You Are The Jury In This Case
The radiation levels from devices that send and receive, by wireless communication, have been considered “low”, but there is evidence that they present health risks. I am not asking you to jump to this view, but to hear the case, and decide for yourself.
If the arcs of radiation were visible, you would see the zone extends a long way, and the radiation can easily fill your home or car. But they are invisible.
A Range of Views – A Technical Expert
Grahame Blackwell, PhD, Chartered Engineer and advisor to WiredChild, explains:
Having a digital wireless device in your home, office, or school is like having a mini base station (cell tower) indoors with you, radiating all the time that it is powered on.
Your body is more sensitive than any wireless device, so if your laptop, cordless phone or mobile phone can pick up a signal, it means that your body and your brain cells are receiving those waves as well.
These are different from radio or TV waves; they are pulsed and jagged – like a saw tooth.
And many hundreds of studies strongly support the view that this type of radiation is responsible for a range of adverse health effects. These have been shown to occur at levels significantly below what governments consider safe.
Physicians Offer Their Opinions
In 1962, in her ground-breaking exposé, Silent Spring, Rachel Carson proved brilliantly that our human health is inextricably linked with our environment, and that both must be protected:
Technology is often so fundamentally at odds with nature that it must be carefully monitored.
Two decades later, the surgeon Robert Becker, MD warned:
Our bodies and brains generate electro-magnetic fields within us and around us. We live in the Earth’s natural magnetic field, and from the beginning we have been dependent on this environment. However, we have now created a vast global network of man-made electro-magnetic fields – the greatest polluting element in the earth’s environment. The human body electric and the Earth’s body electric have been damaged.
And now Stephen Sinatra, MD expresses concern:
We have seen clinical evidence that electro-pollution affects the normal functioning of the electrically sensitive heart, including the rate and rhythm, and othersystems of the body. All forms of pollution impair our health, and theelectro-pollutionarising from the proliferation of wireless technology has greatly added to this burden. The effects will go unnoticed among even the best health professionals.
Dr. Andrew Weil offered us this perspective:
Since cell phones show no signs of going away – indeed, most American children today face a lifetime of exposure – it’s vital to focus closely on the most recently published studies, the ones that show the effects of longer-term exposure. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization, reported on key studies (including some published from 2007 to 2009) that link radiation from long-term cell phone use with increased risks of brain and salivary gland tumors, migraines and vertigo, as well as behavior problems in children, including hyperactivity.
Andrew Weil, MD, Founder and Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine.
A government health official (I am reluctant to name him), a physician with many years of medical practice, states:
There is no evidence of harm from wireless technology.
Scientists State Their Findings
Professor Olle Johansson, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, reports:
There is clear evidence of harm. I am particularly concerned about children and pregnant women, and teens who are using mobile phones so much. And existing safety limits are inadequate because they do not consider the prolonged exposure to the lower emission levels that are now widespread. These standards were never intended to address the kind of exposures from wireless devices that now affect over 4 billion people.
A group of scientists who study radio-frequency radiation, including Professor Johansson, met in Norway. They issued The Seletun Scientific Statement published in Reviews on Environmental Health (2010; 25: 307-317) and recommended that lower limits be established.
Many other scientists do not support this view and continue to assert that the evidence is ‘inconclusive’. We are a long way from consensus.
The Industry Position (really reluctant to name him)
Numerous scientific studies have shown that wireless technology is safe. This is supported by many international health agencies, and by our government regulators and safety standards. The emissions from our wireless products are well within government safety limits.
What Is Your View?
This is most important as you are making the critical choices for your loved ones. [Wireless Radiation Rescue] has the research and recommendations that should be helpful for you. First, may I tell you my story. It’s a journey.
We don’t feel this radiation and we think it’s not doing anything, but it’s a very potent biological agent.”
-Martin Blank, PhD, Columbia University…
…The voluntary exposure of the brain to microwaves from hand-held mobile phones is the largest human biological experiment ever.
