Precaution or Paranoia? Berkeley Council to Require Cancer Warnings for Cell Phones

By Sabin Russell

Update: The Berkeley City Council on May 12 unanimously voted to make Berkeley the nation’s first city with a “Right to Know” law about health risks associated with radio frequency radiation from cell phones. Under the ordinance, which would take effect in July, retailers must give consumers printed warnings including: “If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation.”  CTIA—The Wireless Association, representing the cell phone industry, has vowed to go to court to block the ordinance, calling the warnings “misleading and alarmist.”

Just as the world supply of mobile phones is reaching one unit for every human being on Earth, here comes Berkeley, with a warning: These things could be hazardous to your health.

Under a proposed city ordinance, every new mobile phone sold in town would carry a sticker advising that the World Health Organization has deemed transmissions from cell phones a “possible” cause of brain cancer. Berkeley could become the first city in the United States to require such a warning, but the ordinance will likely face a formidable legal challenge.

When the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) listed radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” three years ago, it staked out some middle ground in a complex and bitter controversy spanning three decades. On one side are some politically active epidemiologists, doctors and researchers, who are convinced that cell phone signals can cause cancer and other health problems. On the opposite side are the wireless industry and a sizeable portion of the scientific community, led by physicists, saying this is nonsense.

Evidence of risk is conflicting and thin, according to the IARC’s 30-member panel of experts, but they determined in May 2011 that the link to malignant brain tumors could not be ruled out. In fact, their decision was almost unanimous. As panel members explain, the listing as a Group 2B “possible” carcinogen recognizes that “there is some, albeit uncertain evidence of risk.” In the hierarchy of harm, it is placed one step short of “probable,” and two steps short of Group 1, the domain of “known human carcinogens” like tobacco, asbestos, and X-rays.

Stakes in this argument are extraordinarily high. Cell phones are radio transmitters that are not only ubiquitous, they are close at hand: We press them against our ears. We store them in our pants pockets. Women slip them into their bras. Teens sleep with them under their pillows. With the adult market nearly saturated, the big growth opportunity for mobile devices is children.

A key adviser to ordinance backers is Joel Moskowitz, a center director in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health and a veteran of the tobacco wars, who was at first skeptical that cell phones could be dangerous, but now believes it is highly likely.  “None of us say we need to ban this technology,’’ he explains. “I have a cell phone on my desk. But we are arguing for safer use.”

The move inevitably will draw the city into a tangle with CTIA–The Wireless Association, the Washington DC lobby and trade group for the industry, which in the United States is valued at $195 billion. When San Francisco tried a similar law in 2010, the CTIA sued in federal court and won. The court blocked the labeling requirement on First Amendment grounds, ruling that the ordinance would compel retailers to display information that was controversial, given that the health issues were being debated among scientists, while the equipment met Federal Communications Commission guidelines.

“In our so­ci­ety, the pre­cau­tion­ary prin­ciple does not res­on­ate well. We want to see a body count first.”

The ruling against San Francisco drew the attention of Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig. A constitutional law scholar and an expert on the influence of money on politics, he has offered to craft the Berkeley ordinance, and defend it in court, pro bono. “This ordinance is a legitimate use of Berkeley’s regulatory authority,” says Lessig.  “I have long been troubled by the growing practice of industry using the First Amendment to stifle legitimate sovereign power. For local or small state governments, the threat of paying legal fees is often enough to get the government to cower.”

 The CTIA’s position on cell phones and health is clear in written testimony to the Federal Communications Commission, which is currently reassessing its 18-year old-radio frequency exposure limits: “The (FCC), federal health and safety agencies, and international standards-setting bodies agree that cell phone use is not associated with adverse health effects.”  It is noteworthy that the Chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler—appointed by President Obama in November—is a former President and Chief Executive of CTIA. In 2003, he was inducted into the Wireless Hall of Fame.

The CTIA statement builds a case that the “scientific consensus” is firmly in their camp. In fact, the two-word term appears 28 times in their filing. They quote numerous federal agencies asserting a lack of evidence that cell phone radiation can cause harm. Among them is the FCC itself, the FDA, and most notably, the National Cancer Institute, which states on its web site that “there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer.”

Moskowitz dismisses the endorsements. “Industry and government agencies seem to be in denial, and have been in that frame of mind for decades,’’ he says.

Harder to dismiss are two simple charts. One plots the growth of cell phone subscriptions in the U.S. from 1985 to 2011. The second plots the incidence of brain and nervous system cancer since 1975. Cell phone use skyrockets, while the cancer rate remains flat. If cell phones caused brain tumors, the industry and its supporters argue, the line on the incidence chart should be rising as well.

However, it may be simply too early to tell, because brain cancers have a long latency period; and those concerned contend that to wait for conclusive proof from cancer cases is to wait too long.

UC San Francisco professor of medicine Stanton Glantz, one of the nation’s leading experts on tobacco control and the health hazards of second-hand smoke, says that the science on the potential harm from cell phone radiation is far from settled. “I think cell phones are about where cigarettes were in 1955,’’ he says. “There is more than enough evidence to be worried.”

