Finnish Study Finds GSM Cell Phone Use May Suppress Glucose Metabolism in the Brain

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A new study out of Finland has found the electromagnetic field emitted by GSM cell phones suppresses glucose metabolism in the human brain. The study, initiated by the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN) at the University of Turku, is published in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Circulation and Metabolism.

For the study, 13 healthy men were exposed to the GSM signal for 33 minutes. PET scans showed that glucose metabolism was suppressed in the temporoparietal and anterior temporal areas on the side of the brain that was next to the cell phone antenna. The researchers, however, cautioned that no health conclusions could be made based on their findings.

GSM stands for Global System for Mobile communications, and is the world’s most widely used cell phone technology. It is approximated that 80 percent of the world uses GSM technology when placing wireless calls, according to the GSM Association (GSMA). As we’ve reported previously, wireless carriers that utilize GSM include AT&T and T Mobile. according to Joel Moskowitz, PhD, Director, Center for Family and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, at least one published study has found GSM phones emit about 28 times more radiation on average compared to CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access). according to Moskowitz, toxicology research suggests that GSM phones are more biologically reactive compared to CDMA phones.

This isn’t the first time research has shown that radiation from cell phones can impact brain chemistry. Earlier this year, researchers at the National Institutes of Health published a study which found that 50-minutes of cell phone use was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism (a marker of brain activity) in the region closest to the phone antenna. The study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), was one of the first, and the most prominent, to offer scientific evidence that cell phones affect brain metabolism.

What is not yet understood is exactly how the brain changes induced by using a cell phone might impact health over the long-term. The authors of the NIH study said at the time that their findings indicated a need to further investigate potential long-term cell phone health effects.
Most studies conducted so have failed to conclusively prove one way or the other that radiation from cell phones impact health.

However, over the summer, the World Health Organization’s WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decided to classify cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing hundreds of human and animal studies. their review included the 2010 INTERPHONE study, which found that the heaviest cell phone users– experienced a 40 percent higher risk for gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor.

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Most Cell Phones Exceed Radiation Limits For Children

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A newly-published paper reveals that, not only do children take in twice as much microwave radiation from cell phones than adults, but that the cell phones studied exceeded U.S. Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) exposure guidelines.

The scholarly article on the safety of cell phones was published this week in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine and focused on cell phones used in shirt or pant pockets, said Science Daily.
The paper also revealed that the industry-designed method of looking at cell phone microwave radiation causes children to absorb two times the amount of cell phone radiation into their heads, said Science Daily. Children also absorb up to three times the radiation into their brain’s hippocampus and hypothalamus, significantly more in their eyes, and up to 10 times more in their bone marrow, versus adults, wrote Science Daily.

The paper’s authors, wrote Science Daily, include three team members at Environmental Health Trust: Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder and President; L. Lloyd Morgan, Senior Science Fellow; and Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Chairman of the Board.
The current process is based on a fairly large male whose 40 brain tissues are assumed to be identical, explained Science Daily; however, a more reliable system involves use of “anatomically based models” of people in a range of ages and conditions, including pregnant women. this would better reveal radiation absorbed into all tissues types, taking into consideration that children absorb more radiation than other groups, said Science Daily. this method also enables devices to be certified with the most vulnerable people—children—in mind and to maintain the “as Low as reasonably Achievable” (ALARA) approach that should be taken when creating radiological device standards, said Science Daily.

In the United States, the FCC determines maximum allowed exposures; in a number of countries, specifically those which are members of the European Union (EU), the “guidelines” of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), which is a non-governmental agency, are used, according to Science Daily.

Earlier this month we wrote about a possible association between cell phones and cancer that has many women in Australia turning off their devices. An online health survey of more than 30,000 Australian women found that cancer worries have prompted one in four to cut back on cell phone use, while 21 percent said they wanted to reduce their use of mobile phones in the future.
Of note, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently decided to classify cell phone radiation as possibly carcinogenic to humans after reviewing hundreds of human and animal studies. as we’ve reported, the IARC’s review included the 2010 INTERPHONE study, which found that the heaviest cell phone users experienced a 40 percent higher risk for gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor. The IARC panel did caution that much of the research they reviewed was limited, and said more study was needed before definitive conclusions could be reach.

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Can You Hear Us Now? Kids & Cells Update

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OCTOBER 24, 2011
by Rachel Lincoln Sarnoff

What kind of world do we live in when the one thing children want to do most could give them cancer? At least when kids thought smoking was cool there was a warning label on the pack.

