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Techwellness Podcast Episode 1

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Dr. George Carlo Shares The New Truth About Cell Phone Radiation 

This week, August talks with Dr. George Carlo, who is a Tech Wellness Expert and more importantly, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the potential dangers posed by radiation from our cell phones.  Dr Carlo led the largest scientific study on the issue starting back in the 1990’s.  The $28 million dollar study, funded by the Cell Industry, began to turn up some troubling results, which George quickly reported.  The study was quickly cancelled and the results immediately discredited. Have things changed?  Yes they have.  And no they haven’t.  Listen to learn the latest and what you should be doing right now to protect your family. Join the movement today at


Make sure to subscribe and like our show wherever you get your podcasts!

Here's the full transcript of the podcast:

Announcer: This is the Tech Wellness Podcast from, news, information, and analysis designed to bring understanding, awareness, and balance to our relationship with technology. Your hosts today, Dr. George Carlo and August Brice.

August Brice: Welcome to the podcast. We're so glad you're here. Today we're going to talk about wireless energy, the information-carrying radio waves to make sure all of our super important Instagram post can be seen by the world. Should you be worried about this invisible energy? It's everywhere. Is there anything you can do? Well, yes, there is, and we're going to give you some ideas.

August Brice: But, first, just a little bit about us. I'm August Brice. I'm a trained journalist and a news producer, co-founded and advertising agency, and I've been studying this topic for about 20 years. Some of you might be saying, "That's a weird thing for her to study. Why?" Well, I'll take you back.

August Brice: Remember when cell phones first came out? They were like the size of a toaster, and about that hot, too. Now for you kids, I want you to Google "brick phones". You're going to totally crack up. Anyway, we got one of these things, and right away it made me dizzy and I got huge headaches and then my fingers would tangle. I would ask people around me, "Oh, my gosh. Can't you guys feel this?" No, they couldn't.

August Brice: Well, now I understand why. I'm actually special, and there's a name for what I have: electromagnetic hypersensitivity or EHS. I can feel EMS, specifically the radio frequency radiation, that powers all of our wireless. Come to find out, about 5% of the population has this now, and most of them don't even know it.

August Brice: I started to try and figure out why I was feeling this feeling that no one else was, and I really wanted to make it stop. That search led me to Dr. George Carlo because he had written this book. I mean the book, Cell Phones: The Invisible Hazards of the Wireless Age. George have led the cell phone industry's first study of EMS, specifically wireless energy, which really didn't go well for them, and George wrote this amazing book.

August Brice: Dr. Carlo is actually a world-recognized scientist. He's an author and attorney. Over the last 35 years, he has published more than 250 science and public policy papers. He's got several patents, including one with me. He teaches at the university level and, oh, he's been on Dr. Oz and Oprah, just about every news program you can think of, from The Today Show, the Good Morning America, CNN, and Fox News. This man is amazing. You really should go to and read more about George. While you do that, let's welcome him to the podcast.

Dr. George Carlo: Hello, August. Good to talk to you again.

August Brice: It's always so good to talk to you, George. This whole area of EMS is really mainstreaming right now, wireless energy, wifi RF. More and more people are talking about it. They're really reaching out to me. They've got lots of really good questions about their health, their safety, their kids. George, what are the most important things to know now?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, the first thing is that there's a lot of information out there, tremendous amounts of information. We started work on this back in the early 1990s. There was work going on in the military and in the private sector all the way back into the late 1970s. There is an enormous amount of information in terms of what we know about how this technology has evolved, about how this technology interacts with life, including human beings. The science is so vast that it's almost impossible for those who are not living it every day to pick up on the nuances.

Dr. George Carlo: I think the first thing that's important is that in studying this for a long time, and there is no one new study that's going to make a big difference in terms of what we know. Probably by the late '90s, we knew most of what we needed to know in terms of there being red flags, in terms of potential human health effects, that there needed to be information that could be put out into the medical community so that doctors knew how to address conditions like electro-hypersensitivity, which you detailed in the opening. Also, we know enough now that we should be focused on precautions. How do we fix this? How do we protect ourselves? How do we protect our families?

Dr. George Carlo: Like any technology, there's always a race, if you will, between the impact of the technology on human systems and the ability of human systems to compensate for the insult of the new technology. Every time there's something new, our bodies don't like it right off the bat. We have to give our bodies time to be able to sort out and compensate for any adverse effects that might be involved. This goes part of the way the human being is constructed.

Dr. George Carlo: Now when you have a gradual introduction of the technology ... Go back to electricity, for example. The introduction was gradual, and most people were able to compensate or adapt because the introduction of the electricity was over a period of decades, 30, 40, 50 years before the electric lights, for example, were used in most homes.

