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viernes, 28 de diciembre de 2012

How Science Can Deceive You about Your Cell Phone

By Dr. Mercola
In an interview with, Magda Havas, PhD, associate professor of Environment & Resource Studies at Trent University,1 Canada shares many of the deceptions surrounding cell phone science.2
As an expert in radiofrequency radiation, electromagnetic fields, dirty electricity and ground current, she is uniquely qualified to shed light on why it may appear as though cell phones are perfectly safe, when in fact the science itself shows the radiation cell phones emit is anything but …

Deception Apparent at All Levels of the Scientific Process

Deception starts even before a study begins, as soon as the funding source is determined. If it's an industry-funded study, the results are likely to overwhelmingly favor industry. And if they don't, confidentiality agreements typically have been signed that prevent the research from ever seeing the light of day.
What this means is that even if you scour the scientific literature to determine what the consensus is on any given health topic, what you'll find is an overwhelming preponderance of data in favor of the industry that in no way, shape or form reflects the reality of what the empirical results of the scientific investigation that went into that specific product actually revealed. "No Risk Found" might be the message, when significant risk was found.
Havas notes research by Dr. Henry Lai, a University of Washington scientist in cellular and molecular engineering, who reviewed 85 papers on the DNA-damaging effects of the type of microwave radiation that comes from cell phones. Seventy-five percent of the studies that showed no genotoxic effects were funded by the wireless industry or the military, while 80 percent of those that showed a connection were not.
In reality, only university researchers who are not beholden to industry funding are technically "free" to share and report their science, but even then, many are harassed if they attempt to do so. As TIME reported:3
"… independent studies on cell phone radiation found dangers at more than twice the rate of industry-funded studies — though because the cell phone industry is the source of much of the funding of cell phone studies, there are far more of the latter.
… Time and again … industry has been able to twist science just enough to stave off the possibility of any regulation — and finds that researchers are afraid of challenging the status quo, lest they find themselves suddenly out of a job, denied the lifeblood of research money.
Most of the few brave researchers who challenge the prevailing wisdom on cell phone radiation — like the electrical engineer Om Gandhi or the bioengineer Henry Lai — are senior scientists, secure in their positions and their tenure. But a young researcher just starting out is far more vulnerable to industry pressure. Science isn't as pristine as we imagine it."

Study Designs Often Knowingly Deceive

There are numerous ways to "rig" a trial so that it produces the desired results. In the cell phone realm, for instance, studies have found an increased risk of tumors after a period of 10 years of use among moderate to heavy users, levels that would be considered very light users by today's standards. In order to water down this finding, industry-funded research may focus on light cell phone users only.
For example, defining a 'regular user' as someone who used a cell phone once a week, or limiting the study to a shorter period of time where one would not expect to find risk, or excluding business users of cell phones (usually the heaviest users) from the analysis, as in the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort study, which was roundly criticized by scientists worldwide.4 The end result is a study appears to show that cell phones are "safe," when in reality it has intentionally removed the variables that would show harm.
Of the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort study, which continues to be paraded out with updates repeating the same flawed conclusions, Don Maisch, PhD of EMF Facts in Australia says:
"How could the glaring error of excluding corporate subscribers from the analysis be overlooked and the fact that all new subscribers post 1995 were relegated to being considered as non-users. As the old saying goes, 'rubbish in rubbish out.'"
According to Swedish investigative journalist Mona Nilsson, the Danish study is now being put forth as the "gold standard of epidemiology" in efforts to reverse the IARC decision that classified RF as a 'Possible Carcinogen,' along with claims that the Interphone study found no risk, which, she said, "clearly showed increased risks for today's normal users."
Nilsson says:
"The most striking deception in EMF science I know of is the CEFALO study, and calling the results 'reassuring.' Not only did the results indicate the opposite, increasing risks for children using mobile phones, but the study was clearly manipulated by the treatment of the cordless phone exposures."
The CEFALO study, a four-country, industry-funded study, "Mobile Phone Use and Brain Tumors in Children and Adolescents: A Multicenter Case–Control Study," published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,5 is a clear example where the study's conclusions and the PR are contradicted by the study's results, says Camilla Rees of
"It showed a 274% increased risk of brain cancer from cell phones, in children ages 7-19; that children have nearly 4x the risk compared to adults; that younger children have greater risk of brain cancer than older children; and that girls have greater risk of brain cancer than boys".
The spin included:
  • "The authors found little or no evidence that mobile phones increase brain tumor risk, and the single positive association could be explained by bias or chance"when in fact the data show multiple positive associations.
  • "The lack of genotoxicity of mobile phone radiation has been confirmed by experimental animal and laboratory studies"(citing only 2 papers from 1999 and 2001 vs. the multiplicity of papers showing genotoxicity published in the last decade.)
  • No conflict of interest statements from the authors were included, while many of the study's authors are known to be linked to industry and to other research supporting industry's interests.
The Interphone study, which cost more than $30 million to carry out (part of which was funded by the mobile phone industry) and was intended to provide the final word about cell phone brain tumor risks, is one of the most notorious examples of this.
When the results initially came out, they ignited a lightening storm of media headlines, many claiming, falsely, that the study found no link, or unclear evidence, linking cell phones to brain cancer. But when you look at Interphone's results in light of its design flaws, and include the information contained in two appendices, they paint a very dangerous picture for the health future of regular, every day cell phone users. reports:
"Note that two Appendices in the International Journal of Epidemiology show very different results than those published in the article, "Brain tumour risk in relation to mobile telephone use: results of the Interphone international case control study."
How is it that in the very same journal results from the same study can appear so different? Appendix 1 shows an 84% increased risk of meningioma for those who used a digital phone 1,640 or more hours. And those who used both digital and analog phones, or if the type of phone was unknown, had a 343% increased risk of meningiomas. But the original article published on Interphone results showed a decreased risk of meningiomas, or no risk at all, from cell phone use.
Appendix 2 shows much higher risk of gliomas than what was published in the original article. There is no good explanation for the very different results published for gliomas and meningiomas, nor any sense to publishing the appendices separately from the study itself unless one wanted to lower the reader's chances of seeing them. A video of the Interphone study design flaws featuring Lloyd Morgan can be found at
While certain media outlets continue to claim that regular cell phone use is unlikely to cause brain cancer, you should know that Interphone found "heavy users" of cell phones--aka very light users today--were found to have an approximately doubled risk of glioma, a life threatening and often-fatal brain tumor, after 10 years of cell phone use.
In other words, depending on your cell phone use you may be doubling your risk of a potentially fatal brain tumor. If you're a heavy user, your risk is likely much higher. A team of international EMF activists -- the International EMF Collaborative – even released a report detailing 15 serious design flaws of the Interphone study, "Cell Phones and Brain Tumors: 15 Reasons for Concern," highlighting what they call a 'systemic-skew' in the design that underestimated brain tumor risk (calculated subsequently to be a 25% underestimation).7 Among them:
  1. Categorizing subjects who used portable phones (which emit the same microwave radiation as cell phones) as 'unexposed'
  2. Excluding many types of brain tumors
  3. Excluding people who had died, or were too ill to be interviewed as a consequence of their brain tumor
  4. Excluding children and young adults, who are more vulnerable to the effects of radiation and who now use cell phones heavily
The Interphone study also has data on two other tumor types, acoustic neuromas and salivary gland tumors, which have been associated with cell phone use in the past. But the information was mysteriously left out of the published results, and some of the most damning results of what was published were only published in an Appendix to the study only available online, results that were not to be found in the study's abstract or media headlines. After closely reviewing the facts and the flaws of Interphone, the report concluded:
  • There is a risk of brain tumors from cell phone use
  • Telecom-funded studies underestimate the risk of brain tumors
  • Children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors
A subsequent mathematical analysis, "Re-evaluation of the Interphone Study: Application of a Correction Factor," presented at the Bioelectromagnetics Society meeting in Seoul, Korea in 2010 by Lloyd Morgan, calculated there was at least an approximately 25% underestimation of risk in the Interphone study's results.8