Despite studies like the one published last week in Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, which found kids’ brains absorb twice as much cell phone radiation as adults, the FCC continues to insist that “currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses,” according to the website Fair Warning.

“The standard for cellphones has been developed based on old science and old models and old assumptions about how we use cellphones,” co-author Devra Lee Davis told ABC News. The study’s authors contend that the FCC’s assessments are based on the radiation absorbed by a large adult male, according to Consumer Reports Health.

Meanwhile, Environmental Health Trust assessed global standards of cell phone regulation and found a “relative lack of action on the part of the United States compared to other countries in response to the latest scientific evidence of cell phones’ health effects.”

Well, duh.
Of course we’re going to lag, when the cell phone industry fights any awareness tooth and nail. According to CBC News, after the city of San Francisco passed a requirement last week for cell phone retailers to warn customers about limiting their exposure to radiation, the trade group representing cell phone companies filed a lawsuit in federal court, citing the new law violates the companies’ First Amendment Rights of freedom of speech.
Please, people. Does it take a “Mad Men” episode to realize the insanity? While the government sorts out this mess, protect your kids from cell phone radiation by making sure they use a headset or speaker, don’t keep their phones in pockets close to their bodies and text more than they talk. Take a look at these additional suggestions from our blog and look for a related petition coming from Healthy Child Healthy World soon.

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Risk Factors for Primary Brain Tumors

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A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chances of getting a particular disease, such as cancer. Despite extensive past and current research to identify major risk factors, it appears that most primary brain tumors develop for no apparent know reason. Radiation therapy to the head for the treatment of other types of cancers is currently the only established risk factor for developing a primary brain tumor. For example, children with leukemia who receive radiation therapy to the brain as part of their treatment are at risk for developing a brain tumor later in life.

The link between exposure to certain chemicals (e.g., vinyl chloride), petroleum products, and chemicals used in the production of synthetic rubber has been suspected, but not proven, as a risk factor for brain tumors. More recently, the expansion of wireless cellular telephones has raised the concern about a possible link between radiofrequency exposure from cellular phones and the development of brain tumors. To date, no studies have found an association between the use of cellular phones and brain tumors, however, research in this area is ongoing. Exposure to electromagnetic fields from high-tension wires has also been suspected as a risk factor for brain tumors, however, most studies have concluded that there is no strong evidence that clearly proves an association.

Causes of Primary Brain Tumors
Over the years, researchers have learned a great deal about the underlying molecular and genetic events that are involved in the transformation of a “normal” cell to a “malignant” or cancerous cell. Brain tumors, like other types of cancers, are thought to be caused bygenetic mutations (abnormalities). Some genetic mutations are passed down from parents to children (inherited mutations) while other genetic mutations, known as acquired mutations, develop as a result of risk factors, such as smoking or chemical exposure, that causes damage to the genetic material (DNA) of the cells during the normal cell division cycle.

Most people who develop a primary brain tumor do not have a family history of brain tumors so that inherited mutations do not appear to play a major role in the development of brain tumors. With the exception of exposure to ionizing radiation during radiation therapy to the head for the treatment of other types of cancers, there is no clear-cut association between exposure to other environmental risk factors and the development of brain tumors.

As mentioned previously, it appears that most primary brain tumors develop for no apparent know reason. Although the exact cause remains elusive, researchers are continuing to investigate the role of environmental factors, genetic factors, and certain types of viruses in the development of primary brain tumors.

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Cellphones May Harm Memory, Pregnancy, Brain Cells – In Rats, Mice And Rabbits. Maybe.

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May 23, 2011 | By Melissa Healy

Steady exposure to the electromagnetic radiation given off by cellphones during use may disrupt fetal development, disturb memory and weaken the barrier that protects the brain from environmental toxins, says a welter of new research being presented this week in Istanbul, Turkey.

The authors of the studies, published in the past two years, highly preliminary and conducted on rabbits, mice and rats, suggested that the non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellphones and the base stations that broadcast cellphone signals may fundamentally damage cells by means other than the heat that they generate. That is a highly controversial assertion, because scientists have asserted that the only kind of radiation that causes cancer and DNA damage is ionizing radiation such as that emitted by nuclear material. The microwave radiation emitted by working cellphones simply does not have the power to scramble DNA or disrupt cell function, they say.

