Cell Phone Radiation and Your Health


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Presentation by Dr. Devra Davis on Cell Phone Safety at the Common Wealth Club in San Francisco, Wednesday October 6, 2010.

Published in: Technology, Health & Medicine
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  • The World Health Organization has declared that cell phone radiation may be linked to brain cancer. Ten studies connect cell phone radiation to diminished sperm count and sperm damage. Others raise health concerns such as altered brain metabolism, sleep disturbance and behavioral changes in children. Then I researched ways to avoid the danger from cell phone radiation . In the end though, I found a couple of reviews of Pong Research 's cases, that convinced me to give it a try. This case is built with an antenna in between layers of the back cover, which reduce exposure to radiation while optimizing the mobile reception. I was skeptical about it, however, I bought a case. Because Pong is the only technology proven in FCC-certified laboratories to reduce the exposure to mobile device radiation by up to 95% below the FCC limit without compromising the device’s ability to communicate.
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  • - Cell phones are radio frequency transmitters. They are essentially small microwave radios. Their calls are broadcasted on specific frequencies. For instance AT&T Wireless phones use the 850 mhz radio spectrum, while T-Mobile offers the 1900 mhz spectrum.
  • Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse stammen von Prof. Rüdiger, Universität Wien, Prof. Tauber, Charite Berlin, Prof. Leszszynski, STUK Helsinki und Prof, Wobus Gatersleben. Prof. Kuster, ETH-Zürich, schuf die technischen Voraussetzungen, indem er die Expositionsanlagen entwickelte und den verschiedenen Gruppen zur Verfügung stellte.
  • Cell Phone Radiation and Your Health

    1. 1. Commonwealth Club <ul><li>Cell Phone Radiation and Your Health—what you need to know and what you need to do </li></ul><ul><li>Devra Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder </li></ul><ul><li>Environmental Health Trust </li></ul><ul><li>www.environmentalhealthtrust.org </li></ul><ul><li>October 6, 2010 </li></ul>
    2. 3. <ul><li>Cell phones are small microwave radios </li></ul><ul><li>that have never been tested for safety </li></ul><ul><li>Microwave radiation can be damaging, </li></ul><ul><li>but we assume it is harmless </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Models of brain exposure in children and adults </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experimental evidence of DNA and other damage </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Human studies show some harm </li></ul></ul></ul>
    3. 4. <ul><li>Other nations advise protecting your family, </li></ul><ul><li>and companies issue fine print warnings that most people never see </li></ul><ul><li>Industry-fostered confusion </li></ul><ul><li>enables unprecedented use of this largely untested technology </li></ul>
    4. 5. Electromagnetic spectrum Radar
    5. 6. First RADAR Range Oven, 1947 Had its own water cooling Weighed 700 pounds for insulation Cost about as much as 2 cars 1.9MHz at 1600 watts of power
    6. 7. Renamed “Microwave” Ovens But Cooked Unevenly 1972 Created cold and hot spots as microwaves produced uneven heating SOLUTION? Use turntable to rotate food
    7. 8. Today’s Microwave Ovens <ul><li>Operate at 1.9 to 2.4 mHz on 1000 watts of power </li></ul><ul><li>and boil water in 2 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Cellphones are microwave radios </li></ul>Operate at 1.9 to 2.4 mHz on less than one watt of power and can be used for hours a day
    8. 9. The Progress of Cell Phones ( smaller, faster, more powerful ) The first phones weighed several pounds and used analogue signals of several watts of power; Smart phones weigh a few ounces and use pulsed digital signals of a tenth of a watt http://news.lehsys.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-o-matic/cache/f24f9_russian-doll-cellph-phone-evolution_1.jpg
    9. 10. Radiation reaches into ~2 times further into smaller heads (a) 11.1% larger head of tall man, (b) average, and (c) smaller. Gandhi & Kang, Phys. Med. Biol. , 47 , 1501-18, 2002. c b a
    10. 11. (b) The &quot;Visible Man&quot; model Cell phone standards are based on a heavy-set 6 foot tall man NOT a young child 900 MHz the SAR maximum occurs in the center of the case ( w 15 mm spacer for 10 gm) 1800 MHz SAR max occurs at edge of case, Christ et al, 2010
    11. 12. http:// farm4.static.flickr.com/3489/4077411645_bae5380d45_o.gif
    12. 13. Smaller Younger Cell Phone Users Worldwide <ul><li>Four billion phones in use </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Average man’ is 5’ 7” </li></ul><ul><li>Worldwide 1 in 3 is under age 15 </li></ul><ul><li>Fewer than 1 in 10 users have heads the size of the standard man model called SAM who is six feet tall, weighs 210 lbs & talks less than half an hour daily. </li></ul>
    13. 14. (b) The &quot;Visible Man&quot; model Head models for people of different ages are NOT used to set standards today SAM Duke Billie/female 7 y o Thelonius 3 y o Christ et al, 2010
    14. 15. DNA molecule- Double helix can be damaged by free radicals
