Last Tuesday, the Berkeley City Council unanimously adopted an ordinance to require cellphone retailers in Berkeley, California to provide consumers with information regarding the dangers associated with the wireless industry and more specifically, on cell phone radiation. (source)
This ordinance is a big step forwards by creating awareness about this topic, which is clearly something we need more of. It specifically requires all cellphone retailers in the area to provide consumers with a notice on radio frequency (RF) radiation exposure and the proper guidelines to help users avoid this type of exposure. Warnings may include the dangers associated with carrying a phone in a shirt, pants, tucked into a bra or anywhere else on a person that may exceed federal safety guidelines.
The ordinance was created with the help of Lawrence Lessig, a Law Professor at Harvard University, and Robert Post, the Dean of Yale Law School, as well as the California Brain Tumor Association, who believes, along with hundreds of other scientists, that the research is sound.
In retaliation, the wireless industry has filed an appeal against the ordinance. Notifying consumers of the harms associated with cell phone use at the point of sale would clearly hurt their profits. Some companies already have warnings in their packaging, but it’s only found in the fine print and isn’t mentioned at the point of sale.
For example, here’s a statement from Apple about the issue, who already has existing safety recommendations for cellphone use; however, most people don’t know about them:
“To reduce exposure to RF energy, use a hands-free option, such as the built-in speakerphone, the supplied headphones, or other similar accessories. Carry iPhone at least 10mm away from your body to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the as-tested levels. Cases with metal parts may change the RF performance of the device, including its compliance with RF exposure guidelines, in a manner that has not been tested or certified.” (source)
A similar statement from Blackberry reads as follows:
“Use hands-free operation if it is available and keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.59 in (15mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women)…(source)
The issue here is that Berkeley citizens and most other cell-phone users are completely unaware of these guidelines and the dangers surrounding cell phone usage, which has obviously been downplayed by the industry.
For example, a poll conducted by Lessig and his colleague before the ordinance was finalized found that:
- 74% of Berkeley residents carry their cell phones against their bodies
- 70% said they didn’t know that cell phones were tested assuming they would not be carried against the body
- 80 % said they might change their behavior if they knew knowing that “radiation tests to assure the safety of cell phones assume a cell phone would be carried away from your body”
- 85 % said they had never known or read any of the manufacturer’s recommendations
- 82% said they would want this information made available to them at the time they purchased their cell phone.
The underlying purpose of this poll, and the ordinance in general, is to shed light on the apparent disconnect that exists between the current safety recommendations and customer knowledge and understanding of those recommendations.
Here’s the text of the required notice, as Lessig writes in his blog:
“The City of Berkeley requires that you be provided the following notice: To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radio frequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. This potential risk is greater for children. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual of information about how to use your phone safety.”
This is a Very Minimal Requirement
Despite the fact that informing customers of the dangers of cell phone usage is the ethical thing to do, the wireless industry has filed an appeal to stop this effort.
Specifically, CTIA (wireless association) filed the appeal after a judge ruled in favor of the ordinance. However, the California Brain Tumour Association claims that:
One of the members of the three-judge panel, Michelle Friedland, is married to Daniel Kelly, a DSP senior engineer with Tarana Wireless Inc. and has worked on the 5G technology for the upcoming rollout to the market.
According to the California Brain Tumor Association, AT&T is a major investor in Tarana, which also has a past chief technology officer of Ericsson and Sony Mobile sitting on its board of directors. The association also assumes that Kelly is a stockholder in Tarana, giving him a vested interest in the wireless industry….
If a judge has any financial interest in a controversy before her, she should have rescued herself from the case…Just the fact that her husband is in the industry and the timeliness of this with the 5G rollout is probably enough for her to rescue herself. (source)
So, what exactly is happening here? Basically, the privatization of this rollout may remove oversight and standards.
Unfortunately, big industry has paid off the scientists, bought the lawmakers, and ruled the proliferation of microwaves and other phenomena as “safe.” A powerful group of people have infiltrated these organizations along with most international health agencies.
“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.”
Dr. Joel M. Moskowtiz, the Director and Principal Investigator at the Center for Family and Community Health at Berkeley School of Health, and Dr. Martin Blank of the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics and Colombia University, are two out of hundreds of scientists from more than 30 countries who have produced more than 2,000 peer-reviewed articles about the hazardous effects of RF radiation. All of these scientists united together and formally signed and sent a letter to the United Nations requesting more thorough and unbiased research be performed regarding the dangers of RF radiation.
