Arizona Advanced Medicine Clinic

ElectroSmog

Thomas Edison switched on his first light bulb about 130 years ago. Since then, the world has become enveloped in an invisible net of radio and television signals, military networks, cell phone towers, WiFi, baby monitors, etc. Add to that the plethora of AC energy used to run electrical appliances in the house - refrigerators, printers, hairdryers, electric clocks by our bedside, dimming light switches, and more. Electrosmog, pollution through electromagnetic energy, is relatively new in human experience.

A human being is a complex organization of electrical fields. The body is about 70 percent water with a high mineral content making it highly electrically conductive. We have some 60 trillion cells, and between the nucleus and the membrane of each cell is a measurable electrical field. Brain cells, nerve cells, bone cells, all vibrate at different rates in order to communicate with one another. Cells know when to divide by vibrating. Cells, tissues, and organs communicate using bioelectrical pulses. When you look at an EKG, for example, you see the electrical functioning of your heart. Although Western medicine has been focused on chemistry for last century, electricity is what drives our biology.

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produced by modern technologies are artificial intrusions with unnatural intensities, signaling characteristics, pulsing patterns, and wave forms. They can misdirect cells in myriad ways.[1] “If you put a radio near a source of EMFs you will get interference,” says Olle Johansson, Associate Professor of Neuroscience at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. “The human brain has an electric field so if you put sources of EMFs nearby, it is not surprising that you get interference, interaction with systems and damage to cells and molecules.”[2]

Not So Good Vibrations

SCHUMANN WAVE:

A frequency of energy created by the amount of times lightening strikes the earth every second of every day. The Schumann Wave is a steady frequency of energy that measures 7.83 Hz, and beats 7 to 10 times per second.

When astronauts first traveled to space, they came home sick. They had been separated from gravity and from the Schumann Wave – the earth’s natural frequency, a constant vibration to which our bodies are attuned. When later space flights installed a Schumann Wave generator, astronauts came home in good shape. The steady rhythm of the Schumann Wave regulates our biological clock, our sleep/dream patterns, our patterns of arousal, and hormonal balance. Our optimal brain wave pattern duplicates the Schumann Wave. Human beings do best when they resonate with this frequency, which is what we have done since time began.

Man-made frequencies exert a constant pressure on the cells to shift their natural vibration. Our DNA is affected because these unnatural fields carry enough energy to break the chemical bonds that hold DNA together. EMFs also slow our brain waves and affect our long term mental clarity, according to Eric Braverman, MD, an expert in the brain’s global impact on illness and health.[3]

The term electrosmog here refers to

ELECTROSMOG, EMF

EMF = Electromagnetic field, a field of energy created by electrically charged objects.

EMFs occur naturally in storms, in the Earth’s magnetic field, etc. The development of man-made electricity and rapid technological progress over the past century have multiplied their sources and diversified their characteristics.

EMFs are an invisible air pollution.

» Electrically charged wires or appliances that exert a magnetic pull on our cells, prompting them to move away from their natural, healthy vibration.

» Frequencies from wireless communication networks which penetrate the body.

» “Dirty electricity” is very-low-frequency voltage signals (1-100kHz), by-products of modern energy-efficient appliances, halogen lamps, computers, wireless routers, plasma TVs, dimmer switches, etc. What all of these devices have in common is that they tamp down the electricity they use. This manipulation of current creates a wildly fluctuating electromagnetic field. Say you bought an “Energy Star” refrigerator. You plug it in. It receives 110 volts, but it ramps down to use less and the unused excess is directed away from the appliance toward you and back onto the electrical lines. Some research has shown that “dirty electricity” increases your risk of melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer.[4]

Electricity powering our homes exposes us to magnetic fields as current flows to power appliances and lights, and to ever-present electric fields produced by the wiring in the walls, floors and ceilings, and wiring to appliances, etc. If you are sleeping with your head against a wall that has a refrigerator on the other side, for example, every time the refrigerator goes on in the middle of the night, you are bathed in its unnatural magnetic field.

Nighttime exposure is the worst. It is at night that your body regenerates, organs detoxify, and cancer-fighting melatonin is produced. Dr. George Carlo, the researcher who first blew the whistle on cell phone hazards, explained that when there is a constant pulsing signal as you get from ‘Energy Star’ appliances and Wi-Fi networks, human cellular receptors are fooled into entraining to the frequency of that pulsing signal. DNA within the cell has to interpret and decide whether the vibration is friend or foreign. If foreign, the cell thinks it is under attack and closes its ‘doors’ which means nutrients do not get in, and toxins do not get out. The medical term is oxidative stress. At night it is essential that the cell membrane be permeable. Think about those 60 trillion cells in your body. Because the cells are not releasing toxins, you get free radical buildup and DNA repair is disrupted. Cellular communication is also impacted, causing confusion within the cells as to how and when to divide. This is the path for the development of tumors associated with cell phone usage.[5]

RF (radio frequency) signals + chemical toxins = damage. It has been shown that mammalian brains are affected negatively by mobile phones, causing increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier and leakage of albumin from the capillaries into the surrounding tissues. [5a] The Kuopio research group found that mobile phone radiation, at 5W/Kg, can amplify the DNA damage caused by a chemical mutagen.