Even the Way Science Is Published and Reported Makes a Major Difference in Perception

Research journals tend to be more likely to publish studies that show dramatic results, positive results, or results from "hot" competitive fields. Some journal editors also get money from industry to act as consultants or expert witnesses in hearings, and this obviously poses a conflict of interest regarding which studies end up being published.
Even then, once a study makes it into a journal, a study may leave crucial data out of the abstract (which is the only part most people read), making it appear favorable when it's not. Then the media will pick up on the study, and continue to further spread the misleading information. Typically, when the media reports a study about the risks of cell phones, they will counter it with input from an industry "expert" who reaffirms that cell phones are safe. This goal of 'balancing the coverage' gives the impression that the jury is still out regarding cell phone risks, when in reality there are now too many studies showing harm to ignore, and the long-term trend data is starting to accumulate.
For example, in a presentation recently in San Francisco at the American Public Health Association conference, a poster by Yueh-Ying Han, PhD et al presented evidence showing that in the years 1990-2009 in the U.S. the incidence of gliomas in people less than 50 years of age is increasing for males and females. In all the age groups considered (<20 yrs, 20-29, 30-39 and 40-49) the increases were statistically significant or very near significant.
We have also recently seen a doubling of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the worst kind of brain cancer, in Denmark, in the last 10 years, and similar findings in Australia.9 It would certainly be more helpful if journalists would read and ponder the evidence, and then draw their own conclusions, instead of merely enabling a public forum (i.e. "he said, she said") that only helps to publicize what manipulators of the information would like people to believe — that there is no consensus and no certainty about risks. An excellent book on how industries with commercial interests can manipulate science, manufacture perceptions about risks, and influence policy is "Doubt Is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health."
Sometimes, due to design flaws in EMF studies, the results can be fantastical, even showing RF exposure has protective effect for brain tumors, as was found in certain Interphone studies. If the flaw systematically underestimates the risk of brain cancer, as the Interphone study does, this pushes down the risk to where it becomes protection. Of course, this is just an artifact of the design flaws. Yet, despite the design flaws, the Interphone study found a more than doubled risk of brain tumors among the highest users of cell phones. Because of the systemic underestimation of risk, the more than doubled risk found is higher than was published.
Once, a study assessing risk of lymphoma from GSM mobile phone radiation exposure in mice actually showed increased weight gain in mice that had already died. James C. Lin, a Commissioner of International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), described this observation in The Radio Science Bulletin.10 He said:
"There are also some rather glaring inconsistencies in the published data. For example, some or all of the mice were dead after 18 or 20 months, but had weight gains up to 26 months."
This is especially noteworthy, given Lin is an ICNIRP Commissioner.

