There are numerous federal agencies claiming there is a lack of evidence that cell phone radiation exposure can cause harm. Among them is the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) itself, the FDA, and most notably, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which states on its website that “there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radio frequency (RF) energy can cause cancer.” (1)
Curiously, the effect of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) or radio frequency (RF) was not tested on microbes by the FDA or the NCI. Studies do suggest a strong negative effect of EMR on microbial cells, which make up 90% of our human cells. (10,11)
At the same time, new research seems to be pouring in citing the health risks associated with electromagnetic radiation from cell phone, Wi-Fi signals and cell towers. Something you may not be aware of is that the FCC electromagnetic radiation (EMR) safety standard is based on outdated 30-year-old technology. In fact, the U.S. Department of Interior has accused the FCC of using EMR safety standards based only on the thermal heating or close range effects of cell phone EMR radiation – a topic I covered in a previous blog. (1)
As a result of these outdated FCC safety standards, which do not take into account low intensity radiation measurements (or far-field radiation plumes) from cell phone towers, tower radiation has regularly exceeded legal emission limits. According to the Department of the Interior, these outdated regulations have put workers and endangered wildlife species at risk of excess electromagnetic radiation exposure. (1)
In fact, in a recent Wall Street Journal report, one in ten cell phone towers currently exceed the outdated legal limit of cell tower microwave emissions. The total number of such towers in the states is 30,000. In a weak response, the FCC has issued only two citations for non-compliance since 1996. (2)
In this newsletter, I will cite the CDC’s stance on cell phone health risks which is, like most federal agencies, quite conservative. I will also list some of the more recent studies suggesting that there are real risks regarding radiation frequencies (RF) and electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell phones, cell towers and Wi-Fi signals. With all of the information/science, my hope is that you can decide how much exposure to cell phone electromagnetic radiation and radio frequency you are comfortable with.
The CDC Cell Phone FAQs
According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, cell phones should be used with caution, suggesting that the radiation frequency emitted by cells phones is a “possible human carcinogen.” The following are the FAQs taken from the CDC’s website regarding cell phone safety: (3)
Can using a cell phone cause cancer?
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.
Do cell phones give off (emit) radiation?
Yes – cell phones and cordless phones use radio frequency radiation (RF) to send signals. RF is different from other types of radiation (like x-rays) that we know can be harmful. We don’t know for sure if RF radiation from cell phones can cause health problems years later. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified RF radiation as a “possible human carcinogen.” (A carcinogen is an agent that causes cancer.)
Should people stop using cell phones?
Scientific studies are ongoing. Someday cell phones 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. If you are worried about cell phone use, follow the tips below.
Cell phone tips to reduce radio frequency radiation near your body:
- Get a hands-free headset that connects directly to your phone.
- Use speaker-phone more often.
- If you have a pacemaker, keep cell phones at least 8 inches away from it.
NOTE: See my recommendations in my blog, “Tips to Minimize your Cell Phone Radiation Exposure.”
Do cell phones cause health problems in children?
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.
What research is being done to learn more about cell phones and health?
Scientists are continuing to study the possible health effects of cell phone use. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) is currently looking into how cell phones may affect:
- Some types of tumors (a lump or growth)
- Our eyes
In the News: Acoustic Neuroma
Scientists are looking into a possible link between cell phone use and certain types of tumor. One type is called an acoustic neuroma (“ah-COOS-tik nur-OH-ma”). This type of tumor grows on the nerve that connects the ear to the brain. It doesn’t cause cancer, but it may lead to other health problems, like hearing loss. Another type scientists are looking into is called a glioma (“glee-OH-ma”). This is a tumor found in the brain or central nervous system of the body.
Let’s Look at the Science
While the CDC is reluctant to pass judgment on cell phones, there is plenty of science to warrant a preventative and safety strategy regarding cell phone use.
I realize that the CDC and these other agencies have to be conservative in their statements regarding cell phone risks, but much of the science that the CDC says scientists are currently “looking into” is actually already in!
Now, it is only fair to say that there are many studies that have not demonstrated cellular harm from cell phone EMR/RF exposure. It is also fair to say that there are plenty of studies suggesting that there are potential health risks from long term exposure, and precautionary measures regarding cell phone use may be warranted.
It is also important to note that there are many studies suggesting harmful effects from EMRs on the body’s good microbes. In one study, microbial growth was slowed, and in another study, cell division was altered. (10,11)
The following are a list of scientific abstracts on cell phone EMR risks that suggest a contrasting sense of urgency with regard to cell phone radiation health risks. For easy reading, skip to the CONCLUSIONS.
- The Role of Selenium (an Antioxidant) as Protection against Radiation Exposure (8)
This 2011 study published in the journal of Biological Trace Element Research found that selenium may protect cells from free radical damage when exposed to the damaging effects of cell phone radiation.
Antioxidants such as the trace mineral selenium may be a protective strategy against the potential harmful effects of cell phone RF and EMR long term exposure. (8)
Measure Your Radiation Exposure: Do The Cell Phone Math
Experts suggest risk only at very high levels of cell phone usage. But the math proves otherwise. How many folks regularly use their phones way more than a 1/2 hour a day?
- 2010 Interphone study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology (9)
In this study, 2708 glioma and 2409 meningioma cases from 13 countries were interviewed for cell phone use.
While this study showed no increased risk of brain tumors with average cell phone use over a ten year period, they was a big jump in risk with heavy users. Those who used cell phone than 1640 hours over a ten year period (that is about a half hour a day) and generally used it on the same side of the head had a 40% increase in glioma risk. (9)
- 2009 Meta-Analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology (4)
Control studies have reported inconsistent findings regarding the association between mobile phone use and tumor risk. This meta-analysis surveyed over 465 articles on cell phone EMR risk.
The current study found that there is possible evidence linking mobile phone use to an increased risk of tumors from a meta-analysis of low-biased case-control studies.
- 2005 Study published in Toxicology Letters Journal (5)
In this study, the effects of exposure to a 900 megahertz (MHz) electromagnetic field (EMF) on serum thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and triiodothronine-thyroxin (T3-T4) hormones levels were studied.
These results indicate that 900 MHz EMF emitted by cellular telephones decrease serum TSH and T3-T4 levels.
- 2009 Study published in the Oman Medical Journal (6)
This study investigated the effects of electromagnetic fields induced by the Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) mobile phones on the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) and thyroid hormones in humans.
This is the first human study to assess the associations between mobile phone use and alterations in the levels of TSH and thyroid hormones. Based on the findings, a higher than normal TSH level, low mean T4 and normal T3 concentrations in mobile users were observed. It may be concluded that possible deleterious effects of mobile microwaves on hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis affects the levels of these hormones.
- Effect Of Non-Ionizing Electromagnetic Radiation (NIER) At Mobile Phone Frequency On Human Thyroid Cells (7)
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation (NIER) at mobile phone frequency on human thyroid cells.
DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION:
Results suggest a proliferative effect of NIER on human thyrocytes, an effect that may link NIER exposure with potential carcinogenesis.