Since speaking with Samet, further details came out from a large study that beamed high levels of phone radiation at rats and mice. While there remain quirks in the findings, the latest evidence still doesn’t find a link between phone radiation and cancer. In response, the FDA said, “Taken together, all of this research ... [has] given us the confidence that the current safety limits for cell phone radiation remain acceptable for protecting the public health.”
It’s also possible that longer-term studies and cancer incidence tracking will find larger cancer effects in another five or 10 years — or that how we use cellphones is evolving such that the devices may cause cancer in ways these studies didn’t account for. (These days, many people text instead of talking, and hold their cellphones in their pockets but not on their heads and necks.) That’s why some people look to animal studies to supplement our understanding of the potential biological effects of cellphones.
Just as inevitably, worries about brain cancer spawned a market for products that supposedly protect cell phone users. For $62, you can order a Delta Shield, a thin polyester patch that contains a microchip that allegedly renders cell phones harmless. Users are instructed to place the patch on their cell phone battery. The similar BIOPRO Cell Chip, sold online for $35, attaches to the outside of the phone. The penny-size WaveShield 2000 Gold, selling for about $25, fits on the earpiece.
The amount of RF energy absorbed from the phone into the user’s body is known as the specific absorption rate (SAR). Different cell phones have different SAR levels. Cell phone makers are required to report the maximum SAR level of their product to the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This information can often be found on the manufacturer’s website or in the user manual for the phone. The upper limit of SAR allowed in the United States is 1.6 watts per kilogram (W/kg) of body weight.
Every day, we’re swimming in a sea of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) produced by electrical appliances, power lines, wiring in buildings, and a slew of other technologies that are part of modern life. From the dishwasher and microwave oven in the kitchen and the clock radio next to your bed, to the cellular phone you hold to your ear—sometimes for hours each day—exposure to EMR is growing and becoming a serious health threat.
Since 2001, the FCC has allowed manufacturers to test phones at a distance of up to one inch from the body to account for the use of a holster. In a 2012 report, however, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional watchdog agency, noted that many cell phone owners actually keep and use their phones right next to the body, so these outdated testing policies could result in radiofrequency (RF) radiation exposure greater than the FCC’s legal limit (GAO 2012). The GAO report concluded:
The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a fact sheet about these issues, shortly after the IARC re-classification, entitled "Electromagnetic fields and public health: mobile phones". The fact sheet points to the findings of the IARC and describes some of the known short-term and long-term effects of phone use, but ultimately, it lands on the side of where the most conclusive evidence exists:
The researchers found other strange effects that muddied the interpretation of the studies: The rats exposed to cellphones seemed to outlive the rats in the control group, for example. There was no clear linear relationship between higher levels of cellphone exposure and more cancer at some tissue sites, and the cancer rate in the control group was lower than it should have been at other tissue sites.
To check for radiowave emissions, use an RF meter with Near Field antenna. Again, position the antenna loop on the phone (because the entire antenna stem has some sensitivity, it is best to position the entire antenna over the area that will be shielded). Note carefully where the loop is positioned. Make a call and watch the readings. Notice the highest and lowest readings, and make a mental note of the "average" reading. Now, insert the shield, and repeat.
Dr. Carlo, wrote a Medical Alert ten years ago. He cautioned people with EMF sensitivity against relying upon widely-available EMR Protection Products to prevent the effects of EMF exposure. He noted that EMF sensitive individuals were reporting the opposite effect: people found their symptoms and/or sensitivity worsened. Specifically, severe “symptom relapses.” Dr. Carlo noted:
SAR Shield was developed using the P.A.M. SYSTEM® technology. The materials used in the construction of the SAR Shield attract and dissipate electro-magnetic waves. As radiation travels it uses up its energy. What SAR Shield does is it acts like a radiation magnet, constantly attracting the radiation towards it, therefore making it release its energy closer to the phone. This causes most of the radiation to dissapate away from the head and body. SAR Shield does not cause noticeable reduction in signal strength.
Generally speaking, the near-field refers to the RF field close to the antenna and the far-field is the RF field further away from the antenna. Often times when you use your cell phone, your body is often located in the near-field (one wavelength or less) of the cell phone antenna. It is especially concerning when you hold your phone next to your head or wear it on your body as you can be exposed to very intense near-field radiation from the phone.
Most of the research is attributed to "SPSU," which is presumably St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, and some of the research, it is suggested, was conducted at the Kirov Military Medical Academy, though it's unclear why a military academy would conduct clinical research on civilian cell phone radiation. The names of the scientists who conducted these studies are conspicuously absent, as are any published results.
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Many respected scientists join them. “We found no evidence of an increased risk of brain tumors or any other form of cancer” from cell-phone radiation, says John Boice Jr., Sc.D., president of the National Council on Radiation Protection & Measurements and a professor of medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tenn. “The worry should instead be in talking or texting with your cell phone while driving.”
