The New York Times Left Out That The CDC Retracted Warnings About Children’s Health Risk From Cell Phones

CDC internal emails reveal children’s health risk information was deleted and an industry connected scientist gave consultation.

Children's Health Risk From Cell PhonesThe New York Times January 1, 2016 exposé details how CDC officials retracted warnings about cell phone radiation based on information retrieved as a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. As a public service, Environmental Health Trust (EHT) is posting 500+ internal CDC emails, obtained as part of the FOIA request, detailing how the cell phone industry directed changes in the CDC website content. These documents detail how information on the risk to children’s health was deleted, information on cell towers never saw the light of day and a scientist well known for affiliations with the wireless industry came on as a consultant to the CDC. 

At the behest of the CDC’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry’s then-director Christopher Portier, PhD, the agency began a three-year systematic review of the health risks of cell phone radiation in order to incorporate scientific information from the 2011 determination by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that cell phone and other wireless radiation is a “possible human carcinogen.” CDC composed new text for its fact sheet on cell phones and health in order to incorporate new research.

The New York Times exposé did not include these key points gleaned from the internal documents:


In emails written in 2014, CDC officials contemplated adding content about cell towers that never made it to the agency website. The agency noted, “Similar to cell phones the data appear to be contradictory but this is where CDC could be of service to clarify the research.” A CDC official describes how people were trying to stop a cell tower up on top of a local elementary school and “people had signs in their yards protesting the tower because of radiation concerns. So it’s definitely information people are looking for” (page 94 of internal documents). EHT notes that information on cell tower research was never added to the CDC site.

And finally: What lay behind the successive watering down of CDC information on the risk to children from cell phone radiation?


On August 18, 2014, the bulk of sentences cautioning the public of the greater risk to children from phone radiation were removed because—according to what CDC officials state in the emails—“We thought the struck language was hard to understand.” (page 397 of internal documents). In fact, according to the internal documents, this precautionary wording was developed by considering the precautionary stance of other governments and expert groups (page 142 of the internal documents). Some recent precautionary advisories from government officials include these from IndiaFrance, IsraelCyprusBelgium, and Germany.

Please take a look at the wording about children’s health  that was deleted from the CDC website. Click here to see before and after. 

Do cell phones cause health problems in children.

It’s too soon to know for sure. It’s not known if cell phone use by children can cause problems. Children who use cell phones and continue to use them as they get older are likely to be around RF for many years. If RF does cause health problems, kids who use cell phones may have a higher chance of developing these health problems in the future.

As of January 2016, the text has further changed. For example, there is no longer a statement about children anywhere on the webpage. It is unknown at what date this text was deleted but was sometime after August 20, 2014.

See below the information that was deleted about caution in cell phone use. 

Can using a cell phone cause cancer?

There is no scientific evidence that provides a definite answer to that question. Along with many organizations worldwide, we Some organizations recommend caution. More research is needed before we know for sure if using cell phones causes cancer health effects.

“The rejection of WHO/IARC and then-CDC agency chief Dr. Portier’s advice to reduce exposures to cell phone radiation reveals a stunning disregard of science at the CDC. These internal documents show that the CDC retracted simple precautionary advice already being provided to citizens of governments in Israel, Cyprus, France and Belgium. Why are US agencies witholding this information from the public?  Why was an industry-supported scientist asked to revamp CDC advice on cellphone radiation? ” stated Devra Davis PhD MPH of the Environmental Health Trust.

It should be noted that the sentence, “At this time we do not have the science to link health problems with cell phone use.” was added since August 2014. Such a sentence is misleading and false. There is significant accumulated science linking cell phones to health effects such as brain tumors, brain damage and reproductive system damage. Other governments are informing their citizens. We invite you to watch a recent public service video produced by the government of Cyprus’  National Committee on Environment and Children’s Health to educate parents.  Why is the CDC is witholding such lifesaving information from the citizens of the USA.


OLD Factsheet Pre-June 2014: Read the pre-June 2014 CDC Cell Phone Fact Sheet

PRECAUTIONARY Fact Sheet: June to August 2014: Read the CDC Fact Sheet put up from June through August 2014, here at the Microwave News site:

CURRENT NON PRECAUTIONARY Fact Sheet Post-August 2014: Read the current CDC Fact Sheet, here on CDC’s webpage. 


The New York Times Exposé: CDC’s Retraction of Warnings about Cell Phone Radiation

Learn About the fine print safety instructions in our E Book on the fine print found here.


EHT has more information related to missing emails referenced in the internal documents which will be shared in a follow up post.

Below is what we understand to be the June 2014 webpage Before and After.

Children's Health Risk From Cell Phones

Download this image as a PDF by clicking here.


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