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Nonsense about the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation

Helke Ferrie has written an article for The CCPA Monitor, a monthly journal published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, entitled “Dirty electricity, EMF radiation can be removed or reduced.” It is in the June 2012 issue, and is not available online. She calls herself a science writer, but this is not the writing of a person who understands science. There is hardly a word of truth in it. It’s a classic example of pseudoscientific propaganda, an appalling farrago of false statements and fallacious arguments. The nonsense starts with the very first sentence:

The symptoms of electropollution-induced sickness involve all organs with many debilitating symptoms, from skin rashes to cancer; they are part of the Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) spectrum.

The diagnoses of “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” and “multiple chemical sensitivity” are not recognized by the medical and scientific communities. Up to 5% of the population has come to attribute a large variety of nonspecific symptoms to non-ionizing electromagnetic fields from cell phones and other common electrical devices or to the chemicals in their environment. Their complaints have been thoroughly evaluated. Numerous studies and systematic reviews have been done; they are summarized in a Wikipedia article.  Just to give one example, a systematic review published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2006 analyzed 31 double blind studies comparing real radiation to sham radiation. Patients couldn’t tell the difference. 24 of the studies found no effect, 7 reported “some” supporting evidence (2 of which could not be replicated on subsequent trials by the same researchers), 3 were false positives attributed to statistical artefacts, and the final 2 had mutually incompatible results. They concluded:

The symptoms described by “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” sufferers can be severe and are sometimes disabling. However, it has proved difficult to show under blind conditions that exposure to EMF can trigger these symptoms. This suggests that “electromagnetic hypersensitivity” is unrelated to the presence of EMF.

More recent reviews have confirmed these findings, and based on 25,000 articles published over the past 30 years, the World Health Organization concluded:

current evidence does not confirm the existence of any health consequences from exposure to low level electromagnetic fields.

On his website, Brian Dunning recounted an anecdote where various people claimed a new cell tower was affecting their health — before it had even been turned on!

Patients who think they are suffering from EMF exposure are suffering, but not from EMF. The suffering is real, but the cause is not what they think, and treatments based on illusory causes are not likely to help except through placebo effects.

The second sentence of Ferrie’s article says:

In fact, Dr. William Rea, co-founder of the American Academy for Environmental Medicine (AAEM) became EMF-sensitive himself from the operating room lights when he was still a surgeon.

Dr. Rea’s belief that the lights were the cause of his symptoms is not supported by any credible evidence. His AAEM is a questionable organization targeted by Quackwatch and not recognized by the American Board of Specialties. His own practice involves unvalidated tests and treatment with “the electromagnetic imprint” of chemicals in the form of homeopathic remedies. The Texas medical board charged him with several counts including pseudoscientific test methods, failure to make accurate diagnoses, and nonsensical treatments.  He claims to have done research but his few published studies range from the seriously flawed to the uncontrolled and outright laughable.

I could go on to deconstruct every paragraph of Ferrie’s article, but I haven’t the patience to write it and you wouldn’t have the patience to read it. A few examples of her silliness will have to suffice:

  • “All the cells in your body are aligned North-South, but they can’t work properly if you sleep on a metal coil bed.”
  • “That microwave oven will radiate you within 9 feet, and wrecks the nutrients in your food.”
  • “The telephone’s sound-amplifying magnet kills off brain cells.”
  • “Energy efficient light bulbs radiate at carcinogenic levels.”
  • “Even if all appliances and lights are off, dirty electricity radiates through the house from the wiring in the walls, which also may be too close to water pipes, increasing conductivity.”
  • “Smart meters are as harmful as all the inappropriately wired gadgets in your entire house combined, because they also attack building materials.”
  • “EMF damage caused by technology separates us from the life-sustaining and healing electromagnetic field activity of Earth.”
  • “This invisible poison wrecks human brains, causes sperm to deteriorate, ovaries to malfunction, and fetuses to die. So there goes the human race…”

She is quick to criticize conventional medicine with the some of the same tired old complaints that have been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked.

  • It treats symptoms, not causes
  • Drugs only make the sick get sicker quicker
  • Doctors are not knowledgeable about EMF

Her solutions?

  • Don’t use cellphones
  • Don’t watch TV
  • Graham/Stetzer filters (plugged into outlets).
  • Shielding materials like metal plates, radiation-repellant paint and curtains.
  • Use low-radiation Apple computers, on batteries, and sit 4 feet away.
  • Monitor yourself with body voltage and gauss meters.
  • “Detoxify” with coffee enemas and supplements.
  • Eat organic food and consume freshly squeezed juices.
  • Use pulsed electromagnetic field therapy to promote healing by resonance with the Earth. You can buy “intelligent Magnetic-Resonance-Stimulation systems” for home use.
  • She calls for legislation to protect the public

Elsewhere she has demonstrated the most egregious cherry-picking, citing outdated and discredited studies and blithely ignoring all the evidence to the contrary. She says:

Living creatures are electrical beings able to function only within specific frequencies. [And those frequencies are…?]

She quotes unreliable sources like Devra Davis.  Lorne Trottier has written a blistering two-part rebuttal to Davis’ book Disconnect.

Ferrie says electromagnetic technology:

has the  power to obliterate life, phase out our biological future, and kill the brain.

She reports that the very day Graham/Stetzer filters were received by a school, a dairy farmer a quarter of a mile away noticed that his cows started producing ten pounds more milk a day because the dirty electricity was being removed from the ground currents.

Why is Ferrie spewing this arrant nonsense? She gives us some clues. She is a true believer whose vendetta began after a cell phone tower was erected one mile from her home. Over the next 2 months she developed headaches, eye pain, bleeding from one ear, and a cataract in one eye. In a classic application of the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, she attributed her symptoms to the tower.  Anyone with a basic knowledge of physics should realize that the only way to get any significant EMF exposure from one of those towers is to climb it and spend a lot of time at the top.

She calls herself a science writer, but this is not science writing — it is a polemic designed to convert readers to a belief system. She clumsily tries to co-opt science to validate her preconceived opinions. A scientist knows that if you search hard enough you can find studies to support almost any belief. Scientists strive for an unbiased evaluation of all the scientific evidence to determine “if” something is true. Instead, Ferrie tries to “use” science to “prove” the truth of what she believes based on her misinterpreted personal experience. She searches for studies in a blatant exercise of confirmation bias and presents poorly digested, misunderstood, and even demonstrably false information to her readers.

