CDC recommends caution on cell phones, then removes the warning

Can you hear me now?
Can you hear me now?

In response to questions about cell phone radiation and cancer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a FAQ about Cell Phones and Your Health,

On August 13, 2014 Dr. Joel Moskowitz reported the CDC called for caution on cell phones stating, “Along with many organizations worldwide, we recommend caution in cell phone use.” (see screen shot of original page)

Dr.Louis Slesin of Microwave News also reported on the recommendation.  The statement  was a significant step in acknowledging the health threat of wireless radiation from cell and cordless phones, (and by extension other wireless devices such as baby monitors; wi-fi routers; computers; and smart meters.)

A week after Dr. Moskowitz reported on the FAQ, the CDC removed and substantially changed the language. 

Can using a cell phone cause cancer?
August 13: There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question. Along with many organizations worldwide, we recommend caution in cell phone use. More research is needed before we know for sure if using cell phones causes cancer.

August 20:  There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question. Some organizations recommend caution in cell phone use. More research is needed before we know if using cell phones causes health effects.

Two other sections were also changed to dumb down the language:

Should people stop using cell phones?
August 13: “Scientific studies are ongoing. Someday cellphones may be found to cause health problems we are not aware of at this time. However it is also important to consider the benefits of cell phones. They can be valuable in an urgent or emergency situation – and even save lives.”

August 20: “At this time we do not have the science to link health problems to cell phone use. Scientific studies are underway to determine whether cell phone use may cause health effects. It is also important to consider the benefits of cell phones. Their use can be valuable in an urgent or emergency situation – and even save lives.”

Do cell phones cause health problems in children?
August 13: “It’s too soon to know for sure. Children who use cell phones – and continue to use them as they get older – are likely to be around RF for many years. If RF does cause health problems, kids who use cell phones may have a higher chance of developing these problems in the future.”

August 20: “It’s not known if cell phone use by children can cause health problems.”

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

Alice Hamilton imageI started to wonder if there might be evidence for the recommended caution by the CDC, so I searched their website and found a 2012 Alice Hamilton Award (see Exposure and Risk category/ honorable mention) that went to this study: “Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile phones: results from five Interphone countries”

The award description language is strong on the association between cell phone radiation and cancer, especially compared to the CDC FAQ.  For example:  “…a significant dose-response was found with gliomas for phone use of more than 7 years.”;  “…RF emissions from cell phones could be a causal factor in brain cancer.”; “In addition to providing evidence for cell phone carcinogenesis, the findings of these two papers also help identify preventive measures.”

So why did the CDC take back their public health warning? Dr. Moskowitz comments, “Knowing how much administrative oversight CDC typically provides its media relations unit, we doubt that the CDC’s new policy statements were simply a mistake.”

Dr. Louis Slesin writes, “CDC decided it had overstepped —or, more likely, someone held its feet to the fire.” 

More on this story at: microwavenews.com See also: Say What CDC Flip Flops on Cell Phone Danger

Dirty electricity, electromagnetic pollution and disease

Dr. Sam Milham. author of “Dirty Electricity” talks with John Wells on Coast to Coast radio on August 17,2013.

“Good science alone is never enough to force sensible public policy. Only citizens can do that.” Dr. Sam Milham
This video was removed from You tube

Distracted Walking

Cell Phone Use Not Just Dangerous for Drivers, Study Finds

cell phone infographicMore than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated in emergency rooms in 2010 for injuries related to using a cell phone while walking, according to a new nationwide study.

The number of such injuries has more than doubled since 2005, even though the total number of pedestrian injuries dropped during that time.  Researchers believe that the actual number of injured pedestrians is actually much higher than these results suggest.

“If current trends continue, I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of injuries to pedestrians caused by cell phones doubles again between 2010 and 2015,” said Jack Nasar, co-author of the study and professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State University.  Nasar conducted the study with Derek Troyer, a former graduate student at Ohio State.  It appears in the August 2013 issue of the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

The researchers used data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, a database maintained by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), which samples injury reports from 100 hospitals around the country.  They examined data for seven years (from 2004 to 2010) involving injuries related to cell phone use for pedestrians in public areas.

A wide variety of injuries were reported.  One 14-year-old boy walking down a road while talking on a cell phone fell 6 to 8 feet off a bridge into a rock-strewn ditch, suffering chest and shoulder injuries.  A 23-year-old man was struck by a car while walking on the middle line of a road and talking on a cell phone, injuring his hip.

Nasar said a more accurate count of injuries to walkers might come from comparing distracted walking to distracted driving, which has been much more heavily studied.  If the pedestrian numbers are similar to those for drivers, then there may have been about 2 million pedestrian injuries related to mobile phone use in 2010.

