Cell phone scandal: We’re exposed to 3 TIMES the amount of radiation that manufacturers claim
-by Lori Alton
Cell phone radiation – linked to brain cancer, cognitive difficulties and other health problems – is an increasingly troubling concern for natural health advocates and experts. And, with the emergence last month of shocking new research, the stakes have just been raised.
According to data released by a French government agency, 9 out of 10 popular cell phone models exceeded regulatory limits for radiation when re-tested to reflect the ways in which people customarily carry and use them – close to their own bodies. The explosive findings, dubbed as “Phonegate,” have sparked new calls for better testing and regulation of cell phones.
Cell phone use is dangerous when tested under “real-life” conditions
Government agency ANFR (an acronym for France’s National Frequency Agency) tested hundreds of cell phones, including phones made by such major manufacturers as Apple, Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. All the phones had formerly been found to be “compliant” in earlier laboratory tests, which involved measuring radiation absorbed by a liquid-filled test dummy.
However, the tests used a “separation distance” when measuring radiation. When the phones were re-tested in contact with the body of the dummy, a disturbing 90 percent of them exceeded the manufacturer’s radiation test levels, and – in some cases – official limits.
In fact, some of the phones tested up to three times higher than their original readings – quite a disparity.
The French government does not require testing of phones in a “carry position” close to the body. But surveys have shown that a majority of users do indeed carry them that way – in pockets, fanny packs and even bras.
The government agency posted its findings on June 1, 2017 – but only after a court order obtained through the efforts of Dr. Marc Arazi, a French physician and radiation testing expert.
Public warning: If sufficiently tested, most cell phones would be ruled “illegal”
Arazi hailed the release as a “victory for transparency.” Stating he is “deeply concerned” about the dangers of cell phone use – particularly in regards to children, teens and pregnant woman – he continues to counsel against carrying cell phones against the body.
Arazi is now calling on France’s Health and Environmental Ministers and Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention Agency to take immediate action on the new information. Arazi wants the agency to fully inform the public of the dangers of using cell phones close to the body – and to issue new protective policies. (Check out this video concerning Dr. Arazi’s statement)
Dr. Devra Davis, Ph.D., president of Environmental Health Trust, echoes Arazi’s concerns. Calling the test results an “enormous international scandal,” Davis noted that if phones were tested to reflect the way they are used in real life, most would be illegal.
Popular cell phones emit shocking levels of radiation when used close to the body
watts per kilogram – or W/kg – the Specific Absorption Rate is a measurement of the amounts of radiation absorbed by the body. The European Union allows SARs of 2.0 W/kg, while the United States and
Canada permit 1.6 W/kg.
But the catch, of course, is that current regulations allow manufacturers to put a separation distance – usually of 15 millimeters – between the phone and the test dummy.
According to the eye-opening results, testing the phones in close proximity to the body resulted in readings that were higher than the original levels – in some cases, dramatically so.
For instance, when worn close to the body the Nokia 2220 SLIDE tested at 1.94 W/kg – exceeding the allowable SAR for the U.S. – while the Samsung WAVE came in at 2.95 W/kg, over the SAR for the EU. The Samsung Galaxy Beam scored 3.1 W/kg, with the Apple iPhone 5 registering 5.321 and the Motorola Motorlux scoring 5.86.
The high-ringer, the HISENSE SMART 5, tested at a whopping 6.14 – over three times the legal limit.
You can read the results here. Scroll to the farthest column on the right, which reads “DAS tronc (au contact),” to see the relevant figures.
Not good news: French findings parallel Canadian study
In March, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation conducted an investigation of Canadian phones – with similar results. The CBC tested popular phones in a U.S. government-certified testing lab, and found that the SAR levels exceeded both the US and Canadian limits when the phones were tested against the body.
In addition, many users in both nations are often unaware of a required-by-law manufacturer’s warning existing inside cell phones – which advises a “carrying distance” of at least 5 millimeters from the body.
In a survey of over 11,000 Canadians, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation found that 81 percent did not know of the manufacturer’s warning – while 67 percent admitted carrying phones against their bodies.
As the CBC’s video, “The Secret Inside Your Cell Phone,” clearly demonstrates, many Canadian cell phone owners are unable to locate the warning hidden in their phones.
And, in 2016, France’s National Agency of Health Security of Food, Environment and Labour reported that the French public is unaware of the manufacturer’s warning.
Is it likely that U.S. users would fare any better?
You can see the entire CBC video report here.
With stunning disregard for safety, the CTIA asks: why change test?
The CTIA, a
wireless communications industry group, opposes updating SAR testing to include body contact position, saying there is “no reliable evidence proving that current testing protocols fail to ensure
compliance with RF standards.”
Bizarrely, the group claims that a “zero-measuring requirement,” which would eliminate the testing separation margin, would not “accurately mimic real usage or increase safety.”
In fact, the CTIA recently sued the city of Berkeley, CA, for passing an ordinance that required retail stores to notify consumers of the manufacturer’s warning.
they lost. The judges emphatically ruled that ordinances such as Berkeley’s are “in the public interest.”
The backlash continues…
Scientific research on the hazards of cell phones, and the need for EMF protection, continues to emerge – and the outcry is building.
A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology showed that cell phones are associated with a doubled risk of glioma, a type of brain cancer – and animal studies by the US National Toxicology Program support these findings.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has requested the United States government to update cell phone testing to reflect current modes of carrying and use.
Meanwhile, over a dozen people in the United States have filed lawsuits claiming that their brain cancer is related to their cell phone use, while an Italian court – acknowledging the link between cell phone use and brain tumors – awarded lifetime compensation to one brain tumor patient.
To cut down on your own exposure, experts recommend sharply limiting cell phone use, substituting texts for phone calls, and keeping wireless turned off as often as possible. And, of course, keep your phone a safe distance from your body – it may be one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Hopefully, “Phonegate” will continue to reverberate around the globe, galvanizing activists and advocates to continue the struggle against cell phone radiation.
Sources for this article include: