Cell Phones : Health and Safety Testing

Mobile Phone Radiation Tips, Immune System Protection

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Cell phones were not tested for health and safety effects prior to their 1984 entry in the market. Once a cancer victim who believed the cancer was caused by cell phones attempted to sue the cell phone industry, in 1993 a $25 million research and surveillance program was developed and funded by the cell phone industry. Dr. George Carlo lead this effort that by 2001 showed red flags of warning that cell phone radiation could lead to the development of brain tumors, other cancers, or other adverse health effects. Research, funded primarily by the cell phone industry, is ongoing. http://www.centerforsaferwireless.org/Cell-Phones.php

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website states, “The scientific evidence does not show a danger to any users of cell phones from radiofrequency radiation exposure, including children and teenagers… But more research is needed”, we don’t know whether cell phones will cause health abnormalities over the long-term. Fourteen research studies covering 10 years or longer shows an increase risk of developing a glioma or acoustic neuroma on the same side of the head as a cell phone is used.

With 4 billion cell phone users across the world and beginning evidence of long-term health effects, the Center for Safer Wireless recommends taking precautions when using a cell phone.

Neurosurgeons and epidemiologists share their observations about brain tumors and children in the video vault of this website.

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Forms of Ionizing vs. Nonionizing Radiation

Nonionizing Radiation, Cell Phone Protection

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Radiation is energy in motion radiating away from its source. This form of energy is expressed as wavelengths along the electromagnetic spectrum. With visible light dividing them, radiation is broken down into ionizing and nonionizing radiation.

Ionizing vs. Nonionizing Radiation

Ionizing radiation has short wavelengths that have enough power to knock neutrons off their nuclear orbits and can cause permanent damage on the cellular level such as genetic mutations and cancer.

Nonionizing radiation has longer wavelengths with generally less power. Wireless technology operates by using radiofrequency radiation which is nonionizing radiation. Radiofrequency radiation, also known as microwave radiation, uses nonthermal levels of radiation, which do not heat living tissue. Common wireless products run on radiofrequency radiation. http://www.centerforsaferwireless.org/Forms-of-Radiation.php

Thermal levels of radiation heat living tissue and cause harmful biological effects. Wireless safety standards are based on the technology using nonthermal levels, thought to be safe because it doesn’t heat tissue.

Some scientists point to research indicating biological changes in DNA, leakage in the blood brain barrier, and other reported health effects from exposure to radiofrequency radiation. These scientists are calling for biologically-based safety standards for wireless technology.

This graph depicts the electromagnetic spectrum with both frequencies and wavelengths associated with products and technology.

Wireless Products Operate at the Microwave Level

Cell phones, cordless phones, pagers, radar, wireless Internet, and satellite communications function by using different radiofrequencies at the microwave level. A microwave oven may come to your mind when you read the term microwave. Microwaves used in wireless signaling are different from microwave ovens due to frequency, power, and heat. Cell phones operate at 750 to 950 MHz (mega hertz) while microwave ovens function at 2450 MHz. Microwave ovens obviously generate heat while wireless products don’t. Basically, microwave ovens use high frequency and high power, and cell phones use high frequency and low power.

How is a Radio Wave Different from a Microwave?

Radio waves are low levels of transmission power enabling signals to and from your cell phone. These non-ionizing frequencies in the few hundered MHz range are safe. But when the signal strength grows to 800 MHz and higher, these waves become microwaves. The older cordless house and office phones were a few hundred MHz of radio waves, but the more you moved from the base, the weaker the signal. You would soon lose the call, or it would break up. Today cordless phones are 900 MHz and higher so that you don’t lose calls when moving from room to room, and you can even go outside. These phone operate in the microwaves/infrared waves of radiating power.

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3 Cell Phone Radiation Protection Tips

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1. Use the speakerphone

This was, without question, the favorite alternative of the experts I talked to. Nothing is near your head. “Hold it away from a minimum of a few inches. A foot or two is ideal,” said Magda Havas, an associate professor with the Institute for Health Studies at Trent University in Ontario, Canada.