Dr. George Carlo: The difference with wireless technology is that when the cell phone came into public use in the late 1980s, it was a very rare type of thing. People who had cell phones were very wealthy usually and it wasn't a general consumer product. But by the middle '90s, it became something that was inexpensive enough for most people to have. We went from maybe 15 million people using cell phones in the early 90's to 300 million or 400 million people using cell phones by the early 2000s. Today in the United States, the estimates are something like 300 million cell phones. What's happened is that the technology has been introduced at such a rapid pace that there are many, many people who have not been able to adapt [crosstalk 00:07:02].

August Brice: A little bit in history, and we can talk about cell phones, because I remember we were shooting a commercial. We were out in the middle desert, so we had to have this new brick cell phone. That thing was crazy in my hands. It just felt like fire. I couldn't even hold it up to my ear. I had to hand it to somebody else to use. I couldn't understand why they couldn't feel it. But that technology, can you describe how that technology has completely changed and morphed into the cell phones we have now?

Dr. George Carlo: Okay. Well, back in those days, August, you're looking at the late '80s, early '90s, cell phones were the equivalent of an FM radio. That's really what the technology was. It was a radio that carried a signal, that connected into the landline phone system that we have all across the country. In those days, we had landlines.

Dr. George Carlo: Because it was essentially a radio, in that big brick, it had transmission technology, it had reception technology, it had to be able to have internal settings that could lock into these different FM signals, so that it didn't have dialing knobs on the outside, it had dialing knobs that worked automatically on the inside. All of this little these little electronic tasks that had to be done took a lot of energy, so that you had a huge battery in those. Those brick phones were heating up mainly because of the battery, but also the transmission and reception functions were using a lot of energy to make those happen.

Dr. George Carlo: The other thing, back in those days, we didn't have a lot of base stations, so that the signals had to be carried for miles in order to tie in to a landline system. In order to send a signal miles, you had to have enough power to push it.

Dr. George Carlo: Now think about this, an FM radio station. Let's say just a regular station that transmits music and voice on FM that you'll dial into in your car. Think about how big the antennas used to be for those. They're enormous. Hundreds of feet high. They would put fences around them so that people didn't get close. What had happened in the early '90s, for people that were able to use cell phones, is they had to consolidate all of that technology into something that you could hold.

Dr. George Carlo: Now if you just think about it a little bit, there had to be a whole lot of energy that was coming out of those devices, so that those first cell phones were very different from what we have today, so that I would say ... I mean if you look at it, up until about 1995, we were talking about cell phones that were really FM radios, with all of that electronic capability consolidated into a small unit.

Dr. George Carlo: When you consolidate all of that technology, of course, you're going to generate a lot of heat, you're going to generate a lot of energy. That's what was necessary. If you're listen to an FM radio, the dial goes a little bit too much to the right, you get interference, so that you would be driving along and you'd change the knob a little bit to make sure you got a clear signal so you can listen to ...

Dr. George Carlo: What ends up happening, though, is that the same was going on with cell phones, so that even though these signals, these original phones, these analog phones, the FM type radio phones, they're called analog phones, but because they were operating as an FM radio, you could only have one phone call going on on any frequency at one time or there would be interference.

Dr. George Carlo: Back in those days, there used to be a lot of crosstalk. You'd be talking on the phone, the next thing you're talking to somebody in Germany. Because of that, they had to figure out ways of sending the signals that would allow for multiple phone calls to be able to be carried on the same frequency. In order to do that, they had to digitize the signals.

Dr. George Carlo: The first digitization, moving away from frequency modulation to digital modulation, were the PCS phones that were introduced in 1996, 1997. That's how we moved from the analog phone into the digital phone. The reason for it had to do with the industry being able to carry more phone calls on each frequency band.

August Brice: I think that the reason I want to talk about this is because just the nomenclature alone, let alone the technology aspects of the differences in these phones, I think it's really confusing consumers as to what they should be concerned about. I hear it all the time. We talk about EMF, which, of course, means electromagnetic fields, we talk about EMR, which is electromagnetic radiation, we talk about RF, which is radio frequency, non-ionizing radiation, and then we talk about microwave energy. Just really, in one sentence, explain what technology, what kind of wireless energy is being used right now to operate the smart phones and cell phones we use today.

Dr. George Carlo: The PCS phone was the first generation. We're now operating in most places with a fourth generation. People are talking about 5G, which is the fifth generation. We're looking at the technology of carrying this information, changing almost completely every four or five years. It's a moving target. When you ask a question that sounds like a simple question, what are we using today, it has to be put in the context of how we got from an FM radio phone in the early '90s to the smartphones of today where you can download movies.

Dr. George Carlo: The technology is very, very, very different, so that when you have multiple types of modulation, you have signals that are unpredictable in terms of how the body reacts to them. When you have signals that are unpredictable, your body reacts to them as though they're invaders, so that the body tries to protect itself. This happens all the way down to the cellular level.

