With mobile penetration of more than 100%, many mobile towers are mushrooming in the cities. To provide seamless coverage to the mobile users, telecom companies are installing the towers every 300 meters in the city and sometimes less than that. This is all done to keep up the growing demand of voice and data traffic in the cities.
Apart from the health issues which these mobile towers pose on human being, these mobile towers are making the city skyline aesthetically unpleasant. These mobile towers are just an eye sore when somebody looks at the skyline. No regulation on installations of these mobile towers in the cities has degraded the skyline of almost every city. Moreover there are no proper design specification for the towers and no designated approval body to approve the tower designs. Safety of such towers is also questioned by different agencies in the recent past including Resident Welfare Associations (RWA) of residential colonies.
In European countries, innovative methods like camouflaging, landscaping and stealth structures are used to lessen the unpleasant visual impacts of mobile towers and antennas installed on them. And they also use low power radiating systems where the antennas can also be mounted on the street furniture like behind sign boards and light poles so that visual asthetics of the the city are maintained and do not create eye sores like seen above in India.
Chula Vista, California
Egypt, Cairo: city limits
Perth Albany, Victoria,
City of Greater Taree, Australia
Al Hamraniyah, United Arab Emirates, Al Hamraniyah, UAE
(NaturalNews) Once a third world economy, India is now leading the rest of the world when it comes to protecting consumers from the effects of radiation emanating from cell phones and cell phone towers.
When it comes to cell phones, the plan is simple and to the point: India, as of September 1, has decreased the acceptable amount of radio frequencies (RF) to 1/10 of the previous limits.
SARs, a measure of the rate at which RF energy is absorbed by the body, must now be embossed and displayed on cell handsets where they can be easily seen and have an impact on consumer decisions.
Supplementary safety advice from manufacturers must also be provided for:
• Recipients of medical implants
• Young people
• Pregnant women
India’s Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, has been altered to ensure these new standards are applicable for phones produced in India as well as those coming in from other countries.
Cell phone towers
While cell phones are a major health concern, cell phone towers are potentially even more dangerous due to the fact that the radiation being emitted from these towers is constant and stronger.
What is behind all of this concern and the implementation of new standards?
One answer comes from a unit of the World Health Organization, specifically the International Agency for Research on Cancer. The organization views radiation from cellphones as dangerous and has classified it as a Class 2B carcinogen, meaning the radiation in question is “”possibly carcinogenic to humans,”” with a higher risk for certain types of cancer, including cancer originating in the brain.
Another answer comes from the work of Professor Girish Kumar. Following his campaign, the local government of Gurgaon, shut down 298 cell towers in residential areas in January of last year.
The industry experts’ claim that “”Non-thermal biological effects have not been shown to be a health hazard”” is wearing very thin. Non-thermal effects are known to be several times more harmful than thermal effects. Professor Kumar has produced a separate 50 page report with nearly 200 technical and scientific references to prove this. There are viable solutions.
What are the solutions?
Solutions can be found in the recommendations issued by the New Delhi Ministry. To prevent overlapping of high radiation fields the ministry recommends:
• That new cell towers should not be permitted within a radius of one km of the existing towers
• The mandatory sharing of passive infrastructure for Telecom Service Providers at city/district/village level to minimize the need for having additional towers
• Location-wise GIS mapping of all cell phone towers to help in monitoring the population of birds and bees in and around the mobile towers and also in and/or around wildlife protection areas
Other activities to regulate the radiation stemming from cell phone towers comes from the Rajasthan High Court in Rajasthan, India where the court has authorized the state to take action by:
• Discarding towers already present on school grounds and hospitals
• Calculating how many people with cancer reside close to the towers
• Evaluating the conditions surrounding two specific residents of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan, whose cancers may stem from cell phone towers
Nobody is saying ban cell phone towers, without antennas the network would not exist and people could not talk to each. What people are saying is “”why transmit so much power?”” India is now leading the way in terms of cell phone and cell tower consumer protection. Other nations need to pay attention and introduce legislation to protect consumers worldwide.
Kuwait, Kuwait City,
Port Pirie, South Australia
Manchester, New Hampshire
Dibba Al-Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, Dibba Al-Fujairah, UAE
The hazards posed by radiation emitted by cell phone towers has caught the attention of Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit who convened a meeting on Wednesday to chalk out an action plan. All three municipal corporations, environment department, Delhi chief secretary and health and health and
department officials were present in the meeting.