The "Non-Replication Replication" Study

Common, according to Lloyd Morgan, are these "non-replication replication studies," or studies that pretend to "improve" the initial study that found adverse health effects. An 'improved" study is by definition not a replication, thus it become a non-replication, replication study. The most egregious example of this was the non-replication, replication study that reported mice that had died continued to gain weight." The journal that published the study, Radiation Research, has been called "The Cult of Negative Results" in a lengthy expose by Microwave News that is well worth reading.11  
Morgan says:
"Many years ago at a Bioelectromagnetics Society (BEMS) meeting there was a study that purported to find no expression of stress genes from exposure to 50 Hz electromagnetic fields. Following the presentation, I asked the presenter if he had used a pure 50 Hz sine wave. He replied, 'Of course.' I responded, 'I guarantee you that if you had turned the sine wave off and on once a minute you would have found an effect.' 
His reply was all telling. He said 'But Reba Goodman, says it must be turned off and on every 20 minutes.' It was all telling because he knew the literature and had designed the study to not find an effect, which is what he was reporting.  This is but one of many techniques used to not find anything."
Another book on deceptions in science is "Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research." The authors explain both financial and legal tactics political and corporate advocates use to discredit or suppress research on potential human health risks, such as scientists finding "their research blocked, or themselves threatened with financial ruin." Sadly, not just corporations, but their attorneys, government agencies and think tanks have evidently been caught suppressing or mis-communicating science on matters of public health and safety.

Misleading Information Often Spread by the Media

Sometimes the media itself is responsible for spreading inaccurate and misleading information, such as occurred with an article published in The Economist last year,12 which included such statements as "Concerns about the danger posed to human health by radio waves are misplaced — and increasingly irrelevant."
A team of more than two-dozen international experts in the field rebutted the article and gave extensive corrections to the technical errors and misleading statements in the article,13 but it appears no correction was ever published, though it was distributed widely to editorial staff and management at The Economist. As for why The Economist chose to publish such a misleading and incompletely researched article in the first place, the experts questioned:14
"Readers are left to wonder whether the significant advertising revenues generated from cellphones may account for The Economist's lopsided and misleading editorial. One analysis of U.S. newspaper advertising conducted by in 2010 showed that print ad space from telecommunications businesses was estimated to be between 1.77% and 11.40% of total print advertising space during the sample period.
How much advertising revenue does The Economist and its related entities receive from telecommunications advertising, and what steps has The Economist taken to ensure balanced reporting on this vitally important industry?"
The highly misleading information in The Economist article, with no byline on the article, circulated globally to Economistreaders, who are located in 90 countries, and in 30 languages. It is hard to undo this kind of damage. Forbes magazine, too, has recently been showing its stripes, with the article, "How Activism Distorts The Assessment Of Health Risks" by Geoffrey Kabat.15The author tries to make the case that the landmark International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) decision to classify RF radiation as a Class 2B Possible Carcinogen overstates the risk.
According to Lloyd Morgan:
"Geoffrey Kabat is a well known tobacco 'scientist' who published papers funded by the tobacco industry. Could his attack on the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer be a continuation of his history?"
EMF Facts Consultancy in Australia says:16
"Kabat's connections with the tobacco industry over the years have been well documented. A search of internal industry documents finds Kabat's name listed as an industry resource more than 7,000 times, showing his involvement with, among others, Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, American Tobacco Company, and CIAR … The data and design of the Enstrom and Kabat secondhand smoke study has been widely criticized. Even the British Medical Association, the publisher of the journal that printed the study, described the research as being "fundamentally flawed." The misuse of data and flawed methodology are two very significant faults in the study."
Kabat's book, "Hyping Health Risks: Environmental Hazards in Daily Life and the Science of Epidemiology," featured on the Columbia University Press website, is described as showing:
" …that a variety of factors can contribute to the inflating of a hazard. These include skewed reporting by the media, but also, surprisingly, the actions of researchers who may emphasize certain findings while ignoring others; regulatory and health agencies eager to show their responsiveness to the health concerns of the public; and politicians and advocates with a stake in a particular outcome."
Interesting. This is an example of masterful spin — accusing others of the things of which industry itself is guilty. In the case of tobacco, we all know the industry was guilty of lying. It may have taken decades to work through the courts, but finally, in November 2012, a court ruled the tobacco industry must publically admit they lied.
According to Reuters: 17
"Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled … "
We expect to ultimately see similar punishment for the telecom industry, and its executives, who knowingly blanketed the population in radiation that was impossible for billions of people to avoid. 
Around the same time that the Forbes article was published, published an article18 mentioning that article and one other in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, "False Positives in Cancer Epidemiology," both reinforcing the same themes.
The article in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention19 was authored by Joseph McLaughlin and Robert Tarone. They are founders of the International Epidemiology Institute (IEI), according to Lloyd Morgan, and the architects of what became the Danish Cellphone Subscriber Cohort Study, widely criticized for its deceptions (see "British Medical Journal's Upcoming Cell Phone Study Deeply Flawed"20), and prior to creating the for-profit IEI, were long-term staffers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), which references the deeply flawed and widely criticized Danish Cohort study as evidence of 'no risk'.
According to Morgan:
"This appears (the Forbes Magazine article and the 'epimonitor' article) to be an orchestrated campaign to challenge the IARC finding that RF radiation is a 'Possible Carcinogen.' One can only wonder if this constellation of spin has been funded by the reported hundreds of millions of dollars allocated to refute the IARC results."
Camilla Rees of says:
"The IARC decision to classify RF radiation as a 'Possible Carcinogen' was the first instance providing an official scientific basis on which governments, schools and parents could legitimately call for precautionary behavior regarding these radiation-emitting devices. A backlash on the IARC decision from the cell phone industry was to be expected, and we are now seeing it getting underway."
She adds,"But what people need to remember is that some scientists say the IARC classification is still not strong enough, and that RF should have been classified as a 'Probable Human Carcinogen' (Class 2A) based the existing science."

