Thursday, September 28, 2017

What's Wrong with Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Limits?

Does the FCC Adequately Enforce its Cell Phone Radiation Exposure Limits?

Last September, the Washington, DC law firm, Swankin & Turner, sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that questioned whether the agency adequately enforced its cell phone radiation exposure limits.

The letter raised four areas of concern about current testing procedures and posed twelve specific questions.

One concern is that the FCC's two-decade-old cell phone testing procedures allow for a 30% margin of error. This means that a cell phone with a Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) greater than 1.231 W/kg can actually exceed the FCC's exposure limit of 1.6 W/kg. The law firm's clients estimate that about 75% of the cell phones on the market may exceed the current exposure limits.

In 2012, the U.S. General Accountability Office, an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress, presented a report to the FCC which raised concerns about the adequacy of cell phone testing procedures. The Commission has yet to address the GAO's concerns so it is unlikely that the FCC will provide a timely response to Swankin &Turner.

The FCC's lack of responsiveness to the Congress and to the American people is explained in a Harvard publication by Norm Alster, "Captured agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates."

Swankin & Turner sent the letter to the FCC on behalf of its clients -- The National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy and Environmental Health Trust.

The eleven page letter can be downloaded at:

June 19, 2017

Current Cell Phone Radiation Standards 
Do Not Protect Human Health

National and international regulatory limits for radiofrequency radiation (RFR) exposure from cell phones and cell towers are outdated according to Dr. Yuri Grigoriev. Moreover, the standards are inadequate to protect human health, especially the health of children and those who are hypersensitive to RFR.

Dr. Grigoriev calls for research on the biological effects of chronic exposure to low-intensity RFR in order to develop stronger RFR standards, “bearing in mind, above all, long-term exposure on the brain at all levels of development.”  He argues that until we adopt protective regulations, we should “provide the public with full information on the possible dangers of mobile communication for their health. “ 

Finally, he appeals to his colleagues “Do not sin against the truth!”

Dr. Grigoriev is the Chairman of the Russian National Committee on Non-ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP), and  a member of the International Advisory Committee on Electromagnetic Fields and Health for the World Health Organization.

Following are excerpts from Dr. Grigoriev's book chapter and a link to download the document.

Grigoriev Y. “Methodology of Standards Development for EMF RF in Russia and by International Commissions: Distinctions in Approaches." In Markov, M (Ed.), Dosimetry in Bioelectromagnetics. Chapter 15. pp. 315-337. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor & Francis. 2017.


“The ultimate goal of electromagnetic field (EMF) standards is to protect human health. Exposure limits are intended to protect against adverse health effects of EMF exposure across the entire frequency range and modulation.”

“The Russian standard for base stations has already been in existence for more than 30 years and is more rigid than the maximum level recommended by the International Commission of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP). This distinction has been discussed at scientific meetings for many years—unfortunately, without result.
The second EMF source of mobile communication—the mobile phone—has no sufficient substantiation on exposure limits. The irradiation of a brain is not limited and is not supervised. The children using mobile phones are especially at high risk.”

“The first RF EMF standard for the population, SanPiN 848-70, was approved by the Ministry of Health of the USSR in 1970 and was considered for the population exposure limit of 1 μW/cm2 in the microwave band of 300 MHz to 300 GHz. In 1978, the USSR  Ministry of Health approved the next SanPiN No. 1823-78. In this document, MPL for the population in the frequency range of 300 MHz to 300 GHz was set as 5 μW/cm2.”

“Currently, three questions remain relevant for standardization: 
1. Are there nonthermal biological effects of low levels of RF EMF?2. Is it possible that the irradiation of the population with RF EMF throughout human life leads to increased adverse biological effects?3. Is there a “threshold” level of exposure to RF EMF, and if so how do we define it?”
“….These results together with numerous studies conducted by scientists from many countries provide direct evidence that RF EMF intensity of up to 10 mW/cm2 may have a nonthermal mechanism of action.”

“There is evidence that RF EMF can cause development of tumors in the brain of mobile phone users after a 10–12 year “waiting period” (Hardell and Calberg, 2009). The term 'heavy users' that appeared in some publications linked the unfavorable bioeffects of the prolonged mobile phone use to accumulative processes of adverse biological effects.

