Cellphones and Brain Tumors

There are thousands of studies showing electromagnetic fields are biologically active. And yet growth in wireless technologies in the United States continues unchecked.

Independent studies by Hardell et al. in Sweden show significantly increased risk of brain tumors from 10 or more years of cellphone or cordless phone use on the same side of the head as the phone was used.

For every 100 hours of cellphone use, the risk of brain cancer increases by 5%. For every year of cellphone use, the risk of brain cancer increases by 8%. After 10 or more years of digital cellphone use, there was a 280% increased risk of brain cancer. For cellphone users who were teenagers or younger when they first starting using a cellphone, there was a 420% increased risk of brain cancer.

These numbers and much more can be found in a new report released this week called, “Cellphones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern, Science, Spin and the Truth Behind Interphone“. It was written by eight EMF health advocates on two continents (including myself) to set the record straight and explain the design flaws in the 13-country, industry funded Interphone research study. More Interphone research is expected soon. We are concerned about 11 design flaws in the Interphone study that underestimate risk of brain tumors, outlined in detail in this report. Download PDF here.

Lead author of “Cellphones and Brain Tumors”, Lloyd Morgan, a member of the Bioelectromagnetics Society, says, “The largest health experiment ever undertaken, without informed consent, has some 4 billion participants enrolled. To date science papers have shown an increased risk of brain tumors, eye cancer, salivary gland tumors, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia from cellphone use. The public must be informed”

Interest is brewing in Washington on this subject. Last year, Rep. Dennis Kucinich held hearings on cell phone-cancer links, where Ronald Herberman, MD, Director Emeritus of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer testified. However, recently, in July 2009, our FDA declared, “Whereas high levels of RF can produce health effects (by heating tissue), exposure to low-level RF that does not produce heating effects causes no known adverse health effects.” Senator Arlen Specter, a survivor of a brain tumor himself, is reported to be planning Senate hearings on cellphone health risks for this September .

The ‘thermal issue’ is at the heart of the debate about harm from wireless technologies of all kinds. Government and international health bodies set exposure standards using a long since discredited ‘thermal standard’, based on physics, not on biology. The thermal standard has been discredited over and over again. The Bioinitiative Report , published in August 2007, reviewed over 2,000 studies demonstrating biological effects of electromagnetic fields at non-thermal levels, but our FCC and other global regulatory bodies still maintain a defensive posture, in effect supporting the interests of the telecommunications and electronics industries.

When the truth of this matter comes out, it will be difficult for governments to explain why there was no pre-market health testing of cell phones and wireless technologies. People will learn that electromagnetic fields impact the body; how the science has been known for decades; how industry’s own research, and internal government recommendations, have been suppressed; and how independent scientists have been intimidated, with their funding dried up when they have published positive findings about biological effects from electromagnetic fields, or when they have spoken to the media.

Many countries, but not yet the United States, are now feeling a sense of urgency to exercise precaution, especially when it comes to children’s health.

The European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety last spring voted overwhelmingly to recommend precautions be taken to protect human health with regard to wireless technologies, such as mobile phones, Wi-Fi/Wi-Max, Bluetooth, DECT portable phones and cell towers.

In the United States, all eyes are on Washington. This is because a provision of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Section 704, took away state and local governments rights to limit towers and antennas on health or environmental grounds. Many local governments across the country are agitating for repeal.

Devra Davis, PhD, MPH of the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health is gathering leading international EMF scientists in Washington for a meeting this September called, “The Expert Conference on Cell Phones and Health: Science and Public Policy Questions”. The conference will be held September 13-15th, recessing for Monday afternoon during the reportedly planned U.S. Senate Hearings on Cell Phones and Health, chaired by the Honorable Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Physicians and health advocates are hoping that out of this will emerge legislation and recommendations similar to those from the European Union last spring, which included funding for a ‘wide-ranging’ awareness campaign aimed at young people; that certain establishments be kept free of wireless radiation, including schools, day care centers, retirement homes and health care institutions; that an independent body be given the additional task of assessing scientific integrity of studies in this field; and recognition for persons with Electrical Sensitivity as ‘disabled’
 so as to assure them protection and equal opportunity under law.

I’ll end with a quote from Paul J. Rosch, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry, New York Medical College; Full Member, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences; Fellow, The Royal Society of Medicine; and Emeritus Member, The Bioelectromagnetics Society

The health of all living systems (ranging upward from a cell, tissue, organ or person, to a family, organization or nation) depends on good communication – good communication within, as well as with the external environment. All communication in the body eventually takes place via very subtle electromagnetic signaling between cells that is now being disrupted by artificial electropollution we have not had time to adapt to. As Alvin Toffler emphasized in Future Shock, too much change in too short a time produces severe stress due to adaptational failure. The adverse effects of electrosmog may take decades to be appreciated, although some, like carcinogenicity, are already starting to surface. This gigantic experiment on our children and grandchildren could result in massive damage to mind and body with the potential to produce a disaster of unprecedented proportions, unless proper precautions are immediately implemented.

For those of you wanting to learn more, please visit www.electromagnetichealth.org. While there, consider signing the EMF Petition to Congress to lend your support to this issue.

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