Does the FCC Plan to Rubber Stamp Outdated Cell Phone Radiation Standards?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will conduct a formal review of the U.S. cell phone radiation standards according to a Bloomberg news report: FCC. Wireless Devices and Health Concerns.

An FCC spokesperson emailed a statement to a Bloomberg reporter that is truly alarming. Her message suggests that the FCC has already decided that the current standards are fine, and will conduct a review to rubber stamp the 1996 FCC guidelines:

“Tammy Sun, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mailed statement. The notice won’t propose rules, Sun said.

‘Our action today is a routine review of our standards,’ Sun said. ‘We are confident that, as set, the emissions guidelines for devices pose no risks to consumers.'”

The Bloomberg article cites a major review of the literature conducted by our research center in which we found an association between mobile phone use and increased brain tumor risk especially after 10 years of cell phone use:

“There is possible evidence linking mobile-phone use to an increased risk of tumors, according to a study of scientific studies and articles that was published in 2009 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

The research we reviewed and subsequent research strongly suggest that the current standards for cell phone radiation are not adequate to protect us from health risks associated with exposure to cell phone radiation. A year ago, a 31-member group of experts convened by the World Health Organization agreed with our conclusions and classified cell phone radiation a “possible carcinogen.”

The FCC standards were established in 1996 at a time when few adults used cell phones. Today, children and most adults are exposed to far more cell phone radiation than the FCC-approved test models are subjected to when new cell phones are certified. Moreover, the test assumes that cell phones can harm us only by heating tissue. This is not true as there are numerous studies that demonstrate non-thermal effects from cell phone radiation including increased glucose metabolism in the brain, generation of heat shock proteins, free radicals, and double-strand DNA breaks; penetration of the blood-brain barrier, damage to sperm and increased male infertility.

The FCC admits on its web site* that “there is no federally developed national standard for safe levels of exposure to radiofrequency (RF) energy.” “The FCC’s guidelines and rules regarding RF exposure are based upon standards developed by IEEE and NCRP and input from other federal agencies.”

I have grave concerns if the FCC continues to rely on industry-funded expert groups because our research found that industry-funded epidemiologic research was generally of lower quality and biased against finding harmful effects. Dr. Henry Lai at the University of Washington has come to a similar conclusion in his analysis of the toxicology research.

In my opinion, it is premature to adopt new safety standards because we need more research that is independent of the wireless industry’s influence. The Federal government needs to sponsor a major research initiative on the health effects of electromagnetic radiation. Martin Blank and Reba Goodman from Columbia University recently published a paper in the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, calling for the development of a biologically-based measure of electromagnetic radiation (abstract below).

In the interim, to protect cell phone users we must adopt and disseminate precautionary health warnings that promote safer cell phone use. Although The FCC web site provides some simple steps to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, it “does not endorse the need for these practices.” A dozen nations and the city of San Francisco have issued precautionary warnings about cell phone use to its citizens. It is time for our Federal government to do so.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director Center for Family and Community Health
The UC Berkeley Prevention Research Center
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
 http://cfch.berkeley.edu
 

Cell Phones and Breasts- A Bad Connection

Environmental Health Trust circulated this video today to warn women about the serious health risk of tucking their cell phones into their bras.  They state, “Growing numbers of young women in this fast-paced connected society keep their phones in their bras, hijabs (headscarves), or pockets–unaware of manufacturers’ hidden warnings.”  The iphone manual states to keep the phone 5/8″ away from the body.  Stay tuned for Dr. Devra Davis’ film “Disconnect”.

In 2009, the Breast Cancer Fund issued policy and research recommendations (State-of-the-Evidence-2008) to reduce exposure to radiation. They write:

“Decades of research indicate that exposure to EMF is associated with many adverse health effects including breast cancer (in both men and women) and other cancers, neurodegenerative diseases and impaired immune function. Existing public exposure standards for EMF are inadequate to protect public health because they are based on a short-term (30-minute) thermal effect.”

The Breast Cancer Fund Federal Policy Recommendations:

  • Based on the scientific evidence set forth in The Bioinitiative Report and a growing body of additional research, exposure limits for electromagnetic radiation should be set at the federal level for:
  • Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF), including power lines, appliances, interior electric wiring an other devices; and
  • Long term and cumulative radiofrequency (RF) radiation from outdoor pulsed sources including cell phone antennas, radar, TV and FM broadcast antennas and wireless internet antennas, and from indoor sources including cell phones, wireless internet equipment and radiation that permeates buildings from outdoor sources.
  • With the setting of federal limits for non-ionizing radiation, special protections should be required for homes, schools and places where children spend large amounts of time.”