The reason most cell phone health studies are done in Europe, according to Moskowitz, is because there is little funding for it in the United States. Europeans, he adds, put the onus on industry to prove a technology is safe, whereas “in our society, the precautionary principle does not resonate well. We want to see a body count first.”

Lacking such definitive proof, laymen and scientists alike are left with imperfect tools, and much of the debate involves the teasing out of trends from a large body of complex and contradictory findings.

More than 900 studies were evaluated by the IARC panel. In the end, much of their analysis came down to two European studies that had been, and continue to be, the focus of the debate. Both are large “case-control” studies where brain tumor patients are interviewed about their usage of cell phones, and their responses are compared to those of a similar people, drawn from the general public, whose health status as well as phone habits are not known at the start. Case-control studies are difficult to design, are vulnerable to bias, and can be subject to widely different interpretations.

Of the two, Moskowitz favors the ongoing case studies of Swedish oncologist Lennart Hardell, who receives no industry funding, and notably includes cordless landline phones in his analyses. His work shows a clear relationship between wireless phone use and increased risk of malignant gliomas as well as of acoustic neuromas, a benign but potentially disabling brain tumor near the ear. In January, the Hardell group published data showing that the link to brain cancer has only strengthened since his studies were evaluated by IARC. The latest findings reaffirmed a 70 percent higher risk of malignant brain tumors among all who had used cordless and/or cell phones for a year or more, and further showed a doubling of risk among the subgroup reporting such use for 20 to 25 years, and a tripling of risk for those reporting more than 25 years.

Industry favors the results of the IARC’s own INTERPHONE project, a larger survey that combined studies from 13 European nations and was funded by government agencies and wireless industry groups. The results published in 2010 found no overall link between cell phone use and brain tumors—in fact it showed a slight decrease in tumor risk. However, the same study did flag, among a subgroup of those with the heaviest cell phone use, a 40 percent increase in risk, which rose to 80 percent with a statistical adjustment to correct for selection bias caused by the method used to recruit the control group. Although that subgroup analysis was deemed inconclusive by the authors, it weighed heavily in the deliberations of the WHO panel, which ultimately issued its cautionary findings.

“People with fringe ideas rarely re­cant, wheth­er their be­lief in­volves cold fu­sion, ali­en ab­duc­tions or ESP.”

The epidemiological hints that cell phones might cause cancer would gain credence if scientists could demonstrate a plausible mechanism by which radiofrequency radiation can damage genes. Unlike ionizing radiation from X-rays, cell phone radiation cannot directly break DNA. “Microwave radiation from cell phones cannot cause cancer by any mechanism, known or unknown,” writes physicist Bernard Leikind. “The brain receives only a tiny amount of energy from a cell phone compared to that generated by normal activity such as working out…Cell phones cannot damage living tissue or cause cancer.”  Researchers nonetheless are exploring possible “non-thermal” effects that could indirectly cause damage, including production of chemically reactive free radicals, thought to play a role in aging.

According to the American Cancer Society, limited animal studies of cell phones and cancer risk have shown no evidence of tumor promotion. More definitive answers await results from the National Toxicology Program, a research arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which is conducting large-scale tests of whether cell phone radiation can cause health problems in rats and mice exposed over a two year period, and tracked from birth to old age.

The health concerns are not limited to cancer, and include reproductive toxicity. This year, a British survey of ten different studies of the effect of cell phones exposure on human sperm found an overall 9 percent reduction in viability and an 8 percent reduction in motility, or the ability to swim forward. A recent study of rabbits exposed to simulated cell phone radiation showed damage to the epididymis, a tube traveled by sperm from the testes.

Those who are certain that cell phone radiation has no biological effects might want to consider an experiment conducted in 2012 at Yale Medical School. Dr. Hugh Taylor placed pregnant mice in cages, half with commercial cell phones transmitting (but silenced), and half with identical phones turned off. While the number of baby mice was the same, and they grew up to be perfectly fertile, the behaviors of the cell-phone-exposed progeny were strikingly different. Using a battery of well-established tests, Taylor found that the mice exposed in utero were hyperactive, had impaired memory, and less anxiety — traits that in humans are associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The results were dose dependent: The longer the exposure, the more striking the traits. Taylor, who is chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale-New Haven Hospital, set up the behavior experiment after a Danish study in 2008 found an association between prenatal and postnatal cell phone use and behavior problems in children.

In Taylor’s study, tests of brain tissue from young mice in the exposed group showed evidence of impaired transmission of the chemical glutamate among nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex, a region controlling cognition and emotion—suggesting changes in neuronal circuitry may have occurred.

He cautions that conclusions can’t be drawn from a single study, and humans are not mice; yet still he considers the findings provocative. “My bias,” says Taylor, “is that pregnancy, when development is occurring, is one of the most vulnerable times in human existence. If you make a mistake then, it can be permanently patterned.”

If the scientific consensus, as underscored by the CTIA, is that cell phones cannot cause health problems, are those who continue to raise a red flag about this no better than climate science deniers, who see global warming as a hoax? In so many words, science journalists have been warned to steer clear of this topic. Last month, the press watchdog Knight Science Journalism Tracker at MIT called out New York Times science writer Kenneth Chang for recently revisiting SUNY-Albany environmental scientist David O. Carpenter, “who hasn’t changed his mind” about health effects of electromagnetic fields in 25 years. “People with fringe ideas rarely recant, whether their belief involves cold fusion, alien abductions or ESP,” wrote KSJ Tracker’s Faye Flam.

