served under President Clinton as an appointee to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board and also was a member of the Board of Scientific Counselors of the National Toxicology Program. See her other relevant publications.

Lloyd Morgan is Senior Research Fellow with Environmental Health Trust and former electrical engineer who worked as a senior quality assurance control official for a number of global industries. He has published seminal papers on the cell phone radiation including important work on brain modeling of cell phones with Dr. Gandhi, Dr. Herberman and Dr. Davis, that was one of the most widely cited papers in the field.

Priyanka Bandara, BSc, PhD, is a researcher/educator in environmental health. She has worked as a clinical researcher at Westmead and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals and University of Sydney Medicine and as a research scientist (biochemistry and molecular pharmacology) at the University of NSW.

About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust is a 501 C 3 registered public charity with the Internal Revenue Service that is the only non-profit in the world that is both conducting cutting-edge basic and epidemiological research and working with policy makers, physicians, teachers and parents to educate and motivate preventive public health strategies. http://www.ehtrust.org