It has been shown that after a single exposure to low-intensity RF EMF, certain changes in the brain EEG occur (Lukyanova, 1999, 2015). During the first hours after exposure, there is a restoration of bioelectrical activity of the brain, which indicates the insinuation of compensatory processes. Naturally, in these conditions, a repeated exposure might weaken compensatory processes and lead to development of the process of accumulation (Lukyanov et al., 2015).”

“The threshold level is the lowest level of exposure of the physical factor (EMF RF), below which the risk to public health does not exist, is introduced in analogy with the principles of ionizing radiation.  Given the complexity of this problem, we propose to determine the threshold level as a criterion for the body’s response to RF EMF exposure, but on the condition that this response should not be pathological. This reaction may be compensatory/ adaptive and should exist within the physiological range.”

“When determining the limit values for base stations, the RNCNIRP decided to leave the limit value for the general public of 10 μW/cm² unchanged, as it was set in 1984. This value was well justified by previous research, and so there was no need for changing it (Vinogradov and Dumanskiy, 1974, 1975; Shandala and Vinogradov, 1982; Shandala et al., 1983, 1985; Vinogradov and Naumenko, 1986; Vinogradov et al., 1999).

It is important to note that the MPL of 10 μW/cm² for the population has remained intact for more than 30 years. Previously, the standard was used only in Russia and the countries formerly in coalition with the Soviet Union. Now, MPLs of 10 μW/cm2 or less are used as RF legal exposure limits or nonbinding recommendations for national, regional, urban, or sensitive areas for at least 20 countries worldwide (Figure 15.1).”

“The adoption of the standard in 2003 for the mobile phone in terms of formalizing requirements for methods of measuring the near field and for the establishment of a threshold for the evaluation of RF EMF exposure on brain function as a critical organ was not optimal….There was a proposal to use a safety factor of 5 and set to the cell phone MPL at 100 μW/cm2 (Russian Standard, 2003—SanPiN 2.1.8/ It should be emphasized that SanPiN 2.1.8/, for the first time, introduced the recommendation to limit cell phone use for persons younger than 18 years as well as pregnant women.”

“The following factors allow us to conclude that the potential risk to the health of children who use mobile phones is very high:

– Absorption of electromagnetic energy by the head of a child is much higher than in the head of adults (children’s brain tissue has a higher conductivity, the size of the child’s head is smaller, and the skull bone of the child is thin).
– The distance from the antenna to the brain is short, because the child’s ear shell is very soft and has almost no layer of the cartilage.
– The child’s body is more sensitive to EMFs than adults.
– The child’s brain is more vulnerable to the effects of EMF.
– The brains of children have a greater propensity to accumulation of adverse reactions in the context of repeated exposures to EMF.
– EMF RF may have an adverse effect on cognitive functions.
– Today’s children use mobile phones at an early age and will continue to use them during their lifespan, and so the duration of the exposure of children to electromagnetic radiation will be substantially larger than that of modern adult users.”

“According to the members of the Russian National Committee of Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP, 2008), some possible disorders that might originate in children who use mobile phones include weakened memory, decline of attention, reduction  of mental and cognitive abilities, irritability, sleep disturbance, tendency to stress reactions, and increased epileptic readiness.

It is also possible to expect the development of the adverse effects in older age as the result of the accumulation of adverse effects both in cells and in various functional systems of the body: brain tumors, tumors of the auditory and vestibular nerves (at age 25–30 years), Alzheimer’s disease, “dementia,” depressive syndrome, and other manifestations of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (at age 50–60 years).

Children users of mobile phones are not able to know that their brains are subjected to EMF, risking their health. This is a significant factor in moral ethics for parents. Also important is that the risk of EMF RF exposure is not less than the risk for children’s health from tobacco or alcohol.”

“Currently, international standards are developed by ICNIRP, IEEE, CENELEC, and other international and national commissions. Their methodology uses only the results of experimental animal studies obtained under the conditions of acute effects and thermal-level EMF RF (Bernhard, 1999).

Any standard safety margin depends on the predetermined threshold. Outside Russia, the threshold level is determined on the basis of “stable pathological reactions” in the conditions of acute exposure to RF EMF heat level (WHO Handbook, 2002).”

“Our long experience with ionizing and non-ionizing radiations led us to formulate the following postulate: “The development of hygiene standards for the population should take into account the actual conditions of EMF RF exposure of the population—local or total exposure, acute single exposure or chronic, constant, or repeated exposure; the functional importance of ‘critical organ’ or ‘critical body systems’; and effect on all population groups or only on certain limited groups of the population” (Grigoriev, 1997, 2008a).

