NEWSLETTER: Is Cell Phone Radiation Weakening the Brain?
Our brains are protected by a natural protective layer that prevents it from absorbing harmful chemicals. As with almost all barriers, it is not 100% fail-safe.
More than three decades ago, Allan H. Frey, working on an Office of Naval Research contract, discovered that microwave radiation-just like that now produced by cell phones– relaxes the membrane around the brain.
With stunning images, he showed that a rodent’s brain would turn yellow-green if the animal was subjected to pulsed microwave radiation and then had dye injected directly into its bloodstream, via a vein, so that the dye reached the brain in a few seconds. Then he waited 5 minutes before making an assessment so the dye would have time to pass from the bloodstream into the brain.
Without that radiation, the brain would retain its usual pinkish color.
Hearing about this phenomenon, two decades ago, Leif Salford, a neurosurgeon in Sweden, was spurred to ask two questions:
1. Could radio frequency exposure push chemotherapy into the brains of people with brain cancer?
2. How does cell phone exposure to the brain affect healthy, normal people around the world today who are regularly using cell phones?
In researching these questions, Salford and colleagues at the Rausing Laboratory for Experimental Neurosurgery and Radiation Physics found that animals exposed to just two hours of pulsed cell phone signals-either 2G phones operating at about 900 MHz or 3G phones at 1,900 MHz-absorbed dye deep into their brains.
They also learned that microwave radiated rodents got lost and were unable to find their way out of a simple maze they had learned to navigate just a few hours earlier.
Examining the DNA and genes of brain cells of these disoriented rats, Salford’s team found that all is not well.
Rats subjected to cell phone radiation have more direct brain damage, less ability to fix this damage, and greater chances of growing and acting strangely. Once the blood-brain barrier is breached, then anything circulating within our bodies at the time-alcohol, drugs, toxic chemicals, cigarette smoke, diesel exhaust-will more readily enter the brain from the blood.
“One group claiming to repeat Frey’s original study reported nothing unusual,” says Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, President of Environmental Health Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks.
“It turned out that the group had injected fluorescent dye into rats’ abdomens rather than into their bloodstream as Frey did; they waited five minutes and killed the animals; then found no evidence that the dye had reached the brain. Of course not.”
Dr. Davis notes that this is just one example where a study was set up that was designed to fail and certain to show that cell phone radiation was harmless. She includes the details about many such misrepresentations of the science in her book “Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Has Done to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family” (Dutton, 2010).
“By asserting that there is no disagreement about the effects of cell phone radiation, industry-backed scientists are discouraging others from looking into the matter-as well as discouraging funding for further studies,” says Dr. Davis.
“But the truth is very different. The chances a study will find no effect of microwave radiation from cell phones are directly related to who has paid for the study to be carried out. Public health is poorly served by advocacy research masquerading as objective analysis. Our entire approach to setting standards for toxic chemicals needs to be changed to take into account the fact that microwave radiation from cell phones today radically enhances brain uptake of toxic chemicals.” *
As seen in the March 22, 2011 issue of our Newsletter.