Friday, June 6, 2008

Cell Phone Radiation Causes Measurable Brain Cell Changes in Minutes

I try very hard not to be an alarmist, but the recent findings regarding cell phone use are too important to ignore.

A Finnish study conducted by researchers from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and published in the Biochemical Journal in 2007 suggests that as little as 10 minutes of cell phone use can initiate changes in brain cells linked to cell division and cancer.

Advocates of cell-phone safety have previously maintained that the phones cannot cause brain damage because the microwave radiation that they emit is at a level too low to heat the body's cells. But in the Finnish study, changes in biological processes began at an energy level even lower than that used by a typical phone, even without heating occurring.

"Safety guidelines assume [that] health effects from mobiles can only occur when significant heating of body tissue occurs. [But] this study shows biological changes in response to low-level mobile phone radiation -- something that could potentially have implications for health," explained Graham Philips of the British nonprofit Powerwatch.

Researchers exposed both human and rat cells to low-level radiation at a frequency of 875 megahertz, a frequency similar to that used by most cellular phones. However, the intensity of the radiation was far lower than that used by most phones. Even so, within 10 minutes the scientists observed changes within the brain cells. A biochemical switch regulating cell division was switched on in the presence of the radiation – a switch that has been linked to a variety of cancers.

There was no direct evidence of inducement of cancer in the study. However, the researchers point out that the changes occurring at the low radiation level were non-thermal in nature, which was previously said to be impossible. Hence, the study challenges the entire basis on which cell phones' presumption of safety has been based.

"The significance lies in showing cells do react to cell-phone radiation in a non-thermal way," said co-author Rony Seger. "We used radiation power levels that were around one tenth of those produced by a normal mobile. The changes we observed were clearly not caused by heating."

"This helps explain why mobile phone radiation has been linked to increases in cancer tumors," consumer health advocate Mike Adams said. "Until now, skeptics have said the radiation wasn't intense enough to cause cells to overheat, but now we're learning there can be significant cellular changes taking place at far lower levels of exposure."

Furthermore, another Finnish study published online in the same year in the International Journal of Cancer suggests that using a cell phone regularly – even a modern one – raises the risk of developing a brain tumor. The study, done by a collection of researchers from many universities and led by Anna Lahkola of the Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority in Finland, found firm corollary evidence that using a cell phone causes the risk of getting a brain tumor called a glioma to rise by 40 to 270 percent on the side of the head preferred for using the phone.

An Overview
• The study compared 1,521 cell phone users who developed a glioma to 3,301 control participants without tumors.
• For people who have used a modern cell phone for more than 2000 hours in their lifetime, the risk of getting a brain tumor rose by 270 percent.
• The study is considered the second that firmly correlates mobile phone usage with an increased risk of developing certain brain tumors.
• The risk was highest among people under the age of 20.
• Older-style analog cell phones already have been shown as a source of brain tumors, but the risk is still there even with the development of digital cellular phones.
• According to a scientist associated with the web site, the study results should not make readers assume that ten years of cell phone use will correlate to an immediate tumor, but that tumors could show up later on.

Mobile phone manufacturers have tried to suppress the dangers of cell phones by funding their own distorted research that concludes the phones are without risk. But the new third-party research shows that all people, but children and teens especially, should be warned against using mobile phones due to the increased risk of brain tumors.

Of course, none of this means that every cell phone user will get a brain tumor, just as not every smoker will develop lung cancer. But the risks of cell phone usage appear to be just as real as the risks associated with smoking.

Protecting One’s Self
In today’s culture using a cell phone may be a necessary evil due to one’s career. Therefore, the importance of doing what we can to protect ourselves from cell phone radiation cannot be overstated.

Recall that in my last post I cited research demonstrating that antioxidants are protective against radiation. Taking aggressive amounts of antioxidants as a protective measure against cell phone radiation would therefore be an important first step. Consider the use of a broad-spectrum multiple antioxidant complex, and perhaps something providing aggressive amounts of a few key detoxification substances like N-Acetylcysteine and grape seed extract.

Additionally, there are devices that have been shown to attenuate cell phone radiation that attach directly to the phone. The Aulterra Neutralizer has some impressive research to support its effectiveness in attenuating cell phone radiation.