SOME BACKGROUND TO MOBILE PHONES
In 1993, the US Congress held open hearings during which it became clear that mobile phones had been exempted from premarket testing.
Normally, any consumer device emitting radiation, such as a mobile phone or cell-phone, would go through a process of pre-marketing testing that would include a series of in vitro and in vivo studies to evaluate predictions of risk to the population that would use them. Cell-phones, however, were exempted from that testing due to pressure from the mobile phone industry in 1984.
The scientific argument of the day was based on the belief that the only health effect that could follow from using such a device was due to the microwave heating of biological tissue. And because cell-phones operated at very, very low power, they would not be able to heat tissue. They were, therefore, excluded from the onerous process of pre-market testing.
That exemption was known as the “low power exclusion, and in retrospect, that one political mistake has put millions of people at risk of serious disease” says George Carlo. Following the public hearing, Congress took serious issue with both the Food and Drug Administration, which was the agency of record responsible for these radiation emitting devices, as well as with the mobile phone industry itself.
In the USA it is the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) which “governs” the issue, although one might reasonably wonder what a phone has to do with food and drugs, rather than the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) which has, or rather had, a reputation for being tougher to deal with and more careful of the environment.
Congress put both on the spot and the mobile phone industry immediately agreed to put up what became $28.5 million dollars in research funding as long as the FDA did not ban mobile phones at the time. Dr. George Carlo (the man who cleared the name of dioxin, “agent orange”) was the person given the responsibility of overseeing and conducting that research under the umbrella organization, Wireless Technology Research, unfortunately according to Microwave News, it all turned out to be a monumental scam.
Between 1993 and 1999, with more than 200 doctors and scientists from around the world participating, and the Harvard School of Public Health reviewing more than 56 studies, they ran what still remains the largest programme ever conducted in the world on the dangers of mobile telephony and wireless communications in general. To no avail.
This limbo situation exists despite the standards, in theory applied to protect humanity at large, adopted by the World Health Organisation, the US Health Protection Agency and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
According to Dr. Vladimir N. Binhi, theoretical physicist and head of the Radiobiology Laboratory at the General Physics Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow, these standards are irrelevant. In February 2003 he stated, “U.S. standards and those proposed by WHO are 100 times more lenient, depending on frequency range, than the Russian standards, which are based on the observed biological effects of chronic EM (electro-magnetic) exposures.”
At the session on September 19, 2001, the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (RNCNIRP) discussed and for the first time approved the recommendations for the population and organizations of the cellular communications industry:
- Supporting the Precautionary Principle of the World Health Organization, relying on the published data of foreign studies, scientific generalizations, opinions of the international scientific organizations, and expert opinions of members of the RNCNIRP, to distribute on behalf of the RNCNIRP the following information for the population about the key safety and hygienic rules regarding use of cell-phones:
1.1. Non-use of cell-phones by children under the age of 16.
1.2. Non-use of cell-phones by pregnant women.
1.3. Non-use of cell-phones by persons suffering from neurological conditions or diseases, including neurasthenia or dysthymic disorders, mental disorders, neuroses, intellectual and memory impairment, sleep disorders, epilepsy, and epileptic predisposition.
1.4. Limiting the duration of phone calls to a maximum of three minutes, and allowing a period between calls of a minimum of 15 minutes. Preferred use of headsets and hands-free systems.
- The cell-phone manufacturers and retailers should include the following information to accompany engineering specifications:
2.1. All of the above recommendations regarding use.
2.2. Data and conclusions on relevant health and epidemiological testing on cell-phones, measured EMFs, and the name of the test lab.
Here, the dialogue on the subject of mobile telephony basically breaks down, and naturally enough, the position of the industry is clear and unlikely to change, to make money they must have many people talking on one frequency band at the same time.
All this to say that some things cannot be substantiated or refuted by science, for a very simple reason, scientists are human – physical – and it would be strange for a material product of our world of evolving energy to be able to point to its own cause, which is of an energetic or spiritual nature. We are such an intricate part of the whole that we are physically unable to adopt an objective stance. So, mobile phones sell well and the number of EM radiation-related disorders afflicting humans and the environment continue to rise. Are the two related?