The studies were conducted by scientists working under the umbrella of the Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofitorganization devoted to identifying and controlling environmental health risks. The EHT has been especially active in showing that non-ionizing radiation emitted by cellphones is damaging to humans.

In one of the studies reviewed in Istanbul, mice exposed to two hours per day of radio frequency emissions from a transmitting cellphone were less able to to learn and rerun mazes, suggesting that cellphone radiation might impair spatial memory — the kind of recall that helps us navigate from place to place. A second study found that the barrier between bloodstream and brain that protects the latter from most toxins became more permeable when male rats (although not females) were exposed to 20 minutes of radio frequency radiation such as that emitted by cellphones. A third study found that exposing pregnant and non-pregnant rabbits to six minutes a day of electromagnetic radiation led to the release of “secondary messengers, such as free radicals,” which in turn destroyed DNA and fat molecules. (The babies born after such exposures, however, were fine).

The Istanbul meeting, convened by the Environmental Health Trust and Gazi University, comes a day before the International Agency for Research on Cancer — an agency of the World Health Organization — is to meet to decide whether research has demonstrated that radio frequency electromagnetic fields emitted by mobile phones are potentially cancer-causing. The agency has overseen a 10-year, $14-million epidemiological study called the Interphone Study Group, an international consortium of researchers that set out to determine whether cellphone use is linked to increased rates of gliomas or meningiomas (both forms of brain cancer), parotid gland cancer or cancer of the acoustic nerve.

The Interphone Study Group’s findings, released in May 2010, failed to establish that mobile phone use raises an individual’s risk for any of the cancers. But after the international effort turned up a troubling but ambiguous signal that brain cancer was more common among the heaviest cellphone users they surveyed, the group decided further research on the subject was “merited.”

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Cellphones And Radiation: Is Exposure Underestimated?

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October 17, 2011 | By Eryn Brown

Measuring radiation exposure using current FCC guidelines underestimates how much radiation most people receive from their cellphones, researchers said Monday in a study published in the journal Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine.

The authors of the study, including several members of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit organization devoted to identifying and controlling environmental health risks, pointed to several reasons why. One is that the current assessment method bases evaluations of how much radiation people are exposed to from their phones on measurements taken using a quite large, liquid-filled plastic model of the adult human head (known as the Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin, or SAM). Smaller people — 97% of the population, the authors wrote — will have higher proportional exposure than what is assessed. Children receive twice as much microwave radiation to the head from phones as adults, the study estimated, and 10 times the amount to bone marrow.

Also, current assessments don’t examine exposure to parts of the body other than the head, the study noted. Even when a phone is stowed away in a pocket, it continues emitting radiation that could pose a health concern.

The authors reviewed examples of research demonstrating negative effects of cellphone use, including recent epidemiological studies suggesting correlations between cellphone use and brain cancer. (Whether microwave radiation from cellphones can damage DNA and cause cancer is a subject of debate; click here to read a National Cancer Institute fact sheet on the subject.)

The Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine paper called on the cellphone industry to stop using the SAM-based system to certify phones for use. A better method, the authors said, would be for industry to begin using the computer-based, “virtual family” simulation approach, which assesses the radiation absorption for 10 different-sized people: a 5-year-old girl, a 6-year-old boy, an 8-year old girl, an 11-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy, a 26-year-old woman, a 35-year-old man, an obese man and three women at different stages of pregnancy.

“The SAM-based certification process should be discontinued forthwith,” the paper concluded. “Because billions of young children and adults with heads smaller than SAM are now using cell phones extensively … it is essential and urgent that governments around the world revise approaches to setting standards for cell phone radiation.”

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Lulled In To Risk: Cell Phones Are Not As Safe As You’ve Been Told

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October 22, 2011

Misleading Danish Mobile Phones and Brain Tumour Study
Just about every news outlet is telling you that your cell phone is safe, yet no one is really telling you about the faults in the study.
I have been researching the cell phone and related microwave issue for almost 15 years. Everything I have read issues a risk. And I have read research dating back to the early 1940s.

Of course you can make a choice to use a cell phone, a microwave, a smart meter, or have wi-fi in your home but just don’t be lulled by junk science. Get properly informed first before you wake up in 10 years with leukemia because your red blood cell production is failing because you carry your cell phone on your belt, or you can’t have children, or you get thyroid disease or breat cancer, ovariam cancer or your children have behavioral problems or you get a heart attack.
“This misleading study has many flaws and serious confounders and should not give anyone reassurance that mobile phone use is not associated with an increase in brain tumours. In our opinion the paper should not have been published in this form — it should have failed peer-review. We recommend that it is disregarded as low quality science.

