Thursday, March 14, 2019

Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation

Evaluation of Temperature Elevation in Human Ocular Tissues due to Wireless Eyewear Devices

Lan J, Du G. Evaluation of temperature elevation in human ocular tissues due to wireless eyewear devices. ACES Journal. 34(1):17-24. 2019. 

Abstract

In this paper, a numerical study is proposed to evaluate the temperature variation in the human ocular tissues during the electromagnetic radiation exposure from wireless eyewear device. The results show that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually as the exposure time goes on and could reach the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes. During this process, the temperature increments in different ocular tissues are between 1.1°C and 1.7°C. The results also show the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes to that of the whole steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Therefore, we believe that electromagnetic radiation from wireless eyewear device might pose a threat on the health of the human eyes. People should decrease the talk time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, attention is paid to evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments. The results show the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR, which indicates that the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues.

Conclusions

Based on the results evaluated in this paper, we find that the temperature in the whole eyeball increases gradually and reaches the thermal steady state at about 30 minutes during the EM exposure of wireless eyewear device. The temperature increments in different ocular tissues are from 1°C to 1.7°C. We, therefore, believe EM exposure from wireless eyewear device may pose a threat on the health of the eyes, especially for the lens which suffer from the maximal temperature increments. Meanwhile, the results also show that the maximal ratio of temperature increments in the initial 5 and 10 minutes exposure time to that of the complete thermal steady state could reach to 42.9% and 69.2%, respectively. Hence, wireless eyewear device users should shorten the usage time as soon as possible to protect their eyes from the possible health hazards. Finally, we evaluate the relationship between the maximal SAR and the temperature increments in the ocular tissues. We find that the temperature increments do not increase in direct proportion to the maximal SAR. Therefore, we believe the maximal SAR and the temperature increments should be taken into account simultaneously while evaluating the biological effect of microwave on the ocular tissues. This paper could provide valuable data for the establishment of related safety standards and future researches in the biological effect of microwave and human eyes. However, limited by the experimental condition, the experiment is not included. Therefore, conclusions presented in this paper are just indicative but not definitive.





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On the effects of glasses on the SAR in human head resulting from wireless eyewear devices at phone call state

Lan JQ, Liang X, Hong T, Du GH. On the effects of glasses on the SAR in human head resulting from wireless eyewear devices at phone call state. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2018 Feb 8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2018.02.001.

Abstract

This paper evaluates the effects of glasses on the specific absorption rates (SAR) in the human head resulting from wireless eyewear device at phone call state. We mainly concentrate on the SAR in the eyes since their sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (EMF). We find wearing glasses obviously alters the distribution and magnitude of the SAR. The maximal SAR in the ocular tissues with glasses is even 6 times more than that without glasses. Wearing glasses also induce the new hotspot in the eyes which may cause the biggest SAR increment in the ocular tissues. Moreover, calculated results indicate that the maximal SAR is sensitive to the size of glasses and radiation frequency. Because of this, we believe wearing glasses may possibly increase the risk of health hazard to eyes of wireless eyewear device user. These calculated results could be a valuable reference for the glasses designer to reduce the SAR in the eyes.


https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29428220

Conclusions



Based on the calculated results, we find wearing glasses obviously alters the distribution and magnitude of SAR. The maximal SAR in the ocular tissues with glasses is even 6 times more than that without glasses. Wearing glasses also could induce the new hotspot in the eyeballs which may cause the biggest SAR increment in the ocular tissues. Moreover, calculated results indicate that the maximal SAR is sensitive to the size of glasses and radiation frequency. Therefore, we believe wearing glasses may possibly increase the risk of health hazard to human eyes. In order to decrease the SAR in the ocular tissues, people should choose the adaptive glasses according to the radiation frequency. If possible, we advise people to take off their glasses when they use the eyewear device. These calculated results could be a valuable reference for the glasses designer to reduce the SAR in the eyes. However, due to the limited research conditions, the experiment is not included. So conclusions, in this paper, are just indicative but not definitive.