Havas gives me a little math lesson. Every inch you can get away from your body, the radiation reduces very quickly. “Hold it out two inches, and the radiation drops by a factor of four. Hold it out four inches, and it drops by a factor of 16,” she says.

In other words, said Louis Slesin, editor of Microwave News, “every millimeter counts.”

2. Use a airtube headset with a ferrite bead

No, this is not a piece of jewelry. A ferrite bead is a clip you put on the wire of a headset. The concern is that the wire itself emits radiation into your ear. The bead is designed to absorb the radiation so you don’t. They’re inexpensive and available at stores or online.

These clips are a favorite of Slesin’s. “It’s the way to go,” he said.

Another fan: Lawrie Challis, physicist and former chair of the Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research Programme, a government panel in Britain. “They did tests at the University of York and found that under even the worst conditions, if you use a ferrite bead, you can’t even measure the radiation coming off the wire. This common device kills the radiation.”

Of course, if the phone is in your pocket or clipped to your belt, all bets are off, because the phone itself will be radiating into your body. So if you’re worried about radiation, keep the phone as far away as possible, and Challis adds to do your best to make sure the wire isn’t touching your body.

3. Get a phone with less radiation

Phone radiation is measured in specific absorption rate, or SAR. To look up the SAR for your phone, check this list on CNET.com.

You might think the experts mentioned above all use earpieces or a speakerphone. Not so. Several said they hold it right up to their heads because they use their cells so infrequently; they’re not worried about radiation.

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Electro-Sensitivity in our Environment with Cell Phones, Computers and Cell towers

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We cannot avoid EMFs in our environment. We can however effectively safeguard our health and heal our bodies. Today, I’ll explain to you how you can do this effectively, without being inconvenienced or paying out large amounts of money.

Some of you may be wondering whether or not EMF dangers are real. After all, there are researchers and authorities who insist that EMFs are harmless. So, many people believe that the subject of EMF health hazards is controversial and needs more research. The truth is, thousands of scientific research papers are published every year that document the health risks associated with EMFS. These studies have shown that all EMFs, regardless of range or frequency have damaging consequences.

Since the 1970’s studies have repeatedly shown a direct correspondence between how close one lives to powerlines and transformer and power stations and the incidence of childhood leukemia and cancer. The largest study involved 29,000 children and looked at data collected over a 30 year period.

Incidentally, A 2003 study by Canadian scientist Magda Havas found that 42 of the 60 Canadian cities that were measured, had EMF field intensities at levels greater than the level associated with childhood leukemia. Recently, there have been numerous studies to suggest a direct relationship between brain cancer and cell phone use. Brain cancer tumor risk has been steadily increasing over the last 10 years- particularly among the 20 -29 year olds. You’re probably asking why then, are there educated researchers who are telling us that everyday EMFs are not harmful? The reason is simple.

These researchers are looking for a direct cause and effect relationship when none exists. Studies have shown that there appears to be no rhyme or reason to the symptoms. Researchers can take a group of people claiming to be electrically sensitive, expose them to identical frequencies and have reports of many different kinds of symptoms. One person who claims to be sensitive to EMFS will have an adverse reaction to one type of EMF but not to anther, while a 2nd electrically sensitive person will express no reactions at all So, the researchers who are looking for direct cause and effect relationships conclude that symptoms in response to EMF exposure are psychosomatic-an artefact created by the power of suggestion.

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Another study, this one from Israel’s Tel Aviv University, examined 622 people living near a cell-phone transmitter station for 3-7 years who were patients in one clinic in Netanya and compared them against 1,222 control patients from a nearby clinic. Participants were very closely matched in environment, workplace and occupational characteristics. The people in the first group live within a half circle of 350m (1148 feet) radius from the transmitter, which came into service in July 1996.