When pathogens are grown in a Petri dish and bathed in electromagnetic energy, they reproduce ten times faster than normal. It is theorized this is because the pathogens feel threatened and rapid reproduction is a survival strategy. This could explain why, in part, we see disease states manifesting in younger people and becoming more virulent.[6]

When Science Meets Politics

Cell phones radiate microwaves, as do microwave ovens. If cell phones had been called “microwave phones” when they came on the market, would you have bought one?

The Russians first noticed during World War II that radar operators often came down with symptoms we now call electrical hypersensitivity syndrome. When television was introduced in Australia in 1956, researchers there documented a rapid increase in cancers among people who lived near transmission towers.

In 1960, neuroscientist Allan Frey “heard” the persistent low-level hum of radar at GE’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as electromagnetic waves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This told scientists that by pulsing a radio signal, it is possible to have the signal interact with the brain and nervous system. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect, and it caused an uproar in the neuroscience community. Frey had stumbled upon the fact that microwaves open up the blood-brain barrier. He was pressured to stop further investigation. (Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States.)[7,8]

When cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected - there are definite human health risks:

• cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
• radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
• there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer

The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.

Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.

In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.[9]

In the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.[10]

“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.

“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”[11]

But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:

“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”[12]

The Interphone study began with cases - people with brain tumors - and controls - people with no cancer - and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.

At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”[13]

“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”- Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century - toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.

People Began to Say No

In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.[14]

Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.

In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools.[15] Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:

“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”[16]

Various doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head - they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:

“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”[18]

In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: • Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
• Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
• Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
• Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.

Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”

EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3

Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.

She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.

“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.

“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”[19]

She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.

Riskier for Children

When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.

This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[20] Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.

Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:

• Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).

• Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.

• Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.[21]

The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones - either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves - had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.[22]

Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.

The French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”[23]

In 2011, the influential Council of Europe's Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.[24]

Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 - end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.

America Lagging Behind?

The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.

At the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.[25]

Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF - in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.

From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:

“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”

Yet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.

In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.

They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”[26]

As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.

CORDLESS PHONES

Cordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you - and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.

Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.

CELL PHONES

Holding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.

Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.

Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.

Cell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional - similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.

A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less - that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:

• The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.

• SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.

• SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions - strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation - not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.

• Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.

• SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.

• Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”

Wireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off - thus more exposure to you.

It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.

Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.

REDUCING THE ELECTROSMOG

You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.

There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:

• Paint the interior walls of your house with shielding paint.

• Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes - most of these look like a silvery space blanket.

• Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.

• Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.

• Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.

Cell phones emit microwave energy - the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.

Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.

As momentum builds, we may see the day when - by incentives or mandates - much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.

Good Vibrations

Clint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.

He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.

Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.

Throughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.

Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.[27]

Ober puts it this way:

“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G - G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”[28]

And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.

In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic - a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.

RESOURCES

Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”

Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone

Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org

emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.

ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.

electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.


[1] B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007 [2] Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005 [3] Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007 [4] Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002 [5] Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009 [6] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer [7] Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998 [8] Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010 [9] Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010 [10] Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007 [11] Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007 [12] Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010 [13] Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010 [14] Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579-86. [15] http://wifiinschools.org.uk/4.html [16] WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009 [17] Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008 [18] Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008 [19] Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008. [20] Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897 [21] Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4. [22] Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period
. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008 [23] Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009 [24] Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608 [25] Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010 [26] L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006. [27] D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004 [28] Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010
ElectroSmog
ElectroSmog

RF (radio frequency) signals + chemical toxins = damage. It has been shown that mammalian brains are affected negatively by mobile phones, causing increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier and leakage of albumin from the capillaries into the surrounding tissues. [5a] The Kuopio research group found that mobile phone radiation, at 5W/Kg, can amplify the DNA damage caused by a chemical mutagen.

When pathogens are grown in a Petri dish and bathed in electromagnetic energy, they reproduce ten times faster than normal. It is theorized this is because the pathogens feel threatened and rapid reproduction is a survival strategy. This could explain why, in part, we see disease states manifesting in younger people and becoming more virulent.[6]

When Science Meets Politics

Cell phones radiate microwaves, as do microwave ovens. If cell phones had been called “microwave phones” when they came on the market, would you have bought one?

The Russians first noticed during World War II that radar operators often came down with symptoms we now call electrical hypersensitivity syndrome. When television was introduced in Australia in 1956, researchers there documented a rapid increase in cancers among people who lived near transmission towers.

In 1960, neuroscientist Allan Frey “heard” the persistent low-level hum of radar at GE’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as electromagnetic waves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This told scientists that by pulsing a radio signal, it is possible to have the signal interact with the brain and nervous system. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect, and it caused an uproar in the neuroscience community. Frey had stumbled upon the fact that microwaves open up the blood-brain barrier. He was pressured to stop further investigation. (Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States.)[7,8]

When cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected - there are definite human health risks:

• cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
• radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
• there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer

The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.

Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.

In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.[9]

In the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.[10]

“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.

“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”[11]

But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:

“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”[12]

The Interphone study began with cases - people with brain tumors - and controls - people with no cancer - and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.

