Last updated on: 1/5/2016 | Author: ProCon.org

Ronald B. Herberman, MD Biography

Title:
Former Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Position:
Con to the question "Is Cell Phone Radiation Safe?"
Reasoning:

“In summary, my review of the literature suggests that most studies claiming that there is no link between cell phones and brain tumors are outdated, had methodological concerns, and did not include sufficient numbers of long-term cell phone users to find an effect, since most of these negative studies primarily examined people with only a few years of phone use and did not inquire about cordless phone use. In addition, many studies defined regular cell phone use as ‘once a week’…

[S]ome recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy. Based on these findings and the increased absorption into the brains of the young, the French Ministry of Health advised that children should be discouraged from using cell phones, a position also taken by British, German and other authorities…

RF radiation emitted by cell phones should be considered a potential human health risk…

From my careful review of the evidence, I cannot tell you conclusively that phones cause cancer or other diseases. But, I can tell you that there are published peer reviewed studies that have led me to suspect that long term cell phone use may cause cancer. It should be noted in this regard that worldwide, there are three billion regular cell phone users, including a rapidly growing number of children. If we wait until the human evidence is irrefutable and then act, an extraordinarily large number of people will have been exposed to a technology that has never really been shown to be safe.”

Testimony, US House of Representatives Domestic Policy Subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing “Tumors and Cell Phone use: What the Science Says,” domesticpolicy.oversight.house.gov, Sep. 25, 2008

Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Experts
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to the study of cell phones. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to the study of cell phones.
Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Former Director, University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
  • Former Director, University of Pittsburgh Mecical Center Cancer Center
  • Former Associate Vice Chancellor of Cancer Research, School of Medicine, Department of Health Sciences, University of Pittsburgh
  • Former Chief, Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Former Hillman Professor of Oncology, University of Pittsburgh
  • Former Chief Medical Officer, Oncology, Intrexon
  • Former President, American Association of Cancer Institutes
  • Former Editor-in-chief, Natural Immunity
  • Recipient, Award for Excellence in the Sciences, Governor of Pennsylvania
  • Recipient, Lifetime Science Award, Institute for Advanced Studies in Immunology and Aging
  • Former Interim Chairman, National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project
  • Former board member, American Association for Cancer Research
  • Former Chairman, Biological Response Modifiers Committee, NIAID AIDS Clinical Trials Group
  • Former Head, Cellular and Tumor Immunology Section, Laboratory of Cell Biology, National Cancer Institute
  • Senior Investigator, Immunology Branch, National Cancer Institute, 1968-1971
  • Education:
  • MD, New York University School of Medicine
  • Other:
  • He died on June 1, 2013
  • Quoted in:
    Pro & Con Quotes: Is Cell Phone Radiation Safe?