    15. 16. European Group Demonstrated DNA Damage 2004 Using novel in vitro Methods A project funded by the European Union under the programme &quot;Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources&quot;, Key Action 4 &quot;Environment and Health&quot;: QLK4-CT-1999-01574 STUK, Helsinki Free University Berlin Institute for Plant Genetics, Gatersleben University of Hannover RZPD, Heidelberg Medical University Vienna VERUM Foundation, München University of Bordeaux INSALUD, Madrid University of Bologna University of Milan ETH Zürich
    16. 17. © Clinical Chemistry, Free University of Berlin X-rays and RF Damage DNA Comet Assay sham exposition gamma-radiation; 0,5 Gy RF-EMF: 1800 MHz; SAR 1.3 W/kg; 24h
    17. 18. Leakage through the BBB of rat brain occurs a fter exposure to RF Lucas Margaritis, Athens, 2010
    18. 19. Human Studies of Cell Phones <ul><li>Complex and costly </li></ul><ul><li>The last epidemiologic study on brain cancer and cellphones in the U.S. was published in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Few people have used phones heavily for a single decade </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer is NOT the only outcome of interest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parkinsons, Alzheimers, autism, hearing loss & tumors, infertility and lowered sperm count </li></ul></ul>
    19. 20. <ul><li>No increase in brain tumors was found in survivors </li></ul>until 40 years later . Atomic Bombs in Japan, 1945
    20. 21. <ul><li>In most epidemiological studies, cell phones do not increase brain cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Until after at least ten years of heavy use </li></ul>
    21. 22. WHO Interphone Results <ul><li>No overall increased brain tumor risk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>user defined as someone making 1 call a week for 6 months </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Risk increased for heaviest users after a decade (15 hours/month) </li></ul><ul><li>Studied cellphone users** between 1990-1994 that developed tumors between 2000-2004. </li></ul><ul><li>**Average U.S. use now ~14 hours/month </li></ul>
    22. 23. Limits of Human Studies of Cell Phones <ul><li>Nearly 90% of adults use cell phones today, 8 times more than in 1990. </li></ul><ul><li>Studies of cell phone use in the 1990s cannot indicate the risks from newer phones used by younger persons </li></ul><ul><li>Technologies and use patterns keep changing, strengthening the case for precaution </li></ul>
    23. 24. Heavier Cell Phone Users Have Reduced Sperm Count No Agarawal, Cleveland Clinic, 2008; and seven other studies 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 No Use <2 h/day 2h/day >4 h/day Millions/ml
    24. 25. Precautions Noted by the FCC, FDA, and ACS as of September, 2010 <ul><li>Use an earpiece or headset. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid continually wearing a wireless earpiece </li></ul><ul><li>Keep wireless devices away from your body when they are on </li></ul><ul><li>Use speakerphone or purchase a low SAR phone to reduce exposure to the head. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider texting rather than talking, but don’t text while you are driving. </li></ul><ul><li>Can limit talk time </li></ul>
    25. 26. Precautions Noted by the FCC, FDA, and ACS as of September, 2010 <ul><li>Use an earpiece or headset. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid continually wearing a wireless earpiece </li></ul><ul><li>Keep wireless devices away from your body when they are on </li></ul><ul><li>Use speakerphone </li></ul><ul><li>or purchase a low SAR phone to reduce exposure to the head. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider texting rather than talking, but don’t text while you are driving. </li></ul><ul><li>Can limit talk time </li></ul>
    26. 27. The Back Story <ul><li>Science is used as a form of public relations </li></ul><ul><li>Doubt creation becomes its own industry </li></ul>
    27. 28. <ul><li>Allen Frey, 1972 showed that pulsed microwaves affect cell membranes </li></ul><ul><li>His research was ‘discontinued’ </li></ul><ul><li>Henry Lai and V. J. Singh 1995 demonstrated that cell-phone like radiation damaged brain DNA </li></ul><ul><li>They, their universities and their work was attacked </li></ul>
    28. 29. Industry mounted Public Relations Campaign <ul><li>Asked journal editor to ‘unaccept the paper’ </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote to the University of Washington and NIH seeking to have funding revoked </li></ul><ul><li>“ I think that we have sufficiently war-gamed the Lai-Singh issue, assuming the Scientific Advisory Group and CTIA have done their homework.”  Motorola executive Norman Sandler to Michael Kels of Burson-Marsteller, December 13, 1994 </li></ul>
    29. 30. Industry Hired Scientist to Discredit Lai and Singh <ul><li>Jerry Phillips under contract work for Motorola and the US Department of Energy </li></ul><ul><li>Phillips replicated Lai and Singh results in 1999 </li></ul><ul><li>Phillips, Lai and Singh no longer work in this field </li></ul>
    30. 31. University of Vienna DNA investigators charged with “fraud” <ul><li>Science magazine headlines “Vienna study withdrawn, fraud admitted,” 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>2010, Austrian university and court rulings-- the fraud was itself a fraud. </li></ul>
