A strong, healthy thyroid is the best protection from radioactive iodine-131 (nuclear power plant steam), and EMF exposure. Steven Schacter, author of Fighting Radiation with Food, Herbs and Vitamins, explains, “”If sufficient amounts of natural iodine are available, radioactive iodine will not be absorbed.”” Schacter advises eating seaweed (kelp) to obtain natural iodine.
Eating foods naturally high in iodine will supply the thyroid with adequate amounts of iodine, discouraging the absorption of radioactive iodine, and protecting it from EMF damage.
These foods are high in iodine and part of a natural, safe approach.
• Other seaweeds and sea vegetables
• Cranberries or cranberry juice
• Potatoes with the skin
• Beans – especially navy beans
• Himalayan crystal salt
For protection from cancers induced from radiation eat a variety of:
Dark leafy greens and orange starchy foods – (sweet potatoes, winter squash, carrots).
• Milk thistle – a proven detoxifier
• Siberian ginseng – facilitates overall cellular health, strengthens body against all types of stress, including cancer treatments
• Curcumin – antioxidant and scientifically proven anti-inflammatory, protects and helps tissue healing
• Ecklonia cava – antioxidant seaweed extract
• Drink plenty of pure water every day to eliminate toxins
• Visual imagery – the power of positive thinking through the visualization of wellness throughout the body
Arlington Texas USA
Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain
Luxembourg, Luxembourg City,
Lower frequency Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) and higher frequency Radio Frequency (RF) radiation are all around us. These radiations are referred to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs), also known as electromagnetic pollution. This pollution has been on the rise over the last 50 years from sources such as house wiring, power lines, TVs and desktop computers just to name a few.
Laptop use in business, homes and in schools continues to increase. They are a convenience and a necessity in most cases. This poses the problem. When we use laptops directly in our laps we are exposed to radiation fields at a zero distance to our bodies. In the scientific and medical communities there is a growing concern of the effect of laptop radiation to the adult body. But what about our kids? Laptop radiation can be a technology toxin.
What are Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs)?
Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) are energy emissions generated from within our laptop and other electronics devices we use in our laps. Lower frequency Electromagnetic Radiations (EMRs) are radiations emitted from the various electronic components within our devices such as computer processors, hard drives and other electronic parts. The higher frequency Radio Frequency (RF) emissions are the transmitting signals being generated by our devices to communicate to the internet using WiFi and cellular connections. Both can be dangerous.
The idea that children use laptops, iPads and other devices in the lap is worrisome. Radiating fields are at the highest of intensity and likely, remain in the lap for long durations of time. Intensity, time and the combination of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) increase the potential health risks, particularly because children are more susceptible to their dangers than adults.
Children are at Increased Risk
A child’s body absorbs more Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) than adults, according to many reports including The Stewart Report (2000) and other studies. In fact, in reviewing these reports, we find that children absorb up to 60% more energy per Kg of body weight than adults do. These radiating fields can penetrate bone marrow up to ten times greater in children than adults. The effects of these exposures can be accumulative and will span their lifetime at rates never seen by today’s adults or previous generations. The child can experience darkening of the skin, DNA damage, fertility issues, electromagnetic hypersensitivity and many other health concerns.
Protect Your Children Laptop EMF Radiation
With Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) from electronic devices potentially more dangerous to children than adults, steps should be taken to reduce the health risks. When possible, children using laptop computers, iPads and other electronic devices should place them on a desk or table, as a way of avoiding direct contact with the body. If a child should use these devices in their laps, a laptop radiation shield should be used to prevent Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) from penetrating their young body in the very formidable years of their life.
Peru, Lima, City,
Logan City, Queensland,
Andorra, Andorra la Vella,
Paterson New Jersey USA”
Scientists have developed a device using pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) that is capable of addressing post-operative pain, enhancing growth and repair in human tissues.
Approved by the United States Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA), United States Food and Drug Administra-tion (FDA), and the World Health Organisation (WHO), PEMF is employed as a drugless therapy for managing pains and reversing cell damage.
A four-year collaborative study by NASA has demonstrated the efficacy of electromagnetic fields to stimulate growth and repair in mammalian tissues.
The four-year study used human donors “to define the most effective PEMF for enhancing growth and repair in mammalian tissues.”
The study utilised “nerve tissue which has been refractory to efforts to stimulate growth or enhance its repair regardless of the energy used.”