Credible Cell Phone Studies Being Wrongly Attacked

Dr. Franz Adlkofer, who led the landmark REFLEX study, conducted by 12 institutes in seven countries, that confirmed the likelihood of long-term genetic damage in the blood and brains of users of mobile phones, and other sources of electromagnetic fields, and who was initially accused of fraud by Professor Alexander Lerchl of the German Commission on Radiological Protection, and then totally exonerated, had the opportunity recently to present on institutional corruption at Harvard Law School's Safra Center for Ethics, in a presentation called "Protection Against Radiation is in Conflict with Science."21
"In May 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified high frequency electromagnetic fields including cell phone radiation as merely "possibly carcinogenic" for humans, Adlkofer said, but he pointed out that studies such as REFLEX were not taken into account in reaching that determination. Had they been, he said, the classification likely would have changed from "possibly" carcinogenic to "probably."
In addition to attacking Dr. Adlkofer, Professor Lerchl has of late been proactively attacking studies by Lennart Hardell from Orebro University in Sweden. These high-quality independent studies show an increased risk for brain tumors in long-term users of mobile and cordless phones and were an important basis on which IARC classified RF radiation as a 'Possible Carcinogen.' Dr. Hardell has responded in "A fairy tale by Alexander Lerchl and Mikko Paunio without scientific credibility."22
At the Harvard Safra Center for Ethics, Dr. Adlkofer said:23
"The practices of institutional corruption in the area of wireless communication are of enormous concern, if one considers the still uncertain outcome of the ongoing field study with five billion participants. Based on the unjustified trivializing reports distributed by the mass media by order and on account of the wireless communication industry, the general public cannot understand that its future wellbeing and health may be at stake.
The people even distrust those scientists who warn. In democracies, it is a basic principle that above power and their owners are laws, rules, and regulations. Since in the area of wireless communication this principle has been severely violated it is in the interest of a democratic society to insist on its compliance."
Fast forward to current efforts to disparage the validity of the IARC findings. "We come full circle," says Lloyd Morgan," when we become aware of the paper, "Boffetta P, McLaughlin JK, LaVecchia C, Tarone RE, Lipworth L, Blot WJ. False-positive results in cancer epidemiology: a plea for epistemological modesty. J Natl Cancer Inst 100:988-995 (2008)."
Are we surprised that we have come full circle to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, the Institute where McLaughlin and Tarone (authors of "False Positives in Cancer Epidemiology") decided to found IEI, which has been identified by "Doubt is Their Product's" author, David Michaels, as one of the myriad "product protection firms" for hire to create doubt for industrial clients? "
Much of the long history of deceptions in science regarding electromagnetic fields can be found in "Warning: Your Cell Phones May Be Hazardous to Your Health" by Christopher Ketcham, and in the book "Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family," by Devra Davis, PhD. 
The hidden and important influence of the telecommunications industry on radiofrequency standard setting around the world has been exhaustively researched by Don Maisch, PhD of EMF Facts Consultancy in Australia, in the interest of establishing biologically relevant exposure standards, published as "The Procrustean Approach Setting Exposure Standards for Telecommunications Frequency Electromagnetic Radiation."24 It examines, says Maisch, "the manipulation of telecommunications standards by political, military, and industrial vested interests at the expense of public health protection."