At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”[13]

“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”- Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century - toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.

People Began to Say No

In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.[14]

Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.

In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools.[15] Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:

“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”[16]

Various doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head - they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:

“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”[18]

In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: • Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
• Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
• Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
• Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.

Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”

EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3

Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.

She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.

“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.

“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”[19]

She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.

Riskier for Children

When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.

This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[20] Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.

Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:

• Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).

• Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.

• Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.[21]

The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones - either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves - had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.[22]

Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.

The French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”[23]

In 2011, the influential Council of Europe's Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.[24]

Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 - end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.

America Lagging Behind?

The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.

At the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.[25]

Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF - in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.

From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:

“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”

Yet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.

In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.

They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”[26]

As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.

CORDLESS PHONES

Cordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you - and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.

Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.

CELL PHONES

Holding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.

Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.

Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.

Cell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional - similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.

A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less - that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:

• The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.

• SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.

• SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions - strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation - not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.

• Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.

• SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.

• Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”

Wireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off - thus more exposure to you.

It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.

Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.

REDUCING THE ELECTROSMOG

You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.

There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:

• Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes - most of these look like a silvery space blanket.

• Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.

• Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.

• Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.

Cell phones emit microwave energy - the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.

Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.

As momentum builds, we may see the day when - by incentives or mandates - much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.

Good Vibrations

Clint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.

He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.

Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.

Throughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.

Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.[27]

Ober puts it this way:

“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G - G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”[28]

And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.

In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic - a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.

RESOURCES

Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”

Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone

Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org

emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.

ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.

electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.


[1] B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007 [2] Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005 [3] Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007 [4] Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002 [5] Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009 [6] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer [7] Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998 [8] Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010 [9] Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010 [10] Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007 [11] Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007 [12] Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010 [13] Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010 [14] Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579-86. [15] http://wifiinschools.org.uk/4.html [16] WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009 [17] Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008 [18] Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008 [19] Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008. [20] Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897 [21] Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4. [22] Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008 [23] Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009 [24] Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608 [25] Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010 [26] L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006. [27] D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004 [28] Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010
ElectroSmog

The Russians first noticed during World War II that radar operators often came down with symptoms we now call electrical hypersensitivity syndrome. When television was introduced in Australia in 1956, researchers there documented a rapid increase in cancers among people who lived near transmission towers.

In 1960, neuroscientist Allan Frey “heard” the persistent low-level hum of radar at GE’s Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University. The “hearing,” however, didn’t happen via normal sound waves perceived through the ear. It occurred somewhere in the brain itself, as electromagnetic waves interacted with the brain’s cells, which generate tiny electrical fields. This told scientists that by pulsing a radio signal, it is possible to have the signal interact with the brain and nervous system. This idea came to be known as the Frey effect, and it caused an uproar in the neuroscience community. Frey had stumbled upon the fact that microwaves open up the blood-brain barrier. He was pressured to stop further investigation. (Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States.)[7,8]

When cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected - there are definite human health risks:

• cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
• radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
• there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer

The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.

Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.

In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.[9]

In the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.[10]

“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.

“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”[11]

But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:

“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”[12]

The Interphone study began with cases - people with brain tumors - and controls - people with no cancer - and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.

At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”[13]

“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”- Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century - toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.

People Began to Say No

In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.[14]

Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.

In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools.[15] Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:

“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”[16]

Various doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head - they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:

“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”[18]

In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: • Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
• Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
• Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
• Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.

Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”

EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3

Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.

She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.

“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.

“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”[19]

She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.

Riskier for Children

When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.

This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[20] Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.

Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:

• Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).

• Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.

• Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.[21]

The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones - either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves - had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.[22]

Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.

The French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”[23]

In 2011, the influential Council of Europe's Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.[24]

Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 - end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.

America Lagging Behind?

The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.

At the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.[25]

Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF - in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.

From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:

“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”

Yet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.

In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.

They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”[26]

As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.

CORDLESS PHONES

Cordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you - and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.

Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.

CELL PHONES

Holding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.

Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.

Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.

Cell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional - similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.

A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less - that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:

• The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.

• SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.

• SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions - strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation - not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.

• Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.

• SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.

• Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”

Wireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off - thus more exposure to you.

It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.

Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.

REDUCING THE ELECTROSMOG

You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.

There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:

• Paint the interior walls of your house with shielding paint.

• Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes - most of these look like a silvery space blanket.

• Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.

• Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.

• Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.

Cell phones emit microwave energy - the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.

Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.

As momentum builds, we may see the day when - by incentives or mandates - much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.

Good Vibrations

Clint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.

He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.

Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.

Throughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.

Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.[27]

Ober puts it this way:

“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G - G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”[28]

And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.

In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic - a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.

RESOURCES

Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”

Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone

Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org

emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.

ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.

electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.