This article is a travesty. It’s surprising to see it published in a respectable publication.

 

Posted in: Public Health, Science and the Media

Leave a Comment (77) ↓

77 thoughts on “Nonsense about the Health Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation

  1. zeno says:

    The Stetzer filter will feature in the next newsletter of the Nightingale Collaboration, published shortly after midnight GMT tonight!

  2. dandover says:

    It’s surprising to see it published in a respectable publication.

    Surely you meant, “It’s surprising to see it published in a formerly respectable publication.”

  3. windriven says:

    “Her solutions?

    Don’t use cellphones
    Don’t watch TV…”

    Wait… she didn’t mention the tinfoil hat?

  4. dandover says:

    @windriven She did mention the tinfoil hat, just using a different name:

    Shielding materials like metal plates, radiation-repellant paint and curtains.

    It’s just that, why protect only your head when you can protect your whole house with tin foil paint and tin foil curtains?

  5. rork says:

    I thought I’d seen every crazy EM claim, thanks to smart meter controversies in my area. This monument dwarfs all those.

    I am less sure what to think about folks continuing research on EM effect on sperm and such. A review was PMID: 19849853

  6. daughternumberthree says:

    Farrago — what an apt word.

  7. stanmrak says:

    This is a perfect example of how “science-based” thinking shouldn’t be trusted and will get you into trouble.

    Since science has not conclusively demonstrated proof of harm from cell phones and electromagnetic radiation, “science-based” thinkers presume them to be safe. However, there really haven’t been ANY valid studies up to now, none at all. Most of the research is being controlled and manipulated by the telecommunications industry, for obvious reasons. It’s all fraudulent. They know that this stuff is harmful – there are internal industry documents that confirm this. (This comes from insiders who can’t speak out for fear of reprisals.) We’ve seen this before with the tobacco industry and their “science”.

    The telecommunications industry falls into a regulatory gap between the FTC and FDA, and there’s no one with the jurisdiction to ensure safety of the technology, so they pretty much regulate it themselves. What do you think that will lead to?

    Your cell phone user manual even has legal copy in it that will protect the industry against future lawsuits concerning health effects that they expect. The manual specifically warns you not to hold the cell phone up against your head!

    You may think this is nonsense; i have no problem with that. I’m glad people are willing to be human guinea pigs so we can accumulate some data on these devices.

  8. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Since science has not conclusively demonstrated proof of harm from cell phones and electromagnetic radiation, “science-based” thinkers presume them to be safe. However, there really haven’t been ANY valid studies up to now, none at all. Most of the research is being controlled and manipulated by the telecommunications industry, for obvious reasons. It’s all fraudulent. They know that this stuff is harmful – there are internal industry documents that confirm this. (This comes from insiders who can’t speak out for fear of reprisals.) We’ve seen this before with the tobacco industry and their “science”.

    Oh look, a conspiracy theory.

    The telecommunications industry falls into a regulatory gap between the FTC and FDA, and there’s no one with the jurisdiction to ensure safety of the technology, so they pretty much regulate it themselves. What do you think that will lead to?

    Oh look, another one. It’d be interesting to see if any of the evil employees of the cellphone companies own cellphones, since they know how dangerous they are.

    Your cell phone user manual even has legal copy in it that will protect the industry against future lawsuits concerning health effects that they expect. The manual specifically warns you not to hold the cell phone up against your head!

    Probably because it spares them from lawsuits by morons who think cellphones cause cancer. There’s a tremendous disconnect between reality and what lawyers assert. Class action lawsuits will often be settled without entering a courtroom because simply entering a court is more expensive than paying people to go away. Which results in inflated costs to consumers.

    You may think this is nonsense; i have no problem with that. I’m glad people are willing to be human guinea pigs so we can accumulate some data on these devices.

    You should look up prior probablity. Like homeopathy, which also doesn’t exist, we know enough about EM radiation to understand the effects of EM waves on chemical bonds. When I say “we”, note that I am specifically excluding you.

    Demanding “conclusive proof” for one thing misrepresents science, and for another, approaching this level of proof is hugely expensive. If you have conducted studies on tens of thousands of people and found no signal in the noise, perhaps it’s time to spend your money in a better place. Society has limited resources. Expending those resources on the concerns of people who don’t understand the principles they allege cause their symptoms, and when tested can not tell the difference between “on” and “off”, suggest that you are wasting your time. People have psychosomatic complaints. Specifically, people who think EM radiation affects their health have psychosomatic complaints.

  9. DavidCT says:

    @stanmrak

    Could you provide any specific references to back up your assertions? Do you have any real evidence or are you just perpetuating urban myths? If any of your claims are factual there should be something to back them up beyond paranoia.

  10. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Actually, Stan’s assertions are addressed in two posts from skepticnorth:

    http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/12/devra-davis-disconnected-from-science-part-i/

    http://www.skepticnorth.com/2010/12/devra-davis-disconnected-from-science-part-ii/

    Not that I expect him to read them, he seems averse to dissenting information. I suppose it makes it easier to maintain his self-image as a savvy critic of big corporations rather than a credulous consumer with a double-standard for products he likes and little understanding of the principles that indicate why most of them don’t work.

  11. The Dave says:

    “This is a perfect example of how “science-based” thinking shouldn’t be trusted and will get you into trouble…”

    Did you type this while sitting 4 feet away from an Apple iBook (presumably needing to be plugged into a modem because of teh ebul WeeFee)?

    What kind of of cell phone do you use?

    How comfortable is your tin foil hat?

  12. aabrown1971 says:

    @zeno: What a GREAT website. Just now checking it out for the first time. Thank you!

    Dr. Hall: Excellent and interesting blog post as usual. The more you read from these alt-med, pseudo-scientifical types, the more they all start to sound like articles from The Onion.

  13. Janet says:

    I have (had) a friend who used to bring me stuff like this woman’s ramblings whenever I told her I would need some evidence for such claims. I tried to educate her by going through these things point by point but she just ended up staring at me quite blankly. I finally gave up and quit taking her calls, which makes me feel sort of crummy, but I just couldn’t deal with it on a regular basis.