– Professor Salford, MD, Lund University, Sweden
Strategy 1. Know the Evidence
- the levels of electro-magnetic radiation that we are exposed to today are billions of times higher than for our ancestors (yes, billions, and this is a conservative estimate);
- this technology was never pre-market tested for safety;
- the current government standards we assume are protecting us are, evidently, just plain wrong;
- fortunately, there is good news – this is not an insurmountable problem; there are safer solutions and hope on the horizon.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. Aldous Huxley
Microwaving this Blue Planet
As if satellites hovering over us in space, city-wide canopy wireless systems, and powerful electrical grids weren’t enough, Mt Everest – “the roof of the world” – has become another radiation hot spot. And on the horizon, there’s also increasingly wide-ranging “blitzkrieg” WiMAX networks, all-wireless homes, and even more powerful wireless devices –“wi-fi on steroids”– as one tech writer announced with glee. You may be wondering if many scientists report evidence of harm, then why haven’t our governments done something to protect us? And, how did wireless devices make it to market in the first place?
Good questions. Let’s jump in and take a quick look at that. Could your cell phone heat your coffee? If not, it was considered safe.
Why Government Regulations Are Not Protecting Us
Our safety standardswere, and still are, only based on thermal damage. Thermal means that the energy has the ability to heat, and non-thermal means it does not. Way back in the techno dark ages – the early nineties – regulators only considered thermal effects. This was not the ability to cook tissue, just warm it.
Because short-term exposure from cell phones did not heat the tissue of a 200 lb adult male, the industry argued wireless devices were safe and should be excluded from pre-market testing. Potential damage to smaller, more vulnerable, beings was not tested, or considered. Professor Gandhi – his graphic of the skulls is on the [omitted] cover of [Wireless Radiation Rescue] – worries about this, “All the standards used for cell phones apply only to the ‘big guy’ brain.” How is this oversight affecting your children?
Unbelievably, this is still the only thing that government regulations are based on, and still govern the marketplace. And you should know that the standards for radiation emitted from your cell phone, wireless network, cordless phone, baby monitor, or nearby cell tower antenna are not a little bit off; they are thousands to millions of times apart from what many eminent scientists consider safe.
So why are our schools installing wi-fi? And hospitals. And parks. And planes. No government agencies seem to be monitoring the impact on human health – on us – or considering the affect in five years. In two?
Professor Johansson cautions:
People should know about the difference between acute (immediate) and long-term health effects. The current standards only look at acute effects. As you see, we need to take a course of action to safeguard our families, and not wait for regulators and public health officials to wake up…
…Remember the headlines “Go ahead and talk all you want—it’s safe!”
When I tried to tell people about this, most didn’t want to believe it. People often pointed to a well-publicized, and controversial, Danish study that was released in 2006. I have learned the importance of having a critical eye when reading such research papers. In the case of that Danish study, scientists not working for the industry found serious flaws. Evidently, the trouble with many studies that show no increased risk with cell phone use is that significant information may be missing.
Here’s another example to scrutinize. In 2009, a different Danish study that reported, “No increase in brain tumors seen from cell phones” was widely repudiated by experts in this field. But how are we, the consumers, to know?
Wait until you hear what our experts have to reveal about the ‘inconclusive’ Interphone study released in 2010. Independent researchers report that studies don’t always ask what side of the head the person uses the phone on – a key variable in assessing risk. People are included as users even if they only had rare or occasional exposure. Also, only a very small proportion of the population had cell phones 10-15 years ago, and it can take 10 years or more for a tumor to develop. These studies wouldn’t necessarily provide clear cause and effect. How many decades, and thousands of studies, did it take before it was “proven” that smoking caused cancer?
Evidence is Building
If it can take so many years to see evidence of the damage what does this mean to a whole generation using cell phones day and night? Is it prudent to wait?
Those saying there’s no problem, or who do not take precautionary action – in the face of growing signs of harm – may have a lot to answer for, one doctor confided to me.
Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, and Dr. Annie Sasco who worked with the World Health Organization agree that there are cell phone health concerns:
What we have now are highly suggestive results from a number of different studies…that point to a non-negligible long-term risk for a brain tumor.
