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The Sciences

When Fearmongering is Harmful

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJune 4, 2011 12:06 AM


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Question: What do earthquakes in Washington D.C. have to do with brain cancer and cell phones? You can find the answer in this excellent interview with a scientist at BoingBoing. Meanwhile, over at Stoat's thread on this cell phone/brain cancer issue, here's a great observation that has not yet been made in any of the discussions, so far as I can tell:

I am bemused at the WHO's capitulation to the fearmongers on this. There is extremely strong evidence from numerous studies that the risk of cancer from cell phone use is either zero or at worst some number so close to zero that creating widespread anxiety about it engenders a larger risk. And incidentally due to the WHO's stupidity we have no prospect of stopping wasting research resources on this non-risk, which might then be used to better advantage. The opportunity cost of worrying about the wrong things.

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