“It is impossible to say whether 2 million distracted pedestrians are really injured each year.  But I think it is safe to say that the numbers we have are much lower than what is really happening,” Nasar said.

As might be expected, young people are the most likely to be injured by distracted walking.  The 21- to 25-year-old age group led the way, with 1,003 total injuries during the seven years covered by this study.  The 16- to 20-year-olds were not far behind, with 985 total injuries.

“As more people get cell phones and spend more time using them, the number of injuries is likely to increase as well. Now people are playing games and using social media on their phones too,” he said.

Nasar said he believes the best way to reverse these numbers is to start changing norms for cell phone use in our society.  And that starts with parents.  “Parents already teach their children to look both ways when crossing the street.  They should also teach them to put away their cell phone when walking, particularly when crossing a street.”

Reject the Fox (Wheeler) to guard the hen house (FCC)

https://www.change.org/petitions/reject-president-obama-s-nomination-of-thomas-wheeler-to-head-the-fcc

President Obama could not have picked a worse nominee than Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Wheeler has obvious industry ties and conflicts of interest:

  • Wheeler chaired the CTIA, the Wireless Association, which includes Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile;
  • Wheeler chaired the National Cable Television Association, which includes Comcast, Time Warner, and others;
  • Wheeler is the director of Core Capital Partners LP, a venture capital firm that manages $350 million in the high-growth technology sector- they rely on friendly regulation at the FCC;
  • Wheeler raised millions of dollars for Obama’s presidential campaign;
  • Wheeler is listed on Fierce Wireless’ top ten list of people who helped shape the wireless industry.

The FCC regulates the nation’s airwaves and all communications plus its accompanying infrastructure. The FCC sets the “safety” standards for radio frequency radiation (RF) used in all wireless devices. The standards are inadequate and obsolete because they do not address long term health effects, and they were created before cell towers, cell phones, wi-fi and “smart” meters.

Importantly, the FCC is set to update these RF “safety” standards soon. With trillions of wireless products in use today, babies, children, adults, animals, the environment, and future generations are all at risk from chronic exposure to wireless radiation based on inadequate safety standards.

With a wireless industry leader as the head of the FCC there’s little chance for safe oversight. These crucial decisions will threaten us for decades to come.

MORE INFO:

Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/petitions/reject-president-obama-s-nomination-of-thomas-wheeler-to-head-the-fcc 

Top public health official report: Smart Meters DO pose a health risk!

Santa Cruz County, CA Board of Supervisors directed its public health officer to prepare an analysis of the research on the health effects of Smart Meters in December 2011. Poki Stewart Namkung, M.D. M.P.H., prepared this report: Health Risks Associated With SmartMeters which recognizes:

  • Smart Meters transmit pulsed radiation (RF)  24/7
  • There are evidence-based health risks of RF
  • RF exposure can be cumulative and additive
  • The massive increase in RF public exposures since the mid-1990’s
  • The controversy between independent and industry science, including lack of funding for independent research
  • Evidence to support an Electrical Sensitivity (EHS) diagnosis
  • The public health issue is that Smart Meters are involuntary RF exposures
  • FCC thermal guidelines are irrelevant for non-thermal public exposures.
  • The lack of relevant safety standards for chronic pulsed RF

The report summary calls for more government vigilance towards involuntary RF public exposures because, “…governmental agencies are the only defense against such involuntary exposure.”

The report also provides examples of strategies to reduce RF including minimize cell and cordless phone use, use speakerphone when possible, use wired internet connections, avoid setting a laptop on your lap, and more.

Excerpts:  “The public health issue of concern in regard to SmartMeters is the involuntary exposure of individuals and households to electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation.”

“There are numerous situations in which the distance between the SmartMeters and humans is less than three feet on an ongoing basis, e.g. a SmartMeter mounted on the external wall to a bedroom with the bed placed adjacent to that mounting next to the internal wall. ”

“…SmartMeters emit frequencies almost continuously, day and night, seven days a week.”

“… exposure is additive and consumers may have already increased their exposures to radiofrequency radiation in the home through the voluntary use of wireless devices …It would be impossible to know how close a consumer might be to their limit, making uncertainty with the installation of a mandatory SmartMeter. ”

“… all available, peer-reviewed, scientific research data can be extrapolated to apply to SmartMeters, taking into consideration the magnitude and the intensity of the exposure.”

“Since the mid-1990’s the use of cellular and wireless devices has increased exponentially exposing the public to massively increased levels of RF.”

” It must be noted that there is little basic science funding for this type of research and it is largely funded by industry.”

“…most research carried out by independent non-government or non-industry affiliated researchers suggests potentially serious effects from many non-ionizing radiation exposures, research funded by industry and some governments seems to cast doubt on the potential for harm.”