Dr. Slesin: Cell phone study safety claims: “bias run amuck”

From Dr. Louis Slesin,

The latest analysis of the tumor risks among cell phone users in Denmark and the accompanying editorial brings to mind the old saying: “Trust your mother, but cut the cards.”

Be warned: Before you believe what you are told by the Danish Cancer Society or the Karolinska Institute or what you read in the British Medical Journal, check out the facts for yourself.

As for IARC, there seems to be an internal dispute going on as to whether it should take seriously its own panel’s decision to designate cell phone radiation as a possible cancer agent. It’s not clear what side IARC Director Chris Wild is on.

Read our in-depth report on the latest example of bias run amuck on cell phones and tumors: http://www.microwavenews.com/DanishCohort.html

How radiation emissions of cell phone, microwave compare to ‘Smart’Meter


Amy O’Hair measures the radiation emitted by a cell phone, a microwave oven and two ‘Smart’ Meters in use. The results? The radiation pulses from the meters were stronger than both the microwave and the cell phone.

Here’s what PG&E claimed:
In response to the EMF Safety Network request for safety hearings, PG&E stated (p.2-4),

” Exposure to radio frequency energy from SmartMeter™ technology isconsiderably less than the exposure from other radio devices in widespread use.”

PG&E then listed many sources including cell phones, cordless phones, microwave ovens as examples of other radio devices in widespread use. Following this list they claim,

“These devices often involve more frequent radio transmission, emit radio frequency energy for longer periods of time and operate in closer proximity to humans, than PG&E SmartMeter™ devices.”

You can turn off the cell phone, and choose whether or not to use a microwave oven, but the meter is on all the time. Even if you turn off the power to your home, the meter will still be on. Thanks again Amy for this illustration.

WHO’s Statement is a Game Changer

By Joshua Hart, Director StopSmartMeters.Org
June 2nd 2011

 

Make no mistake.   The decision by the World Health Organization on Tuesday to classify non-ionizing radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” is an absolute game changer for our movement. This seemingly cautious statement by the world’s pre-eminent health organization should ring loud alarm bells around the world.  Despite backroom industry influence and widespread conservatism, the slow-to-react beast was finally forced to act- as the walls of wireless damage closed in.

Wireless technology is something most of us have taken for granted for quite a while now.  Someone said the other day, “I don’t even remember when they introduced cell phones.  All of a sudden everyone was just using them.”  Therein lies the crux.  We just took the phone we were handed.  We didn’t ask questions.  We trusted that any authority that would allow this product to be sold would not do so without reasonable assurances of safety.  It is now clear that that misplaced trust has been betrayed, and people are dying because of it.

The truth is that our government allowed (even promoted) a technology whose effects on biological living systems we really knew very little about. There’s capitalism for you.  Life really isn’t that important.  It’s all about the money.  You are expendable. So- apparently- is the planet.

The WHO’s decision, and the large number of studies that led to it are suddenly opening up a whole new set of questions about how we use wireless- questions that people wouldn’t have dared to whisper- even last week.

For example:

1)  Shouldn’t  there be laws against someone else’s wi-fi entering your home?  Your neighbor would not be allowed to douse your living room with chloroform (now in the same ‘possibly carcinogenic’ category as EMF radiation).  Why should they be able to inflict wi-fi on you- particularly if it prevents you from carrying out basic life activities- like- er- sleeping?

2)  Shouldn’t public buildings such as libraries and public transportation ban wireless emitting devices such as wi-fi routers, cell phones and iPads?  A bus full of 100 people on their cell phones- with all their signals bouncing around the metal chassis- is like being forced to sit inside a microwave oven.  We are entitled to accessible transportation and public services, without being exposed to a carcinogen.  Wireless makes these services inaccessible to the growing number of electrosensitive individuals.  There’s definitely a lawsuit here if officials fail to do their job.

3) Isn’t it now just as morally acceptable to ask someone to turn off their cell phone in a public place as asking them to extinguish that cigarette?