Dr. George Carlo: Most of the health problems that people experience have to do with the body going too far in terms of initiating protective biological cascade. What that means is the body senses an invader and then uses everything it has to fight off the invader. When that happens, other normal physiologic functions become compromised because the body doesn't have enough energy to do it all. You end up with a situation where your immune system becomes compromised because your body is using energy to fight off this invading signal. Now you become more vulnerable to the flu, for example.

Dr. George Carlo: The same thing happens if you maybe are predisposed to gastrointestinal problems. What happens then is that your body is using energy to do things that are not related to digestion so that you end up with inefficient digestion. Sometimes this leads to diarrhea, sometimes it leads to constipation, or maybe it just leads to abdominal pain.

Dr. George Carlo: The complexity of how these signals from the environment interact with human physiology is one of the things that makes it so hard sort out from a cause and effect point of view. This is really complicated.

August Brice: It is. I feel somewhat gifted. I remember you were the first person who explained electromagnetic hypersensitivity to me and I said, "It's really cool. I can feel the energy. I know when my phone is on without even looking at it." You said, "Well, maybe that's not such a great thing. That just means that you may be electromagnetic hypersensitive."

August Brice: As I went to doctors and looked more into it, I discovered that actually that was the case. But when I tried to explain this to other people and why I have concern for friends, family, and the population in general, I think of it as just another pollutant that our body needs to deal with, that if we can mitigate that exposure somehow, our body might not have to fight that particular pollutant.

August Brice: I did a video a long time ago where I said, "Here. It's like drinking a glass of beautiful, clean perfect water," that's no exposure at all, "versus this glass of dirty water. I can drink this glass of dirty water and I may or may not have a biological reaction." It depends. My body might compensate and might be great with this dirty water, but my body might not be okay with it. Again, I might have some nausea, I might have some gastric distress of some type because I'm drinking this dirty water.

August Brice: Why drink the dirty water if I don't have to? Why be exposed to the wireless energy if I don't have to be exposed? As you just explained it, some bodies may react and some may not.

Dr. George Carlo: That's absolutely correct. Looking at this as another pollutant is the right way to look at it, it's absolutely accurate, but there is a difference, because with most environmental insults, environmental pollutants, they're transient, meaning that they're there for a while and then the wind blows them away, even things like pollen, where people have allergies to pollen in the spring. You're able to have that be taken away by natural processes.

Dr. George Carlo: The difference is that with an information-carrying radio wave, it's not only the radio wave that comes from your phone that impacts the energy field around your body, but it's also the radio waves that are standing in the environment from other people's phones so that now you have an accumulation of standing waves in the environment that don't go away.

Dr. George Carlo: The difficulty is that while it's reasonable to say I'm not going to drink the dirty water, with the information-carrying radio waves and the dramatic increase in the amount of wireless technology, meaning the number of radio waves that are out there in the environment, you can't really get away from it.

Dr. George Carlo: In the documentary film Generations Zapped, there's a great quote by my friend and colleague Olle Johansson, where he poses in the film, he says, "If I were to ask you how much more radiation am I exposed to today than 10 years ago," he says, "is it twice as much? Is it three times as much?" He says, "No, it's a quintillion times more." That's a one with 18 zeros, and that's the truth.

Dr. George Carlo: The difficulty here is that we're never going to be able to get rid of the exposure completely. We can minimize it, we can do things that maybe change the waves a little bit, protect us a little bit from the waves. There are a number of things that we can do from a physics point of view, and we certainly need to do all of those things, but we also have to make sure that our bodies are in the best position to adapt, because, at the end of the day, it's going to be about adaptation. It's not going to be about eliminating the exposure because that horse is already out of the barn. We're never going to get rid of wireless. It's here for good.

August Brice: That's my combination of my Tech Wellness [inaudible 00:19:22], the things that I do for my body and my life to stay strong with all of this wireless exposure around me. I have the primary precautions. I use an airtube headset and I carry my phone on a case so I don't have to have that near-field exposure where that energy is not right in my hand. I use a stylus whenever I can. I turn my phone on airplane and then I download emails and texts and voicemails. Then I turn my phone on airplane and I answer them and read them. I do these things, but at the same time I take certain vitamins. I make sure that I've reset my circadian rhythms. I treat my body really good to stand up against the wireless onslaught.

Dr. George Carlo: You can do it. I mean you don't find yourself missing out on life because you're taking these precautions, right?

August Brice: Not at all. I think this helps us. Of course not. I feel better and I can also extend it to other stresses. This isn't the only stress in my life, wireless energy, in any of our lives. It just helps me, I think, to have a healthier, better life. I want to talk because people ask me all the time, how close is too close? How much is too much?

August Brice: You were talking about how the technology is changing. But about five years ago, a meter came out that can measure energy between the 10 megahertz and eight gigahertz level. That happens to be the cell phone wireless energy that's right in there, those microwave electromagnetic fields. I can measure the energy. I love the meter that gives me a numeric readout, because I can compare it to the numeric readout coming from other things that are on, like the wifi or somebody else's phone.