    31. 32. How to Protect Your Family <ul><li>France, Finland, Israel, and the European Environment Agency advise reducing direct radiofrequency radiation to the brain </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use speakerphone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use earpieces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do not keep phone on the body </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid use in areas of weak signals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limit children’s use of phones next to brain </li></ul></ul>
    32. 33. FRANCE, DECEMBER 2008
    33. 34. French Government Proposed Restrictions on Cell Phones, January, 2009 <ul><li>Ban advertising to children under 12 </li></ul><ul><li>Ban design of phones to be used by those under six. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Handsets must be sold with phones </li></ul><ul><li>City of Lyon official advertising campaign to discourage the use of the phones by children. </li></ul>
    34. 35. President Bush’s Cancer Panel <ul><li>“ The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Long-term monitoring and quantification of electromagnetic energy exposures related to cell phones and wireless technologies are urgently needed given the escalating use of these devices by larger and younger segments of the population and the higher radiofrequencies newer devices produce.” </li></ul><ul><li>May 6, 2010 </li></ul>
    35. 36. National Academy of Sciences Report on Data Gaps and Research Needs for Cell Phone Research 2008 <ul><li>Exposure to Internal antennas </li></ul><ul><li>Prospective study of adults & retrospective study of workers </li></ul><ul><li>  Laboratory studies on neural networks and the brain's electrical activity </li></ul><ul><li>Better models of human exposure </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
    36. 37. Marketing to Five Year Olds
    37. 40.
    38. 41. Truth is Stranger Than Fiction <ul><li>“ Gentlemen, practice these words in front of the mirror: Although we are constantly exploring the subject, currently there is no direct evidence that links cell phone usage to brain cancer.” </li></ul>
    39. 42. CTIA response to health concerns in 1993 was to invoke research and call for more research <ul><li>“ More than ten thousand studies show that cell phones are safe” in 1993 </li></ul><ul><li>Today there are fewer than 1,000 studies according to German government resources at www.emfportal.org </li></ul><ul><li>Calling for research becomes an excuse not to change policy </li></ul>
    40. 43. Fine Print Warnings
    41. 44. Fine Print Warnings
    42. 45. Fine Print Warnings (iPhone 4)
    43. 46. CTIA, 2010 <ul><li>Opposes Right to Know about Cell Phone Radiation in San Francisco, Maine, and Burlingame—will confuse people </li></ul><ul><li>When asked in March why fine print warnings come with all phones CTIA Official Dane Snowdon, replied, “We’ll get back to you.” </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Snowdon, six months later we want to know the answer. </li></ul>
    44. 47. <ul><li>Join on line </li></ul><ul><li>Use an earpiece or speakerphone </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t keep phone on and on the body </li></ul><ul><li>Text message rather than talk </li></ul>Campaign for Safer Cell Phones—under development
    45. 48. Models Wanted – No Experience Necessary Must be willing to protect their brains and practice safe phone
    46. 49. Warning Proposed for State of Maine, March 2010, to prevent brain cancer and other chronic illnesses Warnings Proposed by Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood to Reduce distracted driving deaths and accidents
    47. 50. What’s Next? <ul><li>YouTube Public Service Announcement Contests with Local Teens with winning feature to be shown in theatres during Spring Break </li></ul><ul><li>Expanding Business Campaign for Safer Cell Phones nation-wide </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific Research Program </li></ul><ul><li>Evolving public policy outreach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Portland, Maine Mayor will be issuing Jackson, Wyoming Town Council Proclamation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Congressional and Regulatory Developments </li></ul></ul>
    48. 51. <ul><li>The world is not dangerous because of those </li></ul><ul><li>who do harm but because of those who look at </li></ul><ul><li>it without doing anything. </li></ul><ul><li>Albert Einstein </li></ul><ul><li>www.environmentalhealthtrust.org </li></ul>
    49. 52. Photo credit: Thos Robinson
    50. 53. Dr. Lisa Ridgway Pediatrician <ul><li>Clinical case reports are valuable in medicine </li></ul><ul><li>Case report of malignant parotid gland tumor </li></ul><ul><li>Age 24 with history of long-term heavy cell phone use, on phone and under pillow </li></ul><ul><li>Tumor on same side of head as cell phone was used </li></ul><ul><li>Could this be a sentinel? </li></ul>
    51. 54. Parotid or Salivary Gland Tumors Tripled in Israel 1 in 5 under age 20
    52. 55. Israeli Dental Association Warning <ul><li>One in every five rare malignant tumors of the cheek occurs in someone under age 20 </li></ul><ul><li>Young people should limit direct exposure of the head to microwave radiation from cell phones </li></ul>