The results were startling. Out of the 622 exposed patients, 8 cases of different kinds of cancer were diagnosed in a period of just one year (July 1997 to June 1998): 3 cases of breast cancer, one of ovarian cancer, lung cancer, Hodgkin’s disease (cancer of the lymphatic system), osteoid osteoma (bone tumour) and kidney cancer. This compares with 2 per 1 222 in the matched controls of the nearby clinic. The relative risk of cancer was 4.15 for those living near the cell-phone transmitter compared with the entire population of Israel.

Women were more susceptible. As seven out of eight cancer cases were women, the relative cancer rates for females were 10.5 for those living near the transmitter station and 0.6 for the controls relative for the whole town of Netanya. One year after the close of the study, 8 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in the microwave exposed area and two in the control area.

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“Cell phones emit radio frequency radiation, and the evidence establishes to satisfaction that it puts you at risk of harm when you use the phone,” said Michael Allweiss, a New Orleans attorney, to Network World.

The number of health cases involving cell phones has increased. Chris Newman, a neurologist, blames his brain tumor on his usage of cell phones. Newman has filed a lawsuit against several industry giants, including Motorola and Cell One.

Cell phones studies have linked radio frequency radiation to DNA and chromosome damage that infringe the blood-brain barrier and increase tumor risks, memory loss, and learning difficulties. Some cancer studies have shown correlation that radiation is absorbed by the user’s head, sinking in about one to two inches within the skull, causing some heating of the brain tissue.

“My phone becomes hot on my face and makes my muscles tense up and the muscles start to squeeze on my skull which ends in a tension headache,” said Jeremiah Watson, the Student Body President at SLCC. Watson has been using cell phones for over eight years.

“There’s nothing in the science to suggest there are any adverse health effects with cell phones,” said Jo-Anne Basile, vice president for external and industry relations for the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunication & Internet), to Network World.

Basile said there’s no harm in using cell phones. But the neurologists and other studies that have found opposing evidence that cell phone frequency radiation causes biological effects.

There have been many health complaints on using cell phones, but no one has currently won a case involving cell phones causing brain tumors.

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Cell Phones Increase The Risk Of Developing Cancers

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An Australian study found that mice exposed to pulsed digital mobile phone radiation over 18 months had twice the risk of developing cancers. An American study found that learning and short term memory were impaired after 45 minutes exposure to electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones in rats. And other studies of electromagnetic radiation on pregnant mice suggest that high exposure to mobile phones can affect intra-uterine development, confirmed recently in chicks (double birth defects, see below). The effects of mobile phone radiation in human embryo development are unknown.

Meanwhile, The European Union is drawing up guidelines for electromagnetic radiation exposure of all types.

Celphone.gif (12018 bytes)Mobile phones vary on radiation dosage: Following figures are for European mobile phones in SARS (watts of radiation from mobile phones per kg of brain), antenna extended / retracted. Safety is 10 watts/kg. Lowest radiation levels from phones with hidden antennae or ones extended away from head. Below that are SAR levels for US mobile phones. Note that there are different figures for SAR levels around for the same mobile phones, I suspect because some are official company data, and others independent lab measurements and that there may be other variables according to the exact conditions. For example the first table below shows big SAR phone radiation differences depending on the position of the aerial.

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Mobile Phone Radiation Shield, SAR and The Iphone 3G Part 1

Apple’s iPhone 3GS now has a SAR of 0.79 W/kg when held close to the ear compared to the 0.974 W/kg SAR of the original iPhone, and 1.39 W/kg SAR for the iPhone 3G – not particularly a good number for the 3G since the maximum allowed is 1.6. Apple, no doubt, has made remarkable improvement in bringing down the iPhone 3GS radiation emissions, making it far more safer for its consumers but it is still not good enough to be among the top 10 cell phone’s ranked by radiation. Another question which could arise here is that why is the SAR level of the iPhone 3G is significantly higher than that of the 3GS?