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March 22, 2017

The Google Glass, an optical head-mounted display designed in the shape of a pair of eyeglasses, was not embraced by the general public when it was introduced in 2013-2014. So Google changed its marketing strategy to target specific occupational needs including healthcare, military, and sports applications.
Recently, a colleague told me that some physician offices in California require their staff to wear the Glass. Last week, National Public Radio reported that some factory workers must also wear the Glass.
Tasnim Shamma, Google Glass Didn't Disappear. You Can Find It On The Factory Floor. WABE/National Public Radio, March 18, 2017. http://n.pr/2nDG22d
Following is a press release I prepared three years ago which provides precautionary information about this wireless device. SAR values for the latest model of the Google Glass follow the press release.
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Google Glass Alert: Potential health risks from wireless radiation
The Google Glass emits more wireless radiation than most cell phones on the market, but unlike cell phone users, Glass users may be wearing this device on their heads for more than 12 hours a day putting their health at risk.

By Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

BERKELEY, Calif. - April 15, 2014 - PRLog -- The Google Glass emits both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radiation. Although the Glass official web site, http://www.google.com/glass/start/ , contains information warning consumers about the device's potential interference with radio or television reception, the site provides no safety information to consumers.

As a body-worn, microwave-emitting device, Google is required by Federal law to test the Specific Absorption Rate or SAR of the Glass. This is a measure of the maximum microwave radiation absorbed by the user in 6 minutes averaged over one gram of tissue. 

Although Google did not post the SAR information on its web site, the Glass test reports can be found on the FCC's web site at [https://fccid.io/document.php?id=1910822]. The FCC ID for the current version of the Glass is X1.

The official test report indicates that the SAR for the Glass is much higher than the SARs for the iPhone 5, the Samsung Galaxy S5, or most cell phones on the market.

During the last year, Google improved the antenna on the Glass which resulted in an increase in the SAR from 1.11 to 1.42 watts/kilogram (W/kg).  In contrast, the Samsung Galaxy S5 has a head and body SAR of 0.57 and 0.64 W/kg, respectively. The Apple iPhone 5 has a head SAR of 1.17 and a body SAR of 1.18 W/kg.

In the U.S. no personal wireless device can have a SAR that exceeds 1.6 W/kg. The SAR standard, however, was developed several decades ago in the U.S. primarily by physicists and engineers to protect users from the acute effects of the heat generated by microwave radiation. The standards do not protect users from the non-thermal effects of cell phone radiation which have been associated with increased brain cancer risk among long-term cell phone users and other health problems in the short term including electrosensitivity, sperm damage and infertility, and reproductive health risks in children.

Just because these devices are legal does not mean they are safe

Although many health researchers, including myself, have questioned the utility of assessing only a device's SAR, currently that is all governments measure and regulate. 

Governments want consumers to believe that all legally marketed wireless devices are safe, and that the SAR level does not matter as long as it meets the legal standard.  Yet no study has proved that exposure to low-intensity microwave radiation is safe, and thousands of peer-reviewed, published studies have found biologic effects from such exposures. The research suggests that governments need to adopt more stringent, biologically-based, standards to protect consumers' health.

Medical and public health professionals should call on Google to end this experiment on Glass users or at least fully inform consumers of the potential long-term health risks from wearing this device.


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Google Glass SAR test report update

Following are the results from the SAR test report for the Google Glass Model GG1 (A4R-GG1; dated May 18, 2015):

Head test: 0.293 W/kg for Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz) and 0.790 W/kg for Wi-Fi (5 GHz)

Simultaneous transmission: 0.874 W/kg

Bluetooth was excluded from testing as the maximum output power is 2.0 dBm.


Monday, March 11, 2019

Welcome to EMR Safety

EMR Safety addresses scientific and policy developments concerning the health risks from exposure to electromagnetic radiation (EMR).

