Vanishing Stories on Cell Phones–now you see them now you don’t

I woke up this morning to a remarkable front page story on Yahoo.com, featuring Dr. David Carpenter, former Dean of Public Health at Albany and Cindy Sage, electromagnetic(EMF) health expert, co-editors of the major report on EMF, www.bioinitiative.com NEW HEALTH WORRIES ABOUT MOBILE DEVICES Can Cause DNA Damage Quoting each of them at some length, the story noted the growing evidence that cellphone radiation from smartphones can cause irreparable genetic damage, even though it is non-ionizing. The absence of a brain cancer epidemic from phones today is hardly proof that phones are safe, the article explained. After the atomic bombings ended World War Two, no detectable increase in brain cancer occurred until forty years later. By 8:30, the story was gone. Perhaps I’d been dreaming?

The reluctance to acknowledge that this handy essential device should be used cautiously was something I once shared with much of the world. I wrote my book Disconnect–the truth about cell phone radiation–only after a painstaking review of other national actions revealed the case for precaution. The only indication I have that this YAHOO story was not a dream is this screenshot of its front page from early this morning. 
Screenshot of Yahoo Home Page 7:15 AM 12/3/10

What happened? I guess that’s for Yahoo to know and the rest of us to wonder. The story cannot be found anywhere on its site.

Something similar occurred with TIME magazine, where the online edition of October 26, 2010, featured
this story entitled “Pocket Watch” by Michael Scherer which as of the writing of this blog, December 3, 2010, 6:00 P.M. included this opening section http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2027523,00.html:

“We are a nation grown numb to the seemingly endless fine print that accompanies our purchases. But every now and then a product is sold with a warning that should command attention. Consider the little-noticed bit of legalese that comes in the safety manual for Apple’s iPhone 4: “When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body, and only use carrying cases, belt clips, or holders that do not have metal parts and that maintain at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) separation between iPhone and the body,” the warning reads.

Similar warnings against carrying cellular and smart phones in a closely sewn pocket show up throughout the industry. The safety manual for Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 9000 phone tells users that they may violate Federal Communications Commission (FCC) guidelines for radio-frequency energy exposure by carrying the phone outside a holster and within 0.98 inches (2.5 cm) of their body. The safety manual of the Motorola W180 phone tells users to always keep the active device one full inch away from their body, if not using a company-approved “clip, holder, holster, case or body harness.”

“Skeptics of the safety of cellular phones have seized upon these warnings as evidence that the ubiquitous devices may be exposing Americans to far more radiation than regulators measure. “Nobody is watching,” says Devra Davis, the author of a new book called Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family. “Is the law broken if something is so complicated that nobody notices?”

“The answer, like the fine-print warnings themselves, is complicated, and likely has as much to do with corporate concerns over legal compliance as it does with health, given the current body of scientific knowledge. “The companies want to legally protect themselves,” says Robert Cleveland Jr., a former FCC official who worked on setting the current cellular-phone radio-frequency standard.”

“The warnings stem from an odd quirk in federal testing procedures designed to ensure the safety of cellular phones. In 2001, the FCC released a set of guidelines for manufacturers that required all cell phones sold in the U.S. to emit a specific absorption rate (SAR) of not more than 1.6 watts of radio-frequency energy per kilogram of body tissue, a standard deemed safe given the state of scientific knowledge about thermal harm from radio-frequency waves. The standard was considered a so-called worst-case scenario, accounting for the energy emitted when the phone was transmitting at full power all of its various signals — such as Bluetooth, wi-fi and cellular.”

“But the FCC testing regulations notably chose not to simulate a situation in which the phone was broadcasting at full power while inside a shirt or pants pocket flush against the body, an odd oversight given the known habits of many cellular-phone users. As a matter of physics, radio-frequency energy generally increases sharply as distance is reduced. “The exposure is definitely related to distance,” says Cleveland.”

“According to the 2001 FCC guidelines, testing of the device in a “body-worn” configuration should be done with the device in a belt clip or holster. If a belt clip or holster was not supplied with the phone, the FCC told testers to assume a separation distance of between 0.59 inches and 0.98 inches (1.5 cm to 2.5 cm) from the body during a test.”

