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Addicted to your cell phone? You may be harming your health

Environmental Health Trust: The Blog

New studies by the acclaimed chief of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, psychiatrist Nora Volkow show that just 50 minutes of cell phone radiation excites the brain. This important finding strengthens the need for a major research program on cell phones and health, for revamping approaches to setting standards, and for putting warning labels on cell phones.

Writing in the February 23 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of researchers led by Dr. Volkow, found that cell phone radiation significantly affected brain function and metabolism of glucose–the brain’s main fuel–in those parts of the brain that received the most cell phone radiation.

These findings raise serious health concerns
Ronald B. Herberman, M.D., chair of EHT’s Board and a renowned cancer biologist and physician, indicated that this work offers an important clue about the ways that cell phone radiation can alter the brain…

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Keep mobile phones, tablets or laptops away from your body: Wireless devices may cause harm

the peper perspective

Did you ever notice the heat of your mobile phone against your ear?

Did you ever feel the warmth of the laptop against your stomach and thighs?

While recording muscle tension, we sometimes observe a signal that is NOT the actual muscle contracting.  It is an electrical signal that is recorded with sensors at the location of the body but not produced by the muscles.  In some cases, this artifact is caused by the client’s mobile phone or other wireless device being activated even though the ringer function was set to off.  Below is an example of an artifact signal that can be hundreds of times larger than the biological muscle (electromyography) or brainwave (electroencephalography) signal as shown in Figure 1.

Slide11

Figure 1. Surface electromyography recording showing the effect of cell phone located 1 cm (0.4 inches) away from the electrodes (from: Lin, I.M. & Peper, E.,2009).

The artifact…

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Why Parents and Children Should Practice Safe Phone

By Devra Davis, PhD , President and Founder, Environmental Health Trust, author of Disconnect:  the truth about cellphone radiation, Plume, 2011.

Children are growing up in a sea of radiofrequency radiation that has never existed in human history.  In America today, about twenty million children under the age of fourteen have cellphones.   Increasingly, scientists and policy makers in tech savvy nations like Israel and Finland are concerned that the ways these devices are used imperil the brain.   The iPhone plastic baby rattle case protects the phone’s glass screen from cracking when chomped on by teething babies,  but does not protect the infant’s young brain from the phone’s pulsed digital microwave radiation.

The proliferation of wireless gadgets overlooks a critical health issue for pregnant women, men who wish to father healthy children, and those they produce–non-ionizing or microwave radiation damages the brain and sperm of experimental animals.  A cellphone is a two-way microwave radio with intermittent and destabilizing pulses, unlike  microwave ovens that steadily operate at the same frequencies.  The weak and erratic microwave radiation from cellphones and tablets cannot directly break the bonds that hold molecules together, but does disrupt DNA,  weakens the brain’s protective barrier, and releases highly reactive and damaging free radicals.  A five-year olds brain, healthy or otherwise, is encased in a thinner skull and contains more fluid than an adults.  The bone marrow of a child’s head absorbs 10 times more  radiation than an adult, while those of infants and toddlers will absorb even more.

Few parents appreciate that infant apps of One Fish Two Fish, Peekaboo Farm, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star may do much more than amuse and distract babies. The American Academy of Pediatrics cautions that children need more real face time than screen time, more laps than apps.  The capacity to learn how to tell the difference between mommie and me and learn to think about the other requires holding, touching, smelling, seeing and hearing real live people and cannot be supplanted by intoxicating technological bells and whistles.   Every major well-designed study ever conducted has found that those who use cell phones regularly for half an hour a day or more  for a decade have a doubled risk of brain cancer, and those who began using cell phones as teenagers have four to five times more disease in less than 10 years.  Exposure to radiation from cell phones  may also play a role for a growing spate of serious problems, including attention and hearing deficitsautism, behavioral changes, insomnia, ringing of the ears or tinnitus, Parkinsons, Alzheimer’s  and a broad array of disturbances to the nervous system.

Most disconcerting are findings from the highly respected Prof. Nesrin Seyhan, the NATO-supported founding chairman of the Biophysics Department at Gazi University in Ankara, Turkey, whose studies repeatedly show that prenatally exposed rats and rabbits have fewer brain cells — and those that survive sustain more damage to their  brain, liver, reproductive system and eye.   Other research carried out by the dozen laboratory collaborative of the European Union Reflex project found that exposures to cellphone radiation directly impaired human brain cells.   Despite highly publicized charges of fraud against that work, the Reflex project has been exonerated and others have since independently confirmed their findings.

