As reported in Mother Jones, Berkeley city council voted unanimously on Wednesday to require cellphone retailers to warn customers about the potential health risks associated with radio-frequency (RF) radiation emitted by cellphones. RF is also known as Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and Electromagnetic Fields (EMF).
The notice, which must be posted in stores that sell cellphones reads (in part):
If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.
Despite continuing denials from the the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer society about any cancer risk from Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR), numerous epidemiological studies show a link between cellphones, wi-fi and brain and other cancers. See The Cellphone Controversy and Electrosmog
The insurance industry is well aware of of the link between EMF (produced by cellphones, wi-fi and smart meters), which is why new life insurance coverage excludes coverage for EMF-related deaths. See Natural News
The Berkeley vote comes a day after an open letter from 195 scientists from 39 countries raised “serious concerns regarding the ubiquitous and increasing exposure to EMF generated by electric and wireless devices.” The scientists called on government agencies to impose “sufficient guidelines to protect the general public, particularly children who are more vulnerable to the effects of EMF.”
At present the Federal Communications Commission requires phone companies to disclose the minimum distance from the body that users should carry their phones—yet these guidelines are typically buried deep inside phones’ menus and sub-menus, or in the fine print of user manuals. A survey conducted in April by the California Brain Tumor Association found that 70 percent of Berkeley adults did not know about the FCC’s minimum distance rule.
According to the Mother Jones article, the Cellular Telephone Industries Association plans to sue to prevent the ordinance from being implemented. They claim the law “violates the First Amendment because it would compel wireless retailers to disseminate speech with which they disagree. The forced speech is misleading and alarmist because it would cause consumers to take away the message that cell phones are dangerous and can cause breast, testicular, or other cancers.”
(The second of four posts linking cellphones, cellphone towers and Wi-Fi to cancer and other severe health problems – and the global die-off of honey bees.)
Both light and radio waves are natural forms of EMR (electromagnetic radiation) that surround us in the natural environment. EMR can be divided into high energy, or ionizing radiation, and low-energy non-ionizing radiation. The ionizing radiation, like x-rays and nuclear radiation, actually smashes our fragile biochemistry, like the proverbial bull in a China shop. There’s no controversy about the damage that it causes. The dangers of non-ionizing radiation are more subtle. Microwave ovens, cellphones, Wi-Fi, radar equipment and high voltage lines produce large amounts of EMR of a different frequency than human beings are exposed to naturally. Scientists have been concerned about potential health risks of microwave exposure since the 1930s, when mechanics working on early radar equipment complained of rashes, headaches and flu-like illnesses.
Following the release of the 2007 Bioinitiative Report (which shows European cancer rates tripling after the installation of cellphone towers), the European Environment Agency issued warnings on “electrosmog” from cellphones, Wi-Fi and cellphone towers. It’s easy to forget that all of us are constantly exposed to artificially high EMR levels – also known as electrosmog – even if we don’t use cellphones, cordless phones or Wi-Fi, or only use them at a safe distance from our bodies.
Despite hundreds of studies showing that EMR has biological effects (mainly DNA breakage and cell membrane leakage of nerve cells), the FDA bows to industry pressure to use ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation) standards. The latter only measure the “thermal” or heating of effects of EMR. And since there is no heating at the low levels emitted from Wi-Fi or cell phone towers, the FDA draws the illogical conclusion electrosmog poses no health risk. Despite hundreds of studies linking Wi-Fi and cellphone towers to cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fatigue, headaches, multiple sclerosis (MS), impaired memory and behavior problems in children.
Electrohypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS)
Approximately 3% of the population (including children exposed to Wi-Fi routers in schools) suffer from a serious condition caused by exposure to EMR known as Electrosensitivty Syndrome (ES) or Electrohypersensitivity Syndrome (EHS). It’s a condition, well recognized by environmental physicians, characterized by headaches, disrupted sleep, chronic fatigue, depression, erratic blood pressure, rapid pulse, rashes, nausea and childhood behavior problems. In some patients, it can look a lot like MS. In fact, patients with MS often have a worsening of their symptoms when exposed to EMR.