According to the investigators, all other tissues have demonstrated growth and repair stimulation with appropriate PEMF. .
In the gene discovery array (chip technology that surveyed 10,000 human genes), the investigators found up-regulation of 150 genes associated with growth and cell restoration.
The study concluded: “The up-regulation of these genes is in no manner marginal with gene sites for collagen production and growth the most actively stimulated. .
“We have clearly demonstrated the bioelectric/biochemical potentiation of nerve stimulation and restoration in humans as a documented reality.
“The most effective electromagnetic field for repair of trauma was square wave with a rapid rate of change which saw cell growth increased up to 4.0 times.”
The investigators recommended: “One may use square wave EM fields with rapid rate of change for; repairing traumatized tissues; moderating some neurodegenerative diseases; and developing tissues for transplantation.”
According to the astronomers, this is the first study to clarify technologies and efficacy parameters for tissue growth and restoration.
In Nigeria, designed PEMF called Depth-Empulse has been introduced for use in healthcare facilities, in prevention of tissue death and pain following trauma or illness without drugs by Kresta Overseas Limited.
Head, Electromagnetic Research and Education Unit, Kresta Overseas Limited, Dr. Tony Didigu, said studies in Nigeria by Prof. Olaogun of Ife University Teaching Hospital; Dr. Birabi of Shell Hospital PortHarcout and others show Depth-Empulse is efficacious in healing and pain relief without drugs. Depth- Empulse devices are in use in National Assembly Clinic, some tertiary Hospitals and several hospitals nationwide.”
The medical doctor said Depth-Empulse is approved by FDA; and recommended by NASA and WHO as efficacious and without side effects.
Didigu explained Depth-Empulse mechanism of action: “It acts as a catalyst to speed up free radical neutralization by antioxidants 100 times faster than occurs in the body. It restores destabilised calcium balance in the cells and thus prevents massive mitochondrial production of damaging free radicals. It increases the synthesis of mitochondria by 300% leading to enhanced A.T.P. production, oxidative capacity and endurance.
“Depth-Empulse stimulates or up-regulates the synthesis of 150 classes of genes responsible for tissue restoration and repair, and the production of a cluster of cytoprotective proteins, HSP 70, growth hormones, matrix proteins, new blood vessels, increased osteoblast population and collagen synthesis. This stimulated repair and restoration process involves all tissues particularly the brain tissue, which has been found to be very responsive to electromagnetic fields.”
Didigu said Depth-Empulse also down regulates or stops the activity or production of destructive genes, such as the ones responsible for the formation of osteoclasts.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
Santa Rosa, California
Charlotte, North Carolina
Al Hamriyah, United Arab Emirates, Al Hamriyah, UAE
Radiations emitted from cell phones may protect against and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease, a new study has revealed.
Researchers at the University of South Florida conducted a study that exposed 96 mice, most of whom had been genetically altered to develop the Alzheimer’s disease as they aged, to electromagnetic waves generated by mobile phones.
The mice were zapped with 918MHz of frequency twice a day for one hour each time over a period of seven to nine months – the equivalent of several decades in humans, the Herald Sun reported.
The study revealed that in older mice with Alzheimer’s, long-standing exposure to the electromagnetic fields caused deposits in the brain of beta-amyloid, a protein fragment that accumulates in the brain of Alzheimer’s sufferers to form the disease’s signature plaques, to be erased.
Memory impairment in the older mice also vanished, the study showed.
Young adult mice with no apparent signs of memory impairment were protected against Alzheimer’s disease after several months of exposure to the mobile phone waves.
And the memory levels of normal mice with no genetic inclination for Alzheimer’s disease were enhanced after exposure to the electromagnetic waves.
“Frankly, I started this work a few years ago with a hypothesis that the electromagnetic fields from a mobile phone would be deleterious to Alzheimer’s mice,” said lead author Gary Arendash, a professor at the University of Southern Florida.
Based on the findings in mice, the researchers anticipate that electromagnetic field exposure could be an effective, non-invasive and drug-free way to prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease in humans. (ANI)
Costa Rica, San Jose,
Portland Oregon USA
Trinidad and Tobago, Port-of-Spain
Yeah okay, that’s probably quite wise. Is this a case of scientists, given that there are thousands studies and we don’t ever read about them in the newspapers, is this the scientists fudging the numbers? Is it the 5 or 6 corporations that control well over 80% of the media in the United States including over 11,000 magazines? Are the scientists and media acting as corporate shows or have we just somehow overlooked all of this?
