The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation Part 1 and 2
Every day, we're swimming in a sea of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) produced by electrical appliances, power lines, wiring in buildings, and a slew of other technologies that are part of modern life. From the dishwasher and microwave oven in the kitchen and the clock radio next to your bed, to the cellular phone you hold to your ear — sometimes for hours each day — exposure to EMR is growing and becoming a serious health threat.
But there's a huge public health crisis looming from one particular threat: EMR from cellular phones — both the radiation from the handsets and from the tower-based antennas carrying the signals — which studies have linked to development of brain tumors, genetic damage, and other exposure-related conditions. Yet the government and a well-funded cell phone industry media machine continue to mislead the unwary public about the dangers of a product used by billions of people. Most recently, a Danish epidemiological study announced to great fanfare the inaccurate conclusion that cell phone use is completely safe.
George Carlo, PhD, JD, is an epidemiologist and medical scientist who, from 1993 to 1999, headed the first telecommunications industry-backed studies into the dangers of cell phone use. That program remains the largest in the history of the issue. But he ran afoul of the very industry that hired him when his work revealed preventable health hazards associated with cell phone use.
In this article, we look at why cell phones are dangerous; Dr. Carlo's years-long battle to bring the truth about cell phone dangers to the public; the industry's campaign to discredit him and other scientists in the field; and what you can do to protect yourself now.
Cell Phones Reach the Market without Safety Testing
The cellular phone industry was born in the early 1980s, when communications technology that had been developed for the Department of Defense was put into commerce by companies focusing on profits. This group, with big ideas but limited resources, pressured government regulatory agencies — particularly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) — to allow cell phones to be sold without pre-market testing. The rationale, known as the "low power exclusion," distinguished cell phones from dangerous microwave ovens based on the amount of power used to push the microwaves. At that time, the only health effect seen from microwaves involved high power strong enough to heat human tissue. The pressure worked, and cell phones were exempted from any type of regulatory oversight, an exemption that continues today. An eager public grabbed up the cell phones, but according to Dr. George Carlo, "Those phones were slowly prompting a host of health problems."
Today there are more than two billion cell phone users being exposed every day to the dangers of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) — dangers government regulators and the cell phone industry refuse to admit exist. Included are: genetic damage, brain dysfunction, brain tumors, and other conditions such as sleep disorders and headaches.1-9 The amount of time spent on the phone is irrelevant, according to Dr. Carlo, as the danger mechanism is triggered within seconds. Researchers say if there is a safe level of exposure to EMR, it's so low that we can't detect it.
The cell phone industry is fully aware of the dangers. In fact, enough scientific evidence exists that some companies' service contracts prohibit suing the cell phone manufacturer or service provider, or joining a class action lawsuit. Still, the public is largely ignorant of the dangers, while the media regularly trumpets new studies showing cell phones are completely safe to use. Yet, Dr. Carlo points out, "None of those studies can prove safety, no matter how well they're conducted or who's conducting them." What's going on here? While the answer in itself is simplistic, how we got to this point is complex.
Flawed Danish Study Reports Cell Phones are Safe
In December, 2006, an epidemiological study on cell phone dangers published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute sent the media into a frenzy.10 Newspaper headlines blared: "Danish Study Shows Cell Phone Use is Safe," while TV newscasters proclaimed, "Go ahead and talk all you want — it's safe!" The news seemed to be a holiday gift for cell phone users. But unfortunately, it's a flawed study, funded by the cell phone industry and designed to bring a positive result. The industry's public relations machine is working in overdrive to assure that the study get top-billing in the media worldwide.
According to Dr. George Carlo, the study, by its design, could not identify even a very large risk. Therefore, any claim that it proves there's no risk from cell phones is a blatant misrepresentation of the data that will give consumers a very dangerous false sense of security.
"Epidemiological studies are targets for fixing the outcome because they're observational in nature instead of experimental," Dr. Carlo explains. "It's possible to design studies with pre-determined outcomesthat still fall within the range of acceptable science. Thus, even highly flawed epidemiological studies can be published in peer-reviewed journals because they're judged against a pragmatic set of standards that assume the highest integrity among the investigators."
Key problems with the study are:
To learn more about the dangers of cell phones and to read Dr. George Carlo's full formal analysis of the Danish cell phone study, visit the Safe Wireless Initiative website at www.safewireless.org.