[1] B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007 [2] Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005 [3] Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007 [4] Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002 [5] Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009 [6] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer [7] Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998 [8] Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010 [9] Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010 [10] Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007 [11] Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007 [12] Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010 [13] Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010 [14] Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579-86. [15] http://wifiinschools.org.uk/4.html [16] WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009 [17] Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008 [18] Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008 [19] Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008. [20] Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897 [21] Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4. [22] Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008 [23] Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009 [24] Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608 [25] Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010 [26] L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006. [27] D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004 [28] Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010
ElectroSmog

When cell phones went on the market in the 1980s, federal regulators did not require proof they were safe. The telecommunications industry came to see storm clouds on the horizon and hired Dr. George Carlo, a first-rate public health scientist, to study the product. Six years and some $23 million later, Dr. Carlo and his team reported the unexpected - there are definite human health risks:

• cell phones caused leakage in the blood brain barrier
• radiation from wireless phone antennae causes genetic damage in human blood
• there was a doubling of risk for a certain type of cancer

The industry did not renew his research funds and began to discredit him.

Meanwhile, industry lobbyists were at work. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a boon to the telecom companies. It specifically prohibits citizens and municipalities from stopping the placement of a cell tower due to health concerns. You can go to your city council and argue whether or not a tower looks pretty enough, but you can not argue that cell towers should not be allowed because they make people sick. But the worrisome studies kept coming.

In 2007, the Bioinitiative Working Group released a 650-page report citing more than 2,000 studies that detail the toxic effects of electrosmog ranging from DNA damage and immune system dysfunction to brain cancers and childhood cancers like leukemia. “Every single study of brain tumors that looks at 10 or more years of use shows an increased risk of brain cancer,” said Cindy Sage, MA, coeditor of the report.[9]

In the wake of that report, the European Environmental Agency (EEA) called for immediate action to reduce exposure to radiation from Wi-Fi, mobile phones and their masts (cell towers). The agency suggested that delay could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking and lead in gasoline.[10]

“The case studies of public hazards analysed in the ‘Late lessons’ publication show that harmful exposures can be widespread before there is both ‘convincing’ evidence of harm from long-term exposures, and biological understanding of how that harm is caused.

“There are many examples of the failure to use the precautionary principle in the past, which have resulted in serious and often irreversible damage to health and environments.”[11]

But in America, the agencies were quiet, waiting for the Interphone Study that came out in 2010. Microwave News put it this way:

“There’s an old saying that a camel is a horse designed by a committee. Welcome to Interphone. “The good news is that the Interphone paper has finally been made public after a four-year stalemate within the 13-country research team. But it comes at a price. A series of compromises over how to interpret the results of the largest and most expensive study of cell phones and brain tumors ever attempted has left the paper with no clear conclusions other than more research is needed.

“At the very least, the risks are greater than many believed only a few years ago. In a series of interviews, a number of the members of the Interphone project told Microwave News that they now see the risk among long-term users as being larger than when the study began. Some think the risk warrants serious attention.”[12]

The Interphone study began with cases - people with brain tumors - and controls - people with no cancer - and asked them to remember how much they had used mobile phones in previous years.

At the Bioelectromagnetics Society annual meeting shortly thereafter, Lloyd Morgan, B.Sc., Senior Fellow of Environmental Health Trust, demonstrated that the risk of brain tumors from cell phone use is in fact much higher than the Interphone study acknowledged: “What we have discovered indicates there is going to be one hell of a brain tumor pandemic unless people are warned and encouraged to change current cell phone use behaviors.”[13]

“Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century, all the more dangerous because it is invisible and insensible.”- Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimum Health

We are all being affected by personal cell phone usage, and also as by-standers subject to second-hand radiation from nearby cell phone users, cell phone antennae, and wireless networks. This is why the concept of second-hand smoke is being applied to wireless technology and cell phones in particular, and why cell phones are sometimes called the cigarettes of the 21st century - toxic, addictive, and heavily defended by an army of industry lobbyists.

People Began to Say No

In 2003 the teachers at La Quinta, California middle school complained that they, the staff, and the students had more cancers than would be expected. They demanded an EMF investigation. Sam Milham, MD, an experienced epidemiologist, studied high-frequency voltage transients now called “dirty electricity.” In some classrooms he found the surges of transient pollution so high, they exceeded his meter’s ability to gauge them. In 2008 he reported in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine that he suspected the cumulative exposure to transients in the school increased the likelihood a teacher would develop cancer by 64%. The teachers’ chances of developing melanoma, thyroid cancer, and uterine cancer were as much as 13 times higher than the average.[14]

Dr. Milham’s findings served a public alert in the U.S. about the health link between occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields and human disease. This research addressed why office workers, like the school teachers, have high cancer incidence rates. It also describes why indoor workers have had higher malignant melanoma rates, and why melanoma might occur on parts of the body never exposed to sunlight.

