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Time for science-based Mobile Phone etiquette

The harmfulness of cellphone radiation is proven beyond reasonable doubt by now as shown in this blog (see “Cellphone hazards proven beyond doubt“).

Therefore, if you wish to be polite and considerate you need to avoid exposing people to the radiation from your phone.

Here is an excerpt from our guidelines found at “Mobile Phone Etiquette“.


Most important:

Avoid calling close to other people

Because of the proven harmfulness of mobile radiation it is not polite and considerate to use mobile phones in situations where other people have to be close to you. Therefore, we suggest you follow thesse guidelines:

Don’t call in situations where people cannot withdraw:

  • In elevators especially as the radiation is often very strong here
  • In queues
  • In restaurants
  • In meetings, conferences and lectures
  • In cinemas, theatres, music shows and similar
  • In all kinds of vehicles where you travel with others.The radiation is increased in vehicles because the metal walls reflect it. See for example “Trains ‘trap’ mobile phone radiation” (BBC Health), quote:

    Research carried out by scientists in Japan suggests that using a mobile phone inside a train carriage could have serious health risks for other passengers.

Don’t call close to especially delicate people

For more, see: “Mobile Phone Etiquette“.

For understanding why, read: “Safety advice“.

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Mobile phones will not cause an epidemic of brain tumors, because such tumors are rare

WHO’s warning about increased brain tumor risk from mobile phone usage has scared many. But there is no cause for great concern. This is because brain tumors are rare.

For example, professor Lennart Hardell in Orebro university, Sweden, found a 390% increase in one kind of brain tumor, and of course this sounds daunting. But in absolute terms that meant an increase of only two in one thousand. Other tumors had a smaller increase.

Therefore there is no reason to have a great fear of brain tumors because you have been using a mobile phone. The risk is small even if it is increased by mobile phone radiation exposure. But it is wise to limit phone use primarily for other reasons:

It is possible to reduce the risks

Knowledge is being developed how to reduce cancer risk. Research suggests that free radicals play a key role in in the development of tumors. Therefore it is advisable to  increase your intake of antioxidants.

Also regarding the other negative effects on the brain, free radicals probably play an important role. So in any case, do increase your use of antioxidants.

Reduce the exposure

In essence, minimize the time you use the phone. Usa a land-line whenever possible.

For details, see our advice on how to reduce exposure in the article “Safety advice“.

Do not force others to be exposed

Don’t call in situations where other people cannot move away from you like in elevators, busses, trains, restaurants etc.

For more details, see “Mobile phone etiquette

Copyright PSRAST 2013. May be quoted provided you mention the URL the heading of the source and “by PSRAST”.

Bees are affected by mobile phone radiation

A cause of the mass death of bees?

 

Bee workers sound distress signals

The sounds of bees in beehives were registered before and during exposure to mobile phone radiation. Drastic changes occurred in the latter case. Worker bees started “piping”, a sound that they generate to signal a disturbance in the bee colony.

Source: Mobile phone-induced honeybee worker piping

Navigation impaired – leading to collapse of colonies

In 2007 a study reported that DECT phone microwaves interferred with the navigation skills of the bees and this lead to the death to bee colonies. The research was done by physicist Jochen Kuhnat Koblenz-Landau university, Germany.

Source: “Mobile phones and dying bees

However this research has been critisized for usin very strong radiation – DECT stations placed inside hives, so this would not prove that more normal radiation is harmful.

A more recent study does indeed indicate that also more modest radiation distubs the navigation of bees. It was done by  Dr. Sainuddin Pattazhy, an environmentalist and reader [an academic title for a professors- competent scientist not holding a professorate] in Zoology from Kerala.

The study reported that when a cellphone was kept near a bee hive, bee foragers didn’t return to the hive and the colony population dwindled within five to ten days.

