Just recently, the National Institute for Science, Law, and Public Policy (NISLAPP) sent out a report to governors, members of Congress, and President Obama and his administration, as well as thousands of health and environmental journalists warning them of the potential physical damage that cell phones and all-new wireless equipment can cause to the human body.

The report urges legislators and journalists to learn about the health consequences of microwave radiation exposure from cell phones, neighborhood antennas, wireless networks, wireless routers, DECT cordless phones, and the potential health consequences of further chronic exposures from wireless broadband and new wireless utility technologies. The NISLAPP is encouraging everyone to become engaged with this important public health issue impacting adults and children, animals, and nature. Wow, who would have thought?

I remember back in the mid- to late-1990s when the big scare about cell phones causing brain cancer came about. Lots of studies were conducted with inconclusive results and a general decision that the problem was not that bad. As a result, in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, state and local governments were prohibited from limiting cell towers and antennas on health or environmental grounds, despite symptoms residents may have been experiencing. Remember the specific absorption rate (SAR) measures?

It is hard to believe that radio waves from cell towers can cause such effects. The overall power transmitted is low anyway, 40 W or so or less, and even that is highly directional thanks to antennas that focus the power over the cell area and not directly downward. Furthermore, RF power decreases as the square of the distance from the source (far field), so any signal that does reach a person has got to be very small. Is this really a problem?

Evidently, some people think so. It would seem that the near field, which is mostly magnetic, is more of a problem as it has the higher strength near the antenna and your head. Are inductive fields alone harmful? Can a collection of cell phones radiate enough power to pop popcorn as a recent YouTube video attempted to show?

If you keep a cell phone pressed to your ear for several hours a day as many do today, maybe eventually the RF will do some brain damage. Cell phones are using higher microwave frequencies these days, not to mention that they now have more internal radiators like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Maybe collectively, the RF is beginning to be a problem. But isn’t this like anything else done excessively?

Too much drinking can eventually cause liver problems. Another example is the current scare about drugs that can possibly cause liver damage. Taking too much acetaminophen may also damage your liver. Acetaminophens have been seen as safe for years, but if you overdose to get relief as I bet many do, you will eventually do damage. Doesn’t it seem prudent to stay within the recommended dose, or not keeping a cell phone clamped to your ear all day? Whatever happened to the concept of moderation?

Read It Yourself

The report, “Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution,” was co-authored by Magda Havas, associate professor of environmental and resource Studies at Trent University in Canada, and Camilla Rees, founder of www.ElectromagneticHealth.org. It reviews the independent science on the health hazards of wireless radiation, and offers recommendations to the public on how to live more safely in a wireless world. Also, it answers 110 questions about symptoms people are associating with rising levels of indoor and outdoor microwave radiation, known as “electrosmog,” including sometimes debilitating symptoms experienced near cell-phone towers.

In addition, the authors are troubled by the impact this radiation may have on children, who are more vulnerable. Schools increasingly use wireless networks to access the Internet, instead of hardwired connections, and many schools are being paid to place cell-phone towers and antennas on school property.

There is concern as well about involuntary, chronic radiation exposure in workplaces. There’s also concern that home equity values can drop precipitously if a cell-phone tower is erected nearby. A few years back there was serious concern about the magnetic fields around high-voltage electric lines near homes and schools. Was that problem ever solved?

In any case, there appears to be a body of independent science showing biological effects from electromagnetic fields that are well below federal exposure guidelines, and the connection between these fields and many chronic illnesses, as documented in the BioInitiative Report in 2007.

Symptoms people reportedly experience in the presence of microwave radiation from wireless technologies, which get progressively worse during or following exposure, include irritability, insomnia, fatigue, chronic pain, difficulty concentrating, poor short-term memory, depression, anxiety, cardiovascular irregularities, nausea, skin disorders, and eye and ear disorders. It seems to me that these mirror the side effects of some of the newer drugs the pharmaceutical companies advertise on TV every day.

Couldn’t these generic common symptoms be coming from some other sources? What tests have been conducted to determine if these symptoms are really caused by RF radiation? I’m sorry, but I don’t believe the findings yet. I am open to persuasion, and this effort by the NISLAPP may just get the ball rolling enough to solve this perceived problem once and for all.

It strikes me as a kind of global warming problem. I am still not convinced, like many scientists, that the whole thing is man-caused. And if that is true, I am truly skeptical that we can actually do anything about it. The cap and trade bill just passed by the House does not fix anything as far as carbon-dioxide levels go, but it does give the government control over our energy sources and the ability to tax us both directly and indirectly.

As I write this on the 4th of July, I feel my liberty and freedom slipping away as the government takes more and asks me to pay in return. This is not the United States I was born into.

Once again, someone is trying to scare us to death with science, and I suppose the government will step in and save us with new regulations, restrictions, and, of course, taxes to pay for all this protection. Excuse me for saying so, but have we lost our common sense? Is there a pill for that? Maybe one of the big drug companies will come up with one that will mitigate the effects of electromagnetic radiation so we can talk on our cell phones all day long without ill effects.

Incidentally, I have not yet read the report but I plan to. If you design and sell cell phones and wireless gear, you need to be aware of this latest push that could seriously affect your livelihood. You can get a copy of the report at Amazon.com for $19.95. Be afraid.