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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 28, 2010

THE DANGERS OF CELLPHONES & WHY AMERICA DOESN'T SEEM TO CARE

Christopher Ketcham, GQ - Though the scientific debate is heated and far from resolved, there are multiple reports, mostly out of Europe's premier research institutions, of cell-phone and PDA use being linked to "brain aging," brain damage, early-onset Alzheimer's, senility, DNA damage, and even sperm die-offs (many men, after all, keep their cell phones in their pants pockets or attached at the hip). In September 2007, the European Union's environmental watchdog, the European Environment Agency, warned that cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol."

Perhaps most worrisome, though, are the preliminary results of the multinational Interphone study sponsored by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, in Lyon, France. (Scientists from thirteen countries took part in the study, the United States conspicuously not among them.) Interphone researchers reported in 2008 that after a decade of cell-phone use, the chance of getting a brain tumor-specifically on the side of the head where you use the phone-goes up as much as 40 percent for adults. Interphone researchers in Israel have found that cell phones can cause tumors of the parotid gland (the salivary gland in the cheek), and an independent study in Sweden last year concluded that people who started using a cell phone before the age of 20 were five times as likely to develop a brain tumor. Another Interphone study reported a nearly 300 percent increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a tumor of the acoustic nerve. . .

In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Allan Frey reported that microwaves pulsed at certain modulations could induce "leakage" in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter: It means the brain's environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in all kinds of dangerous ways. Frey's method was rather simple: He injected a fluorescent dye into the circulatory system of white rats, then swept the ­microwave frequencies across their bodies. In a matter of minutes, the dye had leached into the confines of the rats' brains.

Frey says his work on radar microwaves and the blood-brain barrier soon came under assault from the government. Scientists hired and funded by the Pentagon claimed they'd failed to replicate his findings, yet they also refused to share the data or methodology behind their research ("a most unusual action in science," Frey wrote at the time). For more than fifteen years, Frey had received almost unrestricted funding from the Office of Naval Research. Now he was told to conceal his blood-brain-barrier work or his contract would be canceled.

Since then, no meaningful research into the effect of microwaves on the blood-brain barrier has been pursued in the United States. But a Swedish neurosurgeon, Leif Salford, recently expanded on Frey's work, confirming much of what Frey revealed decades ago. Salford found that microwave exposure killed rodents' brain cells and stimulated neurons associated with Alzheimer's. "A rat's brain is very much the same as a human's," he said in a 2003 interview with the BBC. "They have the same blood-brain barrier and neurons. We have good reason to believe that what happens in rats' brains also happens in humans'. " His research, he said, suggests that "a whole generation of [cell-phone] users may suffer negative effects in middle age."

Much more. . .


3 Comments:

Blogger Samson said...

Flash back to the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the way AT&T's logo was all over everything.

We know who owns this government.

January 28, 2010 3:23 PM  
Anonymous Boffin said...

The scary alarmism with respect to cell phones and other radio is just junk. Radio waves are non-ionizing, and do not cause damage to tissue (at least until brute heating is significant.)

The issue has been studied since the dawn of radio, and no harm has been found. It is simple enough to expose a mouse to enormous amounts of radiation, and it would be simple to identify and prove cause-and-effect if it were there.

Brain cancer rates have been decreasing over the last decade, despite far greater use of cell phones.

January 28, 2010 5:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Assertion is just that, assertion, not fact.

January 29, 2010 10:17 AM  

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