I live in the Western region of the US, where cell towers are sparser and purple mountain majesties block cell signals. So it’s fairly common to find myself in a “dead zone” without cell coverage.
But there’s a much more serious “dead zone” that our cell phones may be dragging us into.
Cell phones are so universal today that it’s easy to forget that they only recently made their debut. But in the last 20 years or so, their proliferation has exploded. In fact, Tomi Ahonen predicted that by the summer of 2013, the number of active cell phone subscriptions worldwide would match the world’s population!1 And in the US, by the end of 2013 we had already reached 104.3 percent penetration!2
Like no other gadget before, cell phones have wheedled their way into our lives to the extent that they’ve become more of an appendage than a mere tool.
But with this sharp rise in cell phone use, some question whether cell phones present any potential dangers. The concern centers around electromagnetic radiation (EMR) and its long-term effects on the human body.
Many people baulk at these concerns and quip, “I haven’t had any ill-effects from my cell phone and I’m on it constantly.” But because cell phones are relatively new, we don’t fully understand cell phone health risks over the long-term.
Recent history soberly reminds us that medical doctors were recommending cigarettes in radio ads in the 40s and 50s. If we learn anything from history, we must NOT assume that cell phones are safe until proven harmful.3
We might also wonder, “If cell phones are dangerous, why were they ever introduced to the public in the first place?” But according to one insider, the companies that brought cell phones to the market “Pressured government regulatory agencies to allow cell phones to be sold without pre-market testing. The pressure worked, and cell phones were exempted from any type of regulatory oversight, an exemption that continues today.”4
For an industry enjoying hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues each year, one has to ask how motivated the cellular industry is to expose potential hazards from use and cell phone health risks.5
There is no dispute that cell phones, as well as other electronic devices, emit electromagnetic radiation. So, what do we know about the effects of EMR on the human body?
The cell phone industry refers to the radiation emitted by cell phones as radiofrequency energy. Dr. Devra Davis, an expert in this field, warns that this designation is misleading. She explains, “In fact, a cellphone is a two-way microwave radio. If people understood that they were holding a two-way microwave-radiating device next to their brain or next to their reproductive organs, they might think differently about it.”6
Questions about the safety of cell phones arose in the early 1990s, when a man filed a lawsuit alleging that cell phones caused brain cancer in his wife and killed her. The cell phone industry sought to address cell phone safety and assuage the public by creating a non-profit organization, Wireless Technology Research (WTR). Dr. George Carlo was appointed head of WTR’s research team.7
Dr. Carlo recruited an elite team of scientists and they began their research. His team conducted more than 50 studies. These studies were peer-reviewed and published in many medical and scientific journals. The studies demonstrated that cell phone radiation “caused DNA damage, impaired DNA repair, and interfered with cardiac pacemakers.”8
In 1998, WTR was ready to communicate its findings to the public. But the cell phone industry stepped in and tried to take control of disseminating the information. Dr. Carlo and his associates feared that the industry would either censor or hide WTR’s findings, so WTR went public on their own in an ABC News broadcast.9
According to Dr. Carlo and his team, a cell phone generates both near-field and far-field radiation plumes. These plumes can disturb the human biofield, negatively impacting metabolism and physiology.10
The industry was incensed over the news release and launched a smear campaign to discredit Dr. Carlo, his team and their work. Dr. Carlo explains, “The industry played dirty. It actually hired people to put negative things about me and the other scientists who found problems on the internet, while it tried to distance itself from the program. Auditors were brought in to say we misspent money, but none of that ever held up. They tried every angle possible.”11
Nevertheless, other studies and concerns about the safety of cell phones continued to be raised. In 2000, Dr. William Stewart issued a warning on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain. The cautionary notice warned teenagers not to use cell phones due to the possibility of their harmful effects.12
Some years later, in 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) concluded that there may be a connection between cancer and EMR cell phone emissions.13
In 2013, the National Cancer Institute posted the following equivocal statement on their website: “Studies thus far have not shown a consistent link between cell phone use and cancers of the brain, nerves, or other tissues of the head or neck. More research is needed because cell phone technology and how people use cell phones have been changing rapidly.”14
Then, on June 9, 2014, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a precautionary health warning about cell phone radiation and provided tips for reducing one’s risk to exposure.15 But mysteriously, ten weeks later, the CDC retracted their warning.16
Media experts speculate about the reasons behind CDC’s retraction, especially given that about 100 experts on EMR had signed and submitted declarations to the FCC urging precaution around cell phone use.17
Does long-term cell phone use damage our bodies? Why is the cell phone industry so intent on squelching serious research? How can the CDC release a warning about the possible dangers of cell phone use, only to retract it ten days later?