Sources said that a private company presented a proposal in which a small antenna can be mounted on an electric pole, which will be connected with optical fibre cables to a cell phone tower. The company claimed that their product will reduce the radiation level from cell phone towers.
In the meeting, Dikshit said that the issue has to be addressed by all agencies as it concerns the common people. But a Delhi government official said that cell phone towers fall under the subject list of the department of telecommunication in the Union telecom ministry and any policy decision about limiting radiation levels has to be approved by them.
“People are concerned about the health hazards cell phone towers pose. At our level, we can only make the citizens aware of the technology available which can reduce the impact. However, issues such as the financial aspect have to be taken into consideration as it may increase call rates too. We will send these suggestions to the Centre which has to take the final call on it,” said a senior Delhi government official.
When quizzed over illegal cell phone towers that have still not been removed by civic agencies, Delhi government officials said that civic agencies can seal them.
Peru, Lima, City
Little Rock, Arkansas
Salt Lake City, Utah
Omaha Nebraska USA
Whyalla, South Australia
Argentina, Buenos Aires City,
Al Khari, United Arab Emirates, Al Khari, UAE
New Mobile Handsets to comply with SAR Value of 1.6W/KG
Penalty, Random Checks Introduced for Enforcement
Press Information Bureau, Ministry of Communications & Information Technology, Government of India, Aug 31, 2012
Beginning tomorrow (1st September 2012) India will be among the select few countries in the world to have stringent EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) Radiation Standards, established in the interest of public health, for mobile towers and mobile handsets. Indian standards would now be 10 times more stringent than more than 90% countries in the world.
The following are the highlights of the Standards:
Mobile Towers (EMF Radiation Norms)
* EMF (Electromagnetic Frequency) exposure limit (Base Station Emissions) has been lowered to 1/10th of the existing ICNIRP exposure level, effective 1st Sept. 2012.
* Telecom Enforcement Resource & Monitoring (TERM) Cells have been entrusted with the job of conducting audit on the self certification furnished by the Service Providers. TERM Cell will carry out test audit of 10% of the BTS site on random basis and on all cases where there is a public complaint.
* Telecom Engineering Centre (TEC) has revised the Test Procedure for measurement of EMF for verification of EMF compliance for BTS towers in accordance with new standards.
* For non-compliance of EMF standards, a penalty of Rs. 5 lakhs is liable to be levied per BTS per Service Provider.
* The BTS site details i.e. self certification, registration with TERM Cell, test results etc. is proposed to be provided on DoT web site for General Public information.
* All the new design of mobile handsets shall comply with the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) values of 1.6 W/kg averaged over 1 gram of human tissue w.e.f. 1st Sept. 2012.
* The mobile handsets with existing designs which are compliant with 2.0 W/kg averaged over 10 gram of human tissue, will continue to co-exist up to 31st August 2013. From 1st Sept. 2013, only the mobile handsets with revised SAR value of 1.6 W/kg would be permitted to be manufactured or imported in India.
* SAR value information display on the mobile handsets like IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) display. The information on SAR values to be made available to the consumer at the point of sale.
* Mobile hand set manufactured and sold in India or imported from other countries shall be checked on random basis for compliance of SAR limit after TEC SAR Laboratory is set up by end of 2012. Test results from international accredited labs will be acceptable in the interim period.
* The manufacturers in India will provide self declaration of SAR value of the handset.
* Suitable amendments in the Indian Telegraph Rule under Indian Telegraph Act 1985 are being enacted in support of ensuring compliance of new SAR values for handsets.
* Manufacturer’s mobile handset booklet will contain safety precautions.
* All cell phone handsets sold in the market in India will comply with relevant standards and shall be available in hand free mode.
SAR Test Laboratory:
* SAR Test Laboratory is being set up in Telecom Engineering Centre for testing of SAR value of mobile handsets imported/ manufactured in India.
New National SAR Standards from Telecom Engineering Centre
* National SAR standards from Telecom Engineering Centre are being finalized.
* DoT is procuring EMF radiation measuring instruments for TERM cell units.
* Outsourcing for EMF radiation measurement for BTS towers is also being considered.