In September 2007, the German Government issued a warning to citizens to avoid using WiFi in the workplace or at home, suggesting cabled connections instead. In late 2007, the French National Library removed all WiFi systems in Paris due to health complaints from staff. The Austrian Medical Association is lobbying against the deployment of WiFi in schools.[15] Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has limited its use of WiFi and relies on a comprehensive fiber-optic computer network throughout the campus. University policy states:

“There will be no WiFi connectivity provided in those areas of the University already served by hard wire connectivity until such time as the potential health effects have been scientifically rebutted or there are adequate protective measures that can be taken.”[16]

Various doctors began to speak out. Three neurosurgeons went on Larry King Live in May, 2008 saying they observed widespread dangers from cell phones and that they personally never put it next to their head - they use earpieces or the speakerphone feature. A couple months later, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, who headed up the prominent University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer. He testified to Congress in September, 2008, that the Interphone Study and industry-sponsored studies often discarded data from studies that involved heavy cell phone usage:

“Some recent studies in Nordic countries, where phones have been used the longest, find that persons who have used cell phones for at least a decade have 30% to more than 200% more brain tumors than do those without such use, and only on the side of the head where the user holds his or her phone. To put these numbers in context, this is at least as high an increase as the added risk of breast cancer that women face from long-term use of hormone replacement therapy [HRT].”[18]

In 2009, a collaborative of non-industry funded scientists published “15 Reasons for Concern” about cell phones: including: • Independent studies show that for every year of cell phone use, the risk of brain cancer increased by 8%, and that after 10 or more years of digital cell phone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer.
• Electromagnetic fields cause DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair.
• Cell phone radiation has been shown to cause the blood-brain barrier (BBB) to leak; the BBB protects the brain from many molecules that are toxic to the brain.
• Cell phone radiation decreases sperm counts and reduces sperm motility.

Despite heavy lobbying from industry, the city of San Francisco voted in 2010 to require all retailers to display the SAR number, the amount of radiation each cell phone emits. ElectromagneticHealth.org called it “a watershed moment for health advocates in the U.S. and families who have or have had members with brain tumors.”

EMF Hypersensitivity and Diabetes Type 3

Could dirty electricity raise elevated blood sugar levels among diabetics and prediabetics who are especially sensitive to EMFs? Dr. Magda Havas, Associate Professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, has seen and documented it. Her research represents a paradigm shift in the way we think about diabetes.

She found that blood sugar levels went up when subjects were on a treadmill or in a doctor’s office where there is dirty electricity; blood sugar levels went down when subjects walked outside. She calls EMF-induced higher plasma glucose Type 3 Diabetes.

“Type 1 diabetics require less insulin in an electromagnetically clean environment and blood sugar levels for Type 2 diabetics increase with increasing exposure to dirty electricity … Type 3 diabetics may be better able to regulate their blood sugar with less medication, and those diagnosed as borderline or pre-diabetic may remain non diabetic longer by reducing their exposure to electromagnetic energy.

“What we describe here is a totally different type in the sense it has an environmental trigger … We recognize that there is, as yet, no accepted definition of Type 3 diabetes and that our definition may be in conflict with others that have been suggested.”[19]

She tells us that for those who are hypersensitive to EMF, blood sugar measurements need to be done in an electromagnetically clean environment (medical offices are typically in buildings with dirty electricity, homes often have wireless networks and portable phones) to prevent misdiagnosis and to accurately determine the severity of the disease.

Riskier for Children

When Dr. Ronald B. Herberman issued his warning to staff and testified before Congress, he included the illustration below which shows how much higher the absorption rates are in a child’s brain than in an adult’s. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child.

This is a modification of the iconic illustration made in 1996 by Om Gandhi, Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.[20] Dr. Herberman worked with Gandi to turn the illustration into a three-dimensional model that estimates the absorption of electromagnetic radiation.

Scientists feel children are more susceptible to harmful effects of cell phones because:

• Pre-teen children have a smaller head and brain size, the skull bones are thinner, and the percentage of water volume is greater (water conducts electricity).

• Children’s brains and central nervous system are still developing so they are more sensitive to exposures.

• Today’s children have started to use cell phones at a younger age, therefore their lifetime exposure to cell phone RFs will be greater. Those who started using cell phones before the age of 20 may be five times more likely to develop a glioma, a type of brain tumor, according to Swedish independent researcher, Lennart Hardell.[21]

The UCLA School of Public Health collaborated with University of Aarhus in Denmark to study 13,000 children born in 1997 and 1998. They found children who were exposed to cell phones - either in the womb by their mother’s cell phone use or as youngsters themselves - had more behavioral problems at the age of seven than non-cell phone users. Researchers found inattention, hyperactivity, and problems with peers.[22]

Recently, France and Germany dismantled wireless networks in schools and public libraries. Israel has banned the placement of cellular antennae on residences. Russian officials have advised against cell phone use for children under the age 18.

The French government announced in 2009 plans for the most comprehensive action to date taken by any government worldwide: ban advertising of cell phones to children under 12, ban manufacturing of phones specifically designed for children ages 6 and younger, put more restrictive limits for radiation from the phones, and make it compulsory for handsets to be sold with earphones. Lyon, France’s second city, launched an advertising campaign before Christmas 2008 aimed at dissuading people from buying mobiles for children as presents, with the slogan “Let’s keep them healthy, away from mobile phones!”[23]

In 2011, the influential Council of Europe's Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs pronounced that mobile phones and computers with wireless internet connections should be banned from schools. The council found evidence that the technologies have “potentially harmful” effects on humans, and said it was crucial to avoid repeating the mistakes made when public health officials were slow to recognize the dangers of asbestos, tobacco smoking and lead in petrol. The committee also highlighted the potential health risks of cordless telephones and baby monitors, which rely on similar technology and are widely used in British homes.[24]

Is brain cancer on the rise among young Americans? Depends on who interprets the stats. At the September 2008 congressional hearing on cell phone safety called by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Robert Hoover of the National Cancer Institute said government statistics show no increase from 1987 to 2005 - end of story. But Dr. Ronald Herberman testified that as he looked at the same government statistics, he was struck by the fact that the incidence of brain cancer has been increasing over the last ten years, particularly among 20-29 year-olds.

