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Rocky Mountain Environmental Health Association

Cellular Telephones

This page contains the following sections -

Warning: Your Cell Phone May be Hazardous to Your Health

An article in the February 2010 issue of GQ, "Warning, Your Cell Phone May be Hazardous to Your Health," presents a recent overview of the developing concerns about the impacts of electromagnetic (EM) radiation on our public health. Such as more and more cell phone users who have been using the phones for more than ten years suffering from brain cancer brain tumors, and testicullar cancer. The article covers research that goes back to the 1960's by a neuroscientist named Allen Frey. Frey's research showed that there were definite neurological effects on humans, an effect that has become known as the "Frey Effect." The article goes on to present results from many countries about the growing concerns about the public health effects of EM radiation exposure.

Bayville School Lawsuit

BAYVILLE, N.Y. (WPIX) - A lawsuit is set to be filed Monday alleging that the cancer afflicting students and teachers of a Bayville school is caused by the dozens of cell phoneantennas attached to a nearby water tower.

Three young students of Bayville Primary School have already died of leukemia and many more are sick.

"We believe as much as 30 percent of the teachers, administrative staff and employees have been diagnosed with some type of illness, cancer, leukemia and things of that nature," said Attorney Andrew Campanelli.

A brief email to WPIX from the school district denies Campanelli's statement.

However, the cell phone antennas are a painful reminder for Beverly Pacifico, whose son Mitchell, a student at Bayville, recently won a painful two-year battle with leukemia.

"My son went through 102 weeks of chemotherapy," Pacifico said. His leukemia has been in remission for the past two years.

Bayville is a public school, and those parents in the district without the financial means to enroll their child in a private school face a terrible decision.

Madeleine Parrin, whose requests to transfer her children to neighboring public schools were denied, said, "It kills me every day when I drop them off or send them on the bus to go to that school."

The lawsuit seeks to have the antennas removed, citing a village law that states that public property near a school or within a mile of residences cannot be used for profit. The cell phone antennas bring $200 thousand annually to the village coffers.

So far, the mayor of Bayville has not returned phone calls from WPIX.

Source - The Chicago Tribune, about January 10, 2010.

The links are also available on Camilla Rees's site,

Wireless Broadband is a Public Health Hazard

A petition action is underway to encourage President Obama to remove universal wireless broadband and broadband over power lines from the administration agenda, and reexamine the "Smart Grid" plans, to obtain ways to make the nation's electrical grid more efficient, without negartively impacting people. The petition asks that - if the service is needed - the service be provided using the much healthier technolgies known to exist and are often just as cost effective, such as only communication cables or optic fiber cables.

The following are some of the web sites cited in this suject and the petition which offer more information -

You can send the petition from online (you need email and postal address), or print out a copy, such as for someone who cannot use a computer, such as having EHS, sign it and mail it to -

President Barack Obama
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N. W.
Washington, D. C.

Be aware that, with the national paranoia about security, documents sent to the president via postal mail undergo an extensive and possibly time-consuming review for safety. Alternatively, sending documents via facsimile can result in faster response for time critical issues -

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Bioinitiative Report

A call has been issued by a wide spectrum of international scientists and public health officials asking the implementation of new safety rules for cell phones and wireless technologies to prevent a possible epidemic of brain tumor, and many other health risks now being widely attributed to these emerging wireless technologies. A brief press release is at the following link. It contains more background information and links to the full BioInititative Report.

Petition to Reduce EMR Standards
Note that the website has a petition requesting immediate regulatory action to reduce exposure to electromagnetic energy throughout our society.

Note that as of November 10, 2010, this site has initiated a two-dollar access fee.

Additional studies are presented in a 2009 upgrade to the Bioinitiative Report -

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CREDO Action Petition to Reduce EMR Exposure

CREDO Action has a petition asking for immediate regulatory action to reduce EMR exposure standards for the entire population.

[A caution - signing CREDO's petitions automatically puts you on an email list for huge unsolicited emails. They are environmentally oriented, but ...]