Taking into account this postulate, we can make a clear conclusion that the Western standards do not meet the basic hygienic requirements …. Western regulations do not take into account events that occurred for the first time during the life of our civilization. Children who use mobile phones voluntarily irradiate their brains. This EMF RF exposure of the brain occurs every day, and the fractional exposure is projected for many years.

We criticized the Western standards because they do not correspond to the actual conditions of RF EMF exposure on the population (report in 2003 at an international seminar in China, Grigoriev et al., 2003b).”

“This analysis of the methodology of RF EMF regulation abroad allows us to conclude that the current so-called International Recommendations/Guidelines (ICNIRP, 1998) and the IEEE Standards (S95.1-2005), CENELEC (EN 50166-2.2000) do not correspond to existing conditions of RF EMF exposure on the population and cannot guarantee the safety of the public health.

Interestingly, this view was confirmed by the European Parliament in 2009 ….”

“We believe that it is necessary within the framework of the development problems of the methodology of EMF RF standards to specifically consider additional criteria for risk assessment related to the exposure of children to RF EMF who became active users of mobile phones.

Western experts working on new standards, completely ignoring the problem of childhood cell phone use do not take into account the WHO opinion on the higher sensitivity of children to environmental factors in the International standards: ‘children are different from adults.’

Children have a unique vulnerability. As they grow and develop, there are “windows of susceptibility”: periods when their organs and systems may be particularly sensitive to the effect of certain environmental threats (WHO, 2003).”

“The electromagnetic burden on the population is growing daily. At the same time, over the last 20 years, debates are still continuing on the following topic: Is the health of the population at risk because of increasing pollution due to RF EMF from the base stations and mobile phones?

The brains of almost all people on earth are exposed to EMF radiation. However, practically, there are no restrictions for the use of mobile communications. Having the advantages and convenience of mobile communication, the population is ignoring the information about the possible risks to their health. This threat affects everybody, including children aged 3–4 years. Pregnant women do not protect their fetuses from exposure to EMF.

The scientific community is watching this picture and is waiting for the results of this uncontrolled global experiment (Markov and Grigoriev, 2013). We saw similar hazards during the Victorian period in Britain (wallpaper with mercury and toys with lead).”

“…there are four postulates that show the risk to public health from mobile communication (Grigoriev, 2013). It is necessary to convince the population and to create an environment of reasonable restrictions on the use of this  communication.

The first postulate: ‘EMF—harmful type of radiation.’ Mobile communication uses RF EMF. This type of electromagnetic radiation is considered harmful. Exceeding the permissible levels can cause disease; therefore, it requires hygienic control. This is the absolute truth.

The second postulate: ‘The brain and EMF.’ The mobile phone is an open source of EMF, and there is no protection for valuable human organs. EMFs affect the brain during mobile phone use. Nerve structures inside the internal ear (the vestibular and the auditory apparatus) are located directly under the beam of EMF. This is the absolute truth.

The third postulate: ‘Children and EMF.’ For the first time, in history the child’s brain is subjected to RF EMF. There are no results of the study of chronic local RF EMF exposure on the brain. Children are more vulnerable to external environmental factors. This opinion was expressed by WHO (2003) and in the Parma Declaration (WHO European Region, 2010). This is the absolute truth.

Fourth postulate: ‘The lack of adequate recommendations/standards.’ There is no agreement on the methodology for determining the EMF RF remote control and for the development of international standards, and there are no results from 20 years of debate on this issue. This is a real fact.”

“I believe that the time has come to provide the public with full information on the possible dangers of mobile communication for their health. The abovementioned four postulates allow the public to comprehend the likely risks to their health from uncontrolled use of mobile communication.”

“I appeal to colleagues: Do not sin against the truth!”


“Of course, new sources of electromagnetic radiation are creating additional problems in the development of standards. Public health protection issues in connection with the use of mobile communications have become completely different. The use of mobile phones has led to the local long-term RF EMF exposure to the brain. The normative level is not considered a permanent RF EMF exposure on the brain of the user. Existing regulations do not address to the real hazard RF EMF exposure. Given these circumstances, standards cannot currently guarantee the well-being of adults and children.

Children mobile phone users were included in the group of high risk. In this regard, there is a need to develop more appropriate stringent standards to ensure absolute security for growing children. Existing standards should take into consideration the vulnerable group of people hypersensitive to RF EMF.