August Brice: I understand that the signals vary depending on how close you are to the base station or the tower, depending on the amount of energy your phone has to output at that particular moment. But right now, to me, this is the only physical example of seeing that energy. To me, the less, the better.

August Brice: The scientific community has, I believe, confused this issue so much, because I have a readout on the various levels of RF energy that are considered safe by all these different organizations all over the world. There's actually 12 to 15 different safety levels, and they vary widely. When people ask me what's the safe distance, what's a state level, my answer is, well, the further away, the better and the lower the number, the better. Do you have a particular way you would answer that question?

Dr. George Carlo: What makes it difficult is that you can measure what comes from the device, and that's one side of the coin. That's the physics part of it, so that think of it this way, that you have the device, whether it's a cell phone or any other device, and your meter is able to measure what's coming from there, and that's good.

Dr. George Carlo: The standards that exist now all across the world are based only on that one dimension, what comes from the device. From a practical point of view, that no matter where your device is, between the device and your body, there's space and there are things that go on in that space, like signals that come from other people's devices, like energy that comes from your own body, like energy that comes from other things in the environment. The atmospherics play a role, temperature, pressure, the amount of moisture that's in the air.

Dr. George Carlo: All of those things have an impact on how what comes out of the device travels to your body. Then it has an impact on how your body reacts to it, so that the other side is the biological response. That biological response is unique to every individual. That's what makes it difficult.

Dr. George Carlo: Now the things that you're doing, August, that are healthy living interventions, you're taking care of your energy cycles, your circadian and ultradian rhythms, you're using supplements that have a purpose, you're exercising, you're doing all of those things, they put you in a better position to adapt so that you are different from the person who doesn't do those things in terms of how those information-carrying radio waves impact you. Then, of course, interface or the space between the device and you is constantly varied.

Dr. George Carlo: Again, it sounds like a simple question. How much is too much? How long is too long? There are no simple answers, and that's what makes this so difficult. What do you need to do? You need to keep the exposure as minimum as possible, that helps, from your device. Distance helps so that if you use a headset, an airtube headset, or the Tauki headset that you and I have worked together on developing, that distance parameter is really important.

Dr. George Carlo: Now the other thing that's out there, there are technologies, one of them that I like is called the Quanta, which actually is an app that will alert you to when the emission from the phone is greater than an acceptable standard.

August Brice: And it will turn it off.

Dr. George Carlo: It can turn the phone off, put it into airplane mode. Those are all on the physics side, what comes out of the device. That's one side of the coin.

August Brice: But before we move to the other side of the coin, would you sleep with a phone next to your head?

Dr. George Carlo: No. Of course not.

August Brice: I mean I think we need to get that information out there.

Dr. George Carlo: Sure.

August Brice: I think there's still a little confusion about it.

Dr. George Carlo: Yeah. Again, look, the young kids, they use their phone as an alarm clock. They're worried about missing out on things, so they get texts in the middle of the night. This, from a biological impact point of view, is mad. It's mad. It's difficult to say, "Don't use your phone for an alarm clock." Well, then how can I use my phone safely as an alarm clock?

August Brice: Well, you put it on airplane. You can use your phone in airplane as an alarm clock.

Dr. George Carlo: Right, or put it on the other side of the room. There are ways of doing it. I think that what we always want to be careful in this kind of discussion is that what we want to do is empower people to make the right choices so that they can still use their technology, because it's really a nonstarter for most people now to give up the technology.

Dr. George Carlo: There's a whole discussion about whether or not it's fair that the technology permeated into society the way it did without proper testing and without proper monitoring and all that stuff. But the fact is we have it. How we got here is a different discussion. We're here now. We really want to be able to empower people to make safe choices. There are lots of them that people can be empowered with. I hope those are the things that we talk about in future podcasts as well.

August Brice: Yeah. Oh, absolutely. 71% of people query said that they sleep with a mobile phone next to or near their head in 2015. Incredible.

Dr. George Carlo: This is very alarming. One of the difficulties is that the impact that that has on them is insidious. They're not going to get into deep sleep, so that they don't sleep well. They might blame that on something else. They're going to have focus problems because they're going to have a grogginess the next day because they don't sleep well.

Dr. George Carlo: The defenses that our body has are lessened during sleep. Our metabolic rate goes down to something called the basal metabolic rate, so that it's our body powering down so that it can build up energy to be ready for the next day. During sleep is when our bodies are most vulnerable. Then what we're doing by putting the phone under the pillow or next to the bed is that we're insulting the body, exposing the body at a time when it's most vulnerable.

Dr. George Carlo: There are other sequelae to this or other consequences that will be individualized, so that if you have a ... Let's say you have a person who's nervous or is impatient. By doing this, the ability to adapt and compensate for nervousness is diminished, so that those things that make them difficult to be around are going to be exacerbated the next day. It's because of the interference of the energy from the phone with a body that's in a basal metabolic state, that's operating in a power down way as a means of preparing for the next day.

