Are Wireless Internet & Phones Wiping Our Brains?

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A new a brain-scan study published February 22, 2011 in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association shows that a 50-minute cell phone call boosts activity in brain regions where the phone is held.

“The human brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation that is emitted from cell phones,” says the study’s coauthor Nora Volkow of the National Institute on Drug Abuse in Bethesda, Maryland. She adds, “At this point we do not know what the clinical significance of this particular finding is.”

The social significance is huge. By confirming the “non-thermal” effects of everyday cell phone use, the study once again calls into question current North American exposure regulations based solely on preventing wireless devices from burning their users. This is like saying cigarette smoking is harmless as long as you don’t burn yourself.

Perhaps with an awareness of a long and growing roster of researchers who have seen their funding and careers curtailed after finding the “wrong answers” to industry-financed studies – or possibly because more than 2,000 published studies demonstrating the proven risks of cell phone radiation have been censored by mass media in the United States – Volkow goes on to claim: disingenuously “Researchers don’t yet know whether cell phone radiation is dangerous.”

Research conducted in Sweden nearly 11 years ago – and confirmed by laboratories in Finland and the USA – has shown that aptly named “cellular” phones begin damaging brain cells within the two-minutes of initiating a conversation on a cell or cordless phone.

In 2000, after a 12-year investigation into the effects of cell phone radiation, Professor Leif Salford and his team at Lund University demonstrated that mobile phone radiation opens the blood-brain barrier within two-minutes, allowing blood proteins to enter the brain. Often identified in Alzheimer’s autopsies, these clumps of brain proteins can also cause Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, premature aging and Parkinson’s Disease. [Electronics Australia Magazine Feb/00; British Library Net Sept14/03]

In 2003, Dr. Salford and his Swedish colleagues found that cell phone-exposed rats have an “astonishing number of dead neuron cells, actually suffering holes in their brains from the damage.”

Dr. Salford went on to show that a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone permanently damages the blood-brain barrier. In each exposure, up to 2% of test animals’ brain cells were either damaged or destroyed – including cells in areas of the brain concerned with learning, reasoning, memory, spatial orientation and movement.

Professor Salford concludes that after decades of daily use, cell phone users will suffer drastic negative brain effects, probably in middle age. [Guardian Feb 5/03; wired.com Jan 31/03]

Leif Salford calls these effects, “terrifying.” One of the world’s foremost cell phone radiation researchers now says that neurons that would normally not become senile until people reached their 60s might now do so when they were in their 30s. [RFSafe.com Nov26/03]

“A whole generation of teenagers face premature senility in the prime of their lives due to the use of mobile phones and new wireless technology,” comments RFSafe.

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Cell Phone Exposure Increases Brain Cell Activity Part 2

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Cell Phone Exposure Increases Brain Cell Activity Part 1

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With nearly 300 million cell phones in use in the United States, some experts say the concern lies with not only with the long-term impact on healthy individuals but in consumers with unhealthy cells as well.
“Think of all the millions of cell phone users. Many of them aren’t healthy to begin with, and many others have smaller brains than the adults in this study. What does it mean for them?” asked epidemiologist and environmental-health expert Dr. Devra Davis.

The Federal Communications Commission’s safety guidelines for radiofrequency exposure do not differentiate healthy individuals from children or those with brain disorders. However, Volkow says different levels of protection may be in order.
“If someone already has brain damage and then stimulates it with electromagnetic exposure from a cell phone, it could trigger something dangerous,” Volkow said. “We cannot say with certainty that for a person with a vulnerability in the brain that radiation from a cell phone would not make it worse.”

The effect of increased brain activity in children because of cell phone radiation is another area yet to be studied.
The skull of a child is thinner, allowing radiation to penetrate deeper compared with that of an adult, according to Dr. Keith Black, chairman of Cedars-Sinai Hospital’s Department of Neurosurgery in Los Angeles. “Children’s cells divide at a faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger, which is why we believe the pediatric population is at a higher risk.”
For now, there are no conclusive answers. And the new research joins numerous previous studies on cell phone radiation that have been unable to definitively prove or disprove cell phones’ safety.

While the world waits for more research to be conducted, consumers can take steps to limit cell phone radiation exposure by using the speakerphone or a wired earpiece to make calls.

“The human brain is sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell phones, but for the brain to be impacted, the cell phone has to be close to the head,” Volkow said. “So keep your brain away from the antenna.”
Volkow says that since she began working with the National Institutes of Health researching the impact of cell phone radiation, she always uses a wired earpiece when talking on her cell phone.
“We don’t know anything for sure,” she said. “So why not?”

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