RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH WIRELESS RADIATION
The current FCC safety guidelines are inadequate
It is widely accepted that “information-carrying” wireless radiation is capable of damaging living tissue by means of a thermal mechanism (heating and burning).
For this reason, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has developed safety standards to prevent exposure to levels of wireless radiation high enough to cause tissue heating within minutes.
Unfortunately, the FCC guidelines are inadequate. They do not protect us from the potential biological changes and illness now linked to long-term wireless radiation exposure.
There is evidence to suggest that the current safety standards for wireless radiation may be 1000s of times too lenient.
FCC guidelines prevent burning but not biological damage and disease
The Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) is the unit of measurement used to reflect the amount of wireless radiofrequency radiation absorbed per unit mass in the body and is expressed as watts per kilogram (W/kg).
The FCC sets and regulates the SAR limits to prevent wireless devices from causing tissue heating and heat-induced injury. Current SAR guidelines specify that the level of wireless radiation absorbed by the body cannot exceed 1.6 W/kg. Manufacturers must report the SAR levels of their wireless devices to the FCC.
It is important to remember that compliance with the FCC exposure limits does not necessarily mean that a device is safe! It is estimated that approximately 2,000 peer-reviewed studies now demonstrate the development of biological changes and illness at levels below the FCC’s current SAR safety limit of 1.6 W/kg.
The technology industry and government agencies that oversee wireless safety seem to always find an excuse to ignore this alarming evidence and instead base all their recommendations on the inadequate and outdated SAR thermal limits.
The SAR completely ignore the potential for development of biological changes at levels below the SAR safety limit and are long overdue for non-biased re-evaluation.
Non-ionizing does not mean that it cannot harm you
Numerous scientific studies now show that “non-ionizing” wireless radiation can cause biological damage, disease and/or cancer at exposure levels much lower than required to cause tissue heating (ref).
The wireless radiation that we have been led to believe is completely harmless when used in compliance with the FCC guidelines may be capable of inducing biological changes inside of our cells that can lead to medical disorders and even cancer…without causing significant heating.
Unfortunately, this evidence is often ignored and many people still believe that wireless radiation is not harmful to life when used according to the FCC standards based on the false premise “if it’s non-ionizing and cannot knock an electron out, it can’t hurt you”.
FCC safety standards for wireless devices only considers one device at a time. FCC guidelines do not account for the cumulative effects of wireless radiation being emitted from multiple devices in one place. Most of our families now own dozens more wireless devices than we did a decade ago.
On any given day, our children are in close proximity to cell phone towers, carrying their cell phones in their pockets all day long, sitting under wireless routers at school and home, constantly using their laptops and tablets, etc.
What use are the “already insufficient” FCC guidelines when it comes to cumulative exposure from multiple sources that our kid’s encounter each day? What will the long term health effects be?
A Very Inconvenient Truth
Taking the threat of wireless radiation seriously is difficult for many people since it is invisible, odorless, tasteless and silent…as well as so enjoyable.
Accepting the fact that our wireless devices may be harmful is a “bitter pill” for many of us to swallow. Nonetheless, learning more about the potential risks associated with wireless technology can help you to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Children are at highest risk
The safety guidelines for wireless devices are based on a 220-lb male head. Incredibly, the same “one size fits all” standards are applied children and pregnant females.
This is extremely concerning since children’s skulls are thinner and their brains smaller which allows radiation to penetrate deeper into the brain. Children’s brains also contain more fluid and are more conductive than adult brains. For these reasons, children absorb more radiation than adults at the same exposure level.
According to the International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC), “the average absorption of radio frequency radiation in children exposed to mobile phone radiofrequency is 2 times higher in the brain and 10 times higher in the bone marrow of the skull when compared to adults”1.
Children are also more sensitive to the wireless radiation they absorb since their brains are still developing. Fetuses may absorb even higher levels of wireless radiation.
