Cell Phone Technology:Public Health Facts & Concerns

• Don’t Health Canada safety regulations protect me?

NO. Health Canada also told us thalidomide, asbestos and the blood supply were safe. Doctors once said tobacco was safe.

Health Canada’s Safety Code 6 regulates exposure in the 3 Khz to 300 Ghz range. “Canada’s guidelines are based on a short-term (6-minute) heating effect,” says Dr. Magda Havas, electromagnetic radiation (EMR) expert with the Faculty of Environmental Studies at Trent University. “It is assumed that if this radiation does not heat your tissue it is ‘safe’. This is not correct. Effects are documented at levels well below those that are able to heat body tissue.” It’s like saying cigarettes aren’t dangerous unless they burn you.

In May, 2009 Dr. Martin Blank PhD, Associate Professor, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY, confronted Health Canada, stating that, “The scientific evidence tells us that our safety standards are inadequate, and that we must protect ourselves from exposure to EMF due to power lines, cell phones and the like.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, these exposure guidelines “The FCC’s exposure guideline is considered protective of effects arising from a thermal mechanism but not from all possible mechanisms. Therefore, the generalization by many that the guidelines protect humans beings from harm by any and all mechanisms is not justified.”  The EPA further states that, “Federal health and safety agencies have not yet developed policies concerning possible risk from long-term, non-thermal exposures.” Effectively, there are no long-term safety standards.

Scientists and physicians from 10 countries who signed the Saltzburg Declaration recommended that cell phone tower emissions should be 9,000 times LOWER than the current ICNIRP (International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection) guidelines. These were set based primarily on studies of short-term exposure. Guidelines are not regulations; as yet very few countries have adopted legally binding regulations governing EMR exposure.

• The Precautionary Principle:

The Precautionary Principle is a moral and political principle, which states that if an action or policy might cause severe or irreversible harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.

A French court decision against Orange France in March, 2009 ruled that the telecommunications provider not be allowed to erect cell phone transmitters on a church due to citizens’ health concerns. The court cited the need for compliance with the EU directive of March, 2005 to comply with the Precautionary Principle when there is any uncertainty about health or environmental impacts.

• So what are the health risks of using cell phone technology?

Many studies are now confirming the high cancer risks of people exposed to microwaves from cell phones, cell phone base stations and transmitters.

Short term effects include nausea, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, depression, suppressed immune function, aches and pains

According to a 2002 report by the late Dr. Neil Cherry, “The use of a cell phone is associated with significant increase of blood pressure. This is a symptom of hypertension and shows that there is a cardiac risk factor.”

“There are 66 epidemiological studies showing that electromagnetic radiation across the spectrum increase brain tumours in human populations,” declares Dr. Neil Cherry, an expert on the subject. “Two of those studies are for particular brain tumours from cell phones.” There have since been many more such studies.

A 10-year study in the German city of Naila found that the proportion of newly developed cancer cases was significantly higher among those who had lived during the past 10 years at a distance of up to 400 metres from the cell phone transmitter site. Five years after the transmitter was installed and operating, the relative risk of getting cancer had tripled for the residents within 400 metres.

As little as 10 minutes on a cell phone can trigger changes in brain cells linked to cell division and cancer, suggests a new study conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and published in the Biochemical Journal. The 2007 report noted that changes in biological processes began at an energy level even lower than that used by a typical phone, even without heating occurring.

Biologist Roger Coghill became a long-standing advocate for health warnings to be affixed to cell phones after he found that cell phone transmissions damage the ability of white blood cells to ward off infectious disease by disrupting the immune system’s electromagnetic communications.

A study by Dr. Peter French found unequivocally that “cells are permanently damaged by cellular phone frequencies.” This cellular damage, French noted, is maximized at low dosage and “inherited unchanged, from generation to generation.”

• Cell phones and children:

According to Dr. Neil Cherry, children are highly vulnerable to possible health effects from cell phones. Children living near three TV and FM broadcast towers in Sydney, Australia had more than twice the normal rate of leukemia.

In January, 2005, Britain’s National Radiological Protection Board advised parents not to let children under the age of eight use cell phones, after four European studies suggested impaired cognitive function, cell damage and probable increases in cancer as a result of frequent cell phone use.

The Brain Tumour Society (US) reports that, “brain tumours are the leading cause of solid tumour cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia.” According to the New York Times of August 14, 2009, “about half of American children over 12” have cell phones.

The French Health Ministry issued a warning January 2, 2008 against excessive mobile phone use, especially by children. The French journal Pathological Biology (2002) showed that persons living within 300 metres of a mobile phone base station had significant adverse effects on their health.

Dr. Gerald Hyland and other MDs believe that cell phone’s deep penetration into children’s brains and the resulting disruption to the subtle electronic exchanges between brain cells could cause kids to lose the ability to concentrate and remember, making it much more difficult to learn.

Vested interests:

In 2006, just in Canada, the cell phone industry posted $12.7 billion in revenue, a 79% increase over the previous five years. Regulatory agencies like the CRTC, which govern the use of radio frequencies in Canada, put up auctions for the microwave frequency spectrum, at which they can net $1 billion-plus for the rights to use that bandwidth. Thus, both industry and government have a vested interest in perpetuating this technology.


Instead of more microwave towers, Dr. Neil Cherry recommends, “We should be wiring up our cities with fibre-optic cables to provide Internet, fax, telephone, radio and television at very high quality.” Fibre optic cable is already laid in many communities in Canada but is under-utilized due to higher infrastructure costs. It is, however, considered more reliable for broadband communications, with dropped connections virtually unheard of with this technology.

Concerned citizens are not anti-technology. We ARE insistent that Health Canada and the telecommunications industry exercise due diligence for the protection of public health. Where there are ANY significant indications of risk to human health, manufacturers MUST be held accountable and required to adhere to the Precautionary Principle. We believe these requirements have NOT been met by current standards.

Cell Phone Technology: Public Health Facts & Concerns

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