America Lagging Behind?

The American Federal Communications Commission established radiation standards for cell phones in 1996, 13 years after cell phones went on the market. The agency adopted limits recommended by industry that were established to protect against high-dose thermal effects. So they allow a 20-fold higher exposure to the head (1.6 W/kg) compared to the rest of the body (0.08 W/kg) for both adults and children.

At the beginning of the Cold War in the 1950s, radio frequency (RF) standards were set, primarily by the Air Force. It was an era of air raid drills and fear of Soviet missile launches. Decisions were based on the nation’s urgent security needs of the day. At that time, the thinking was focused only on the hazardous biological effect from short-term, acute RF exposures of sufficient power to raise body temperatures in excess of 1 degree centigrade. This is called the “thermal-effects-only” viewpoint and it contradicted Russian and other Eastern European research that claimed to have found a whole range of biological interactions at power levels far below that which was needed to cause tissue heating. That is called the “non-thermal theory” of RF.[25]

Can you have human health problems from non-thermal RF - in other words, from something other than heating? Yes. Though difficult to definitively measure, when a cell phone is being used (making phone calls, searching the internet, downloading music) the non-thermal effects extend about three to six feet. Non-thermal effects from cell towers can affect people thousands of feet away from the originating signal. Often, multiple antennae are all transmitting simultaneously so your home or office is being impacted at the same time from different directions.

From David Carpenter, MD, co-editor of the BioInitiative Report:

“The fields associated with electricity are commonly called “extremely low frequency” fields (ELF), while those used in communication and microwave ovens are called “radiofrequency” (RF) fields. Studies of people have shown that both ELF and RF exposures result in an increased risk of cancer, and that this occurs at intensities that are too low to cause tissue heating. Unfortunately, all of our exposure standards are based on the false assumption that there are no hazardous effects at intensities that do not cause tissue heating … We need to educate decision-makers that ‘business as usual’ is unacceptable.”

Yet in the United States, it is still business as usual; the science seems to get little official attention.

In 2006, the New York based publication Microwave News examined the 85 papers on microwave effects on DNA that were published in peer-reviewed journals since 1990.

They found 42 papers reported no effect, and 32 of them were funded by either the U.S. Air Force or industry. Of the 43 yes-effects papers, only 3 were funded by Air Force or industry. The source of funding appears to have a strong influence on the outcome of research. The published results, however, with an approximately equal mix of positive and negative studies, supports the mobile phone industry’s viewpoint that “the science is inconclusive” and “more data is needed.”[26]

As the public relations spin masters describe it, this is paralysis by analysis.

CORDLESS PHONES

Cordless phones are EMF monsters. The base is the problem, not the handset. The base can exert radio frequencies that range between one quarter and one half mile, depending on the strength of the phone. This means that even if you do not have a cordless phone, your neighbor’s phone can impact you - and every other cordless phone within range of your house. As these waves pass through your windows (not through walls), they tend to concentrate in rooms with natural lighting. This is why it is said that we are bombarded with more than a 1000 times more electromagnetic energy now than ever before in the history of mankind.

Many cordless phones emit pulsing microwave radiation from their base station even when the phone is not being used.

Make sure your cordless phone base station is not in your bedroom or close to where you sit a lot. You can put a metal bucket over the base of a cordless phone at night or just unplug it. Better yet, replace it with a hard wired phone and use two 25-foot spiral cords attached together with a coupler to give you a 50 foot tether for mobility.

CELL PHONES

Holding the cell phone against your head ensures that you will absorb most of the microwave energy. A speakerphone is better because it puts more distance between the emissions and your head. Using a headset also reduces exposure. You can choose to limit your calls to a couple minutes. Use less than 500 minutes a month. Texting is better than talking (in terms of avoiding cell phone damage) because all the data is transmitted in a fraction of a second.

When your cell phone has fewer bars, it ramps up and uses more power; therefore, it is more dangerous to make calls from outlying areas.

Inside a vehicle, the RF frequencies bounce off the inside of the vehicle and bombard you. You increase your exposure when you use a cell phone in an enclosed area such as a car, train, airplane, or metal building.

Don’t let your teenager sleep with a cell phone under the pillow. And turn off all wireless devices in the house at night.

Cell phone radiation is transmitted by the antenna and the circuit elements inside the handset. The antenna and the circuit elements send out the electromagnetic wave (RF radiation) to transmit the signal. EMF radiation emitted by a cell phone antenna is not very directional - similar amounts of radiation are transmitted outward, towards the base station, and inward, towards the ear/head of a cell phone user.