Denis Henshaw, Emeritus Professor of Human Radiation Effects at the University of Bristol agrees with this view: “This seriously flawed study misleads the public and decision makers about the safety of mobile phone use. I consider that their claims are worthless.”” READ complete article and find more in this press release –

INDUSTRY PLAYS ‘DOUBT’ CARD TO DOWNPLAY IARC/WHO FINDINGS’
The BMJ is set to publish an ‘update’ to a study that finished over 4 years ago (and used data even older) and was widely criticized at the time for its design – that it appeared to be designed to come out negative for tumors in that they had excluded heavy mobile phone users from the study(the business users).More recent studies – including the Interphone Study (itself somewhat flawed) – have shown significant increased incident of brain tumors and related cancers in long-term (10 years use for1/2 hour per day) mobile phone users. Because of these other studies etc. the World Health Organization (WHO) in conjunction with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) have this year declared microwave radiation -used by mobile phones and other wireless devices – to be a class 2b carcinogen ” Possibly carcinogenic to humans “[2]

This means that microwave radiation is a possible cause of cancer .The re-release of the Danish study is part of an industry-orchestrated backlash to delay legislation to limit microwave exposure and place mandatory health warnings on mobile phones (in the style of cigarette packets) and other radiation emitting devices such as WiFi routers, smart meters and cordless landlines.
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Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors? Debate Rages

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by Don Reisinger | October 21, 2011

A controversial study holds to an earlier claim that mobile phone use does not increase a person’s risk of developing a brain tumor.
The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal yesterday, argues that even after using a cell phone for more than a decade, a person’s chances of getting a brain tumor are about the same as they would be without cell phone use. The study, which is an update to previous research that found no link between mobile phone use and cancer, examined the instances of brain tumors among long-term cell phone users in Denmark.

“In this update of a large nationwide cohort study of mobile phone use, there were no increased risks of tumours of the central nervous system, providing little evidence for a causal association,” the study’s authors write in their conclusion.

That finding, however, prompted a quick and vigorous rebuttal. After the study was published, researchers from the U.K., U.S., Australia, and elsewhere around the world said that the Denmark study was “seriously flawed” and should not be considered a definitive source for information on the risk of contracting a brain tumor after prolonged mobile phone use.

“From the way it was set up originally, this deeply flawed study was designed to fail to find an increased risk of brain tumors tied with cellphone use,” Devra Davis, a cancer epidemiologist and president of Environmental Health Trust, said in a statement. “In order for any study of a relatively rare disease like brain tumors to find a change in risk, millions must be followed for decades.

“By extending an earlier analysis on the same group of cellphone users this new report provides unsurprising, biased and misleading conclusions,” Davis continued. “It uses no direct information on cell phone use, fails to consider recent and rapidly changing nature and exposure to microwave radiation from cellphones, cordless phones and other growing sources, and excludes those who would have been the heaviest users–namely more than 300,000 business people in the 1990s who are known to have used phones four times as much as those in this study.”

It’s that last element–leaving businesspeople out–that has caused the most outcry among researchers. But the study has also been criticized for not including cell phone data on users who might have only entered into mobile subscriptions since 1995.

“It ignores corporate subscribers (the heaviest users then) and the researchers have no data at all on cellphone use since 1995 so the extra 86 percent of the population who started to use a cellphone since 1996 were left in the ‘non subscriber part of the population,'” Alasdair Philips, an expert in electromagnetic health at Powerwatch in the U.K., said in a statement.

The debate over whether mobile phones cause brain tumors has been hotly contested by those on both sides of the argument. In early July, a study from the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection Standing Committee on Epidemiology found that the “the accumulating evidence is increasingly against the hypothesis that mobile phone use can cause brain tumors in adults.”

Less than two weeks later, a study was published in the American Journal of Epidemiology that concluded people who have used a cell phone for 11 to 15 years were just as likely to develop a brain tumor as those who have not.

But the World Health Organization said earlier this year that mobile phones can potentially cause cancer, and has listed handsets as a “carcinogenic hazard.” Although the WHO stopped short of saying that there is definitely a link between cancer and mobile phones, several studies over the years have drawn that conclusion.