The U.S. Government is Not Protecting You from Cell Phone Dangers

Despite the shenanigans, which we expect we'll see more of, the link between brain damage and cell phone use has become too strong to deny. Last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the World Health Organization (WHO), reviewed relevant studies and declared that cell phones are possible cancer-causing agents because of the radiofrequency radiation (RF) they emit, in the same category as diesel engine exhaust, some pesticides, and some heavy metals. The expert panel ruled that there was some evidence that regular cell phone use increased the risk of two types of tumors – brain tumors (gliomas) and acoustic neuromas.
A cell phone is a two-way microwave-radiating device whose long-term use has been associated with not only brain tumors but seven cancers in all, including glioma, acoustic neuroma, meningioma, salivary gland tumors, eye cancer, testicular cancer and leukemia, along with a wide range of other biological effects.
Dr. Martin Blank of Columbia University, at the annual conference of the Institute for Bau (Building) Biology and Ecology, said that while there is not yet epidemiological data linking cell phone radiation to breast cancer, there is evidence from cell studies showing inhibition of the effects of Tamoxifen in electromagnetic fields, as well as evidence of tumors where women have placed cell phones in their bras, news that was featured recently on KTVU in the San Francisco Bay Area.25
Can this ruling potentially lead to future litigation in the U.S. and elsewhere? Can it somehow alter the insurance landscape? Yes, it can."26
The cell phone industry, however, is one of the fastest growing and strongest global industries in the world today and may be even stronger than the pharmaceutical industry. As a multi-trillion dollar industry whose advertising dollars support and heavily influence media around the world, this industry is capable of wielding great power by making sizable political donations and through persistent lobbying efforts that influence and sometimes even directly shape government policies.
So while the dangers of cell phones will one day be as well known as tobacco dangers, and perhaps the companies will have to publically admit their deceit, there's going to be a window when people are extremely vulnerable.  That window is right now.
Around the world, many countries are already adopting the Precautionary Principle. Russian officials have issued the recommendation that all children under the age of 18 should avoid using cell phones entirely. The UK, Israel, Belgium, Germany, India, France and Finland also urge citizens to err on the side of caution with respect to their children's use of cell phones.

How to Protect Yourself

In the United States, public warnings are not yet commonplace, but it's still important to protect yourself. You can minimize your exposure, and that of your loved ones, to electromagnetic radiation from cell phones and other wireless devices by heeding the following advice:
  • Children Should Always Avoid Using Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type.
  • Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters. As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call. If you're pregnant, avoiding or reducing your cell phone use, and keeping it away from your body, is critically important.
  • Use a Land Line at Home and at Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness. SKYPE offers an online, portable number, with voicemail one can access via any Ethernet port while traveling, or via wireless access if necessary.
  • Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them as often as you do. And most importantly, do not even consider having any electronic or wireless devices in the bedroom that will interfere with the quality of your sleep, and if there is a wireless router, make sure it is turned off at night.
    If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are not safer during calls, but at least many of them do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made. Note the only way to truly be sure if there is an exposure from your cordless phone is to measure with an electrosmog meter, and it must be one that goes up to the frequency of your portable phone (so old meters won't help much). As many portable phones are 5.8 Gigahertz, we recommend you look for RF meters that go up to 8 Gigahertz, the highest range now available in a meter suitable for consumers.
    Alternatively you can be very careful with the base station placement as that causes the bulk of the problem since it transmits signals 24/7, even when you aren't talking. So if you can keep the base station at least three rooms away from where you spend most of your time, and especially your bedroom, they may be less damaging to your health. Another option is to just simply turn the portable phone off, only using it when you specifically need the convenience of moving about while on a call.
    Ideally it would be helpful to turn off your base station every night before you go to bed. EcoDect portable phones, which only transmit radiation when being used, have been introduced in Germany, where we are encouraged to learn that country's Environmental Minister, Peter Altmaier, has named 'Improving Protection from Electromagnetic Fields' # 6 of his 10-Point Plan. We expect in time to see similar portable phones here.
    You can find RF meters as well as remediation supplies at But you can pretty much be sure your portable phone is a problem if the technology is DECT, or digitally enhanced cordless technology.
  • Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
  • Avoid Carrying Your Phone on Your Body as that merely maximizes any potential exposure. Ideally put it in your purse or carrying bag. Placing a cell phone in a shirt pocket over the heart is asking for trouble, as is placing it in a man's pocket if he seeks to preserve his fertility. A new App for Android, "Too Close," has been developed by a California company, Green Swan, designed to issue an alert any time a cellphone is too close to your head.
  • Don't Assume One Cell Phone is Safer than Another: There's no such thing as a "safe" cell phone. This is particularly true when it comes to SAR ratings, which are virtually useless in measuring the true potential biological danger as most all of the damage is not done by heat transfer, which SAR measures.
  • Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When it is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area, nor near a cell phone that is 'On' for lengthy periods.
  • Respect Others Who are More Sensitive: Some people who have become sensitive can feel the effects of others' cell phones in the same room, even when it is on but not being used. If you are in a meeting, on public transportation, in a courtroom or other public places, such as a doctor's office, keep your cell phone turned off out of consideration for the 'second hand radiation' effects. Children are also more vulnerable, so please avoid using your cell phone near children.
    If you are using the Pong case, which redirects the cell phone radiation away from the head and successfully lowers the SAR effect, realize that in redirecting the radiation away from your head this may be intensifying the radiation in another direction, perhaps toward the person next to you, or, if in your pocket, increasing radiation intensity toward your body. Caution is always advised in dealing with any radiation-emitting device. We recommend cell phones be kept 'Off' except for emergencies.
  • Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded – and most of them are not – the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain.
    Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded. The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.


martes, 25 de diciembre de 2012

El wi-fi, bien lejos de los chicos y las embarazadas


Un estudio californiano indica que los campos magnéticos pueden afectar la salud de los niños en gestación, que en un 68% podrían sufrir problemas de obesidad.

Cuando llega el embarazo, hay que evitar las ondas magnéticas

02/08/12 - 16:24
La utilidad del wi-fi la conocemos todos. Conexiones veloces e inalámbricas sobre todo, sin necesidad de cables, enchufes y limitaciones varias.

