As of July 2013 (the latest phone news I could find) there were close on 7 bn people in the world and statistics from ITU indicate that there are 6.835 bn mobile phone subscriptions in the world. Given that many people have more than one phone subscription, 128 subscriptions for 100 people in the developed world and 89 subscriptions per 100 in the developing world, making an average penetration rate of 96.2%. At the end of 2015, according still to the ITU, the penetration rate stood at 98.6%. Not bad for a product that never received the authorisation for market launch required for ionising radiation devices.
Some background as to the working of phones.
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 primary source of radiation causing some concern to humans. 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. For geographic coverage to be efficient, there is a need for a grid, ensuring connection. No one has studied the effects of that grid on the environment and given the success of mobile telephony, there is little chance such a study will see the light of day.
We do know that there are at least five differentiated effects of specific mechanisms in cell-phone technology which have been identified as being potentially harmful to humans. Quite what the combined effect of these effects is, no one knows for the simple reason no one has looked, and given the financial success of the whole venture, they are not going to let us know. Nevertheless, those five effects are as follows:
1/ 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. The potential health dangers from a microwave signal, therefore, are not from direct damage, but rather due to the biochemical responses in the cell about which we are learning more day by day. So, when you put high power behind a microwave, you cause heating and that is the thermal effect that current government standards alone address, to the exclusion of the other four. That is also the cause for the “hot ear” effect most of us feel.
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 the signals. What actually 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. This is the natural state of affairs, developed over the millennia we humans have been on the earth.
The presumed effect on humans.
Human cells have chemical and vibrational receptors. The vibrational receptors are able to pick up signals that oscillate in the hertz to kilohertz range. As the radio wave comes into 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.
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 are ongoing. What is more, each individual’s metabolism is different with a tight relationship with age, diet, health, etc.
The effects of EM radiation are cumulative, making it almost impossible to form benchmarks or reference points so as to trace evolution. As a result, it is very hard to point a finger and categorically say the fault lies with one rather than another cause.
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 antennas.
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 diurnal sandpipers active at night) 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, what matters is the impact what we humans are doing is having on nature. You can be sure, however, that if vested interests are involved, nature takes second place and that includes humans, even if marginally we benefit materially.
Current scientific findings.
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 a tiny amount from c/ 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 that were set up to protect the public and the environment. 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 that Hayes, head of the FDA, approved aspartame as a table sweetener, following years of lobbying by Donald Rumsfeld.
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 if EMFs are completely safe.
In Nature one observes that shape and form are often the fundamental archetypes of creation, describing the self-organizing forces that govern and define our visible world, at least as we perceive it with our senses. Each pattern has the ability to generate or reproduce certain proportional systems, to which we humans then give a mathematical interpretation with a name that, of course, potentially restricts the movement and limits our perception to the part defined.
I believe shape indicates how energy is compressed and organized. So, perhaps energies are/can be controlled, specified and modified due to the effects of movement along a given path taken by the energy itself. All motion in Nature follows a vortex or spiraling movement. Even the apparently straight lines are elliptical.
Our reasoning ability, our knowledge base, our understanding of life are very personal. Generally they are very confused thanks to educational systems, hearsay and scientific discoveries which serve to stand the last discovery on its head. Our understanding of life is obviously a question of belief and nothing more. Does one give credit to science and the accepted paradigm? Does one believe what your teachers and parents have told you? Do you try and find out for yourself? There will be a grain of truth in all, so one cannot say this is the right method and the other is wrong. If we do that, we get into trouble, we intuit that is not the best way of going about it and tolerance dawns. So, by constant and tireless questioning of every single “fact” we risk getting a little closer to the truth, as it exists, which will still elude us if we insist on looking from the anthropomorphic standpoint instead of from an all-embracing consciousness which may gracefully but not systematically allow us an insight into what is happening. On this assumption and in the awareness that such insights will be subject to our very limited human intellect, here are some “pearls” available to all should they care to perceive.
It is said (Helmholz) that in a frictionless liquid, a vortex will not disappear, it will last. The aether or the empty space which surrounds and permeates us is frictionless, not moving but allowing movement, a “fluid” with both a positive and negative electric charge. Such aether also enables a wave or particles of light to pass through it.
Light has a centripetal (towards the centre) or positive electric charge but no centrifugal (away from the centre) or negative charge. Matter has a centrifugal or negative electric charge but no centripetal or positive charge.
Inertia or absence of movement resists change, perhaps because it has reached a point of energetic stability, nevertheless its origin is in spin. The vortex spins in a spiral but has no measurable axis of spin, which is normal, all of nature – including us humans – is made up of these vortices so we cannot create an instrument which would allow us to find an axis – in relation to what, so simply use the spiral and create spin! The potentially good news is that there are solutions to the problems created by excessive electromagnetic radiation but we need to adopt a wholistic paradigm and be very adaptable.
© Christopher Freeland, 2016