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SAR Values from the FCC, Handheld Wireless Telephones Information

Cellular Telephones

Handheld wireless telephones are sometimes referred to as "cell phones," "wireless phones," "mobile phones," or "PCS" (for Personal Communication System) phones. Cell phones have become a very pervasive and common personal appliance that are everywhere. An indication of just how common is a recent estimate in an electronics trade publication that some 426,000 cell phones are being retired, hopefully recycled, in the U.S. every day. Cell phones do expose the user to a measurable amount of radio frequency (RF) because of the short distance between the phone and the user's head or body organs and they also expose nearby people to the RF energy.

Electronic Products editorial, May 2009

The FCC has adopted RF exposure guidelines with safety levels for cell phones based on recommendations by several agencies including the following -

American National Standards Organization; ANSI C95.1 (1992)*
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement; NCRP Report 86 (1986)
ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection

The guidelines have been translated into limits of RF exposure that are measured by Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). The maximum recommended SAR for cell phones per the U.S. EPA is 1.6 watts per kilogram (1.6 W/kg) of human flesh.

Note that this SAR exposure limit is based only on the ability of the human body's tissues to remove heat from the exposed area, and does not consider any internal biological or cellular effects or damage that may have been caused by the RF. The SAR is at best an approximation of possible physiological harm to the user or to nearby people.

Typical SAR values for cell phones currently available on the market are reported to range from 0.26 W/kg (very good) to 1.59 W/kg (not good).

For a discussion of the SAR measurement, go to the following FCC site -

Supposedly, to find the SAR rating for a particular cell phone, go to the FCC registry pages -

For example, given the following identification on the inide of the back cover of a specific cell phone -

Manufacturer - Qualcomm
Model VX3450L
S/N 710CYTB 0445193
H/W Rev 1.0

go to

Enter the "BEJ" from the FCC ID line, and then the "VX3400" into the second window. That will bring up a page - though not with the SAR rating for a Qualcomm phone, but with the frequency that a phone manufactured by LG Electronics transmits on! There appears to be no access to information on the SAR rating of this particlar Qualcomm phone.

Given the health concerns that have been raised in this country and internationally, such as proposals that the FCC standards are as much as one hundred times too high (Sweden), studies that conclude the FCC standards are as much as one thousand times too high (China), meta-analysis studies that report that the incidences of tumors linked to cell phone use are significantly higher in countries with high per capita cell phone use (Australia), the FCC should provide clear, unambiguous and comprehensive information on this subject, even though the SAR rating is at best only an approximation of possible biological damage.

If LG Electronics is another name for Qualcomm, the FCC site should also say so.

If a company fails to register SAR values for its phones, the FCC web site should explicitly say so instead of dumping a page about some other subject at the reader. Or if a company fails to register SAR values for its phones, the FCC should force the company to do so, or fine it until it complies.

The FCC should provide a comprehensive listing of its full database (if it has one!) that lists SAR values in increasing order for all cell phones and all manufacturers and thus make adequate information to for the reader to make an informed decision about the safety of the phone.

For FDA information on wireless phones, see -

The FCC Database for supposedly locating the SAR for a phone -

An extensive discussion of cell phone hazards and current resarch efforts is the following - "The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation" by Sue Kovach that appeared in the August 2007 Life Extension Journal. Ms. Kovach's article details work by Dr. George Carlo, who headed the Wireless Technology Research (WTR) group to research to assess the health impacts of wireless technology.

In particular, the paper recommends minimizing the RF exposure at all costs. If you do use a cell phone, keep the unit as far from the head and body organs as possible. A distance of seven inches is considered minimum. The wired headsets or earpieces do not help, because the wiring to the earpiece can focus even more RF energy near the brain; the hollow audio tube type of earpiece is recommended. Do not keep the transmitter near the waist since that can expose the genitals or the hip bone area, where about eighty percent of the body's blood cells are formed. There is a discussion about taking some food supplements, such as melatonin and several antioxidants to obtain some dietary protection.

Dr. Carlo set up the following web sites to further discuss this area, http://www.safewireless.org/ and http://www.health-concerns.org/ but they are no longer supporting this effort.

