Things I Don't Want To Hear About My Cell Phone

4 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

I am sometimes a big ol’ fan of denial, especially if knowing something means I have to act in a way that inconveniences me. ALL human beings do this. We’re just that way. Sadly, Imma be pulling heads out of the sand today.

You know how I’m always bitching that no one has ever “proved” GMOs are “safe”; they are just assumed safe because no studies have been done proving them harmful because Big Ag won’t let those studies be done? Well, let us talk cell phones now.

According to Dr. Martin Blank our cell phones may not be totally benign. This guy is a PhD in physical chemistry from Columbia University and colloid science from the University of Cambridge who has been working at Columbia since the 1960s so he’s not some  dude wearing a tinfoil hat. Here’s a little of what he has to say:

“Cell phones generate electromagnetic fields (EMF), and emit electromagnetic radiation (EMR). They share this feature with all modern electronics that run on alternating current (AC) power (from the power grid and the outlets in your walls) or that utilize wireless communication. Different devices radiate different levels of EMF, with different characteristics … The science to date about the bioeffects (biological and health outcomes) resulting from exposure to EM radiation is still in its early stages. We cannot yet predict that a specific type of EMF exposure (such as 20 minutes of cell phone use each day for 10 years) will lead to a specific health outcome (such as cancer). Nor are scientists able to define what constitutes a “safe” level of EMF exposure. However, while science has not yet answered all of our questions, it has determined one fact very clearly—all electromagnetic radiation impacts living beings. As I will discuss, science demonstrates a wide range of bioeffects linked to EMF exposure. For instance, numerous studies have found that EMF damages and causes mutations in DNA—the genetic material that defines us as individuals and collectively as a species. Mutations in DNA are believed to be the initiating steps in the development of cancers, and it is the association of cancers with exposure to EMF that has led to calls for revising safety standards. This type of DNA damage is seen at levels of EMF exposure equivalent to those resulting from typical cell phone use … One review that averaged the data across 16 studies found that the risk of developing a tumor on the same side of the head as the cell phone is used is elevated 240% for those who regularly use cell phones for 10 years or more. An Israeli study found that people who use cell phones at least 22 hours a month are 50% more likely to develop cancers of the salivary gland (and there has been a four-fold increase in the incidence of these types of tumors in Israel between 1970 and 2006). And individuals who lived within 400 meters of a cell phone transmission tower for 10 years or more were found to have a rate of cancer three times higher than those living at a greater distance. Indeed, the World Health Organization (WHO) designated EMF—including power frequencies and radio frequencies—as a possible cause of cancer.”

This has, of course, caused consternation in the science & technology community. In fact, right this moment Sweet Babou is ranting about “fear mongering” because I asked him if my Bluetooth had less EMR than my cell phone. (He said it does.) I’m guessing Sweet Babou is very skeptical of data threatening his beloved thingamabobs and livelihood. He’s not alone. When Dr. Blank revealed the data collected thus far, “a well-known Ivy League professor said (without any substantiation) that the data I presented were “impossible.” He was followed by another respected academic, who stated (again without any substantiation) that I had most likely made some “dreadful error.” Not only were these men wrong, but they delivered their comments with an intense and obvious hostility. I later discovered that both men were paid consultants of the power industry—one of the largest generators of EMF.”

You know how the only significant scientific group that is not convinced of man-made climate change are economic  geologists who work for Big Oil? Yeah, like that.

This hostility was present even though Dr. Blank and his cohort have NEVER said “Let’s all go back to living in caves without electricity!” Rather, his “message is not to abandon gadgets—like most people, I too love and utilize EMF-generating gadgets. Instead, I want you to realize that EMF poses a real risk to living creatures and that industrial and product safety standards must and can be reconsidered. The solutions I suggest are not prohibitive. I recommend that as individuals we adopt the notion of “prudent avoidance,” minimizing our personal EMF exposure and maximizing the distance between us and EMF sources when those devices are in use. Just as you use a car with seat belts and air bags to increase the safety of the inherently dangerous activity of driving your car at a relatively high speed, you should consider similar risk-mitigating techniques for your personal EMF exposure. On a broader social level, adoption of the Precautionary Principle in establishing new, biologically based safety standards for EMF exposure for the general public would be, I believe, the best approach. Just as the United States became the first nation in the world to regulate the production of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) when science indicated the threat to earth’s ozone layer—long before there was definitive proof of such a link—our governments should respond to the significant public health threat of EMF exposure. If EMF levels were regulated just as automobile carbon emissions are regulated, this would force manufacturers to design, create, and sell devices that generate much lower levels of EMF. No one wants to return to the dark ages, but there are smarter and safer ways to approach our relationship—as individuals and across society—with the technology that exposes us to electromagnetic radiation.”

I’m going to be getting his book, “Overpowered: What Science Tells Us About the Dangers of Cell Phones and Other Wifi-age Devices” , for this is something I would like to know more about.

I don’t think Sweet Babou is going to be happy about any “fear mongering” that might result.