“Clearly if it’s tested in a holster, it’s only guaranteed to be compliant if it’s used with a holster,” says one current FCC official familiar with these issues, who asked not to be identified by name. “Clearly a lot of people weren’t aware of this, and it probably does need to be addressed.”

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2027523,00.html#ixzz175ghb5nC
——————————–
But the printed edition of this same headlined story by the same author that appeared part in the print edition November 15, 2010, took a very different tack in its opening.

“FIRST, AN ADMISSION: I didn’t read the safety manual after I bought my Blackberry Bold 900. I was too dazzled by the device–my first 3G, afterall–to be distracted by legalese. The phone promised easy Web browsing and cameloaded with Texas hold’em games. And so, like millions of other cell-phone users, I carried it in my pants pocket all day long, everyday. After more than a year, I finally got around to reading the manual. That’s when I found out that I had been in violation of not only BlackBerry’s safety warnings but also my desire for self-preservation.

“When you carry the BlackBerry device on your body, use only accessories equipped with an integrated belt clip,” the manual stated on page 17. If not using a belt clip, the warning continued, “Keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 inches (25 mm) from your body” when sending or receiving data, in order to “maintain compliance” with the radiofrequency radiation standards set by the FCC.

Similar directives against carrying phones in body hugging pockets are common throughout the industry. Apples iPhone4 manual tells users to keep the phone “at least 15 mm (5/8 inch) away from the body.” Motorola cautions that an active W180 should be a full inch (25mm) from the user’s skin–unless it’s paired with a company-approved “clip, holder, holster, case, or body harnass.”

“Skeptics of cell-phone safety have seized on these warnings as evidence that the ubiquitous devices may be exposing Americans to far more radiation than regulators measure. And sure enough, it turns out these provision stem from an odd quirk in federal testing procedures. For some reason. . . .”
——————————————
Of course, there could be many reasons for these editorial changes. Any writer worth her salt can tell you that editing is the bane of our lives. I remember one famed literateuse confessing that when she got her editor’s final comments on a book, she dared not look at them. She would put them into a drawer, waiting a week for the courage and the right vintage to be able to open them. Perhaps TIME has especially stringent editing of its print edition,compared to online. We may never know.

But, we can be glad that despite what may or may not have happened with YAHOO and TIME, the story is getting out. The New York Times Business section piece by Professor Randall Stross on Sunday was the most emailed story of the week:

Should You Be Snuggling With Your Cellphone?
By RANDALL STROSS
Published: November 13, 2010

WARNING: Holding a cellphone against your ear may be hazardous to your health. So may stuffing it in a pocket against your body.

One of the earliest stories on the subject was that of the award-winning, take-no-prisoners science reporter, Sharon Begley formerly with the Wall Street Journal, now with Newsweek. This serious piece by a serious journalist never made it into print at all. It appeared only online right under a large banner ad for a new 4G smartphone.

The First Amendment provides for freedom of the press, but when traditional media are under attack and commercially sponsored “media” are ascending press freedom cannot be taken for granted. Knocking stories off pages and even off line has become a contact sport. In a day when telecom related firms provide much of the advertising revenue and political contributions to both parties, the modern variant of the golden rule applies. He who has the gold rules.

Dr. Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH
Founder of Environmental Health Trust

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10 responses to “Vanishing Stories on Cell Phones–now you see them now you don’t

  1. Thx, good story. Don’t be fooled by the industry lie of safety about mobile phones, they have been excluded in the USA and many other countries from any security tests!

    The best idea is to read this book and make your own mind:

    Robert C. Kane had been working as top developer inside Motorola for decades, developing mobile phones. He died from brain cancer a few years ago, not without leaving this planet with a message, which you can find in his book:

    Robert C. Kane – Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette

    Download as PDF:

    http://microondes.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/robert-c-kane-cellular-telephone-russian-roulette/

    The book has also vanished mysteriously from the book stores, after reading you know why…

    Best regards

    Michael Heiming
    http://microondes.wordpress.com/

    • drdevraleedavis

      *Robert C.Kane was a Senior Motorola Engineer who died from brain cancer*

      Before he died, Kane wrote *Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette, *a book to which I refer in my own work,* *Disconnect*. * Kane sued after developing brain cancer that he alleged was caused by exposures from testing prototype phones.