Twenty-eight years after their introduction to the market in 1984, more than 30 industry-sponsored studies have indicated that cell-phones present no risk of brain cancer. The latest (2011) released WHO analysis, after a decade-long study monitoring almost 13,000 mobile phone users, confirms otherwise. The WHO states that cell-phone use and brain cancer are related and that “heavy” (half an hour daily!) cell-phone use increases the risk of developing cancerous tumours in the brain. So, that apparently indicates there is a brain tumour problem, but what about other health upsets?
Penetration rates for the cell-phone market in the USA are greater than 75%, and in Hong Kong, Japan and western Europe, penetration has already exceeded 100% (multiple cell-phones per subscriber). Seventy-five percent of the 6.84 billion plus cell-phones currently in use worldwide are in developing countries and, within the next decade, there will be more cell-phone subscriptions in the world than people.
But, and here is the good news, we can do something apart from not using cell-phones, although that would surely be the best solution as there is strong evidence that the environment is gradually becoming saturated with the baneful waves in the form of “electrosmog”. The solution I propose to offset the harm caused by cell-phone technologies is a purely individual one, inasmuch as the device operates on the individual rather than the phone. This is a form-based invention which goes by the name of the Freeland Double Vortex or FDV.
There appears to be a major difference of opinion regarding naturally occurring and man-made energy fields. Whether we shall ever know the truth is debatable, because in the very same domain of phone neutralizers/shields one can read diametrically opposing opinions, namely, some say that in nature, fields of energy are random in their form, frequency and amplitude, and the human body can apparently handle these irregular flows of emanations or waves without any problem, as our cells do exactly the same thing, i.e. emit and receive random energy forms day in and day out; whereas man-made energy fields are of a regular and constant pattern. This regularity does not harmonize with nature’s random manner and apparently creates resistance. Others say the contrary. Fundamentally, it matters little what the theory is, because what we do find is that, at some stage, problems happen.
Life, being part and parcel of matter, can be viewed as a series of dynamic patterns. The wonders of modern technology are further additions to this series of patterns. Given that the influences of energy fields are instantaneous and local, their extent in space depends on their emitting force and the resistance of outside counteracting forces.
Food for thought
Why did Italy’s Supreme Court recently uphold a compensation claim that a brain tumour was caused by mobile phone use? (incidentally setting a precedent that could ruin the insurance industry).
Why does Didier Bellens, head of Belgium’s largest telecom company ban wifi in the office where his managers work, citing that “the waves are dangerous”?
Why has the American Academy of Pediatricians endorsed the Cell Phone Safety Legislation, to provide warning labels on mobiles, regarding women and children especially at risk to mobile radiation?
Is the European Environment Agency’s latest report proposing “All reasonable measures to reduce EM exposure, especially for children” and “Reconsider the scientific basis of present EMF exposure standards” as well as calling to provide effective labelling about potential risks, merely a hoax?
Maybe, India rejecting the archaic ICNIRP heating limits, instead, setting them 1/10th of the limit is just a random figure arrived at by accident.
Incidentally, the Russians have been enjoying the luxury of much stricter EMF safety limits since the 50’s.
Perhaps the grants you can get in certain parts of Sweden to install EMF shielding is because they like the silvery effect of the wallpaper.
The advice of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly: resolution 1815(2011) to create “wave-free areas” recommends that the member states of the Council of Europe, in general terms, take all reasonable measures to reduce exposure to electromagnetic fields, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones and particularly the exposure to children and young people who seem to be most at risk from head tumours; pay particular attention to “electrosensitive” people who suffer from a syndrome of intolerance to electromagnetic fields and introduce special measures to protect them, including creation of wave-free areas not covered by the wireless network.
Answers to all these questions would require properly funded and independent research, but governments are not prepared to do this, so we may justifiably ask not only if EMFs are completely safe, but if there is more to all this than meets our unseeing eyes.
THE 5 DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF A CELL PHONE
A cell-phone is essentially a radio sending and receiving signals on waves to and from a base station, often at some distance. To cover that distance, the signal is pushed by a burst of electric power which is a source of radiation causing some concern to humans, or should be. The further the base station, the more power needed to carry the signal; the more power, the more radiation generated and the greater the unknown effect. Thus, the power bars on your phone give you an indication of how much radiation you are being exposed to during a call: the fewer number of bars, the greater amount of radiation.