Saferemr.com provides a curated collection of links to articles on cell phones and cordless phones, cell towers, Wi-Fi, Smart Meters and other wireless devices.

I summarize the peer-reviewed research on health risks associated with wireless radiation including cancer risk, reproductive harm and neurological disorders; and expose the manufacturing of doubt about these risks by industry-linked scientists and organizations.

Since 2013, the web site has had more than two million page views by visitors from over 200 countries which attests to global concern about the impact of wireless radiation on our health.

During the past year, over half of visitors were from outside the United States with the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, Israel, Germany, Italy, Greece, and Netherlands represented the most. About two-thirds of visitors were 25-54 years of age and 63% were male.




EMR Safety reached one million page views on April 7, 2017, 
and two million page views on March 11, 2019.

For visitors new to this web site or this topic, there are overviews about why we are concerned about cell phones and other wireless devices:

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety" (UC Berkeley Presentation, Feb., 2019)

Wireless Technology & Public Health Forum (Dec., 2015) 

There are safety tips from various organizations on how to reduce your cell phone radiation exposure:

To explore specific topics, click on Overview of Contents, located in the column on the right hand side of the page.  Articles are listed by topic. Find the article of interest and click on the link.

You can also look up articles by the month and year they were posted or last updated in the archive, which is located on the column to the right. Click on the month and a list of the articles posted that month will appear. Then click on the article’s title, and it will take you to the page.

Finally, you can find topics of interest by using the Search Box at the upper left hand side of the page (the box with the magnifying glass icon).

The most popular posts address cellphones and health, the role of cell phones in increasing brain tumor incidence, electromagnetic fields (EMF) in hybrid and electric automobiles, Specific Absorption Rates (SAR) of popular smartphones, the Council of Europe’s recommendations to restrict Wi-Fi and mobile phone use in schools, and EMF controversies in neurobiology.

For regular updates about electromagnetic radiation safety follow me on Twitter (@berkeleyprc) or Facebook.



International Scientist Appeal on Electromagnetic Fields & Wireless Technology  -- 240+ EMF scientists petition for warnings & stronger regulation

Mobilize, a Film about Cell Phone Radiation  -- Award-winning documentary

Radio Interviews (and Podcasts)

Supplemental Information:

Monday, March 4, 2019

Presentations

"Cell Phones, Cell Towers, and Wireless Safety"
Joel Moskowitz, Keynote presentation, University Health Services, University of California, Berkeley (Feb 27, 2019)
Video (72 minutes), slides, and safety tips: https://www.saferemr.com/2019/03/cellphones-cell-towers-wireless.html

Cellphones and Public Health Policy 
Joel Moskowitz, Collaborative on Health and the Environment Webinar, May 9, 2018

Video (30 minutes): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE-ff6oSY0k

"Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health & Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World"
Joel Moskowitz, Collaborative on Health and the Environment, Teleconference (Feb 16, 2016)  http://healthandenvironment.org/wg_calls/18206
Slides: http://healthandenvironment.org/uploads/docs/MoskowitzslidesFeb162016.pdf
Audio:  http://che.webfactional.com/audio/chepartnercallwirelesstechfeb162016.mp3
Q&A:    http://healthandenvironment.org/articles/partnership_blog/18207

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health presentation (Oct 22, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/wirelessradiationUCLA102215


"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy"
Joel Moskowitz, Mountain View Center for Performing Arts (Oct 10, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/MtnView10102015
Video:  http://bit.ly/talk101015jmm (46:29)

"Cell Phones and Your Health" (BEUHS653)
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley faculty and staff presentation (Sep 10, 2015)
Sponsored by University Health Services/Health Matters and CITRIS
Slides: http://bit.ly/ucbjmm091015

"Cell Phone and Wireless Radiation Safety Policy Options"
Joel Moskowitz, "Final Remarks: Domestic Policy Implications," Commonwealth Club of California (Jun 22, 2015) 
Slides: http://bit.ly/PolicyOptionsJMM
Video:  https://vimeo.com/133169375 (10:26)