Un poco menos es lo que sabemos sobre los efectos colaterales para la salud: los riesgos para los adultos son casi nulos, pero, como sostiene el Codacons de Italia (Asociación para la Defensa del Ambiente y los Derechos de los Usuarios y Consumidores) a la luz de un estudio californiano publicado en Nature's Scientific Reports, para los bebés no nacidos aún la situación es distinta.

Según esta investigación, la exposición dentro del útero a campos magnéticos relativamente fuertes, como los generados por un microondas o los dispositivos wi-fi, aumenta el riesgo de obesidad en los niños.
Los científicos destacan en particular que, si la exposición es alta, el riesgo de tener un niño obeso aumenta un 69%. El estudio, conducido por el consorcio Kaiser Permanente, siguió de cerca el embarazo de centenares de mujeres norteamericanas y monitoreó luego el desarrollo de 733 de sus hijos hasta los 13 años, en 33 fases distintas de la vida.

El análisis final de los datos reveló una conexión directamente proporcional entre los niveles de exposición a los campos electromagnéticos y la obesidad. Una conclusión alarmante por parte de Codacons que, en aplicación del principio de precaución y a la espera de una respuesta definitiva de parte de los científicos, pide interrumpir “el flujo de los dispositivos wi-fi iniciados por muchas ciudades”.

Son de hecho cada vez más numerosas las administraciones de gobierno que realizaron o están realizando la cobertura wi-fi en todo el territorio comunal, para permitir así el acceso gratuito a la red de Internet a ciudadanos y turistas.

Un tipo de conexión, subraya la asociación de consumidores, que “parece hoy haberse convertido en una carrera política en nombre de la modernidad. Es una lástima que nadie hasta ahora haya estado en condiciones de excluir las posibles consecuencias negativas para la salud del hombre, como demuestra el estudio que se acaba de publicar”.

Por ello, según el Codacons, tendría que estar prohibida al menos la instalacion de wi-fi en la proximidad de asilos, escuelas, parques públicos, hospitales, bibliotecas y otros lugares sensibles, frecuentados por niños y mujeres embarazadas.

(Traducción: Silvia S. Simonetti)

domingo, 23 de diciembre de 2012

Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin Anu Karinen, Sirpa Heinävaara, Reetta Nylund and Dariusz Leszczynski*

Research article   Open Access Highly Accessed
Anu Karinen, Sirpa Heinävaara, Reetta Nylund, Dariusz LeszczynskiBMC Genomics 2008, 9:77 (11 February 2008)

STUK – Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority, Laippatie 4, 00880 Helsinki, Finland
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BMC Genomics 2008, 9:77 doi:10.1186/1471-2164-9-77

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Received:13 November 2007
Accepted:11 February 2008
Published:11 February 2008

© 2008 Karinen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



Earlier we have shown that the mobile phone radiation (radiofrequency modulated electromagnetic fields; RF-EMF) alters protein expression in human endothelial cell line. This does not mean that similar response will take place in human body exposed to this radiation. Therefore, in this pilot human volunteer study, using proteomics approach, we have examined whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people.


Small area of forearm's skin in 10 female volunteers was exposed to RF-EMF (specific absorption rate SAR = 1.3 W/kg) and punch biopsies were collected from exposed and non-exposed areas of skin. Proteins extracted from biopsies were separated using 2-DE and protein expression changes were analyzed using PDQuest software. Analysis has identified 8 proteins that were statistically significantly affected (Anova and Wilcoxon tests). Two of the proteins were present in all 10 volunteers. This suggests that protein expression in human skin might be affected by the exposure to RF-EMF. The number of affected proteins was similar to the number of affected proteins observed in our earlier in vitro studies.


This is the first study showing that molecular level changes might take place in human volunteers in response to exposure to RF-EMF. Our study confirms that proteomics screening approach can identify protein targets of RF-EMF in human volunteers.


Physiological functions of human body are regulated by electric currents. Therefore, is not surprising that placing human body within electromagnetic field, of sufficient strength, may affect physiological processes. The possibility of induction of biological and health effects by low energy radiation emitted by mobile phones (radiofrequency-modulated electromagnetic fields: RF-EMF) remains a controversial issue. In spite of years of research, there is still ongoing discussion whether RF-EMF could induce any physiologically relevant effects [1]. The vast majority of the so far conducted research has focused on cancer. However, RF-EMF is also suspected as potential cause of such ailments as sleep disorders, headaches or allergy-like symptoms [2].
We have proposed that proteomics screening may be used to reveal molecular targets of RF-EMF and help to understand the possible biochemical mechanism of the RF-EMF-induced effects [3]. Our earlier proteomics studies have shown that changes in protein expression and activity (phosphorylation) were induced in human endothelial cell line EA.hy926 that was exposed to RF-EMF [4-7]. These in vitro observed effects, however, do not automatically mean that similar changes would happen in the cells of mobile phone users. Therefore, the present pilot study was undertaken to determine whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will induce any changes in protein expression and whether it will be possible to find common protein(s) that respond to RF-EMF in all volunteers.