The proof is in the pudding
A growing body of peer-reviewed scientific studies have linked wireless radiation exposure to the development of numerous health problems and biological changes.
Our goal here at 5GMDs is to highlight the studies that we feel are most pertinent to human health and well-being.
The comprehensive BioInitiative Report includes summaries of many of the studies that associate wireless exposure to the development of biological changes and health problems.
The BioInitiative Report concludes that that current “safe” exposure levels published by the FCC to prevent only thermal changes are “thousands of times too lenient” and do not protect human health2.
The potential health risks associated with wireless radiation is causing more and more health professionals, scientists, parents as well as the general public to take notice.
We can no longer afford to passively accept that our wireless technology is “safe” given the mounting evidence at hand.
The exposure limits for wireless radiation need to be immediately re-evaluated in a non-biased manner and lowered to a level that is scientifically proven not to cause to biological changes.
Health problems and biological changes associated with wireless radiation2-12
brain tumors (cancerous and non-cancerous):
infertility/decreased sperm count/sperm abnormalities
decreased cell proliferation
increased stress hormones
alterations in calcium metabolism
changes in motor function
blood-brain barrier leakage
decreased immune function
changes in cellular membrane structure
increases in cortisol levels
decreased insulin and testosterone levels
altered brain development
attention and memory impairment
decrease melatonin levels
nerve cell damage
decreased eating and drinking behavior
impaired DNA repair
altered firing of nerve cells
increased cell death
changes in human brainwave activity
accelerated development of skin and breast tumors
altered protein levels
electromagnetic hypersensitivity syndrome
Wireless radiation is everywhere
Whether we like it or not, most of us are constantly being exposed to wireless radiation and its potential risks. Wireless radiation is essentially everywhere and unavoidable.
Even if you were to abandon all your wireless technology, it would still be very difficult, if not impossible, to avoid “second-hand” signal from nearby cell towers and the devices of others.
When it comes to certain harmful behaviors such as smoking, fewer individuals are at risk since only those nearby are exposed.
However, wireless radiation is different; it is widespread, invisible, odorless, tasteless and silent.
As a result, we are exposed to wireless radiation whether we choose to personally use it or not.
Unfortunately, our “first and second-hand exposure” to wireless radiation will likely increase significantly with the massive expansion of 5G technology.
Wireless Radiation listed as a Possible Carcinogen
In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radiofrequency fields (wireless radiation) as a Class 2 B Carcinogen to show that is “possibly carcinogenic to humans”.
A team of 31 scientists from 14 countries came to this decision based on a review of studies published before 2011 that investigated the potential association between non-ionizing radiofrequency radiation and cancer12.
Further studies since the time of this designation have only strengthened the association.5,6,13,14
The American Academy of Pediatrics takes a stand
The American Academy of Pediatrics submitted a letter15 to the FCC in 2013 urging the organization to adopt radiation standards that:
1) protect children and pregnant women from wireless radiation since they are more vulnerable to its effects
2) reflect how people are currently using their cell phones
more calls per day longer calls
more cumulative time on phone
more children and young adults using phones and will have longer lifetime exposures as a result
pregnant women carrying phones close to abdomen
3) provide consumers with better information about the wireless exposure of individual cellular phones to help them make better informed decisions when making a purchase and to help parents understand the potential risks to their children.
Human observational studies
Observational studies identify individuals with a health problem such as a brain tumor (cases) and a similar group without the problem (controls) and then compare the 2 groups with respect to an exposure such as wireless radiation.
The risk of developing a disease (e.g. brain tumor) if subjected to an exposure (wireless radiation) can then be determined.
Many of the wireless devices that we use daily such as smartphones, laptops and tablet computers have been around for less than 20 years.
The potential medical consequences related to wireless radiation may take years to decades to develop.
It is possible that not all the health problems related to wireless exposure have developed or been detected yet.
As a result, current observational studies may have not yet determined all of the long-term medical disorders associated with wireless radiation exposure. This information will likely become much better understood over time.
