No connection between wifi signals, mobile phones use and brain cancer

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The ABC’s science program Catalyst is under review after an episode misled viewers into drawing a connection between wifi signals, mobile phone use and brain cancer. This is the second such breach in the past two years, with a previous report on statin medications resulting in a similar situation.

An independent review of the episode found a number of inaccuracies that favoured the view that mobile phones and wifi could cause adverse health effects such as brain tumours. The ABC will issue an apology to viewers, remove the content from all resource centres and suspend reporter Maryanne Demasi from on-air assignments.

“There is no doubt the investigation of risks posed by widespread wireless devices is an important story but we believe greater care should have been taken in presenting complex and multiple points of view,” said ABC head of television Richard Finlayson.


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Written by Drew

Starting out as a week of work experience in 2005 while studying his Bachelor of Business at Swinburne University, Drew has never left his post and has been with the company ever since, working on the websites digital needs. Drew has a passion for all things technology which is only rivalled for his love of all things sport (watching, not playing).


Total Comments: 18
  1. 0

    Funny that many people, myself included, complain about physical issues with mobile phones which do not occur with fixed line phones.
    Tell me about there being no link. The cigarette companies said the same thing for decades.

  2. 0

    I love Catalyst ! Cutting edge science. My husband stopped taking statins because his memeory was getting worse & it has helped him. More & more research is heading towards the results that heart attacks ARE cause by inflammation in the blood vessels. And cholestrol is only doing what it is supposed to do trying to heal the inflammation. Then gets overwhelmed & a heart attack happens. Hey presto, autopsies show lots of cholestrol & the cholestrol gets blamed. But the inflammation should be what we try to cure !

    Now research suggests that alzheimers is caused by inflammation to the brain. The body tries to compensate by covering the area in fibres. Eventually the fibres start to clog the brain. Hey presto brain damage. So now they are looking at controlling the inflammation.
    I read lots of research on inflammation because I have Rheumatoid & Fibromyalgia. They are diseases of the Immune sytem & the body’s inflammatory markers are what we spend a lot of time keeping under control to stay mobile.

    On my Arthritis support group we discussed the Calalyst show on WiFi effects. Many of us with RA get Fibromyalgia which often causes hypersensitivity to taste smells noise & chemicals & poor sleep patterns. Some suggested that turning off their WiFi helped them sleep better. So I now turn off my mobile & the house WiFi & yes – much better quality of sleep & more of it !

    Go Catalyst !

  3. 0

    I agree Mick. There are now trillions of dollars worldwide tied up in the mobile phone and many associated businesses. Just in the last decade I have heard about so many relatively young people with brain tumours — whereas prior to rampant use of mobile phones I rarely heard of them. Just like tobacco, I believe it will be a long process of coverup, denial and eventual acknowledgement that prolonged use of mobile phones is certainly harming people.

  4. 0

    I watched that episode of Catalyst and can not recall any link to cancer from using mobile phones. No I do not take Statins.

  5. 0

    I have, and I believe others also have experienced a warm (burning?) of the side of the face caused by Mobile phones which is due to radiation – cannot be good hence I don’t talk much as far as possible on these devices. Also, in Germany they removed all WiFi from schools to avoid the risk of radiation to kids. Can see the ABC is now getting more Business & Liberal party friendly (even it’s election coverage – did you see the friendly lunch arranged for A.Crabb just before the election at Malcolm’s house where he cooked?) – does it have a change of direction to the right?

    • 0

      George, to be fair, Ms Crabb did a one-on-one with Mr Shorten just a day or two before the one with the PM. Whichever side people are on, many seem to think the ABC is favouring the other side. Personally, I think the ABC does a pretty good job of trying to be balanced — unlike this article. But then they don’t have to keep advertisers happy. Thank goodness.

  6. 0

    A program like ‘Catalyst’ makes people aware and gets them thinking and talking about things.
    It therefore can’t be a bad program.
    I believe the jury is still out on this subject, absolutely. There is no proof either way. I therefore aim to play it safe, others of course may do as they wish.

  7. 0

    Interesting. Most people don’t seem to have any visible reaction to WiFi but that doesn’t mean it isn’t having an affect on them. A friend has a definite reaction to it. He can tell whether it is turned on or off because it hurts which means that it does have some affect we are just not aware yet of what the affect is. I would err on the side of caution rather than saying (like the cigarette companies and chemical and medical companies) “unless you can prove that people are dying it’s OK”. How long did the link between lead poisoning and paint take? What about the link between garden poisons and bee deaths? Big companies don’t care so they will do anything to cover up such links while they are making big $.

  8. 0

    A friend who recently had a heart failure was advised by his specialist not to carry his mobile phone in his shirt pocket?

  9. 0

    Well they will never actually prove it because what doctor will ever diagnose it and who will be the guinea pigs for the trials. It is like any cancer they will never tell you what caused it. I have read enough to know that wifi is not helpful for your health so make sure you use the speaker on your phone and keep it away from your head, don’t talk on it too long, and make sure your home wifi is far enough away too.Or better still use a landline if you have one. Precaution and prevention is a better way to deal with keeping healthy.
    Catalyst is a informative and there should be more TV shows like it.

  10. 0

    Of course there is no link???? The imaging we see on women’s breasts of a rectangular bunch of tumours exactly the shape and position as the phone pocket on their bra is just a co-incidence? There are a lot of co-incidences apparently. It must be the phone pocket in the bra that does this? Strange that the pocket is the same material as the rest of the bra?

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