Why the WHO panel is like the American Idol Judges

American Idol Judges

As I am sure you have heard, the WHO (World Health Organization) has classified radiation from mobile devices as “possibly carcinogenic” for the first time.  This is the third most severe ranking something can be given by the WHO.  However, they stressed that the research has not been proven without a doubt, but they think there is enough evidence to suggest…to suggest…it causes cancer. To be specific it may cause a rare form of brain cancer called Glioma as well as Acoustic Neuroma. The chair of the panel Jonathan Same’s exact statement is “The conclusion means there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk,”  We think it might be, but we are not sure, so lets watch and see? The problem with the statement and the classification is that you cannot throw the “cancer” word out there with the word “possible” linked to it and not expect a panic.  Especially in our social media driven world why anyone can write anything and it can be picked up and perceived as fact by the masses.

As Ryan Seacrest would say, “What are you supposed to do with that information?”  It is somewhat contradictory. The statement says to me, this could cause the big scary monster cancer to seep into your brain, but we are not sure so use caution.  It is just like when JLo and Steven Tyler say you are amazing, but Randy says “I don’t know dog, I just don’t see it, I don’t know if you have the chops to be the next American Idol.”  You are completely conflicted. Do we listen to JLo and the Aerosmith guy or to Randy?  Do you stop using the most important means of communication in your life? Do you stop using your cell phone’s around your kids? Do you…Gasp…ignore the feedback and keep on singing your heart out or in this case talking away on your mobile?

Predictably people took to the Internet and social media channels like Twitter and Facebook with the info and just started running and morphing and running with it.  No longer is it is a “possible” it “is”. People started saying they were going to get “specially lined pockets to protect their gnads from radiation” or that they were “throwing their phone away and going back to a land lines”. People mused as to whether it would be “harder to quit smoking or quit their cell phone”.  Damage done WHO, the masses will now forever link cell phones to cancer. So even if studies turn out to be inaccurate, or the link is disproved, the myth will live on. Irreversible damage has already been done. Remember that ridiculous link between pet deaths and the Swiffer Wet Jet? It still persists. People want to believe scary things. They cling to the notion that if they cut these scary things out of their lives they can control their destiny.  Sorry folks you just cannot. When it is your time it is your time.

Don’t get me wrong, I am the first person to worry about cancer. I have lost a lot of family members to several forms of that disease. I eradicated BPA from the reusable water bottles, baby bottles, and kids ware in our house.  I stopped burning my meat on the grill, and I even have a radon prevention system installed in our basement. I have cut most of the things out of my life that have actually been proven to cause cancer,  so the last thing I need to worry and google about, is another possible cause of cancer. Especially when it is associated with something that is such a huge part of my life. This is not the same thing as quitting smoking cigarettes as that tweet suggested.  To me cigarettes are a vice, an addiction, for people, but my cell phone feels like a necessity. It is now part of my DNA. It is how I communicate with the world, my family, my children. It is my safety net, my map, my dictionary, my calculator, my planner, my entertainment, my lifeline. Surely, I could live without it, but do I want to?  Hell No. So call me crazy, but I for one am going to ignore the American Idol Judges, I mean the WHO panel,  and keep rocking out with my mobile phone… at least until they come up with something a bit more substantial to prove it is going to give me nasty brain lumps.

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One Comment

  1. Posted June 1, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Awesome post. I had a really good friend whose Mom advocated against cell phone use back in the late 90’s for this same reason. Scary stuff! So many things cause cancer though. Gotta pick our battles 🙂