It’s a complex situation and I think we’ll know in some years when we look back on this. If we do have a global pandemic of pediatric illness, people are going to ask, “How did this happen?” Well one of the reasons that this happened is that the regulations are not in line with the science, and are not protecting us. So the industry will say these exposure are low, have you heard that, they’re so low.
COMBINED EFFECTS OF WIRELESS RADIATION AND OTHER POLLUTION
But nobody is looking at the combined effect of the exposures. My concern is, if we had a factory beside the school and the fumes from this factory had been shown to cause a series of biological effects; weaken the brain blood barrier, damage to DNA, suppression of the immune system, cardiac effects, and cognitive impairment; how long would that factory stay beside the school? There is evidence that this electro-pollution, now of course we can’t see it, we can’t smell it, most of us can’t feel it, but there is evidence that our children are at risk.
If this is true and wireless technology causes cancer how can society manage now that everything is wireless? It’s everywhere, isn’t it? This is the dilemma. Yeah, it’s in your book, you don’t even have to have a cell phone, you’re been irradiated by the towers. That’s right, I call upon parents and grandparents to realize that now we can’t wait. As the Council of Europe pointed out, the health regulators have not been quick off the mark to protect public health from tobacco, asbestos, lead – remember lead and gasoline?
Wireless Radiation Threatens The Health Of Our Children
Yeah. Well they’ve also found lead in babies’ bibs and in children’s toys. So as a parent I really call upon your viewers to realize that we have to take steps. There are safer solutions. We can keep the technology. Kids in schools can have internet access. But it’s a wired hookup or a fiber optic hook up. So I’ve put a plan in place for my family with the input of world leading experts. I really encourage parents and grandparents or anyone that really cares about their health to realize we have to take action. This is what the Council calls precautionary principle and I really feel it’s well worth our children’s risk. The health of our children is at risk. I mean, don’t you think that we should take action to protect them?
Yeah, it seems like quite a rational thing to do and also to take some of those thousands of studies that you have identified and get them wider publicity. Thank you so much for being here with us. Thank you so much for letting people know what I call – the wireless wake up call.
Dr Crofton makes some very good points. But I would go even further, the real problem is not just wireless radiation it is electromagnetic field exposure generally, we all need to be taking steps to reduce our EMF exposure.
Cambodia, Phnom Penh,
St. Petersburg Florida USA
Czech Republic, Prague,
Cote d’Ivoire, Yamoussoukro
Adelaide, South Australia
MOBILE phones are an integral part of modern telecommunications. The effect of mobile phone radiation on human health has always been a controversial subject. Now, neuroscientists from Bochum have for the first time explained the effects of high frequency electromagnetic fields (HEFs) derived from mobile phones.
They proved that extremely high-powered electromagnetic fields (EMFs) indeed influence learning processes on the synaptic level within the brain, independent from other factors like stress.
Scientists of the Department of Neuroanatomy and Molecular Brain Research (Professor Dr. med. Rolf Dermietzel) in cooperation with the Chair of
Electromagnetic Theory of the University of Wuppertal, performed the new study on rats.
For the experiment, rats were placed into differently powered non-thermal HEFs in the UMTS (Universal Mobile Communication System) operating range. Synaptic learning and memory formation were analysed by electrophysiological methods. Furthermore, all animals were tested for stress hormone release immediately following the HEF exposure.
Although there was daily training and effortless contact to the exposure environment, increases in blood derived stress hormone levels could be detected for all exposed groups. The stress clearly influences learning and memory formation on the synaptic level in the rat brain. High powered EMFs (SAR 10 W/kg) also have a significant effect on learning and memory formation. In contrast to this, weak EMFs (SAR 0 and 2 W/kg) lead to no detectable changes or impairments.
“These results cannot directly be transferred to humans”, explained Dr. Nora Prochnow (Medical Faculty of the RUB).
“But in the animal model, it can be demonstrated that neuronal mechanisms of synaptic learning can serve as a target for high powered EMFs,” added Prochnow.
However, there is no need for serious concerns: humans are not exposed to this type of high powered EMFs during dailymobile phone use
Meanwhile the World Health Organization (WHO) has released a study that labels cell phone radiation as a possible carcinogen, a classification that puts it in the same category as lead, gas exhaust, and chloroform. The study was conducted by the organization’s International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC), which included 31 scientists from 14 countries. This disclosure is based on research that has shown an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, associated with wireless phone use.