Expert Group Study:
* A scientific study in India-specific context is being undertaken jointly by Dept. of Telecom and Dept. of Science & Technology in collaboration with ICMR, MOEF & Min of Science & Technology to derive norms based on credible scientific evidence taking into account diversity of Indian social context.
Guidelines to State Government
* Department of Telecommunication has released Guidelines covering BTS Towers so that some consistency gets evolved on setting up of BTS towers. Guidelines have been placed on DoT website.
Guidelines for Consumers
Guidelines for consumers on Mobile handset usage have been issued and hosted on DoT Web site (www.gov.dot.in) for general public awareness.
Some of them are:
1. Keep distance – Hold the cell phone away from body to the extent possible.
2. Use a headset (wired or Bluetooth) to keep the handset away from your head.
3. Do not press the phone handset against your head. Radio Frequency (RF) energy is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source — being very close increases energy absorption much more.
4. Limit the length of mobile calls.
5. Use text as compared to voice wherever possible.
6. Put the cell phone on speaker mode.
7. When your phone is ON, don’t carry it in chest/breast or pants pocket. When a mobile phone is ON, it automatically transmits at high power every one or two minutes to check (poll) the network.
* A booklet addressing possible queries from mobile telecom users on radiation-related issues along with other informative inputs is also being placed on DoT website.
TEC Test Procedures Document for Service Providers and Term Cell Units
* TEC has revised the Test Procedure for measurement of EMF elaborating the methodology, calculations, measurements and report formats for verification of EMF compliance for BTS towers in accordance with new standards effective from 1st Sept. 2012. This will be applicable for all Mobile Service Providers and Term Cell Units to verify compliance.
Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications & IT has ensured that the new EMF Radiation standards get implemented through close co-ordination with the industry.
The guidelines underline the Government’s efforts at providing the best possible Telecom services across the country without compromising on public safety and human health.
United States, Washington, D.C.
City of Randwick, Australia
India Adopts Health Warnings & U.S. Mobile Phone Standards
India adopts the U.S. cell phone radiation standard, issues health warnings and requires safety precautions in user manuals. Local and state governments in the U.S. should issue precautionary health warnings now to protect cell phone users.
India just adopted the U.S. cell phone handset radiation standard. The Indian government also issued precautionary health warnings about cell phone use and is requiring manufacturers to include safety precautions in user manuals. (1)
Now more than 1.3 billion cell phone subscribers in seven countries will be covered by the U.S. cell phone radiation standard including the U.S., India, Canada, New Zealand, Bolivia, Taiwan, and South Korea. (2)
Moreover, thirteen nations and the European Union have issued precautionary health warnings about the need to limit exposure to cell phone radiation. The countries include Austria, Britain, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Russia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Although the CTIA’s (i.e., the wireless industry association) lawsuit over San Francisco’s cell phone “right to know” law has not been resolved, the association has stated in public meetings and in courtrooms that it is fine if governments post precautionary health warnings about cell phone radiation on public property or on government web sites. Thus, local and state governments should take immediate action to protect consumers, especially children, from cell phone radiation by issuing health warnings in these public venues.
Kuwait, Kuwait City
Grenada St. George’s
Bangladesh, Dhaka City,
St. Petersburg, Florida
Pompano Beach, Florida
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo,
Umm al-Qaiwain, United Arab Emirates, Umm al-Qaiwain, UAE
There was big cellphone news out of San Francisco this week – and we’re not talking about the Wednesday launch of Apple’s latest must-have gadget, the iPhone 5. On Monday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, based in San Francisco, blocked the implementation of that city’s heavy-handed cellphone radiation warning law, pending the outcome of an industry challenge.
This isn’t a case about medicine or Americans’ love of constant connection. It’s about whether the First Amendment protects businesses from engaging in nanny-state, government-ordered speech.
The ordinance, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, would require cellphone dealers to tell customers the devices may expose them to levels of radio-frequency emissions the World Health Organization classifies as potentially cancer-causing. Businesses would be required to prominently display an informational poster advising customers that the energy emitted by mobile phones is “”a possible carcinogen.”” Retailers also would have to provide customers with an information sheet and paste an informational sticker on all display literature, with all language scripted by the city.
The wireless industry has vehemently contested the assertions contained in the health advisory, noting the World Health Organization issued a report in June 2011 concluding that no adverse health effects had been established as being caused by mobile phone use.