So, regardless of the study or the organization releasing them, at least for now, it appears there’s no way to know for sure if cell phones do cause brain tumors. And with each new study, it’s clear one side will inevitably try to debunk the other side’s findings.

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Report on Wireless Safety Summit, Washington, DC, 5-6 October 2011

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21 OCTOBER 2011
The Wireless Safety Summit took place on Capitol Hill in Washington DC from 5-6 October 2011. The Summit was organized by the Center for Safer Wireless. Activists and individuals attended, including many by computer from other parts of the United States, Canada, Israel, South Africa and Switzerland.

On the first day, there were presentations from scientists and medical professionals on the health effects of electromagnetic fields, cell phone research, effects of microwave radiation on the heart, wireless safety standards, and smart meters. Speakers included Dr. Devra Davis, Executive Director of the Environmental Health Trust (and author of “Disconnect: The Truth about Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family”) who talked about the latest developments on cell phones and children, and Dr. Martin Blank, Associate Professor of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia University Medical Center, who spoke about the health effects of electromagnetic fields.

The second day was devoted to a briefing on how to talk to Congressional staff and Committees and then actually meeting with these persons. Jim Turner, a seasoned Washington, DC insider who worked with activist Ralph Nader, provided guidance before scheduled meetings with Congressional staff. Participants in Washington DC went to Congressional offices to share their perspectives in meetings.

Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) gave an excellent speech about placing human health above profit when we see a danger, or even a potential danger to human health.

Individuals and 26 activist organizations came together to express their concerns during the Summit and delivered a core message to Congressional staff.

“On behalf of the American people, we request that the Congress and the Administration take
three actions immediately to ensure greater health and safety protection from electromagnetic radiation hazards for precautionary reasons:
1. Convene Congressional hearings to feature testimony from scientific experts and public advocates regarding the experimental, clinical and epidemiological evidence on human health and environmental effects of electromagnetic radiation.

2. Ask the U.S. Surgeon General issue a report and call for precautionary warnings on the use of cell phones, Wi-Fi, and other radiofrequency/microwave emitting devices, including transmitters that are creating chronic, involuntary exposure conditions. The report should be accompanied by a public health advisory, supported by a review of similar advisories and policies, that have been issued world-wide, recommending greater health and safety protection, especially those that relate to children, pregnant women, people who wear surgically implanted electronic or metal devices for medical reasons, people who are mildly to severely electromagnetically hypersensitive, people who work under more intensive radiofrequency/microwave exposure conditions, and other major risk factors. It should also include special consideration of recent independent evaluations, such as those issued by the International Agency on Research on Cancer for the World Health Organization, the U.S. President’s Cancer Panel Report of 2009-10, and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Report on radio frequency radiation, of 2008.

3. Place an immediate moratorium on Federal funding intended to further deploy the smart grid infrastructure pending an independent review of how the goals of connectivity, speed and accuracy can be met with technologies that do less harm and do not endanger national security and individual privacy.

There are eight actions we ask Congress and the Administration to take in 2012 to further
provide health and safety protections for the American people:
1. Repeal federal laws and regulations that preempt state and local control over the siting
and management of cellular antennas, smart grid and wireless broadband infrastructure to
permit local control over antenna placement, setting up buffer zones, reduce the number of
multiple carriers and require pooling of services, monitoring of emissions with full public
disposure and enforcement, and require transparent, federal interagency procedures for
setting public health based electromagnetic field human exposure standards.
2. Initiate a federally sponsored, sustained and independent EMF research program to focus
on the biological and health effects of electromagnetic fields. The mission of this program
would be to conduct, sponsor and review research; to review proposed technologies for
their potential impact on health and the environment; to develop biologically based
standards; and, to make policy recommendations that protect health and safety.
3. Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to adopt lower, interim Specific Absorption
Ratio (SAR) standards for wireless communications devices, pending development of
biologically based data.
4. Expand the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection’s mission and staffing to
participate in the development of safety standards, including interim electromagnetic
radiofrequency human exposure guidelines for transmitting antennas pending development of biologically based guidelines.
5. Direct the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate the radiological properties of
consumer products that emit microwave-level radio frequency radiation, including cell
phones, personal Wi- Fi, baby monitors, cordless phones, smart utility meters, children’s
toys, etc.
6. Reestablish the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s capability to test electromagnetic
radiation emissions from antennas, to monitor and report emissions from antennas, and
inform citizens about what they are being exposed to, and to recommend mitigation
techniques at no or low cost.
7. Provide federal incentives to encourage local zoning that permits low EMF zones that do
not have wireless transmitters or power lines where people can choose to live and work.
8. Ensure current Federal disability and civil rights legal protections are available to people
who have surgically implanted electronic or metal devices for medical reasons, or who are
electromagnetically hypersensitive, and to assist these people to gain equal access to health
care, housing, jobs, transportation, education, and other public services, and have their
needs fairly accommodated.

