Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Wireless Radiation Safety, 2014: Year in Review

Two major research studies published this year found that brain cancer risk increased with wireless phone use. Several significant policy-related actions regarding wireless radiation also occurred in 2014.

French researchers found almost a 3-fold increase in brain cancer with 896 or more hours of lifetime cell phone use. Swedish researchers found a 2-fold increase in brain cancer with 1,486 or more hours of cell phone use and a 3-fold risk with 25 or more years of cell and cordless phone use.  

These studies add to the evidence of increased brain cancer risk found among heavier cell phone users in the 13-nation Interphone study published in 2010. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization (WHO) relied heavily on the Interphone Study and earlier research by the Swedish researchers to declare radio frequency radiation “possibly carcinogenic to humans” in 2011. 

A news report on the Swedish study by Reuters Health stimulated global media coverage—over 260 news articles published in 18 languages in 50 countries— demonstrating worldwide concern about the carcinogenicity of cell phone radiation.

Key developments in the past year
  • The U.S. Department of the Interior accused the Federal Government of employing outdated standards: "the electromagnetic radiation standards used by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to be based on thermal heating, a criterion now nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today." The standards violate federal law as they endanger federally-protected wildlife species which suffer adverse effects from cell tower radiation exposure.
  • Four resolutions signed by 98 scientific experts were submitted to the FCC which call on government to issue stronger regulations on wireless radiation, especially cell phone radiation.
  • The Wall Street Journal reported that one in ten cell phone towers in the U.S., numbering about 30,000 in all, emit levels of microwave radiation that exceed the legal limit thus endangering the health of workers, noting that the FCC has issued only two citations for noncompliance since 1996.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) became the first Federal health agency to issue precautionary health warnings about cell phone use; however, CDC later removed the warnings from its web site after the media reported about this key policy change.
  • Fifty-four scientists from 18 nations who study the effects of radio frequency radiation submitted a declaration to Health Canada calling on government to minimize public exposure to the microwave radiation emitted by wireless devices including cell phones, cordless phones, Wi-Fi, broadcast antennas, smart meters, and baby monitors.
  • SINTEF, the largest independent research organization in Scandinavia, proposed manufacturing design guidelines to reduce the magnetic fields emitted by hybrid and electric automobiles which are possibly carcinogenic to humans.
  • The City Council of Berkeley, California directed the City Attorney to draft a cell phone “right to know” ordinance that would require retailers to provide consumers with a fact sheet regarding the cell phone’s minimum separation distance from the body. Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig has offered to defend this ground-breaking ordinance should the CTIA—The Wireless Association sue the City.
  • In a lawsuit filed by 29 individuals who are suing the wireless industry for their brain tumors, the D.C. Superior Court admitted the testimony of expert witnesses for the plaintiffs. This ruling enables the case to move to the discovery phase of the trial, and the industry will be required to release relevant documents.
  • The Los Angeles Unified School District officially accommodated a teacher who suffers from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) by approving her request to have the Wi-Fi turned off in her classroom and her request to be reassigned in the future to another school where Wi-Fi has not been installed. This is the first accommodation for EHS by a public school system in the U.S.
  • systematic review of the research on the effects of cell phone radiation on human sperm found that mobile phone exposure negatively affects sperm quality and may contribute to infertility in some men.
Although two wireless products launched in 2014 received extraordinary media coverage, the news media failed to mention the potential health risks from using these products:
  • The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), a measure of the maximum amount of microwave radiation absorbed, is much higher for the Google Glass than for most cell phones. This is of particular concern for the Glass as unlike cell phones it is worn on the user’s head.
  • The iPhone 6, like most smart phones, has several transmitters that simultaneously emit microwave radiation. When these transmitters are turned on the radiation emitted by this phone is close to the SAR legal limit; thus, one should turn off any transmitters not in use (e.g. Wi-Fi) to reduce exposure. According to Apple, the iPhone 6 should be kept at least 5 millimeters or two-tenths of an inch from the body whenever it is turned on (i.e., the device's minimum body separation distance is 5 mm).