    She DOES all the stuff Ferrie recommends–except TV (these people always make exceptions to their rituals that suit their own dispositions). She does similar things with water–all sorts of filters and systems, food and personal products. I don’t know how she keeps it all straight!

  14. Marc Stephens Is Insane says:

    Is Ferrie a shill for Big Apple?

  15. Calli Arcale says:

    Sensitivity to electric lights may actually be real but have nothing to do with EMF. It is particularly noted in autistic patients, but like other traits of autism, is undoubtedly not unique to the condition. They aren’t sensitive to the fields; it’s more likely they’re sensitive to the flicker or the faint whine of fluorescent lights (which, while real, isn’t audible to everybody and is perceptible to even fewer since in a normal person, the brain recognizes the sound as unimportant and stops paying attention to it.)

    One thing that amuses me is how horrible and pervasive they claim the fields are, while not having any concern for the fields of the Earth, other organisms, iron deposits in the soil, geomagnetic storms, etc. And also how ineffectual their “avoidance” methods are and how severely muddled their terminology usually is. “Radiation” and “EMF” are seen as being the same thing, and they make no distinction between particle radiation and electromagnetic radiation. They suggest putting aluminum foil on the back of your phone, or buying a special case that will somehow protect you but allow the cell signals to get in and out. Radiation blocking paint is another hilarious concept. Few of the proposed solutions actually offer true Faraday protection, and thus are achieving absolutely nothing — but they swear they feel better!

  16. Quill says:

    “By their metaphors you shall know them” could be a slogan for examining odd claims. The first two words of the article in question, “dirty electricity,” should be enough to let the thinking know the article is going to be silly at best. It’s the same naturalistic fallacy applied to something invisible yet there, the flow of electrons. Somehow they get dirty and contaminated and much like everything else in the natural-is-good world, it must be purified, cleansed and ritually dealt with. Dirty electricity seems like the new miasma.

    And of course coffee enemas have to figure into the cure. But is there any advice about the coffee making? Will a coffee enema made from coffee cooked in an earthenware press-pot over a natural wood fire be superior to something brewed in a Mr. Coffee? Does the household current contaminate the latter coffee making it dirty, too?

  17. Amalthea says:

    Thanks for the post Doctor.
    If my mother starts spouting any of this at least I will have been forewarned about it’s existence.

  18. Mark Crislip says:

    Quill

    Green coffee of course. Lose weight as well.

  19. Quill says:

    ^ Indeed! I should have thought of that. Coffee enema cure dirty electricity miasmas and green coffee enemas will cure miOzmas and miasmOzs of all kinds with that lovely bonus of losing weight, too. I guess if there is less of you around the dirty electricity has less to stick to.

    I’m now off to see the folks at Electrolux about using their name for a new dirty electricity vacuum system. One benefit — won’t have to change the bags very often.

  20. Harriet Hall says:

    Coffee tastes better when taken orally. I have always said the only reason to take your coffee “down under” is if you are travelling to Australia.

  21. nobeardwilson says:

    Sorry, Quill, but there is such a thing as dirty power. When a device uses most of an AC signal and then completes the circuit the “dirty” electricity recycles into the next harmonic causing motherboards and memory to have a shorter lifetime. It will not, however, cause headaches; unless you have to fix it.

  22. mousethatroared says:

    huh, I thought the term “dirty electricity” was an intentional ploy to emotionally reference “dirty bomb” …as in some sort of waste energy material that can make people ill.

    On the other hand, we really can have dirty energy as opposed to clean energy…see Bejing.

  23. Michael Kruse says:

    I have the current issue of the Dec 2912/Jan 2913 CCPA Monitor and the article does not appear – Ms Ferrie does have an article about psychiatric drugs and children (that I am now loathe to read) but the article you mention is not there, is it possible that you have the wrong issue?

  24. Harriet Hall says:

    @Michael Kruse,

    Yes, I looked back at the article as sent to me, and I see that it says June 2012 at the bottom of the pages. I read something online that made me think it was in the latest issue, but now I can’t find it again. I will correct the post. Thanks for keeping me honest! :-)

  25. Michael Kruse says:

    I have found it, and it is in the June 2012 issue. It is still not available online but an article of similar tone appeared after a parliamentary hearing was completed on wireless tech : http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/monitor/jumping-wireless-bandwagon

    Having gone through the last 7 issues in my possession, there is much to be worried about at the CCPA. Baseless anti-GMO sentiment, a reprint of an article from the “orthomolecular medicine news service” and Ms. Ferrie’s masterpiece on the “rot” in all medical research’ using the Ioannidis study as a jumping off point for a conspiracy-laden diatribe about big pharma and medical research are to be found between its covers. It is clear that the anti-science left have a firm place at the CCPA, and I will not be renewing my subscription.

    Thanks for this Dr. Hall.

  26. Moebius says:

    Up here in the Great White North, the CCPA is known as a leftist/socialist political action group. Perhaps not a bad thing, but consider that our conservatives fit on the political spectrum somewhere near your Democrats, nowhere near where your Republicans are. Imagine how left-wing our lefties are. I would take anything they publish with a grain of salt, considering their biases.

  27. zeno says:

    We won an Advertising Standards Authority adjudication against Stetzer in the UK today:

    WDDTY #5 – A Poisonous Problem? – The Nightingale Collaboration

  28. Narad says:

    “The telephone’s sound-amplifying magnet kills off brain cells.”

    Oddly, try as I might, I can’t get a pin to stick to my telephone handset.

  29. zeno says:

    And the woo is strong in this similar ASA adjudication, also just published: InHarmony with Nature (www.inharmonywithnature.co.uk):

    “Learned and created from nature, memon technology has been designed to comprehensively harmonize and re-nature you, your family, your environment, food and water from the harmful effects of: Mobile phones, Bluetooth and DECT Wireless phones … WiFi and computer technology … Televisions, lights and household electrical appliances … Mobile phone masts and high voltage power lines … Geopathic stress (water veins, curry grids …)”, etc, etc, etc.

  30. mousethatroared says:

    …or possible “dirty electricity” just mean electricity with a splash of olive juice.

  31. Harriet Hall says:

    I just got a email from someone encouraging me to check MicroAlpha invention because the impact of EMFs on health is such a big problem. I glanced at the website http://www.microalpha.com/ but couldn’t force myself to read it.

