PRESS RELEASE: Top Doctors Urge Cell Phone Companies To Come Clean On Health Dangers Posed By Radiation

JACKSON, WY — June 23, 2011 — Following the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that cell phone radiation is a possible cause of cancer in humans,  a growing number of scientists are calling on the cell phone industry to cooperate in studying the issue.  In 2008, when testifying before Congress, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, Chairman of the Board of EHT and renowned cancer biologist, asked industry to turn over records of calls with confidentiality protected so that researchers would not have to rely on the memory of those with brain cancer to determine their patterns of cell phone use.

“In light of the WHO determination that cellphone radiation and electromagnetic fields are possible causes of cancer in humans, it is unconscionable that researchers do not have access to this information at this time,”  Dr. Herberman said.     “We as a nation cannot afford to go down the road of willful ignorance again, with cell phone radiation standing in for tobacco,” said Dr. Devra Davis, cancer epidemiologist and President of EHT,   “We should take simple precautions to prevent harm from radiation, and also promote extensive research on these ubiquitous devices.”

To view a recent interview with other scientists from the University of California who share these opinions,  please follow this link:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWfkF7HF1ac

The following list of facts vs. myths about cell phone radiation has been compiled by Environmental Health Trust. The recent WHO statement has provoked a litany of responses from critics within the cell phone industry.  Here are some of the most common myths that have been aired since the statement was released, along with the countering FACT, which is rooted in the latest and most accurate scientific research findings.


 MYTH:

“The WHO statement does not mean cell phones cause cancer, because it is based on limited evidence.”

 

FACT: 

The WHO determination that “radiofrequency radiation and electromagnetic fields” are a possible “carcinogen” rests on an exhaustive examination of peer-reviewed, published epidemiology studies, industry-funded Interphone studies, and hundreds of scientific papers on radiofrequency radiation.

The data and weight of the evidence found that with more than 10 years of use (with 30 minutes a day considered as high use), there is a significantly increased risk of glioma, a lethal brain tumor.

Thirty-one highly acclaimed members of the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC), a WHO committee, voted in a nearly unanimous decision after detailed examination of this data.  In their expert opinion, the evidence warranted a 2b classification, the same category a possible carcinogenic.

IF THE CELL PHONE INDUSTRY HAS STUDIES PROVING OTHERWISE, NOW IS THE TIME TO SHARE THEM WITH THE PUBLIC.

 

MYTH:

“There is no known biological mechanism for cell phone radiation to cause cancer.” (Implication: The data must be wrong.)


FACT

This statement is intended to mislead the public.  It implies that science understands the underlying mechanisms through which cancer arises in all instances.  In the history of science, it often takes decades before a mechanism is understood.  We do not fully understand the biological mechanism through which tobacco causes lung cancer.  The data reviewed by the WHO was substantial enough to bring them to an almost unanimous decision regarding this classification of cell phone radiation as a possible cause of cancer.


MYTH:

“If cell phones were really causing brain tumors, with so many people using them, we should be seeing an increase in brain tumor incidence, and we are not.”


FACT

Many doctors report that they are seeing an increase in brain tumors in younger persons in their own practices.  Because more than 70% of all brain cancer occurs in persons over age 60, the overall age-adjusted rate of brain cancer reflects chiefly what has happened in older persons.  From other research we know that the average latency period between exposure and development of a glioma is 20 to 30 years (similar to all solid tumors such as lung cancer).  A trivial segment of the population was using cell phones three decades ago, when cell phones were introduced to the US marketplace in 1983.  Most Americans did not begin using them routinely until the late 1990s.  Thus we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg now, with gliomas in early adopters.  But many others will be coming up on 20 years of use soon, and there may be a surge in gliomas around 2018.  Those who begin using cell phones as teenagers have a four to five-fold increased risk of brain tumors in less than a decade, according to studies carried out by physician-researcher Lennart Hardell.

In 2010 there was a significant increase in cancer of the brain and nervous system of Latinos.  Also, there has been a rise in brain cancer in 20-29 year olds; the same subgroup that does not use a landline and has been using cell phones as teenagers.

 

MYTH:

“The FDA, ACS and FCC say cell phones are safe.”


FACT:

Websites from these groups all include information on keeping phones at a safe distance from the body, as do fine print warnings that manufacturers provide.  Until the WHO classification, the industry included both the WHO and the American Cancer Society (ACS) in this statement. Formerly, the ACS claimed there was no evidence linking brain tumors to cell phones.  Since the WHO classification, the American Cancer Society states, “the bottom line is the evidence is enough to warrant concern.”

What this statement is omitting is the fact that the FCC and FDA say cell phones are safe ONLY IF HELD A CERTAIN DISTANCE FROM THE BODY.  THE FCC REQUIRES THIS SAFETY DISTANCE DATA TO BE IN EVERY MANUAL.  Currently this data is being hidden in fine-print warnings in user manuals that few read.

 

MYTH:

“The 2b classification labeling cell phones as a possible carcinogen is the same classification as pickled vegetables, talcum powder and coffee.”

 

FACT:

This is an attempt to dismiss the seriousness of this determination and mislead the public. The statement is correct and is not to be taken lightly.  Diets high in highly salted vegetables in China are tied with unusual increases in esophageal cancer.  Like many chemotherapy agents, coffee can cause urinary tract cancer, while also lowering the risk of colon cancer.  The talc in talcum powder for years was heavily contaminated with asbestos which increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

 

MYTH:

“The Interphone study showed no link between cell phones and brain tumors.”

 

FACT:

That is a false statement.  One Interphone study showed a 40% increased risk of glioma with more than 10 years of use.  The overall absence of risk is due to the fact that the average user in this study used a phone for less than eight years, and that a user was defined as someone who made one call a week for six months.  Because overall exposures were so low and limited, it is not surprising that there is no overall increase in risk.  But in the heaviest users, a doubled or greater risk is evident.

 

MYTH:

“This will never be as serious as tobacco.”

 

FACT:

This is potentially far worse than tobacco.  We never had 100% of people smoking, but we do have nearly all people using cell phones today.  Six billion people, including children, use cell phones regularly—some exclusively as landlines are abandoned—with considerable exposure.  We do not have the same scientific foundation for understanding cell phone radiation as we had for tobacco and lung cancer for two reasons:  The telecom industry has intentionally blocked studies, and it is more difficult to get funding now because of the economic downturn.