Recent information released from a research project headed by Dr. Dummas Canbee indicates that even casual operation of a small RF transmitter near the human body can cause cancer. Dr. Canbee, a ham himself, KW0ACK, said the recent increase in average power output of the the modern handies that are on the market now could be the main culprit of this problem. As an example, Dr. Canbee cited the new hand held rigs that put out 5 watts or more. He stated that most hams get so caught up by the experience of communicating with people that they often forget about the potential hazards and serious dangers from over exposure to nearby RF fields. Dr. Canbee's finding's follow up on the research on the effects of using cellular phones close to your head. However, with hams, Dr. Canbee has learned that since so many Technicans and new "No code" hams use small speaker mikes or Vox headsets with boom mikes, the average ham may be most likely to suffer from over exposure of RF to the waist, as the rubber duck sits right above the
belt line. He also points out that waist cancer should be taken seriously. It can be a Killer!
Dr. Canbee, a DXer himself, first began to study this phenomenon shortly after he purchased a Godzilla Flamethrower II Linear Amplifier. He noticed dead birds around the yard underneath the tower, especially after a DX contest weekend. Also, Dr. Canbee noticed bald squirrels in trees nearby the tower. At first he attributed the phenomena it to something like mange that is commonly found in dogs. However, he now believes it is directly linked to over exspoure to RF. He does recommend that family pets not be allowed to sleep under the tower during DX contests or major dxpeditions.

      Yet, Dr. Canbee believes the average DXer is safe as along as he uses well shielded equipment in the shack and good coax. He does recommend that hams participating in Field Day Activities should use long runs of coax between the antennas operating positions.
    The research indicates that proximity to the RF maybe more important than the amount of power used. Five watts right against your body maybe more serious than a thousand watts radiated from a tower 80 to 100 feet up in the air. Dr. Canbee's research was focused on the area most commonly in contact with the antenna of a hand held: the waist area of the body. Listed below are some of the symptoms to watch for in case hams are uncertain about their use and proximity to RF: loss of hair on the body, especially in the pubic regions; open, oozing sores around the belt line; bloating and swelling of tissue along the waist line.
   Considering this information, half of the radio club may be already suffering from some of these symptoms. Dr. Canbee recommended that hams use common sense in the use of their transmitters, "Talkies should be unfastened and held high in the air while transmitting." If constant use of belt clips is continued, he suggests hams should line their shirts and underwear with aluminum foil. "Some good can come out of this problem," said Dr. Canbee. "This could in time solve the problem of the "No Code" hams. They will all be DEAD soon, if they continue to have no respect for RF. Remember, waist cancer can be a killer!"

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Reprinted from the Kansas City DX Club newsletter, the KC DX News.
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