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Cordless Phone Radiation Hazards At Home

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October 22nd, 2011
By: Rafael Castillo

Last week we talked about the long-term hazard of microwave radiation from prolonged use of cellular phones. But it’s not only mobile phones that we should be concerned about. Another product of modern technology, which no doubt gives us a lot of convenience, can also be a source of radiation that might contribute to the development of brain tumors later on in life. We’re referring to cordless phones that we use a lot of at home.

The Swedish study we cited last week found that both cell phone and cordless phone users had increased risk of brain tumors. Cordless phones emit the same type of wireless microwave radiation as cell phones. While cell phones receive wireless signals transmitted from cell towers and satellites, cordless phones pick up signals emanating from the antenna on the phone’s base station—right in our own homes.
So the phone base should not be placed in seating areas where people would normally stay. These unsuspecting individuals who sit near the phone base are absorbing microwave radiation more than they bargained for. Insidiously, the microwave radiation is penetrating their tissues and cells, disrupting the normal cellular functioning.

Scientists say that it can cause some changes on the DNA; and it penetrates through the delicate blood-brain barrier, which is a mechanism to ward off “invaders” to the brain. But it becomes powerless with increased levels of microwave radiation.

When we use cellular and cordless phones more than we safely could, just imagine the structures close to it—and that includes the brain, eyes, ears and even the thyroid gland in the neck—bathing harmfully in microwave frequencies. If you have these symptoms—recurring headaches, dizziness, twitching of the eyelids, burning sensation on the face and ears, sleep disturbances, vision problems, neck pain and ringing in the ears—they might be due to excessive cordless or cellular phone usage. Well, not in all cases, but it might be a good precautionary measure to avoid using these phones for a while until the symptoms subside. Go back to the good old wired landlines, and just send and receive messages by texting with your mobile phones.

The above symptoms are short-term effects and are likely to be only transient, but if sustained, long-term exposure to microwave radiation on and around the head has been linked to more serious consequences like brain tumors. There are less convincing data also linking it to visual problems including blindness, deafness and hair loss.

The association of microwave radiation due to these cordless and cellular phones with brain tumors is relatively stronger, with data suggesting that it could increase the risk three-fold for five years, and four-fold in 10 years. A study by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden showed a remarkably higher risk of acoustic neuroma (a type of brain tumor) from the use of mobile phones over a 10-year period.

“Pero ano pong magagawa natin, kailangan po natin ang mga ito (But what can we do? They’re necessary!)” says Joanna Reyes from Caloocan City in an e-mail message. Of course, they’re very useful and we have made them an absolute necessity in modern life (not that they really are!) But we just have to take some precautions:
If we have to use cordless phones at home, the base unit and remote extra handsets must be kept away from where people sit or sleep. (Although some researchers would even caution that the radiation could penetrate through nonconcrete walls.)

Use cordless phones sparingly. Unless one is bedridden or wheelchair borne, it’s much better to walk and get a little bit of exercise, going to where the corded landline is. (Cordless phones and remote control devices are contributing to increased sedentary life and obesity.)
For mobile phones, we already said the use of a hands-free accessory, keeping the cell phone farther away from the head and neck area, is preferred.
Calls must only be made when the message to be communicated cannot be done by simple SMS.

Avoid availing promo offers for unlimited calls by telephone companies, unless it’s financial expediency far outweighs the risk of being tempted to use the phone much longer than is absolutely necessary.

Manufacturers of cellular and cordless phones should be transparent to their end-users about the real and potentially serious risk of microwave radiation due to these phones. It may need legislation to achieve this, but every cell phone and mobile phone user must be properly informed about mounting scientific data linking these phones with brain tumors and other serious long-term complications.

For sure, any of these phone executives would not like their 15-year olds to talk with their friends for hours on end, as some commercials would suggest, and face the risk of a possible brain surgery or even death 10 years hence because of a brain tumor. Certainly not worth it.

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