Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Is there a "safe" level of EMF exposure? There's a lot of talk about wireless energy-especially the term EMF radiation lately --and unfortunately some of it is misguided hype.
Most importantly, do not fear and do become aware of what it is, what it can do and what you can do about it.
At the end of this post :
- Tech Wellness recaps the latest from the US Government with important insight from Dr. Carlo, renowned leader of the first Telecom study linking cellphones to cancer.
- 20 Ways to Make Living Well With Tech Safe And Easy(Yay!)
If you're new to the discussion of Cellphone Radiation and What it May Be Doing to Our Bodies, Here's an overview. Beginning with What IS it?
- All these names refer to pretty much the same High Frequency Radio Waves: Radio Frequency(RF) Radiation(RFR) Microwave Radiation, Electromagnetic Radiation(EMR), Information Carrying Radio Waves(which are actually the lower frequency waves according to Dr. Carlo that carry the data along with the higher frequency radio waves) Wireless RF. Some refer to it simply as Electromagnetic Fields or EMF, in reality it's a type of EMF.
How It Works: The Physics definition from Wikipedia explains it this way: Electromagnetic Radiation refers to the waves (or their quanta, photons) of the electromagnetic fields, propagating (radiating) through space-time, carrying electromagnetic radiant energy. We use meters-and you'll see them in our Safertech and Tech Wellness videos- that measure the electromagnetic waves in terms of power density and field intensity.
- The RFR that everyone's talking about when their talking about Cellphone radiation and WiFi radiation is man-made non-ionizing radiation in that it didn't occur naturally at all. We created the waves of energy and it powers our wireless devices as the energy is sent from cellphone towers, BlueTooth devices WiFi routers, WiFi antenna and Wimax base stations.
- Some people believe(and science is confirming it) that this artificial RF radiation is harming our bodies. The easiest way for me to explain is that we are electromagnetic in nature--and as such our body's energy is affected by the electromagnetic energy in our environment. I like to think of this energy as just one more pollutant or toxin or irritant in our environment that's messing with my body's energy.
- How Much EMF Radiation Exposure are we talking about? The increasing saturation and obsession with wireless--including cellphones, smartphones, WiFi, Bluetooth speakers, Airpods and wearables, thermostats, security systems--the list goes on--means, according to Dr. George Carlo's fellow Generation Zapped expert, Olle Johannsen - that we are now "exposed to a quintillion times more EMR that we were just ten years ago! That's a 1 followed by 18 zeroes."
- If you could see the waves of“invisible” energy coming from our wireless devices, it would be easier to understand how there's so much of it. Over the last ten years, I've used special meters to measure the radiation coming out of everything from flip phones, to baby monitors. I think it’s fun and yes, important to experience something that you can’t see, smell or touch, but is so wildly powerful, it can deliver a 97-minute video in high definition or the live face and voice of friends anywhere in the world.
- Safertech and Tech Wellness have been creating videos for many years detecting power density levels of electromagnetic radiation coming from wireless devices. These demonstrate how our body tissue can be exposed So, in that regard, we see them as potentially useful measurements and demonstrations.
- Dr. Carlo points out, " Exposure does not define effect, not by a long shot, with respect to the wireless environment response dynamic. Here's why: Each person is different and for every physical metric of power density or field intensity, you have the biological aspect that occurs when waveforms interact with tissue in the individual person. And it matters what type of tissue- and what type of organ system is impacted. And it matters what compensation factors are operating in that person. Like age, gender and general state of wellness as well as environmental factors like chemicals, bugs and stressors. It's complicated and complex."
- EMF Protection: Unfortunately--Shielding is very problematic. Shielding cases, clothing and anti-radiation products can increase radiation levels around the shielded area. And any part of the wireless device(cellphones, WiFi, Tablets,etc) that's not completely covered is still EMITTING Radiation. New 2019 Scientific Research has just been published on anti-radiation EMF shielding and the risks of using it.
- When it comes to being exposed to this invisible energy, people often ask the same thing: "How much is too much?" And "What's a "safe" level of exposure?" We’ll go over the Chart of Recommended Levels in a moment and offer some simple and easy EMF Protection options.
But, the truth is: There’s no research yet that can point to an actual safe level of EMF exposure.