In its brief, unpublished opinion, the 9th Circuit – which has jurisdiction over Nevada – reversed a lower-court judge who said the city could compel cellphone companies to distribute a “”fact sheet”” because its Board of Supervisors concluded “”there is debate in the scientific community about the health effects of cellphones.””
All such portable communication devices certainly do emit radio-frequency radiation, at cumulative levels that differ from device to device. Those levels will be higher for people who never put their phones down. Users should seek independent data on potential health effects.
But this case is primarily about “”compelled speech.”” In a friend of the court brief, the Virginia-based Rutherford Institute argues that retailers have a constitutional right not to be forced to speak for the government. As anyone who has looked at a cigarette pack or advertisement in recent decades could have predicted, the court agreed only in part, holding government-compelled speech must be “”purely factual and uncontroversial.”” The debate over the health risks posed by cellphones is far from settled.
“”The very purpose of the First Amendment … is to ensure that Americans are free to think, speak, write and worship as they please, not as the government dictates,”” notes John W. Whitehead, president of institute. “”Well-meaning or not, the government’s desire to communicate a disputed health alert about cellphone usage cannot be permitted to trump the First Amendment rights of San Franciscans to decide for themselves whether or not to advance such a message.””
Those concerned about the possible health effects of electromagnetic radiation have plenty of ways to publicize their concerns. But if freedom of speech means anything, it certainly should forbid government from using the force of law to require anyone to speak out against his or her own interests and beliefs. San Francisco’s ordinance should be struck down before it can spread here or anywhere else.
Broken Hill Australia
Sri Lanka, Colombo
San Bernardino, California
Providence, Rhode Island
Allentown Pennsylvania USA
Microwave – and other forms of electromagnetic – radiation are major (but conveniently disregarded, ignored, and overlooked) factors in many modern unexplained disease states. Insomnia, anxiety, vision problems, swollen lymph, headaches, extreme thirst, night sweats, fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle pain, weakened immunity, allergies, heart problems, and intestinal disturbances are all symptoms found in a disease process originally described in the 1970s as Microwave Sickness.
When the talented physician-author Servan-Schreiber wrote those prophetic words he was lucky. It had been 18 years since he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor incidental to an MRI. The book describing the anti-cancer program he developed had sold several million copies and may well have extended his life. Most brain tumors remain hidden and are only diagnosed after metastasizing into seizures or strokes. David’s luck ran out last year, when he died of a glioblastoma—spreading malignant tumor of the brain. Was it merely a coincidence that he had used one of his three cellphones held close to his head regularly for more than a decade before developing this fatal brain tumor? The WHO (World Health Organization) thinks not, having recently declared cellphone and other wireless radiation a “possible human carcinogen,” adding them to a list that includes some pesticides, engine exhausts and solvents. While we cannot be certain whether cellphone radiation may have promoted or caused the tumor that took his life, that is a highly plausible explanation.
In America today, about 20 million children under the age of 14 have cellphones, and the CDC reports that one-fifth of all 2 year olds reportedly spend two hours a day in front of a screen. Increasingly, scientists and policy makers in tech-savvy nations like Israel and Finland are concerned that the ways these devices are used imperil the brain. The iPhone plastic baby rattle case protects the phone’s glass screen from cracking when dropped or chomped on by teething inquisitive babies, but does not protect the infant’s young brain from the phone’s pulsed digital microwave radiation.
Cell phones have revolutionized the ability to carry out research and promote public health interventions. But, there’s growing recognition in technologically advanced nations that we need to get smarter about how we use these and other wireless devices. Fine print warnings that come with all smart phones today advise not keeping phones in the pocket or next to the body — advice that is typically ignored. Growing numbers of national authorities, from Israel to France and Russia are making concerted efforts to promote awareness of the need to Practice Safe Phone.
The proliferation of wireless gadgets overlooks a critical health issue: non-ionizing or microwave radiation at levels that do not induce measurable changes in temperature can change and damage the brain and sperm of experimental animals. A cellphone is a two-way microwave radio with intermittent and destabilizing pulses, unlike microwave ovens that steadily operate at the same frequencies at much greater power. The weak and erratic microwave radiation from cellphones and tablets cannot directly break the bonds that hold molecules together, but does disrupt DNA, weaken the brain’s protective barrier and release highly reactive and damaging free radicals.