Higher risk of brain tumors; worse if cell phone use began before age 20
The Hardell Group conducted 2 observational studies on human patients diagnosed with brain tumors between 1997 and 20033-6.
Comparing individuals with and without brain tumors on the basis of their cellular and cordless phone use showed the following:
Cellular and cordless phone use resulted in an increased overall risk for a cancerous brain tumor called a glioma. The risk was highest in those individuals who had used their wireless device for longer than 10 years prior to diagnosis and was also highest for when phone use was on the same side of the head as the tumor.
Overall, there was a 190% increase in risk of glioma among cellular phone users; and a 280% increase in risk of glioma among cordless phone users (same side use and greater than 10 years of use prior to diagnosis)
In addition, there was a 200% increase in risk for developing an acoustic neuroma (benign brain tumor) among cellular users and a 130% increase in acoustic neuroma for cordless phone users (same side use and greater than 10 years use)
Interestingly, the Hardell group study results also showed that “use of mobile phone starting before the age of 20” was associated with the highest risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma.
Initial use of a mobile phone before age 20 lead to a 340% increased risk of developing glioma and a 580% increased risk of developing an acoustic neuroma when phone use was on the same side as the tumor.
Higher exposure linked to a higher risk for brain cancer
The Interphone Study was a collaborative international study performed to investigate the risk of brain cancer among mobile phone users. The study was conducted at 16 research facilities throughout 13 countries from 2000 to 2004.
The results demonstrated an increased risk for glioma in individuals who had used their cellular phones on the same side as the tumor development for 1,640 hours or more7-9 (equates to approximately 30 minutes of daily use for ten years).
A later publication of Interphone data showed that the estimated cumulative dose of wireless radiation targeted in the location where the tumor developed correlated with a higher risk for tumor development. This is the first report linking the total amount of cumulative wireless radiation to the risk of brain tumor.
The Interphone study also demonstrated a 274% increase in the risk of acoustic neuroma among individuals who had used their cellular phones 1,640 hours or more over a 10 year interval.
17 min/day for 10 yrs = 60% increased tumor risk
Researchers at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health, Korea’s National Cancer Center, and Seoul National University analyzed 46 observational studies and showed that increased cell phone use is associated with an increased risk of tumors, especially of the brain.
The researchers concluded that cumulative cell phone use of 1,000 or more hours, or approximately 17 minutes a day for a decade, is associated with a 60% increase in risk for developing a brain tumor10.
Also, individuals who used cell phones for over 10 years had a slightly higher tumor risk compared those who used them less than 5 years.
National Toxicology Program Study
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) is an interagency program within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
NTP was chosen by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct extensive animal studies to investigate the potential health effects of long-term exposure to non-ionizing cell phone radiofrequency radiation. The studies cost $30 million and took longer than 10 years to complete.
The NTP performed studies on rodents using wireless radiation frequencies similar to those used in 2G and 3G cellphones.
Research on rodents is thought to be applicable to humans since rodent brain cells are very similar to human brain cells.
The study exposed rats to and mice to whole-body cell phone radiation during 10-minute on and 10- minute off increments for 9 hours daily for the first 2 years of life.
The NTP results were released on November 1, 2018 and showed that exposure to wireless radiation like that used in 2G and 3G phones was associated with the following11:
clear evidence of the development of malignant heart tumors (malignant schwannomas) in the hearts of male rats
some evidence of the development of malignant brain tumors (gliomas) in the brains of male rats
some evidence of the development of malignant and benign adrenal tumors in the male rats
DNA damage in the frontal cortex of the brain in male mice, the blood cells of female mice and the hippocampus of male rats
In 2005, The Ramazzini Institute began the largest long-term study to investigate the effects of wireless radiation. The study exposed 2,448 male and female rats to 1.8 GHz of wireless radiation for 19 hours per day from prenatal life until natural death.