Dr. George Carlo: You have all of these things that most people would not attribute to the phone being next to their head. They would rather blame it on their spouse, blame it on the kids, blame it on the boss. But you're talking about a neurophysiologic impact at a time when our bodies are most vulnerable.

August Brice: I love this scientific explanation to just what I referred to as my delicious restorative sleep, the interference. Honestly, this is true, and my whole family will attest to it. If for some reason the wifi gets turned on in my completely EMF-free home, which I love, I will wake up without fail every single time the wifi is turned on in the middle of sleep. I will wake up, I will go look at the monitor, I will see that the wifi is on, and will turn it off without fail.

August Brice: Now that's because I'm so sensitive. Just necessary you may not be sensitive doesn't mean that the biological reaction isn't happening somewhere in your body. I think that's what you're pointing out.

Dr. George Carlo: Exactly. It's hard to make the connection. For example, if you don't get into deep sleep, your body does not produce melatonin. If your body does not produce melatonin, which is a repair and recovery hormone, you're not repairing and recovering from the damage that you do to your body just by living through the day. Repairing from sunlight, all of those kinds of things, there's damage that occurs that we normally are able to adapt to.

Dr. George Carlo: Well, if you don't make melatonin, then you have premature aging. You're not able to repair your skin. That's something that you can't look at it from one day at a time. This is measured over a period of years. You're 60 years old, but you look like you're 80. That's the kind of thing that's insidious.

Dr. George Carlo: The other thing that happens is this. If you don't get into deep sleep and the phone next to your bed will keep you from getting into deep sleep, you don't make the melatonin. If you don't make melatonin, you have low levels of serotonin the next day, because there's a direct correlation between the amount of melatonin that your body makes and the amount of serotonin that you have available the next day, because both melatonin and serotonin come from the same essential amino acid called L-tryptophan.

Dr. George Carlo: Now if you don't have high levels of serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that is there for alertness, quickness, agility, all of those things that help you get through the day, if you have low levels of serotonin, you're in a jam. Somebody might be going down the stairs and they trip or they're clumsy. It's because they have low levels of serotonin. They would never say, they would never put the dots together, saying, "I wonder if I fell down the stairs because of having the phone next to my bed."

Dr. George Carlo: Those are the kinds of things that are insidious consequences that vary from person to person, but they're real because the underlying mechanism is known. We know about melatonin, we know about serotonin, we know about the need to get into deep sleep. We know that the energy from blue light on screens, the energy from information-carrying radio waves inhibit the production of melatonin because you can't get into deep sleep.

Dr. George Carlo: There's a whole science that's out there, and it's really important that we're able to make the connections. But the message always has to be there's something you can do about it. It doesn't do us any good to scare people.

August Brice: No. There's no fear at Tech Wellness. It's just an awareness-creating solutions-based site.

Speaker 1: The Tech Wellness Podcast continues in just a moment. But, first, the World Health Organization has designated EMF RF radiation from cell phones as a possible carcinogen, in the same class as things like diesel fuel. If you're interested in reducing the amount of EMF RF exposure in your life, one of the best and easiest things to do is to use an EMF-free headset when you're on a call or listening on your smartphone.

Speaker 1: At, we've been researching the best headsets for over a decade. Of all the models we've tested, we found the one that works the best, looks the best, and holds up the best. It's the Tauki airtube headset. It uses a hollow tube to deliver high-fidelity sound directly to your ears while keeping EMFs away from your body at the same time. The Tauki airtube looks great, too. It's available in black, gold, and our exclusive rose gold colors. August uses hers every day and loves them.

Speaker 1: Right now listeners of the Tech Wellness Podcast can get a Tauki airtube headset for themselves and save 50% off on one for a friend. That's buy one and get the second Tauki headset for 50% off when you use the promo code "podcast" at

August Brice: Hi, welcome back to the podcast. We're here again with Dr. George Carlo. We're talking about RF radiation and wireless energy. It's a really good discussion.

August Brice: George, you're so smart, and it's such a gift to hear you speak to these, the cause and effects of this energy. One of the studies that we feature on the site that I just love is a study about how the energy and melatonin production affects metabolism. There's actually a study ... Do about this one, where they measured the glucose levels before and after exposure to cell phone radiation and found that melatonin decreased and metabolism changed, creating hunger?

Dr. George Carlo: Yes.

August Brice: Are you familiar with this study?

Dr. George Carlo: Yes.

August Brice: Okay. That's another insidious thing. How could you ever think that your phone might make you hungry?

