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Old 09-18-2011, 11:59 PM   #16
WT Sharpe
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I seem to remember some news story when I was a kid where people claimed that living near an electrical transformer (power lines) was having an adverse effect on their health. Sounds like these people just took it to the next level.
As far as I know, the majority of the studies done have not confirmed any long-term ill effects, but I can tell you from personal experience that living with high-voltage power lines in the back yard can lead to some interesting experiences. One came when I ran electrical lines to a box on my deck. I only had black and green wire, so I planned to one black wire for the neutral and put some white phase tape on it to differentiate it from the hot wire. So I ran one green wire (for ground), and two black wires to the box. The I energized the circuit and used a proximity voltage detector to discover which one was hot. I placed the detector next to one of the wires and pushed its button. It immediately sounded an alarm to signal it had detected current. Just to be sure, I checked the other wire. It also sounded alarm. Was there a short? Then I held the detector in the air and pressed the button. Again, it sounded an alarm, and I realized it was detecting the voltage induced in my body by the overhead lines. It was only after I grounded myself by holding onto a metal pipe that I got an accurate reading.

Even more interesting was the time I put a volleyball net in the backyard for a party I was having. I drove the metal poles into the ground, then climbed up a ladder to attach the net. As soon as I touched the pole, I received a shock. Had I inadvertently driven one of the poles into an underground electric line? I noticed that the same thing happened when I tried to hang the net on the other pole. At last reflection came to my aid, and I realized that as long as I was isolated from ground by the wooden ladder, the overhead lines were charging me up like a huge capacitor. After that, I had a bit of fun. I began calling folks over to the ladder and putting my finger near their nose. Each time a spark would jump from my finger to my victim. I had a grand old time, and wondered if perhaps I could make money by building a church on the site.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:03 AM   #17
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and some studies have suggested a link between heavy cell-phone use and certain types of cancers. The jury is still out, but the evidence certainly warrants further investigation.
Not really. This has been studied extensively, and the results are in. There's no increased cancer risk.

One of the most persuasive bit so evidence or me:

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The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, which tracks cancer incidence in the United States over time, found no increase in the incidence of brain or other central nervous system cancers between 1987 and 2007, despite the dramatic increase in cell phone use in this country during that time (17). Similarly, incidence data from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden for the period 1974–2003 revealed no increase in age-adjusted incidence of brain tumors (18).
There have been a few studies that have shown a weakly statistically significant link between cell phone use and cancer.

You know what? Do twenty studies looking for a possible link between hopping on one foot for a minute a day and lung cancer, and you've got about a 2 in 3 chance of getting one or more results that show a "statistically significant" link between lung cancer and hopping on one foot for a minute a day.

Do 32 such studies, and you've got a better than 80% chance of finding at least one that shows such a link.


Nevertheless, there are on-going studies, looking for possible links between cell phone use and cancer. I don't expect that these will have different results to the previous studies.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #18
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there was a study a few weeks ago out of italy that suggested men who carry a cell in their front pocket face a decreased sperm count.
This seems to be a popular area of research. 2004, 2006, 2008, 2011.

It seems implausible to me. But perhaps worth more research, to confirm that the effect is (or isn't) real, and then, if the effect is robust, to work on possible mechanisms.
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Old 09-19-2011, 12:26 PM   #19
WT Sharpe
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Not really. This has been studied extensively, and the results are in. There's no increased cancer risk....

...Nevertheless, there are on-going studies, looking for possible links between cell phone use and cancer. I don't expect that these will have different results to the previous studies.
Thanks, Paul. I knew there wasn't any definitive link, but I wasn't aware of the outcomes of later studies.
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