Moskowitz: Cellphone radiation is harmful, but few want to believe it

For more than a ten, Joel Moskowitz, a research worker in the School of Public Health at UC Berkeley and film director of Berkeley ’ mho Center for Family and Community Health, has been on a quest to prove that radiation sickness from cellphones is insecure. But, he said, most people don ’ t want to hear it .
“ People are addicted to their smartphones, ” said Moskowitz. “ We use them for everything now, and, in many ways, we need them to function in our casual lives. I think the idea that they ’ re potentially harming our health is besides much for some people. ”
Since cellphones inaugural came onto the commercialize in 1983, they have gone from clunky devices with bad reception to nowadays ’ randomness sleek, multifunction smartphones. And although cellphones are now used by about all american adults, considerable inquiry suggests that long-run use poses health risks from the radiation they emit, said Moskowitz .
“ Cellphones, cellular telephone towers and early wireless devices are regulated by most governments, ” said Moskowitz. “ Our government, however, stopped funding research on the health effects of radiofrequency radiation in the 1990s. ”

Since then, he said, research has shown significant adverse biological and health effects — including mind cancer — associated with the use of cellphones and other radio devices. And now, he said, with the fifth generation of cellular engineering, known as 5G, there is an flush bigger rationality for concern .
Berkeley News spoke with Moskowitz about the health risks of cellular telephone radiation, why the topic is so controversial and what we can expect with the rollout of 5G .

Berkeley News: I think we should address upfront is how controversial this research is. Some scientists have said that these findings are without basis and that there isn’t enough evidence that cellphone radiation is harmful to our health. How do you respond to that?

Joel Moskowitz: Well, first of all, few scientists in this country can speak knowledgeably about the health effects of radio technology. sol, I ’ meter not storm that people are doubting, but that doesn ’ triiodothyronine mean the findings aren ’ t valid .
A bad reason there international relations and security network ’ thyroxine more research about the health risks of radiofrequency radiation exposure is because the U.S. government stopped funding this research in the 1990s, with the exception of a $ 30 million rodent study published in 2018 by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences ’ National Toxicology Program, which found “ clear attest ” of carcinogenicity from cellular telephone radiation .
In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC, adopted exposure guidelines that limited the volume of exposure to radiofrequency radiation. These guidelines were designed to prevent significant heating system of tissue from short-run exposure to radiofrequency radiotherapy, not to protect us from the effects of long-run exposure to low levels of modulated, or pulsed, radiofrequency radiotherapy, which is produced by cellphones, cordless phones and other wireless devices, including Wi-Fi. Yet, the preponderance of research published since 1990 finds adverse biological and health effects from long-run vulnerability to radiofrequency radiation, including DNA damage .
More than 250 scientists, who have published over 2,000 papers and letters in professional journals on the biological and health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields produced by wireless devices, including cellphones, have signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal, which calls for health warnings and stronger exposure limits. sol, there are many scientists who agree that this radiation is harmful to our health .

I first heard you speak about the health risks of cellphone radiation at Berkeley in 2019, but you’ve been doing this research since 2009. What led you to pursue this research?

I got into this airfield by accident, actually. During the past 40 years, the bulk of my research has been focused on tobacco-related disease prevention. I first became concerned in cellular telephone radiation in 2008, when Dr. Seung-Kwon Myung, a doctor scientist with the National Cancer Center of South Korea, came to spend a year at the Center for Family and Community Health. He was involved in our fume cessation projects, and we worked with him and his colleagues on two reviews of the literature, one of which addressed the tumor hazard from cellular telephone use .
At that time, I was disbelieving that cellular telephone radiation could be harmful. however, since I was doubtful that cellular telephone radiation could cause cancer, I immersed myself in the literature regarding the biological effects of low-intensity microwave radiation, emitted by cellphones and other radio devices .
After reading many animal toxicology studies that found that this radiotherapy could increase oxidative try — spare radicals, stress proteins and DNA damage — I became increasingly convinced that what we were observing in our recapitulation of human studies was indeed a real number risk .

While Myung and his colleagues were visiting the Center for Family and Community Health, you reviewed case-control studies examining the association between mobile phone use and tumor risk. What did you find?

Our 2009 inspection, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, found that clayey cellular telephone manipulation was associated with increase brain cancer incidence, specially in studies that used higher quality methods and studies that had no telecommunications industry financing .
last year, we updated our review, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, based on a meta-analysis of 46 case-control studies — twice equally many studies as we used for our 2009 review — and obtained alike findings. Our main takeout from the current recapitulation is that approximately 1,000 hours of life cellular telephone use, or about 17 minutes per day over a 10-year period, is associated with a statistically meaning 60 % increase in genius cancer .

Why did the government stop funding this kind of research?

The telecommunications diligence has about complete control of the FCC, according to Captured Agency, a monograph written by journalist Norm Alster during his 2014-15 fellowship at Harvard University ’ s Center for Ethics. There ’ south a revolving door between the membership of the FCC and high-level people within the telecommunication industry that ’ s been going on for a couple of decades immediately .
The industry spends about $ 100 million a year lobby Congress. The CTIA, which is the major telecommunication lobbying group, spends $ 12.5 million per year on 70 lobbyists. According to one of their spokespersons, lobbyists meet roughly 500 times a class with the FCC to lobby on diverse issues. The industry as a solid spends $ 132 million a year on lobby and provides $ 18 million in political contributions to members of Congress and others at the federal level.

The telecom industry’s influence over the FCC, as you describe, reminds me of the tobacco industry and the advertising power it had in downplaying the risks of smoking cigarettes.