Given that the current regulations are outdated, it is necessary to carry out complex research into possible biological effects on conditions of chronic exposure to low-intensity EMF RF, bearing in mind, above all, long-term exposure on the brain at all levels of development.

As a temporary measure of limiting exposure to EMF on the population, it is necessary to introduce the concept of “voluntary risk”; that is, mobile telephony should be a product of self-selection on the background of the official public information about possible health hazards.”

The document can be downloaded from the Radiation Research Trust:

June 23, 2014

What's Wrong with Cell Phone Radiation 
Exposure Limits?

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a cell phone radiation exposure limit based upon a measure called the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR.  A SAR testing procedure was developed that is applied to all cell phones sold in the U.S.

In the U.S and about a half dozen other countries, cell phones are allowed to have a maximum SAR of 1.6 watts per kilogram of tissue averaged over one gram of tissue.  Many countries, however, adopted a more permissive standard, that was developed by a self-appointed body, known as the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection or ICNIRP. The ICNIRP standard allows for up to 2.0 watts per kilogram of tissue averaged over ten grams of tissue. 

Recent studies have determined that the head can absorb 2-3 times the radiation from a phone based on the ICNIRP standard as compared to the U.S. standard. Nonetheless, the cell phone industry in the U.S. has been lobbying the FCC to adopt the ICNIRP standard using the euphemism, "harmonization," to justify this weakening of the regulatory standard.

Considerable research, however, suggests that both the U.S. and ICNIRP standards do not adequately protect us from health risks due to exposure to cell phone radiation. The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) and testing procedures are based upon four fallacies:

1) The SAR standards assume that a thermal (or heating) effect is the only way that microwave radiation emitted by cell phones can harm tissue.

However, many studies have found that exposure to low-intensity, microwave radiation at non-thermal levels where there is no measurable temperature change can produce DNA damage, reactive oxygen species, and stress proteins, and can alter brain activity and open the blood-brain-barrier. The SAR standards do not protect mobile device users from these non-thermal effects.

2) The standards are based upon averaging cell phone radiation exposure over one or ten grams of tissue and over time.

However, peak exposures and/or "hot spots" which damage tissue are not considered.

3) The standards only consider the immediate, acute effects of cell phone radiation exposure.

However, chronic effects due to long-term exposure are ignored.

4) The SAR test procedure uses a Specific Anthropomorphic Mannequin (SAM) which simulates a very large man's head and body.

The standards do not address exposure to fetuses, children, or women, different tissue types, or metallic objects worn on the body that influence the absorption of radiation (e.g., metal eye glasses, earrings, or dental braces).  Research indicates that a child's brain absorbs 2-3 times the radiation of an adult's brain.


Evaluation of Specific Absorption Rate as a Dosimetric Quantity for Electromagnetic Fields Bioeffects

DJ Panagopoulos, O Johansson, GL Carlo. Evaluation of Specific Absorption Rate as a Dosimetric Quantity for Electromagnetic Fields Bioeffects. PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e62663. Published online 2013 Jun 4. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0062663


Purpose  To evaluate SAR as a dosimetric quantity for EMF bioeffects, and identify ways for increasing the precision in EMF dosimetry and bioactivity assessment.

Methods  We discuss the interaction of man-made electromagnetic waves with biological matter and calculate the energy transferred to a single free ion within a cell. We analyze the physics and biology of SAR and evaluate the methods of its estimation. We discuss the experimentally observed non-linearity between electromagnetic exposure and biological effect.

Results  We find that: a) The energy absorbed by living matter during exposure to environmentally accounted EMFs is normally well below the thermal level. b) All existing methods for SAR estimation, especially those based upon tissue conductivity and internal electric field, have serious deficiencies. c) The only method to estimate SAR without large error is by measuring temperature increases within biological tissue, which normally are negligible for environmental EMF intensities, and thus cannot be measured.

Conclusions  SAR actually refers to thermal effects, while the vast majority of the recorded biological effects from man-made non-ionizing environmental radiation are non-thermal. Even if SAR could be accurately estimated for a whole tissue, organ, or body, the biological/health effect is determined by tiny amounts of energy/power absorbed by specific biomolecules, which cannot be calculated. Moreover, it depends upon field parameters not taken into account in SAR calculation. Thus, SAR should not be used as the primary dosimetric quantity, but used only as a complementary measure, always reporting the estimating method and the corresponding error. Radiation/field intensity along with additional physical parameters (such as frequency, modulation etc) which can be directly and in any case more accurately measured on the surface of biological tissues, should constitute the primary measure for EMF exposures, in spite of similar uncertainty to predict the biological effect due to non-linearity.