Despite the weakness of epidemiological data, the lack of known mechanisms by which radiofrequency radiation could cause harm, and strident criticism from very smart people, the cell phone health issue just refuses to go away. Nor have reports of potential problems, such as a French study, published in May, showing a near tripling of malignant brain cancer risk among heavy users of cell phones. Berkeley’s proposed ordinance, sponsored by Councilmembers Maxwell Anderson and Kriss Worthington, will keep the topic in the headlines, perhaps plant a seed of doubt, and remind folks again that there are ways to keep mobile phone use at a distance. Cell-phone makers in their fine print do advise keeping these devices about a half-inch away from your body, although there is no mention of it in an industry-written parents’ guide to cell phone safety.

And meanwhile, let’s face it: We just love these little appliances. They are changing the way we live. If they are changing the way we die, we’ll find out, eventually.

Share this article:
Google+ Reddit


What is the source of the chart showing that cancer rates have remained flat? It is doubtful that the various cancer societies are keeping track of the number of brain tumors for example. If one takes the evidence from neurologists and oncologists, the scenario is quite different. For example Dr. Charles Teo, neurologist in Australia, advises that the number of children with brain tumours is increasing dramatically. Who is tracking cancers? I do not trust the Cancer Society to do it. With its appalling history of supporting industry, I wouldn’t trust their numbers even if they said they were.
“Sizeable portion of the scientific community” is meaningless unless you start digging into who is funding the research. Dr. Henry Lai found that industry funded research produced conclusions showing harm from RFR in 30% of studies. Non-industry funded research showed an opposite trend - harm from RFR in 70% of studies.
According to the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Brain tumors are the third leading cause of cancer death in young adults ages 20-39. - Research published by Dr. Lennart Hardell indicates that brain tumor risk increases with more years of cell phone use. Proving the effects of cell phone radiation are cumulative with more hours of use; children today will have a much greater over-all exposure over their lifetime.
The NCI published a paper in 2010 which reported increased brain tumor incidence among young adults in the US. The authors argued that the increase occurred too early to be attributable to cell phone use and in the wrong part of the brain (frontal lobe). They failed to consider widespread adoption f cordless phones which occurred before cell phones. * Increased brain cancer incidence has also been observed in Norway and Finland and increased glioblastoma in Denmark. Israel has reported increased incidence of parotid gland tumors among young adults. *(Hardell found that cordless phone use should not be ignored as it was also associated with increased brain cancer risk in his case-control research. Unfortunately, the Interphone investigators ignored Hardell’s methodologic advice when they planned their 13-nation study.)
Did you know … that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued precautionary warnings about cell phone use … that 98 experts signed declarations submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) calling for precaution in using cell phones and other wireless devices … that the US Dept of the Interior sent a letter to the Dept of Commerce raising concerns that cell tower radiation is harming protected migratory birds and other species … or that the Cities of Boston and Philadelphia have accused the FCC and Federal health agencies of a “pass the buck attitude” due to the Federal government’s negligence in investigating the health effects of wireless radiation? If you want to learn more about research and policy developments regarding wireless radiation including cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters, and baby monitors, see my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety web site at
Anyone else reminded of the anti-vaccine nonsense? Yeah, me too. All we need now is a couple of celebrity activists with no knowledge of what they are talking about, and we’ll be good to go
Thank you Joel for all of your hard work! I hope that your efforts become contagious World-Wide. Of special note is your mention of the Dept. of The Interior letter to the FCC. This is HUGE!!! It is the first Federal Level open admission to dangers of RF microwave “RADIATION”. We have that covered in-depth at Boilthefrogslowly: Was sad to see that you keep a cell phone on your desk! My EHS is so severe - had to get rid of mine a couple years ago & I can no longer stand to be near other people’s phones (especially when they are fiddling on them - even texting). Get rid of that stupid thing - we need to keep you healthy my friend!!! Of all people, you should know that the pulse modulated microwave radiation coming from that phone & WiFi is doing you harm. You know all about Dr. Martin Blank’s research & the immediate metabolic cellular stress response wireless radiation exposure causes! Anyways, keep up the great work & we will do our best to spread the word.
Zada et al (2012) examined trends in brain cancer incidence in the U.S. from 1992 to 2006. The data was derived from three population-based cancer registries: the National Cancer Institute’s SEER program which collects cancer data from nine states, the California Cancer Registry, and the Los Angeles Cancer Surveillance Program. Glioma is a tumor that develops in the glial cells which support the neurons in the brain. The disease accounts for 80% of all brain cancers. