Cellphone

Use of cellphones and other wireless devices is now so pervasive that it's impossible to avoid exposure to RF radiation. But researchers are continuing to find that such exposure has detrimental effects on health.

BEBETO MATTHEWS — Associated Press

Wireless technology must be removed from schools, libraries, and other public buildings because it is carcinogenic, is an endocrine disrupter, and causes other detrimental biological effects.

Wireless technology — used by cellphones and other devices — works by sending messages encoded in radiofrequency (RF) radiation, often in the microwave range. For instance, Wi-Fi operates at the same frequency as microwave ovens.

The Federal Communications Commission based its safety standard for RF exposure on the amount of tissue heating, but evidence shows that tissue heating is not the only mechanism by which RF radiation can cause harm.

The Department of the Interior has called the FCC limits “nearly 30 years out of date and inapplicable today.” The Environmental Protection Agency stated that the FCC limits “are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, nonthermal exposure situations.” The EPA also said, “The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified.” 

Exposure to RF radiation from wireless technology is now universal because society today has made this exposure unavoidable. This is a serious problem because researchers continue to find exposure to RF radiation causes detrimental biological effects at levels far below the FCC limits.

Most people are unaware that carrying a cellphone in a pocket or holding it against your head is not an FCC-approved use.

"The evidence indicating wireless is carcinogenic has increased and can no longer be ignored," Dr. Anthony Miller, an expert cancer researcher, said July 31 at an event in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, sponsored by the Environmental Health Trust where international experts presented the best available science on cellphone and wireless radiation. Miller, who was a senior epidemiologist at the International Agency for Research on Cancer when it evaluated the carcinogenicity of radiofrequency radiation in 2011, is one of the experts now calling for reclassification of the radiation emitted by wireless technology from Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) to Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans).

The U.S. National Toxicology Program released results last year showing that exposure to nonthermal levels of RF radiation emitted by wireless technology causes cancer and DNA breakage. According to Miller, the study provides the final piece of evidence needed to classify cellphone and wireless radiation as a human carcinogen.

Cancer is only one of the possible deleterious outcomes of exposure to RF radiation from wireless technology. Studies show that such radiation is an endocrine disrupter and can affect cardiac function, increasing the risk of cardiac arrest. 

Contrary to industry assertions, studies have identified mechanisms by which RF radiation can have serious biological effects at levels far below the outdated FCC limits. These mechanisms also explain why some people can experience immediate adverse cardiac and neurological effects upon exposure to RF radiation.

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Maryland’s Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council issued recommendations last December to reduce children’s exposure to radiation from wireless technology in schools by using wired connections, not wireless.

Wisconsin should follow their lead, listen to the hundreds of researchers calling FCC limits inadequate, and immediately remove wireless technology from schools, libraries, and public buildings. No child should be forced to suffer exposure to a known carcinogen in order to obtain an education or visit a library.

Catherine Kleiber, of Waterloo, is an independent researcher and author and webmaster of www.electricalpollution.com.

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