The simple answer would be that Apple has tightened up tolerance limits and the new design-level architecture improvements allows less radiation leakage. There seems to be a considerable difference in the hardware of the 3GS from the 3G. A redesigned improvised antenna, upgraded internal components and better shielding of these internal components must have together contributed to reduce the SAR of iPhone 3GS. No matter how best and how safe your cell phone is, it is still prudent to keep oneself healthy by texting more and talking less. That’s one of the tips given from Environmental Working Group for cell phone consumers.

Taking advantage of high quality sound of iPhone’s loud speaker, is yet another way to reduce on radiation absorption. It’s better to be more on speaker phone, so as to keep phone it at arm’s length from your skull. In today’s world, from natural as well as man-made energy sources, we are constantly living in flood of radiations. Cutting down on your own cell phone usage, may be the only option with us to reduce radiations absorb dose to our heads at least. For those who care, be rest assured that it’s safe enough to buy and use iPhone 3GS.

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The focus on mobile phones has distracted attention from the cordless phone, which has insinuated itself into positions where they could cause the most harm. Cordless phones are typically placed on the desktop or at the bedside, where people are maximally exposed to radiation intensities hundreds and thousands of times stronger than those from nearby cell phone transmitters sufficient to cause cancers. And they are emitting continuously 24 hours a day. Anecdotal evidence has been emerging of people suffering illnesses such as chronic fatigue and sleep disturbance [19], which are very similar to those from mobile phones. An experiment carried out at Landau University in Germany showed that bees failed to return to the hives when cordless phone base stations are placed in them [7].
Experts demand health warning on cordless phones

The current digital enhanced cordless telephone (DECT) sold in Europe consists of one or more handsets that communicate with a base station via radio waves in the microwave range. The base station emits (broadcasts) microwave radiation at full power pulses100 times a second as long as it is plugged into the wall socket. There have been calls for health warning on DECTs [19, 20], if not an outright ban (see later).

DECTs or similar phones are now widely used throughout the world. Independent measurements have been carried out on the power of the microwaves emitted, the most thorough by Thomas Haumann (Umweltanlaytik und Baubiologie, Essen, Germany) and Peter Sierck (Environmental Testing & Technology, Inc., Encinatas, California, USA) in 2002 [21] They found a maximum power density of over 600 000 mW/m2 at the normal distance of 1 foot (0.3 m) if the base station is placed on an office desk or bedside table. The peak radiation values in the same room are higher than those from any mobile phone transmitters that are located near residential buildings. The background level (in the absence of the DECT base station) was <0.3 mW/m2.

The DFHSS (Digital Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum) phone sold in the US was almost identical to the DECT in Europe. Both are pulsed at 100 Hz. The DFHSS runs on the frequency range of 2 450 MHz and DECT on 1 880 MHz.

The detailed measurements on the DFHSS base station are comparable to those made on DECT base stations in Germany in 1996.

The maximum power density levels in the entire house were also quite high , compared with radiation levels in homes near mobile phone transmission towers, about 10-1 000mW/m2 measured in the UK [23].

These power density levels are legal and considered ‘safe’, according to current regulatory guidelines, which are 10 000 to over 1,000,000 times those recommended by expert bodies on the basis of studies demonstrating biological effects at power densities orders or magnitude below the legal limits.

Many European physicians, environmental professionals and toxicologists signed a Resolution calling for the immediate stop of the DECT technology, which was delivered to the Germany Environment Minister Mr. Jurgen Trittin in October 1999 [24].

DECT microwaves are potentially more harmful than those of other wireless technologies because the microwaves are delivered at maximum power density all the time, even when the phone is not in use; it is pulsed at 100 Hz well within the range of typical biochemical rhythms within the body, and users are typically exposed at maximum levels either throughout their working day or during their sleep. Chronic exposure to such a powerful, pulsed form of the radiation from DECT base stations is more harmful than either acute exposure or exposure to a constant (non-pulsed) radiation. Pulsed radiation, in which the electric component changes from zero to full power almost instantaneously induces a much more powerful magnetic field that can fully penetrate the body (to induce a correspondingly large electric current) than the more slowly changing non-pulsed field.

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