A worldwide recognized, basic unit for the description of thermal effects of a cell phone is referred to as the specific absorption rate (SAR), which is given in watt per kilogram (W/kg). The higher the “SAR rating,” the more thermal energy a phone gives off. To play it safe, you can buy a cell phone with a SAR number of .08 or less - that would be half or less of what the U.S. allows. However:

• The SAR value compares just the thermal (heating) effect of different phones and does not give information about the non-thermal biological effect of that phone.

• SAR values are reported to the FCC by the manufacturer and there is little or no ongoing, independent monitoring of the SAR values submitted.

• SAR values are measured at low phone transmissions - strong signal (lots of bars) and maintaining a conversation - not in low-signal environment (few bars) or when making connections or downloading data.

• Holding the phone in a slightly different way can actually render the worst SAR value phone better than the best SAR value phone.

• SAR values have been created based on simulations of exposure in a plexiglass head filled with fluid, not a human head, and many scientists consider them to be inaccurate and irrelevant at determining actual biological effects. The FCC, the industry, and the academic community all acknowledge that SAR measurements have significant precision problems.

• Some non-thermal, biological effects have been shown to be worse at lower SAR values compared to higher SAR values, such as blood brain barrier permeability.

As Camilla Rees, founder of ElectromagneticHealth.org put it: “Physical distance of the phone from your brain, and less usage of the cell phone overall, more so than simply choosing a phone with a lower SAR value, is probably a far better insurance policy.”

Wireless devices transmit a constant signal whether in use or not. IPhones and Blackberries are different than other cell phones; each device acts as antenna Bluetooth relay station, even when turned off - thus more exposure to you.

It varies from model to model, but in general when a cell phone is being used in a full-strength signal area, the signal can have a potential impact on anyone within approximately three to six feet of the cell phone. As the signal strength decreases, and therefore the cell phone strength increases, this distance increases proportionally.

Every time you use your cell phone, it is necessary for a nearby cell tower antenna to transmit and receive your signal. Therefore, anyone within the neighborhood of the cell tower will be impacted by your action. Each cell tower’s signals eventually hit the ground. If you home is at that spot, the bombardment from the tower is usually many times greater than the bombardment from a wireless system you would have in your home office.

REDUCING THE ELECTROSMOG

You can have a BauBiologist check your home (www.buildingbiology.net), find out exactly how badly you are being bombarded by neighborhood cell towers and where the wiring and appliances in your house are most intrusive. Parents who have autistic children and those with Lyme disease who have followed the BauBiologist’s recommendations have reported significant improvement in their autistic children’s behavior.

There are many devices on the market that claim to protect from electrosmog, but claims and counter-claims about their effectiveness abound. Also, this is often a case of you get what you pay for. Here are some of the options:

• Paint the interior walls of your house with shielding paint.

• Put a shielding film on windows and sliding glass doors. You can also use RF shielded material that can line drapes - most of these look like a silvery space blanket.

• Install a kill switch in the bedrooms to turn off electricity at night that runs through the walls. If a refrigerator or TV backs up to a wall that is also a bedroom wall, put RF shielding material behind it.

• Don’t use your laptop computer directly in your lap.

• Use a cell phone protector. Buyer beware here. Skip past claims that a protector will “stop damage to your blood cells.” You want a protector that has been measured with a meter for its shielding abilities.

Cell phones emit microwave energy - the stuff of thermal effects and the source of most of the publicity. Some cell phone protectors offer some protection from this. There are no cell phone protectors for the non-thermal effects. Something to shield from both – and still allow the cell phone to work – does not exist that we know of at this time.

Absent prudent safety standards from government and manufacturers (adding a protective filter would add perhaps $5 to the cost of a laptop), protection is up to you.

As momentum builds, we may see the day when - by incentives or mandates - much of our wireless communications will be conducted on a fiber optic system. That would pretty much give us the technology we want, minus the risks we do not want.

Good Vibrations

Clint Ober decided to create a new life for himself after he almost died from an abscess. He quit his cable TV executive life to get closer to nature. He found himself sitting on a park bench in Arizona in 1998 noticing that everyone walking by was wearing shoes with synthetic soles that impede their connection to the earth. He got an idea.

He researched EMF studies. He saw that effects from exposure found in some human studies were “inconclusive” because the same effects could not be reproduced in animal studies. Ober went where no one else had gone before. He theorized that animals don’t wear shoes or sleep in beds so they are naturally grounded by the earth, unlike people today. He understood that the earth’s natural grounding effect might protect people from EMFs the way it protects electrical systems from interference. Researchers laughed; Ober persisted and he did studies.

Simple ground contact, Ober observed, provides a neutralizing charge to the body and naturally protects the nervous system and the endogenous fields of the body from extraneous electrical interference. He expanded this to include the neutralization of free radicals produced within the body. Free radicals are produced by the body to destroy pathogens. But outside forces cause us to produce too many free radicals. Ground contact, he postulated, allows the earth’s free electrons to neutralize excess free radicals.

Throughout most of evolution, humans walked barefoot and slept on the ground. The Earth is full of electrons. When a person’s bare skin touches the earth, Ober says, electrons enter the body and work like antioxidants, disarming the free radicals that age us.