In an excerpt from the WHO/IARC press release, Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the IARC Working Group, indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.”
Sri Lanka, Colombo,
St. Vincent and The Grenadines, Kingstown,
United States, Washington, D.C.
Once you have addressed your mattress, you’d be well advised to address the amount of electromagnetic radiation in your bedroom – especially if you are pregnant, or planning to become pregnant.
As discussed by Dr. Klinghardt , electromagnetic fields interfere not only with your biology, but with that of your unborn child as well. He performed a small study showing that autism can actually be predicted based on the EMF levels of your sleeping quarters while pregnant! He found that if you sleep in strong electromagnetic fields during pregnancy, your child will likely begin to exhibit neurological abnormalities within the first two years of life.
Here are several guidelines that can help turn your bedroom into an EMF-free zone suitable for health-promoting restorative sleep:
1. Use only battery devices near your bed — Many electric clocks produce high magnetic fields so use a battery powered clock instead.
2. Turn off the fuses to your bedroom at night
3. Eliminate radio frequency (RF) sources — Radio frequency signals from portable phones, cell phones, and wireless devices have been shown to interfere with your body’s immune system so don’t keep cell phones or charging stations in your bedroom. It’s also recommended to turn off the Wi-Fi in your home at night.
4. Shield your bed with a special metalized fabric, to protect yourself from harmful frequencies that can disrupt cellular communication. This recommendation may be particularly important if you’re pregnant.
5. If you are remodeling you can also use material called ‘radiant barrier’ between the dry wall and the frame of your home. This is a strengthened aluminum foil that will reflect most of the radiation from coming into your home. It should also be applied the ceiling.
It is relatively inexpensive and will also pay for itself in reduced heating and cooling bills. However, it isn’t cost effective if you have to tear out your current walls, so it’s really only practical in new homes or remodeling projects. I installed this in my home when I renovated it and it virtually eliminated all external EMFs. The downside however is that it is VERY difficult to get any cell phone reception in my home.
Cape Verde, Praia,
Portsmouth Virginia USA
In the book Cross Currents, Dr. Robert Becker (whom I mentioned earlier) states that biological problems associated with external electromagnetic stressors fall into two major categories:
1. Brain (behavioral abnormalities, learning disabilities, altered bio-cycles and stress responses)
2. Growing tissue (embryos, genetics and cancer)
More recent studies seem to confirm his conclusions, as most of the health problems researchers now associate with EMF and microwave radiation exposure fall neatly into these two categories. One good source that demonstrates this is the 2009 special EMF issue of the Journal of Pathophysiology, which contains over a dozen different studies on the health effects of electromagnetic fields and wireless technology.
Cancer has been high on the list from the beginning, and at least as far as cell phones are concerned, the evidence is overwhelming that cell phone use significantly increases your risk of certain types of brain tumors.
Since cancer can take decades before manifesting, children are particularly at risk, as they are now growing up in an environment saturated with radiation. (Even toddlers are now talking on cell phones!) Today’s children will be exposed to previously unimaginable levels of radiation over the course of their lifetimes.
The BioInitiative Report also includes studies showing evidence for exposure to electromagnetic fields and:
• Effects on Gene and Protein Expression (Transcriptomic and Proteomic Research)
• Genotoxic Effects – RFR and ELF DNA Damage
• Stress Response (Stress Proteins)
• Effects on Immune Function
• Effects on Neurology and Behavior
• Brain Tumors, Acoustic Neuromas, and childhood cancers like leukemia
It seems quite clear that sleeping on a bed that can amplify the amount of radiation you’re exposed to night after night is simply not a good idea.
Shopping for a Safe Mattress
Taking into account that metal coils can act as an antenna and be potentially magnetized, and that most box spring mattresses contain toxic flame retardant chemicals, your safest bet is to look for an organic, chemical-free mattress that does not contain metal coils.
One way to find a safe mattress is to have a doctor or chiropractor write you a prescription for a chemical-free mattress, and then find a manufacturer to make one for you. You can also search for 100% wool, toxin-free mattresses. Many of these mattresses also contain latex for support in lieu of coil springs, giving you the best of both worlds.