For further information about the FCC review of the SAR exposure limits in the U.S. see ...

FCC Needs Input on Radio Frequency Radiation

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

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

What's Wrong with the GAO Report on Cell Phone Radiation?

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

5G Wireless Technology: Is 5G Harmful to Our Health?

California: Bill to ease permits for cellular antennas could impact health

by Tracy Seipel, The Mercury News (San Jose, CA), Aug 31, 2017

I have been hearing from scientists around the world who are deeply concerned about the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology without adequate research on the health effects of exposure to this type of radio frequency radiation.

Following is a sample of letters sent to California Governor Brown asking him to veto SB 659, a "small cell" antenna bill written by the cellular industry that paves the way for deployment of 5G wireless technology across the state.

Professor Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, a professor of medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Golomb's letter begins with the following warning:
"I urge in the strongest terms that you vigorously oppose California SB 649.
If this bill passes, many people will suffer greatly, and needlessly, as a direct result. 
This sounds like hyperbole. It is not.
My research group at UC San Diego alone has received hundreds of communications from people who have developed serious health problems from electromagnetic radiation, following introduction of new technologies. Others with whom I am in communication, have independently received hundreds of similar reports. Most likely these are a tip of an iceberg of tens or perhaps hundreds of thousands of affected person. As each new technology leading to further exposure to electromagnetic radiation is introduced – and particularly introduced in a fashion that prevents vulnerable individuals from avoiding it – a new group become sensitized to health effects. This is particularly true for pulsed signals in the radiowave and microwave portion of the spectrum, the type for which the proposed bill SB 640 will bypass local control."
In the letter, Dr. Golomb summarizes the research on the effects of exposure to radio frequency radiation and advocates for "safer, wired and well shielded technology – not more wireless." 

Appended to the letter are 360 references to the scientific literature.

The letter can be downloaded at:

Professor Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Biochemistry and Basic Medical Sciences at Washington State University, explains in his letter to the Governor his peer-reviewed research which has documented ...
"exquisite sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the voltage sensors in each cell, such that the force impacting our cells at the voltage sensor has massive impact on the biology in the cells of our bodies."
"This new understanding [1-7] means we can debunk the claims of the wireless industry that there cannot be a mechanism for effects produced by these weak EMFs. The 20 years plus of industry propaganda claims are false. Rather the thousands of studies showing diverse health impacts of these EMFs can be explained. We now have a mechanism, one that is supported by both the biology and the physics, both of which are pointing in exactly the same direction."
"5G will be much more active in activating the VGCCs and producinghealth impacts because of its rapid absorption by materials in the body, because of its very rapid pulsations and because of the huge number antennae they are planning to put up, at least 200 times the number of antennae from all current cell phone towers. What this means is that the impacts on the outer one to two inches of our bodies will be massive."

His letter discusses the potential health impacts on humans and on agriculture with exposure to 5G radiation.

The letter can be downloaded at:

Dr. Michael Lipsett, MD, JD, a retired public health physician with extensive experience in environmental health, mentions in his letter the recent demand for a 5G moratorium by more than 180 scientists and physicians and the study of cell phone radiation conducted by the National Toxicology Program

He points out that while individuals can take precautions to reduce their exposure to radiofrequency radiation emitted by wireless devices, this is not feasible with exposure from cell antennas. He notes that ...
"laboratory and human health investigations designed and conducted by independent researchers have reported associations linking exposure to radiation from cell phones or similar devices with multiple adverse effects (e.g., headaches, impacts on brain function, memory, learning and sleep; decreased sperm counts and quality) as well as with DNA damage and tumors of the brain and nervous system."
"Potential health impacts of wireless communication have been ignored or obscured for decades by the telecommunications industry, which has implied that cell phones and other devices are safe because they comply with federal safety standards. However, these standards were established more than 20 years ago and were based on assumptions that have since been called into question by health research studies. The push to establish a 5G network, exemplified by SB 649, is based on a similarly unproven assumption: i.e., that round-the-clock exposure to 5G frequencies will not affect human health or the environment.
Establishment of a 5G network will be irreversible, as will the pattern of near-universal exposure of California residents to high-frequency, as-yet-untested 5G electromagnetic radiation."
The letter can be downloaded at:


June 23, 2017

EMF Scientist Appeal Advisors Call for Moratorium
on Policies for 5G “Small Cell” Antennas

The advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in opposition to a proposed change in FCC rules that would allow rapid deployment of 5th generation (5G) wireless infrastructure throughout the nation. A copy of the Appeal was appended to the letter.