Dr. Magda Havas, from the Environmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University, confirms other risks:
Headaches, numbness and tingling sensations in their fingers and face, and difficulty with cognitive functions either when using, or being in the presence of, cell phones and/or cordless phones. Also, people who live within 400 meters (437 yards) of the antennas are experiencing adverse health symptoms. Studies show an increase in cancers and symptoms of what is being called electrohypersensitivity or EHS.
Biased Evidence in Industry-Funded Studies?
Dr. Henry Lai is one of a number of credible scientists who have faced attempts to discredit their findings. The trouble started when Dr. Lai’s work at the University of Washington showed that radiation at frequencies similar to those emitted by cell phones broke the DNA in rats’ brain cells after just two hours of exposure (Lai & Singh 2004).
In “The Cellphone Game”, an excellent article published in the September 2008 edition of The Walrus magazine, Dr. Lai reports:
Industry-funded studies are roughly twice as likely as government-funded ones to conclude that cell phones are harmless.
The next time you hear about a study, or an expert of some sort, saying that cell phones are safe, may I suggest you follow the funding.
The Controversial Interphone Study – Inconclusive?
This is a good example of why many people are confused. One of the reasons I wrote [Wireless Radiation Rescue] is to help consumers, especially parents like me, sort out the science behind such headlines as “Interphone study inconclusive, cell phones safe, after all.” I wish this were true.
This massive study began in the late 1990s with researchers from 13 countries investigating the possible tumor risks associated with the use of mobile phones. I asked Dr. Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, for his insider’s perspective, as he has been following this:
Several of the research groups, including Lennart Hardell’s team, reported that there is statistically significant evidence of two different kinds of tumors from cell phone use of ten years, or more, on the same side of the head as the phone was used. It is baffling how some other Interphone members can be so sure that cell phones are safe. No one should forget that the wireless industry plays a huge role in this area of research.
For updates go to www.microwavenews.com– a reliable source.
The definition of a ‘heavy user’ has changed since Interphone began. If you have been on your cell phone only 30 minutes a day over a 10 year period, then you’d qualify as an Interphone ‘heavy user’, with a 40 percent increased risk of a brain tumor. If you use a cell phone twice as much – 60 minutes a day, would that mean your risk is doubled?
If it’s only 4 minutes a day (the amount the average person in this study used a cell phone) then you fall comfortably into the Interphone ‘no conclusive link’ category – as long as you are not exposed to other sources of wireless radiation.
How many hours a day of wireless radiation exposure is your family accumulating? Ever check your bill? You may have a great savings plan, but what about the cost to your health?
Did you know that the Interphone researchers did not consider:
- the exposure time when your cell phone is on standby, you carry it on your body, use it as an alarm, or charge it beside your bed;
- the increased risk incurred by young adults, teens, children or pregnant women;
- other exposures including cordless phones, wireless networks etc.
Worth waiting for the end of this debate before taking action?
As you probably know, people of all ages are fixated on their multimedia mobiles which are so convenient, and so cool, with their dazzling array of apps. You can chat and text to keep in constant touch, catch the news and weather, download movies and locate a restaurant. Now, from a stunning display tablet, you can also watch TV. From just about anywhere.
These gadgets are powerful enough to send and receive data through your parking garage. Does it seem wise to press one, with its intense hot-spot plume, against your head? Your heart? Your unborn baby?
There are many other groups of experts joining the Interphone’s call for more research, including the 2010 report from The President’s Cancer Panel in the US…
First, let’s take a look at the various systems of the body that are affected. You will see why so many symptoms and medical conditions can be related. The good news: there are wide-ranging health benefits when you reduce your exposure.
This section gives you a detailed list of potential effects. Why are we still standing and not crashing under all this wireless radiation? A good question. Noticeable harm can be immediate, or take many years.
Biological Effects – Evidence of Damage
The Resources section at the end of [Wireless Radiation Rescue] also has an extensive list with references. Yes, there are numerous peer-reviewed and published studiesthat strongly suggest harmful effects. Here we go …
Functioning of Our Cells
Scientists now have far more sensitive measures of how human cells respond to EMR than they did in the 1990s.