  32. William B'Livion says:

    @NoBeardWilson:

    Some folks also refer to electricity that doesn’t generate a smooth signal as “dirty”. Stuff with frequency or voltage variations from bad generators, poor transformers or other crummy line conditions.

    This is one nice thing about a good UPS–it smooths out these rough bits.

    Back in the 90s there was this guy who called a popular Chicago talk show and tried to educate the host about mind control (aliens or the government, I don’t remember) and used black plastic to block it.

    The hosts, thinking he was f*ing with them tried to correct him.

    They got really concerned when they realized they really were dealing with someone who needed serious help.

    @Nara: There are electromagnets in your phone. This is how speakers work. Modern cellphones use very, very small ones I presume, but traditional landline phones use bigger ones.

  33. elburto says:

    The telecommunications industry falls into a regulatory gap between the FTC and FDA, and…

    … America is the only country on Earth, the FDA and FTC have global jurisdiction, there are no scientists anywhere but the USA, nobody else has access to the sophisticated communication devices that were all designed and made in the US, and everyone’s so in awe of Americans that they’ll never leak the soopersekrit research that electricity causes cancer/AIDS/spontaneous abortion/autism/SMI/CFS-ME-Fibromyalgia-CFIDS-Gulf War Syndrome-MCS-EMS-chronic Lyme-Morgellons, etc. Have I missed any diseases caused by ‘leccz?

    Oh wait… Looks like your paranoid fantasy has more holes than a colander Stan.

    And what about heavy electricity Stan, what do you think about that? Perhaps you should join GEFAFWISP.

  34. elburto says:

    ‘leccy, not ‘leccz. Autocorrect strikes again.

  35. Quill says:

    Sorry, indeed, NoBeardWilson, because people who use the metaphor “dirty electricity” are not referring to fluctuations in an electromagnetic field of the kind electrical engineers are familiar with. They use as one might use any myth of miasmic contagion. Sure, an EE or electrician or computer builder might call something in a circuit “dirty” in a slang way but they would not go on to ascribe it to the range of symptoms the person that wrote the article in question does.

    It’s funny to me that the EMF fearing people who promote this nonsense have latched onto a slang use of a term, gilded it with science-like terms, and promote the view that it can all be flushed out of a person through a coffee enema.

    @narad: pins don’t stick to handsets because Sprint dropped them all on the floor.

  36. Narad says:

    There are electromagnets in your phone. This is how speakers work.

    Um, no. Speakers use permanent magnets. The bell (if one has one; I do) uses an electromagnet. The point is that the field strength associated with a phone-handset magnet is laughably small for the asserted brain-frying effects.

  37. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    The point is that the field strength associated with a phone-handset magnet is laughably small for the asserted brain-frying effects.

    …not that it stops people :)

  38. dani681 says:

    I think this EMF phobia has a lot in common with homeopathy. It doesn’t matter how many studies are done, how the statistics are massaged, or what some court of law has to say about the results – there is no mechanism for harm from non-ionizing radiation, just as there is no mechanism for help from homeopathy.

    The great Bob Park (http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/) has been after these people for decades.

  39. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    @dani681

    I think it comes down to people wanting simple explanations for complicated problems. You’re not tired because you have two kids who are growing up too fast and experimenting with (drugs, sex, goth rock, haberdashery), your income isn’t quite enough, your boss takes credit for your work, your spouse is not emotionally available and you don’t have time to write your novel. You’re tired because of dirty electricity.

    Nice, simple narrative that gives you a sense of control that isn’t terrifying and means you can attack emotionally distant people rather than the far more daunting task of trying to get those closest to you to change.

  40. itsmorecomplicatedthanthat says:

    I just happened to notice this response to the article posted on facebook and thought it had a few points worth addressing? Its by an Alan Davidson

    I’m always wary of people who write for ‘Quackwatch’. Whilst I think they do a good job in exposing some genuine nonsense, they are very quick to condemn anything that is non-orthodox – but when something they have rubbished is shown to have validity they go quiet. I’m all for scepticism, but feel that too often it is more like cynicism.

    The woman the article criticises sounds a bit off her head, and that’s sad because this is then used as a straw man to discredit those with a valid point.

    The article writer seems to be very careful about her choices of evidence to support her case. We now have a legal precedent from the Italian courts of a guy using a mobile phone all day being judged to have developed brain tumours as a result. And there are international standards governing exposure to EMFs (why, as a joke, perhaps? or because of genuine concerns by the international authorities and the medical establishment?)

    So the only question is surely not: Do EMFs do harm? But: What level of EMFs do harm?

    Had the writer argued for the use of mobiles on the basis that they are not harmful if used briefly it would be reasonable and possibly informative. But this hatchet job against someone who sounds disturbingly Messianic does nothing to help us all make good decisions. I can never forget the attitudes of the authorities and the medical world to asbestos usage, only for them to retreat frantically as the death rate from exposure started to rocket. No scepticism from QuackWatch on that one now. Tragic that a work colleague of mine from years ago lost his life thanks to asbestosis.

    If QuackWatch had existed forty years ago, what would they have said about people questioning the safety of asbestos?

    QuackWatch-type people are fine, but there has to be a genuine attempt to find the truth – not to select someone who puts a very unconvincing case and then attack them – that’s not science.

    The amazing thing is that the authorities acknowledge that the EMFs from mobiles heat the brain – and do it through the skull. And interestingly, careful checks are made on microwave ovens – what, for a joke? Or is it as we have been told – microwaves can harm us, and ovens should be replaced if the seals go? What does QuackWatch or Paul say about that? Is this paranoia – or just common sense?

    The human body is an electrical instrument. The brain relies in part on electricity to function. What happens if we pass a current through it all day long (and all night)? I don’t know, but I’m not foolish enough to find out if I can easily do something to protect myself.

    Finally, the writer seemed to ignore the fact that electrons offset the effects of Free Radicals. I wonder why, when this is so important for everyone’s health?

    Let’s put it this way. If that court made a bad decision about the brain tumour case, if all the authorities are wrong about the need to restrict our exposure to EMFs, if the research studies are wrong that suggest EMFs may pose a serious threat to us, if the body is happy having a current that can only disrupt its functioning going through it, if the brain is fine even though it is being heated by waves from outside it, if the pictures that show that blood platelets become less sticky when earthed are fakes… if ALL of that is true… then the indisputable fact is that we need electrons, and these can easily be obtained from the earth (as can be shown with an ordinary voltmeter). Free Radicals often cause deadly illnesses – is this woman really not wanting people to know how they can help themselves so easily?

