Yesterday, Dr. Ronald Herberman, the director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute made headlines by encouraging his staff to limit use of cell phones because of a possible cancer link. Since then, the public seemingly has yawned.
Herberman encouraged cell phone users, especially children, to take precautions such as using the device’s speakerphone or a wireless headset. Herberman said the public shouldn’t wait for a definitive study but rather err on the side of caution.
Since the story ran in numerous U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times and the Kansas City Star, Internet message boards have lit up with a surprising amount of dismissiveness. A large number of message board writers questioned the results, doubted the connection between correlation and causation, and inquired about other wireless technologies such as cordless phones. All told a greater number of respondents said they would wait for actual proof, citing that cancer warnings have been associated with everything from bacon to bug spray.
In one message, “Jonathan” wrote, “In other news, a prominent back surgeon warned against stepping on cracks, noting that while the evidence is not clear, it’s not worth the risk to your mother’s back.”