CELL PHONES: Questions and Answers

by Arthur Firstenberg

view as PDF: in English en français in italiano

How much radiation does a cell phone emit, compared to what exists in nature?

If Neil Armstrong had brought a cell phone to the moon in 1969, it would have appeared from earth to be the brightest object in the universe in the microwave spectrum. In the daytime, the sun would have been brighter, but at night, the cell phone would have outshone every star.

There is a reason cell phones are outlawed in Green Bank, West Virginia: even a single cell phone, even from miles away, would blind the radio astronomers there and make it impossible for them to see the stars. Astronomers measure radio waves in units called janskys. A typical star shines at 10 to 100 janskys. The Sun shines at about 500,000 janskys. When you hold a cell phone against your head, you are pumping energy at the rate of about 100,000,000,000,000 janskys into your brain.[1]

How does that compare to radiation from a cell tower?

Suppose there is a 2,000-watt cell tower two blocks from your house. The part of your brain next to a cell phone is absorbing up to one hundred thousand times as much radiation from the phone as it is from the tower.[2]

Are the FCC’s exposure limits the same for cell phones and cell towers?

No. Cell phones are exempt from the limits imposed on cell towers. The FCC measures exposure in milliwatts per square centimeter. Depending on frequency, the FCC’s limit for whole body exposure to radiation from distant sources is about one milliwatt per square centimeter (1 mW/cm2). The limit for partial body exposure to a cell phone is approximately 20 mW/cm2 (for the brain), which assumes the phone is held at least one and a half centimeters away from your head. It is 50 mW/cm2 (for the hands, wrists and ears). If you hold the phone flush against your head, like most people do, or tightly between your head and your shoulder, the exposure to the brain can approach 50 mW/cm2 also.[3]

Who set the exposure limits?

A radar scientist named Herman Schwan who was brought to the United States from Germany after World War II as part of Project Paperclip. He made some assumptions about the rate at which the human body is capable of getting rid of heat, and on that basis he estimated that the body could safely absorb an amount of radiation equal to 100 mW/cm2. His assumptions were soon proven wrong, since experimental animals died within minutes when exposed to that much radiation. So over the years, the safe level was reduced first to 10 mW/cm2 and later to the current limit of 1 mW/cm2.

Why is the brain exempt from those limits?

Because those limits would make cell phones impractical. And because new assumptions were made about how much heat the brain could safely absorb, and the rate at which the body could dissipate that heat. It was decided that the brain could be safely heated by up to 1° C (1.8° F).

Have these assumptions proven correct?

No. A 1° C rise in temperature is usually considered a fever. And although the brain as a whole is heated less than 1° C by a cell phone, the absorption is not uniform. DNA, for example, resonantly absorbs microwave radiation. In experiments done at the Food and Drug Administra­tion during the 1980s, DNA absorbed 400 times as much radiation as expected.[4] Research done at the Max Planck Institute in Germany in 2006 found that brain synapses may be resonantly heated by up to 100° C while the brain as a whole is heated by only 1° C.[5]

I don’t get a headache from my cell phone. Can it be that bad?

Because brain tissue has no pain receptors, we don’t feel the injury. Even a headache doesn’t tell you what’s happening inside your head. Neurosurgen Leif Salford and his colleagues in Sweden found that a single two-hour exposure to a cell phone permanently destroys up to two percent of a rat’s brain cells.[6] Superficially the rats are fine, but two percent of their brain is gone. The experiments gave similar results even when the exposure level was reduced a hundredfold. And in experiments on the blood-brain barrier, they reduced the exposure level ten thousandfold and found that damage to the blood-brain barrier was worse when the exposure level was reduced.[7]

That means that holding the phone away from your head does not protect you. It means that if you use a Bluetooth headset, which emits only 2.5 milliwatts, you are doing more damage to yourself than if you hold the phone to your head. The blood-brain barrier keeps bacteria, virusus, and toxic chemicals out of your brain and maintains the brain at constant pressure. Too much intracranial pressure can lead to a stroke.

How fast does the damage to the blood-brain barrier happen?

Leakage of the blood-brain barrier is detectable within two minutes of exposure and probably begins within seconds.

What do the stroke statistics tell us?

The incidence of stroke overall is steady or declining but it is rising in adults younger than 50,[8] and shockingly so in very young adults. A Danish study published in 2016 examined the rate of strokes in people aged 15 to 30. The annual number of strokes in that age group in Denmark rose 50 percent between 1994 and 2012, and the annual number of transient ischemic attacks (mini-strokes) in that age group tripled.[9]

I’m confused. Which is safer, low power or high power?

Neither. The higher the power, the more heat. The lower the power, the more leakage of the blood-brain barrier. The higher the power, the more your metabolism is disturbed.[10] The lower the power, the more calcium leaks out of your

NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION CALLED AGAINST 'SMART' METERS AND GRID

Guidance to governments, legislators, environmental organizations, schools, and religious, political and community leaders.

English   français   italiano   svenska   日本語

Newly Revised and Expanded: RADIO WAVE PACKET What You Need to Know about Wireless Technology

English   français   italiano   norsk     Nederlands  svenska  日本語

 

Available Now!

THE INVISIBLE RAINBOW A History of Electricity and Life

by Arthur Firstenberg paperback $24.95 available from Chelsea Green Publishing

Also available in: Deutsch   Español    Français   Italiano   Norsk   Русский  български   日本語    한국어 (vol. 1)   한국어 (vol. 2)                                                 

“I found it to be a mystery unfolding and could not put it down. This book is very, very important.

– Sandy Ross, Ph.D. President, Health and Habitat, Inc.

“As a medical doctor I found it hard to put down.”

– Bradley Johnson, M.D. Amen Center, San Francisco

“Just as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring warned the mid-twentieth century about the dangers of indiscriminate chemical and pesticide use, Arthur Firstenberg’s Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life provides a comprehensive analysis of the perils of electricity’s proliferation and exposure to its electromagnetic radiation.”

– Kate Showers, Ph.D., University of Sussex

Electricity is at once the spark of life and the undoing of it. To what extent is our present environmental crisis a result of this contradiction? Where, exactly, did the modern epidemics of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease come from, and why are they out of control? Just how dangerous are computers and cell phones? This groundbreaking book supplies the answers to these and other questions. It is a must-read that begins in the year 1746 and explains what has gone wrong and what must change if we are to survive. A breaker of taboos and an antidote to two centuries of denial, this book is uplifting. An entertaining tale and a resource for researchers, it is a road map to how we came to be where we are, and a window to a possible, necessary, more alive future.

 

OUR MISSION The Cellular Phone Task Force is dedicated to halting the expansion of wireless technology because it cannot be made safe. We provide: education to the public concerning electromagnetic pollution (electrosmog) advocacy for an electromagnetically cleaner environment support for individuals disabled by radiation from wireless technology and other sources.