Public Health France has announced that glioblastomas, which are particularly malignant brain tumors, rose fourfold in 2018. Glioblastomas, which used to be exceedingly rare, are often blamed on mobile phone use.
Every mobile phone is supposed to comply with SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) regulations, which are intended to protect the user from the radiation these phones emit. The phone is not supposed to emit more radiation than the body can absorb without causing tissue heating.
There has been much ado about mobile phones in the past two years, since Dr. Marc Arazi of France took the government to court to force them to reveal the results of their independent testing of mobile and smart phones to see if they complied with EU radiation standards. When Dr. Arazi found out that nine out of ten phones tested exceeded the SAR, often by a considerable margin, the Phonegate scandal was born.
Dr Arazi’s work is based on the premise that the standards set by bodies such as ICNIRP, SCENIHR and the FCC do in fact protect people from harmful radiation caused by wireless devices such as mobile phones. These standards are themselves based on the premise that only heating tissue can cause damage such as brain tumors.
Many scientists say that SAR standards do not offer adequate protection. They maintain that tissue heating (which is definitely bad) is not necessary to cause cancer, DNA damage, neurological diseases and sterility. There are around 10,000 independent scientific studies showing that significant harm can be done when radiation levels are too low to heat tissue.
However, Dr. Arazi’s work demonstrates two things. First, it shows that manufacturers of cell phones, smart phones and other wireless devices cannot be trusted to comply with the standards that govern the industry. Since many of these manufacturers are also the companies that erect cell towers in people’s neighborhoods, how can we trust that the cell towers comply in terms of radiation emissions?
Second, why did the French government have to be sued to release the data on mobile phones? Can we trust governments to enforce the regulations that are designed to protect people if they don’t release such information of their own accord, and if they allow products that do not comply with regulations to be sold on the open market? If they aren’t regulating the phones and other devices, who is checking whether the cell towers comply?
Many people don’t realize that current SAR standards do not allow people to use mobile phones the way they are in fact used, clamped to the ear or in contact with the body. Manufacturers’ instructions will tell you that a mobile phone is supposed to be held at least 5 millimeters from your body, which means that you shouldn’t put it in your pocket, either.
One result of the Phonegate scandal is that the French government is petitioning the European Commission to make mobile phone regulations more stringent, so that SAR values on new phones will apply when the phone is in contact with the body. That sounds great, but if manufacturers are unable to make phones and other devices that don’t irradiate the user without bodily contact, how will they manage to adhere to even stricter standards?
With all the fuss about mobile phones (Apple and Samsung are being sued in the US for exceeding SAR regulations for some of their models) people tend to forget that mobile phones aren’t the only kind that are dangerous. What about cordless phones? Yes, a cordless phone is plugged into a land line, but they operate just like cell phones. The base unit acts as a cell tower, and it communicates wirelessly with the handset. In fact, it uses the same pulsed frequency as a mobile phone: 1.8 GHz. And unlike a mobile phone, which powers down when not in use, a cordless phone base unit radiates strongly all the time. This radiation can pass through walls into adjoining homes.
Are there SAR values for cordless phones? I haven’t been able to locate any information about this, which implies there aren’t. Phonegate doesn’t address the safety of cordless phones. Yet cordless phones are the most common type of telephone used in homes and offices these days, accounting for eight out of ten models on display at our local phone company.
We had a cordless phone for a few years, and I remember that when I used it, my ear got hot. My husband’s did, too. We had never heard of the dangers of non-ionizing radiation at the time, and I attributed the warmth to the fact that I cradled the phone between my head and shoulder as I chopped vegetables or did other tasks while talking. Now, of course, I realize that we were in fact irradiating our brains. I wonder how much damage it did to us; I wish we’d known then that wireless radiation was dangerous.
The information that mobile phones are dangerous is starting to percolate through society. While many people still hold mobile phones to their heads as they talk, others use headphones or air pods, or use their phones on speaker mode. But what do these same people do at home, if they have a cordless phone? Most people that I know do not realize that cordless phones are just as much wireless devices as mobiles. They walk around with the phone clamped between head and shoulder, doing other things as they talk. They may be doing themselves even more damage than if they were using mobile phones.
Dr. Arazi’s work on Phonegate has done much to alert the public to the dangers of mobile phones. The same sort of work should be done on cordless phones. The fourfold rise in glioblastomas in France may not be altogether the fault of mobile phones. Cordless phones are just as dangerous.
Read about Phonegate at https://www.phonegatealert.org/en
Read more about cordless phones at www.tetrawatch.net/science/dect.php