Unfortunately, other conditions linked to EMR take much longer to develop (10-15 years). This means it could scientists take 50 years or more to collect the “conclusive proof” necessary to force the FDA to regulate exposure.
The European Position
Following the 2007 Bioinitiative Report, many French and English schools dismantled their Wi-Fi systems and replaced them with cables. The German government has issued a warning that all citizens avoid Wi-Fi use at home and at work. Likewise the Austrian Medical Association has recommended all Wi-Fi be replaced with cables. The position taken by the Swedish government, which formally recognizes EHS as a disability, is the strongest. They will remove Wi-Fi from the school of any student suffering from EHS, as well as providing microwave opaque paint and/or wall coverings for the homes of EHS patients.
What Should Americans Do?
Owing to massive corruption in the FDA and other federal regulatory agencies, Americans are still pretty much on their own in protecting themselves against excessive EMR exposure.
Yet there are still steps they can take to practice what researcher Dr Magda Havas refers to as “good electromagnetic hygiene”:
1. Replace cordless with corded phones.
2. Replace Wi-Fi internet hook-ups with an Ethernet cable.
3. Use cellphones as little as possible and only in speaker mode (Bluetooth devices and regular head phones also give off microwaves – only air tube headsets are safe). Men should never carry cellphones in their or waist band, as they lower sperm production and quality (the FCC carried this warning on their website for 10 months but removed it in November 2010, under industry pressure.
4. Do NOT use CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs – although good for environment, the erratic currents they produce are linked to health problems. Here are some energy efficient alternatives.
5. Do NOT use electric blankets or water beds
6. Keep alarm clock radios at least 2 meters from your bed
7. Measure EMR radio frequency in your home and install radio frequency-reflecting window film or fabric to shield from external sources
8. Measure “dirty” electricity (erratic currents from CFLs) in your home and install filters if values are above 50 GS units.
9. Use “wired” – not wireless – smart meters/
10. Do not live in a home within 100 meters of transmission lines or within 400 meters of cell phone antennas.
See the 2014 midyear Bioinitiative Working Group report for the most recent peer review research linking EMR exposure and brain cancer, allergies, immune problems and nervous system effects, such as hyperactivity, concentration problems, anxiety, irritability, disorientation, distracted behavior, sleep disorders, and headaches. The BWG specifically warns against Wi-Fi in schools.
(The first of four posts on research linking cellphones and Wi-Fi to cancer and other severe health problems – and to the die-off of honeybees)
Predictably, the Food and Drug Administration has declared cellphones, Wi-Fi and cellphone towers safe, along with water fluoridation, fracking and genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). The FDA based their findings on the Interphone Study. This series of multinational, case-controlled studies funded by the UN and the cell phone industry was published in the May 2010 International Journal of Epidemiology in May 2010.
Study Shows Cell Phones Prevent Brain Tumors
You wonder how any reputable scientific journal could publish a study showing that cellphones reduce the risk of brain tumors. But these industry whores have no shame. A detailed analysis of the Interphone study by Dr Magda Havas, Associate Profession of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, reveals the study was deliberately designed to minimize adverse effects. When frequent cellphone users came out with a high risk of brain tumor (meningioma), they concealed this in two appendices in the back of the journal that weren’t released to the press.
Examples of bias in the study design:
A “regular” cellphone user was defined as someone who made one cellphone call a week – Havas compares this to looking for lung cancer in people who smoke one cigarette a week.
Cordless phone users (who experience the same EMR exposure as cellphone users) were included in the control group (the non-exposed group) instead of the experimental group – whereas in a proper study, a genuine control group would have no EMR exposure at all.
The Interphone studied excluded two important age groups – those under 30 (those most vulnerable to carcinogens) and those over 60 (the age group with highest numbers of brain tumors).
Even more troubling the Interphone study relates to cellphone use between 2002-2004, when overall cell phone use (particularly among children) was quite low compared to current use. Moreover, it also excludes any data from US cellphone users.
At November 2010 San Francisco conference “The Health Effects of Electromagnetic Fields,” Dr Joel Moskovitz presented a larger meta-analysis of independent cell phone studies that points to an average of 18,000 preventable glioma (a highly malignant tumor) deaths directly related to cellphones.