We are conducting an”uncontrolled and unplanned field experiment on humans”. Professor Franz Adlkofer, Research Scientist, Verum Foundation Germany
Our world has changed. The wireless world has exploded. Mobiles, laptops, tablets, baby-monitors, cordless DECT phones and the ever present wi-Fi are part of our life. However, all these devices emit electro-magnetic frequencies which surround us. We can’t see, touch or smell these frequencies but they are potentially harmful. This ‘electro- pollution’ is affecting every one of us, every day.
Living with a class 2B Carcinogen
In 2011, 31 scientists from 14 countries were consulted by the World Health Organisation about the health effects. They concluded that the emissions from these devices are a Class 2B carcinogen. Lead, DTT, diesel fumes and chloroform are also on this list. However not many of us are exposing ourselves or our children 24 hours a day to these toxins.
Historically items on this list do not move down or get taken off. They tend to move up i.e. to the 2A category which means they are carcinogenic.
Cause of harm – Thermal effects
The health effects from this non-ionising radiation are as thermal effects and non-thermal effects. Lets look at the thermal effect first. We know mobile phones and DECT phones heat tissue. The question is does this heating cause cancer or any other disease.
In the case of brain tumours, people who have used a mobile phone for 10 years or longer have a 20% increase in risk (when the cell phone is used on both sides of the head). For people who have used a cell phone for 10 years or longer predominantly on one side of the head, there is a 200% increased risk of a brain tumour. This information relies on the combined results of many brain tumour/cell phone studies taken together (a meta-analysis of studies).
We do have safety standards to address this. The Standard Absorption Rate (SAR) limits the heating that is allowable. However to test for this SAR a mobile of the human head is used which many feel is a flawed assessment. The model head is one density unlike the human head and brain. Plus it is created using the head of a US military recruit on the 90th percentile. The average man weighs approximately 70g. A military recruit’s weight is approximately 100g. Women and children are lighter and have smaller heads. Children have thinner skulls and more water within their brain. Basically the thermal effect will penetrate further into their brain.
Consequently many do not feel that this assessment method gives us an adequate safety standard. Indeed many scientists consider that there is no safe level of exposure.
Also many other parts of the body can be exposed to the thermal heating effect. Breasts and testicles have no bone shielding and they are made of fatty watery tissue so they absorb very well. This potentially makes them more vulnerable to thermal heating.
Keep phones away from your head
This is the recommendation of the mobile phone industry. If you read the small print in any phone user manual it will say that you should hold the device away from your body.
Non-thermal biological effects
Many experts consider the thermal heating effect could be the tip of the iceberg.
Of second and perhaps even greater concern is what is know as non-thermal biological effects.
Louise Gittleman author of Zapped: Why Your Cell phone shouldn’t be your Alarm Clock summarises this as ‘You may not be able to see electro-pollution, but your body responds to it as though it were a cloud of toxic chemicals’.
In the BioInitiative Report which was written by 14 scientists, public health and public policy experts it states:
It appears it is the information conveyed by electromagnetic radiation (rather than the heat) that causes biological changes – some of these biological changes may lead to loss of wellbeing, disease and even death.
Over 80% of studies carried out with public funding conclude there is an effect on our organisms.
We know that we are ‘electro-magnetic’ beings. For example an electro-cardiogram checks your heart’s rhythm and electrical activity. Natural low level electromagnetic frequencies regulate bodily functions and numerous well documented peer-reviewed studies show that exposure to EMFs interfere with those functions. Studies have shown:
- biological dis-regulation
- impaired cognitive function
- reduced fertility
- damaged DNA
- affects on our immune system
- increased incidence of acute and chronic conditions, including cancers, heart irregularities, difficulty sleeping, joint pain, dizziness, tinnitus and stress
EMFs create damage
We are all fighting cancer every day on a molecular level. There is DNA breakage and little problems all the time. But our body is good at fixing these problems and we have lots of fail safe mechanisms and ways of correcting that damage and fixing it as it occurs. The problem is that EMF creates more damage and reduces our ability to correct damage. It saturates repair mechanisms and we slip into disease process.
At a cellular level exposure to EMFs increases calcium movement through the wall of the cell – the cell membrane. That can set up a nitric oxide cycle with produces reactive oxygen species. This is a process called oxidative stress and it damages tissue. It contributes to the ageing process and this can lead to cancer.
EMF exposure can set up this very negative cycle. But this is one of many mechanisms for damage.
Too much calcium in the cell can lead to other damage. For example mitochondria the powerhouse of the cell can be affected as can the DNA inside it.
Calcium flooding into the cell can damage gap functions in the cell membrane.
Itcanaffectcelldeathi.eprogrammedapoptosis. Itcanincreasetherateofapoptosis causing degeneration of tissue. Equally it can stop cell death or apoptosis and allow cells to replicate even when they are defective.
In a study funded by the telecommunications industry researchers examined the effect of exposure on our DNA. The method of examination was what is know as a comet assay test. Researches took DNA and put it in an alkaline solution. Any damaged parts of DNA move away from the ball of DNA so you end up with what looks like a comet.
They exposed DNA to gamma irradiation (1600 chest X-rays). This is ionising radiation and is known to be harmful and the mechanism for damage is well understood.
They also exposed DNA to 24 hour mobile phone radiation at allowable guidelines. The damage in both instances was very similar.
Red Blood Cells
Healthy red blood cells are mutually repellant. They bounce off each other. Research has shown that when exposed to EMFs they lose their negative charge which is what makes them mutually repellant and they stack up like coins. This is a pathological process which stops them doing their function and carrying oxygen correctly.
An autoimmune disorder occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys healthy body tissue by mistake. There are more than 80 types of autoimmune disorders.
One environmental stress that is being correlated with immune system disorders is the stress of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the body.
So what happens in your body when it encounters the EMFs flooding into it? EMFs are perceived by your immune system as outside invaders, and therefore it creates stress hormones that flood your body and stress your nervous system. This increase can lead to sleep disorders, depressed immunity, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, premature ageing, neurological problems, and more.
Equally EMFs can over-stimulate the immune system, then suppress it and decrease T- lymphocyte production. T-lymphocytes orchestrate the immune system’s response to infected or malignant cells.
EMFs cause chronic inflammation in the body. Inflammation has been linked with cellular/ tissue/organ damage, cancer, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, neurological diseases, and Alzheimer’s.
EMFs trigger the immune system to release inflammatory substances such as histamines and cytokines as a protective mechanism. These markers of inflammation have been shown to highly correlate with asthma and other allergic reactions.
The effects of EMF exposure on male fertility are well documented. The number of sperm, their motility – the way they swim and their morphology – the way they look are all affected. There are fewer studies on female eggs but there is more cause for concern in that you have all of them at birth. There is no repair mechanism and damage could be passed on to the next generation.
For example rodents exposed to mobile radiation at allowable limits were completely infertile after five generations.
We are jeopardising our genetic material and the lives of future generations” Camilla Rees, electro-magnetic health.org.
Minimise, shield or harmonise
If you are concerned about EMF exposure there are three ways you can improve matters. Firstly and crucially limit your exposure levels. Put your mobile on airplane mode at night, turn off the wi-Fi, turn any device you are not using off. Secondly there are shielding materials, such as paint or fabric which can be used to create EMF free zones. The third option is to use harmonising devices which you stick to your devices. If you are interested to know more about harmonising devices then visit www.energydots.co.uk or Lucy on 01803 782008.
The World Health Organsiation – www.who.int/peh-emf/ The BioInitiative Report 2007
Council of Europe Paper 2011
The Seletun Scientific Statement – 2011
Resolution of Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection – 2011