A 5 year old’s brain, healthy or otherwise, is encased in a thinner skull and contains more fluid than an adult brain. According to studies carried out by industry modelers in Switzerland and France, the bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more radiation than an adult, while that of infants and toddlers will absorb even more. Few parents realize that infant apps such as One Fish Two Fish, Peekaboo Farm, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star may do much more than amuse and distract babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children need more real face time than screen time; more laps than apps.
Most disconcerting are findings from Nesrin Seyhan, the NATO-supported founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, whose studies show that prenatally exposed rats and rabbits have fewer brain cells — and those that survive sustain more damage to their brains, livers, reproductive systems and eyes. Recent reports from Yale University’s chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Hugh Taylor found that prenatal exposures significantly increased hyperactive behavior in offspring. Other research carried out by National Institute of Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, PhD, showed that exposures to cellphone radiation directly alters brain metabolism in human brain cells. Experimental work completed by American, Australian, Greek and Turkish teams working with experts in male reproductive health has reported that cellphone-radiation-exposed human sperm die three times faster, swim significantly more poorly, become more deformed and develop significantly more damage to sperm DNA.
The brain cancer story remains complex, because the disease has a long latency up to four decades and because past uses and users differ radically from current ones.
Distance is your Friend
What can you do to protect yourself from radiation emitted from high tech gadgets? Fortunately, industry has begun to issue more warnings. Samsung provides this advice: “Your mobile device is not a toy. Do not allow children to play with it because they could hurt themselves and others, damage the device, or make calls that increase your mobile device bill. Keep the mobile device and all its parts and accessories out of the reach of small children.”
* When it comes to using electronic devices, remember: Distance is your friend.
* Don’t hold a cell phone directly up to your head. Use a headset or speakerphone to talk on the phone, or a case (such as Pong) that has been independently tested to reduce radiation up to 90%.
* Pregnant women should keep cell phones away from their abdomen and men who wish to become fathers should never keep phones on in their pocket.
* Don’t allow children to play with or use your cell phone. Older children should use a headset or speakerphone when talking on a cell phone.
* Do not text and drive, and use specially adapted antennas for cars to avoid absorbing maximum power as the phone moves from one cell system to another.
* Turn off your wireless router at night to minimize exposure to radiation.
* Eat green vegetables and get a good night’s sleep in a dark room to enhance natural repair of DNA that may have been damaged by radiation.
Japan, Tokyo City,
Simi Valley California USA
Charlotte, North Carolina
Cotonou (de facto capital)
Al Masafirah, United Arab Emirates, Al Masafirah, UAE
Right after I learned that a panel of scientists from the World Health Organization had said for the first time that there may be a “”possible”” link between cellphones and a highly malignant type of brain cancer, I went for a walk in my downtown neighbourhood.
Roughly every third person was using a cell phone – mommies pushing strollers with one arm and holding a phone to their ear with the other; laughing and shouting teens coming home en masse from school, some texting, some talking; the now standard wilted-tulip-necked pedestrians checking their messages.
Maybe one day, if the darkest of scenarios is true and heavy cellphone users start showing up with glioma, this everyday street scene will seem as remarkable to us as photographs of roomfuls of people from the fifties and sixties madly smoking: How could we all have been so stupid?
But then again, maybe not. The evidence of any link between the electromagnetic waves that cellphone use depends on and cancer is tenuous and frustratingly hard to quantify, and all this panel of scientists from the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer did was review the existing studies to date, issue a general warning and call for, yes, more research.
Still, I’m weirdly agitated about this latest cellphone scare, however much it has been mocked by naysayers who in a rather patronizing way point out that the WHO’s list of “”possible”” carcinogens includes pickled onions and coffee.
I’m angry not because I just got a new smart phone – if anything, I will be e-mailing more and talking less – but because this cancer theory has been around for a long time and it’s not going away. Indeed it is starting to segue from a heavily mocked urban myth to a more urgent “”what if?””
It’s not myself I’m worried about. I am not a heavy user. But our grown kids don’t even have landlines. The whole ritual of renting that first apartment and waiting for a phone to be installed is ancient history.
And if they are self-employed or working on contract, as so many are, they are on their phones all day and night. For twentysomethings, a cellphone is not a habit, it’s a way of life.