Video & slides for the Commonwealth Club forum: "Cell Phones and Wireless Technologies: Should Safety Guidelines Be Strengthened to Protect Adults, Children and Vulnerable Populations – and Should Parents, Teachers and Schools Restrict Technology Overuse among Children?" (Jun 22, 2015): http://bit.ly/CC062215

"Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health"
Joel Moskowitz, UC Berkeley lecture, Health and Social Behavior (PH200) (Apr 8, 2015)
Slides: http://bit.ly/jmm04082015

"Mobile Phone Use and Cancer Risk: Research on a Group 2B Carcinogen"
Joel Moskowitz, Webinar for CDC Work Group on Cancer Prevention (Oct 29, 2014)
Slides:    http://bit.ly/CDCWebinar102914
Audio:     http://bit.ly/101l2lR or http://bit.ly/1tDZbg2

"Mobile Phone Radiation and Health: Recent Research and Policy Developments"
Joel Moskowitz, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley (Jun 19, 2014)
Slides:     http://bit.ly/1lFp9vc

"Brain Tumor Risk from Wireless Phone Use: Recent Research and Policy Implications"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part II: Dec 9, 2013) 
Slides:    http://bit.ly/1k9PeRQ
Video:     http://bit.ly/1kxkpto or http://bit.ly/1hx3t5j

"Expert Roundtable: Skeptical about Cell Phones and Health?"
Forum at Commonwealth Club of California (Dec 9, 2013)
Other presentations will be available soon. 
Agenda : http://bit.ly/1aqek9K

"Cell Phones & Brain Tumors What Does the Science Show?"
Joel Moskowitz, Commonwealth Club of California (Part I: Nov 18, 2010)
Slides:                       http://bit.ly/W5tNCN
Video (15 minutes): http://vimeo.com/17266112

GAO 2012 Mobile Phone Report to the Congress


"The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for Congress. Often called the "congressional watchdog," GAO examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and provides Congress and federal agencies with objective, reliable information to help the government save money and work more efficiently." 

The FCC Failed to Comply with the GAO's Cell Phone Recommendations

At the request of the U.S. Congress, in 2012 the U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO) conducted an investigation and issued a report, "Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed" (GAO 12-771).

The report made two recommendations to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the agency in the Department of Commerce responsible for ensuring cell phone safety: 
(1) formally reassess the exposure limit for radio frequency radiation and change the limit if appropriate; and 
(2) reassess the adequacy of cell phone testing requirements, particularly when phones are held next to the body, and update testing requirements as appropriate.
Since 2012, the GAO routinely contacted the FCC to determine whether the FCC implemented the GAO's recommendations. Since the FCC has provided no specific plans to comply, in 2019 the GAO closed out the investigation reporting that the FCC failed to implement the GAO's recommendations regarding cell phone exposure limits and testing requirements (see below).

The FCC's exposure limits and testing procedures adopted in 1996 are considered inadequate to protect human health by most scientists who publish research on the effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields on biology and health.

The GAO report was requested in 2012 by the following members of Congress: Henry Waxman, Anna Eshoo, and Edward Markey.


https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771

Also see:


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January 10, 2013

"Comments on the 2012 GAO Report:
'Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed'”

By Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley


U.S. General Accountability Office (GAO). Exposure and Testing Requirements for Mobile Phones Should Be Reassessed. GAO-12-771. Washington, DC: General Accountability Office. http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771 .


The GAO Report selectively reviewed scientific literature that supports the FCC’s claim that cell phones which comply with the federal standards are safe. The GAO did not consider the methodologic limitations of this research or the alternative interpretations of the results from these studies. The GAO Report did not review the scientific evidence that strongly suggests the FCC standards which control only for thermal effects do not adequately protect the public from harm due to non-thermal effects of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation.