    Do I want to be informed by people who call themselves ‘sceptics’ – yes, if they are objective. QuackWatch often just provides a sneering attack on everything that is not conventional and never challenges what is. I have to say that this is dangerous, foolish

    One of the main attacks was on people who claim to be hypersensitive to EMFs.

    A study was indeed carried out.

    Since these people were saying that EMFs affected their health, there needed to be a study on whether they did suffer as they claimed. Instead, they were asked to say when EMFs were in the room. Needless to say, since they were being asked to do something that most of them never claimed they could do, they ‘failed’ this ‘test’.

    We are all ‘hypersensitive’ to carbon monoxide (in the sense that high exposure will kill us) but if you’re put into a room and carbon monoxide is pumped in you will not know because it has no smell and is undetectable. This is not, however, proof that you are safe with carbon dioxide!

    It is proof however, that people do dishonest studies at times.

    1. Harriet Hall says:

      @itsmorecomplicated,

      You say there were a few points that needed addressing. Which ones?
      This really doesn’t deserve a response, but I’ll take a stab at a few glaring things that jumped out at me.

      “when something they have rubbished is shown to have validity they go quiet.” I have been working with Quackwatch for years and I can’t think of an example of something they have critiqued that was later shown to have validity and adopted by mainstream medicine. Can you?

      Asbestos: as the evidence of harm accumulated, it was readily accepted. If there were comparable evidence for harm from EMF, it would be just as readily accepted.

      Heating the brain: There is a skull bone between the brain and the cell phone. How much heating do you think really occurs, and how do you know it harms the brain?

      Electrons offset the effect of free radicals? Not a scientifically meaningful statement, and anyway EMF has nothing whatsoever to do with electrons or free radicals.

      What happens if we pass a current through the brain all day long? Whatever happens, it bears no relevance to the subject at hand.

      “sneering attack on everything that is not conventional and never challenges what is” The purpose of Quackwatch was to address issues that were not addressed elsewhere. The medical mainstream is constantly challenging its conventional practices (just read any medical journal), and the SBM website has questioned all sorts of conventional practices.

      “we need electrons, and these can easily be obtained from the earth” Ah, I see. The writer is one of those “earthing” advocates. See http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/earthing/

      ” if the pictures that show that blood platelets become less sticky when earthed are fakes” Yes, live cell microscopy is fakery. The pictures are real, but they are carefully chosen and the explanations are fake.

      “they were asked to say when EMFs were in the room. Needless to say, since they were being asked to do something that most of them never claimed they could do, they ‘failed’ this ‘test’.” No, that’s not what the studies were about. If a patient said he got headaches from EMF, he was exposed to EMF vs placebo in a controlled fashion. There was no difference in the incidence of headache with or without EMF exposure. In unblinded trials, patients only reported symptoms when they knew they were being exposed to EMF.

      The physics of EMF has been adequately explained elsewhere. It is not the ionizing kind of radiation that breaks chemical bonds, and health effects from typical exposures are as implausible as homeopathy. The studies that have “suggested” health effects have not done anything more than “suggest.” They have not been corroborated.

  41. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Tsk, and such a promising user name.

    The article writer seems to be very careful about her choices of evidence to support her case. We now have a legal precedent from the Italian courts of a guy using a mobile phone all day being judged to have developed brain tumours as a result. And there are international standards governing exposure to EMFs (why, as a joke, perhaps? or because of genuine concerns by the international authorities and the medical establishment?)

    Courts have very different standards than science, are easily swayed by experts, have great difficulty telling the difference between real experts and fake ones, and may involve precautionary principles that err on the side of the harmed party. Witness, for instance, the court cases about breast implants – millions of dollars in awards, no scientific evidence of harm. The creationist case of Kitzmiller versus Dover was a rare exception (and didn’t involve medicine).

    As for where quackwatch was for asbestos, considering the health effects of asbestos were appreciated in the 70s, the appropriate term is probably “nonexistent” since the internet hadn’t been invented and the site didn’t go live until 1996 (and focussed on health scams like vitamins before that). But chances are Quackwatch would have looked at the prior probability asbestos causing cancer and discussed on that basis. We know a lot about molecular bonds and EM fields, and the energy put out by cellphones just isn’t enough to break chemical bonds. Not even close. Yes, EM fields do heat the brain, a tiny amount – but so does putting on a hat. Do you think hats cause cancer? Microwaves do have safety testing, but they also put out a lot more power than a cellphone (notice your lights flicker when you turn it on?) and the safety testing is not about whether they cause cancer. They don’t. They selectively heat water and fat molecules. Are you worried your kettle causes cancer? How ’bout a campfire? They’re doing the same things as a cellphone as far as your brain’s molecules are concerned, you can just see it happening.

    So your question is a little like asking why the Surgeon General of the United States didn’t venture a criticism of the use of crocodile dung as a form of birth control in Ancient Egypt.

    Ugh, “Free Radicals” in capital letters. Irrelevant ad hominen attacks on quackwatch. Gish galloping. Irrelevant comparisons. Truly a very misleading user name. The reality of cellphones is a lot more complicated than what you are portraying, but despite your user name, you are simplifying things to the point of charicature and inaccuracy. You are using tropes and story-telling to substitute for critical thinking and evidence.

  42. Scott says:

    Since these people were saying that EMFs affected their health, there needed to be a study on whether they did suffer as they claimed. Instead, they were asked to say when EMFs were in the room. Needless to say, since they were being asked to do something that most of them never claimed they could do, they ‘failed’ this ‘test’.

    You seem to misunderstand the question being asked. Asking “whether they did suffer as they claimed” is not necessary – the answer is known to be Yes. The relevant question is “are these effects due to EMFs?” If the answer were Yes, then it would be quite easy for the subjects to tell whether the generators were on. They could not, because the presence or absence of an EMF had no effect on their symptoms. Ergo we can confidently conclude that said symptoms are NOT a response to an EMF as claimed.

  43. weing says:

    “The human body is an electrical instrument. The brain relies in part on electricity to function. What happens if we pass a current through it all day long (and all night)? I don’t know, but I’m not foolish enough to find out if I can easily do something to protect myself.

