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The Top Cell Phone Radiation Safety Stories of 2013
Research published last year established greater health risks from exposure to cell phone radiation. Major governmental reports were released, and policies were adopted in Europe and India to reduce risks from cell phone radiation exposure.
• 25 or more years of cell phone and cordless phone use was found to be associated with a tripled risk of brain cancer.
• Women who used cell phones for ten or more years were two-and- a-half times more likely to develop acoustic neuroma, a tumor on the nerve from the ear to the brain.
• Only 30 minutes of exposure to LTE, 4th generation cell phone radiation, was found to alter activity on both sides of the human brain.
• Children with slightly elevated lead levels in their blood who used cell phones were found to be at greater risk of developing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) than lead-exposed children who did not use cell phones; the amount of cell phone use predicted ADHD.
• The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requested public input on its 17-year-old regulatory limits on cell phone radiation.
• The American Academy of Pediatrics submitted a letter to the FCC that urged the adoption of standards that protect children's health and well-being from radiation emitted by cell phones and other wireless devices; that reflect how people actually use their cell phones; and that provide sufficient information to enable consumers to make informed decisions when they purchase cell phones.
• The U.S. appointed Tom Wheeler, the former chief lobbyist for the cellular industry, to chair the FCC, raising concerns in the public health community that the FCC will not strengthen our obsolete and inadequate cell phone radiation standards.
• The World Health Organization in a 471 page report concluded that there is now “limited evidence” in both humans and laboratory animals that radiofrequency radiation, especially from cell phones, causes cancer.
• The European Environment Agency issued a report calling on governments to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, especially exposure to children and young adults who are at greatest risk for brain and salivary gland tumors; the report recommended texting, use of hands-free sets, and improved cell phone design; governments should reconsider the present exposure standards; cell phones should be required to have effective labeling and warnings about potential risks; and funding should be provided for “urgently needed research into the health effects of phones” and base stations.
• Twelve health experts called on governments to adopt stricter safety standards for radiofrequency radiation because the obsolete, current standards are not based on the recent literature about biological effects; and recommended that Wi-Fi be banned from public schools and other public venues.
• The Los Angeles Unified School District adopted a $500 million technology plan to install Wi-Fi in every classroom and provide every student with a wireless tablet despite opposition from health experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
• Belgium banned children’s cell phones and requires the specific absorption rate (SAR) be listed on every cell phone at the point of sale and a warning provided to customers to choose a lower SAR phone, use it moderately, and wear an earpiece.
• The French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health warned the public to reduce their exposure to cell phone radiation.
Links to these and other stories are available on my Electromagnetic Radiation Safety web site at http://www.saferemr.com/
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
UC Berkeley Center for Family and Community Health