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Cancer Institute Warns of Cell Phone Risks

August 12, 2008 | 88,709 views

cell phone dangers, cellular, cancer, radiation, radio waves, radio frequency, cancer institute, brain, EMFThe head of a prominent cancer research institute has issued an unprecedented warning to his faculty and staff: Limit cell phone use because of the possible risk of cancer.

The warning came from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. Herberman says his warning is based on early unpublished data. He argues that people should take action now -- especially when it comes to children.

"Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman said.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Tumor immunologist Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, is the last in a recent succession of authorities that are speaking out publicly about the potential dangers of cell phones.  

Dr. Herberman’s complete article, which was sent out with his advisory, includes a summary analysis of the recent studies that form the basis of his decision to issue precautionary measures. It also includes this illustration, showing just how much higher the absorption rates are in a 5- and 10-year old’s brain versus that of an adult. It’s an impressive visual, showing how electromagnetic radiation can penetrate almost straight through the entire brain of a 5-year old child! 



“Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use,” says Dr. Herberman. I couldn’t agree more. As far as I’m concerned, the signs that we’re looking at a major public health problem are overwhelming. 

To date, several countries including France, Germany and India have issued recommendations to limit your exposure to electromagnetic fields. Additionally, Toronto’s Department of Public Health is now advising teenagers and young children to limit their use of cell phones, to avoid potential health risks, which I reported on just last week. 

Another noted brain cancer authority who has recently voiced his concerns is Australian Dr Vini Gautam Khurana. He is a Mayo Clinic-trained neurosurgeon with an advanced neurosurgery Fellowship in cerebral vascular and tumor microsurgery. In February 2008, Dr. Khurana issued a paper titled:  Mobile Phones and Brain Tumors after 14 months of independent research, reviewing more than 100 sources of recent medical and scientific literature.   

Says Dr. Khurana, “In the context of the fact that widespread mobile phone usage commenced in the mid-1980s (earliest in Northern Europe), with the first 10 years of widespread usage ending in the mid-1990s, and the fact that solid tumors may take several years to trigger and form, it seems plausible to expect that if no appropriate changes are made by Industry and consumers alike, in the next 5  - 10 years the aforementioned concerning associations will likely be definitely proven in the medical literature.”  

He goes on to say: “Given the calculated “incubation time” and the commencement of mobile telephony’s mass deployment in Sweden, it is no surprise that Swedish researchers were among the first to report a positive association between cell phone use and brain tumor risk.” 

Will Political Lobbying Cost You Your Health, or Perhaps Even Your Life?

Not only are there companies making lots and lots of money off of cell phones, who will do their best to spread misdirection, spin, and outright lies. But the government agencies, which are in theory there to protect you, have also entered into mutually profitable “partnerships” with the very businesses they are supposed to regulate, meaning there is very little real regulation going on. 

In 2007 alone, the telecommunications industry spent almost $250 million on political lobbying. Over the past decade, they have spent a grand total of nearly $2.4 billion.

Folks, please understand – there are NO agencies “out there” protecting you from these dangers. No one’s looking out for your health, aside from the occasional brave scientist or physician who dares to rattle the status quo.

  • The FDA is Bought and Paid For -- In the United States there are no less than three regulatory agencies that arguably have jurisdiction over cell phones. The first is the FDA, which is responsible by law for regulating any device that emits radiation. But over the past few decades, a series of changes in government policy have for the most part prevented the FDA from being the watchdog organization it was designed to be; these days, it exists mostly to give an imprimatur of government approval to industrial products. 

    Starting in the mid-1980’s, various industries lobbied Congress to pressure the FDA into speeding up the approval of new drugs and products. Congress was reluctant to pour more money into the organization, so instead they came up with a novel plan: creating a “partnership” between the FDA and the industries it was intended to regulate. 

    Now, the FDA collects “user fees” from companies, which have grown to account for a significant chunk of the agency’s overall budget. In other words, the FDA now receives corporate sponsorship from the very industry that it aims to regulate. They have been transformed from a corporate watchdog into a customer of those same corporations. They do very little regulating as a result, since they want to keep their “partners” happy. 

  • The EPA is Now Powerless -- The EPA has responsibility for any building or factory that emits radiation into the environment, such as a cell phone tower. In the early 1990’s, they planned to start regulating these towers. 

    But the vast telecommunications industry used its lobbying resources to get a highly self-serving provision inserted into the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Since 1996, a cell phone base station is defined as a radiation emitting “device” rather than a building. Since they are now defined as devices, the EPA has lost its authority to regulate them. 

  • The FCC is Bought and Paid For, AND Has No Power! -- Another result of the Telecommunications Act was to put nearly all regulatory power over cell phones in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC. But the FCC is charged only with overseeing the fair and equitable use of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are not a regulatory agency with regard to health, the environment, or consumer safety. They have no regulatory authority to protect you. 

    Even if they could, they most likely wouldn’t; like the FDA, they are making a great deal of money off of their corporate “partners”. The supposedly “public” electromagnetic spectrum is auctioned off to companies by the FCC. 

    What’s more, after the dot-com crash of the late 90’s, many technology companies who had purchased the wavelengths found themselves strapped for cash. They owed money to the FCC, and no longer had any way to pay it. So the FCC cut a deal: they took a small percentage of the owed money as a down payment, and then agreed to collect the rest as the cell phone companies earned money from consumers.  

    Essentially, the FCC is a mortgage holder for the mobile phone industry.

    The FCC now actually has a vested interest in the rapid deployment of technology and build-up of the industry, so that they can collect the rest of their money. They are not going to make any efforts to block anything the industry wants.  

    This is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse. 

This Must Change, and it Will 

Still, despite these obstacles, the truth is coming out and these outspoken heroes in the medical community are evidence of that. The more doctors come on board, the more people will be convinced. You as well, can help by convincing your family, your friends, and your colleagues. 

In the meantime, take steps to protect yourself. Getting rid of your cell phone altogether can help. But even if you don’t want to take go that far, you can still minimize your exposure and reduce your risks, and the risks to your loved ones.

Practical Advice to Limit Your Exposure to Dangerous Radiation

There are many simple precautions that you can take to reduce your exposure to information-carrying radiowaves and the electromagnetic radiation emitted from your cell phone – both of which are hazardous to your health. Here are my best guidelines: 

  • Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones. 
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. 
  • Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. 
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are no safer during calls, but at least they do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. 
  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception Is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception. 
  • Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not In Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. 
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When It Is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area. 
  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient information carrying radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.

    The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.

[+] Sources and References

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