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4 december 2015 – “illinoisreview.typepad.com”, by Nancy Thorner


The public has been intentionally misled by industry and utility propaganda to believe that smart meters are safe because cell phones are safe. The usual defensive comment is that a smart meter will emit less Radio Frequency Radiation (RFR) than a cell phone call. So why should we worry?

This link conveys the findings of Dr. George Carlo, who oversaw the comprehensive research group Wireless Technology Research (WTR) commissioned by the cell phone industry in the mid-1990s. When Carlo’s research began to reveal how there were indeed serious health concerns with cell phones, the industry sought to bury the results. Carlo’s research has since been validated by a wealth of subsequent studies and has continuing relevance given the ubiquity of wireless devices.

“The main health concern with electromagnetic radiation emitted by wireless technologies is that EMF and RF cause a breakdown in the communication between cells in the body, interrupting DNA repair and weakening tissue and organ function.”

In an article entitled “Radiation from Wireless Technology Affects the Blood, the Heart, and the Autonomic Nervous System” (November 2013), Dr. Magda Havas addresses the health conditions that most individuals would find a moreimminent threat than the long-term carcinogenic effects discussed in Part 1.  According to Dr. Havas, symptoms that can appear as an early-warning signal of excessive RF radiation exposure are “fatigue, sleep disturbance, headaches, feeling of discomfort, difficulty concentrating, depression, memory loss, visual disruptions, irritability, hearing disruptions, skin problems, cardiovascular problems, dizziness, loss of appetite, movement difficulties, and nausea.” Dr. Havas has coined the phrase, “Rapid Aging Syndrome” to cover many of the health effects caused by radio frequency radiation exposure.

Is Anyone Sounding the Alarm?

In May 2015, 190 scientists from 39 nations submitted an appeal to the United Nations, UN member states, and the World Health Organization (WHO) requesting they adopt more protective exposure guidelines for electromagnetic fields (EMF) and wireless technology in the face of increasing evidence of risk.  The International EMF Scientist Appeal calls upon the United Nations and the World Health Organization to address the emerging public health crisis related to cell phones, wireless devices, wireless utility [smart] meters and wireless infrastructure in neighborhoods and to substantially reduce human exposures to non-ionizing radiation.

Although it is not as well known to the public, Lloyds of London considers the risk too high to cover claims for illnesses related to RF exposure from cell phone use. The Electromagnetic Fields Exclusion 32 states, “The purpose of the exclusion is to exclude cover for illnesses caused by continuous long-term non-ionizing radiation exposure through mobile phone usage. We will not make any payment on your behalf for any claim, or incur any costs and expenses, or reimburse you for any loss, damage, legal expenses, fees or costs sustained by you, or pay any medical expenses. This would include the microwave radiation and electromagnetic radiation emitted from Smart Meters.

An A. M. Best bulletin in 2013 is entitled, “Emerging Technologies Pose Significant Risks with Possible Long-Tail Losses.” RF (Radio Frequency) Radiation Risk is at the top of the list and mentions the “risks associated with long term use of cell phones”. “Insurance companies need to monitor the manner in which emerging technologies are deployed; the risks associated with their use; their residual or unintended impacts; and the manner in which the insurance policies may be called upon to cover losses.”

The Industry Has Ignored the Warnings over Decades

Dr. George Carlo, mentioned above, was head of the WTR which began in 1993 to research the possibility of brain tumors and any other health issues related to cell phone use. Six years later, frustrated over inactivity by the industry to inform and protect the public, Dr. Carlo wrote the following letter to the CEO of AT&T.  Below are letter excerpts:

At the annual convention of the CTIA (The Wireless Association), I met with the full board of that organization to brief them on some surprising findings from our work. My understanding is that all segments of the industry were represented. At that briefing, I specifically reported: The rate of death from brain cancer among [cell phone] users was higher than the rate of brain cancer death among those who used [non-wireless] phones;

  • The risk of acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor of the auditory nerve that is well in range of the radiation coming from a phone’s antenna, was fifty percent higher in people who reported using cell phones for six years or more, moreover, that relationship between the amount of cell phone use and this tumor appeared to follow a dose-response curve;
  • The risk of rare neuro epithelial tumors on the outside of the brain was more than doubled, a statistically significant risk increase, in cell phone users as compared to people who did not use cell phones;
  • There appeared to be some correlation between brain tumors occurring on the right side of the head and the use of the phone on the right side of the head;
  • Laboratory studies looking at the ability of radiation from a phone’s antenna to cause functional genetic damage were definitively positive.