Dr. George Carlo: Exactly. It also depletes your ready energy, and that's the same mechanism, so that when your blood glucose level goes down, your body has to figure out how to replace that, how to replace that energy. There's an entirely different biological cascade that ensues. You look at things like diabetes, obesity. Those are all conditions that are metabolically triggered. They're metabolic imbalances. When we expose our bodies to these insults that are insidious but they're constant, we compromised all of those physiologic mechanisms.

August Brice: I'm going to ask one question and then get into the practical things that we can do. Is there any doubt that there's a connection? I don't think there is. Why don't more scientists speak up about this?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, there is no doubt. I think that we've known probably since the late 1990s that we were on a pathway that needed to be addressed from a precautionary point of view. There is no doubt, but the science is very complicated. I think that when you talk to scientists who are real scientists, they will say, on the one hand, it could be this, but on the other hand, it could be that. You can have really good, honest scientific people come to different conclusions from the same data.

Dr. George Carlo: That doesn't mean that one group is right and the other one is wrong, it simply underscores how complex this is. It's one of those things that there's a lot of noise around the signal, and separating the signal from the noise is very difficult because we have so many different biological outcomes that have been identified, the exposure is a moving target.

Dr. George Carlo: Just the example of cell phones. We had the first analog phones in the 1990s and now, 20 years later, we have people talking about the fifth generation of signals, the 5G. Well, that means that every four years, the technology changes dramatically. That's a moving target. I think that when scientists look at ...

Dr. George Carlo: Well, here's one other example. If you look at the medical literature, it takes about two to three years for new findings to pervade itself through the medical literature. Two to three years on average. Even things that are dramatic advances in medical science, they still take years to make it into the literature. Then it takes years for the practicing doctors who were out in the country, in Oklahoma, for example, to read the journals and to catch up. This goes for people all throughout the country who are medical practitioners.

Dr. George Carlo: The idea of pervading into medical practice new findings about diagnosing electrosensitivity, what lab tests work, how do we interpret this, it takes about a decade for that to make it into the medical vernacular. We're talking about a technology that's changing every four years, so that by the time something makes it into the medical vernacular, we've changed two more generations of the technology.

August Brice: Speaking of that, can you explain the difference between 5G and the type of waves that we're dealing with now? Because I understand it's going to be a millimeter wave. What does that mean exactly?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, here's what it means in general terms. Every time you go to another generation of the technology, it's to allow more density of information to be transferred [crosstalk 00:39:49].

August Brice: Does that mean that my meter that can now sense signals up to eight gigahertz will no longer be able to sense these millimeter waves?

Dr. George Carlo: Probably not. It depends on what the calibrations are. But, again, the reason that we go from 2G to 3G to 4G to 5G are because consumers are asking for that. They want to have more clarity in watching movies on their phones. The industry doesn't make billion-dollar changes just because they feel like it. They do it because there's a demand for it.

Dr. George Carlo: That's important to know because it isn't like the industry is trying to figure out some other way. They would be happy with 2G phones if everybody would use, and they'd make money. When you move to another generation, there's a reason for it, and it is because consumers are demanding something.

Dr. George Carlo: Now with something like 5G, I saw a commercial on TV the other day that talked about with 5G, you'll be able to have emergency doctors who are in ambulances do robotic surgeries to help save lives out in the field. Is that going to be practical? Probably. Is it something that most people would say, "Hey, that's pretty good, especially if I'm the one in the accident. If you could save my life, I want you to"?

Dr. George Carlo: The thing that's difficult is there's a cost for that. The cost means that with 5G, instead of having the signals on base stations that are 100 feet high, they're going to bring the transmission technology, the infrastructure to street level. They're going to be five feet off the ground, a lot of these transmission stations. Instead of being on high towers, they're going to be at street level.

August Brice: How is that different from the mesh network that I discovered in Boston? Is a mesh network different? It looked like wifis or many cell towers all throughout downtown Boston. The ambient measurement level was anywhere between 2,000 and 6,000.

Dr. George Carlo: The mesh and the DAS, the distributed antenna system, all of those over this ... We're now coming into the fifth generation. All of those have evolved to respond to consumer demand.

August Brice: How does that differ between fifth generation, or is that 5G?

Dr. George Carlo: It could be. It depends on how they use those transmission poles. They could put 5G on a mesh pole and still have clear signals, still function. Keep in mind that 5G becomes an option. Right now, if you're driving and you look on your phone, you're going into the country, for example, you might switch from 2G to 3G to 4G. 5G will just be one more option, so that you might not be able to download a movie if you're in a 4G area, but when you have 5G, you will.

Dr. George Carlo: Now, again, I'm not saying that all of this is fine. There are going to be now more challenges in terms of adaptation. The exposure in the environment is moving one more level, if you will. But it's important for people to understand that this didn't happen by accident, that there's a consumer response. In other words, it's because consumers are asking for it. That's important.