Something we are inclined to forget is that humans also generate their own EMR (electromagnetic radiation), albeit very low. The effect of external EMR on humans varies substantially, depending on a host of factors including the individual’s current and past state of physical, mental and nervous health, the environment, plus other facets that were investigated in the 1930s during the development of radar but because the results were so dismal and damaging, it was decided in national and corporate interest, the less said the better.
The effects of EM radiation are cumulative. As a result, it is nigh but impossible to point a finger and categorically say the fault lies with one rather than another cause. There are, however, at least five differentiated effects of specific mechanisms in cell-phone technology which have been identified that could potentially be harmful to humans:
1/ One of these effects, the ELF (Extremely Low Frequency), is to be found in the extremely low-frequency EM field, e.g. a utility or mains power line (±50 Hz). The magnetic field is predominant in this section of the EM spectrum (in an EM field, there is always a magnetic field with an electric field perpendicular to it, with the magnetic field producing an electric field and the electric field producing a magnetic field, reciprocally self-propagating). When an ELF field is pulsed by high power, there is a direct magnetic impact on the physiology of cells and tissues, one such effect may be disruption of cellular gap junctional communication. Surrounded by so many magnetic fields, we human beings have probably developed compensatory mechanisms forming a protective threshold, so we can sustain a certain degree of magnetic field intensity without adverse effect, until such time as the power pushing that magnetic field is too strong, as might happen underneath a power line.
2/ At the high end of the spectrum, we have the ionising radiation window, where the electric field is predominant due to extremely high energy levels. The EM waves in the ionising range abound in nature, coming from sunlight, lightning and other natural sources. They are capable of breaking apart chemical bonds, thus causing severe damage, and once again, at least in terms of clinical manifestations, there seems to be a threshold or a safe level.
3/ In between these spectral extremes, you have the radio frequency radiation window. To put this in perspective, a microwave signal in a cell-phone oscillates at 1,900 megahertz (1,900 million cycles per second), whereas the human heart beats at two hertz, two cycles per second. That means the microwave signal is pulsing too fast for your body to pick up, it simply does not recognize it.
4/ The only time your body will recognize it is if you put 100 watts of power behind that signal and then you can heat tissue and flesh as you would in a microwave oven. So, when you put high power behind a microwave, you cause heating and that is the thermal effect that current western government standards alone address, to the exclusion of the other four, which makes it facile to state that science is doing what it can in its efforts to protect the general public. Scientific research is paid for by vested interest. Imagine what happens when a technology slips past the attention of the watchdog, is making serious money and the safety standards are being made up along the way.
5/ Matters now become a little more complicated. To achieve wireless communication, as in cell-phone technology, data must not only be carried but deciphered if we want the other party at the other end to hear us talking. For that to happen, the information has to be packeted and it is bundled in packets based on amplitude modulation. To do this and allow room for new calls, you have breaks in the modulation, either code domain breaks or time domain breaks. The result is that packets of data move and then stop, then move again and stop, so allowing multiple access on the same frequency band. Such action forms a secondary wave. This information-carrying radio wave formed by the packeting of information oscillates in the hertz range and in the hertz range, the body can recognize it.
What happens physically? We cannot be sure, but one scenario goes as follows: At the level of cell membrane, whether it is a brain cell, a blood cell, a nerve cell, a liver cell, a bone cell or a skin cell, there are protein receptors on the cell membrane and their function is to keep track of what is going on in the environment around the cell. Human cells have chemical and vibrational receptors. The vibrational receptors are able to pick up radio signals that oscillate in the hertz to kilohertz range. As the information-carrying radio wave comes in the vicinity of the cell, the vibrational protein recognizes it within milliseconds. Because this information-carrying radio wave is not a natural phenomena; the body might interpret it as an invader, sending a message to the cell that causes a protective reaction. What will happen if the active transport channels, through which nutrients pass into the cell and waste products pass out, close down? If nutrients cannot access the cell, the cell might become nutrient and energy deficient and when a cell becomes energy deficient, it is unable to communicate with surrounding cells, so you risk a break in intercellular communication, causing a fundamental disruption in the physiological process. When waste product builds up inside the cell, you can have a very high concentration of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals tend to go to the mitochondria, where all of the respiratory functioning of the cell takes place and might disrupt its functioning, thus creating cellular dysfunction. So, for example, if you have a cell whose job is keeping the blood-brain barrier closed and that cell is now dysfunctional, the blood-brain barrier may open. Under normal circumstances, the immune system would handle all of this but the problem is if intercellular communication has been disrupted and the message to the immune system does not get there, you could end up with a micronucleus or a piece of wild DNA sitting in a nutrient-rich environment, free to clone and proliferate. That could be the mechanism for the development of all sorts of problems.