Source: Beekeeping times

How bee navigation is disturbed

In a ‘Statement’ issued in April 2007, Dr. Ulrich Warnke of the University of Saarland mentioned clearly that man-made electric, magnetic and electromagnetic fields disturb orientation and navigation of bees. He stated that this was the conclusion reached based on results of research done by him and other scientists. The research findings are:

(a) the integuments of bees have semiconductor and piezoelectric functions. This means they are transducers of pulse modulated high frequency microwave-fields into an audio frequency range. Several constructions of the integument work like dielectric receptors of electromagnetic radiation in the microwave region.

(b) Magnetite nanoparticlesare found in the abdomen of bees.

(c) Magnetite is an excellent absorber of microwave radiation at frequencies between 0.5 and 10.0 GHz through the process of ferromagnetic resonance. Pulsed microwave energy absorbed by this process is first transduced into acoustic vibrations (magneto acoustic effect).

(d) Free-flying honeybees are able to detect static intensity fluctuations and ultra low frequency magnetic fields as weak as 26 nT against the background earth-strength magnetic field.

(e) Magnetic field (MF) bursts at a frequency of 250 Hz oriented parallel to the field-lines of the earth magnetic field induce unequivocal jumps of misdirection of up to +10°. And,

(f) the magnetic induction levels in the environment are in the extremely low frequency range usually between 0,001 and 170 μT; in the high frequency range between several nT and several μT. So these levels are commonly higher than the threshold of sensibility of bees to variations of magnetic fields.

On balance the consequence of all this investigations is that orientation and navigation of bees may be disturbed by man-made technical communication fields.

Universität des Saarlandes
Dr. rer. nat. Ulrich Warnke
Fakultät 8
FB 8.3 Biowissenschaften
Geb B6 8, Bot. Garten

Postfach 151150
66041 Saarbrücken

Source: Statement by Dr. Ulrich Warnke on bee nagivation.

Comment

There exists observations that bees are affected by cellphone radiation. A disturbance of their navigation ability can be theoretically explained. So there are reasons to suspect that mobile phone radiation may contribute to the mass death of bees in the US and Europe.

However the use of a certain pesticides,  the neonicotinoids, have also been implicated, and these are now banned in 27 European countries.  Scientists believe that the mass death of bees may be the result of a combined effect of various concurring envirionmental factors including mobile phone radiation, pesticide damage and parasite diseases (varrola).

The loss of bee pollination may have serious consequences for agriculture resulting in an important decrease of productivity and consequent food scarcity.

WHO expert found to be mobile phone lobbyist

The Chairman of WHO:s expert group for assessing the cancer hazards of mobile phones, professor Anders Ahlbom, is the founder of a lobby firm for supporting mobile phone industry interests. His brother Gunnar runs the firm. This was recently discovered by investigative journalist Mona Nilsson. Ahlbom is renowned for his active support of mobile phones in various contexts since over a decade, but not until now has his partiality been revealed.

Ahlbom chairs the expert group on epidemiolgy at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organisation (WHO). He did not disclose this conflict of interest when he was appointed as chairman. He was dismissed from the expert group, right before he was to lead the international conference of IARC on the hazards of electromagnetic radiation.

Mona Nilsson writes in her Press Release about Ahlbom, that was issued one week before said conference (our highlightings)

– The industry-loyal scientists are easy to recognize. They systematically repeat a set of policy messages that counter the results of independent scientists and coincide with the interests of the industry. This is crystal clear in the case of Professor Ahlbom, who has dismissed all studies indicating health risks or biological effects whenever he has chaired an expert panel on this subject. He even denies the results of his own research if it indicates a health risk. * There is no doubt he speaks to the benefit of the industry.

Source: Conflict of interest at the WHO Press release May 23rd 2011 by Mona Nilsson.

Comment

We have been appalled by the flat denial of the European Union and WHO of any risks of mobile phone radiation, referring to their experts. This denial comes into a new light now that it was revealed that one of the most influential scientists in the whole world is heavily biassed in favor of cellphones. As a chairman of the most important and authoritative expert group in the world on this issue, he has had ideal preconditions for suppressing and distorting the truth about the dangers of cellphone radiation.