- Known Health Effects. For years we've seen study after study showing how wireless energy can affect our health. I personally know it affects me—in fact I came to be an expert in this area because I realized I was sensitive to this energy when I held my first cellphone. It's called electromagnetic hyper-sensitivity. I get headaches, anxiety, and tingling. Research points to possible effects that range from infertility to cancer (in some cases and for some people). If you start digging into, you'll quickly find that the news is pretty scary--frankly, I don't like to think about it.
- Reported symptoms of exposure to wireless energy, provided by Dr. Ronald Powell note a study of 400+people, shows sleep disruption, headaches, ringing or buzzing in the ears, fatigue, loss of concentration, memory and learning ability and dizziness and disorientation at the top of the list.
Epidemiologist, Tech Wellness Expert and author, Dr. George Carlo has been studying this type of EMF- RF(radio frequency energy) for decades and he tells us this about Cellphone and WiFi Radiation Exposure, "The health effects aspect is complicated. There is now no doubt scientifically that radio waves carrying information trigger some type of biological response in almost everyone exposed. However, what happens after the triggering is variable. For some people, the triggering causes debilitating biological cascades that manifest as EHS, other symptoms and frankly, disease."
Millions of people rely on Wikipedia for every imaginable kind of information--but in the case of EHS-- Electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) they are doing the people who have it a big dis-service. Here's what they claim: "it's a claimed sensitivity to electromagnetic fields to which negative symptoms are attributed. EHS has no scientific basis and is not a recognized medical diagnosis.
- Research Studies. Tech Wellness has curated and included 100's of studies reporting biological effects from exposure to RF radiation. Here's one example: A European study from 2015 showed that heavy cellphone use for over ten years correlated to a double risk of brain cancer, and even more alarming, kids who begin using cell phones as teenagers had a four to five times higher chance of being diagnosed with brain cancer.
- There's Even a De-Classified US Military Naval Study From over 40 years ago listed health effect after health effect compiled from 2000 studies. You have to see this--it's pretty amazing that it's all type-written and compiled painstakingly by a teamled by one Zorach Glasser. But where was this 176 pages of important warnings when cellphones showed up on the scene?
- How the Heck Did this Happen? How did we get to the point where cellphones are everywhere and wireless energy now blankets the world without doing all the research first? And knowing the potential hazards.
As scientific research has revealed, Radio-frequency communication actually isn’t innocuous. Product approvals for all manner of wireless have and still are based on the FCC’s antiquated recommendation standard from the 1990's This standard refers mainly to thermal or heat effects, even though the vast majority of the recorded biological effects from man-made non-ionizing environmental radiation are non-thermal. Companies can sell anything as long as it doesn’t exceed FCC approved levels of energy absorption by the body--also known as SAR.
- Our Public Policy and Science Expert, Dr. George Carlo explains how the cell phone industry was able to get this technology to market before it was properly tested. His book, Cellphones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age details industry corruption and how research about health impacts has been suppressed for years.
So, When it comes to Wireless RF -Is there a safe level?
- Tech Wellness is your trusted resource. Our research section is a good place to start if you’re really curious about what scientists are finding out about our beautiful bodies and wireless energy.
- As far as the safe levels of exposure to RF radiation that the government says are acceptable, back in 2012 the United states Government Accountability Office confirms that these level should be reassessed.
- Also, the makers of the cellphones and watches we love to use reference RF energy and safe distance levels in their manuals. Our research section has links to the iPhone 8, Macbook, Apple Watch And Samsung manuals. Here's a sample, “During testing, Apple Watch radios are set to their highest transmission levels and placed in positions that simulate use against the head, with 10mm separation, and on the wrist with no separation. When placing the Apple Watch near your face, keep at least 10mm of separation to ensure exposure levels remain at or below the as-tested levels.” Apple advises that the watch stays a 1/2" from your face so levels don't go above the "tested" levels. Hmmmmm...
- Independent Labs Tested Cellphones To See If They Exceeded SAR standards- Phonegate: The French Government had data on the cellphones and their actual SAR levels that showed that 9 out of 10 exceeded the government's safety standards. They released the information after being sued by a concerned citizen.