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and most aggressive form of glioma. With state-of-the-art treatment the median survival time for a patient with GBM is 15 months but less than 5 months if untreated. Although across all three cancer registries, the study reported that the average age-adjusted incidence rates for all gliomas decreased from 0.5% to 0.8% annually, glioma incidence increased in the frontal lobes 1.4% to 1.7% annually and in the temporal lobes 0.5% to 0.9% annually from 1992 to 2006. The average age-adjusted incidence rates for GBM increased in the frontal lobes 2.4% to 3.0% annually and in the temporal lobes 1.3% to 2.3% annually. The authors concluded, “Although these results may represent an effect of diagnostic bias or refinements in anatomical subsite coding, an environmental cause of the increases of high grade frontal and temporal lobe malignancies cannot be ruled out. Further studies are indicated to establish whether a correlation with environmental factors exists.” (p. 524) The graphs for overall glioma incidence by anatomical location by year appear in Figure 1 and GBM incidence in Figure 2. Although there is annual variability, it appears to me that the upward trend in frontal and temporal lobe glioma and GBM incidence increased around 2001-2002. This is consistent with the increasing use of cordless phones as well as cell phones by the population. Hardell’s case-control research on mobile phone use and brain cancer suggests that cordless phone use may be as harmful as cell phone use, and that tumors are more likely to occur in the frontal and temporal lobes than in other parts of the brain. Zada G, Bond AE, Wang YP, Giannotta SL, Deapen D. Incidence trends in the anatomic location of primary malignant brain tumors in the United States: 1992-2006. World Neurosurg. 2012 Mar-Apr;77(3-4):518-24. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2011.05.051. Epub 2011 Nov 7.
A Grade 4 Glio was found in my RT temporal lobe, adjacent to where my cell phone rested. I’m right handed. My professional occupation is one of the heavy users, and I was even more mobile than most. Even after my gross total re-section, Temodar, IMRT, I can still remember how that phone got so hot in my hand. If a grade 4 Glio in the Rt Temp Lobe of a Rt handed heavy cell phone user were all independent events, then the probability of coincidence is too remote to be easily accepted. Add any growing number of patients who also share an identical history; I am asking how many times can lightning strike at the same place before accepting that a random explanation is not remotely probable? Add billions of CITA dollars with a phone exec’s memo claiming to be “War-Gaming” the science, cell phones and brain tumors may have a growing probability of association. If some people have more sensitive genetics, it’s the “egg-shell skull” rule. Since the Glio. I am afraid of my cell phone. Note, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an EMORY neuro-surgeon writes he will only will use an ear-piece with a cell phone. It is his way of making a statement. I believe my heavy cell phone use hurt me badly. I won’t let this happen to my children. Now they know better. Good for the City. Make your rule and fight CITA for me.
GBMPATIENTSTILLALIVE Did you see anything in the infamous “War-Gaming” memo that indicated a cover-up? I read it and found nothing sinister. It’s a conversation that disputes Lai’s findings, and “War-Gaming” from its context means that they have analyzed their responses. The author is stunned because Lai’s findings run contrary to scientific consensus. Nothing in the memo suggests a conspiracy where Lai has discovered something that the author has been trying to suppress. I challenge you to find a smoking gun in that letter. The “War-gaming” letter has provided a lot of rhetoric for the anti-science and anti-wireless brigade but any objective reading of the letter dissipates the hyperbole. I wish you well in your battle with Glioma.
I’ll tell you what I know. You, along with Dr. Devra Davis, have been seeking to soak industry and consumers for $1 per year per cellular device, which would yield $300 million annually from the US market alone (Davis wants the EU market as well). That’s quite a bit of money — who is going to administer it? I’m not interested in having my money going to the so-called “independent” scientists. I’m not so sure they are really independent. Dr. Taylor was funded by EHHI, and activist organization. When and activist organization funds and experiment do you believe that there is no bias? I’m hard-pressed to accept that the funding organization is dispassionate about results that show no effect. So you see I’m skeptical about your $1 / year tax on my cell phones. I’m also a bit concerned about your qualifications (Psychologist) and dismissal of the “endorsements” above, which are supplemented by the American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic and Sloan Kettering among others. These organizations have credibility and their scientists are overwhelmingly more qualified that you and Davis (a PhD in what looks like Philosophy). I don’t mind your rhetoric, but do keep your hands off my wallet.
Mr. Biron: How charming that you would attempt to intimidate and denigrate a person who knows first hand the damage that cellular phone use can have on human health. I can only assume you are an industry shill, or a completely dehumanized excuse for a human being. I don’t agree with the Devra Davis proposal either. My position is that ALL WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY SHOULD BE BANNED, period. You see: Every cellular phone subscription is aiding and abetting manslaughter and genocide on a planet wide basis. There are actual scientific studies in support of this notion… Perhaps you should read them? Scientifically challenged persons like yourself, should be arrested for committing a terrorist act, and imprisoned for the remainder of their days. Devra Davis is a pussycat compared to how I would have you pay the price… Also: You are seriously mistaken to suggest that the American Cancer Society, Mayo Clinic, and/or Sloan Kettering, have any validity as humanitarian organizations whatsoever. These are for profit corporations that have no intention of fulfilling any of their stated missions or goals. They collect money for continuing research, whilst they withhold medical information pertaining to public health. Many current and former employees hold patent rights on procedures and devices that are NOT OFFERED for applications within the civilian domain. Why is that? Unlimited research funding?? Potential trials for racketeering and manslaughter??? You bet. All of the above. Have a nice death…
That comment was for Moskowitz; he’s the one looking to skim from the wireless industry. I have no idea of what your “first hand” knowledge is but your fantasies of imprisoning wireless users are fascinating.