This is a blatant case of bias, further confirming our opinion that the denial of cellphone hazards by WHO, EU, the US and others has only been possible because their scientific advisors are biassed or corrupt. This is because the evidence proving that mobile phone radiation is harmful is so strong that any competent and impartial scientists will inevitably conclude that it is hazardous. For more, see our website section “Corrupt Science“.

More

The famous Interphone Cellphone Study is greatly flawed

A group of 50 experts has shown that the the Interphone study covering 13 countries is deeply flawed.

After thorough analysis they concluded that it has several serious methodological flaws, all of which distort the result in the same direction, so that the risk of cancer seems considerably smaller than it really is.

This is highly suspect. If the errors were caused accidentally, or due to ignorance (which is highly unlikely because many highly competent researchers were involved), at least some of the errors would have had the opposite effect. A fairly good measure of skill and creativity is required to be able to distort an epidemiological study in a way that all the flaws cause a dimininuition of the apparent risk. Here is a list of the most important flaws.

Deficiencies in Interphone study

  • Insufficiently exposed subjects were included. It is very well known that brain tumors appear after at least 10-15 years of exposure to radiation. A significant majority of the subjects had been exposed for less than 10 years (the result is a great underestimation of risk).
  • Exclusion of exposed people. Users of the cordless phones were considered “unexposed” to microwaves, although the exposure to this radiation is the same as from mobile phones (this gives the false impression that brain tumors occur more frequently than they actually do among unexposed persons, which is an imporant source of error, because the use of cordless phones is very widespread).
  • Exclusion of children and young adults. This is a serious deficiency, because young people are particularly prone to develop brain tumors (again, this leads to an underestimation of risk).
  • Exclusion of many types of brain tumors  causes an underestimation of risk.
  • Exclusion of people who had died of brain tumors, or were too ill to be interviewed. This causes an underestimation of the risk.
  • A too large proportion of invited people refused to participate (41%). The general opinion among scientists is that when such a large proportion has refused to participate in a study, it precludes the possibility to make reliable conclusions. Scientific journals do not usually accept reports from trials with such a large proportion of refusals because it is considered to have no scientific value.

This is fraudulent science

These flaws are so numerous, serious and elementary that it seems extremely unlikely that they have occurred by accident. In plain language, this is most likely the case of fraudulent research.

These flaws are of the same nature as those found in other industry-sponsored studies, see Research misconduct behind industry-sponsored studies?
It seems likely that many of the participant reachers have been openly or covertly industry-sponsored, because no competent or serious research institutions would want to participate in so flawed research out of concern for its reputation (a researcher or an institution’s reputation is important for its credibility and ability to receive research grants – if they do participate, there is the danger that they become completely dependent on the industry for funding, because independent funds do not support researchers and research institutes that produce obviously flawed studies).

The study is meaningless – confirms what is known since long time

The study is basically meaningless. If it would have lacked said methodological shortcomings, it would, at most, have proved what one already knows, namely that it takes more than 10 years to develop visible brain tumors.

The suspicion arises that the industry wanted to make a big media story of a this useless material in the same way as many times before when it sponsored studies on people with too short exposition to develop brain tumors. Every time that such a study was published, the industry made a global media drive using it for “informing” people that cell phone radiation is harmless.

Source 1: Hardell group’s re-analysis of the Interphone methods

The more you call the greater brain tumor risk

390% increased risk for brain tumors

Professor Lennart Hardell, Sweden has made a large study with 1251 cases of brain tumors compared to controls. The risk increased the more years and the more hours per year the phone had been used. The increased risk was 390% for mobile phones and 190% for cordless phones. The greatest risk was for Astrocytoma, the most common malignant brain tumor.

Below you find a brain scan showing a tumor at the right side (blue rounded area), close to were the mobile phone had been held.