We wouldn’t be surprised to see regulations coming forward over the next few years restricting cell phone use in the same way that smoking has been further and further marginalized, from sections in restaurants to banned inside even bars, to prohibitions around doorways, and now bans in entire neighborhoods.

So where does all this leave the “smart” meter rollout?  PG&E and other utilities have pointed to the World Health Organization to reassure its customers of the safety of RF radiation.  Now that the WHO has declared that such radiation is ‘possibly carcinogenic’ and independent analyses have pegged “smart” meter radiation at 100x the exposure of a cell phone, the wireless mesh network is looking more and more like a dangerous mistake.  The utilities that launched this program without even consulting us- arrogantly refusing  to consider the human or environmental health impacts- should be the ones to pick up the pieces and pay the tab for this debacle.  Not the ratepayers.  Not the victims who are living like animals running from this vicious technology; living in their cars or in the woods.

The East Bay Express reports PG&E’s words a year ago:

“The federal government and the international health community, including the World Health Organization,” PG&E said at the time, “have deemed the low-level radio frequency on which PG&E’s SmartMeters rely to be completely safe.”

But not anymore.

David Baker, Energy reporter for the SF Chronicle wrote:

‘Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings, it is important that additional research be conducted into the long-term, heavy use of mobile phones,’ said Christopher Wild, the WHO’s director. ‘Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands-free devices or texting.’

That’s similar to the arguments made by many California city councils that have called for a SmartMeter moratorium. If the science isn’t settled, they argue, shouldn’t we stop installing the meters until it is?

They now have more ammunition to press their case.”

To many of us who have experienced firsthand the health damage caused by wireless, the WHO declaration is just one more brick in the wall of evidence that this technology hurts people.  But to most people, this is a huge wake up call that has received widespread coverage in the mainstream media- as if this is a new thing.  Just like gradual acceptance of climate change over the past couple of decades, governments, industry and institutions will brush aside the critics, pretending they are now the ones to protect you from the dangers and that they have the situation under control.  They will promote new devices to shield your skull from radiation- the light cigarettes and electric cars of the wireless world.  But in the end we know what we need to do.  We just need to quit the addiction.  We need to re-wire.  And our lives will be better for it.

http://stopsmartmeters.org/2011/06/02/whos-statement-is-a-game-changer/

Wireless devices-potential cancer risk says World Health Organization

Cell phones, cell towers, wi-fi, smart meters, DECT phones, cordless phones, baby monitors and other wireless devices all emit non ionizing radio frequencies, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has just classified as a potential carcinogen. This is big news from the WHO and governments and decision makers can no longer hide behind the “no RF health effects” industry mantra.

Cindy Sage, co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report writes, ” The WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer has just issued it’s decision that non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation is classified as a 2B (Possible) Carcinogen. This is the same category as DDT, lead, and engine exhaust. This mirrors the 2001 IARC finding that extremely low frequency (ELF-EMF) that classified as a 2B (Possible) Carcinogen. This pertained to power frequency (power line and appliance) non-ionizing radiation. These two findings confirm that non-ionizing radiation should be considered as a possible risk factor for cancers; and that new, biologically-based public safety standards are urgently needed. ”

Dr. Louis Slesin has been reporting on this issue for decades. See Microwave News, for further commentary.

IARC CLASSIFIES RADIOFREQUENCY ELECTROMAGNETIC FIELDS AS POSSIBLY CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS

Lyon, France, May 31, 2011 ‐‐

“The WHO/International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as possibly carcinogenic to humans (Group 2B), based on an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer1, associated with wireless phone use.

Background
Over the last few years, there has been mounting concern about the possibility of adverse health effects resulting from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, such as those emitted by wireless communication devices. The number of mobile phone subscriptions is estimated at 5 billion globally.
From May 24–31 2011, a Working Group of 31 scientists from 14 countries has been meeting at IARC in Lyon, France, to assess the potential carcinogenic hazards from exposure to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields. These assessments will be published as Volume 102 of the IARC Monographs, which will be the fifth volume in this series to focus on physical agents, after Volume 55 (Solar Radiation), Volume 75 and Volume 78 on ionizing radiation (X‐rays, gamma‐rays, neutrons, radio‐nuclides), and Volume 80 on non‐ionizing radiation (extremely low‐frequency electromagnetic fields).
The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed the possibility that these exposures might induce long‐term health effects, in particular an increased risk for cancer. This has relevance for public health, particularly for users of mobile phones, as the number of users is large and growing, particularly among young adults and children.
The IARC Monograph Working Group discussed and evaluated the available literature on the following exposure categories involving radiofrequency electromagnetic fields:
␣ occupational exposures to radar and to microwaves; ␣ environmental exposures associated with transmission of signals for radio, television and wireless telecommunication; and ␣ personal exposures associated with the use of wireless telephones.
International experts shared the complex task of tackling the exposure data, the studies of cancer in humans, the studies of cancer in experimental animals, and the mechanistic and other relevant data.

