“Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cell phone usage to brain cancer.” – Nick Naylor
This is a quote from, Thank You for Smoking. In the movie, Nick Naylor, fabulously played by Aaron Eckhart, is a smooth talking tobacco lobbyist for the Academy of Tobacco Studies. Nick can spin anything and almost had me wanting to buy a pack of smokes during certain parts of the movie.
In the end, big tobacco ends up settling for Billions and the Academy of Tobacco Studies is shut down. Next thing we know Nick is meeting with leaders of the cell phone industry. He says to them, repeat after me, “Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cell phone usage to brain cancer.”
Think the tactics of the cell phone industry are any different than those of the cigarette industry?
In 2010 the city of San Francisco passed a law requiring cell phone retailers to display the SAR (specific absorption rate) of cell phone radiation from each phone and to also provide information on the possible dangers of cellphone radiation and tips on minimizing exposure.
In response, the Cellular Telephone Industry Association (CTIA) threatened to stop holding conventions in San Francisco and urged Apple, Cisco, and other tech giants to do the same.
When the city of San Francisco would not back down the CTIA filed a lawsuit to block enforcement of this new law.
Threats, intimidation, misinformation, doubt…this is all straight out of the big tobacco playbook.
San Francisco decided to scale back their law and took out the requirement to show each phone model’s SAR but still required a general warning about cell phone radiation. Simple things like turning off your phone when not in use, limiting children’s phone use, and not keeping your phone close to your body.
The CTIA sued again and said that the law violated retailers’ freedom of speech.
What happened with the lawsuit? After 3 years of litigation the city of San Francisco settled with the CTIA and killed their law requiring warnings of cell phone radiation.
When there’s money involved, industry will fight tooth and nail to hang on to profits by creating doubt and uncertainty. We’ve seen this with tobacco, asbestos, lead, and PCBs to name a few.
Change Takes Time
We knew smoking was bad in the 1920s. Yes, doctors warned about smoking way back then and they were called crazy by the mainstream. Prominent figures like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison voiced concern. Though we had substantial scientific evidence in the 1950s it wasn’t until 1964 that the Surgeon General finally came out with their report on the harms of smoking.
But the tobacco companies were always a few steps ahead. They attacked weaknesses in the scientific studies creating confusion and doubt in the general public. They came up with healthier, filtered cigarettes. They spent millions on lobbying to influence public policy.
I remember being a young kid in the 1980s and it was very common for adults to be smoking in cars with the windows cracked and kids in the back. My high school had a smoking square where seniors could smoke (or juniors and sophomores if they were held back enough). So 20+ years after the Surgeon General’s warning they were still allowing smoking by those of age (16 at the time) at schools.
It wasn’t until the early 2000’s that we saw effective mitigation strategies and laws to protect the public against secondhand smoke and laws are still being added to this day though there are still a handful of states that allow smoking in restaurants. So it took 40 years or so after the Surgeon General’s warning to see real change in tobacco.
We had warnings of the dangers of PCBs going back to 1899 and restrictions were not put in place until the 1970s and 1980s. We knew that asbestos was harmful in the late 1800’s and it was not banned until 1989. We knew lead was harmful to health in the early 1900’s and it was not banned in paint until 1978 and in gas until 1990.
So you get the picture on how long it takes for mainstream acceptance and laws to protect against the harms of disgusting things like cigarettes and toxins like PCBs, lead, and asbestos.
How long will it take for something cool and useful like technology?
Overtaken By a New Ecosystem
Our lives have been transformed by technology. We are all connected to wireless networks by our phones, tablets, laptops, televisions, appliances, and now our apple watches. We use these devices 24/7 to make calls, write texts, reconnect with old friends/colleagues, take pictures, write emails, read news, play music, play games, listen to audiobooks and programs, and watch movies and tv.
The wireless industry tells us not to worry. Anyone that tells you your mobile phone or wifi can hurt you is a Luddite. They are living in the past and are probably a little crazy. They have their response straight out of the big tobacco playbook and they use it.
“Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cell phone usage to brain cancer.”
Even the iPhone manual says to keep the phone at least ⅝ of an inch from your body. How often do you do this? How often do you see young kids with phones up against their heads? How often are these your own children? How often do you store your phone in your pocket or bra strap?
If cell phones are so safe, why is Apple telling us not to have them directly against our bodies? And how many of you have read this? It’s buried away in the fine print that rarely gets read. Shouldn’t this be on the phone itself like it is on a package of cigarettes?
Interestingly enough, the models used to come up with these standards are based on SAM (standard anthropomorphic man) a person that is 6’2” tall and 200 pounds with an 11 pound head. I don’t know about your group of friends but SAM is anything but standard. I think I know maybe 2 people that size. So what if I’m smaller than that (which I personally am)? Then what is the safe distance for me? What is the safe distance for a small child?
Your phone is a bi-directional microwave radio, meaning it sends and receives signals using microwaves. It does this continuously when it’s turned on. The same microwaves that when concentrated can cook your food. Microwave radiation at low doses over long periods of time has been linked to a variety of biological impacts and damage.
Sadly not enough doctors and scientists are connecting the dots. Most believe that non-ionizing radiation has no effect on DNA.
Luckily there are a few who get it.
Cancer researcher, Dr. Devra Davis is one of them.
She has worked at the National Academy of Sciences, the cancer institute, was professor of epidemiology at the university of Pittsburgh, and was appointed to the Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board from 1994 – 1999 by President Clinton. She now heads up the Environment Health Trust and has made it her mission to educate people on the harms and dangers of wireless radiation.
Dr. Martin Blank makes a compelling case in his book Overpowered. He’s studied the health related effects of electromagnetic fields for more than 30 years. His work shows the deleterious biological impact of low, non-thermal levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, such as that from cell phones and wifi. His book is loaded with hundreds of cites supporting his case.
And here’s the latest from Dr. Anthony B. Miller – “The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored,” Dr. Miller just made this statement at a July 31, 2017 lecture in Jackson Hole, Wyoming sponsored by the Environmental Health Trust where international experts presented the best available science on cell phone and wireless radiation.
Yet industry and regulatory agencies claim no direct evidence.
Misinformation & Doubt
This is a very confusing topic. Lots of research has been done and some of the research is pretty inconclusive. The research is often this way by design. The wireless industry wants to keep you confused so you keep using their products.
Take the often cited Interphone Study. There’s a slight conflict of interest in the study since 29% of it was funded by the wireless industry. The other problem with this study is that a lot of the research doesn’t look at those with high cell phone usage. That’s like doing a study on obesity looking a people that are slightly overweight. The interesting thing is that the parts of the study that did look at high cell phone users found a doubling and up to a quadrupling of tumors.
I also find it curious that it took 5 years to release the study after it was complete. Not because the science wasn’t clear. But due to the intense politics that took place between the members of the team, some of whom were from….the mobile industry.
The conclusion of the study? Overall, no increase in risk of glioma or meningioma was observed with use of mobile phones. However taking a look at some of the actual findings in Appendix 2 showed there was a significant increase in brain cancer in those with high mobile phone usage.
The Problem with Funded Research
One of the challenges of being a research scientist is that you need someone to pony up the money for you to do your research. Lots of scientist get their funding from industry and if industry doesn’t like the results of a study, that study often never sees the light of day. If a scientist pushes to get their findings published they will most likely find they have no future funding and it’s hard to build a career as a scientist without published research and a paycheck.
Just ask Dr. Henry Lai. He was one of the first scientist to report that cell phone radiation damages DNA. When Dr. Lai reported this that was the last he saw of his funding and there was suddenly a full-scale effort to discredit his work. How convenient for the wireless industry.
Or Dr. Om Gandhi, former cellphone industry researcher, who reported that, children absorb considerably more cell phone radiation than the 6’2”, 200 pound model SAM, and his work with the Defense and Electronic industry came to an end. These finding should have been front page news on every major newspaper but very few of us are even aware of this.