“Despite this controversy, evidence is accumulating on the results of exposure to RF at non-thermal levels including increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier in the head (Eberhardt, 2008), harmful effects on sperm, double strand breaks in DNA which could lead to cancer genesis (Phillips, 2011), stress gene activation indicating an exposure to a toxin (Blank, 2011), and alterations in brain glucose metabolism (Volkow, 2011). ”

“Currently, research has demonstrated objective evidence to support the EHS diagnosis…”

“Meeting the current FCC guidelines only assures that one should not have heat damage from SmartMeter exposure. It says nothing about safety from the risk of many chronic diseases that the public is most concerned about such as cancer, miscarriage, birth defects, semen quality, autoimmune diseases, etc. Therefore, when it comes to nonthermal effects of RF, FCC guidelines are irrelevant and cannot be used for any claims of SmartMeter safety unless heat damage is involved (Li, 2011). ”

“There are no current, relevant public safety standards for pulsed RF involving chronic exposure of the public, nor of sensitive populations, nor of people with metal and medical implants that can be affected both by localized heating and by electromagnetic interference (EMI) for medical wireless implanted devices.”

“Many other countries have significantly lower RF/MW exposure standards ranging from 0.001 to 50 ~W/cm2 as compared with the US guideline of 200-1 000 ~W/cm2”

“In summary, there is no scientific data to determine if there is a safe RF exposure level regarding its non-thermal effects.”

This is an excellent report and a must read for all public policy decision makers, and especially utility regulators.  Many thanks to Dr. Stewart Namkung, the Santa Cruz Supervisors and to the EMF educators in their area!  Please circulate!

European Resolution Calls on Governments to Reduce EMF

PACE calls on governments to ‘take all reasonable measures’ to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields

May 27, 2011

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), meeting in Kyiv at Standing Committee level, today called on European governments to “take all reasonable measures” to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, “and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours”.

According to parliamentarians, governments should “for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises”, and put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially “targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age”.

Following the proposals of the rapporteur (Jean Huss, Luxembourg, SOC), the Assembly called on governments to provide information on potential health risks of DECT-type wireless telephones, baby monitors and other domestic appliances which emit continuous pulse waves, if all electrical equipment is left permanently on standby. They should, instead, recommend “the use of wired, fixed telephones at home or, failing that, models which do not permanently emit pulse waves”.

Governments should “reconsider the scientific basis for the present electromagnetic fields exposure standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, “which have serious limitations” and apply as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principles.

The adopted resolution underlines the fact that “the precautionary principle should be applicable when scientific evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty” and stresses that “the issue of independence and credibility of scientific expertise is crucial” to achieve a transparent and balanced assessment of potential negative impacts on the environment and human health.

The potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment

Resolution 1815 (2011)1
Parliamentary Assembly, Council of Europe

1. The Parliamentary Assembly has repeatedly stressed the importance of states’ commitment to preserving the environment and environmental health, as set out in many charters, conventions, declarations and protocols since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and the Stockholm Declaration (Stockholm, 1972). The Assembly refers to its past work in this field, namely Recommendation 1863 (2009) on environment and health, Recommendation 1947 (2010) on noise and light pollution, and more generally, Recommendation 1885 (2009) on drafting an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to a healthy environment and Recommendation 1430 (1999) on access to information, public participation in environmental decision-making and access to justice – implementation of the Aarhus Convention.

2. The potential health effects of the very low frequency of electromagnetic fields surrounding power lines and electrical devices are the subject of ongoing research and a significant amount of public debate. According to the World Health Organisation, electromagnetic fields of all frequencies represent one of the most common and fastest growing environmental influences, about which anxiety and speculation are spreading. All populations are now exposed to varying degrees of to electromagnetic fields, the levels of which will continue to increase as technology advances.

3. Mobile telephony has become commonplace around the world. This wireless technology relies upon an extensive network of fixed antennas, or base stations, relaying information with radio frequency signals. Over 1.4 million base stations exist worldwide and the number is increasing significantly with the introduction of third generation technology. Other wireless networks that allow high-speed internet access and services, such as wireless local area networks, are also increasingly common in homes, offices and many public areas (airports, schools, residential and urban areas). As the number of base stations and local wireless networks increases, so does the radio frequency exposure of the population.

4. While electrical and electromagnetic fields in certain frequency bands have wholly beneficial effects which are applied in medicine, other non-ionising frequencies, be they sourced from extremely low frequencies, power lines or certain high frequency waves used in the fields of radar, telecommunications and mobile telephony, appear to have more or less potentially harmful, non-thermal, biological effects on plants, insects and animals as well as the human body even when exposed to levels that are below the official threshold values.

