If one reads back issues of Microwave News, it's not so hard to understand why the FCC adopted radio frequency (RF) radiation limits for cell phone handsets in 1996 that failed to protect the health and safety of cell phone users (men as well as women and children).
In the early 1990's, the U.S. military and the defense industry played a major role in the RF standard-setting process over-ruling the Federal health agencies that advocated for more stringent limits at the time based upon the research. The result of health agency opposition to the military and industry position was that industry lobbied the Congress to cut off Federal health research funding on RF radiation which has lasted to this day.
The Federal government maintains the status quo by arguing it needs more definitive research before strengthening RF exposure limits. However, the government does not fund the needed research. Doesn't this constitute gross negligence on the part of our government?
Norm Alster's new book."Captured agency: How the Federal Communications Commission is dominated by the industries it presumably regulates," helps explain why our government has maintained these obsolete RF safety limits for almost two decades.
Redmayne M, Johansson O. Radiofrequency exposure in young and old: different sensitivities in light of age-relevant natural differences. Rev Environ Health. 2015 Dec 1;30(4):323-35. doi: 10.1515/reveh-2015-0030.
Our environment is now permeated by anthropogenic radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation, and individuals of all ages are exposed for most of each 24 h period from transmitting devices. Despite claims that children are more likely to be vulnerable than healthy adults to unwanted effects of this exposure, there has been no recent examination of this, nor of comparative risk to the elderly or ill.
We sought to clarify whether research supports the claim of increased risk in specific age-groups. First, we identified the literature which has explored age-specific pathophysiological impacts of RF-EMR. Natural life-span changes relevant to these different impacts provides context for our review of the selected literature, followed by discussion of health and well-being implications.
We conclude that age-dependent RF-EMR study results, when considered in the context of developmental stage, indicate increased specific vulnerabilities in the young (fetus to adolescent), the elderly, and those with cancer. There appears to be at least one mechanism other than the known thermal mechanism causing different responses to RF-EMR depending upon the exposure parameters, the cell/physiological process involved, and according to age and health status. As well as personal health and quality-of-life impacts, an ageing population means there are economic implications for public health and policy.
To date there has been little age-comparative RF-EMR research, little discussion of observed effects in the context of normal age-related development, and little consideration of ways in which the elderly or ill may be compromised by RF-EMR.
In epidemiology, researchers often adjust for age thereby effectively removing its impact. They rarely analyse data specifically for age-related differences in the effects of RF-EMR exposure on the examined endpoints. This area represents an important missed opportunity. In studies which include a wide age-range e.g. (44, 51), such examination may prove informative.
One pattern observed across topics was a lesser or no effect in those ROS, melatonin, and EEG studies that used signals without the low frequency pulses. Those without the 8 Hz component had fewer or lower effects, and those without both 217 Hz and 8 Hz had no effects on the examined endpoints. [My note: Second-generation GSM cell phone radiation has 8 and 217 Hz components.]
Whole body specific absorption rate (SARWB) increases with the reducing weight (94) and height (95) of the person. Variations in head shape and size leads to different areas of peak exposure in the heads of children and adults, with the cerebellum most exposed in children while the temporal lobes are most exposed in adults (96). There can be increased energy absorption (SAR) in young children of 2 dB to 5 dB in the eye and some brain regions, such as the cerebellum, hippocampus and hypothalamus. For all ages, lower RF frequencies (that is, longer wavelengths) penetrate further than higher ones. However, the same frequency penetrates comparatively more deeply and has a proportionally greater spread within a child’s brain than an adult’s (97). Total mean whole body absorption, as modeled by Joseph et al. (98) is higher in the 1 year old than the adult male. However, the significance of this is still under debate. Foster and Chou (99) state that there is clear evidence that age plays a factor in local SAR in certain tissues in the head due to different head size and different dielectric tissue properties. However, they conclude that these differences are insignificant in terms of Standard compliance, and that variations in exposure in real-life situations compared to worst-case compliance testing [would] provide widely different specific absorption rates. They also claim that their literature review does not support the concept that children absorb more radiation than children, however, a recent analysis of that review challenges their conclusion (100).
The role of resonance is also important. Frequencies that are resonant with an average adult’s size are considerably lower than those used in modern public telecommunications. As whole body RF absorption in humans is maximal when the person’s height is at peak resonance, and the frequency at which this peak resonance occurs increases as height decreases, an infant may be small enough to experience maximal absorption from the lower RFs occurring in our environment.
Dielectric tissue values (conductivity and permittivity) have an important influence on RF-EMR absorption. In a study by Peyman et al., 10 of 15 tissues tested had systematic variation in dielectric properties as a function of age (101). Bone marrow had the greatest difference with permittivity almost 7 times greater and conductivity 15.4 times greater in the tissue of ‘children” than “adults” (900 MHz exposure) (the study measured the values in porcine tissue considered to be representative of child and adult humans). These factors lead to increased absorption in toddlers and children.
We have brought to light a few circumstances which indicate an urgent need for specific research to clarify the situation. First, interhemispheric coherence in younger people with ADHD closely resembles that from RF-EMR exposure – this observation is supported by laboratory research findings; second, temporal and frontal alpha, delta and theta brain activity in healthy children after exposure to RF-EMR has been demonstrated to closely resemble temporal and frontal intermittent rhythmic delta activity seen in certain epileptic conditions; third, the small but but significant down-regulation of CD95 expression in RF-EMR stimulated CD4+ T-lymphocytes in the elderly is very concerning, as is the opportunity this offers to malignant cells, which take advantage of that aberrant loss. Are we actively shortening the lives of our grandparents and those with cancer? Fourth, and perhaps of most significance in this paper, is the increased inhibition of DNA repair in stem cells after RF-EMR exposure. Education of those preparing for parenthood, parents, and of their children needs to be prioritized, with the minimum steps being, a. advice to minimize exposure of the foetus and growing children of all ages to RF-EMR, and b. how to do this.