Ethical permit to perform this study was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Department of Surgery of Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland. A small skin area of a forearm of 10 of same sex (female) volunteers (age 27 – 65 years; mean 51 years) were irradiated for 1 hour with 900 MHz GSM signal at specific absorption rate (SAR) of 1.3 W/kg, using specially designed exposure setup [8]. The mobile phone safety limit SAR is 2.0 W/kg, as recommended by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).
Immediately after the exposure, a punch biopsy of the exposed area of skin (experimental sample) was taken by a physician. Another punch biopsy was taken from the other, non-exposed, forearm (sham sample). In this experimental set-up each volunteer acted as its own sham control. Both exposed and non-exposed skin samples of all volunteers were immediately snap-frozen in liquid nitrogen and stored before extraction of proteins.
Proteins from all samples were extracted using TRIzol Reagent (Invitrogen) and separated using 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) with pH gradient range of 4–7 in the first dimension and 9% SDS-PAGE gel in the second dimension (GE Healthcare). Proteins were detected by silver staining and spot distribution pattern was analyzed using PDQuest 7.2 software (Bio-Rad).
We have analyzed a fragment of proteome: proteins with the isoelectric point (pI) 4–7 and the molecular weight <40 kDa, because the protein spot separation in 2-DE in this area was clearly distinguishable (Figure 1). Firstly, using PDQuest software, for each volunteer was generated an artificial gel, by combining protein expression profiles from sham and exposed samples. Thereafter, all 10 artificial gels were combined into single artificial master gel and the differentially expressed protein spots, which were detected in at least 4 volunteers, were statistically analyzed.
thumbnailFigure 1. Artificial master gel for all sham and exposed skin samples of all 10 volunteers. Statistically significantly affected protein spots are marked in red color (declined expression) and in green color (increased expression).
The ratio of exposed and sham sample expression was analyzed spot by spot, after logarithm transformation, with variance analysis (anova). Due to small numbers and potential violations of model assumptions, the ratios were also studied with the Wilcoxon test. The statistical analysis has identified 8 differentially expressed proteins where the change in expression was statistically significant among the 579 identified proteins spots (Table 1). Two of the protein spots (#3701, #4801) were present in all 10 volunteers thus showing that it is possible to find common, responding proteins among the all volunteers. The p-values are not adjusted for multiple comparisons.
Table 1. List of proteins that were present in at least 4 volunteers and which expression has been changed in statistically significant manner (<0.05) as determined by the variance analysis and the Wilcoxon test. Ratio = exposed sample expression/sham sample expression.


Proteomics approach to study effects of mobile phone radiation on cells has been used so far only by two research groups, ours in Helsinki and group the Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China. Our studies, using human endothelial cell lines have shown that mobile phone radiation induces statistically significant changes in the expression of several tens of proteins [6] and that the response of cell might be proteome-dependent [7]. In one study, the group in China has not found statistically significant differences in protein expression in MCF-7 cells [9]. The reason for it might be too low number of experiments in MCF-7 study [9]. In our studies statistical analysis was based on 10 different experiments whereas Zeng et al. [9] based their analysis on only three replicates. Another reason for the difference might be different sensitivity of MCF-7 cells as compared with ours endothelial cell lines EA.hy926 and EA.hy926v1. In the other study from Zhejiang University[10] were found 4 differentially expressed proteins in lens epithelial cells, among them the stress response protein Hsp70.
The obtained results, suggesting effect of mobile phone radiation on protein expression in human cell lines, do not automatically mean that this exposure will have any effect on protein expression in humans. The so far conducted human volunteer studies have focused on cognitive responses to RF-EMF [2] and there is no information available about the proteome, as well as transcriptome, response to mobile phone radiation in humans. This study is, to our knowledge, the first one where human response to RF-EMF was examined on molecular level. Our results suggest that human skin might respond to RF-EMF and change protein expression profile. Interestingly, when adjusting results of our previous cellular study [6] using the size of proteome analyzed in the present study (pI 4–7; <40 kDa) the number of the statistically significantly affected proteins appears to be similar in this and in earlier [6] study, 8 spots and 9 spots, respectively. The number of differentially expressed protein spots in both studies is below the number of expected false positives. However, as we have demonstrated experimentally [6] and discussed previously [11] it is likely that some of the proteins will be indeed, real positives. However, without further testing, it is not possible to predict whether these changes will have impact on skin physiology.
Finally, our study confirms that the proposed by us proteomics approach [3] can identify protein targets of RF-EMF. This approach to EMF research has been subsequently accepted by the EMF scientists [12,13] and has been included into the 2006 World Health Organization Research Agenda[14]. However, new and larger study is urgently needed to strengthen our pilot observations and to determine what impact mobile phone exposure might have on human tissues.


▪ Mobile phone radiation might alter protein expression in human skin.
▪ Physiological significance of this change is not known and requires further study.
▪ Larger human volunteer study will be needed to confirm results of this pilot study.
▪ Proteomics screening is valid method for search for molecular targets of mobile phone radiation. Without this approach the identification of the proteins responding to mobile phone radiation would not be reasonably possible.


Ethical issues

Ethical permit to perform this study was obtained, in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration, from the Ethics Committee of the Department of Surgery of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa, Finland (decision #127/2005 issued on November 23, 2005). Each volunteer was informed in detail about all experimental procedures and each of them has signed the informed consent form (in Finnish language).

Exposure of volunteers to mobile phone radiation

Volunteers were exposed to 900 MHz GSM mobile phone radiation in an experimental setup described in detail elsewhere [8]. The source of irradiation was a half-wave dipole fed with a computer controlled GSM phone. The specific absorption rate (SAR) induced in the skin was 1.3 W/kg what is below the ICNIRP safety guidelines (2.0 W/kg). During the exposure small area of the right forearms was irradiated for one hour. The other, non-irradiated forearm was used as sham control. Immediately after exposure skin punch-biopsies were taken from the exposed and non-exposed skin for protein analysis.

Protein extraction from skin biopsies

Skin punch biopsies, consisting of both dermis and epidermis but without the underlying fat tissue, were frozen immediately after harvesting in liquid nitrogen and stored at -80°C. Isolation and separation of proteins were performed in the blinded manner. Proteins were isolated from frozen skin using TRIzol® reagent protocol as described by the manufacturer (Invitrogen, Carlsbad, CA, USA) with a few modifications. Briefly, the chopped skin punch-biopsies were immersed in 0.5 ml of ice-cold TRIzol reagent and homogenized on ice with 70 strokes of the pestle in DUALL 1 ml tissue grinder (Kimble Chase Life Science and Research Products, Vineland, NJ, USA). After the phase separation of TRIzol reagent, the organic phase containing DNA and proteins was collected. DNA was then precipitated with ethanol and proteins were isolated from the phenol-ethanol supernatant. The proteins were then precipitated by isopropyl alcohol and pelleted at 12000 × g for 10 min at +4°C. The protein pellet was washed 3 times with 0.3 M guanidine hydrochloride solution in 95% ethanol and once with 99.5% ethanol. During the extraction pellets were grinded with pellet pestle in order to improve the solubility of the proteins. After each wash step, proteins were centrifuged 7500 × g for 5 min at +4°C. The air-dried protein pellet was dissolved in 2-DE rehydration buffer containing 9 M urea, 2% (w/v) CHAPS, 0.5% (v/v) IPG buffer pH 4–7 and 5 mg/ml DTT (added as fresh). The protein concentration of sample was measured using the Bradford method. The samples were stored at -80°C.

Protein separation with 2-DE

Proteins were separated by standard 2-DE. Briefly, the first dimension was performed in IPGphor™ (GE Healthcare, UK) isoelectric focusing (IEF) apparatus. Linear, 24 cm long, pH 4–7 Immobiline™ DryStrip gels (IPG-strips, GE Healthcare, UK) were rehydrated in the strip holders for 4 hours in 0.45 ml rehydration buffer containing 9 M urea, 2% (w/v) CHAPS, 0.5% (v/v) IPG-buffer pH 4–7, 1.2% (v/v) DeStreak™ reagent, a trace of bromophenol blue and 150 μg of total amount of protein. IEF was carried out at +20°C using following step-and-hold settings: 50 V, 8 h; 100 V, 1 h; 500 V, 1 h; 1000 V, 1 h; 2000 V, 1 h; 8000 V, until 95000 Vh was achieved. Then, the IPG-strips were incubated at room temperature in equilibration buffer (50 mM Tris-HCl, pH 8.8, 6 M urea, 30% (v/v) glycerol, 2% (w/v) SDS, a trace of bromophenol blue, and 10 mg/ml DTT) for 15 min and for another 15 min in the same buffer that contained 25 mg/ml of iodoacetamide instead of DTT. The second-dimension separation was performed using 9%SDS-PAGE gels. Electrophoresis was carried out at +10°C using an Ettan™ DALTsix electrophoresis unit (GE Healtcare) at a constant power of 3.5 W/gel for 0.5 h and then 13 W/gel until the dye front reached the bottom of the gel (about 4 h). The ready gels were silver stained to visualize protein spots. Stained gels were scanned into computer using GS-710 Calibrated Imaging Densitometer (Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, CA, USA). The gels were analyzed using PDQuest 7.2 software (Bio-Rad).


CHAPS, 3-[(3-Cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propanesulfonate; 2-DE, 2-dimensional electrophoresis; DTT, dithiothreitol; EA.hy926, human endothelial cell line; ICNIRP, International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection; IEF, isoelectric focusing; IPG, immobilized pH gradient; MCF-7, human breast adenocarcinoma cell line; pI, isoelectric point; RF-EMF, radiofrequency modulated electromagnetic field; SAR, specific absorption rate; SDS, sodium dodecyl sulfate; SDS-PAGE, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis; Tris-HCl, Tris(hydroxymethyl)aminomethane hydrochloride;

Authors' contributions

AK executed the proteomics experiments and performed analysis of the proteomics data. RN assisted in designing of the study, participated in writing the grant funding the study, assisted in analysis of proteomics data. SH performed statistical analysis of the data. DL conceived and designed the study, obtained grant funding the study, coordinated execution and analysis of the results and wrote the draft manuscript. All authors participated in the writing of the final version of the manuscript, read it and approved it.


We thank Dr. J. Halttunen (Central Hospital of the University of Helsinki) for taking skin biopsies. Funding was provided by Tekes – Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (HERMO project) and by STUK- Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority.


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