Hi everyone! I’m back in Texas, and it’s suprisingly cold and rainy here. We actually turned our heater on rather than the A/C for the first time, and the shock to our temperature control set the smoke alarm off. Annoying, yes, but it’s nice to know that it’s not just my burnt pumpkin pies that are putting the smoke detecter to work 🙂
Anyway, back to business. While scouring the internet for the latest developments in cancer as I so faithfully do, I came across an interesting story on an online magazine devoted to London Bikers covering an upcoming book that attempts to draw a link between motorcycles and cancer.
The claims come from a new book by Randall Dale Chipkar entitled, Motorcycle Cancer: Are Motorcycles Killing Us With Cancers of the Prostate, Colon, Kidney, Bone, Etc? According to the book’s promotional website, extremely low frequency electromagnetic field radiation is the silent culprit for a host of different cancers.
While I generally avoid travelling on anything that doesn’t have a protective steel cage around it, my husband’s family is deeply embedded in motorcycle culture. Harleys, dirt bikes, rides, and races — they’ve done it all, so I have a vested interest. But clunky headline aside, I just don’t buy what Chipkar’s selling. While it makes for a good spook tactic (a silent monster — between my legs!), there is not one single study to date that links motorcycle electromagnetic radiation and cancer on PubMed, the single largest repository for peer-reviewed medical studies and scientific journal articles. There is, however, one 2004 Taiwanese study that correlates motorcycle exhaust to hormonal effects in breast cancer cell lines and female rats (Take home message to all who ride: try not to breathe the fumes.)
Seeing as the promotional website requires purchase of the book before one can see any research (or lack thereof, as the websites claim that “historically, governments and various EM related industries (hydro-electric, cell tower, cell phone, etc.) have denied EM health effects so as to not create panic,”) my scam warning bells went off. Just as they did, however, the website tells me that “this information herein provides an awareness of controversial issues so that the reader can make his or her own personal investigations, interpretations, evaluation, decisions and conclusions by exercising freedom of choice.”
Thanks for the tip. As for the claim that motorcycles are linked to cancer, I’ll believe it when I see the data.
UPDATE: See “Is Motorcycle Use Linked to Cancer, part II.”
Do you think I’m too cynical or right on the money? Leave your thoughts in the comments!