Listed below in order of popularity are the ten most popular wireless radiation news releases distributed this year through PRLog, a press release distribution website, and the ten most popular articles posted on the Electromagnetic Radiation Safety website. In 2014, the news releases received over 65,000 page views, and the website received 130,000 page views from visitors in more than 100 countries.

Ten Most Popular Electromagnetic Radiation Safety Press Releases of the Year 

The Top Cell Phone Radiation Safety Stories of 2013

Ten Most Popular Articles of the Year on the SaferEMR Website

Friday, December 26, 2014

News Releases on PRLog

Health Policy

Berkeley's Proposed Cell Phone "Right to Know" Ordinance

iPhone 6 SAR: Radiation Levels and Separation Distance

CDC Retracts its Precautionary Health Warning about Cell Phone Radiation

CDC Issues Precautionary Health Warnings about Cell Phone Radiation

FCC: 98 Scientific Experts Demand Stronger Regulation of Cellphone Radiation

Scientists Call on Government to Protect Public from Wireless Radiation Exposure

Hybrid and Electric Automobiles Should Be Re-Designed to Reduce Electromagnetic Radiation Risks
Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Dept. of Interior Attacks FCC regarding Adverse Impact of Cell Tower Radiation on Wildlife

Cell Phone Radiation Label Bill Passes Maine Legislature Before Dying

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation: Key Submissions to the Federal Communications Commission

Did Tom Wheeler, the Nominee for Chairman of the FCC, Subvert Research Showing Harm From Cell Phone Radiation?

Belgium Adopts New Regulations to Promote Cell Phone Radiation Safety

French Health Agency Recommends Children and Vulnerable Groups Reduce Cell Phone Radiation Exposure

FCC Needs Input on Radio Frequency Radiation

San Francisco Updates Cell Phone Safety Warnings
Will San Francisco Abandon Its Cell Phone Right to Know Law?

Most Significant Government Health Report on Mobile Phone Radiation Ever Published

Wireless Industry's Patented System to Reduce Cancer Risk from Wireless Local Networks Never Adopte
Better Late Than Never? FCC to Review Cell Phone Radiation Standards (2/5/2013)
Comments submitted to FCC re: "FCC Proposes Changes in the Commission's Rules and Procedures Regarding Human Exposure to RadioFrequency Electromagnetic Energy" (Proceeding Number 03-137), Feb 5, 2013
Call for Action to Reduce Harm from Mobile Phone Radiation

Drs. Oz and Gupta Call for Caution in Using Cell Phones
What's Wrong with the GAO Report on Cell Phone Radiation?

Studies Show Cell Phone Use Increases Brain Cancer Risk

Boeing Tests In-Flight Wireless on Potatoes, Not People

Florida City Adopts Cell Phone Precautionary Health Warnings

San Francisco's Cell Phone Fact Sheet is Factual

Cell Phone Radiation Warning on San Francisco Government Web Site

Big Week for Cell Phone Radiation Legislation

Does The FCC Plan To Rubber Stamp Outdated Cell Phone Radiation Standards?

Italian Supreme Court Rules Cell Phones Can Cause Cancer

India Adopts Health Warnings & U.S. Mobile Phone Standards

Russian Cell Phone Standards Offer Better Protection than American Standards

Samsung Scores with Lowest Radiation Cell Phones

Health Effects

Cell Phone Use and Prenatal Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation May Cause Headaches in Children

Everything You Wanted to Know about Cell Phone Radiation

Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use

LTE Cell Phone Radiation Affects Brain Activity in Cell Phone Users 

Cell Phone Use, Acoustic Neuroma and Cancer of the Pituitary Gland

WHO Monograph on Cancer Risk from Mobile Phone Use Released

Children's Cell Phone Use May Increase Their Risk of ADHD

Your Cell Phone Company May Affect Your Risk of Brain Cancer

Exposure to Electricity May Increase Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease and ALS

Studies Show Cell Phone Use Increases Brain Cancer Risk

Secondhand Exposure to Cell Phone Radiation: An Emerging Public Health Problem?

Health Experts Caution About Smart Meters

Cell Phone Radiation, Pregnancy, and Sperm

Cell Phone Radiation Damages Sperm

Magnetic Field Exposure Before Birth May Contribute to Childhood Obesity