5. As regards standards or threshold values for emissions of electromagnetic fields of all types and frequencies, the Assembly recommends that the ALARA or “as low as reasonably achievable” principle is applied, covering both the so-called thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation. Moreover, the precautionary principle should be applicable when scientific evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty, especially given the context of growing exposure of the population, including particularly vulnerable groups such as young people and children, which could lead to extremely high human and economic costs of inaction if early warnings are neglected.

6. The Assembly regrets that, despite calls for the respect of the precautionary principle and despite all the recommendations, declarations and a number of statutory and legislative advances, there is still a lack of reaction to known or emerging environmental and health risks and virtually systematic delays in adopting and implementing effective preventive measures. Waiting for high levels of scientific and clinical proof before taking action to prevent well-known risks can lead to very high health and economic costs, as was the case with asbestos, leaded petrol and tobacco.

7. Moreover, the Assembly notes that the problem of electromagnetic fields or waves and the potential consequences for the environment and health has clear parallels with other current issues, such as the licensing of medication, chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals or genetically modified organisms. It therefore highlights that the issue of independence and credibility of scientific expertise is crucial to accomplish a transparent and balanced assessment of potential negative impacts on the environment and human health.

8. In light of the above considerations, the Assembly recommends that the member states of the Council of Europe:

8.1. in general terms:

8.1.1. take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours;

8.1.2. reconsider the scientific basis for the present electromagnetic fields exposure standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection, which have serious limitations and apply “as low as reasonably achievable” (ALARA) principles, covering both thermal effects and the athermic or biological effects of electromagnetic emissions or radiation;

8.1.3. put in place information and awareness-raising campaigns on the risks of potentially harmful long-term biological effects on the environment and on human health, especially targeting children, teenagers and young people of reproductive age;

8.1.4. pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” persons suffering from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including the creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network;

8.1.5. in order to reduce costs, save energy, and protect the environment and human health, step up research on new types of antennas and mobile phone and DECT-type devices, and encourage research to develop telecommunication based on other technologies which are just as efficient but have less negative effects on the environment and health;

8.2. concerning the private use of mobile phones, DECT phones, WiFi, WLAN and WIMAX for computers and other wireless devices such as baby phones:

8.2.1. set preventive thresholds for levels of long-term exposure to microwaves in all indoor areas, in accordance with the precautionary principle, not exceeding 0.6 volts per metre, and in the medium term to reduce it to 0.2 volts per metre;

8.2.2. undertake appropriate risk-assessment procedures for all new types of device prior to licensing;

8.2.3. introduce clear labelling indicating the presence of microwaves or electromagnetic fields, the transmitting power or the specific absorption rate (SAR) of the device and any health risks connected with its use;

8.2.4. raise awareness on potential health risks of DECT-type wireless telephones, baby monitors and other domestic appliances which emit continuous pulse waves, if all electrical equipment is left permanently on standby, and recommend the use of wired, fixed telephones at home or, failing that, models which do not permanently emit pulse waves;

8.3. concerning the protection of children:

8.3.1. develop within different ministries (education, environment and health) targeted information campaigns aimed at teachers, parents and children to alert them to the specific risks of early, ill-considered and prolonged use of mobiles and other devices emitting microwaves;

8.3.2. for children in general, and particularly in schools and classrooms, give preference to wired Internet connections, and strictly regulate the use of mobile phones by schoolchildren on school premises;

8.4. concerning the planning of electric power lines and relay antenna base stations:

8.4.1. introduce town planning measures to keep high-voltage power lines and other electric installations at a safe distance from dwellings;

8.4.2. apply strict safety standards for sound electric systems in new dwellings;

8.4.3. reduce threshold values for relay antennas in accordance with the ALARA principle and install systems for comprehensive and continuous monitoring of all antennas;

8.4.4. determine the sites of any new GSM, UMTS, WiFi or WIMAX antennas not solely according to the operators’ interests but in consultation with local and regional government officials, local residents and associations of concerned citizens;

8.5. concerning risk assessment and precautions:

8.5.1. make risk assessment more prevention oriented;

8.5.2. improve risk-assessment standards and quality by creating a standard risk scale, making the indication of the risk level mandatory, commissioning several risk hypotheses and considering compatibility with real life conditions;

8.5.3. pay heed to and protect “early warning” scientists;

8.5.4. formulate a human rights oriented definition of the precautionary and ALARA principles;

8.5.5. increase public funding of independent research, inter alia through grants from industry and taxation of products which are the subject of public research studies to evaluate health risks;

8.5.6. create independent commissions for the allocation of public funds;

8.5.7. make the transparency of lobby groups mandatory;

8.5.8. promote pluralist and contradictory debates between all stakeholders, including civil society (Aarhus Convention).

1 Text adopted by the Standing Committee, acting on behalf of the Assembly, on 27 May 2011 (see Doc. 12608, report of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Huss).