Further information on Dr. Carlo's efforts is in the following paper -

where he responds to a Danish study that claimed to prove cell phones are "safe" but which he says had significant industry influence that led to a distorted picture of the safety issues.

An article by the Environmental Working Group has further discussion about this issue -

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Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and Cell Phones

Cell phones are a serious aggravation for people with Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS), which is a health condition in which a person has an immediate, and sometimes severe, reaction to any electromagnetic field exposure.

EHS is discussed at the following pages -

Do keep in mind that Wikipedia is an open-source edited website. There are extensive disclaimers that nothing on the website should be trusted. Anyone on the earth can register themselves as a Wikipedia editor, make any change they wish, and it can go online immediately.

EHS is often considered a complication on top of much the same neural injury/sensitivity that causes the MCS syndrome. By ignoring a lot of current research and calling EHS "Ideopathic Intolerance," the Wikipedia editors are lumping EHS into another health condition diagnosed and supported by alternative medicine doctors. There are loud claims that "alternative medicine" is "medical fraud." It is an involved process, but check the authors of Wikipedia pages before taking them seriously. Some authors may have agendas that have nothing to do with presenting a balanced view of MCS/EHS.

The state of California's health department released a study in 2000 that showed three percent of the general population was showing signs of electrical sensitivity.

Recently, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, circulated a memo to his staff, warning them that they should keep their cell phone use to minimum. He said he issued the memo based on the newest research, some of which had yet to be published.

A large group of doctors in Germany issued a statement called the Freiburger Appeal. In it they say the observed effects of EMF's are undeniable and have contributed to increased instances of learning disabilities, blood pressure problems, heart rhythm disorders, "heart attacks and strokes among an increasingly younger population," brain diseases and cancer. In addition, say these doctors, EMF's are playing a role in "an ever-increasing occurrence of various disorders, often misdiagnosed in patients as psychosomatic. Those disorders range from migraines to sleeplessness and susceptibility to infection." The doctors say that "after a carefully directed inquiry," they can see a "clear temporal and spatial correlation" (time and proximity) between the occurrence of many modern ailments and the increased use of cell phones, digital cordless phones and the "installation of a mobile telephone sending station nearby."

The EHS sensitivity reactions can vary from person to person. It can mean a mild intermittent headache or something as severe grand mal seizure or loss of consiousness.

It is such a serious situation for these people that it is very difficult for them to function when they are close to any source of EMF's, such as the computers in a medical center, or a doctor's office, or if someone turns on a cell phone next to them, or if a cell phone antenna is nearby.

For a lengthy media article on electrical sensitivity issues facing residents of Ecology House, the MCS housing complex in San Rafael, California, see this February 5, 2009, article by Peter Seidman: "Upfront: Electric Sensitivity Land:
Ecology House's hopes to unplug antenna proposal turns light on EMF debate:"

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Cell Phone Towers Disguised as Street Lamps

A recent development of concern for people who need to avoid radio transmissions is the siting and placement of cell phone towers now being camouflaged as street light poles and "historic" lamp posts or mounted atop utility poles. These towers are even sprouting up in residential neighborhoods, even being sited on private property, such as tucked into church steeples, put on rooftops and water towers and embedded inside massive flagpoles.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits considering health or environmental concerns when municipalities grant licences for companies to install cell towers. Thus there are no obligations on the authorities to even notify people if they are apt to have a cell phone antenna outside their bedroom window next week.

More information is at -

Search for "Stealth cell towers spark outrage."

Another recent development, in California, along this vein is a company in San Rafael trying to put up a cell phone tower near the Ecology House, an 11-unit apartment complex, that is unique because it is designed especially for people with Environmental Sensitivities, especially people with EHS, and is the only development of its kind in the country.

Again, thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, environmental health and safety is not being considered. The law even forbids the city from considering environmental and health issues when deciding on applications for cell-phone antennas!

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Suggestions about Using a Cell Phone

EMR exposure from a cell phone is a small, but definite long-term significant health harm. If you absolutely must use or be near a cell phone -

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Revised '4-Jun-2014,15:33:56'