1 237 913 new cases of brain cancers (all types combined) occurred around the world in 2008 (gliomas represent 2/3 of these). Source: Globocan 2008

Results
The evidence was reviewed critically, and overall evaluated as being limited2 among users of wireless telephones for glioma and acoustic neuroma, and inadequate3 to draw conclusions for other types of cancers. The evidence from the occupational and environmental exposures mentioned above was similarly judged inadequate. The Working Group did not quantitate the risk; however, one study of past cell phone use (up to the year 2004), showed a 40% increased risk for gliomas in the highest category of heavy users (reported average: 30 minutes per day over a 10‐year period).

Conclusions
Dr Jonathan Samet (University of Southern California, USA), overall Chairman of the Working Group, indicated that “the evidence, while still accumulating, is strong enough to support a conclusion and the 2B classification. The conclusion means that there could be some risk, and therefore we need to keep a close watch for a link between cell phones and cancer risk.”
“Given the potential consequences for public health of this classification and findings,” said IARC Director Christopher Wild, “it is important that additional research be conducted into the long‐ term, heavy use of mobile phones. Pending the availability of such information, it is important to take pragmatic measures to reduce exposure such as hands‐free devices or texting. ”
The Working Group considered hundreds of scientific articles; the complete list will be published in the Monograph. It is noteworthy to mention that several recent in‐press scientific articles4 resulting from the Interphone study were made available to the working group shortly before it was due to convene, reflecting their acceptance for publication at that time, and were included in the evaluation.
A concise report summarizing the main conclusions of the IARC Working Group and the evaluations of the carcinogenic hazard from radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (including the use of mobile telephones) will be published in The Lancet Oncology in its July 1 issue, and in a few days online.

2 ‘Limited evidence of carcinogenicity’: A positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer for which a causal interpretation is considered by the Working Group to be credible, but chance, bias or confounding could not be ruled out with reasonable confidence.
3 ‘Inadequate evidence of carcinogenicity’: The available studies are of insufficient quality, consistency or statistical power to permit a conclusion regarding the presence or absence of a causal association between exposure and cancer, or no data on cancer in humans are available.
4 a. ‘Acoustic neuroma risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the INTERPHONE international case‐ control study’ (the Interphone Study Group, in Cancer Epidemiology, in press) b. ‘Estimation of RF energy absorbed in the brain from mobile phones in the Interphone study’ (Cardis et al., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press)
c. ‘Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile phones – results from five Interphone countries’ (Cardis et al., Occupational and Environmental Medicine, in press) ”

 

Cell Phone Radiation Disturbs Honey Bees

Honey beeDaniel Favre examines the connection between cell phone radiation and honey bees in “Mobile Phone Induced Honey Bee Worker Piping“.  Colony Collapse Disorder has been linked to a variety of potential causes, including pesticide poisoning, and varroa mites. With the onslaught of environmental radiation from cell phone, cell tower and Smart Meters networks it is important this study be widely read and disseminated. The study abstract states,

“The worldwide maintenance of the honeybee has major ecological, economic, and political implications. In the present study, electromagnetic waves originating from mobile phones were tested for potential effects on honeybee behavior. Mobile phone handsets were placed in the close vicinity of honeybees.

The sound made by the bees was recorded and analyzed. The audiograms and spectrograms revealed that active mobile phone handsets have a dramatic impact on the behavior of the bees, namely by inducing the worker piping signal. In natural conditions, worker piping either announces the swarming process of the bee colony or is a signal of a disturbed bee colony. ”

Other publications on radiation and bees include:

Bees, Birds and Mankind, Destroying nature by electrosmog by Ulrich Warnke

The Birds, the Bees and Electromagnetic Pollution, by Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy, May 2009