Overheard on CNN.com: Readers question cell phone cancer risk
The World Health Organization now says cell phones can increase possible cancer risks.
May 31st, 2011
05:08 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Readers question cell phone cancer risk

Comment of the day: “Cancer? Yes, there's an app for that.” - katiefacemom

Hold that call

The World Health Organization has found enough evidence to categorize personal exposure to cell phones as "possibly carcinogenic to humans." In a report, the organization says the danger is in the same “hazard" category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Despite the report, the cell phone industry maintains that there is no conclusive evidence of danger.

CNN.com reader reaction to the report varied, although most were skeptical of the findings. Some said they are old news and others made light of them. Some said they hoped people would stop using their phones so often, while others lamented all things cancer-related.

cellosong said, “The 90s called. They want their urban legend back.” P3NGU1N said, “Breaking News from 1990!” But Zygmoid said, “No, this is not the same study they did 10 years ago. It's called ‘science’ people ... don't worry about it, go watch TV.”

new2wi said, “I wonder if someone will make an app so our phones can give us a CT scan?” ripley01 said, “So I guess talking to my mom WAS killing me.” GeorgeFnBush said, “They cause far more car wrecks than cancer.” SkyJim said, “Great, I can't wait to see the danger/warning labels they're going to start putting on these things. Next person to call me on my cell phone I'm going to answer with ‘are you trying to kill me?’ ” MoreMedsPls "This is your brain. This is your brain on Cell Phone." common51 said, “I'm sure the phone companies will charge us extra for the cancer.... We don't get anything for free from them.” MoreMedsPls said, “I'm certain WE will charge the cell phone companies via civil lawsuits.” Neutronium said, “what does a rock group know about cancer anyway?”

rosem4243 said, “So does this mean that cell phones will not be allowed to be used in restaurants, parks, office buildings....just like smoking? Sweet!” edvhou812 said, “This is good news! People just might stop talking on their cells phones while driving, in the restaurant, in the bookstore, etc.” kilroy101 said, “Get rid of the cell phone, you don't need it. Get rid of your Cable TV, you don't need it. Get outside and exercise, you NEED it!” Redman7176 said, “So there will be justice in the end for all the idiots on their phones while driving in the left lane.”

bcole04 said, “I feel like, at this point, I'm going to get cancer from something anyway. I will either get it from the sun I'm exposed to everyday, the air I breathe, the diet soda I drink, the cell phone I talk on or the deodorant I use. Should you try to reduce your risk of these? Sure. Should I be so scared of getting cancer from just about anything nowadays that I complete rearrange my life in response to that fear? No way. “And Rutledge2020 said, “Pretty sure that just being alive in general increases your risk of cancer.”

Taking the transgender lead

Nepal is registering “third gender” citizens in its 2011 national census, along with men and women. It is believed to be the world’s first official recognition of gay and transgender people - a move seen as a major victory for equality in a country that only decriminalized homosexual relationships three years ago.

Reactions from CNN.com readers prompted a discussion about what the terms “gender” and “sex” mean while others expressed surprise and delight that Nepal was the first country to include a new gender.

Krow said, “Wow. Nepal is more culturally accepting than the USA. That's kind of funny till you realize that a good portion of our citizens don't believe in evolution, think the Earth is 6,000 years old and are planning to vote for Sarah Palin. ThomasGypsie said, “America is falling farther and farther behind when it comes to social change and acceptance.” Lokari said, “One day, Nepal, I hope the USofA can join you in the 21st century, instead of languishing in our backwards Christian mindset.” Ozymandias71 said, “News like this is always welcome, but the fact that it's Nepal is just amazing. Go Nepal!” globalogic said, “Our planet is becoming a freak show.”

Fixer2010 said, “There is no such thing as a third gender. You are either male or female. Simple, basic anatomy. ‘Feeling’ like a woman or man does not change your gender. I could care less if you are hetero or homosexual; but let us be realistic.”

RevSchaeffer said, “Male and female are sexes. Gender is a description. These are legal definitions being applied, not biological.”

LoneQuark said, “Gender is a social construct, and an individual's gender need not match their sex. I am a PhD student in a biology lab (neurophysiology).

howiecarr said, “I don't see how an imaginary 'third gender' advances rights for anyone. They are literally just making this one up. There are two genders. That's it. This is not a discriminatory statement, it is simple fact. Everyone is free to use their parts any way they see fit, but you are one or the other.”

Mind the jellyfish

On a lighter note, there was a jellyfish “attack” on Memorial Day, from Cocoa Beach to Cape Canaveral. More than 800 people were stung, but no serious injuries were reported. CNN.com readers were amused by the story.

JimCampbell said, “Now all we need is a peanutbutterfish." zix said, “800 stung! It's the Jellocalypse!” alexDWD said, “Where is Spongebob when we need him? And OutlawJones responded, “In a pineapple under the sea?” TallinOK said, “Why can't jellyfish have a vacation like anyone else? They like the beach. royalhighnes said, “Another sign the world is coming to an end: ‘...and the oceans will turn to purple Jello bringing gnashing of teeth...’”

farkyew said, “Jellyfish don't attack. Stupid. You ‘bump’ into them. Your fault. They're not like sharks. They move with the current, waves, wind, etc.” MrEee said, “Listen, and understand. That jellyfish is out there. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.”

Do you feel your views align with these commenters' thoughts? Post a comment below or sound off on video.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Jory

    Depending on the type of cancer, I have to disagree on seeking treatment. I have survived both cervical cancer and breast cancer, but I agree with not seeking treatment if the cancer had already advanced to stage three or four of a vital organ.

    May 31, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie Downer

      Well I don't have insurance. I make $9 an hour trying to finish school @ 32 years old. I'm already living to just exist for my employer and landlord to get wealthy off of. Really most of us just exist to make a few people rich. Im not going to suffer through chemo only to suffer the years of servitude to pay back my hospital debt just to maintain someone else's bottom line. Lol You are one of those live to fight types and that's fine, but I choose to live life under my terms, which excludes slavery to corporate america. No thanks. I look forward to meeting God. It will be a refreshing change from what I've gotten here.

      June 1, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Brian

    The cell phone dangers is not a new event it has been well known since the 1970"s when the russian's use microwave to spy on the american embassy causing them to get sick with cancer llike symptoms. A study was done by fourteen euorpean countries on the dangers of the cell phone but, they were not able to release the report because next to oil wireless services is the second largest financial instatution in the world.

    June 1, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. countryboy

    Cell phones or cancer sticks your choice? http://WWW.CDBABY.COM/ALL/NUMONE bye now.

    June 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. steve

    Check out some more updated details on the potential links between cell phones and cancer at: http://www.periscopepost.com/2011/06/bad-news-mobile-phones-may-actually-cause-cancer/

    June 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Noah Berkowitz

    Nice post!Thanks for valuable info!

    November 28, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Report abuse |
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