As the research of Dr. Blank demonstrates, these fields can affect our cells even when present at very low intensities – low enough that our senses can’t detect them, let alone feel any heat. (Could this be the crux of the problem?)
Along with Dr. Reba Goodman, Dr. Blank has been studying these biological effects – near an electric clock, for example – on the stress response in cells:
The cells react as if this energy is harmful! They make stress proteins only when they sense they’re in a bad situation, such as when they are exposed to heat, toxins or the wrong pH. The research is showing that when exposed to low frequency they’re responding in this way, even without thermal stressors. When the cell starts making stress proteins, it’s trying to tell you something!
Our Immune and Other Systems
Another scientist, Dr. Ted Litovitz, who was Emeritus Professor of Physics and Bioelectro-magnetics, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, found that when a cell is subjected to too much stress, this fundamental protective response itself becomes stressed and stops making proteins. (Litovitz 2002) In other words, the cell becomes less able to protect itself and this impairs our immune system strength and affects every system in the body.
Our Cells’ Ability to Communicate
The pioneer in the field of environmental health, Dr. Neil Cherry of New Zealand, described this mechanism in detail. Sadly, this highly respected scientist died in 2003 after suffering from Motor Neuron disease (ALS). Professor Cherry wrote:
Nature has developed many advanced and complex biological processes in, and between, cells for cell-to-cell communication, intra-cellular communication and regulation, and brain and CNS systems. Dr. Ross Adey’s description of cells ‘whispering to each other’ in this cell-to-cell caring society, checking on the health of their neighbours and suggesting subtle changes to keep them healthy are part of biological homeostasis.
Our brains and cells primarily use calcium ions for these processes and Dr. Adey’s laboratory, followed by Dr. Carl Blackman’s monumental work, confirms that the natural and vital processes for cellular health are interfered with … at the cell membrane level, by the oscillating signals from mobile phone base stations.
These waves of radiation confuse and damage the cell’s signal system while the strong emissions of a cell phone next to your head almost drown out the signals. This alters the EEG and hormones damaging the cells and producing acute symptoms such as headache, concentration problems, memory loss, dizziness and nausea, and long-term problems including brain tumors, Alzheimer’s Disease, depression and suicide.
The cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra told me about this hypothesis:
Receptor sites on the cell membrane do not recognize the chaotic electrical disturbances from mobile phones and other wireless exposures, and interpret this as a foreign invader, sending the cell membranes into a protective ‘lock down’ mode.
One theory is that electro-magnetic radiation impedes the active transport channels that should allow nutrients into the cell, and waste products to get out, as well as the cells’ ability to communicate and work well with each other. Waste products can build up inside the cell causing a high concentration of molecules called free radicals.
Our Cardiovascular System
Having worked for many years in the field of heart health education, I welcomed Dr. Sinatra’s contribution and peppered him with questions about the possible connection between EMR and cardiac symptoms.
Even if you have never had any worrying cardiac symptoms, you’ll find what he says of interest:
The heart is electrical in nature so it is vulnerable to all electro-magnetic fields. These include the earth’s natural forces – as strange as this may sound, ask any cardiologist who has worked in the ER on a full moon night – as well as the microwaves from wireless technologies.
The non-harmonious, jagged waveform of wireless radiation impairs the normal functioning of the heart, including the rate and rhythm.
Some people can feel discomfort in the chest area when around mobile phones or wireless hot spots.
People are usually unaware of the cause of these ‘unexplained’ cardiac symptoms, and unknowingly, their doctors may not offer the appropriate diagnosis, or treatment. Even if you are not aware of any effects, it does not mean that you are safe from harm.
Cardiac effects may include: variability of heart rate and rhythm (tachycardia and arrhythmia), palpitations, chest discomfort/pain (angina), high blood pressure (hypertension – this is now better understood: oxidative stress/free radical damage from toxins, environmental pollution, emotional stress etc. impairs the delicate lining of small blood vessels, causing constriction and an increase in blood pressure), blood clumping (this thickening of the blood also happens with the stress response, as you can imagine, thicker, more viscous blood is not a healthy condition).