That comment was for Moskowitz; he’s the one looking to skim from the wireless industry. I have no idea of what your “first hand” knowledge is but your fantasies of imprisoning wireless users are fascinating.
For the Wireless Industry SHILL - BIRON: “scientific consensus” is meaningless if all the scientists have been bought off. Consensus is also meaningless when scientists are so incompetent they fail to accurately interpret the data… Maybe they need more funding… [“The “War-gaming” letter has provided a lot of rhetoric for the anti-science and anti-wireless brigade but any objective reading of the letter dissipates the hyperbole. I wish you well in your battle with Glioma.”] Mr. Biron seems QUITE fixated on the war gaming allegation, rather than noticing that a cancer survivor is giving first hand testimony.
Sebastian: What you call firsthand testimony is actually the Narrative Fallacy, and I’m sympathetic towards it. It’s the anti-wireless pseudoscience pundits who exploit these sufferers that disgust me.
Biron you are not making any sense. I have been knocked out of a successful 9 year Health Care career & pretty much knocked right out of this wireless infested World due to severe EHS. Painful reactions to my Motorolla Android 3G smartphone are what initially enabled me to connect the dots to the source of the problem. Its “the anti-wireless pseudoscience pundits” (as you Industry SHILLS call them) like the BioInitiative scientists, who have helped me the most with understanding why I have crippling pain when I am near cell phones, DECT phones, cell towers, Smart/AMR Utility meters, & WiFi. The only ones that have exploited me are those Telecom Industry funded attorneys & CTIA influenced politicians who kept the hazard warnings off the packaging of my phone & other wireless products, along with zero Media attention to the issue, so that I was not able to make an informed decision, while passing laws like the Telecommunications Act of 1996 Section 704 - which legally protects the Telecom Industry from lawsuits while completely assaulting the Public with zero recourse or defense from Biologic harm caused by known hazardous wireless Level 2B Carcinogenic radiation.
P.S. - BIRON: Would you like me to start listing all of the decades-old Military (Army & Navy) declassified studies, clearly showing & concluding all of the very serious debilitating & deleterious non-thermal biologic effects from RF microwave radiation exposure, that I have on file? These are the same exposure ranges & frequencies currently used in today’s devices. Or is the Military considered fringe “pseudoscience” too?
BIRON, why don’t read what the Swiss Medical Director said back in 2009: Of special note is what Doctor Rau said about children & WiFi exposure: Exposing children in schools to radiation, known to impair brain function and learning, Rau describes as “criminal”. He says, “It is unethical to expose children to electromagnetic load in this way. We know that power stations for electromagnetic waves like mobile phones are hurting the brains of children, so to put such stations into schools is really…very, very, very bad. Rau says, the question is, “Does the school, or does the society, really want to have intelligent, well-educated children, or not?” He says, “If you install mobile phone towers, which radiate to the children, their intelligence, their brain capacity, decreases. You will have more ADD children, you will have less function of the brain, which in the long term reflects on the intelligence of the children, of the possibility to really teach children, and in the long term, the more this overcomes society, the more we will have dumb children.” The reality of the health consequences of electromagnetic radiation eventually will have to be faced, and this will only happen with active pressure on Congress. It is estimated that 3-8% of populations in developed countries experience serious electrohypersensitivity symptoms today, and 35% experience mild symptoms. With increasing electromagnetic field exposures, these numbers, along with the suffering involved for people who are impacted, and the health care costs involved, are bound to go up.
Mr. Biron: Please excuse my error. Perhaps it is that you were somewhat unclear as to what individual you were refering to in your comments. You may find these document excerpts of some value, as the persons who wrote the original draft had no intention of misleading anyone with the data at hand. The complete document can be accessed from a Google search of the title cited. > Rome Laboratory Air Force Materiel Command Griffiss Force Base, New York Report date: June, 1994 Excerpted from: Radiofrequency/Microwave Radiation Biological Effects and Safety Standards: A Review Scott M. Bolen June, 1988 Abstract [“The study of human exposure to radiofrequency/microwave radiation has been the subject of widespread investigation and analysis. It is known that electromagnetic radiation has a biological effect on human tissue. An attempt has been made by researchers to quantify the effects of radiation on the human body and to set guidelines for safe exposure levels. A review of the pertinent findings is presented along with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recommended safety standard (C95.1-1982) and the United States Air Force permissible exposure limit for RF/MW radiation (AFOSH Standard 161-9, 12 February 1987). An overview of research that was conducted in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe is also included in this report.”] I. INTRODUCTION [“In 1956, the Department of Defense (DOD) directed the Armed Forces to investigate the biological effects of exposure to radiofrequency/microwave (RF/MW) radiation. The Army, Navy, and Air Force Departments commissioned a Tri-Service Program under the supervision of the Air Force to meet the DOD directive (14), [15]. The Rome Air Development Center and the Air Research and Development Headquarters were ultimately given responsibility to manage the program. On July 15-16, 1957 the first of four Tri-Service Conferences was held to discuss the effects of RF/MW radiation. These conferences were the first major effort put forth by the scientific community to explore the biological effects of exposure to RF/MW radiation [14]. Since then, researchers have discovered a number of biological dysfunctions that can occur in living organisms. Exposure of the human body to RF/MW radiation has many biological implications. The effects range from innocuous sensations of warmth to serious physiological damage to the eye [1], [2], (5], [6], [8], [15]. There is also evidence that RF/MW radiation can cause cancer (81. The absorption of RF/MW radiated energy causes biological reactions to occur in the tissue of the human body. In order to determine safe exposure levels and to understand the effect of RF/MW radiation it is necessary to know the absorption characteristics of the human tissue. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) (8] has reported several physical properties that account for energy absorption in biological materials. Factors which govern energy absorption include: (1) strength of the external electromagnetic (EM) field, 2) frequency of the RF/MW source, 3) the degree of hydration of die tissue, and 4) the physical dimensions, geometry, and orientation of the absorbing body with respect to the radiation EM field (8]. There is some disagreement among researchers in determining a specific measure for the dose of RF/MW radiation contracted by biological materials. The most commonly accepted measure is the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The SAR is defined as the rate at which RF/MW radiated energy is imparted to the body - typically in units of watts per kilogram (W/Kg) [41. The deposition of energy specify in terms of milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2) over the irradiated surface is also widely accepted [9]. Based on the known absorption rates and the inherent biological effects of RF/MW radiated energy, researchers have put forth a number of standards regarding safe exposure levels. In some instances standards recommended by different examining authorities are in conflict. For example, the USAF Standard 161-9 (enacted 12 February 1987) allows for a permissible exposure level of 10 mW/cm2 for persons working in restricted areas and 5 mW/cm2 for persons working in unrestricted areas [10]. The ANSI guideline specifies a maximum safe exposure level of 5 mW/cm2 over the whole-body area for anyone in contact with RF/MW radiation [9]. These differences reflect the way in which each examining authority has interpreted the available RF/MW radiation exposure data.”] II. BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS [“Exposure to RF/MW radiation is known to have a biological effect on animals and humans. Damage to major organs, disruption of important biological processes, and the potential risk of cancer represent the dangers of RF/MW radiation to living organisms. Pulsed radiation appears to have the greatest impact on biological materials (8]. The response of biological materials to the absorption of thermal energy is the most pecepble effect of exposure to RF/MW radiation [7]. The energy emitted from an RF/MW source is absorbed by the- human tissue primarily as heat. In this case, the radiated energy is disposed in the molecules of the tissue. Dipole molecules of water and protein are stimulated and will vibrate as energy is absorbed throughout the irradiated tissue area. Ionic conduction will also occur in the same area where the radiation is incident. It is from these two natural processes that radiant energy is converted into heat [11]. The thermal effect of continuous wave (CW) and pulsed radiation is considered to be the same (13]. Nonthermal responses can be less noticeable and are often more difficult to explain than thermal effects. These responses are related to the disturbances in the tissue not caused by heating. Electromagnetic fields can interact with the bioelectrical functions of the irradiated human tissue (8]. Research conducted in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe suggests that the human body may be more sensitive to the anthemia effects of RF/MW radiation [3]. There are many reported biological effects to humans and animals that are exposed to RF/MW radiation. A review of the important findings is given in the following:”] See original text. i. Pathological Reports [“In 1962, S. Prausnitz and C. Susskind reported experimental results that showed an increase in cancer among test animals exposed to RF/MW radiation. In the experiment, 100 male Swiss albino mice were irradiated by a 10 GHz RF/MW source at an incident power density of about 100 mW/cm2. The mice were exposed for 4.5 minutes/day, 5 days/week for a total of 59 weeks. It was noted that irradiation caused the whole-body temperature of the mice to rise about 3.3TC. Upon examination, it was found that 35% of the mice had developed cancer of the white blood cells. The disease was observed as monocytic or lymphatic leucosis or lymphatic or myeloid leukemia. Only 10% of a similar control group had developed cancer [21]. There have been a few allegations that RF/MW radiation has induced cancer in humans [8], [151. The NIOSH Technical Report [81 cites charges made in the early 1970’s against Philco-Ford and The Boeing Corporation that occupational exposure to RF/MW radiation caused cancer among employees. One incident was reported at each company. At Philco-Ford it was claimed that exposure caused a rare form of brain cancer to manifest in one worker that eventually resulted in death. In each case, there was no scientific proof that RF/MW radiation had induced cancer in the company employees. There was also a report that EM fields induced cancer in an individual that worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Again, there was no scientific evidence that supported the claim [8]. Recently, the Observer Dispatch, a local newspaper published in Utica, New York, reported that a major study has just been completed in Sweden. The study concluded that children who live near high power lines have a greater risk of developing leukemia than children who live farther away from the power lines. The study involved 500,000 people and provided some evidence to link the electromagnetic fields produced by low frequency power lines to cancer. The researchers, however, cautioned against drawing firm conclusions as a result of the research [33] “] ii. effect on Chromosomes [“It has been observed that disturbances in chromosomic activity can cause cancerous aberrations to occur in the human body. In 1974, a paper published by K. Chen, A. Samuel, and R. Hoopingarner (reference found in [8]) reported that chromosomal abnormalities can be linked to chronic myeloid leukemia. Serious genetic mutations can also result from such abnormalities that can lead to malignancies in the tissue [8]. In 1976, A. A. Kapustin, M. I. Rudnev, G. I. Leonskaia, and G.I. Knobecva (reference found in [17]) reported alterations in the chromosomes of bone marrow cells in laboratory animals that were exposed to RW/MW radiation. They exposed inbred albino rats to a 2500 MHz ,F/MW source at incident power density levels of 50 and 500 uW/cm2. Irradiation lasted for 7 hours/day for 10 days. Upon examination of the animals, they observed chromosomal anomalies that appeared in forms described as polyploidy, aneuploidy, chormatic deletion, acentric fragments and chromatic gaps [17]. The NIOSH Technical Report [8] summarizes the findings of several researchers. Chromosomal and mitotic anomalies have been observed in a variety of animal and human cells for varying exposures to RF/MW radiation. Pulsed and CW radiation ranging in frequency from 15 to 2950 MHz and power densities from 7 to 200 mW/cm2 have caused abnormalities to occur in chromosomes. The reported affects include: linear shortening of the chromosomes, irregularities in the chromosomal envelope, abnormal bridges and stickiness, translocations, chromosomal breaks and gaps, chromatid breaks, acentric chromosomes, dysenteric chromosomes, deletions, fragmentation, and ring chromosomes [8].”] iii. Mutagenic Effects [“Reported evidence indicates that biological interaction with EM fields can cause the formation of mutagens in cells. In 1974, three Soviet researchers, Danilenko, Mirutenko, and KIudrenko (reference found in [8]) published results showing a mutagenic effect of RF/MW radiation. Mutagens were observed to form in cells that were irradiated by a pulsed RF/MW source operating at 37 GHz and 1 mW/cm2 power intensity. They concluded that irradiation of tissue by pulsed RF/MW sources causes cell membranes to become more permeable to destructive chemical mutagens [8]. Results published in 1963 by G. H. Mickey (reference found in [8]) showed hereditary changes to occur in drosophila germ cells that were exposed to pulsed modulated RF/MW radiation for carrier frequencies between 5-40 MHz [8]. Evidence of RF/MW induced teratogenesis in animals has also been reported by researchers. The effect of exposure to CW radiation was observed by Rugh and McManaway in 1976 (reference found in [8]). They found gross congenital abnormalities in rodent fetuses that were irradiated by a 2450 MHz RF/MW source at an incident power intensity of 107.4 mW/g [8].”] Complete text: RF-Microwave-Radiation-Biological-Effects - Rome Labs
Biron, I am very concerned, as you may be among those who EDGD syndrome (Ethically challenged Greed dysfunction). The DGM-5 includes consideration of the following as diagnostic criteria. What are your thoughts when a corporation, as did Ford did with the exploding gas tank, discounts the value of people’s lives and health? Consider the calculation Nestlé made in hocking powdered baby formula in African villages with contaminated water, knowing babies would die. Big tobacco is still marketing to children in South America, rock concerts where collecting empty cigarette pack wrappings are the price of admission? How about war-gaming the science that mobiles increase the risk of suffering a Glio? Depending on your answers you may be suffering dysfunction in two or more environments. If yes, then EDGD syndrome. Medication may not help; however, excepting those with severe cognitive dissonance, long hours or counseling and therapy may be necessary, or you may eventually develop a sleep dysfunction, where eventually you may find it difficult to sleep at nights. You may wish to seek help before permanent damage occurs. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
BioInitiative scientists here you show lack of understanding science. “Industry SHILLS ” you call that biron but I must wrote that according to your “experts” person with EHS have brain damage so how can your post have any credibility? Whats funny. Incompetent person like you only see conflict of interest in one side ingnoring other side, antiradiation junks and books you thinkg they dont give money? and therefore no create conflict of interest?. You show only your incompetence. Im from Europe and hold MD in toxicology and neurology and we take radiation and study as toxin and belive me most studies showing effects like those showing no effect are deeply flawed rest is simple marketing in both side there is conflict of interest, for know there is no evidence that they are harmful. I dont say their are safe we simply dont know that yet. True that mobile industries have conflict of interest but did you see in second side? Look how big are companies selling anti-radiation junks. You reference The Bio-initiative report was edited by David Carpenter and Cindy Sage. They have been accused of cherry picking the studies and even changing the conclusions of these studies. David Carpenter was rejected as an an expert witness by a Quebec judge for being a biased advocate. Cindy Sage has a company that makes money from people’s fears of EMF Davis sells her books etc in this side there is also big conflict of interest. You know why many so called “experts” wrote books? because they dont need be peer-review and can wrote what they want with flaws. I agree we should do research but true research no with high dose radiation. “Why haven’t you heard about this yet?” no from 2007 In internet is plenty articles in scientific journals from how long they are? you want someone to give them to your hand? ” Industry money, regulatory agencies run by industry, and consumer fun and convenience, causes blindness. Wake up. Does the fetus matter?” explain me one Why tobacco industries cant win? if this studies shows proof why then every organization claims opposite? even tobacco industry cant protect themself against proof and had far more influence compared to mobile phones industries. “their cognitive ability” few samples of studies that why we cant drawn conclusion because there are many conflict result (this studies are performed without influence of mobile phone industry) You know why so many scientist want to found effect? because then they get more funding. In lab where we working we do the same you take large dose to find results also look at studies in emf they in many studies use ten times or more power. Of course we look also about lvl in human exposure with margin of safety but many studies in controversial substance use large doses. Good example green tea in normal lvl up to 20 cups per day is healthy for liver but in large dose for example injected in one extract (30 cups) cause damage to liver. Here is good lecture about errors in studies “”Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” by John P. A. Ioannidis” In my opinion in this time beliving that radiation in this lvl is dangerous or safe is purest stupidity. People like you claim how other are controled by propaganda, the same you, you are also controled by other side.
