From Magda Havas:
Letter to the Editor:
Re: Article by Melinda Wenner on Cellphone Games, The Walrus, September 2008
Melinda Wenner wrote an accurate account of what is happening with research on cell phones. She identifies the key players and how industry interferes with and tries to discredit reputable scientists. Even a two-fold increase in a rare form of brain tumor after 10 years of cell phone use is considerable given the fact that so many people are using cell phones. Studies to date have been done on adults and we know children are much more sensitive to environmental contaminants and more children are now using cell phones then ever before, even though the industry agreed not to market them to children just a few years ago. In the years to come, we are likely to see a sharp increase in tumor incident rates especially among younger people.
What perhaps was missing in this piece is that people are developing headaches, numbness and tingling sensations in their fingers and face, and difficulty with cognitive functions either when using or being in the presence of cell phones and/or cordless phones. Also, people who live within 400 meters of the antennas are experiencing adverse health symptoms. Studies are showing an increase in cancers and symptoms of what is now being called “electrohypersensitivity” or EHS. The symptoms are similar to rapid ageing with the exception that they are reversible in the early stages with appropriate treatment. As many as 3% of the population are already severely affected and another 35% have moderate symptoms.
Cell phones are the tip of the iceberg.
WiFi, WiMax, wireless routers, cordless phones, smart meters, radio frequency identification tags, broadband over powerlines, and even compact fluorescent lights emit radio frequency radiation and are increasing our ambient exposure levels. Adequate research is missing and the government needs to take responsibility and fund independent scientific studies in this area if it places any value on human and environmental health. This is likely to happen only if we value health above greed and if those in positions of power are principled and can severe the ties of their puppeteers. In the meantime, precaution needs be advocated for the use of cell phones and the siting of cell phone antennas as was done recently by the Toronto Board of Health and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.
Dr. Magda Havas, B.Sc., Ph.D.
Environmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University
Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, CANADA
phone: 705-748-1011 x7882