Lawsuit Prompts Safety Studies
In 1993, the cell phone industry was pressured by Congress to invest $28 million into studying cell phone safety. The cause of this sudden concern was massive publicity about a lawsuit filed by Florida businessman David Reynard against cell phone manufacturer NEC. Reynard's wife, Susan, died of a brain tumor, and he blamed cell phones for her death. Reynard revealed the suit to the public on the Larry King Live show, complete with dramatic x-rays showing the tumor close to where Susan held her cell phone to her head for hours each day.
The next day, telecommunications stocks took a big hit on Wall Street and the media had a field day. The industry trade association at the time, the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), went into crisis mode, claiming thousands of studies proved cell phones were safe and what Reynard and his attorney said was bunk. TIA reassured the public that the government had approved cell phones, so that meant they were safe. The media demanded to see the studies, but, says Dr. Carlo, "The industry had lied. The only studies in existence then were on microwave ovens. At that time, 15 million people were using cell phones, a product that had never been tested for safety."
Dr. Carlo Heads Cell Phone Research
Cell Phone Radiation: What You Need to Know
"Anything that's ever made a difference in terms of public health has come from the EPA," he says. "But safety issues that are covered in corruption and questions seem to always have a connection to the FDA, which has been manipulated by pharmaceutical companies since it was born."
When called to help with the cell phone issue, Dr. Carlo was working with the FDA on silicone breast implant research. The choice of Dr. Carlo to head WTR seemed unusual to industry observers. An epidemiologist whose expertise was in public health and how epidemic diseases affect the population, he appeared to lack any experience in researching the effects of EMR on human biology. Based on this, a premature conclusion was drawn by many: Dr. Carlo was an "expert" handpicked by the cell phone industry, and therefore his conclusions would only back up the industry's claim that cell phones are safe.
Dr. Carlo, however, refused to be an easy target. He quickly recruited a group of prominent scientists to work with him, bulletproof experts owning long lists of credentials and reputations that would negate any perception that the research was predestined to be a sham. He also created a Peer Review Board chaired by Harvard University School of Public Health's Dr. John Graham, something that made FDA officials more comfortable since, at the time, the agency was making negative headlines due to the breast implant controversy. In total, more than 200 doctors and scientists were involved in the project.
Strict Study Guidelines
Once all involved agreed on what was to be done, Dr. Carlo presented the study's stakeholders in the industry, the government, and the public with a strict list of criteria for moving forward.
"The money had to be independent of the industry — they had to put the money in trust and couldn't control who got the funds," he says. "Second, everything had to be peer reviewed before it went public, so if we did find problems after peer review, we could use that information publicly to recommend interventions."
A third requirement was for the FDA to create a formal interagency working group to oversee the work and provide input. The purpose of this was to alleviate any perception that the industry was paying for a result, not for the research itself. But the fourth and last requirement was considered by Dr. Carlo to be highly critical: "Everything needed to be done in sunlight. The media had to have access to everything we did."
The Research Begins
The program began, but Dr. Carlo soon discovered that everyone involved had underlying motives."The industry wanted an insurance policy and to have the government come out and say everything was fine. The FDA, which looked bad because it didn't require pre-market testing, could be seen as taking steps to remedy that. By ordering the study, law makers appeared to be doing something. Everyone had a chance to wear a white hat."
Dr. Carlo and his team developed new exposure systems that could mimic head-only exposure to EMR in people, as those were the only systems that could approximate what really happened with cell phone exposure. Those exposure systems were then used for both in vitro (laboratory) and in vivo (animal) studies. The in vitro studies used human blood and lymph tissue in test tubes and petri dishes that were exposed to EMR. These studies identified the micronuclei in human blood, for example, associated with cell phone near-field radiation. The in vivo studies used head only exposure systems and laboratory rats. These studies identified DNA damage and other genetic markers.
Says Dr. Carlo: "We also conducted four different epidemiological studies on groups of people who used cell phones, and we did clinical intervention studies. For example, studies of people with implanted cardiac pacemakers were instrumental in our making recommendations to prevent interference between cell phones and pacemakers. In all, we conducted more than fifty studies that were peer-reviewed and published in a number of medical and scientific journals."