Dr. Gandhi reported that cellphone radiation that hits an adult brain with 72 mW/kg (milliwatts per kilogram of brain tissue) of microwave radiation, hits a 10 year old’s brain with 150 mW/kg and a 5 year old’s brain with 240 mW/kg of microwave radiation.
This research was replicated by the French cellphone industry and they actually did something about it. The French, along with several other nations have issued advisories limiting the use of cell phones by children.
Part of the reason for this is because children’s brains do not have myelin, which is a protective nerve sheath around the brain. Human brains do not become fully myelinated until around 25 years of age. This is not good news because most teens and young adults are on their phones 24/7 and many sleep with them right next to their heads.
Then there is Dr. Franz Adlkofer. Dr. Adlkofer was formerly chief of tobacco research of the German Tobacco Industry (VdC) and for 20 years tried to discredit that cigarette smoking is harmful. His work greatly influenced European policy on major health hazards such as second hand smoke.
Thinking they had their man the European Union gave Adlkofer €3.2M to test the hypothesis that cell phones are safe. Well imagine the shock of the wireless industry when this former Big Tobacco insider reports the results of his studies showing that cell phone radiation does cause genetic damage.
Maybe he had a real life Grinch moment and realized his heart was too small. I don’t know but this is a major turn for one who fought on the same side as Big Tobacco.
Adlkofer’s research showed that the genetic damage caused by cell phones is 10 times more likely with, at that time, new 3G phones. We’re now on 4G phones and getting ready to roll out 5G networks in the U.S. How much more harmful will these be?
And guess what, a few months after his work came out he was accused of fabricating his results. Adlkofer has stated that the mobile phone industry is employing the same tactics used by the cigarette industry.
Worse Than Smoking?
I think so. Smoking is down to about 18% of the population in the US. There are more cell phones in the US than people. Roughly nine in ten Americans own cell phones and nearly two-thirds own smartphones so we have a much larger percent of the population using cellphones.
Not to mention all the other devices that I listed earlier. You can smell cigarette smoke. You can’t see or smell and most of us can’t feel radiation from wireless devices so we don’t even need to be using one to be affected. It’s literally everywhere and growing daily.
And cell phone use has dramatically increased. Go back 15 years and they weren’t used nearly as much. I mean the iPhone didn’t come out until June, 2007. I was one of the first of my friends to get one. After getting the Kindle app for my phone I proclaimed I will never buy a physical book again.
I used to be called an early adopter by my friends. I still am but in a different sense.
Well I’m back to buying physical books and I try to keep as much distance between me and my iPhone as possible.
And before you tell me I’m crazy and that you and your kids are fine, realize that most cancers have a latency period of over 10 years and brain tumors are believed to take up to 25 years to form.
Well guess what else? It turns out brain tumors are the most common cancer among those ages 0-14 and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this same age group so I guess brain tumors are showing up a little sooner than expected.
We’ve Gone Wireless
A little while back I attended a Demo Day event at Cornell University hosted by a startup incubator group. It was a very cool event and I met a lot of smart people and saw some very innovative pitches for new products. I saw 8 pitches in all and 7 of the 8 used wireless technology. The one that did not was a charger for wireless devices.
This is not a US problem. It’s a global problem. There are more than 4.5B mobile phone subscriptions worldwide. 2.5 billion of these are smartphones that are continually receiving and sending electromagnetic signals.
Interestingly the human body sends and receives electromagnetic signals through a massive network of collagen, nerve and muscle tissue. Humans and all life on this planet evolved for billions of years without any man made EMFs.
When your body senses man made EMFs, cellular communication is disrupted. Humans have massive amounts of mitochondria in their brain and heart and we now know that our mitochondria produce magnetic fields so our brain and heart are impacted by these electromagnetic fields.
Most have no idea that this is true. We now have the technology to measure the magnetic field of the human heart up to 22 feet away. These magnetic fields always existed…we just didn’t know it until we could measure it. What else don’t we know about human biology that we have yet to develop the ability to measure?