    Finally, the writer seemed to ignore the fact that electrons offset the effects of Free Radicals. I wonder why, when this is so important for everyone’s health?”

    What in tarnation is he/she talking about?

  44. dani681 says:

    @itsmorecomplicatedthanthat, your post has a number of inaccuracies.

    - Asbestos has a known mechanism for causing cancer. Non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation has no mechanism for causing cancer.

    - Microwaves from an oven are tuned to a specific frequency that exploits a feature of water molecules; the vibration of these molecules is what causes the heating. If these ovens used the lower frequency waves cell phones and radios use, they would be useless. It is unfair to compare microwave ovens to cell phones just because their electromagnetic radiation falls into the same general area of the spectrum. This would be somewhat akin to saying red is no different from purple.

    - While even the lower frequency microwaves emitted from cell phones can cause mild heating, this is not happening within our brains, unbeknownst to us. Our skin should be getting uncomfortably warm as well. However, in truth, the heating from cell phone radiation is so miniscule that we don’t even feel it. Even still, minor brain heating is nothing to be concerned about, since our internal coolant system is excellent.

    - Passing a current through our systems is indeed very nasty. This is why we need to avoid shocking ourselves. There is no risk of this from cell phones. There have been studies done on how external radiation sources may affect brain waves (also involving high-powered magnets, i.e. MRI), but nothing has indicated that they are harmful. And they most certainly do not cause cancer, which can only develop as a result of electromagnetic radiation when ionizing radiation breaks the bonds of DNA.

    - I think you may be confused about what electromagnetic radiation actually is. It is a light wave, consisting of photons. So I am unsure why you draw a conclusion using electrons and free radicals.

  45. mousethatroared says:

    weing “What in tarnation is he/she talking about?”

    I’m pretty sure it has something to do with sharks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini

    Don’t take your cell phone on your australian snorkeling expedition, I think.

  46. Quill says:

    Whenever I see “Free Radicals” in caps I can only think it’s some kind of leftist political rallying cry. As for the rest, what in tarnation indeed!

  47. Marc Stephens Is Insane says:

    Natural News has a piece today about how the president of a Belgian cellphone company refuses to use a cellphone and insists on only using landlines. The story also references that lunatic professor Havas at Trent University in Ontario (mentioned in the Skeptic North links provided above).

    The kicker: the piece contends there is “limited evidence” that Wi-Fi causes autism.

    I won’t provide a link to the drivel but it’s on the front page of Mikey’s site today.

  48. Marc Stephens Is Insane says:

    Forgot to mention the story is written by someone who suffered a “violent reaction” to his cell phone is 2002 and now sells anti-EMF solutions.

  49. dani681 says:

    @Marc, LOL on the “violent reaction.” I’m sure many of us have suffered those, but not so much due to EMF as due to slow data speeds ;-)

  50. Marc Stephens Is Insane says:

    I was thinking more along the lines of an angry ex-wife who once threw a phone and caused some bruising.

  51. Calli Arcale says:

    I can attest to having violent reactions, but they generally involve Windows 7. :-P

  52. Narad says:

    I just happened to notice this response to the article posted on facebook and thought it had a few points worth addressing? Its by an Alan Davidson

    Perhaps you could identify which Alan Davidson.

  53. John H says:

    How come mobile phones frazzle your brains if they dont emit ionising radiation?

    “it’s the magnets stupid”

    “oh sorry. So how come a tiny little magnet in a mobile phone, clocking in possibly one or two gauss, frazzles your brain whilst an MRI scanner (running at probably megagauss) has no effect whatsoever”.

    “well magnets affect iron and your blood has iron in it”

    “yeah, but in the form of haemoglobin, which is slightly diamagnetic. So how does that work”

    “well,they wouldn’t sell them if they didn’t work, would they”

    “errrrr, it’s possible that they might”

    “right. (stamps on floor) I am going to bed”

    “nigh night darling. Don’t forget to put the magnetic pad under the pillow so we can avoid dirty lecktrix and magnetix

  54. John H says:

    How come mobile phones frazzle your brains if they dont emit ionising radiation?

    “it’s the magnets stupid”

    “oh sorry. So how come a tiny little magnet in a mobile phone, clocking in possibly one or two gauss, frazzles your brain whilst an MRI scanner (running at probably megagauss) has no effect whatsoever”.

    “well magnets affect iron and your blood has iron in it”

    “yeah, but in the form of haemoglobin, which is slightly diamagnetic. So how does that work”

    “well,they wouldn’t sell them if they didn’t work, would they”

    “errrrr, it’s possible that they might”

    “right. (stamps on floor) I am going to bed”

    “nigh night darling. Don’t forget to put the magnetic pad under the pillow so we can avoid dirty lecktrix and magnetix”

  55. John H says:

    Sorry moderator – no idea why there are two responses.

  56. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Natural News has a piece today about how the president of a Belgian cellphone company refuses to use a cellphone and insists on only using landlines.

    Which, if true and done for purported health reasons, only proves that people are idiots. The president of a cellphone company is unlikely to be a technical person. They would need skills in finance, strategic planning and interpersonal management. It’s unlikely they can explain how a cellphone works in detail or explain the difference between ionizing and nonionizing radiation.

    If it were an engineer, then there might be the slightest hint of something worth listening to. But no one engineer, no matter how brilliant, is likely to be smarter than the large number of experts who produce national and international safety standards.

    But it’s not about facts, it never is. It’s about story.

  57. trrll says:

    I think many people don’t appreciate just how implausible it is from a physical standpoint. The amount of energy that a microwave photon can deliver to biological molecule is approximately comparable to the energy of the Brownian collisions with water molecules that biological molecules are constantly subjected to. It is well below the levels capable of producing any lasting change in a biological molecule.

    As for heating, remember that the brain consumes about 20% of the body’s energy, and produces a comparable percentage of the body’s heat–overall, about 20 W. Power output of a cell phone is less than a tenth of that, and only a small fraction of that is going to be absorbed by the brain. Moreover, neuronal activity is not evenly distributed over the brain–varies quite a bit from region to region and from time to time (this is the basis of functional MRI), which produces natural localized heating, so the brain must be equipped to dissipate this heat. And it is, with a very high density of blood vessels. So it does not make sense that a cell phone could produce more heating than the brain can naturally dissipate.