Our Blood-Brain Barrier
Even though this is a complex mechanism, this research caught my attention – like the graphic on the back cover. I read that the “lock down” effect of the cell membrane by EMR can affect cells anywhere in the body – including the blood-brain barrier, a vital filtering system in the blood vessels in the brain.
Experts agree that it’s especially important that the cells of the blood-brain barrier keep toxins out and cerebrospinal fluids in, so that the environment of the brain is kept clean and the brain itself is cushioned against any contact with the skull. Makes sense.
Research by Leif Salford, MD, the neurology professor at Lund University, shows that EMR is capable of causing leakage of the blood-brain barrier. (Persson and Salford 1996; Salford et al. 1992, 1993, 1994, 1997b, 2001)
Dr. Salford’s research team reported rat brain cross-sections showed first ever evidence of brain damage from cell phone radiation. While the controls (top) appeared healthy, the test subjects (below) – exposed to a 2-hour dose of cell phone radiation of varying intensities – were heavily spotted with proteins leaked from the surrounding blood vessels, and show signs of significant neuronal (brain) damage.
I once showed this graphic to a neurologist. He looked right at me and challenged: “Do you have any idea of the implications of this kind of damage?”
“I am beginning to understand,” I replied. “This is why I am so committed to getting this information out to people – particularly to parents like me.”
Maybe you’re thinking that what applies to rat brains doesn’t necessarily apply to humans? Several years ago, Professor Salford pointed out that the blood-brain barrier is anatomically the same in both species and cautioned:
With a long series of significant effects demonstrated in the animal models, it is my sincere belief that it is more probable than unlikely that non-thermal electromagnetic fields from mobile phones do have effects upon the human brain.
Our Cognitive Abilities
A 2009 study by researchers in Israel confirmed human subjects exposed to wireless radiation from cell phones had impaired cognitive functions, including slower response times to a spatial working memory task (Luria, Eliyahu, Hareuveny, Margaliot, Meiran).
So why are we flooding schools with wireless radiation?
I challenged one skeptical principal:
“If the safety of the school’s playground equipment was being questioned by numerous highly respected scientists, and there were reports of children being harmed, and at risk, how long would it take you to remove it from the school grounds?”
Neurological Conditions, Including ADHD and Autism
There are many symptoms connected with EMR exposure including difficulty sleeping, headaches, dizziness, eye pain, cardiovascular reactions, and many more. Sadly, medical researchers also suggest an extensive range of brain and nervous system-related conditions.
These include: learning disabilities, ADD and ADHD, Asperger’s Syndrome and the Autism Spectrum Disorders, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. A 2003 published study by Professor Salford suggests an EMR and Alzheimer’s link; with 4 billion cell phone users, if microwave radiation turns out to be a causative factor what will we do?
Some years ago, studies reported a link between electrical occupations and neuro-degenerative disease including ALS (Suavity et al, 1998). I know several people afflicted with this devastating condition, and some with Parkinson’s. They were otherwise healthy men in their 50’s and 60’s – all worked in the computer industry. If there is a connection, what impact could this have on the digital generation? This seems worth an investigation and taking precautions.
There is also concern about the rising levels of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). More and more families are facing this every day: a few decades ago autism struck 1 in 10,000 children; now it affects 1 in every 150, according to a study released in February 2007 by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). In October 2009, a new government study estimates that the prevalence is more likely about 1 in every 91 children. What could it be in 2019?
There is some good news; as an environmental consultant who assists families with autism tells us later on, many of these children improve significantly when in a low EMR environment. This is not the whole answer we need, but it is a fairly low-cost, and easy-to-implement, plan.
Yes, this critical function dims as we age, but there’s an EMR factor, according to the neuroscientist Professor Olle Johansson:
If you look in the literature, you have a large number of various effects like chromosome damage, impact on the concentration capacity, and decrease in short term memory.