If you want to measure the EMF radiation from your own phone, and know if EMF protection products are working, you should get a quality EMF meter. I highly recommend the new TriField TF2 (read my review) as it’s simple to use, lasts forever, is extremely accurate, and measures all three types of EMF radiation. If you’re looking for a low-cost EMF meter I really like the Meterk (read my review).
Great article. I learned several things that I will put into use with my electronic technology. Thank you. There are numerous EMF/EMR blockers that you can stick on your cell phones, computers, (even microwave ovens for people who still use these). Each brand I’ve researched has the same goal but they’re all different. Are some brands more effective than others? If you can recommend some good brands, I would appreciate your advice. What are good features to look for when selecting the EMF blockers?
2. Our products are designed to provide an anti-radiation barrier between the device and the body. This way, the devices are still usable and able to send and receive signal out of the non-shielded side while shielding the EMF away from the body. Because of this, you will only see a reduction in EMF levels on the shielded side of the device. The test you have conducted shows the highest levels from anywhere around the device.
The science is still out on whether the long-term use of cell phones—which emit electromagnetic radiation when they send and receive signals from towers or WiFi devices—can affect human health. But for people who want to reduce their exposure to this type of energy, the California Department of Public Health has published new guidelines on how to do just that.
That’s why the International EMF Scientist Appeal and a number of health and safety organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Environmental Health Trust, have called on the government to reassess the safe levels of exposure to cellphones and other wireless technology and then develop new consumer safety guidelines based on those assessments, Moskowitz said.
First, studies have not yet been able to follow people for very long periods of time. When tumors form after a known cancer-causing exposure, it often takes decades for them to develop. Because cell phones have been in widespread use for only about 20 years in most countries, it is not possible to rule out future health effects that have not yet appeared.
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We’ll see how it holds up, but out of the box this case is wonderful. No problems at all with it interfering with the cameras or the four microphones in the iPhone 7. In fact, my last case must have interfered with the mics because people I call often are now saying the sound is much better on their end, and this is when the case is closed with speakerphone on. // This case is put together nicely. Good stitching, nice texture. I am a vegan so I feel good using it. // I haven’t used the card or money slots so I can’t speak about those. It’s not important to me anyway. // All-in-all I’m very pleased. I was a little apprehensive spending $35 or whatever amount it was, but this case is quality. Hope it blocks the bad stuff like they say it does. I feel the company is very straightforward and honest in their product information and didn’t make outlandish claims. Great case! // Update, 5 months later. Perfect. Not a stitch broken. It’s holding up extremely well. Very pleased.
The Blocsock came quickly, ordered from the UK which was sent Royal Air Express at no extra cost, and fit my Motorola Triumph perfectly. They sell different sized Blocsocks in different colors, so if you order one, make sure it fits your phone. The Amazon vendor based in the UK, Cell Phone Radiation, was very helpful, answering my email promptly so I knew what model to order for my phone.
"On the same [IARC] scale that said phone use was possibly carcinogenic, smoking is at the highest level. They are class 1 carcinogens; that's beyond doubt, they definitely do cause cancer ... There's an absolute difference between substances, where the evidence says that there is no doubt about the fact that they cause cancer, compared to mobile phones, where they say it is still possible because the data over ten years use still isn't in."
If you're concerned that talking on your cell phone could cook your brain, you may want to invest in an anti-radiation phone case. The basic idea behind these cases is that they redirect the radiation produced by the phone away from the user, so it isn't constantly bombarding your skull. They can accomplish this in a variety of ways; one involves using antennas to redirect the waves, and another uses silicone or other materials to block the waves.
One of the most robust animal studies in the world comes from the US government. In 1999, during the Clinton administration, the Food and Drug Administration asked the National Toxicology Program (NTP) to study the toxicity and cancer-causing capability of cellphone radio-frequency radiation. At the time, health officials felt epidemiological studies in humans wouldn’t answer these questions, so the NTP embarked on studies in rats and mice.
Some scientists have reported that the RF waves from cell phones produce effects in human cells (in lab dishes) that might possibly help tumors grow. However, several studies in rats and mice have looked at whether RF energy might promote the development of tumors caused by other known carcinogens (cancer-causing agents). These studies did not find evidence of tumor promotion.
In subsequent analyses of Interphone data, investigators addressed issues of risk according to specific location of the tumor and estimated exposures. One analysis of data from seven of the countries in the Interphone study found no relationship between brain tumor location and regions of the brain that were exposed to the highest level of radiofrequency radiation from cell phones (9). However, another study, using data from five of the countries, reported suggestions of an increased risk of glioma and, to a lesser extent, of meningioma developing in areas of the brain experiencing the highest exposure (10).