      His case was dismissed.

      “The issue really is what happens to a cell phone user 10 years from now. There are more than a billion people using these phones, and a fairly strong body of literature that says there could be a problem,” Kane .

      “More testing has been done that indicates biological damage than with other products that have been removed from the marketplace,” Kane said, “but this is an economy-driven society, and the device is not going to be taken out of the hands of the public.”

      His book cannot be found in bookstores, but a copy of his book is listed for sale on Amazon for $153.35

      http://www.amazon.com/Cellular-Telephone-Russian-Roulette-Robert/dp/0533136733

  2. drdevraleedavis

    UPDATE The Story resurfaced! Bill Bruno found it and since it disappeared once, here it is in full.

    http://health.yahoo.net/rodale/WH/is-your-health-on-the-line

    Funny how it’s regarded as a women’s health issue.

    Here’s the text in case it disappears again:

    Unless you’ve had your cell phone permanently glued to your ear, chances are you’ve heard the recent health buzz: Mobile devices may cause cancer. While it’s true that the National Cancer Institute has ruled them safe, a growing number of independent researchers disagree.

    Those experts point out that the FCC wireless regulations on cell phone safety are largely based on something called specific absorption rate (SAR) levels, or the rate at which our bodies absorb radiation. Most phones do comply with the federal standards, but SAR monitors only thermal effects. (In other words, if the radiation from your phone isn’t cooking your brain, it’s regarded as safe.) But mounting scientific evidence suggests that nonthermal radio frequency radiation (RF)—the invisible energy waves that connect cell phones to cell towers, and power numerous other everyday items—can damage our immune systems and alter our cellular makeup, even at intensities considered safe by the FCC.

    Is your body giving off important clues about your health?

    “The problem is that RF can transfer energy waves into your body and disrupt its normal functioning,” explains Cindy Sage, an environmental consultant in Santa Barbara, California, who has studied radiation for 28 years. “Here’s why that’s crucial: Overwhelming evidence shows that RF can cause DNA damage, and DNA damage is a necessary precursor to cancer.”

    The 2010 Interphone study, the largest to date on RF exposure from mobile phones, has spawned a quagmire of controversy, says health researcher and medical writer Kerry Crofton, Ph.D., who spent four years reviewing RF science for her book Wireless Radiation Rescue: Safeguarding Your Family from the Risks of Electro-Pollution. Many groups, including the National Cancer Institute and the telecom industry, read the results of that study as a green light for wireless calling. Others, like Crofton, point out that because it was largely based on lower cellphone usage in the ’90s, the research has little bearing on today’s world, in which 285 million Americans have mobile phones and 83 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds are “wired” all the time and sleep with their cell phones next to their heads.

    One thing the Interphone study did find? People who chatted via cell for just 30 minutes a day for 10 years saw their risk of glioma (the type of brain tumor that killed Ted Kennedy) rise 40 percent. As a result, many European countries are considering banning cell phones for children under age 6 (RF penetrates little kids’ brains more easily), and France has already banned all wireless technology in some schools and many public places, notes physician and epidemiologist Samuel Milham, M.D., a leader in the growing field of electromagnetic research.

    All parties agree on this: More studies need to be done. In the meantime, it’s best to take easy precautions—and not just with mobile phones. “Never before in human history have we gone from one radiated environment to another,” says Crofton. “We’re going to wireless offices and living in wireless homes. Even beaches and parks are going wireless. We’re exposed everywhere.”

    The good news is that you don’t need to ditch your gadgets. This advice will let you stay plugged in—and keep you healthy.

    You’re surrounded by electronics at home and work. But you can avoid this number one health enemy.

    Cell Phones

    When your phone is on (which it probably is even as you read this) it’s constantly sending and receiving RF signals to and from the nearest cell tower to keep you in service. The farther you are from a tower, the harder your phone has to work and the more RF it emits, explains David Carpenter, M.D., director of the Institute for Health and Environment at the University at Albany. The activity really amps up when you’re, say, driving through rural areas. Plus, within the close confines of a car, your entire core is exposed to the radiation.