Industry Seeks to Discredit Findings, Scientists
But manipulation by the industry had begun almost immediately at the start of research. While Dr. Carlo and his team had never defined their research as being done to prove the safety of cell phones, the industry internally defined it as an insurance policy to prove that phones were safe. From the outset, what was being said by the cell phone industry in public was different from what was being said by the scientists behind closed doors.
The pacemaker studies were a harbinger of bad things to come. Results showed that cell phones do indeed interfere with pacemakers, but moving the phone away from the pacemaker would correct the problem. Amazingly, the industry was extremely upset with the report, complaining that the researchers went off target. When Dr. Carlo and his colleagues published their findings in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997,11 the industry promptly cut off funding for the overall program. It took nine months for the FDA and the industry to agree on a scaled-down version of the program to continue going forward. Dr. Carlo had volunteered to step down, since he was clearly not seeing eye-to-eye with the industry, but his contract was extended instead, as no one wanted to look bad from a public relations standpoint.
The research continued, and what it uncovered would be a dire warning to cell phone users and the industry's worst nightmare. When the findings were ready for release in 1998, the scientists were suddenly confronted with another challenge: the industry wanted to take over public dissemination of the information, and it tried everything it could to do so. It was faced with disaster and had a lot to lose.
Fearing the industry would selectively release research results at best, or hold them back at worst, Dr. Carlo and his colleagues took the information public on their own, creating a highly visible war between the scientists and the industry. An ABC News expose on the subject increased the wrath of the industry.
According to Dr. Carlo, "The industry played dirty. It actually hired people to put negative things about me and the other scientists who found problems on the internet, while it tried to distance itself from the program. Auditors were brought in to say we misspent money, but none of that ever held up. They tried every angle possible."
This included discussions with Dr. Carlo's ex-wife to try to figure out ways to put pressure on him, he says. Threats to his career came from all directions, and Dr. Carlo learned from Congressional insiders that the word around Washington was that he was "unstable." But all the character assassination paled in comparison to what happened next.
Toward the end of 1998, Dr. Carlo's house mysteriously burned down. Public records show that authorities determined the cause of the blaze was arson, but the case was never solved. Dr. Carlo refuses to discuss the incident and will only confirm that it happened. By this time, enough was enough. Dr. Carlo soon went "underground," shunning the public eye and purposely making himself difficult to find.
Why Cell Phones are Dangerous
A cellular phone is basically a radio that sends signals on waves to a base station. The carrier signal generates two types of radiation fields: a near-field plume and a far-field plume. Living organisms, too, generate electromagnetic fields at the cellular, tissue, organ, and organism level; this is called the biofield. Both the near-field and far-field plumes from cell phones and in the environment can wreak havoc with the human biofield, and when the biofield is compromised in any way, says Dr. Carlo, so is metabolism and physiology.
"The near field plume is the one we're most concerned with. This plume that's generated within five or six inches of the center of a cell phone's antenna is determined by the amount of power necessary to carry the signal to the base station," he explains. "The more power there is, the farther the plume radiates the dangerous information-carrying radio waves."
A carrier wave oscillates at 1900 megahertz (MHz) in most phones, which is mostly invisible to our biological tissue and doesn't do damage. The information-carrying secondary wave necessary to interpret voice or data is the problem, says Dr. Carlo. That wave cycles in a hertz (Hz) range familiar to the body. Your heart, for example, beats at two cycles per second, or two Hz. Our bodies recognize the information-carrying wave as an "invader," setting in place protective biochemical reactions that alter physiology and cause biological problems that include intracellular free-radical buildup, leakage in the blood-brain barrier, genetic damage, disruption of intercellular communication, and an increase in the risk of tumors. The health dangers of recognizing the signal, therefore, aren't from direct damage, but rather are due to the biochemical responses in the cell.
Here's what happens:
With the background levels of information-carrying radio waves dramatically increasing because of the widespread use of cell phones,Wi-Fi, and other wireless communication, the effects from the near and far-fields are very similar. Overall, says Dr. Carlo, almost all of the acute and chronic symptoms seen in electrosensitive patients can be explained in some part by disrupted intercellular communication. These symptoms of electrosensitivity include inability to sleep, general malaise, and headaches. Could this explain the increase in recent years of conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, and anxiety disorder?
Dr. Carlo's Continuing Work
Stay Protected and Connected As Nature's Pantry Now Proudly Sells WAVEShield Products for $19.95
Today there are an estimated 3 billion cell phones in the world and in the U.S. cell phone use is growing exponentially especially among teens and children who are at the greatest risk. All this points to one fact: cell phones are BIG business. Even though the health risks from radiation are being reported and the evidence is mounting, the industry giants continue to claim their products are safe.
