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Old 14. Jun 2019, 03:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: New Zealand
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Originally Posted by danielson View Post
That's it - if i understand your article correctly EldonW, until we can scientifically prove there are real health dangers, then, let's just go ahead and to the 5G thing.
The current situation is that there is not enough evidence to conclusively disprove a causal relationship. But there is sufficient information for me to conclude that a significant causal relationship is unlikely at the low energy levels we experience. However, many people will assume the worst in which case it makes sense to limit exposure as much as possible.

AFAIK, the situation for non-ionizing radiation is somewhat different to that for smoking or asbestos. Here's some reasons why:
  • Causal associations for smoking and asbestos were identified much earlier and were a lot more obvious. Wikipedia mentions "The coughing, throat irritation, and shortness of breath caused by smoking have always been obvious." The physical impact for non-ionizing radiation has not been identified except for the thermal effects which require unusual exposure.
  • Explanatory models for smoking and asbestos diseases were developed quite quickly once there was a model for causes of cancer. There is as yet no similar theoretical model for illness due to non-ionizing radiation.
  • There have already been large scale studies for non-ionizing radiation whereas such did not exist before the mid 20th century.
  • People conflate non-ionizing (up to an including the visible spectrum, e.g. radio, mobile phones) and ionizing radiation (the visible spectrum and above e.g. X-rays, nuclear fission). See the chart in the following article which is worth a read anyway because it is another example of the difficulties with causation:
    A concerning new study links miscarriages to cellphone radiation. How worried should we be?

So is the causative relationship not yet revealed? There are at least three reasons I can think of:
  • There are good reasons to fear government/state./industry measures to "hide the truth." As recently as the 1980/1990s we were still being told that blue asbestos was bad but white asbestos was OK. But since the advent of the world-wide web, vested interests are much less able to support such positions without exposure.
  • We could take 30-70 years as representing how long it takes to reverse an entrenched position such as smoking (c70 years), asbestos (c50 years) and helicobacter causing stomach ulcers (accepted in 1987 to overturn the position established in 1954).
  • We simply don't understand what is happening and therefore cannot yet produce a theoretical model for explaining causation.

First observed:
Cancer: 2500 BC
Asbestos: 2500 BC
Smoking: 3000 BC
Non-ionizing radiation: 1890 Guglielmo Marconi
Ionizing radiation: 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen

Industrial production started:
Asbestos: 1870 at Quebec and Clydebank
Smoking: 1880 James Bonsack's cigarette rolling machine
Non-ionizing radiation: 1912 Guglielmo Marconi radio sets
Ionizing radiation: 1900s in many radium products

First "scientific" diagnosis of illness:
Cancer: 1775 Perceval Pott
Asbestos: 1899-1906 Hubert Montague Murray
Smoking: 1761 John Hill
Non-ionizing radiation: ? (I can't find it, if it exists, so help needed)
Ionizing radiation: 1895 Wilhelm Röntgen (misattributed burns to ozone)

First compensation claims producing cause:
Asbestos: 1927/1929
Smoking: 1950s (but I thought there was something earlier)
Non-ionizing radiation: ? (I can't find it, if it exists, so help needed)
Ionizing radiation: mid-1920s

Causality successfully established:
Asbestos: by 1930
Smoking: 1951
Better to light a candle ... than to curse the darkness.
Remah is offline   Reply With Quote