5G involves transmission of millimeter waves which operate at much higher frequencies than currently used for cellular transmission (30 to 300 gigahertz). Because the range of these signals is limited (i.e., less than a football field), hundreds of thousands of new “small cell” antennas will be required in the U.S. The wireless industry wants to install these not-so-small cellular antennas on existing public utility poles.

The FCC intends to streamline the approval of these antennas which would further undermine the regulatory authority of cities and states over cell towers.

Meanwhile the wireless industry is lobbying for legislation in many states across the country that would limit local authority over cell antenna deployment.

Due to the concern that the FCC’s new rules will result in increased exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF), the Appeal’s advisors oppose the new rules and call for a “public health review of the growing body of scientific evidence that includes reports of increasing rates of cancer and neurological diseases that may be caused by exposure to EMF from wireless sources.”

The Appeal reflects the concerns of 225 EMF experts from 41 nations about the impact of EMF exposure on public health. All of the experts who signed this appeal have published research in peer-reviewed scientific journals about the biologic or health effects of EMF.

According to the Appeal’s signatories, current national and international EMF exposure guidelines are obsolete and inadequate to protect human health and the environment. The FCC’s radio frequency guidelines were adopted in 1996.

The letter (dated June 9, 2017) is signed by the five advisors to the International EMF Scientist Appeal: Drs. Martin Blank, Magda Havas, Henry Lai, and Joel Moskowitz, and Elizabeth Kelley.

For more information:

FCC filing detail   (June 9, 2017)


May 8, 2017

A 5G Wireless Future: 
Will it give us a smart nation or contribute to an unhealthy one?

Dr. Cindy Russell, The (SCCMA) Bulletin, Jan/Feb 2017
Safety testing for 5G is the same as other wireless devices. It is based on heat. This is an obsolete standard and not considering current science showing cellular and organism harm from non-thermal effects. There is a large gap in safety data for 5G biological effects that has been demonstrated in older studies including military.
1. Do not proceed to roll out 5G technologies pending pre-market studies on health effects.
2. Reevaluate safety standards based on long term as well as short term studies on biological effects.
3. Rescind a portion of Section 704 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which preempts state and local government regulation for the placement, construction, and modification of personal wireless service facilities on the basis of the environmental effects so that health and environmental issues can be addressed.
4. Rescind portions of The Spectrum Act which was passed in 2012 as part of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, which strips the ability city officials and local governments to regulate cellular communications equipment, provides no public notification or opportunity for public input and may potentially result in environmental impacts.
5. Create an independent multidisciplinary scientific agency tasked with developing appropriate safety regulations, pre-market testing and research needs in a transparent environment with public input.
6. Label pertinent EMF information on devices along with appropriate precautionary warnings.
Dr. Russell provides a brief review of the research on millimeter wave bioeffects in this article:


Aug 17, 2016 (Updated Aug 19)

5G cellular technology will employ much higher frequency microwaves than current cell phone technologies: 2G, 3G, and 4G.  These microwaves, known as millimeter waves, won't penetrate building materials like the current technology which is why industry may need one cell antenna base station for every 12 homes. 
But millimeter waves can affect your eyes and penetrate your skin.

When the Los Angeles Times reporter contacted me for the story below, I did a quick search and found several recently published articles examining biological effects of millimeter waves (see references below). This form of microwave radiation is most likely to affect our skin and neuronal cells in the upper dermis.

Moreover, widespread adoption of 5G cellular technology in the U.S. may have profound effects on our ecosystem by altering bacteria, possibly creating harmful bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics.

History has proved that we cannot trust the FCC and the FDA to protect our health from microwave radiation exposure.

I submitted an open letter to the FCC in July calling for "an independent review of the biologic and health research to determine whether the RF standards should be modified before allowing additional spectrum to be used for new commercial applications."

Moreover, the FCC has ignored the 800-plus submissions that call upon the agency to adopt rigorous radio frequency standards to protect the public’s health. Instead the agency maintains its 20-year old exposure guidelines that control only for heating or thermal risks. The FDA has ignored the thousands of studies that find nonthermal biologic effects, and the human studies that find a wide range of health effects including increased cancer risk and reproductive harm from exposure to low intensity microwaves.
In my opinion, precaution is warranted before unleashing 5G technology on the world. I suspect most of the 221 scientists who signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal (referenced in the article below), would support this assertion.