However, new evidence on mobile phone hazards is being uncovered. A recent study led by a renowned Australian neurosurgeon, Dr. Vini Khurana, strongly demonstrates that prolonged exposure to mobile phone radiation (EMR) will result in brain cancer and neighboring tissue damage. The researchers concluded:
“growing evidence that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long. “It is anticipated that this danger has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking,”
The WaveShield Solution
Mobile phones are convenient and frequently invaluable, yet exposure to their electromagnetic radiation is invisible. But with WaveShield you can use your cell phone and block 97% of the EMR from contacting the soft tissue of your ear. The WaveShield has been tested in FCC registered independent laboratories that found this amazing space-age material blocked nearly all of the EMR with no loss in the phone’s performance or reception.
How Does WaveShield Work?
The vast majority of electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular and cordless phones comes from the antenna and parts of the phone other than the ear piece. WaveShield products have no effect on this EMR, which eventually will dissipate into the air. The greatest potential danger from cell phone EMR is from the earpiece when held directly against the ear. But when the WaveShield is placed directly over the earpiece it will effectively block 97% of the EMR from entering the soft tissue of your inner ear, an area that has been the focus of researchers for a decade. WaveShield is easy to apply. Just remove the shield from the plastic packaging. Position the shield to center it over the ear piece. Gently press down and hold for 30 seconds.
Which Wave Shield is Right for Your Phone?
WaveShield for cellular phones is available in two models. The WaveShield “Slim” is for phones that have a “slit” as an earpiece. The WaveShield “Oval” is for phones that have a more conventional round or oval earpiece. WaveShield technology is also available for your cordless phone at home or in the office.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How Long will the WaveShield Protection Last ?
As E.M.R is blocked, the WaveShield will become discolored. For heavy cell phone use it is recommended that WaveShield be replaced every 12 months. Average life of the WaveShield is in excess of two years. This will vary depending on usage.
What is E.M.R.
E.M.R. refers to Electromagnetic Radio-frequency Radiation which is the potentially dangerous frequency emitted by cellular or mobile phones. High frequency ionizing forms of radiation exists as X-rays, Gamma rays and forms of nuclear radiation known to be hazardous . Non-ionizing radiation of lower frequency ionizing forms such as early cell phones were thought to be safe. That view has changed since cell phones and mobile phones have grown in strength from low-level radio waves to high-level microwaves. No scientific study has proven conclusively that the use of cellular phones is hazardous to human health, yet continued use of higher frequency phones could adversely affect the central nervous system, diminish the effectiveness of the immune system and facilitate the development of cancer according to scientific research. Perhaps this is why governments and health organizations worldwide are spending millions of dollars towards on-going research to determine the long term effects of exposure to E.M.R from cellular and mobile phones.
What Is S.A.R.?
S.A.R. or Specific Absorption Rate of Radiation is used to measure the amount of radiation that the human body absorbs from any source, including cellular phones. The F.C.C. (Federal Communications Commission) sets limits as to what they deemed were safe levels of radiation from cell phones. In the beginning when analog phones were 800-900 MHZ of power, most of the cell phones manufactured met these safe guidelines. However as manufacturers raised the power of their phones up to 1800-2000MHZ and analog was replaced by digital, the majority of the cell phones now exceed the safe levels set by the F.C.C. In fact the manufacturers continue to lobby to have the levels raised, so they may keep increasing the power of the phones. The highest S. A. R. in the body is in the ear, thus the concern about excessive cell phone use and the strength of the signal.
What's the difference between a Radio Wave & a Microwave?
Radio Waves are low levels of transmission power for signals to and from your phone. These non-ionizing frequencies of radiation are safe. However as signal strength grows from a few hundred MHZ of power to beyond 800 MHZ, the electro-magnetic spectrum increases and these waves become microwaves. For example, the older mobile house and office phones were a few hundred MHZ of radio waves but the farther you moved from the base, the weaker the signal became and you would lose the call or it would break up. Now mobile phones are 900MHZ to 2.4GIGS or more of power so you do not lose the calls as you travel from room to room or go outside, but your phone is now into Microwaves/infrared waves of radiating power.