Clearly there is some mechanism at play causing a variety of responses to RF-EMR exposures encountered in the environment and from personal use of radiating devices. This indicates that current policy approach in many countries does not cater for all groups. Age-dependent RF-EMR studies and normal physiological development when considered together point to increased vulnerabilities in both the young (foetus, infant, child, and adolescent) and the elderly. Those risks would especially apply to those whose health or sleep is already compromised. Identifying older people as a group at increased risk from RF-EMR exposures is important; as well as personal health and quality of life impacts, an ageing population in many countries carries many economic implications for public health.
Gandhi, Om. Yes the Children are more exposed to radio-frequency energy from mobile telephones than adults. IEEE Spectrum. PP(99):1. Jun 23, 2015.
Our reports of published research in several of the peer-reviewed journal articles in 1996, 2002 and 2004 have generated a lot of controversy over the last two decades including the most recent publication by Foster and Chou . In this paper we present arguments based on Physics that the main reason for higher exposure of children (also women and men with smaller heads and likely thinner pinnae) to radiofrequency energy from mobile phones is the closer placement of the cell phone radiation source by several millimeters to the tissues of the head, e.g. the brain. Using heterogeneous anatomically-derived shaped models of the head, we have previously reported that the exposure increases by a compounding rate of 10-15% for every single millimeter of closer location of the radiating antenna. This is similar to the report of “~20% increase for every millimeter” in the Foster and Chou’s paper  from their Equation 1 even though their simplistic Equation 1 is valid only for a homogenous tissue slab of infinite size and the radiation source that is a wire dipole rather than a mobile telephone. Both of their assumptions for Eq. 1 are obviously not applicable for human exposures to mobile telephones. Actually the physical reason for such a rapid drop off of coupled energy is that the radiofrequency electromagnetic fields close to a radiating source in the so-called “near-field” region reduce in strength very rapidly with every millimeter of distance; even faster than in the “far-field region” where the EM fields reduce inversely with the square of the distance from the source.
Open Access Paper: http://bit.ly/1SnFyBs
... we will present logical arguments based on easy-to-understand physical concepts that led to the conclusions presented in our papers [2-6] that children, women, and people with smaller heads with thinner pinnae will absorb more RF energy as compared to adult males with larger heads and thicker pinnae.
While Foster and Chou mention some of our published papers [2, 3, 6] they do not mention our other papers [4, 5] that address the important role of reduced distance of the radiofrequency (RF) radiating source of the mobile telephone for individuals with thinner pinnae in drastically increasing the SAR measure of RF absorption by 10-15% for every single millimeter of closer placement of the cell phone source of radio frequency radiation for such individuals.
... the main reason or such a drastic reduction of SAR is that the electromagnetic fields of an antenna drop off very rapidly in the so-called “near-field” region of the antenna faster even than in the “farfield” where the fields drop off as the square of the distance from the source.
... it has been reported that the dielectric properties of the various tissues are substantially higher (by 50% or more) for younger rats compared to adult rats. The authors Peyman et al. [7, 8] hypothesize that the decrease in the dielectric properties with age may be due to changes in water and organic contents of the tissues. Even though the corresponding data are not available for the human tissues, the implications for the assessment of exposure of children may be quite significant.
... Based on these studies we report in  that a model with thinner pinna of 6 mm thickness gives peak 1-g SAR that is up to 2.5 times higher at 1900 MHz and up to 1.7 times higher at 835 MHz as compared to the same model with thicker pinna of thickness 20 mm.
Since the main reason why children, women, and people with thinner pinnae and skulls absorb more radiofrequency energy is because of the placement of the cell phone radiating source closer to the brain (increasing by 10-15% for every additional millimeter of reduced spacing, determined by using planar, spherical and head-shaped models [2, 5]), it is very hard to understand why the FCC allows the use of a large SAM model of dimensions derived from the 90th percentile head size of the U.S. Military recruits for psSAR [peak spatial absorption rate]compliance testing against safety guidelines. Furthermore, the FCC-accepted SAM model has a tapered smooth plastic spacer instead of actual tissue pinna which can artificially separate the radiofrequency radiation source of the mobile phone by up to 10 millimeters at some locations resulting in an underestimation of both 1- and 10-g psSAR for male heads and for children and women by two or more times . In closing, it is fortuitous that several authors worldwide have now validated our original findings that children, women, and individuals with smaller heads absorb more radiofrequency energy from mobile telephones ....
Dr. Gandhi was elected a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering in 1997. He has been President of the Bioelectromagnetics Society (1992–1993), Cochairman of IEEE SCC 28.IV Subcommittee on the RF Safety Standards (1988–1997), and Chairman of the IEEE Committee on Man and Radiation (COMAR) 1980–1982. He received the d’Arsonval Medal of the Bioelectromagnetics Society for pioneering contributions to the field of bioelectromagnetics in 1995, the Microwave Pioneer Award of the IEEE-Microwave Theory and Techniques Society in 2001, and the State of Utah Governor’s Medal for Science and Technology in 2002.