Electromagnetic Fields the Next Battle in the War on
Pollution? Part 1
Home Radiation Protection
Once we’ve cleaned up the air, will we need to clean up the
airwaves as well? Mat Stein, author of When Technology
Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and
Surviving the Long Emergency, thinks it’s a possibility.
You’ve heard the rumors that cell phones cause cancer.
You’ve seen those folks on the street holding their cell
phones away from their head as though their phone’s cancer
is contagious. But where did these rumors get started? Are
they based in any fact? If there is truth to the myth, will
electromagnetic fields be the next battle in the war on
pollution? Will we be talking about electro-friendly devices
in the future the way we talk about carbon-friendly products
In the following excerpt, Mat Stein tells the story of
Robert Kane, an early cellular telephone researcher who was
convinced that the cell phone gave him the brain tumor that
ultimately took his life.
The following is from When Technology Fails by Mat Stein:
In 1993, Motorola scientist and engineer Robert Kane, Ph.D.,
made headlines when he sued Motorola, claiming that while
developing Motorola’s early cellular telephones, he burned
the skin on his head and his brain with strong
electromagnetic fields (EMF) in the radio frequency (RF)
range and that this damage caused a brain seizure in 1992
that was subsequently diagnosed as caused by a brain tumor.
Kane said that while performing the cell phone antenna tests
in 1984, he noticed a hot, burning feeling above his right
ear immediately adjacent to the cell phone. Afterward, his
skin developed a “wetness” and a dermatitis type of itchy
skin condition that lasted for months.
During this period of time, Kane’s ear also oozed excessive
wax and fluids. During the trial, Dr. Samuel Milham and Dr.
Jan Leestma testified that these conditions were typical of
burns and that, in their expert medical opinion, it was
these burns that caused the tumor to grow in Kane’s brain.
Even though the earlier skin and ear conditions were
medically documented, and the tumor was of an unusual type
and was located at precisely the location directly beneath
the location of the skin condition, Kane and his wife lost
their court battle. We all know who had the deep pockets in
this case—Motorola (State of Illinois, Circuit Court of Cook
Kane went on to write a book exposing the cellular
industry’s suppression of scientific evidence linking the
EMF/RF of cell phones, cell towers, and various other
wireless devices to a wide variety of health dangers,
including the increased likelihood of developing leukemia,
tumors, and other cancers. His book, Cellular Telephone
Russian Roulette, was published in 2001 and is reported to
be an excellent source of information on this subject.
Unfortunately, after numerous operations, Kane succumbed to
his cancer in 2005, and his book has gone out of print.
Fearing public backlash due to concerns over cellular
telephone radiation, the industry organization called the
Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA)
organized its own research effort, headed by George Carlo,
Ph.D., an expert in risk assessment and epidemiology. It was
a $25 million program. The CTIA expected Dr. Carlo to
vindicate the cellular industry and confirm prior research
showing that these types of devices were in fact safe. Dr.
Carlo was a longtime industry favorite “gun for hire” who
had previously performed pro-tobacco work as a “medical
expert” for the Philip Morris Company and similar “damage
control” publicity on dioxin for the Chlorine Institute.
For the first few years of their study, Dr. Carlo was the
darling of the industry, as their preliminary results were
indicating that prior concerns had been blown out of
proportion. But their relationship ended, and industry
funding was pulled, when even Dr. Carlo’s program began
confirming what other scientific studies had found: that
there were significant health concerns surrounding cell
phone EMF and that elevated incidences of cancers, tumors,
and other serious health problems were cropping up at far
lower EMF exposures than what government standards have
specified as “safe levels.”
Round Rock, Texas
Charlotte, North Carolina