- The Chicago Tribune followed suit and tested cellphones in the US and revealed that most cellphones were in fact "leaking more radiation than anyone thought" and far exceeded the FCC's very generous SAR standards. Even though the industry had included the disclosures like the one referenced above, lawsuits were brought against Samsung and Apple for cancer risks.
- One of the largest European Telecom providers put a warning in their recent manual for their WiFi router: "Avoid placing your Speedport router in immediate proximity to bedrooms, children's rooms, living rooms (means also common rooms or lounges,) in order to keep the exposure to electromagnetic fields as low as possible."
At Tech Wellness, We’re Using Our Meters to measure wireless devices. Our meters measure levels of power density of the electromagnetic waves, not biological effects. We use the meters to visualize the wireless energy so that we are aware that we are being exposed.
- Being EHS, I take good care of myself—but I need to be mindful of the power density level of the wireless RF energy and the amount of time I'm exposed because EMR is like a pollutant, allergen, or toxin to my body and I sometimes begin to feel symptoms.
- Are you sensitive to wireless energy? Dr. Carlo explains, "Some people are being adversely effected but don't know it because they confuse common symptoms like headaches, anxiety, being short-tempered, dizziness, sleep problems, weight-gain, and low energy with other things in life and don't connect it to wireless devices and the infrastructure. Still other people have developed adaptive responses so they are not functionally impaired at all. It's important for people to become informed so that they can figure out where they fit and then take steps accordingly."
- Like with any environmental assault, a healthy immune system helps. Dr. Carlo points out "It's not possible to eliminate all of the RF that is around us; it is always a race between damage and compensation. One thing that advances compensation is a healthy lifestyle and exercise."
Wireless Energy Safety Charts
I have my own guidelines, based on real world experience and my sensitivity levels. Dr. Carlo points that with regards current recommended levels,
"The big problem with the guidelines across the board -- Bau Biology, FCC, ICNRP, EUROPAEM, Geovital -- is that they are all based on physics-based math predictions. So, they attempt to use direct line estimates that do not take into account the realities of in-person biology. For example, the North American 1.6 W/Kg SAR standard is based on a 25-fold safety factor off the heating threshold of microwaves in brain tissue of rats which is around 40 W/Kg. Also, if a person is already triggered to be ES, those changes are long lasting so it isn't a simple matter of eliminating exposure which is what the guidelines erroneously assume. That triggering impacts the autonomic nervous system and thus the person's ability to respond to other environmental stressors like chemicals and bugs."
The Wireless EMF Chart: Here’s a chart that shows the incredible amount the FCC says is “safe”. The FCC limit is based on thermal or the heat effects of wireless energy. The other six scales call out precautionary or biological recommendations.
- The Scale I Don’t Want You To Miss (August's Recommended Level): This chart shows the level (1) that I don't feel comfortable seeing anyone exceed! If you can stay 12 inches from your cellphone and 20 feet from your WiFi, exposure levels shouldn't reach this fairly significant level. This is my personal opinion based on my personal experience. In my EMF Radiation Detection videos—anytime we measure a cellphone that’s less than 10" away, we generally go over 1.0, so that's why this level is my minimum.
- No Fear, Practice Mindfulness. That's our mantra here at Tech Wellness Our Wireless Guide has more detailed information on electromagnetic radiation and Wireless RF. It also includes more ideas for living healthy and well, yet also stay connected. Our goal is to facilitate maintaining health while people access the benefits of emerging technology.
20 Great Ways To Enjoy Technology and Avoid EMF Radiation.
- Avoid WiFi exposure by placing the WiFi in a remote area of your home. See Best Place To Locate WiFi with Video
- Wire up! Wire your computer to a wired keyboard. Wire your mouse to the keyboard. Wire the ethernet to you home. No WiFi energy exposure required. Fast and Secure Internet is a bonus when you do this.
- Use the phone on Speaker Mode--or Use a Protected Wired Headset. We recommend the anti-radiation Airtube headset that we've tested to prevent emf from traveling through the wires to the head
- When texting, avoid cellphone EMF by using a non-wireless stylus. Here's a video to show you the reduction of radiation exposure
- Do not hold your cellphone and it's wireless energy when the phone is on.
- Carry your phone as far away from you as possible. Remember the Tech Wellness Mantra: Distance Is your Friend and Here's a cross body with a VERY long safer strap and the a Wrist Chain putting 8 inches between you and your phone. A beautiful way to put distance between the EMF energy from your beautiful body.