However, more research is also needed as specific characteristics of the millimeter waves (e.g., pulsing, modulation) to be employed in 5G cellular technology may be more important than the frequency or intensity of the waves in terms of biologic and health effects. The research funding must be independent of industry as conflicts of interest have been found to undermine the science in this field.
For an unbiased summary of the partial findings of the National Toxicology Program study of cancer risk from 2G cell phone radiation, see

Is 5G technology dangerous? Early data shows a slight increase of tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation

Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times, Aug 8, 2016


 Low-intensity millimeter waves 
used for pain therapy have side effects

The Russians have pioneered millimeter wave therapy (MWT) using low intensity millimeter waves to reduce pain including headaches, joint pain, and postoperative pain.

Although the following review paper documents some positive effects from short-term exposure to MWT, the authors note that there are side effects including fatigue, sleepiness, and paresthesia (an abnormal sensation, tingling or pricking [“pins and needles”] caused by pressure on or damage to peripheral nerves). 

"We conclude that there is promising data from pilot case series and small-scale randomized controlled trials for analgesic/hypoalgesic effects of electromagnetic millimeter waves in frequency range 30–70 GHz. Large-scale randomized controlled trials on the effectiveness of this non-invasive therapeutic technique are necessary." 
"In the studies reviewed the authors did not report any health-related side effects of MWT. Slight paresthesias, previously mentioned in several case reports and non-controlled case series (10,11), appeared in almost 50% of patients in studies where the effects of MWT were carefully described (21,27,28,31). The paresthesias were of short duration and reported as pleasant (‘warmth’) or neutral. General fatigue and sleepiness during the treatment sessions in almost 80% of the patients was a rather desirable side effect of MWT, as also described in previous reviews on biomedical effects of MWT (10,11,21,27,28)."
From: Usichenko TI, Edinger H, Gizhko VV, Lehmann C, Wendt M, Feyerherd F. Low-intensity electromagnetic millimeter waves for pain therapy. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2006 Jun;3(2):201-7. URL:
Little research is available on long-term exposure to millimeter waves (see below). Most of the studies referred to in this review paper did not modulate or pulse the carrier waves which will be required for information-carrying millimeter waves employed in 5G technologies. Prior research suggests that such waves will be more biologically active than pure sine waves.


Effects of Millimeter Waves Radiation on Cell Membrane - A Brief Review

Ramundo-Orlando A.  Effects of millimeter waves radiation on cell membrane - A brief review.  J Infrared Milli Terahz Waves. 2010; 30 (12): 1400-1411.


The millimeter waves (MMW) region of the electromagnetic spectrum, extending from 30 to 300 GHz in terms of frequency (corresponding to wavelengths from 10 mm to 1 mm), is officially used in non-invasive complementary medicine in many Eastern European countries against a variety of diseases such gastro duodenal ulcers, cardiovascular disorders, traumatism and tumor. On the other hand, besides technological applications in traffic and military systems, in the near future MMW will also find applications in high resolution and high-speed wireless communication technology. This has led to restoring interest in research on MMW induced biological effects. In this review emphasis has been given to the MMW-induced effects on cell membranes that are considered the major target for the interaction between MMW and biological systems.


 “Several studies on the effects induced by millimeter radiation on biological systems have been reported in the literature. Diverse effects have been observed on cell free systems, cultured cells, isolated organs of animals and humans. The subject has been extensively reviewed by Motzkin [17] and more recently by Pakhomov [3]. At the cellular level these effects are mainly on the membrane process and ion channels, molecular complexes, excitable and other structures. Many of these effects are quite unexpected from a radiation penetrating less than 1 mm into biological tissues [3, 18, 19]. However none of the findings described in the above reviews has been replicated in an independent laboratory, thus they cannot be considered as established biological effects.”

“…a large number of cellular studies have indicated that MMW may alter structural and functional properties of membranes (Table 2).”


“In this review emphasis has been given to the low-level MMW effects on cell membranes. Above all, it should be mentioned that the reported effects are of a non-thermal character, that is, the action of radiation does not produce essential heating of the biological system or destroy its structure. In this context it appears that no permanent structural change of lipid bilayer could arise under low level (less than 10 mW/cm2) millimeter waves irradiation.