It’s not the occasional exposure that does you in. It’s your daily exposure added up decade, after decade, after decade. I mentioned earlier that the iPhone didn’t come along until 2007. So for me, I didn’t really chronically use my phone until I was 37. What’s going to happen to kids born today that grow up with smartphones and all these other wireless devices?
And it grows everyday. First with cell phones, now wifi is everywhere, now we have more apps with bigger data demands. So we go from 1G to 2G to 3G to 4G and on our way to 5G. Add in smart meters and new appliances that communicate with your smart meter.
All of this is additive. A new network does not replace the old. It adds to it. We are filling up the environment with more and more electromagnetic frequencies that never existed. People are screaming about global warming and too much CO2 in the atmosphere. Plants and trees eat that shit for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Where does all the newly made electromagnetic radiation go and what gets rid of that? How does it interact with the radiation that has existed on this earth for 4.5 billion years? I’m talking about the sun…that more people are afraid of than their cell phone, smart meter, and brand new washing machine that’s wirelessly connected to the grid and every time you use it your usage data is being sold to Tide so they know the best time to market their newest “green” laundry detergent to you that’s probably loaded with toxic chemicals yet to be identified by the EWG.
Along with the mobile industry, utility companies and appliance makers are manufacturing meters and appliances that emit wireless radiation and they have no idea how this radiation interacts with life on earth. Where does it end?
Like it or not we are all part of a massive science experiment and there’s nothing you can do about it short of moving deep into the wilderness and living off the land.
But I Have Hope
Don’t get me wrong. I love technology. I’m not suggesting we get rid of it…at least not all of it. Technology is the cornerstone of the economy and it isn’t going away. Just like we innovated our way into this mess I believe we can innovate our way out. It’s going to take some time and I have no clue when it will happen.
There are a lot of brilliant entrepreneurs in technology. Slowly, more of them will get the message. It will probably be a rude awakening like it was for Steve Jobs. Someone will get really sick or lose a family member, make the connection, and they will innovate a solution. It will do well and others will do the same. It’s being done now in small pockets.
There is a whole untapped market for SAFE technology. We just need more tech entrepreneurs to step up to the plate.
Back to Steve Jobs for a minute. He didn’t want his kids playing with iPhones and iPads. When the comment was made to him that his kids must love the iPad in a New York Times interview, Steve Jobs said, “They haven’t used it. We limit how much technology our kids use at home.”
Chris Anderson, former editor of Wired, also believes in setting strict time limits and parental controls on every device at home. – “My kids accuse me and my wife of being fascists. They say that none of their friends have the same rules. That’s because we have seen the dangers of technology first hand. I’ve seen it in myself, I don’t want to see that happen to my kids.”
The author of this article has heard the same thing from other chief executives of other big tech firms.
In the Meantime Know the Risks & Observe
Do some research other than reading studies funded by the wireless industry or listening to your friend in IT.
Ask yourself if you know a lot of people getting sick at a young age. Ask an elderly person how many elderly people they knew as a kid that got Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia or how many obese people they knew.
Do you find yourself attending more funerals of people dying at younger ages?
In the past 4 years I’ve attended 4 funerals for people in their 50s that died of illness, mostly cancer. I have a handful of facebook friends that have recently died before their time and I don’t know if I should defriend them or keep them to have the memory of them. This is all really weird to me.
Some people seem to think this is normal. Do you?
And it’s not just too much sugar and junk food. There’s something else going on here.
Blackberries (RIP) used to warn to keep them at least 7 inches away if you had a pacemaker. Well guess what? Your heart is a pacemaker. I remember always giving my boss a hard time about keeping his phone in the pocket of his dress shirt. He usually laughed me away. I hope he starts to heed that warning at some point. Many people will not.
With the proliferation of cell phone towers and wireless devices some claim we are exposed to radiation that is 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 (10 to the 18) stronger than what life on this earth evolved to.
Swedish neurosurgeon, Dr. Leif Salford, has been studying the effects of microwave radiation since 1988 and has called the use of cell phones by human beings, “the largest biological experiment ever,” and he calls the potential implications of his laboratory results, “terrifying.”