You can also avoid the toxins by finding a mattress that uses a Kevlar, bullet-proof type of material instead of chemicals for fire-proofing. I got mine from Stearns and Foster. I’m quite happy with this mattress as it is FAR more comfortable than a number of the organic mattresses I had purchased in the past.
Also keep in mind that metal frames and headboards can amplify and distort magnetic fields, including the natural magnetic field from the earth, which can lead to non-restful sleep. Use natural materials, such as a wood frame, instead.
Sierra Leone, Freetown,
Japan, Tokyo City,
Louisville Kentucky USA
Wangaratta Victoria Australia
The rate of breast cancer in Western countries is 10 percent higher in the left breast than in the right. This also is true for the skin cancer melanoma.
Researchers have suggested a surprising explanation for this — and for the dramatic increase in rates of breast cancer and melanoma over the past three decades.
In Japan, there is no correlation between the rates of melanoma and breast cancer, and there is no left-side prevalence for either disease. The rate of breast cancer in Japan is also significantly lower than in the West.
This may be due to differences in sleeping habits in Japan and Western countries. Previous research has shown that people prefer to sleep on their right sides, possibly as a way of reducing weight stress on the heart.
This is most likely the same in both the East and the West, but the futons used for sleeping in Japan are mattresses placed directly on the bedroom floor, in contrast to the elevated box springs and mattress of beds used in the West.
According to Scientific American:
“… [A] 2007 study in Sweden conducted between 1989 and 1993 … revealed a strong link between the incidence of melanoma and the number of FM and TV transmission towers covering the area where the individuals lived …
Consider, however, that even a TV set cannot respond to broadcast transmissions unless the weak electromagnetic waves are captured and amplified by an appropriately designed antenna. Antennas are simply metal objects of appropriate length sized to match the wavelength of a specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation.”
In the U.S., bed frames and box springs are made of metal, and the length of a bed is exactly half the wavelength of FM and TV transmissions. The maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress, so when sleeping on your right side, your left side will be exposed to the highest field strength.
Dr. Mercola’s Comments:
This Scientific American article highlights some very interesting research from Sweden — a country that is on the forefront when it comes to investigating the harmful health effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF), and micro wave radiation such as that from cell phones.
Although the US is quite resistant to the idea that our everyday technology might be contributing to epidemics like heart disease and cancer, other countries, particularly in Europe, are facing this problem more head on.
Sweden, for example, formed an association called FEB – The Swedish Association for the ElectroSensitive, to address the emerging problem of electromagnetic hypersensitivity. The association produces and distributes educational literature that has helped raise awareness about the phenomenon around the world. Mast Action UK is doing similar work in Great Britain, as well as the Electromagnetic Radiation Alliance in Australia.
With everything I know about the health dangers associated with electromagnetic fields (EMF) and micro waves from cell phones, WiFi routers and cell phone towers, I’m convinced electromagnetic hypersensitivity is a real and looming health disaster.
I’ve previously written about the health dangers of EMFs and other types of radiation, especially in your bedroom, but here the researchers are linking two very specific cancers – melanoma and breast cancer — to commonly used beds, because coil-spring mattresses can actually act as a giant antenna!
Your Mattress – A Restorative Haven or a Disease-Promoting Zone?
In Western countries, the most common type of mattress is an elevated box spring that contains metal coils, while in Japan, people typically sleep on futon mattresses, which typically contain cotton or wool, placed directly on the floor.
According to researchers Hallberg and Johansson, a number of studies indicate that increasing rates of melanoma (the deadliest type of skin cancer) can be linked to immune-disrupting radiation from FM radio and TV transmission towers, adding that “geographical areas covered by several transmitters show higher incidences of melanoma than areas covered by one transmitter.”
Studies have also linked radiation to brain tumors, and DNA damage that might precipitate a number of different diseases and health problems.
These connections are strengthened when you consider the researchers’ explanation of how your box spring mattress actually acts like an antenna; attracting and amplifying whatever radiation might be zipping through your bedroom.
Scientific American explains this quite well:
“Antennas are simply metal objects of appropriate length sized to match the wavelength of a specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation. Just as saxophones are made in different sizes to resonate with and amplify particular wavelengths of sound, electromagnetic waves are selectively amplified by metal objects that are the same, half or one quarter of the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave of a specific frequency.
Electromagnetic waves resonate on a half-wavelength antenna to create a standing wave with a peak at the middle of the antenna and a node at each end, just as when a string stretched between two points is plucked at the center.