Dr. George Carlo: It's also important to keep in mind that we don't know what the effects of millimeter waves are going to be. Nobody's ever studied them. We don't know. The only thing that we can do in terms of risk assessment is to look at what we would call functional equivalents. What are the things about 2G which has been studied quite a bit that are similar to what we're going to have in 5G?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, we're going to have packeting, we're going to have co-domain modulation, we're going to have voice modulation. There are a number of things that are going to be similar, but we don't know. There's going to be guesswork involved in figuring out what the human health risks are going to be.

August Brice: You were talking about consumers are demanding this new technology. What's your read on consumers who are demanding less wireless energy in the environment?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, again, the commercial aspects of the way commerce works, those people who are demanding, and rightfully so, less ambient information-carrying radio waves and less ambient radiation, all that stuff, they don't really have an economic constituency. They don't have the power to change the economics. Their rights, in many, many ways, are being stepped on. But the system says it's economically driven.

Dr. George Carlo: Of course, the other part of this whole wireless infrastructure is that since 9/11, the safety overlay has become very important for first responders and antiterrorism steps and anti-cybersecurity steps, all that stuff. It's in the same infrastructure.

Dr. George Carlo: When people say, "I want there to be less radiation" ... In fact, I heard this one day in a meeting, and I couldn't believe what I heard. Somebody said, "Well, we don't want the tower there," and the person from this particular company said, "What? You want more terrorists in your neighborhood?" The fact is that you could construct an argument that says if you don't have the most up-to-date infrastructure carrying signals, then you won't have the most up-to-date cybersecurity. If you don't have the most up-to-date cybersecurity, you become vulnerable to bots and other types of things that are out there now in open ... They're out there.

August Brice: It's a tangled web that we've ...

Dr. George Carlo: Right. It's a tangled web, August. The thing is it isn't like in the old westerns where you have the good guys in the white hats and the bad guys in the black hats, and you're able to see who's who. It isn't that way. The industry is responding to what consumers are demanding, consumers are enthralled with things that make their life easier. You have people that run whole business from their cell phone, for God's sakes.

Dr. George Carlo: It is really complicated and there are no simple answers, but precaution makes sense in every aspect of this. While individuals can put precautions in place about your own interaction, your ability to adapt, all of that, businesses also should be precautionary.

Dr. George Carlo: I was talking to a group of realtors one day. They said that they need to be on their cell phones and that the company has actually given the cell phones so that they don't do personal calls on their real estate company cell phone. Well, when you have industries that require people to use devices that are potentially dangerous, we have something called the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that in factories, with all other occupations, look into that stuff.

Dr. George Carlo: We have none of that going on now with wireless technology, so that there are some steps that can be taken from a public policy point of view that are precautionary, that are within the system that we usually use to protect workers that could make things better. There's a lot that we can do, both as individuals, as a public policy people, there are political things that can be done. I think we have to chip away at it.

Dr. George Carlo: Back in the '80s, when cell phone technology was converting from a military tool to a consumer tool, the thinking about health effects that was in the public domain, not in the classified domain of the military but in the public domain, was that if you didn't have high power, you didn't have enough energy to heat tissue, and if you couldn't heat tissue, then there could not be health effects. That was based on microwave oven studies and those types of things that have been done in the '60s, '70s, and early '80s.

Dr. George Carlo: Based on the fact that it was low power, the industry was able to convince the regulatory authorities that they should be excluded from pre-market testing. That low-power exclusion is what allowed cell phones to come into commerce with no safety testing at all. Between 1984, when cell phones first came into use, and 1993, when the first question's about health effects in brain cancer were raised, cell phones had no safety testing at all. You had a decade of use where there were no guidelines, no emission guidelines, none of those things.

Dr. George Carlo: Now the program that we ran that I was part of during the '90s, the WTR, some of the things that came out of the WTR program that was put in place to fill in the data gaps, that were there because they were adopting the appropriate pre-market testing, some of those things like genetic damage increases in the risk of tumors up and some other things that were found in that program, had they been found in pre-market testing, cell phones would have had to had been changed before they came into the marketplace, so that the cell phones would not have made it into the marketplace had those data been available.

Dr. George Carlo: That's one of the things that makes this difficult, because you were able to get a product into commerce that permeated through society, never having been tested for safety. When that became clear that it hadn't been tested for safety, there was quite a bit of misinformation then that was put out to the consumers. That's a tragedy. Then, of course, there are some litigation around this even now. Those are some of the things that happened because the low-power exclusion was ill-advised in 1984.

August Brice: Right. You give delicious detail and you explained it perfectly in the book, Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age, [inaudible 00:51:25] interested in getting the background. I love that book. Anyway, you first introduced me probably seven or eight years ago to the precautionary principle.