So if anyone is going to end up with tumours and fertility problems (if you’re a guy and carry a phone in your jeans pocket), it’s our children. And that makes me angry on their behalf, because they are so dependent on their cells that they are probably not going to pay all that much attention to the WHO alert. (Although I do know one twentysomething who began using a headset immediately after hearing the news.)
Face it, we are all crazy about our cellphones, a fact that Marc Choma, spokesperson for the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, which works on behalf of the industry, emphasized so many times in the course of a very brief interview – “”we all love our cellphones, right?””- that I wondered whether the association provides a downloadable app with that soothing message.
The latest numbers show about 25 million Canadian cellphone users, which puts us in the 75 per cent range for penetration, and worldwide the figure is now up to an astonishing 5 billion users.
And as both Mr. Choma and a spokesperson from Health Canada, who said our cellphone safety standards are among the highest in the world, reminded me, any “”responsible journalist”” should emphasize that absolutely nothing has been proven, that the WHO panel only says there is “”suggestive”” evidence of a link between electromagnetic waves and cancer.
There was, however, a very odd quote on the CBC website from Bernard Lord, CEO of the CWTA. “”When you consider that more than half of 911 calls made in Canada are made from mobile devices, I think it’s safe to say mobile devices have saved lives in Canada.”” A statement so irrelevant to the subject of cancer and cellphone usage that it made me more, not less, concerned about a possible health risk.
There is no use in getting hysterical and jumping the gun as the Ontario NDP just did, calling for warnings on cellphones because, as the party’s health critic said, “”they’re cooking your brain slowly.””
But the other extreme is to blithely ignore this warning. So until further notice, it is what it always has been: user beware, while taking steps to minimize your risk like using a headset, texting instead of calling and keeping your conversations short.
Parents of teens, who live only in the moment, should probably be emphasizing safe cell use along with safe sex.
And there should be an aggressive push from consumers and governments to demand the best and most definitive research possible on the subject.
Five billion people have a right to know if cellphone use poses a significant health risk. Even if many of them wish they could just delete an alarming answer.
Egypt, Cairo: city limits,
Western Sahara, El Aaiun,
Argentina, Buenos Aires City,
City of Canada Bay, Australia,
Palmerston, Northern Territory,
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that mobile phone use is a possible carcinogen to humans. Today as cell phone use continues to grow, more researchers are speaking out against the technology to warn the public of serious biological side effects that must be acknowledged and remedied.
In May 2011, WHO was the first large agency to admit cell phones might certainly cause cancer, classifying its electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” and listed cell phones in the same carcinogenic hazardous category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform. Given the potential consequences, WHO recommended reducing exposure of radiation through hands-free devices and text-messaging.
At the time, scientists found that the use of wireless telephones increase the risk for brain cancer, but had not been able to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. However, in a recent lecture by Dr. Devra Davis, author of the book “The Secret History of the War on Cancer,” she provides toxicological and epidemiological evidence to back up her claims and get the word out on the dangers of cell phone radiation and the biological impact of cell phones which disrupt resonance and interferes with DNA repair causing other types of cancers in the human body than just brain cancer.
Dr. Davis analyzed one interesting case that was released in the recent May issue of the Environmental Health Trust’s newsletter about a young woman who came down with multi-focal breast cancer after having the peculiar habit of tucking her cell phone into her bra. The woman had no other predisposing risk factors for cancer. When cancer specialists analyzed the distribution of her cancerous cells they found the cancer was directly beneath the area of her breast where she’d been tucking her cell phone into her bra. While her doctor can’t prove that the cell phone radiation caused her cancer, the probability is very likely and this case should serve as a potent warning for all of us who keep our phones close to our body in our pants or shirt pockets.
“As a general rule, you should avoid carrying your phone anywhere on your body,” states Dr. Davis. It is important to know that as long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently even when you are not making a phone call. You do not want any part of your body within approximately six inches of the emitting antenna to keep away from radiation exposure.
Carrying your cell phone on your body is the worst place to store your phone. Earlier research published in 2009 showed evidence that wearing a cell phone on your hip could weaken an area of your pelvis. This study analyzed 150 men who regularly carried their cell phones attached to their belts for an average of 15 hours each day for approximately six years. Researchers found that bone mineral density was lower on the pelvis side where the mobile phones were carried, increasing the possibility that bone density could be adversely affected by the electromagnetic fields emitted by cell phones. Therefore, all of us especially men may want to reconsider where we carry our cell phones.