    Now is it *possible* that the brain could react to microwaves in some way, possibly deleterious? Perhaps. After all, we can sense single photons of visible light, which (at least at the low end of the spectrum) is nonionizing. It does this by exploiting a transient lower-energy molecular effect of radiation on a specialized molecule (isomerization), carefully protecting the excited state of that molecule by embedding it inside a protein where Brownian randomization is somewhat damped, and using the isomerization of that single molecule to trigger a change in the surrounding protein that enables it to draw on the cells own energy (phosphate bonds) to amplify that tiny effect. So the cell goes to a great deal of trouble get nonionizing radiation to trigger a biological outcome. It does this because sensing light is highly advantageous to an organism, and thus there has been strong selective pressure to evolve a means of solving the difficult problem of getting a biological effect from nonionizing radiation. But there is no evidence that organisms can even sense radio waves, and the energy is much, much smaller–so it would be an even harder problem for biological organisms to evolve a means of sensing them. Impossible? Perhaps not–but not the sort of thing that would happen by accident. The brain would have to *work* (in a very literal, physical sense) to be harmed by the sort of microwaves emitted by a cell phone.

  58. Calli Arcale says:

    Personally, I’d be interested to know if the heating that occurs when a person uses a cell phone isn’t just due to increased brain activity. Also how somebody managed to measure the temperature inside of the head while a person was on the phone without introducing a whole ton of other variables, like having a temperature probe stuck into their cranium.

    I’d also like to add another thing for itsmorecomplicatedthanthat:

    The article writer seems to be very careful about her choices of evidence to support her case. We now have a legal precedent from the Italian courts of a guy using a mobile phone all day being judged to have developed brain tumours as a result.

    Legal precedent is not scientific evidence. There was, for thousands of years, legal precedent that women who became pregnant by rape were not actually raped but guilty of adultery, because it was believed that female orgasm was a) required for conception and b) impossible if she wasn’t consenting. Today, we know that neither of those things is true. Legal precedent is not scientific evidence. Note, too, that the Italian courts are also the ones who convicted the wrong people in a brutal killing a few years ago largely on the grounds that they were foreigners; perhaps you heard of it?

    The human body is an electrical instrument. The brain relies in part on electricity to function. What happens if we pass a current through it all day long (and all night)?

    Cell phones do not pass a current through the brain unless there is something very wrong with them. If you are being electrocuted by your telephone, you should replace it, and possibly sue the manufacturer.

  59. Scott says:

    Italian courts were also the ones who convicted geologists for being unable to predict earthquakes.

  60. Marc Stephens Is Insane says:

    Scott,

    /…And helped Tulio Simonicini stay out of jail…

    …And allowed a vaccine injury/autism case…

    WLU: I think the underlying implication in the Belgian cellphone story is that the president is in on the conspiracy and knows how damaging his product is, but still sells it to the masses while eschewing it himself.

    It’s kind of like the conspiracy stories about wait staff who refuse to eat in their own restuarants because “they know” what goes on in the kitchen. Or the soda executives who refuse to allow their kids to drink soda because they know the truth about their product. There are urban legends like this all over the net.

    I bet if that Belgian phone exec has kids they certainly use all manner of wireless devices.

  61. Mark P says:

    Italian courts were also the ones who convicted geologists for being unable to predict earthquakes.

    No they did not.

    They convicted geologists for telling dangerous lies – that the risk of earthquakes was reduced due to the previous activity in the area being the most egregious. The geologists in question were trying to discredit a person who they thought had shonky science (fair enough) but in order to do that they said things that they knew were untrue.

    This case has been used by “pro-science” advocates to show science is under threat. Those advocates either don’t know, or more likely don’t care, to investigate the real issues.

    The Italian authorities did not prosecute any other geologists (and there were many) for failure to predict the earthquake after all. They only prosecuted the ones in question because they said that there was no risk, which they knew to be wrong.

  62. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    Mark P, could you link to something that gives more detail? The news stories I’ve looked over (not many, and I can’t understand Italian) are brief and ellusive, and none of the (very view) I’ve looked over mentioned the attempt to discredit someone. Quite possibly I’m just being lazy.

  63. Scott says:

    @ Mark P:

    That is not correct. The geologists said that the risk was unchanged – completely true. A non-scientist civil servant who was on the panel, Bernardo De Bernardis, was the one who claimed that the risk was reduced.

    It is true that “being unable to predict earthquakes” is perhaps overly simplified, but I didn’t want to go into depth on an issue I expected all readers would be well familiar with. It abundantly demonstrates that courts can be mind-bogglingly idiotic on scientific issues.

    Even De Bernardis shouldn’t have been convicted of anything, even though he made incorrect statements, because those statements had no relevance to anything. Whether the risk is reduced vs. simply the same, the correct course of action is the same – nothing.

    The argument under which any of them could be convicted was that people didn’t leave the area. Which there was no reason for them to do. The only way to prevent the deaths they were charged with would have been to have the capability to accurately predict when an earthquake would occur. So while there was more to the story, I stand behind the characterization that they were convicted for being unable to predict the earthquake.

    Relevant citations:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/05/26/italy-quake-arrests.html
    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-22/business/sns-rt-us-italy-earthquake-courtbre89l13v-20121022_1_magnitude-earthquake-enzo-boschi-scientists
    and a good discussion:
    http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/guilty-verdict-for-italian-earthquake-scientists/

  64. BillyJoe says:

    Scott,

    The judge gave his verdict back in October 2012. Apparently the reasons for his decision was supposed to come out three months later. Ive got no idea why it takes three months to give the reasons for a decision made three months earlier. After all, shouldnt he have had those reasons three months ago in order to make that decision? in any case, the three months are up, so I guess we will be hearing any time soon.

  65. Mark P says:

    Scott:

    And the scientists didn’t tell people the non-scientist was saying an untruth? That surely makes them culpable! If a scientist does not contradict a non-scientist, any reasonable person would conclude that they agree.

    The issue raised here was whether they were convicted for not predicting. That’s what I disagreed with. Whether they should have been convicted for something else, or what penalty they got is a different topic entirely. (That no-one would have payed any attention is, no doubt, true.)

    Why were no other scientists prosecuted? Why only these ones? There can only be one reason — they wandered into a topic which they should have stayed well clear of, and then said stupid things (or omitted to correct stupid things, which is pretty much the same) in an attempt to achieve a petty goal.