Dr. Maurice Ghaley, an anesthesiologist, set out to prove Ober wrong. Instead, he found that grounding the human body to the earth during sleep reduces nighttime levels of cortisol and re-synchronizes cortisol hormone secretion more in alignment with the natural 24-hour circadian rhythm profile.[27]

Ober puts it this way:

“Exposure to sunlight produces vitamin D in the body. It’s needed for health. Exposure to the ground provides an electrical ‘nutrient’ in the form of electrons. Think of these electrons as vitamin G - G for ground. Just like vitamin D, you need vitamin G for your health as well.”[28]

And like vitamin D, “earthing” is free. Well, mostly. There are gadgets you can buy to ground your bed to the earth. “Earthing ranks right up there with the discovery of penicillin,” said Ann Louise Gittleman, author of several natural medicine books.

In our excitement to develop new technologies, we rushed past the natural and good vibrations of the ground beneath our feet. How ironic - a retired cable TV executive hands us a low tech idea for protection from the ever-increasing high-tech EMF net around us.

RESOURCES

Environmental Working Group’s comprehensive report
“Cell Phone Radiation: Science Review on Cancer Risks and Children’s Health”

Environmental Working Group’s SAR info
Look up the SAR rating on your phone

Learn how to Create a Sleeping Sanctuary at wehliving.org

emrpolicy.org is a good all-around source of the latest news and resources.

ElectromagneticHealth.org also offers free audio interviews with some of the world’s leading experts in the field of EMF. They also post videos of industry discussions.

electrosensitivesociety.com provides information and resources for those who are especially sensitive to EMF.


[1] B. Blake Levitt. Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves. Backinprint.com, 2007 [2] Nic Fleming. Scientists serious about ‘electricity sickness’ claims. The Telegraph. January 24, 2005 [3] Bioinitiative Working Group, 2007 [4] Dr. Samuel Milham, Dirty Electricity. 2002 [5] Mary Budinger. Lyme-Induced Autism Conference Focuses on Biofilm and Toxicity. Public Health Alert, July 2009 [6] Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt. Electromagnetic Radiation, Electromagnetic Fields, Pollution, Microwave Radiation, Cell Phone Cancer [7] Allan H. Frey. Headaches from Cellular Telephones: Are They Real and What Are the Implications? Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 106, Number 3, March 1998 [8] Christopher Ketcham. Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health. GQ Magazine, February, 2010 [9] Michael Segell. Is ‘electrosmog’ harming our health? Electrical pollution from cell phones and WiFi may be hazardous. Prevention Magazine, January, 2010 [10] Geoffrey Lean. EU watchdog calls for urgent action on Wi-Fi radiation. The Independent, September 16, 2007 [11] Radiation risk from everyday devices assessed. European Environmental Agency. September 17, 2007 [12] Interphone Points to Long-Term Brain Tumor Risks-Interpretation Under Dispute. Microwave News, May 18, 2010 [13] Press release: Risk of Brain Cancer from Cell Phone Use Underestimated by At Least 25% in Interphone Study, According to Scientific Presentation Today at the Bioelectromagnetics Society. ElectromagneticHealth.org. June 15, 2010 [14] Milham S, Morgan LL. A new electromagnetic field exposure metric: high frequency voltage transients associated with increased cancer incidence innteachers in a California school. Am J Ind Med 2008;51(8):579-86. [15] http://wifiinschools.org.uk/4.html [16] WiFi and Cellular Antennae Policy. Lakewood University. Effective November 10, 2009 [17] Cancer institute warns of cellphone risks. USA Today, July 25, 2008 [18] Statement of Ronald B. Herberman, MD, Tumors and Cell Phone Use-What the Science Says. Testimony to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. September 25, 2008 [19] Magda Havas. Dirty Electricity Elevates Blood Sugar Among Electrically Sensitive Diabetics and May Explain Brittle Diabetes. Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, 27: 135-146, 2008. [20] Om P. Gandhi, G. Lazzi, and C. Furse. Electromagnetic Absorption in the Human Head and Neck for Cell Telephones at 835 an 1900 MHz. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, 1996. 44 (10):p 1884-1897 [21] Lennart Hardell, M Carlberg. Long-term use of cellular phones and brain tumours: increased risk associated with use for > or =10 years. Occup Environ Med. 2007 Sep;64(9):626-32. Epub 2007 Apr 4. [22] Press release: Study questions safety of children’s exposure to cell phones during prenatal and early childhood period. UCLA School of Public Health, May 21, 2008 [23] Geoffrey Lean. French government bans advertising of mobiles to children. The Independent, January 11, 2009 [24] Report: The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. Council of Europe, Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs. May 6, 2011. Doc 12608 [25] Donald R. Maisch, PhD. The Procrustean Approach – Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation. Thesis submitted to University of Wollongong, 2010 [26] L. Slesin, ‘Radiation Research and The Cult of Negative Results’, Microwave News, vol. 26, no. 4, July 2006. [27] D Minkhoff. Best Cases in Biological Medicine, Series #6. Explore! Volume 13, Number 6, 2004 [28] Clint Ober, Dr. Stephen Sinatra, Martin Zucker. Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? Basic Health Publications, April, 2010
ElectroSmog
Categories: