• 26 SEP 09
    • 0

    #1131: What to tell your employer about cell phones and PDAs in the workplace.

    From Cindy Sage, Sage Associates:

    What to tell your employer about cell phones and PDAs in the workplace.

    Neurological Effects of Wireless Technologies
    Talking Points on Cell Phones and Health Risks

    Cell Phones
    1) Adults who use cell phones for 10 years and longer have about a doubling of risk (200% risk) for malignant brain tumors. Every international study published that looks at 10 year and longer latency shows increased risk for glioma, Risks are higher with ipsilateral use (same side of head). Studies reporting “˜no risk”™ are looking at very short latencies, where you would not expect yet to see anything.

    2) Risks emerge with only 460 hours cumulative lifetime hours (French Interphone Study), but you are clearly in the “˜high risk”™ category with 2000 or more lifetime hours (Hardell et al, multiple studies 2004-2009). How many hours have YOU?

    3) Average life span for glioma victims is 403 days following diagnosis (think Ted Kennedy). Hardell reports they die so fast he can”™t interview them all, and that also dilutes these risk numbers.

    4) For acoustic neuromas, there is a 30% increased risk with cell phone use at ten years and longer; and a 240% increased risk of acoustic neuroma when the cell phone is used mainly on one side of the head.

    5) All recent meta-analyses of brain tumor/cell phone studies all show increased risk. This is true even where some studies have short latencies, exclude the heaviest user categories, and where “users are defined as one hour or more per week of cell phone use”. We consider those “unexposed” and they dilute risk findings, but even with them included in meta-analyses, risks still stand up.

    6) Children who use cell phones have more than a five-fold (500%) increased risk of malignant brain tumor by the time they reach the 20-29 age group.

    7) Maternal use of cell phones during pregnancy is reported to be associated with altered fetal brain development, which is expressed in serious behavioral difficulties in children by the time they reach school age (Divan et al, 2008).

    8) This could have serious implications to adult health and functioning in society if years of exposure of the young (in utero and otherwise) to both ELF and RF result in diminished capacity for thinking, judgment, memory, learning, and control over behavior.
    Cordless Phones
    9) Both cell phones and cordless phones increase the risk of brain tumors and acoustic neuroma. Most cordless phones today approach the power output of cell phones.

    10) Glioma from cordless phones is 220% higher (phone used both sides of the head). The risk from use of a cordless phone is 470% higher when used mostly on only one side of the head (ipsilateral).

    11) Acoustic neuroma is three-fold higher (310%) when cordless phone is mainly used on one side of the head. Effect of the surgery = loss of hearing, facial paralysis and/or permanent vertigo and loss of balance.

    What You Can Do

    Ask your office manager or owner of your business to write down and distribute an office policy on cell phone/PDA use and wireless in the workplace.

    It should include this advice:
    “¢ use corded phones for regular use, longer calls and your “˜first phone”™
    “¢ make fewer and shorter calls on cell phones, cordless phones and PDAs
    “¢ use speaker phone mode and text rather than talk.
    “¢ use a wired earpiece for cell phones (hollow-tube earpieces are preferable)
    “¢ adopt a corporate policy to issue only low SAR (low-emission) units.
    “¢ the lowest emission SAR still has to be used away from the head.
    “¢ do not wear cell phone/PDA next to your body when “ON”
    “¢ cell phone in a car is dangerous “” advise no use, or limit it. Many
    states have laws against handheld phone use while driving. It is no safer.
    “¢ ban texting while driving.
    “¢ damaged cell phones and PDAs (dropped, banged around) often have much
    higher emissions. Make sure if one is issued to you, it is in good condition.
    “¢ stay wired “” avoid wireless internet and WI-FI systems

    Choose cell phones without all the extra functions. iPhones, BlackBerrys and Treos have so many functions now that both their RF and their ELF (battery switching) emissions dwarf the older, clunkier models. Keep it simple.

    Strongly discourage or ban cell phone use in moving vehicles, and this includes texting. Brain function is altered, impairing judgment, reaction time, ability to think and react.

    Cindy Sage, MA, Sage Associates
    Co-Editor, BioInitiative Report
    Research Fellow, Department of Oncology, School of Health and Medical Sciences,
    Orebro University Hospital, Orebro, Sweden, 2008 – 2010.
    (805) 969-0557

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