Robert Park | 13 Mar 21:37 2012

What's New Robert L. Park 13 March 2012

WHAT’S NEW   Robert L Park   Wednesday, 13 March 2012   Washington, DC

Several years ago, I signed up for "Google Alerts" about the purported link 
between "cell-phone radiation and cancer."  It's a great service.  I get 
hundreds of Alerts about cell phones, almost all of which are dead wrong.  
That's fine; what I'm trying to figure out is why reporters so consistently 
get it wrong.  I tried doing an additional search for "Einstein."  It was, 
after all, Einstein's Nobel Prize winning 1905 paper on the Photoelectric 
Effect that introduced the concept of wave/particle duality. Einstein 
described electromagnetic radiation as discrete packets of energy (now 
called "photons") equal to the wave frequency times Planck's constant.  
Photoemission is thus possible only for photons of energy greater than the 
ionization threshold (about 5 eV for metals). That's in the ultraviolet 
region of the radiation spectrum, starting at the blue limit of the visible 
spectrum. Ultraviolet radiation can create mutant strands of DNA that are 
the seeds of skin cancer. That's why you should avoid tanning salons. You 
should also avoid sticking your head in microwave ovens with the interlock 
disabled. Microwave photons from cell phones, microwave ovens, smart 
meters, and Wi-Fi all have energies about a million times too low to create 
mutant strands of DNA.  Better you should worry about the impending solar 
maximum. Microwaves can cook your goose, but you will die cancer free.

The most recent book warning about cell-phone hazards is "Disconnect,"  
Devra Davis(2010, Dutton). Does Disconnect mention Einstein?  Well," it 
quotes him at the start of chapter 11, "The right to search for truth 
implies also a duty." That's it. It makes no mention of his work, but last 
week something called "The Environmental Health Trust" issued a press 
release urging the United States to require health warning labels on cell 
(Continue reading)