    The safer solution: Keep your phone off when driving until you really need it, says Carpenter. And no matter where you are, avoid holding a cell phone directly to your noggin (the Interphone study showed gliomas were more prevalent on the side of the head people continuously pressed phones to), always keep it at least six inches or more from your body (in your purse, not your pocket), and use either speakerphone or a corded headset (not a wireless headset). Or text up a storm. If you have a smartphone that’s loaded with games, music, and movies, turn your wireless settings off while playing or rocking out. Similarly, don’t ever use your cell phone as a bedside alarm clock without first disabling the wireless mode.

    Cordless Phones

    These stealth wireless threats “have become so powerful, they’re often as strong as cell phones,” says Sage. “The phone base is like a mini cell tower. It radiates 24-7 and can have a range of up to 300 feet.” Particularly suspect are digital enhanced cordless telecommunication (DECT) phones. Preliminary blind studies have found that, when sitting beside a DECT phone base, some people experienced arrhythmia, a troubling heartbeat irregularity that could eventually lead to stroke or coronary disease, says Sage.

    The safer solution: You might feel somewhat retro, but “just get a corded phone with an extra-long cord so you can still walk around,” says Crofton. “They’re better, they’re cheaper, and they work in a power outage. Every time you replace a DECT with a corded phone, you’re cutting the RF levels in your home significantly.”

    8 Essential health tests you must have.

    Wireless Routers

    Your neighborhood coffee shop’s wireless Internet access may often seem like a godsend, but the router that’s needed to provide the service is continuously emitting high levels of RF (up to 200 feet out), and that constant exposure has been linked to deadly diseases. “If the whole body is radiated by a router’s RF emissions, the greatest concern is cancer, especially leukemia,” says Carpenter. Also, be aware of your at-home router and any plug-in wireless USB cards you often use.

    The safer solution: Ditch your wireless router and plug your computer directly into a cable modem, says Sage. That Ethernet technology doesn’t leak RF and is often faster and more secure. If you just can’t give up your wireless router (e.g., if you live in a home with a handful of computer users), make sure you sit as far away from it as possible, says Crofton, and turn it off at night and whenever you’re not online. Another easy fix: Plug your router into a surge protector with a timer, and set it to go off each night so you don’t have to remember to flip the switch.

    Laptops

    “When you hold your laptop on your lap, what you’re essentially doing is radiating your pelvis,” says Carpenter, “so all the cancers that affect that area are of concern.” Indeed, early studies point to a heightened risk of testicular cancer for men who keep RF-emitting devices close to their belts. For women, adds Carpenter, “the studies aren’t quite there yet, but I think we can say that anything that might cause cancer almost always causes birth defects, so pregnant women—or those wanting to become pregnant soon—should take extra precautions.”

    The safer solution: Keep your laptop off your lap (if you have to rest it there, buffer it with a sturdy pillow that’s at least six inches thick). Try to use a desktop computer at home and treat your laptop as an on-the-go convenience. One thing to keep in mind: Laptops are a high RF radiation risk only while connected to wireless Internet, so when you’re watching a DVD, fiddling around with your photos, or writing that dissertation, just disable your connection and you’ll be much safer.

    Baby Monitors

    “Baby monitors release more RF than cell phones do, and putting them next to a crib is very, very unwise,” says Carpenter. He points to a recent University of Utah study that shows RF radiation can penetrate almost entirely through a child’s brain, which doesn’t form completely until nearly 20 years of age. “It’s very clear from all the existing research that the younger the child is, the more vulnerable he or she is to the effects of RF radiation.”

    The safer solution: Consider not using a baby monitor. If you absolutely must use one, place it far from your baby’s crib—at least 10 to 15 feet away.

  3. Thx for the contribution, as written, the complete book can be downloaded for free from the below Link as PDF:

    http://microondes.wordpress.com/2010/04/17/robert-c-kane-cellular-telephone-russian-roulette/

    It is fully OCR’ed so small in size and all the text and anything can be copied, it took a week to prepare the book like this.

  4. Good Idea… Thanks Friends…

  5. Pingback: To Cell or Not to Cell « Classicalblunder's Blog

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