Yes, there are strong parallels between what the telecommunication industry has done and what the tobacco industry has done, in terms of market and controlling messaging to the public. In the 1940s, tobacco companies hired doctors and dentists to endorse their products to reduce public health concerns about smoking risks. The CTIA presently uses a nuclear physicist from academia to assure policymakers that microwave radiation is safe. The telecommunication industry not only uses the tobacco diligence playbook, it is more economically and politically brawny than big tobacco ever was. This year, the telecommunication industry will spend over $ 18 billion ad cellular technology worldwide .

You mentioned that cellphones and other wireless devices use modulated, or pulsed, radiofrequency radiation. Can you explain how cellphones and other wireless devices work, and how the radiation they emit is different from radiation from other household appliances, like a microwave?

basically, when you make a call, you ’ ve got a radio and a transmitter. It transmits a bespeak to the nearest cell loom. Each cell loom has a geographic cell, thus to speak, in which it can communicate with cellphones within that geographic region or cellular telephone .
then, that cell tugboat communicates with a switching place, which then searches for whom you ’ re trying to call, and it connects through a copper cable or fiber optics or, in many cases, a radio connection through microwave radiation with the radio access decimal point. then, that access luff either communicates directly through bull wires through a land line or, if you ’ ra calling another cellular telephone, it will send a signal to a cell tugboat within the cell of the liquidator and thus forth .
The difference is the kind of microwave radiation sickness each device emits. With involve to cellphones and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, there is an information-gathering component. The waves are modulated and pulsed in a very different manner than your microwave oven .

What, specifically, are some of the health effects associated with long-term exposure to low-level modulated radiofrequency radiation emitted from wireless devices?

many biologists and electromagnetic field scientists believe the intonation of wireless devices makes the department of energy more biologically active, which interferes with our cellular mechanisms, opening up calcium channels, for exercise, and allowing calcium to flow into the cellular telephone and into the mitochondrion within the cell, interfering with our natural cellular processes and leading to the universe of try proteins and free radicals and, possibly, DNA damage. And, in other cases, it may lead to cell end .
In 2001, based upon the biological and human epidemiologic research, low-frequency fields were classified as “ possibly carcinogenic ” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC ) of the World Health Organization. In 2011, the IARC classified radiofrequency radiation as “ possibly carcinogenic to humans, ” based upon studies of cellular telephone radiation and brain tumor risk in humans. presently, we have well more evidence that would warrant a stronger classification .
Most recently, on March 1, 2021, a report was released by the former director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which concluded that there is a “ high gear probability ” that radiofrequency radiation emitted by cellphones causes gliomas and acoustic neuromas, two types of brain tumors .

Let’s talk about the fifth generation of cellphone technology, known as 5G, which is already available in limited areas across the U.S. What does this mean for cellphone users and what changes will come with it?

For the first time, in accession to microwaves, this engineering will employ millimeter waves, which are much higher frequency than the microwaves used by 3G and 4G. Millimeter waves can ’ triiodothyronine travel very far, and they ’ ra blocked by obscure or rain, trees and building materials, so the diligence estimates that it ’ ll need 800,000 new cell antenna sites .
Each of these sites may have cell antennas from versatile cellular telephone providers, and each of these antennas may have microarrays consisting of dozens or even possibly hundreds of little antennas. In the adjacent few years in the U.S., we will see deploy roughly 2.5 times more antenna sites than in current function unless wireless safety advocates and their representatives in Congress or the judicial arrangement put a freeze to this .

How are millimeter waves different from microwaves, in terms of how they affect our bodies and the environment?

Millimeter wave radiation is largely absorbed in the hide, the sweat glands, the peripheral nerves, the eyes and the testes, based upon the body of research that ’ s been done on millimeter waves. In addition, this radiation may cause hypersensitivity and biochemical alterations in the immune and circulatory systems — the heart, the liver, kidneys and brain .
Millimeter waves can besides harm insects and promote the growth of drug-resistant pathogens, so it ’ s probable to have some widespread environmental effects for the microenvironments around these cell antenna sites .

What are some simple things that each of us can do to reduce the risk of harm from radiation from cellphones and other wireless devices?

first, minimize your use of cellphones or cordless phones — use a land line whenever possible. If you do use a cellular telephone, turn off the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth if you ’ rhenium not using them. however, when near a Wi-Fi router, you would be better off using your cellular telephone on Wi-Fi and turning off the cellular because this will probable result in less radiation exposure than using the cellular network .
second, distance is your supporter. Keeping your cellular telephone 10 inches away from your body, as compared to one-tenth of an inch, results in a 10,000-fold reduction in exposure. indeed, keep your earphone aside from your head and body. Store your call in a purse or backpack. If you have to put it in your pocket, put it on airplane mode. Text, function wired headphones or speakerphone for calls. Don ’ t sleep with it adjacent to your promontory — turn it off or put it in another board.

Third, use your earphone merely when the bespeak is strong. Cellphones are programmed to increase radiation when the sign is hapless, that is when one or two bars are displayed on your call. For example, don ’ thyroxine use your call in an elevator or in a car, as metal structures intervene with the bespeak .
besides, I encourage people to learn more about the 150-plus local groups affiliated with Americans for Responsible Technology, which are working to educate policymakers, urging them to adopt cell tower regulations and photograph limits that amply protect us and the environment from the injury caused by wireless radiotherapy .
For safety tips on how to reduce photograph to wireless radiation from the California Department of Public Health and early organizations, Moskowitz recommends readers visit his web site,, Physicians for Safe Technology and the Environmental Health Trust .