Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Wireless Radiation Safety, 2013: Year in Review

2013 was an important year for research on cell phone and wireless radiation health risks and related policy developments. Key research and policy developments include the following:
  • 25 or more years of cell phone and cordless phone use was found to be associated with a tripled risk of brain cancer.
  • Women who used cell phones for ten or more years were two-and- a-half times more likely to develop acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the nerve from the ear to the brain.
  • Only 30 minutes of exposure to LTE, 4th generation cell phone radiation, was found to alter activity on both sides of the human brain.
  • Children with slightly elevated lead levels in their blood who used cell phones were found to be at greater risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than lead-exposed children who did not use cell phones; the amount of cell phone use predicted ADHD.
  • The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requested public input on its 17-year-old regulatory limits on cell phone radiation.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics submitted a letter to the FCC that urged the adoption of standards that protect children's health and well-being from radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices; that reflect how people actually use their cell phones; and that provide sufficient information to enable consumers to make informed decisions when they purchase cell phones.
  • The U.S. appointed Tom Wheeler, the former chief lobbyist for the cellular industry, to chair the FCC, raising concerns in the public health community that the FCC will not strengthen our obsolete and inadequate cell phone radiation standards.
  •  The World Health Organization in a 471 page report concluded that there is now “limited evidence” in both humans and laboratory animals that radiofrequency radiation, especially from cell phones, causes cancer.
  • The European Environment Agency issued a report calling on governments to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, especially exposure to children and young adults who are at greatest risk for brain and salivary gland tumors; the report recommended texting, use of hands-free sets, and improved cell phone design; governments should reconsider the present exposure standards; cell phones should be required to have effective labeling and warnings about potential risks; and funding should be provided for “urgently needed research into the health effects of phones” and base stations.
  • Twelve health experts called on governments to adopt stricter safety standards for radiofrequency radiation because the obsolete, current standards are not based on the recent literature about biological effects; and recommended that Wi-Fi be banned from public schools and other public venues.
  • The Los Angeles Unified School District adopted a $500 million technology plan to install Wi-Fi in every classroom and provide every student with a wireless tablet despite opposition from health experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
  • Belgium banned children’s cell phones and requires the specific absorption rate (SAR) be listed on every cell phone at the point of sale and a warning provided to customers to choose a lower SAR phone, use it moderately, and wear an earpiece.
  • The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health warned the public to reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation.
Of the 21 news releases I prepared this year, my most popular article reported on the first published study about the effects on the human brain of exposure to the fourth generation (4G) cell phone technology, LTE. This peer-reviewed, study found that 30 minutes' exposure to LTE cellphone radiation altered activity on both sides of the brain.

The study established that short-term exposure to LTE microwave radiation affects the user's brain activity. Although LTE technology is too new for the long-term health consequences to be studied, we have growing evidence that long-term cell phone use is associated with various health risks in humans including increased risk of head and neck cancer, sperm damage and male infertility, and health effects on children from pre- and post-natal exposure (e.g., attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). A recent study documented four cases of women who developed breast tumors proximal to where they kept their cell phones in their bras.

Although the LTE study was not reported by the mainstream media, my press release received more than 7,000 page views on the website where I posted it and generated almost 800 Facebook “likes” and 75 tweets. The release was translated into Spanish, French, Dutch, and Finnish and re-posted on 43 websites around the world, receiving many more page views. 

Listed below in order of popularity are the eleven most popular news releases I distributed this year through PRLOG, a press release distribution website, and the nine most popular articles I posted this year on my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website. My news releases received about 60,000 page views, and my website received about 40,000 page views from visitors in more than 100 countries attesting to the worldwide concern about electromagnetic radiation safety.

Eleven Most Popular Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Press Releases of the Year 
LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users 
Apr 19, 2013