On a hunch, I went looking for safety information that came with my cell phone. Actually, it didn’t come with my cell phone, but my user manual referenced a website. It took a bit of hunting to finally land on a page from the legal department that talks about the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR value) at which the body absorbs RF energy.18
But Dr. Davis argues that SAR only estimates one component of risk from cell phones and “does not gauge the risk from the frequencies of the cell phone, the erratic pulsing and modulation of the signals, or the magnetic fields from batteries.” 19
Based on scientific studies, Dr. Davis warns that pulse digital signals from cell phone radiation can alter and weaken cell membranes and increase the production of free radicals in the body, which are very damaging.20
Until we know more or the whole truth gets out, caution and prevention seem to be the most prudent courses of action.
How To Reduce Exposure
Here are some tips for reducing exposure to EMR from cell phones:21,22
- Use a hands-free option to keep the cell phone away from your head.
- Don’t carry a cell phone in your pocket. Carry it at least 10mm (3/8”) away from your body.
- Understand that cases with metal parts may change the RF performance of the cell phone in untested ways.
- Meet with people face-to-face instead of on a device.
- Curb the frequency of your exposure. Ask yourself, “Do I really need to be texting, calling, watching, or listening on my cell phone all the time?”
As you can see, proximity, frequency of exposure and probably long-term exposure appear to be the primary factors to be concerned with.
The question is, will we wait until the government or industry tells us that cell phones are bad for us, or will we take personal steps now to protect ourselves from possible cell phone health risks? What will you do?
Joe is the founder of Barton Publishing, Inc., a leading natural health company that empowers people to experience vibrant amazing health through natural healing remedies. His publishing company helps hundreds of thousands of people who suffer from acid reflux, diabetes, high blood pressure, gout, and 20+ other disease and ailments enjoy healthier lives. He is also a contributing writer that shows people how to cure and treat themselves using safe, natural, and proven remedies.
1. Tomi Ahonen, “The Annual Mobile Industry Numbers and Stats Blog—Yep, this Year We Will Hit the Mobile Moment…,” Communities Dominate Brands, March 6, 2013, http://communities-dominate.blogs.com/brands/2013/03/the-annual-mobile-industry-numbers-and-stats-blog-yep-this-year-we-will-hit-the-mobile-moment.html.
2. CTIA, The Wireless Association, “Annual Wireless Industry Survey,” 2014, http://www.ctia.org/your-wireless-life/how-wireless-works/annual-wireless-industry-survey.
3. Dr. Mercola, “Dr. Mercola Interviews Devra Davis on the Dangers of Cell Phones,” October 7, 2012, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/07/devra-davis-on-cell-phone-dangers.aspx.
4. Sue Kovach, “The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation,” Life Extension Magazine, August, 2007, http://www.lef.org/magazine/2007/8/report_cellphone_radiation/Page-01.
5. Gartner, “Gartner Says Annual Smartphone Sales Surpassed Sales of Feature Phones for the First Time in 2013,” February 13, 2014, http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2665715.
6. Dr. Mercola.
7. Sue Kovach.
8. Sue Kovach.
9. Sue Kovach.
10. Sue Kovach.
11. Sue Kovach.
12. Dr. Mercola.
13. Wake Forest Baptist Health, “Are Cell Phones Dangerous?” August 25, 2014, http://www.wakehealth.edu/Health-Central/Are-Cell-Phones-Dangerous/.
14. National Cancer Institute, “Cell Phones and Cancer Risk,” June 24, 2013, http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/cellphones.
15. Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D, “CDC Issues Precautionary Health Warnings about Cell Phone Radiation,” PRLOG, August 13, 2014, http://www.prlog.org/12359483-cdc-issues-precautionary-health-warnings-about-cell-phone-radiation.html.
16. Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D, “CDC Retracts its Precautionary Health Warning about Cell Phone Radiation,” PRLOG, August 21, 2014, http://www.prlog.org/12362077-cdc-retracts-its-precautionary-health-warning-about-cell-phone-radiation.html
17. Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D, “CDC Retracts its Precautionary Health Warning about Cell Phone Radiation.”
18. Apple, “iPhone 4s RF Exposure Information,” 2015, http://www.apple.com/legal/rfexposure/iphone4,1/en/.
19. Dr. Mercola.
20. Dr. Mercola.
21. Apple, “iPhone 4s RF Exposure Information,” 2015, http://www.apple.com/legal/rfexposure/iphone4,1/en/.
22. Mehmet Oz, MD, “How to Avoid Cell Phone Dangers,” Oprah.com, March 2010, http://www.oprah.com/health/Dr-Oz-Explains-Cell-Phone-Dangers-and-How-to-Avoid-Them.