Today, I sit here extremely frustrated and concerned that appropriate steps have not been taken by the wireless industry to protect consumers. I am concerned that the wireless industry is dealing with these public health concerns through politics, creating illusions that more research over the next several years helps consumers today, and false claims that regulatory compliance means safety. Alarmingly, indications are that some segments of the industry have ignored the scientific findings and have repeatedly and falsely claimed that wireless phones are safe for all consumers including children.

The most important measure of consumer protection is missing: complete and honest factual information to allow informed judgment by consumers about assumption of risk. I am especially concerned about what appear to be actions by a segment of the industry to [enlist] the FCC, the FDA and WHO with them in following a non-effectual course.”    

Two years before Dr. Carlo wrote his letter (January 1997), “Microwave News” published “Motorola, Microwaves and DNA Breaks: ‘War-Gaming’ the Lai-Singh Experiments”. Doctors Lai and Singh were the research team that discovered how Radio Frequency microwaves could cause DNA breaks (a precursor to Cancer). An industry media strategy was immediately devised to “war-game” the science as “it could throw previous notions of RF safety into question”.

The Industry Charade Continues Even Now

In November 2015 the “Wall Street Journal” reported on a case that is pending in the courts over cell phone radiation and brain cancer. Representatives for Motorola and the other defendants referred questions to the CTIA (the wireless industry trade group), which said in a typical industry statement: “peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public health risk for adults or children.”

However, in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, cellphone manufacturers and wireless carriers specifically acknowledge the risk posed by health-related lawsuits. “We may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits,” Verizon wrote in its 2015 annual filing. “In addition, we may be required to pay significant awards or settlements.”

It has come to Thorner’s attention that brain tumors developed in each of the 5 engineers who tested cell phones.   At least 4 of the 5 have since died. “Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette” was written by Robert C. Kane, Ph.D., one of the engineers who lost his life to a brain tumor.

Dr. Kane’s book, published in 2001, “is a historical accounting of the research that has been available for forty years and has been neglected or buried by an industry that will place its absolute need to sell products above the health and well-being of its own customers. What you will find here is a litany of hundreds of research studies from the 1950s through the mid-1990s… alarming in their findings of radiation exposure, DNA damage, chromosome damage, tissue damage, radiation absorption, cataract formation, tumor formation, memory loss, motor skills degradation, and more.”

As one of the developers of cellular phones, R.C. Kane knows that “RF and microwave energy can be readily absorbed within the human body and that excessive energy absorption leads to tissue damage and death.” Plus “the frequency range most efficient at depositing Radio Frequency Radiation energy deep into muscle and brain tissue was assigned to cellular phones”(the same frequency emitted by smart meters).

Following are two quotes from Dr. Kane’s book, “Cellular Telephone Russian Roulette”:

“In 1994, work by various researchers found “that a substantial amount of the Radio Frequency Radiation is deposited into the user’s brain and converted to heat. These researchers have reported that from 50 percent to more than 90 percent of the radio frequency energy is absorbed by the user.”

“That energy absorption leads to a dangerous temperature increase. Most of the temperature rise associated with the energy absorption takes place in the first 60 to 90 seconds of exposure.” The wireless industry has suggested that users ‘concerned about the effects of radiation should make short calls to reduce the hazards of operation’. From what the research data indicates, a short call would need to be much less than one minute. In other words, based on these research findings and the industry’s warnings cell phones should not be used.”

According to Dr. Kane:  “it is known that RF energy absorption causes heating in tissue that has three primary effects: (1) tissue destruction and death; (2) inhibition of normal cell growth through depression of enzyme activity; and (3) increase in membrane permeability. Since the human brain has little, if any, sensory capability, damage or trauma occurring internally will not be felt until the effects, such as heating, are so severe that they work their way outward. So, by the time a person, exposed to radio frequency radiation, feels pain at the skin that skin is irreversibly damaged, as is the deeper tissue beneath the skin.”

The Industry Creates its Own “Belief System”

In addressing the industry agenda, Dr. Kane had this to say:

“Business as usual amounts to utilizing their substantial resources to employ the various media to broadcast the industry ‘belief system’ that renounces or buries unfavorable scientific findings. A solid body of evidence confirms that: (1) cell phones expose operators to dangerous and highly damaging levels of radio frequency energy absorption; (2) the manufacturers, service providers, government, and scientists have been aware of the hazards; and (3) the manufacturers, service providers, and government have not warned the public.”

This appropriate warning came from Dr. Carlo, spotlighted earlier as head of the WTR:

“When you put the science together, we come to the irrefutable conclusion that there is a major health crisis coming, probably already underway. Not just cancer, but also learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and psychological and behavioral problems—all mediated by the same mechanism (RFR).”

“That is why we are so worried. Time is running out.”



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