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Sorta transcript:

CELL PHONES STILL DON’T CAUSE CANCER. Okay? Cell phones. Do not. Cause. Cancer.

Usually I like to mess around, and build up to the point. But I’m not even going to pretend that this new study, which claims to show evidence that cell phones cause cancer, has absolutely any merit in it.

Sure, it does add to the body of scientific research in its own special way, providing a very tiny sliver of a portion of a puzzle piece in the great 10 billion piece puzzle that is cancer research, but it means absolutely nothing to you, the human who is using a cell phone every day. And I’m angry that the study is being reported in places like CNN with headlines like “Cell phone radiation increases cancers in rats, but should we worry?” because that is absolutely enough to make my mother worry, and fuck you for making my saint of a mother worry about anything, you assholes.

This study does not show that cell phone radiation increases cancer in rats. It doesn’t. It used a control group of rats and another group that was exposed to radiation. The group exposed to radiation got more tumors than the control group. You know what else happened? The group exposed to radiation lived significantly longer than the control group, which is probably why they ended up getting more tumors. Because the other rats died before they got a chance to even get tumors. You know how CNN should have reported this study?


That headline fits the research better, AND it wouldn’t make my mother worry. On the contrary, all she’d do is suggest I call her more often for both of our good health.

The CNN article does eventually get around to mentioning the life-giving properties of the cell phone radiation in the study, but it’s at the end of what is (for the internet) a lengthy article, and again, it’s not the fucking headline. It should be the headline, and then the only sentences in the article should be “A study found that cell phone radiation made rats live longer, and then they got tumors at more or less the rate they would be expected to without radiation. It’s probably nothing, go back to playing Words with Friends, mom.”

Please don’t share this bullshit article. Thanks.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca is a writer, speaker, YouTube personality, and unrepentant science nerd. In addition to founding and continuing to run Skepchick, she hosts Quiz-o-Tron, a monthly science-themed quiz show and podcast that pits comedians against nerds. There is an asteroid named in her honor. Twitter @rebeccawatson Mastodon Instagram @actuallyrebeccawatson TikTok @actuallyrebeccawatson YouTube @rebeccawatson BlueSky

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  1. Don’t worry, I’m sure a protective film over the speaker will protect us from the cancer rays anyway.
    I’m actually kind of amazed by how much I miss snake, now that I’m thinking about what life was like back in ’98.

    1. Hey, holograms are magic! Snakes have shiny irridescent skin that looks like holograms. Want to go into business selling fake snake skins (lubricated with snake oil so they slide on easily) for people’s cell phones?

      Rebecca, we’ll donate our 2nd million dollars to Skepchick’s new server fund (and our third million to our cellmate Kevin Trudeau).

      1. You know… if we’re honest about the fakeness, and then make a big deal about how that’s required by The Man we could probably use the 3rd million to buy our way into the homeopathy market!

  2. Rebecca Watson,

    This just shows us once again that we shouldn’t be relaying on single studies or a single headline from a single article.

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Scientific Studies (HBO)

  3. Rebecca Watson,

    By the way, this isn’t really that surprising, unfortunately. There are still people who believe that answering your cellphone near a gas station causes explosions.

    Does the use of cellular phones pose a danger of touching off explosions at gas stations?

  4. They can DEFINITELY lead to being a bad dinner date. Although wait…..there may be one confounding factor I failed to account for….now let me see, the only thing all of my failed romances have in common is…….me. So let’s see, if my dinner date is TXTing the whole time, there are only two likely explanations. Hold on, I need to head back to the lab.

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