Is it true radiation comes from the antenna?
Yes, as we explained in the S.A.R. question, there is a band of radiation around your head from the antenna half of which disappears into space. However the skull is hard and there are calcium deposits for some protection. The most vulnerable area for radiation is the soft tissue of the inner ear where most of the reports of tumors have been reported. And as we stated the highest incidence of S.A.R. in the body is in the ear. We have found no reports of tumors on the skull, chin, face or opposite side of the head, but mainly behind the ear where the phone is placed when receiving or transmitting a call.
What is meant by the term Near Field Radiation?
Near-field refers to that portion of the radiation coming off the antenna that goes directly into the inner ear when you place the phone against your ear to make or receive a call. This portion of the radiation is considered the most dangerous to the user for two reasons: 1) As stated, the highest incidence of radiation in the body is in the ear and 2) most of the reports of tumors have been reported just behind the ear, thus any product that could effectively block that portion of radiation from entering the inner ear would be a valuable health tool.
What about using hand-free kit to keep the handset away from my ear?
Hands-free kits are currently used for convenience, by law in some states while driving a vehicle and mostly by concerned cell phone users who want to keep the phone away from their head because of concern about radiation. However in studies and tests of many of the hands-free kits by scientists and consumer groups in Europe, they found that the wire from the ear piece acts as an aerial and actually increases the radiation by three times. Bluetooth headsets are equally dangerous as the signal from the phone carries radiation directly into the inner ear.
Is there definitive proof that cell phone are dangerous?
The jury is still out on the long term effects of cell phone use, while in the meantime governments worldwide and health organizations like the World Health Organization continue to allocate millions of dollars towards on going research to determine the effects of cell phone usage. These organizations along with others are documenting more reports of brain tumors and increased cases of litigation against cell phone manufacturers.
Are there other dangers from excessive cell phone use?
Many users report symptoms like hot phones, headaches, fatigue, tingling sensations and even memory loss. Of course some phones are hotter than others. In a study of teens under 16 years of age, scientists in Europe reported short-term memory loss (up to 50 minutes) after using a cell phone.
Should I be concerned about my child using a cell phone?
By all reports, you should be concerned especially for the younger adolescent child. Their brain tissues are still growing, their skull is half as thick as adults yet we see a growing use of cell phones worldwide by young teens.
What step can I take to reduce the potential risks of E.M.R.?
Yes, first use a phone with a long antenna pointed away from the head. Every inch is important. Unfortunately we see manufacturers making phones with short stub antennas or the antenna inside the phone because the phone has more design style. If you must use a phone in the car, use a speaker phone so there is no contact between you and the phone. Cut out non-essential calls to reduce time spent on the phone. In particular replacing your existing mobile phones at home with cellular free long distance plans is not a good idea. You may save money but in the long run not save your health. Most importantly, use WaveShield protection on all your cellular and cordless phones. There are other shielding devices on the market that claim to block radiation. Applying one of these items may reduce radiation, but remember, always ask for valid testing from a recognized FCC registered laboratory to back up the claims.
If shields are effective, why haven't manufacturers put them in their phones?
For years the cell phone manufacturers have told us radiation levels of phones were so low it was similar to a hairdryer. And in the meantime they have been raising the power of their phones to give you better reception, thus increasing the radiation levels. As well they have told you that shields do not work, yet recent news reports uncovered patents by the manufacturers indicating that they are planning on putting a shield inside their phones. We expect that the results of recent liability law suits against the cell phone makers may change the future manufacturing standards.
Some of the products we carry:
WaveShield 1000 and WaveShield 1000 Slim
The WaveShield 1000 and the WaveShield 1000 Slim features a soft comfort cushion design, about the size of a penny that adheres to the ear piece of any cellular phone and acts as a cellular protection system.
WaveShield 3000 for Cordless Phones
New for Cordless Phones 900 MHz or more!
This large WaveShield 3000 is used for cell phones or cordless phones. It's large diameter is need for lots of house phones and slightly larger cell phones. It's ability to stop cell phone radiation is just the same as all other models.
The vast majority of electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular and cordless phones comes from the antenna and parts of the phone other than the ear piece. Wave shield products have no effect on this electromagnetic energy. They may reduce the strength of electromagnetic-field emissions from cell phone ear pieces by as much as 50-97% depending on the cell phone model.
Protect Yourself Now!
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