- Turn your phone off or to airplane mode when not using
- Turn off Blue tooth and WiFi functionality on your phone when not using them to avoid being exposed to additional wireless RF
- Be aware of the Bars on your Phone--they show you how hard it has to work to get signal. Fewer bars=higher RF radiation levels. Use the cellphone only when the signal is strong. Avoid using the phone while driving as the phone continually drops and receives signal causing higher power density level requirements.
- If You love the effortless lux of AirPods:
- Try wearing just one so both ears are not exposed to radiation.
- Try just wearing them only when you're on a call as they are still emitting radiation any time they are looking for or waiting for a signal from the Bluetooth on your phone.
- Be aware, your phone is emitting radiation too--so if it's in your pocket or your hand, you're getting cellphone radiation and Bluetooth radiation from the phone as well as Bluetooth radiation in your ears.
- Turn off BlueTooth and WiFi on your computer-it's sending out wireless signal even when you're not using it so you'll get EMF protection
- Turn your computer off, when not using it, to avoid EMF exposure.
- Turn your WiFi off when not using it, at least every night while you're sleeping. Here's a great switch to distance yourself from the WiFi router for EMF protection.
- Manually Fetch emails and texts and then turn off your phone to read and reply. You'll be protected from unnecessary EMF radiation
- If you use your phone as camera or an alarm clock, you can do both with your phone in airplane mode and steer clear of RF radiation.
- Eliminate wireless devices from your life and enjoy low tech.
- Use a wired thermostat
- Use a battery clock
- Eliminate wireless Apple watch use a traditional watch
- Instead of Fitbit that works using Bluetooth-try a pedometer or a Fitness tracker that has some functionality without Bluetooth.
- Don't use wireless appliances, speakers, wireless activated toys and gadgets
- Have Your Smart Meter removed- Opt Out or Put A Cover on it to Eliminate most of the Wireless Radiation
- Browse other ways to be mindful of RF radiation in our Body Section. You'll find EMF meters and other EMF protection and of course, listen to our podcast where we further discuss the truth about cellphone radiation Dr. George Carlo:
Want to see more measurements of more things? Are you as fascinated by all of this as I am? Here are a few of our favorites:
UPDATE: A review of the Government's 2 year study published Winter 2018:
Announced by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:
The National Toxicology Program (NTP) concluded there is clear evidence that male rats exposed to high levels of radio frequency radiation (RFR) like that used in 2G and 3G cell phones developed cancerous heart tumors, according to final reports released today. There was also some evidence of tumors in the brain and adrenal gland of exposed male rats. For female rats, and male and female mice, the evidence was equivocal as to whether cancers observed were associated with exposure to RFR.
The National Toxicology Program uses 4 categories to summarize evidence that something does actually cause cancer:
- Clear evidence (highest)
- Some evidence
- Equivocal evidence
- No evidence (lowest)
So although the answer may seem pretty clear, the push-back is that the mice and rats had EMF radiation exposure from 2G and 3G vs the 4GLTE cellphone energy that most of use today and that the amount of radiation the little animals were exposed to was just plain too much. They did in fact receive full body exposure for 9 hours of every 24 hours.
To put it all in perspective, Dr. George Carlo who lead the US first study of mobile phone radiation and health effects puts it this way.
"The finalized NTP mouse and rat studies are important clarifying pieces in the cell-health effects puzzle-
First, the studies provide strong corroboration for the risk increases reported in the numerous epidemiological studies that have been conducted on cell phone use over the past two decades.
Second, the studies provide strong evidence of biological plausibility for the observations coming from that epidemiology.
Third, the studies are a treasure trove of scientific information pertaining to wireless exposure-related carcinogenic mechanisms, including direct genetic effects, epigenetic induction and systemic biological cascades.
Fourth, the studies generate new and important hypotheses regarding potential teratogenicity, metabolic dysregulation and other disease pathways.
Most importantly, these data, that can now be coupled with data from previously conducted clinical, epidemiological and dosimetry studies, provide the bases for a long-overdue quantitative risk assessment of mobile phone dangers that will guide evidence-based risk management tools for consumers."
The Hill has there take on the study and the FDA's reaction. It's good.