August Brice: I believe the precautionary principle still holds true. If we can just really quickly go through the effective safeguards, if we want to exercise the precautionary principle, which is basically since we don't really know exactly what's going to happen, let's be careful, let's exercise some smart thinking when using this wireless technology as consumers. What are those basics right now that you-

Dr. George Carlo: Well, the first thing is distance. You want to keep the phone away from you. Distance is your friend because the further away the phone is from your body, the less the intensity of the field is and, therefore, the less of your tissue is exposed. In other words, the further away you are, the less tissue is exposed.

August Brice: Oh, wait. I guess to that point, I measure things all the time. I measured the other day different cases that people had sent us that either filtered the radiation or, in some cases, there was that one case that had an antenna that you pull out of the case and then the signal became a lot stronger, and the measurement of power density, which is what my meters measure, actually went down.

Dr. George Carlo: Right. But let's say that ... Again, you're measuring the physics, but let's say that the person was in between that antenna and the base station that they had to connect to. Now that signal has to go through the person to get to the base station.

August Brice: Oh, which is just such a scary concept.

Dr. George Carlo: Yeah, it is, but it's real.

August Brice: But this is how the energy works. This energy travels through walls, it travels through us, it's everywhere, but still if we can at least avoid being right up against that energy, we're better off. That's what you're saying.

Dr. George Carlo: That's what I'm saying. We're better off. That helps. Look, there are also some products out there that change the energy field a little bit. They change the wave forms by filtering it, by having it go through mesh. Some of those things are actually helpful from the physics point of view.

August Brice: You're not talking about the discs that you place on the phone.

Dr. George Carlo: Well, I don't want to talk about any particular product, but in general, some of those technologies that alter the wave forms can be helpful. Well, you can't really measure it because what your meters are measuring are really coherent signals that they're able to resonate with. If you have an incoherent signal, your meter won't pick it up. It's the incoherent signals that trigger the biological response in most cases.

August Brice: But we cannot be sure if those discs or filters are working.

Dr. George Carlo: Right. You cannot be sure. That's why when you talk about taking precautions, if there's a precaution that you can take that makes some sense, it's worth doing, keeping in mind there's no silver bullet. There isn't one thing that's protective. You have to do what we call primary prevention, which is minimize exposure, distance, alter the physics if you can, all of those. That's primary prevention.

Dr. George Carlo: Secondary prevention is making sure that our adaptive capacity is high. That has to do with the biology, the things that you do. You eat well, you exercise, you make sure that you get good sleep, all of those things. That increases your adaptive capacity. That's secondary prevention.

Dr. George Carlo: Then there also is tertiary prevention. If you get sick, you have to figure out how to handle the illness of electro-hypersensitivity. That's a place where we don't have a lot of answers yet because the medical community has not joined in the effort. That's one place that I think we need to, as scientists and as public policy people, we have to focus on the medical community so that they understand the steps that can be taken in a clinical setting.

August Brice: Aren't you leading that with the Adaptation Project?

Dr. George Carlo: Well, with the adaptation project, that's exactly what we're trying to do. We have some doctors and clinicians who are working with us. We're able to give people some suggestions for how to increase their adaptive capacity, along with those primary prevention steps, minimizing exposure, using a headset, putting the phone in airplane mode, don't sleep with it next to you at night, all of those things. That's part and partial to the secondary prevention aspects that we're doing in terms of increasing adaptive capacity.

August Brice: I just want to cover once more those filters, those discs, addons to the phones. What you're saying is you might as well get all of them because they might work? It's loaded. I know it's loaded. See, I prefer not to recommend anything unless I know that it works 100% of the time, because then people have this false sense of security. They're going to put a disc on the phone and hold it up to their head and say, "Look, I'm a superhero."

Dr. George Carlo: You are absolutely correct. I agree with you. The only mitigation in there is that we can never prove exactly what those things do and how they do it.

August Brice: Exactly. We can't prove that they don't hurt us and we can't prove that they do help us, just like ... That's the whole thing about the cell phones. The argument seems to be out there. Well, have we proven that they're safe? Well, have we proven that they're not safe? It goes both ways. To me, I feel really comfortable because I can feel the energy, knowing that the further away I am from it, the better I feel, and I want to share that awareness with people because I continue to say just because you can't feel it or see it or touch it doesn't mean it's not affecting your body in some way. Don't be afraid. It's just like wearing a seatbelt. Let's just be practical.

Dr. George Carlo: Right. You're absolutely correct. It's like the old saying, we're up the creek, but we do have a paddle. That's what we have to do. The science and the technology, all of that is part of the paddle up, but we just don't have it all worked out yet.

August Brice: Well said, Dr. Carlo. Thank you for bringing some clarity for this very complicated subject, which doesn't have to complicated.

Dr. George Carlo: That's correct. Okay, until the next time.

August Brice: Yes. Thank you.

Announcer: You've been listening to the Tech Wellness Podcast from, your hosts, Dr. George Carlo and August Brice. It's news, information, and analysis designed to bring understanding, awareness, and balance to our relationship with technology. Please subscribe and share this podcast and visit us at

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