Below is a video of Dr. Blank outlining the potential hazards associated with these devices:
Did you know that The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified radio frequency fields (including those from cell phones) as a possible carcinogen in 2011? (source) The dangers of cell phone usage gained significant mainstream credibility in 2011 when the World Health Organization (WHO) admitted that cell phone radiation may cause cancer. The statement was based off a cumulative decision made by a team of 31 scientists from 14 different countries after reviewing evidence in support of their claim. You can read more about that HERE. It’s pretty startling news, especially given the fact that a child’s brain absorbs much more radiation than that of an adult.
Below is a video of Dr. Devra Davis, one of the most well-respected and credentialed researchers on the dangers of cellphones:
“[A] cellphone is a two-way microwave radio…Industry has fought successfully to use the phrase ‘radiofrequency energy’ instead of microwave radiation. Because they know radiofrequency energy sounds fine.
We listen to music with radios. Everybody needs more energy. What could be better than that?
But radiofrequency energy is another word for microwave radiation. If people understood that they were holding a two-way microwave-radiating device next to their brain or next to their reproductive organs, they might think differently about it.” (source)
Things You Can Do To Limit Your Exposure & Why You Shouldn’t Worry
Worrying is pointless, and solves nothing. That being said, coming across such information can be scary, and that’s the last reaction you should have; after all, our thoughts feelings and emotions alone have shown to have a significant effect on our biology, and letting go of fear could possibly be the first step in helping you limit the effect that EMFs could be having on your body. That being said, here are some others measures you can take:
As Dr. Mercola points out, until the industry starts taking this matter seriously, the responsibility to keep children safe falls on the parents. To minimize the risk to your brain, and that of your child, pay heed to the following advice:
- Don’t let your child use a cell phone. 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.
- Keep your cell phone use to a minimum. Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. Use a land line at home and at work.
- Reduce or eliminate your use of other wireless 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 some of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.
You can measure your exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone. As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz.
You can find RF meters at EMFSafetyStore.com. Even without an RF meter, you can be fairly certain your portable phone is problematic if the technology is labeled DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology. Alternatively, you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren’t talking.
“If you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may not be as damaging to your health. Ideally it would be helpful to turn off or disconnect your base station every night before you go to bed.” – Dr Mercola
- Limit cell phone use to areas with excellent reception. 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.
- Avoid carrying your cell phone on your body, and do not sleep with it under your pillow or near your head.Ideally, put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in your bra or in a shirt pocket over your heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man’s pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility.
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 while the phone is on.
- Don’t assume one cell phone is safer than another. There’s no such thing as a “safe” cell phone.
- Respect others; many are highly sensitive to EMF. Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others’ cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used.
If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor’s office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the “secondhand radiation” effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
- Use a well-shielded wired headset: 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 can act as an antenna attracting and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
So make sure the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. One of the best kinds of headsets use a combination of shielded wire and air-tube. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the sound 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.
Tips for Avoiding Dirty Electricity Risks
Additional options to minimize your risks from dirty electricity, compiled by Paula Owens, M.S. for the Ahwatukee Foothill News, include:13
- “Avoid using laptop computers on your lap.
- Switch out compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs for incandescent light bulbs.
- Consider replacing Wi-Fi routers with Ethernet cables.
- Avoid electric water beds, blankets and heating pads.
- Remove electrical devices from your sleeping area. If you must use an electric alarm clock, keep it at least five inches from your body when sleeping. Or, opt for a battery-operated clock.
- Move power strips at least three inches away from your feet.
- Switch to flat-screen TVs and computer monitors as these emit less EMFs than the older styles.
- If you live in close vicinity to or underneath electrical wires, power lines or cell phone towers, you may want to consider moving.
- Stand three to four feet away from microwave ovens when in use [or stop using them altogether].
- Consider shielding devices to reduce EMFs from cell phones, cordless phones and landline speaker phones.
- Ask your electric utility provider to remove wireless smart meters and replace them with a wired smart meter.
- Walk barefoot on the sand, grass or dirt. This common practice known as earthing or grounding allows the healing negative ions from the ground to flow into our body and have been shown to reduce stress hormones and inflammation.
- Use 100 percent beeswax candles and Himalayan salt lamps in your home and office to absorb EMFs from the air. Salt lamps serve as natural room ionizers, emitting negative ions into the environment that effectively bind with all the excess positive ions, reducing EMFs, killing bacteria and purifying the air.”