    I agree that courts are not good arbiters of science. In general they rarely even try. But I don’t think they did in this case. As dodgy as Italian courts can be, no-one expects prediction of earthquakes.

    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.co.nz/2012/11/science-academies-and-laquila.html

  66. BillyJoe says:

    Mark,

    The scientists probably agreed, but probably would not have put it quite like the non-scientist did. And neither would the non-scientist until he was prompted to agree with a take home message suggested by the interviewer.

    Anyway, has anyone seen the actual reason for the judges verdict or are we still waiting?

  67. Scott says:

    Good grief. If a co-worker says something stupid, you’re now liable for any consequences thereof? A ludicrous principle. There were anyway no consequences of that false statement, since evacuation was not reasonable based on any credible interpretation of the data.

    Your link does not address this plain fact that, even if the scientists had expressly claimed there was NO chance of an earthquake, such statements would not have in fact done any harm, and hence could not support a charge of manslaughter. The same deaths would have taken place regardless.

    They were convicted of manslaughter. The only action they could have taken to prevent those deaths would have been to predict the earthquake. These facts are not in dispute, and by themselves support a reasonable characterization that they were convicted for a failure to predict.

    It’s possible the judge came up with an even sillier rationale, I suppose. We’ll have to see on that.

  68. Chip says:

    Having worked for years as a Health Physicist (Radiation protection) and operated an amateur radio station on all frequencies up through microwaves for even more years I am quite familiar with all these claimed adverse health effects. Our professional HP organization, the Health Physics Society, has published numerous peer reviewed articles on radiation effect studies both on the ionizing and non-ionizing part of the electromagnetic spectrum. For the non-technically inclined I would highly recommend the Health Physics Society’s web site: http://www.hps.org. A particularly excellent section there is, “Ask the Experts”. Anyone is free to ask questions that will be answered by a Health Physicist in a field appropriate to the question. But I’d encourage anyone to check out the sub section, “Experts Answers”. While the questions listed range from serious and thoughtful to downright silly, all are answered in a professional manner. Well worth a look.

  69. daedalus2u says:

    Regarding the Italian verdict on the earthquake, one of the stories I remember from the time was a building inspector saying that if this same earthquake had happened in California, there would have been zero fatalities because California has appropriate building codes and sufficient enforcement of those building codes. Italy does not.

    With so many dead due to so much shoddy construction, the city officials needed scapegoats to divert blame away from inadequate building codes, insufficient enforcement of those codes and (no doubt) the bribes and fraud that led to the insufficient enforcement.

  70. BillyJoe says:

    Scott,

    “The same deaths would have taken place regardless.”

    Apparently that was not the case. Apparently there were people who had prepared to leave and changed their minds after hearing what the scientists and non-scientist said. Some of those subsequently died in the earthquake.
    I still think it makes no difference though.
    My analogy is someone filling out a lotto entry who hears a statistician explaining the remote chance of actually winning and, on being prompted for a take home message, says “don’t buy lotto tickets”. If the lotto player then decides not to put in his numbers and they come up, is the statistician liable?

  71. Scott says:

    @ BillyJoe:

    I attempted, apparently unsuccessfully, to make it explicit that I was comparing the faulty statement to the true statement. “The risk is less than normal” vs. “the risk is the same as normal” both give rise to the same result -doesn’t make any sense to evacuate. So either way, the same people die.

    Your analogy is a better way to express that than I came up with, though.

  72. Scott says:

    Just heard on SGU that there’s some indication that some of the scientists thought the risk might actually be somewhat elevated, passed that on to De Bernardis, and he ignored it. Still doesn’t change the overall analysis, since the confidence on such can’t be high enough to warrant evacuation. And still says the scientists did everything right.

    The judge is going to have to come up with something REALLY convincing to not be just a kangaroo court looking for a scapegoat.

  73. Peebs says:

    Sharon Hill of Doubtful News reported and commented on the Italian Judge’s reasons on Monday.

    http://doubtfulnews.com/2013/01/judge-in-italian-earthquake-trial-justifies-decision-against-scientists/

    I’ll make no further comment, she’s the Geologist, I ain’t!

  74. trevor says:

    Mrs. Harriet Hall you sure are fast at trying at making someone look foolish, most of the studies you quote are in themselves flawed, if a test subject is exposed to a low doses of anything, it will have little or no affect, but what about a high dose of anything constantly? a high does study wouldn’t be allowed by law, anything high dose will hurt you in some way and that is a fact, lets look at some ex samples Henri Becquerel,discoverer of radioactivity in 1896 and until around 1920 shoe shops used X-rays to check a persons shoe size, this practice was banned when the risks of ionizing radiation were better understood. the word pseudoscience did not show up in the English language until the late 1800s so the words the writer uses maybe words soon, or we can look at lots of yummy food=obesity= death we all know that you should have a open mind because a closed mind like yours inhibitions progress……

  75. The Dave says:

    What, exactly, would be considered “high doses” of electromagnetic radiation, and how would one be exposed to it? Do you think its possible to even be exposed to “high doses” of EMR coming off of cellphones?

    The point of this piece is that, at the doses people are currently exposed to, it is well established there are no adverse health effects, and therefore, fears are unfounded. Can you share one example of someone who has been exposed to prolonged high doses of EMR from regular use of their cellphone?

    As an afterthought, what is with the “true believer” crowd that makes them so incapable of showing respect to their opponents? Do they really think it helps their point/credibility/whatever when they refuse to use the proper title of respect? calling a doctor Mr./Mrs. instead of Dr., or putting the title in quotes, like “Dr.” implies you don’t think they are truly a doctor and shows a glimpse in your intention in commenting.

  76. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

    The only thing that cell phones give you over the long or short term are low level heating, which your own metabolism and ability to regulate heat renders moot. It’s kinda like worrying about the long-term exposure to water or oxygen. While the studies of cell phone radiation and cancer may be imperfect, there is still no real reason to believe wi-fi or cellphones affect biology – cancer rates have been flat (when adjusted for age) despite the introduction of widespread cellphone and wi-fi use in the past generation. Not to mention cell phones do not generate photons powerful enough to break chemical bonds.

    The “radiation” cellphones use to transmit signals bear no resemblance to the radiation investigated by Becquerel.

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