The study showed a statistically significant increase in the incidence of cancerous heart tumors called Schwannomas in male rats exposed to the highest level of wireless radiation12. This exposure level compared to the amount of wireless radiation emitted from cell tower antennas.
The exposure levels in the Ramazzini study also fell within the permissible FCC exposure limits. This means that it would be acceptable to expose cell phone users to this amount of wireless radiation even though cancers developed at the same level.
In addition, the exposure levels in the Ramazzini study were much lower than the levels used in the NTP study.
The Ramazzini study also showed an increase incidence of malignant glial brain tumors in female rats exposed to wireless radiation.
The NTP and Ramazzini studies both demonstrated statistically significant increases in schwannoma (rare cancerous heart tumor) development in male rats as well as an increased incidence of brain tumors similar in type to those found in human observational studies.
Cell phones and wireless devices may be dangerous. Please use them wisely.
There are now numerous peer-reviewed studies that associate biological changes and health problems to “acceptable levels” of wireless radiation exposure according to the FCC guidelines.
These studies demonstrate the need for further research and critical reassessment of the current FCC guidelines to determine if they adequately protect us from harm. Immediate adjustments need to be made if there is evidence that they are insufficient.
Unfortunately, the FCC refuses to recognize any of this evidence at this time.
According to the FCC’s website “currently no scientific evidence establishes a causal link between wireless device use and cancer or other illnesses”
Relying on the same guidelines that “prevent tissue heating” as the safety standard for chronic, non-thermal exposure makes no scientific sense given the evidence at hand.
The telecom industry stands to profit immensely from the anticipated explosive growth in wireless technology including the 5G network. For this reason, the industry seems to cling to the FCC’s inadequate safety standards at any cost.
However, we are likely jeopardizing the health and wellness of our loved ones by simply accepting the widely held notion that “if it doesn’t heat, it can’t be harmful”.
Much higher medical and economic medical harm will likely result if we continue to postpone further measures to prevent the credible public risk posed by wireless radiation. Significant human suffering would have been avoided if earlier reform of the smoking industry had occurred.
We acknowledge that the evidence supporting the harmful effects of wireless radiation is still limited and under debate. However, taking precautions to minimize non-essential wireless exposure can only help to reduce risk if the evidence at hand proves to be correct or even worse.
Wireless technology provides tremendous convenience and is here to stay. No one is recommending that you ditch your wireless devices.
However, we hope that you will consider adopting some simple lifestyle changes to reduce any unnecessary exposure until more definitive evidence becomes available.
We cannot afford to conduct “business as usual” any longer…the health of our loved ones could depend on it.
1. IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Non-ionizing Radiation; Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields
2. Biolnitiative Report: A Rationale for a Biologically-based Public Exposure Standard for Electromagnetic Radiation
3. Mobile phones, cordless phones and the risk for brain tumours
4. Pooled analysis of two case-control studies on use of cellular and cordless telephones and the risk for malignant brain tumours diagnosed in 1997–2003
5. Case-control study of the association between malignant brain tumours diagnosed between 2007 and 2009 and mobile and cordless phone use
6. Use of mobile phones and cordless phones is associated with increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma
7. Brain tumor risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the Interphone international case-control study
8. Risk of brain tumours in relation to estimated RF dose from mobile phones: results from five Interphone countries
9. Acoustic neuroma risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the Interphone international case-control study
10. Cellular Phone Use and Risk of Tumors: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (Berkeley)
11. Cell Phone Radio Frequency Radiation Studies (NTP)
12. Non Thermal effects and Mechanisms of interaction between Electromagnetic Fields and living matter (Ram)
13. Mobile phone use and brain tumours in the CERENAT case-control study.
14. Evaluation of mobile phone and cordless phone use and glioma risk using the Bradford Hill viewpoints form 1965 on association or causation.
15. American Academy of Pediatrics Letter to FCC RF Radiation Review 2013