In the U.S. bed frames and box springs are made of metal, and the length of a bed is exactly half the wavelength of FM and TV transmissions that have been broadcasting since the late 1940s.
… Radiation envelops our bodies so that the maximum strength of the field develops 75 centimeters above the mattress in the middle of our bodies.
When sleeping on the right side, the body’s left side will thereby be exposed to field strength about twice as strong as what the right side absorbs.”
Could this explain why Japan has much lower rates of cancer compared to the US and Europe, and why the Japanese do not have higher rates of left- than right-sided breast cancer?
I believe it may be a part of the puzzle, yes.
Naturally, there are many other factors that come into play as well, including diet, chemical exposures, and vitamin D deficiency, just to name a few.
However, the theory that you may be promoting cancer by sleeping on a metal coil-spring mattress that amplifies ambient radiation is quite convincing.
Now, a couple of my readers have commented that the quote from Scientific American makes little sense because TV and radio broadcast on a number of different wavelengths, and beds come in many different sizes.
These concerns can also be valid, and I make no claims of having the in-depth technological expertise to either support or refute this particular Scientific American author’s explanation.
However, I believe sleeping on metal is not in your best interest health-wise, (and qualified scientist raised the question to begin with). The total effect will naturally be entirely individual, and dependent on a number of factors, such as the amount of radiation zipping through your room; proximity to transmission towers; number and type of electronics kept in your bedroom and their proximity; your current state of health and your susceptibility to EMF; the material of the rest of your bed… I could go on, but I’m sure most of you are wise enough to get the picture.
Becoming truly health conscious is much like reaching for spiritual enlightenment. It’s not about nitpicking on minor details. It’s about discerning patterns and revealing the big picture. It’s not about avoiding “sins” – in the case of health, avoiding everything that could possibly harm you – it’s about making healthier, saner choices. You can’t make those choices unless you know what’s good for you, and one of the ways you discover better options is by revealing what’s detrimental.
There’s no question in my mind that EMFs can have a dramatic, negative effect on your health, and certain factors may, in some cases, turn up the dial on EMFs and increase it’s harmful effects. Could your mattress do this? I say, “possibly, yes.”
Naperville Illinois USA
Cote d’Ivoire, Yamoussoukro
Yet the World Health Organization – the same agency that Brundtland once headed – reports “”there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure.”” WHO’s findings are corroborated by a 2008 study at the University of Bern in Switzerland which found “”no evidence that EHS individuals could detect [the] presence or absence”” of frequencies that allegedly make them sick.
A study conducted in 2006 at the Mobile Phone Research Unit at King’s College in London came to a similar conclusion. “”No evidence was found to indicate that people with self-reported sensitivity to mobile phone signals are able to detect such signals or that they react to them with increased symptom severity,”” the report said. “”As sham exposure was sufficient to trigger severe symptoms in some participants, psychological factors may have an important role in causing this condition.”” The King’s College researchers in 2010 concluded it was a “”medically unexplained illness.””
“”The scientific data so far just doesn’t help the electrosensitives,”” says Louis Slesin, editor and publisher of Microwave News, a newsletter and website that covers the potential impacts of RF-EMFs. “”The design of some of these studies, however, is questionable.”” He adds: “”Frankly, I’d be surprised if the condition did not exist. We’re electromagnetic beings. You wouldn’t have a thought in your head without electromagnetic signals. There is electrical signaling going on in your body all the time, and the idea that external electromagnetic fields can’t affect us just doesn’t make sense. We’re biological and chemical beings too, and we know that we can develop allergies to certain biological and chemical compounds. Why wouldn’t we also find there are allergies to EM fields? Shouldn’t every chemical be tested for its effects on human beings? Well, the same could be said for each frequency of RF radiation.””
Dr. David Carpenter of SUNY, who has also looked into electrosensitivity, tells me he’s “”not totally convinced that electrosensitivity is real.”” Still, he says, “”there are just too many people with reports of illness when chronically near to EMF devices, with their symptoms being relieved when they are away from them. Like multiple chemical sensitivity and Gulf War Syndrome, there is something here, but we just don’t understand it all yet.””
Science reporter B. Blake Levitt, author of Electromagnetic Fields: A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues, says the studies she has reviewed on EHS are “”contradictory and nowhere near definitive.”” Flaws in test design stand out, she says. Many with EHS may be simply “”too sensitized,”” she believes, to endure research exposure protocols, possibly skewing results from the start by inadvertently studying a less sensitive group. Levitt recently compiled some of the most damning studies of the health effects from cell towers in a report for the International Commission on Electromagnetic Safety in Italy.
