California Releases Cell Phone Warnings First Issued A Decade Ago By Top Cancer Center

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California Department of Health Issues Advice on How To Reduce Cell Phone Radiation

The newly released guidance has made headline news internationally.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUjHVqZ-zFE&feature=youtu.be

https://youtu.be/sSLo1qO6VQk

NEWS STORIES

CBS Headline News: California Releases Cell Phone Radiation Advice To Reduce Exposure 

Dr. Nandi Show on California Department of Health Advice on How To Reduce Cell Phone Radiation 

Daily Mail: Stop sleeping with your cell phone: Anything closer than arm’s length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn

WTHR: New Guidance on Cell Phone Radiation

Washington Times: Tips For Avoiding Cell Phone Radiation, Interview With Dr. Ronald Melnick 

December 14, 2017

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) just issued long-awaited recommendations to reduce microwave radiation exposures from cell phones, especially for children. Spurred by a lawsuit and research suggesting that “long-term, high use may impact human health,” the CDPH press release includes guidance on why and how to reduce cell phone radiation. The CDPH drafted more than 27 versions of this advice since 2008, but December 13, 2017 was the first time CDPH published it online. The CDPH original 2008 guidance referred to the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute  Cell Phone Advice and also included recommendations for state employees to reduce exposures to microwave radiation from cell phones as well as home and office cordless phones. The newly released guidance focuses only on cell phones cautioning that “children may be more at risk”  because they will be exposed to cell phone radiation for a “lifetime”  and with radiation exposures deeper into their brain.  

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. The new three-page CDPH guidance includes practical steps to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation, including keeping the phone away from the body, reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak, reducing the use of cell phones to stream videos and not sleeping with your cell phone. The guidance also states:

“Laboratory experiments and human health studies have suggested the possibility that long-term, high use of cell phones may be linked to certain types of cancer and other health effects, including: brain cancer and tumors of the acoustic nerve and salivary glands, lowered  sperm quality and inactive or less mobile sperm, headaches and effects on learning and memory, hearing, behavior and sleep.”

The new CDPH guidance includes practical steps both adults and children could take to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones.  
·       Keeping the phone away from the body
·       Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak
·       Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files
·       Keeping the phone away from the bed at night
·       Removing headsets when not on a call
·       Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy. These products may actually increase your exposure.

Click here to see the December 2017 CDPH Cell Phone Advice

Background

The first  draft of the CDPH cell phone guidance listed ten steps to reduce exposure and referenced the website of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Center for Environmental Oncology cell phone radiation recommendations developed by Dr. Devra Davis and Dr. Ronald Herberman [then Director of the Institute and Associate Chancellor of the University].The Memo made worldwide headlines advising all 3,000 UPCI faculty and staff about why and how to reduce microwave radiation exposures from cell and cordless phones.

“This advice has been in development for far too long,” Dr. Davis added. “More than a decade ago, Dr. Herberman and I felt that scientific evidence merited advice to the public on reducing exposures to microwave radiation from cellphones and cordless phones. We felt that oncologists could provide advice to cancer patients that cellphone radiation could promote or worsen the disease.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yx2Qf6_O96Q

Scientists have called for reducing exposure for decades and the Pittsburgh recommendations were the first from a major US medical institution based on an International Expert Panel of prominent French physicians and other scientists, many of whom remain active on the issue of cell phone radiation today, such as Dr. Annie Sasco, former Acting Chief of the Cancer Control Programme of the World Health Organization, David Carpenter, MD, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University of Albany and former Dean of the School of Public Health and Co-editor of the Bioinitiative Report, and Devra Davis PhD, then Director of the UPCI Center for Environmental Oncology and currently Visiting Professor of Medicine at Hebrew University and President of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit founded by Davis and Herberman in 2007 to advance this issue.

Over the course of a decade of rewrites, CDPH softened their summary of the science and edited out several recommendations previously included in the initial versions.

  • State Employees: Earlier drafts included detailed recommendations such as a section entitled,  “What State Governments and It’s Employees Can Do To Lower Potential Risks From Cordless Phones and Cell Phones”  to educate state employees on how to reduce exposure when they were on call such as using a beeper so that cell phones and Blackberries could be turned off unless needed.  Recommendations on purchasing phones for employees were made to the Department of General Services to “create contract language to require manufacturers to provide SAR ratings for phones and to offer low-emission accessories.”
  • Issue Description: Earlier drafts framed the recommendations as the “consensus” of the CDPH Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control citing the growing scientific evidence of cancer and reproductive risks, while the newly issued guidance states that “some scientists and public health officials believe RF energy may affect human health” but that “scientists disagree about whether cell phones cause these health problems.”   
  • Children Specific Recommendations: The first draft stated, “Do not allow children to use a cell phone except for emergencies”  which was changed in later drafts to “Parents may want to limit children’s use of cell phones to necessary conversations and emergencies. ” Although the final document has a section on how children may be “more at risk” the specific advice to parents on limiting children’s cell phone use was deleted from the published guidance.
  • Pregnant Women: The first draft stated that “the developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields” but this reference to the fetus and pregnancy was edited out early on.
  • Cordless Phones: Initial drafts stated, “employees should know that cordless base stations in the home are constantly emitting fields particularly to those working near them” and “State employees could avoid purchasing cordless phones for office use.” Early drafts also had a section entitled “What about cordless phones?” with recommendations such as reducing time spent on cordless phones.  However the final CDPH published piece does not mention cordless home/office phones nor does the final document inform the public about ways to reduce exposures to the other sources of radiofrequency radiation exposures which include wireless laptops, computers, printers, gaming devices and accessories.