Comment

This study that was of high scientific quality, differently from most industry-sponsored studies, showed a clear dose-response relationship between the amount of radiation and risk.

This adds importantly to the evidence that mobile phone radiation increases the risk for brain tumors. The evidence, based on a scientific interdisciplinary assessment (and not just epidemiological evidence), has actually long been strong enough to conclude that mobile phones cause brain tumors. Almost only industry-sponsored studies indicate the opposite, while almost all independent studies have reported an increased risk.

This study adds to our conviction that industry-sponsored epidemiological studies finding no tumor risk are faked and should not be considered, see also Corrupt Science at our website. Even if the methodology of professor Hardell is of high quality, epidemiology has such weakness that it cannot be used solely for assessing risk, see “Mobile phone risks are considerably underestimated“.


Cordless phones doubled the heart rate

The intensity of exposure was 200 times lower than approved by safety norms

Cordless phones impacted heart rate according to research by Professor Magda Havas of Trent University, Canada. See diagram below.

Doubling of heart rate during exposure to cordless phone radiation

“DECT” marks the period of exposition to cordless phone radiation. Immediately at the start of radiation exposure, the pulse frequency almost doubled (lower blue peaks – 122 and 129 beats per minute respectively) and returned to normal (66 BPM) immediately as the phone was turned off. The subject did not know when he was exposed.

The study was double-blind, that is, neither the subjects nor the experimenters knew when the radiation occurred.

Also, irregular heart beating occurred at exposure.

Most importantly, the radiation exposure was 200 times lower than approved for cellphones, according to federal guidelines in Canada and the US (1000 microW/cm2, 10mW/m2).

Dr Havas emphasizes that the results are relevant for mobile phones as well, because their radiation is in the same intensity and frequency range.

Link to source

Comment by PSRAST

The most important thing with this study is that it shows that normal levels of mobile phone usage can significantly affect a vital bodily function. Consequently it overthrows the notion that mobile radiation can only have thermal effects (local warming), a notion that lies at the basis of of current safety standards. This result indicates that the radiation intensity has to be lowered considerably to ensure that no adverse health effects arise from radiation.

It is conceivable that this effect occurs through the sudden large influx of calcium in the heart, as demonstrated by other research (Rao et al). Sudden calcium influx into cardiac cells has been found to trigger irregular heart beat (Bjorn Knollman, Vanderbilt University). The effect on calcium flow is instantaneous. It is striking that the heart rate increase in the study above also was instantaneous. One can speculate on the possibility that the microwave pulsation may maintain the frequencyincrease.

Reference

Rao VS, Titushkin IA, Moros EG, Pickard WF, Thatte HS, Cho MR. Nonthermal effects of radiofrequency-field exposure on calcium dynamics in stem cell-derived neuronal cells: elucidation of calcium pathways. Radiat Res. 2008 Mar;169(3):319-29.

Addition

Replication obstructed

At our website we commented in 2010:

“Further confirmation of this kind of result as planned by Dr Olle Johansson would cost the mobile phone industry billions, because all phones need to be rebuilt and the base station network will have to be adapted to the reduced radiation levels which will be extremely costly. Therefore the industry can be expected to use their huge power to “neutralize” this threat in every possible way including the usual suppression of research with obstruction of “undesirable” research, harrassment of scientists, generation of falsified research and unfounded bagatellizing statements by corrupt top scientists, see Corrupt Science“.

Unfortunately, the foreboded obstruction did happen. Professor Olle Johansson, who works at the Karolinska Institute, was prevented by the Institute to carry through the planned replication because his lab was taken away from him almost immediately after he had declared the intention to do the replication.

A coincidence? What we know is that the Institute has obtained at least one big grant from the Mobile Phone Industry. Also the Karolinska Institute is ranked among the top research institutes in the world, famous for being responsible for selecting the Nobel Prize winners in medicine. A replication from such a prestigious institute would have had especially strong weight.