Experimental work completed by teams working with two distinguished experts in male reproductive health, Prof. Ashok Agarwal of the Cleveland Clinic and by Sir Robert John Aitken of Australia’s Newcastle University, have shown that cellphone radiation exposed human sperm die three times faster, swim significantly more poorly, become more deformed and develop significantly more damage to sperm DNA.  With one in every five couples having problems reproducing when they chose to do so,  the wisdom of the fine print warnings that come with all smartphones to not keep phones in the pocket  and avoid contact with the pregnant abdomen or those of teenagers should become standard medical advice.

There is no known safe dose standard of cellphone radiation for pregnant women, their developing babies, men who wish to become fathers,  or for young  children.  All safety warnings for cell phones (e.g., keep 2.54 inches from the abdomen ) are modeled on a very large fellow with a big head who talks less than half an hour a day.  The average toddler’s head weighs about half as much as the one for whom standards have been set.

Cell phones are just one source for microwave radiation exposure. iPads and other wireless tablet systems emit radiation as well,  although the former comes with automatic proximity sensors that reduce radiation whenever the device comes close to the body. The safety material that comes with an iPad recommends users hold it eight inches from an adult body—a distance far greater than most toddlers arms.  Yet nowadays even babies and toddlers are learning to read from wired devices and falling asleep to white noise played from phones placed under their pillows and connected to wireless routers.

What can you do to protect yourself from radiation emitted from high tech gadgets?  When it comes to using electronic devices, those hidden safety warnings have it right, so remember: distance is your friend.

  • Don’t hold a cell phone directly up to your head. Use a headset or speakerphone to talk on the phone.
  • Pregnant women should keep cell phones away from their abdomen and men who wish to become fathers should never keep phones on in their pocket.
  • Don’t allow children to play with or use your cell phone. Older children should use a headset when talking on a cell phone.
  • Turn off your wireless router at night to minimize exposure to radiation.
  • Eat green vegetables and get a good night’s sleep in a dark room to enhance natural repair of DNA that may have been damaged by radiation.

High tech gadgets beat out toys as the most desired Christmas gift for children ages 6-12, according to Nielsen Marketing and Research

For more information, including a Doctors’ Pamphlet about the need to Practice Safe Phone, written by Charlie Teo, one of the world’s top neurosurgeons, and other experts in the field see http://www.environmentalhealthtrust.org/content/downloads.

As seen on Healthy Child.

Age group using only cell phones showing increase in brain tumors!

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201011/cmhansrd/cm101220/debtext/101220-0004.htm

http://www.disconnectbook.com/2010/12/22/cbsnews-cellphones-only-way-to-call-most-in-late-20s/

The two pieces above appeared within a couple of days of one another. The first mentions a rise in brain tumors in the 20-29 year age bracket. The second piece concerns itself with the fact that the majority of those age 25-29 do not have a landline and use only a cell phone.

It does not take a medical degree to connect these dots. Perhaps a study needs to be done on the population without landlines. A short MRI developed by Dr. Kesari in San Diego could be given to the participants to see if they are walking around with a brain tumor without knowing it. Or those that have been determined to have brain tumors in that age group certainly should be questioned about their cell phone use.

Sounds logical to you and me, right? It is not that simple. The cell phone industry has a lot of money. Scientists and researchers do not. Also, many doctors at fine institutions shy away from this controversial subject as their hospital receives funds from the industry. After my husband’s craniotomy he was part of a study at the hospital where he had the surgery. Considering he has a glioma, the type of brain tumor attributable to long term cell phone use, one would assume that cell phones would have been mentioned in the questionnaire. NOPE. Lots of other questions- lead based paint, asbestos, etc. but not cell phone use. The questionnaire seemed to be one they would have used many years ago.

Please read the articles above. Remember, brain tumors generally have a lengthy latency period thus we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg now. It has also been shown that it takes at least 10 years of use of a cell phone to increase your risk of a brain tumor. We are seeing a rise in brain tumors in people in their 20’s which is so frightening as perhaps we are wrong. Perhaps this is more about dose than duration which means if someone uses the phone 2 hours a day for 5 years may be as vulnerable as someone using it 1 hour a day for 10 years. I am not a scientist.
I do know too many people who are now suffering or dead from brain tumors from their cell phone use.

Please help us at EHT to help stop this madness. Even a small donation will help in our battle to save the brains of our children and grandchildren.

IT’S BACK…The disappeared YAHOO story on cell phones and DNA damage has resurfaced

This time without the headlines that appeared on YAHOO’s home page yesterday.  Bill Bruno provided this information at noon Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here’s the posted story in case it disappears again.

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

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, drivingthrough 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.

Dr. Davis on Sunday Nights with Rabbi Bulka

Dr. Davis on Sunday Nights with Rabbi Bulka – Tune in OTTAWA on Sunday, Dec. 5 at 9PM http://bit.ly/dI90mz

How can you avoid getting brain cancer?

How can you avoid getting brain cancer? Tune in on Monday at 8:30AM EST: http://bit.ly/eeNS0I