According to Dr. Joel Moskowitz of the University of California at Berkeley, “The preponderance of the research indicates that cell phone radiation poses a major risk to health… State and federal health agencies have not kept up with the research.” Moskowitz was the plaintiff in a lawsuit filed under the California Public Records Act by the Environmental Law Clinic at UC Berkeley Law and the First Amendment Project that resulted in the March 2017 Sacramento Superior Court order to release the 27 drafts of the CDPH cell phone advice.

“This is a major victory for Californians as our government is admitting, despite industry attempting to silence them, that cell phones pose serious health risks. Had this advice not been suppressed for years,  then Senator Leno’s 2011 Right to Know Bill might have passed, and this would have changed the dynamics of the San Francisco and Berkeley Cell Phone Right To Know Bills, perhaps even leading to a domino effect nationwide. This vindicates what San Francisco, Berkeley and California were attempting. Consumers deserve the right to this information and we applaud the CDPH for releasing this valuable potentially life saving information,” stated Ellen Marks of the California Brain Tumor Association who led a public demonstration outside of the CDPH offices in July, calling for public disclosure of health department warnings about wireless phones.

https://youtu.be/QPQzKeD6S3U

Public Health Advice by Governments

San Francisco became the first city in the country to pass and adopt cell phone safety legislation in 2011, but the full ordinance was blocked in 2012 after a three year court battle with the wireless industry. Berkeley’s 2015 Cell Phone Right To Know Ordinance has successfully won industry court challenges. Greenbelt Maryland,  Burlingame California, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Pembroke Pines, Florida have taken action to inform the public. Massachusetts is considering seven Bills this legislative session.

https://youtu.be/Ib1VWkKPG-w

The Maryland State Children’s Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council issued a 2017 Report advising the Maryland Department of Education to recommend local school districts reduce wireless radiation exposures in the classroom by providing wired—rather than wireless—internet connections. The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended children reduce exposure to cell phones and issued ten steps to reduce cell phone radiation in 2016 after the National Toxicology Program released research findings linking cell phones to brain cancer. The Connecticut Department of Public Health issued cell phone advice in May, 2015. France recently launched a new campaign to educate the public about how to reduce cell phone radiation exposure and is one of more than a dozen countries with policies to reduce cell phone radiation exposure to the public.

 

Learn More

CBS News: California Releases Cell Phone Radiation Advice To Reduce Exposure 

Daily Mail: Stop sleeping with your cell phone: Anything closer than arm’s length could cause cancer and infertility, health officials warn

December 2017 CDPH How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency From Cell Phones

Press Release : California Department of Health Issues Guidelines on How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones

State of California. “How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones.” Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control, California Department of Public Health. December 2017.

New York Times, Prominent Cancer Doctor Warns About Cellphones, July 24, 2008

2008 Congressional Hearing, Statement Of Ronald B. Herberman, MD Director University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute “Tumors and Cell Phone use: What the Science Says

University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute 2007 Cell Phone Advice

December 2017 News Reports on CDPH

Year after lawsuit, California health officials release cell phone radiation safety guide, KCRA

Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body, New State Guidelines Warn, Capital Public Radio, December 13, 2017

California Department of Public Health warns cell phone use can impact health, especially in children, ABC News December 13, 2017

Have a cell phone against your ear? You should consider putting it down, Fresno Bee, December 13, 2017

 

California Department of Health Issues Guidelines on How to Reduce Exposure to Radiofrequency Energy from Cell Phones Date: December 13, 2017 Number: 17-086 Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 | [email protected]

SACRAMENTO – As smartphone use continues to increase in the U.S., especially among children, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today issued guidance for individuals and families who want to decrease their exposure to the radio frequency energy emitted from cell phones. Although the scientific community has not reached a consensus on the risks of cell phone use, research suggests long-term, high use may impact human health.

“Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members of the public regarding long-term, high use exposure to the energy emitted by cell phones,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We know that simple steps, such as not keeping your phone in your pocket and moving it away from your bed at night, can help reduce exposure for both children and adults.”

Cell phones emit radio frequency energy when they send and receive signals to and from cell towers, and some scientists and public health officials believe this energy may impact human health. Meanwhile, cell phone use in the U.S. has increased dramatically in recent years. About 95 percent of Americans own a cell phone, and 12 percent rely on their smartphones for everyday Internet access. In addition, the average age when children get their first phone is now just 10 years old, and a majority of young people keep their phones on or near them most of the day and while they sleep.

“Children’s brains develop through the teenage years and may be more affected by cell phone use,” said Dr. Smith. “Parents should consider reducing the time their children use cell phones and encourage them to turn the devices off at night.” The new CDPH guidance includes practical steps both adults and children could take to reduce exposure to radio frequency energy from cell phones.

That includes:

Keeping the phone away from the body

Reducing cell phone use when the signal is weak

Reducing the use of cell phones to stream audio or video, or to download or upload large files

Keeping the phone away from the bed at night

Removing headsets when not on a call

Avoiding products that claim to block radio frequency energy.

These products may actually increase your exposure. https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/OPA/Pages/NR17-086.aspx

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