Although we do not have conclusive proof that cell phone radiation is harmful to humans, the FCC certainly cannot prove its claim that cell phones that comply with current federal standards are safe. The claim relies on many assumptions about the science.
A critical review of the science—as opposed to simply “weighting the evidence”— reveals that these assumptions have dubious validity, and that there is sufficient evidence to require the development of a stronger, biologically-based standard that protects against sub-thermal exposures.

Comments (11 pp.) available at:  http://bit.ly/SneysY.

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"What GAO Found

Scientific research to date has not demonstrated adverse human health effects of exposure to radio-frequency (RF) energy from mobile phone use, but research is ongoing that may increase understanding of any possible effects. In addition, officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as experts GAO interviewed have reached similar conclusions about the scientific research. Ongoing research examining the health effects of RF energy exposure is funded and supported by federal agencies, international organizations, and the mobile phone industry. NIH is the only federal agency GAO interviewed directly funding studies in this area, but other agencies support research under way by collaborating with NIH or other organizations to conduct studies and identify areas for additional research.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) RF energy exposure limit may not reflect the latest research, and testing requirements may not identify maximum exposure in all possible usage conditions. FCC set an RF energy exposure limit for mobile phones in 1996, based on recommendations from federal health and safety agencies and international organizations. These international organizations have updated their exposure limit recommendation in recent years, based on new research, and this new limit has been widely adopted by other countries, including countries in the European Union. This new recommended limit could allow for more RF energy exposure, but actual exposure depends on a number of factors including how the phone is held during use. FCC has not adopted the new recommended limit. The Office of Management and Budget’s instructions to federal agencies require the adoption of consensus standards when possible. FCC told GAO that it relies on the guidance of federal health and safety agencies when determining the RF energy exposure limit, and to date, none of these agencies have advised FCC to change the limit. However, FCC has not formally asked these agencies for a reassessment. By not formally reassessing its current limit, FCC cannot ensure it is using a limit that reflects the latest research on RF energy exposure. FCC has also not reassessed its testing requirements to ensure that they identify the maximum RF energy exposure a user could experience. Some consumers may use mobile phones against the body, which FCC does not currently test, and could result in RF energy exposure higher than the FCC limit.

Federal agencies and the mobile phone industry provide information on the health effects of mobile phone use and related issues to the public through their websites and mobile phone manuals. The types of information provided via federal agencies’ websites on mobile phone health effects and related issues vary, in part because of the agencies’ different missions, although agencies provide a broadly consistent message. Members of the mobile phone industry voluntarily provide information on their websites and in mobile-phone user manuals. There are no federal requirements that manufacturers provide information to consumers about the health effects of mobile phone use.

Why GAO Did This Study

The rapid adoption of mobile phones has occurred amidst controversy over whether the technology poses a risk to human health as a result of long-term exposure to RF energy from mobile phone use. FCC and FDA share regulatory responsibilities for mobile phones. GAO was asked to examine several issues related to mobile phone health effects and regulation. Specifically, this report addresses (1) what is known about the health effects of RF energy from mobile phones and what are current research activities, (2) how FCC set the RF energy exposure limit for mobile phones, and (3) federal agency and industry actions to inform the public about health issues related to mobile phones, among other things. GAO reviewed scientific research; interviewed experts in fields such as public health and engineering, officials from federal agencies, and representatives of academic institutions, consumer groups, and the mobile phone industry; reviewed mobile phone testing and certification regulations and guidance; and reviewed relevant federal agency websites and mobile phone user manuals.

What GAO Recommends

FCC should formally reassess and, if appropriate, change its current RF energy exposure limit and mobile phone testing requirements related to likely usage configurations, particularly when phones are held against the body. FCC noted that a draft document currently under consideration by FCC has the potential to address GAO’s recommendations


For more information, contact Mark Goldstein at (202) 512-2834 or goldsteinm@gao.gov, or Marcia Crosse at (202) 512-7114 or crossem@gao.gov."

View report: https://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592901.pdf

https://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-771