Impressive how you can copy article. First look at powers which shows evidence. I can also show you studies showing benefits from emf You know why so many scientist want to found effect? because then they get more funding. In lab where we working we do the same you take large dose to find results also look at studies in emf they in many studies use ten times or more power. Of course we look also about lvl in human exposure with margin of safety but many studies in controversial substance use large doses. Good example green tea in normal lvl up to 20 cups per day is healthy for liver but in large dose for example injected in one extract (30 cups) cause damage to liver. Here is good lecture about errors in studies “”Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” by John P. A. Ioannidis” In my opinion in this time beliving that radiation in this lvl is dangerous or safe is purest stupidity. People like you claim how other are controled by propaganda, the same you, you are also controled by other side. Yes this comment is very similiar to my reply to Sebastian but show your and him flaws thinking.
I think you dont understand him. In your opinion showing that other side have also conflict of interest? “Medication may not help; however, excepting those with severe cognitive dissonance, long hours or counseling and therapy may be necessary, or you may eventually develop a sleep dysfunction,” I rather say you should seek some therapy. Explain me one why tobacco industries cant win? if this studies shows proof why then every organization claims opposite? even tobacco industry cant protect themself against proof and had far more influence compared to mobile phones industries. “You may wish to seek help before permanent damage occurs. Best wishes for a speedy recovery” your called experts claim that emf damage brain so if you belive them you should check your brain. “How about war-gaming the science that mobiles increase the risk of suffering a Glio” read about cross-sectional studies and why they are mostly flawed. Here is good lecture about errors in studies “”Why Most Published Research Findings Are False” by John P. A. Ioannidis” You only see conflict of interest in one side. Guess what you are also controled. Look closly how anti-radiation sells their junks propaganda the same as mobile phone. Read about Havas with who she do studies? Havas has co-authored some of her papers with David Stetzer who manufactures and markets the “Graham-Stetzer filters” used in these studies. These highly questionable studies are being used as a sales pitch for the filters on the web sites of a number of resellers. See the section on Power Line Filters our page on EHS product scams for more information about these filters.
To darius who replied on November 20, 2014: Fine. Let’s ignore the millions of people who can no longer work. Are no longer able to live in their own homes. Can no longer visit friends or family. Can no longer enjoy restaurants or clubs, attend sports events, go to public libraries, travel to hospitals for medical attention, or get face to face personal contact with Federal or State authorities. The radiation is everywhere. People get sick and die from it, but what the heck… Speaking of Hell: Lets ignore the work of hundreds of scientists who have documented 70 years of evidence regarding biological harm from EM emissions. Let’s just ignore everything that doesn’t fit into the industrial paradigm of ghouls, slobs, and slaves. Let’s keep producing junk until the environment collapses from our common filth. Let’s totally ignore the choke hold capitalism has on human intellect. Let’s denigrate anyone who doesn’t agree with our imposed death wish. Buy yourself a new cell phone for Christmas. Maybe buy a dozen. Hand them out to friends. Have a party. Get a tumor!!! Happy Holidays!!!
In your opinion claming that other side uses emf fear to earn money is ignoring people? “The radiation is everywhere.” the radiation are always be everywhere even before people start use fire. ” Lets ignore the work of hundreds of scientists who have documented 70 years of evidence regarding biological harm from EM emissions” yes they documented but in what level? Dose make poison. I can proof you that you can die if drink water in a sufficient dose, whats about scientist who found opposite results? they are bad because shows what you dont want to see?. DId you even know what is mechanism of EHS? “Let’s totally ignore the choke hold capitalism has on human intellect.” you are hypocrite I never say that mobile phone industries dont have conflict of interest but compared to you Im not one-sided blind and see that other side cleverly uses situations to earn money. “Let’s just ignore everything that doesn’t fit into the industrial paradigm of ghouls, slobs, and slaves. ” yes we must promote you as a new leader who brings humanity a new future: back to the caves. “Buy yourself a new cell phone for Christmas. Maybe buy a dozen. Hand them out to friends. Have a party. Get a tumor!!! Happy Holidays!!!” if you give such wish I have one for you go to jungle build Faraday cage and live and this is only for you, for every other person I feel sorry but its like allergy if someone have allergy to dogs or cats we dont kill all of them.
I’m sorry, but the physicists are right. There is no physical mechanism by which cell-phone radio waves are capable of causing chemical reactions that haven’t already occurred due to thermal radio-waves, vibrations, or collisions. You can cite all the noisy, biased epidemiological data you want, the physics cuts right through the bull statistics.