If your cell phone might cause brain tumors, what would you do?

Continuing the discussion from What is the evidence that radiation from cell phones poses a risk to human health?:

So a new report that seems to be legitimate says you have a 1% chance of developing an serious and often fatal brain tumor from regular cell phone use. Oddly, it doesn’t matter if you hold the phone right next to your head, use earbuds, or even a speaker. There is some relationship between how many minutes you use and developing the tumor but it’s not clear how that works, some people have developed the tumor from minimal usage. The science is too difficult to explain here, and made up, but that’s the way it works in a hypothetical.

What would you do now? Do you keep using a cellphone as frequently as you do now? Do you limit your usage? Do you never use one again? How great a chance of developing a tumor would cause you to stop taking the risk?

I could do just fine using my computer as a phone until they find out wifi causes tumors too. Do you think in general the dangers of radiation we now consider harmless would send us back to the landline age if these health hazards were actually found?

I do not think such hazards will be found, it’s entirely hypothetical.

Sounds like magic, not science. If one can’t prove a method, the idea that cell phone use causes brain tumors is just that - an idea.

I mean, if the use of speakers or earbuds, where the phone isn’t in actual proximity to the brain, causes cancer, then what magic phone powers exist than can affect people at a distance? Can you get cancer from just being in the room with a phone? Living near a cell phone tower? How about 5G cancers?

“Phone” is the least-used app on my phone by a humongous margin. If it were possible to delete it, I would.

A single report giving a one percent chance that possessing a phone, no matter how I possess it, will give me a guaranteed brain tumor? If the facts were nailed down that much there would be more than one report, and they would have a damn good idea as to what caused it.

One way to take this is that by having a phone, you reduce your chances of getting a fatal brain tumor to 1%. Some people would go out by one right away.

For perspective, you have 1 in 103 chance of dying in a car accident.

The Chances of Dying in a Car Crash - Valiente Mott.

I’d likely react the same way to a single report. So let’s say there are multiple reports that show consistent results, how would you feel then?

Is that the chance of dying IF you are in a car accident? No where near 1 in 103 for anybody riding in a car.

Yeah, I need way more information. If it works at a distance, then am I in danger from other people using their cell phones near me? What kind of use are we talking about?

Bluetooth earbuds.

No, that’s your lifetime chance of dying in a car accident. Everyone dies somehow, and 1 out of 103 die because of a car accident.

Okay, taking this at face value, I would still need to know a basic how/why of the mechanism, because otherwise it wouldn’t “seem” legitimate. Because if the mechanism is ‘materials in the phone leeching into my skin’ my response is one thing. If it’s something from the EM spectrum it’s a different response.

I think that once we know the mechanism, the answer for most people would be similar: apply mitigation to further reduce the risks, and prepare to sue the BLEEP out of manufacturers.

That’s the problem, IMHO, with the handwaving around the ‘seems legitimate’ issue - I’ve often gone into articles that cite scientific resources only to find the ‘sources’ either say something that only a layperson would construe that way, that was likely a ham-handed attempt at humor (which is how I read the recent ET satellite thing), or the source was from an entirely un-reviewed single source paper or study.

And pretty much, everything else in the OP scenario points to such a thing, because they think they have correlation, but various things that should apply to most causes, appear not too. So yeah, I’d write it off as “Normally trustworthy source gets bamboozled by bad science” and three weeks later “Source publishes retraction, ---- Association removes paper after finding substantial flaws in the methodology on recent cell phone study”

Back when cell phones* were new, I remember seeing a report (nightly news?) showing a person who had a tumor that was sized and located to look just like a phone caused it. Now, admittedly, it was a striking image. But since, in the intervening years, we haven’t had an epidemic of phone-shaped brain tumors, I suspect, just a little, that the report was either 1) a coincidence, 2) a one-in-a-billion fluke, or 3) a lie.

*It actualy could have been cordless phones! That makes it even worse!

Now that is interesting. I’ve seen the top ten lists for causes of death a lot of times but death by car accident would still fall below that, but 1 in 103 based on car accidents is a striking number and certainly pertinent here.

I shouldn’t be surprised at the predominant reactions here though, there would certainly be great skepticism no matter what the basis.

[totally misunderstands]Does that mean if I never ride in a car, I have a 1 in 103 chance of living forever? [/tm]

No, it means that there is a 1 in 103 chance that, Final Destination style, a car hunts you down and kills you. :wink:

I could easily go back to landlines. I’d probably still keep a cheap phone in my car in case of road emergencies. That’s how I rolled for a long time even after everyone else had cell phones. I finally “gave in” and got one because it became pretty much necessary. Everything from ordering a pizza to filling out job applications seemed to require a cell. Having lived more of my life with just landlines than not, it would be no big whoop.

What’s the lifetime chance of a cell phone saving your life?

Rather than fighting the hypothetical, I’ll answer the question. (I’ll also assume that using any voice-chat type app on my phone would have the same effect, but no other app would.)

I rarely use the phone app - most of my conversations these days are via some sort of video chat app via my laptop. However, for the occasional times I do make a phone call (calling an order ahead at a restaurant is relatively common), I’d get some sort of VOIP phone for home use, and still use the cell phone when out for emergency uses only. Since the risk scales with usage, that would hopefully keep risk fairly low.

I rarely use the phone as a phone.