“”Some populations are reacting poorly when living or working within 1,500 feet of a cell tower,”” Levitt tells me. Several studies she cited found an increase in headaches, rashes, tremors, sleep disturbances, dizziness, concentration problems, and memory changes.
“”EHS may be one of those problems that can never be well defined – we may just have to believe what people report,”” Levitt says. “”And people are reporting these symptoms all over the globe now when new technologies are introduced or infrastructure like cell towers go into neighborhoods. It’s not likely a transcultural mass hallucination. The immune system is an exquisite warning mechanism. These are our canaries in the coal mine.””
Swedish neuroscientist Olle Johansson was one of the first researchers to take the claims of electrosensitivity seriously. He found, for example, that persons with EHS had changes in skin mast cells – markers of allergic reaction – when exposed to specific EM fields.
Other studies have found that radiofrequency EMFs can increase serum histamine levels – the hallmark of an allergic reaction. Johansson has hypothesized that electrosensitivity arises exactly as any common allergy would arise – due to excessive exposure, as the immune system fails. And just as only some people develop allergies to cats or pollen or dust, only some of us fall prey to EM fields. Johansson admits that his hypothesis has yet to be proven in laboratory study.
One afternoon not long ago, a nurse named Maria Gonzalez, who lives in Queens, New York, took me to see the cell phone masts that irradiate her daughter’s school. The masts were the usual flat-paneled, alien-looking things nested together, festooned with wires, high on a rooftop across from Public School 122 in Astoria. They emitted a fine signal – five bars on my phone. The operator of the masts, Sprint-Nextel, had built a wall of fake brick to hide them from view, but Maria was unimpressed with the subterfuge. She was terrified of the masts. When, in 2005, the panels went up, soon to be turned on, she was working at the intensive care unit at St. Vincent’s Hospital.
She’d heard bizarre stories about cell phones from her cancer-ward colleagues. Some of the doctors at St. Vincent’s told her they had doubts about the safety of their own cellphones and pagers. This was disturbing enough. She went online, culling studies. When she read a report published in 2002 about children in Spain who developed leukemia shortly after a cell phone tower was erected next to their school, she went into a quiet panic.
Sprint-Nextel was unsympathetic when she telephoned the company in the summer of 2005 to express her concerns. The company granted her a single meeting that autumn, with a Sprint-Nextel technician, an attorney, and a self-described “”radiation expert”” under contract with the company. “”They kept saying, ‘we’re one hundred percent sure the antennas are safe,'”” Maria told me as we stared at the masts. “”‘One hundred percent sure! These are children! We would never hurt children.'”” She called the office of Hillary Clinton and pestered the senator once a week for six months – but got nowhere. A year later, Gonzalez sued the US government, charging that the Federal Communications Commission had failed to fully evaluate the risks from cell phone frequencies. The suit was thrown out. The judge concluded that if regulators for the government said the radiation was safe, then it was safe. The message, as Gonzalez puts it, was that she was “”crazy … and making a big to-do about nothing.””
I’d venture, rather, that she was applying a commonsense principle in environmental science: the precautionary principle, which states that when an action or policy – or technology – cannot be proven with certainty to be safe, then it should be assumed to be harmful. In a society thrilled with the magic of digital wireless, we have junked this principle. And we try to dismiss as fools those who uphold it – people like Gonzalez. We have accepted without question that we will have wi-fi hotspots in our homes, and at libraries, and in cafes and bookstores; that we will have wireless alarm systems and wireless baby monitors and wireless utility meters and wireless video games that children play; that we will carry on our persons wireless iPads and iPods and smart phones. We are mesmerized by the efficiency and convenience of the infotainment appendage, the words and sounds and pictures it carries. We are, in other words, thoughtless in our embrace of the technology.
Because of our thoughtlessness, we have not demanded to know the full consequences of this technology.
Perhaps the gadgets are slowly killing us – we do not know. Perhaps they are perfectly safe – we do not know. Perhaps they are making us sick in ways we barely understand – we do not know. What we do know, without a doubt, is that the electromagnetic fields are all around us, and that to live in modern civilization implies always and everywhere that we cannot escape their touch.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Paterson New Jersey USA