Lloyd’s of London and Swiss Re now exclude liability coverage for RF/EMF claims. This means mobile phone companies will be on the hook when more and more people get sick and start suing for damages. Might be a good idea to dump your telecom stocks at some point.
From a 2013 Swiss Re report on risk: “The ubiquity of electromagnetic fields (EMF) raises concerns about potential implications for human health, in particular with regard to the use of mobile phones, power lines or antennas for broadcasting. Over the last decade, the spread of wireless devices has accelerated enormously. The convergence of mobile phones with computer technology has led to the proliferation of new and emerging technologies. This development has increased exposure to electromagnetic fields, the health impacts of which remain unknown.”
Read that last part again. Health impacts of which remain unknown. Most people seem to be cool with the unknown even when it’s pointing to brain tumors, cancers, obesity, and neurodegeneration. Are you willing to take this risk for your or your children?
Effect on Children & Babies
Dr. Lennart Hardell reported that children who begin using cell phones before the age of 20 have a 520% elevated risk of developing glioma and this can happen after just a year of use. This compares with a 140% elevated risk across all ages.
In 2014 a group of U.S. physicians including Hugh Taylor, M.D, Chief of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale Medical School, developed the BabySafe Project. Here he talks about protecting unborn babies from wireless radiation.
When I post stuff like this on social media it’s met with the sound of crickets. I’m not trying to be a dick I swear. I just want people to wake up. Small children having to go through chemo is a really fucked up thing. I’ve seen it with kids of friends of mine on facebook. It breaks my heart. I can’t imagine this happening to my son. I don’t want it happening to anyone else’s kid.
Distance is Your Friend
RF exposure drops off exponentially with distance. Don’t place your wireless router in close proximity to where you work or sleep or your kids play. Same with your mobile phone and home wireless phone or anything else emitting electromagnetic radiation.
If you need to let your kid play with your phone then please put it in airplane mode.
The US Thinks They’re Ahead but They’re Really Behind
Even if you limit your child’s exposure at home, many schools now have wifi throughout and have a BYOD (bring your own device policy) exposing children to high levels of RF radiation throughout the school day.
France has made a move and passed a law banning wifi from daycare, nurseries, and kindergarten. In Belgium it is against the law for children under 7 to have a cell phone.
The Korean government has issued warnings against digital dementia which has been diagnosed in increasing numbers of children.
The Israeli government advises using wired networks over wireless whenever possible. (I took that advice some years ago and have a wired network in my home with a wireless option when I need it.)
Some schools in Australia have added an on/off switch to wifi routers and just turn them off when not in use.
When will this happen in America? Not until the citizens stand up and demand it. I urge you to get involved if you feel these things are affecting the health of you and your family.
The Government Won’t Save You
Industry has too much influence on policy here in the US of A.
The FCC has auctioned off nearly $50B of the electromagnetic spectrum to wireless companies.
The last review for RF limits was in 1996, long before wifi and most of us had mobile phones that didn’t cost us a dollar a minute to use. And this was based on radiation limits from research from the 1980s. These limits do not take into account the massive increase in RF radiation from all the new sources nor do they take into account the new research that shows just how dangerous all this RF radiation is.
These limits are based on testing using one device in isolation. If you live in a city you are surrounded by people with multiple devices, wifi, cell towers, smart meters, smart appliances, and other sources of radiation being developed all the time.
What are the long term effects here?
I could go on and on but hopefully you get the point.
If you want to learn more about this, a few really smart people I know put a site together called EMF Warriors. There’s a lot of research and articles on things that you can do to protect you and your family.
And if you want to support a movement that is gaining momentum then checkout InPower. They are holding business leaders and elected officials accountable for the negative health impacts from Smart Meters. You can see their early progress HERE.
Do your research. Observe. Ask questions. When someone says, No Direct Evidence to you, think of others that love using that phrase. Learn what you can do to limit your exposure and reconnect with nature as best you can.
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