The potential health dangers from a microwave signal, therefore, are not from direct damage, but rather due to the biochemical responses in cells about which we are pretty ignorant, especially as the funding of research was mainly provided by industry, as explained below.
THE PRESUMED EFFECT OF CELL PHONES ON HUMANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
- The presumed effects on humans
Human cells have chemical and vibrational receptors. The vibrational receptors are able to pick up radio signals that oscillate in the hertz to kilohertz range. As the radio wave comes in the vicinity of the cell, the vibrational protein recognizes it within milliseconds. Because this radio wave is not a natural phenomena; the body might interpret it as an invader, sending a message to the cell that causes a protective reaction. What will happen if the active transport channels, through which nutrients pass into the cell and waste products pass out, close down? If nutrients cannot access the cell, the cell might become nutrient and energy deficient and when a cell becomes energy deficient, it is unable to communicate with surrounding cells, so you risk a break in intercellular communication, causing a fundamental disruption in the physiological process.
When waste product builds up inside the cell, you can have a very high concentration of highly reactive molecules called free radicals. Free radicals tend to go to the mitochondria, where all of the respiratory functioning of the cell takes place and might disrupt its functioning, thus creating cellular dysfunction. So, for example, if you have a cell whose job is keeping the blood-brain barrier closed and that cell is now dysfunctional, the blood-brain barrier may open. Under normal circumstances, the immune system would handle all of this but the problem is if intercellular communication has been disrupted and the message to the immune system does not get there, you could end up with a micronucleus or a piece of wild DNA sitting in a nutrient-rich environment, free to clone and proliferate. That could be the mechanism for the development of all sorts of problems.
2. The presumed effects on the environment
Environmental studies have been numerous and from around the world but no conclusions have ever been formally drawn. I would maintain that due to our faulty understanding of how Nature works – as a comprehensive unit, a wedge can be easily inserted. Differentiation or compartmentalization is how science works.
In the 1990’s a radar specialist examining data from studies made on the effects of the VHF radar station at Skrunda in Latvia, found that the growth rings of trees were reduced during the period in which the station was operational and the pine needles made more resin (an indication of cellular stress perhaps?). A parallel study on the performance of local schoolchildren in tests was significantly reduced in the main beam of the station compared with those in relative safety behind the antenna.
In my experience as an observer of nature for the last few years in the boonies of Chiang Mai, where I have seen the disappearance of wildlife species (nightjars, drongos, swallows, frogs, bats, etc.), increasingly strange behaviour of nature (double blooming of tamarind fruit in a six-month period, diseased bark and growth on trees, bats flying during the day and sandpipers active at night all year round) and a deterioration of the natural environment (fungal diseases, etc.). I am convinced that if things are taken out of context, if we differentiate, we get lost in the detail and lose the thread. One only has to read the in-depth studies produced by eminent specialists to realise that our understanding of proteins – the source of life for plants, animals and humans, is so incomplete that we are not even able to appreciate the cycle of activity that allows life. There is no need to establish the relationship of cryptochrome with the eye or with magnetite, only to discover after years of work that we cannot find out that what really matters is the impact we humans are having on nature, because you cannot find the funding for research if vested interests are involved. Nature takes second place and that includes humans.
Basically, research funding comes from
a/ legislators who decide how to spend the tax-payer’s money,
b/ industry in an attempt to consolidate their market position and
c/ a tiny amount from private sources.
Increasingly less money is allocated to research into anything to do with mobile telephony for the simple reason that fewer and fewer governments are prepared to take on the best-selling product of the last few years. There has been a trend ever since the Reagan-era in the US when industry started their efforts at influencing the agencies set up to protect the public and the environment. As for example under Anne Burford, the head of the EPA in 1981, virtually all her subordinates were from the industries the agency was charged with overseeing! That was the time when Hayes, head of the FDA, approved aspartame as a table sweetener, following years of lobbying by Donald Rumsfeld on behalf of Searle. Business was booming!
Answers to all the questions that arise would require properly funded and independent research, but governments are not prepared to do this, so we may justifiably ask if EMFs are completely safe.
© Christopher Freeland, 2016