There is now robust scientific evidence that cell phones and other wireless devices pose significant health risks to all of us. Yet, even though such findings are not being widely publicized, it makes sense for us to take action now to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Here are some useful tips from Dr. Davis to help minimize your exposure to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices:
Avoid Carrying Your Cell Phone on Your Body: Ideally you should place it more than six inches away from the body, place it in your purse or carrying bag. Avoid carrying it in your pants or shirt pocket.
Reduce Your Cell Phone Usage and Use of Other Wireless Devices: Save your cell phone use for emergencies or important matters only. You would be wise to cut down on your use of these devices.
Turn Your Cell Phone Off More Often: Remember that as long as your cell phone is on, it still emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not making a call.
Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Limit the amount of time spent on your cell phone when you have other land lines available.
Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use which emits more radiation, and therefore the radio waves penetrate deeper into your body.
Don’t Assume That One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There is no such thing as a “safe” cell phone, they all omit electromagnetic radiation.
Use Safer Headset Technology: Using wired headsets or speaker will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone further away from your body. And make sure that wire used to transmit signal to your ear is shielded to reduce transmitting radiation to your brain.
Victor Harbor, South Australia
Brunei, Darussalam Bandar Seri Begawan
As the controversy continues to rage over whether cell phone radiation can be linked to an increased risk of brain cancer, recently introduced legislation in the US Congress would offer the public more information to make educated choices over purchase and use of cell phones.
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) has introduced H.R. 6358, the Cell Phone Right to Know Act, a bill to grant a consumer’s right-to-know by providing for warning labels on cell phones. It would also create a new national research program to study cell phones and health and require the Environmental Protection Agency to update the outdated Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). A federal appeals court in San Francisco is expected to consider a local right-to-know ordinance this week.
“Consumers have a right to know the radiation levels of cell phones and whether they are buying the phone with the lowest – or the highest – level of exposure to cell phone radiation. They also deserve to have up-to-date exposure standards that are put together by health professionals without conflicts of interest,” said Kucinich.
When Kucinich first called a hearing on the issue as Chair of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee on September 25, 2008, Dr. Ronald Herberman, then Director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, testified to the Subcommittee, “I cannot tell this committee that cell phones are dangerous, but I certainly can’t tell you they are safe.”
Last year, the World Health Organization finished its assessment of the evidence about the links between exposure to radiation from cell phones and health problems. They concluded that there was enough evidence of a link to classify it as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” placing it in the same category as lead and mercury.
The long-awaited Interphone study, a major inquiry into the potential links between cell phone use and tumors, concluded that when taken as a whole, there was not a link. However, when the data was broken down, more risk was found and the picture became clearer. Those using their cell phones typically only 30 minutes per day or more were found to have a 40% increased risk of a type of brain tumor called glioma, when compared to someone who had not used a cell phone. If the phone is used mostly on one side of the head, the risk is 96% more than someone unexposed to cell phone radiation.
“It took decades for scientists to be able to say for sure that smoking caused cancer. During those decades, the false impression created by industry supporters was that there was no connection between smoking and cancer, a deception which cost many lives. While we wait for scientists to sort out the health effects of cell phone radiation, we must allow consumers to have enough information to choose a phone with less radiation,” said Kucinich. “As long as cell phone users may be at increased risk of cancer or reproductive problems, Americans must have the right to know the radiation levels of cell phones.”
The warning labels required by H.R. 6358 would show the RF radiation emissions from the phone, legal limits and health-based goals for safe exposure. According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) the SAR is “the amount of radio frequency energy absorbed by the body when using a mobile phone.” The current SAR sets a maximum level of radiation emission at 1.6 watts per kilogram. The current SAR does not take into account vulnerable populations like kids or pregnant women. It also assumes a person’s only exposure is from the phone in use, but with WiFi, “smart phones,” and Bluetooth technologies, exposure to only one wireless device is increasingly rare, especially in urban environments. A Government Accountability Office report on cell phones and health is expected to be released soon.
Korea (North), Pyongyang,
Tanzania, Dar es Salaam,
Comoros, Moroni (on Grande Comoro)