Monday, February 25, 2013

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

Research review finds evidence of neurodegenerative effects from electrical exposure.

Joel M. Moskowitz, PRLog (Press Release) - Feb. 25, 2013

A review of 42 studies of occupational exposure to electric and magnetic fields (MF) and neurodegenerative diseases found "moderately increased risk" for Alzheimer's  Disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) ...

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cellphone Use on Planes: A Bad Idea

SPECIAL REPORT: Cellphone use may soon be allowed on U.S. flights

Ten O'Clock News, KTVU-TV (SF Bay Area Fox Affiliate),  Feb 17, 2013

Video clip (3 min.):


Cellphone use on planes could become reality

KTVU, Feb 17, 2013

OAKLAND, Calif. — A new change to the ban against using a cellphone when flying could be coming soon, but there are some emerging controversies over cellphone use on planes, including a possible health risk.

Some European and Middle East airlines now allow personal cellphone use while flying outside United States airspace.

Onboard equipment solves navigation interference problems, but in the United States the Federal Aviation Administration requires passengers to turn off their cellphone for take-off and landing, only allowing for airplane mode at altitude.

Regulators are poised to allow regular, in-flight cellphone use on domestic airline flights.

This has polarized some experts and passengers.

"I think it's a bad idea personally because we'll be listening to everyone's gossip and their whole life story," said Karen Sager of Napa.

"I think the pros would be that if there's an emergency you can get hold of somebody," said Sonoma resident Lisa Carlsson.

Flight attendants worry no one would pay attention to cabin instructions.

And then there's another concern, passengers health.

"Looking at brain tumor risk and other kinds of cancer risk, I would say it's a bad idea," said Joel Moskowitz, director of the University of California, Berkeley's Center for Family and Community Health.

Moskowitz said cellphones radiate low power microwaves and that inside a metal container, such as a jet fuselage, microwaves reflect and amplify.

He said over-limit exposures are well documented in container-like buses and trains -- exposures that are linked to health effects.

"You're going to have very high exposures in certain parts of that container and it's hard to predict even where those hot spots, so to speak, occur" Moskowitz said.

But according to author and U.C. Berkeley physicist Richard Muller the danger from these things is so small that there are more important things to focus on like crossing the street. Muller supports the use of cellphones on planes.

"I think it's a great idea," he said. "I think it's time we did it. The only downside is now I can't escape my cellphone when I'm flying in an airplane."

Frequent flyers told KTVU they are eager for more in flight connectivity.

"I'd have access to a lot more emails than paying the outrageous fees for Wi-Fi on the plane," said Uwem Umontuen of Nashville.

"I think as long as it was kept to emails and text messaging that would be OK," said Taneha Lay, another Nashville resident.

Though, several new surveys by the airlines conclude that most passengers want solitude.

"It's a nice quiet environment to do work, I don't want to hear people talking on their phone" said Amy Heiserman of Denver.

So far no U. S. airline has asked for the FAA to allow in flight cellphone calls, but that day could be coming.

Related News Release:

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

Friday, February 8, 2013

Adoption of Wi-Fi in Los Angeles USD Classrooms

TO:        Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)

FROM:    Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
               Director, Center for Family and Community Health
               School of Public Health
               University of California, Berkeley
RE:   Adoption of Wi-Fi in Classrooms

DATE: February 8, 2013

Based upon my review of the research of the health effects associated with exposure to radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation (EMR), especially microwave radiation, I feel compelled to register my concern that adoption of Wi-Fi in LAUSD classrooms is likely to put at risk the health of many students and employees in the District.

In December, Dr. Gayle Nicoll of URS Corporation asked me to serve as an expert reviewer for a report that URS prepared for the LAUSD regarding the adoption of Wi-Fi in classrooms. Since Ms. Nicoll could not assure me that URS has no conflicts of interest, I turned down her request and sent her references to recent studies about Wi-Fi radiation. I cc:ed Board members and key staff as I was concerned about the health risks of unnecessarily subjecting 660,000 children to 13,000 hours of Wi-Fi microwave radiation during their K-12 school years.

Although I have not seen the URS report, I imagine it is based on the FCC's outmoded 1996 safety standards which only protect the public from the thermal risk of RF EMR exposure (i.e., from heating of tissue). For the past three years, in numerous media interviews I have been calling on the FCC to strengthen its standards and testing procedures to protect the public and workers from the low-intensity, non-thermal risks of RF EMR exposure that have been reported in hundreds, if not thousands, of research studies. These include increased risk of neurological and cardiovascular problems, sperm damage and male infertility, reproductive health risks, and cancer.

The precautionary principle should be applied to this critical policy decision. This principle, developed at a U.N. environmental conference in 1992, states that in the absence of scientific consensus if an action has a suspected risk of causing harm, the burden of proof it is not harmful falls on those taking the action, and all reasonable measures to reduce the risk must be taken.

Internet access can be provided to students through wires or optical fiber without installing Wi-Fi in the classrooms.

For further information, please see my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety web site at where I have archived news releases and links to recent reports by major scientific groups and political agencies.


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Media: Cell Phone Health Policy

SPECIAL REPORT: Cellphone use may soon be allowed on U.S. flights 

 Ten O'Clock News, KTVU-TV (SF Bay Area Fox Affiliate), Feb 17, 2013
Video clip:
News story:

*Op-Ed: Government must inform us of cell phone risk
Joel M. Moskowitz, Open Forum, San Francisco Chronicle, April 28, 2010
Article appeared on page A - 14 accompanied by the following editorial: 

Cell phone safety
Daniel Krewski, Debbie Raphael, Joel Moskowitz, Sophie Maxwell, Dave Iverson, KQED Forum (San Francisco), Jun 14, 2010
San Francisco would become the first city in the country to require retailers to label mobile phones with radiation emission levels under legislation set for a vote Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors.

Cell phones affect brain activity, study says
Erin Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, February 23, 2011, pg. A–1

S.F. puts cell phone radiation law on hold
Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, May 6, 2011, page A - 1
UC Berkeley researcher Joel Moskowitz says the commonly accepted way to measure radiation is not very useful.                                  

Commentary by Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D. on Cell Phone SAR Ratings and Consumer Health, May 12, 2011

*Q&A: Cell phones: Assessing and preventing risks
David Katz, M.D., Huffington Post, May 31, 2011
Q&A with Joel Moskowitz.

Cell phones & cancer: 8 dumb ways to boost possible risk
CBS News, Sep 29, 2011

Precautionary warnings for cellphones
Deirdre Imus, FoxNews, Oct 24, 2011