Memory loss and concentration problems may occur as radiation affects the ability of the brain to process and remember information (part of distracted driving?), and can damage and kill brain cells, most of which do not re-grow. This could be a factor in dementia.
We have just heard about free radical damage to our DNA; there’s more. Dr. Benetti, at the French company, Clarins Laboratories, exposed skin cells to EMR and found it damaged the quality of the skin, accelerating the aging process by causing a production of free radicals and a loss of cellular renewal. The skin became dehydrated, more sensitive, and less radiant. They are developing plant-based protective formulas.
Research indicates damage from wireless communication – time spent on cordless, or cell, phones – can also include increased risk of breast cancer. There’s evidence that breast tissue absorbs electro-magnetic radiation. Isn’t that awful news. All of us have lost loved ones – wonderful women. This is good reason not to carry a powered-on cell phone on your body, and to limit its use.
All this evidence is too scary?
We may fear for ourselves, and our family. My hope is you’ll see that if environmental influences are part of these diseases, thenwe can prevent, and treat them, more effectively, but that long list is daunting. Once I submitted an article to an editor who rejected it as “too scary”. We may not want to hear this, sadly, we need to. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe it’s time to [stop reading this article] and go for a brisk walk in the fresh air?
Yes, this is scary, and what we are trying to prevent.
I just saw a young child in a magazine article about childhood leukemia. A little boy, in a grown-up looking suit, was holding a child-size cell phone.
In Australia, the UK and Italy, studies found that the closer people live to the radiation emitted from broadcast towers (radio and/or TV transmitters) the higher their incidence of leukemia (Michelozzi 2001, 2002, Hocking et al 1996, among others.)
Other studies looked at people living near power lines. They discovered that with a small increase in the number of power lines, there was a doubling of childhood leukemia – by age 3 or 4 (Draper et al 2005).
For 30 years, experts have been trying to figure out exactly how electromagnetic radiation could increase the risk of childhood leukemia, and in December 2008, medical researchers in Shanghai released a potentially ground-breaking explanation.
The researchers discovered children who carry a defective version of a gene, that normally helps repair damaged DNA, are up to 4 times more likely than neighboring children, with a fully-functioning gene, to develop leukemia, if they also live near power lines or transformers.
They report that children who have this faulty gene cannot repair DNA that’s damaged by exposure, even to low frequency fields, which would make them more susceptible to cancer.
There’s also a possibility that a mother’s exposure in her work environment during pregnancy, or just before she conceives, will also put her child at greater risk of developing certain types of brain cancer.
In February 2009, researchers at Canada’s McGill University raised this concern after following the pregnancies of a group of women working in a room full of electric sewing machines.
With these serious implications wouldn’t you think that government health agencies and research institutions would be leading the charge to prevent these side effects?
So this might become the new health warning during pregnancy: refrain from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, prolonged proximity to electric devices, and all mobile technology – cordless and cell phones and everything wireless.
As with tobacco, and other public health issues, there’s usually a long time lag between people getting sick and governments taking action, as we mentioned. We need to remember this.
Not only are the agencies in charge not stepping in to fund needed research and provide necessary precautions, most are still defending the existing ‘safe’ levels which respected scientists warn are not protecting us.
Meanwhile, reports from the European Union alert us that childhood brain cancers are on the rise.
British neurosurgeon Kevin O’Neill, MD has reported:
Brain tumours are on the increase, reportedly in the region of 2% per year. But in my unit we have seen the number of cases nearly double in the last year.
A few years ago, I heard some scientists and epidemiologists voice their greatest fear: the potential of a global pandemic of brain cancer. I shuddered and became even more determined to alert consumers.
How much does the convenience really mean to us, when we consider such risks?
We feel harrowed seeing the bright face, and shiny bald head, of one child with cancer. How would we cope with many? How do families live through losing a child?
There are dedicated researchers and message carriers, around the world, fighting hard to prevent this. We need your help.
The article has been excerpted from various sections of Wireless Radiation Rescue: Safeguard Your Family From Electro-pollution, © 2010 by Kerry Crofton, PhD; HMDI has reprinted it with Kerry Crofton’s written permission.