On the other hand, MMW radiation may affect intracellular calcium activities, and, as a consequence, several cellular and molecular processes controlled by Ca2+ dynamics themselves. The effects of MMW radiation on ion transport may be the consequence of a direct effect on membrane proteins as well as on phospholipid domain organization. Water molecules seem to play an important role in these biological effects of MMW radiation. Unfortunately, detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms mediating physiological responses to MMW exposure remain largely unknown.

Usually the search at a molecular level is simpler if we can reduce the complexity of our biological samples. This is the case for cell membranes by using model systems. They can be formed by a simple lipid bilayer without interfering components and they give independence from biological activity that can create complication in searching for electromagnetic fields bioeffects. The emphasis is on the search for molecular mechanisms of the membrane effect induced by MMW with different frequencies and power density. Furthermore, replication studies are needed including good temperature control and appropriate internal control samples. It is also advantageous if the future studies are multidisciplinary, invoking an integration of high quality exposure and effects methodologies.

Clearly a significant amount of accurate experimental work is still required in order to fully understand the interactions between MMW radiation and cell membrane.”

Monday, September 25, 2017

New Apple Watch Reignites Concerns over Cell Phone Radiation

The San Francisco Chronicle published an article today, "New Apple Watch reignites concerns over radiation" (Catherine Ho, September 25, 2017).

Since the new Apple Watch can operate like a cell phone, some public health researchers and medical experts have raised concerns about the potential health risks from exposure to the radiation emitted by this device.
"There is no definitive data from federal health regulators showing a direct link between cell phone radiation — also known as radio frequency radiation — and health problems in humans. But recent research indicates that exposure to cell phone radiation is the likely cause of malignant growths in the brains and hearts of male rats, and can cause neurological damage in rats born to mothers that were exposed to the radiation during pregnancy."
The article mentions my successful lawsuit against the California Department of Public Health. It also discusses the cell phone radiation and cancer study conducted by the National Toxicology Program.
“ 'That’s going to up the exposure and probably increase the risk to the user over the long term,' said Joel Moskowitz, a researcher at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. 'I don’t think there’s anyone who can say definitively this is going to hurt the user. But many scientists would say we don’t have enough information to claim these devices are safe.' ”
"We have evidence that levels of radiation far weaker than those of a cell phone can be damaging to human sperm as well as to the progeny produced by animals that are pregnant and exposed to this throughout their pregnancy.”Devra Davis, Environmental Health Trust
Neither Apple nor the CTIA would comment on the story.

The article is available at


Specific Absorption Rates (SARs) for the Apple Watch (Series 3)

Apple has posted information on its website about the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR for the latest Series 3 Apple Watches.

Before reading what Apple reports (see below), I suggest you read the following posts on my website which discuss why the SAR is not a reliable measure of the potential health risks from using a wireless device on or near your body.

Apple Watch Series 3 RF Exposure Information

Apple Watch has been tested and meets applicable limits for radio frequency (RF) exposure.

Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) refers to the rate at which the body absorbs RF energy. SAR limits depend on whether Apple Watch is used against the head or on the wrist. In some countries, the SAR limit is 1.6 watts per kilogram averaged over 1 gram of tissue for use against the head and 4.0 watts per kilogram averaged over 10 grams of tissue for use on the wrist. In other countries, the SAR limit is 2.0 watts per kilogram averaged over 10 grams of tissue for use against the head and 4.0 watts per kilogram averaged over 10 grams of tissue for use on the wrist.

During testing, Apple Watch radios are set to their highest transmission levels and placed in positions that simulate use against the head, with 10 mm separation, and on the wrist, with no separation. When placing Apple Watch near your face, keep at least 10 mm of separation to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the as-tested levels.

Although this device has been tested to determine SAR in each band of operation, not all bands are available in all areas. Bands are dependent on your service provider’s wireless networks.

The highest SAR values are as follows:

GPS and Cellular Models:

Model A1860

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.53
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.18

Model A1889

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.29
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.15

Model A1890

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.16
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.14

Model A1861

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.52
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.34

Model A1891

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.35
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.18

Model A1892

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.25
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.14

GPS –only Models:

Model A1858

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.17
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.034

Model A1859

1.6 W/kg (over 1 g) SAR Limit
Head: 0.11
4.0 W/kg (over 10 g) SAR Limit
Wrist: 0.023