Epidemiologist and Founder Environmental Health Trust, Devra Davis, PhD has been at the forefront of this public health issue for many years. Her newsletter offers reliable research and recommendations – at this link: http://ehtrust.org/books-publications/newsletters/

Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences



L. Lloyd Morgan, Santosh Kesari, Devra Lee Davis. Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences. Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmau.2014.06.005. In press. Published online Jul 15, 2014.


  • Children absorb more microwave radiation (MWR) than adults.
  • MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen.
  • The fetus is in greater danger than children from exposure to MWR.
  • The legal exposure limits have remained unchanged for decades.
  • Cellphone manuals warnings and the 20 cm rule for tablets/laptops violate the “normal operating position” regulation.


Computer simulation using MRI scans of children is the only possible way to determine the microwave radiation (MWR) absorbed in specific tissues in children. Children absorb more MWR than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. MWR from wireless devices has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood. The fetus is particularly vulnerable to MWR. MWR exposure can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons. MWR-emitting toys are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Digital dementia has been reported in school age children. A case study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed. MWR exposure limits have remained unchanged for 19 years. All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to MWR. The exposure limit for laptop computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body. Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children’s use of wireless devices.




1.4. Exposure limits

In 1996, the FCC adopted the IEEE 1991

[11] standard with some details from the 1986 NCRP Report [12] as exposure limits in the United States. Nineteen years after the FCC exposure limits were published, based on documents published 24 and 29 years previously, the legal exposure limit has remained unchanged. Yet during these decades an enormous body of scientific studies was published reporting risk well below the legal exposure limit.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is an industry professional organization, as is the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). Neither organization had medical or public health expertise.

In European countries and a few other countries, the exposure limits are based on the 1998 “Guidelines” of the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) [13]. These “Guidelines” were based on publications from 1984, 1987, 1991, and 1993 [page 494]. That is the “Guidelines” were based on publications up to 31 years ago, Similar to the IEEE and NCRP, ICNIRP is an organization without medical or public health expertise. It is accountable to no government and its funding sources are not transparent.

1.4.1. The 19 year old IEEE and 17 year old ICNIRP exposure limits are based on a false premise

The exposure limits are premised on an assumption that the only biological effect from MWR exposure is acute (short-term) heating sufficient to cause tissue damage. There is no consideration of the effects from chronic (long-term) exposures. There are many scientific papers that report biological impacts tied with non-thermal (no measurable temperature change) effects. Indeed, the 480-page IARC Monograph 102 that documents the science that led to the declaration that MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen is a virtual compendium of such papers [14].

1.4.2. FCC compliance requirements do not comport with current testing systems

The FCC requires “For purposes of evaluating compliance with localized SAR guidelines, portable devices should be tested or evaluated based on normal operating positions or conditions” [15]. But phones are not tested in pants or shirt pockets. As a result every cellphone manual has warnings that the phone should be kept at various distances from the body otherwise the human exposure limits can be exceeded …

4.3. Increasing brain cancer incidence

There are studies showing an increased risk of brain cancer from wireless phone use. It is a current problem. The worst brain cancer, glioblastoma, has increased in the United States, and Denmark. Brain cancer incidence has increased in Australia in recent years. These results are based on brain cancer incidence from each country’s cancer registries.

A United States study examined 3 cancer registries (Los Angeles County, California and SEER 122[42]. It examined incidence rates between years 1992–2006 and reported the Average Percent Change (APC) during those years. “RESULTS: Increased AAIRs [Age-Adjusted Incidence Rates] of frontal (APC +2.4–3.0%, p ≤ 0.001) and temporal (APC +1.3–2.3%,p ≤ 0.027) lobe glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors were observed across all registries… The AAIR of cerebellar GBMs increased according to CCR (APC +11.9%, p < 0.001).”

The Danish Cancer Registry issued a press release that stated, “The number of men who are diagnosed with the most malignant form of brain cancer (glioblastoma), has almost doubled over the past ten years” [43].

The Australian study reported, “an overall significant increase in primary malignant brain tumors was observed over the study period from 2000 to 2008 (APC, 3.9; 95%CI, 2.4–5.4), particularly since 2004 (overall AAPC, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.6–5.2)” [44].

5. Conclusions

The risk to children and adolescent from exposure to microwave radiating devices is considerable. Adults have a smaller but very real risk, as well.

  1. Children absorb greater amount of microwave radiation (MWR) than adults;
  2. MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen as is carbon black, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, DDT, lead, nickel, phenobarbital, styrene, diesel fuel, and gasoline. It seems clear that we would not expose children to these other agents, so why would we expose children to microwave radiation?
  3. Fetuses are even more vulnerable than children. Therefore pregnant women should avoid exposing their fetus to microwave radiation.
  4. Adolescent girls and women should not place cellphones in their bras or in hijabs.
  5. Cellphone manual warnings make clear an overexposure problem exists.
  6. Wireless devices are radio transmitters, not toys. Selling toys that use them should be banned.
  7. Government warnings have been issued but most of the public are unaware of such warnings.
  8. Exposure limits are inadequate and should be revised such that they are adequate.

Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley



What You May Not Want To Know About WiFi, Cell Phones and Brain Cancer

woman_cellphone_safertechsolutionsI received this recently from Joel Moskowitz, PhD, Director, Center for Family and Community Health School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Moskowitz is one of the contributors of my book, A Wellness Guide For The Digital Age, and follows closely this issue. If you like reviewing the scientific literature, he is an excellent resource.

WARNING: After reading this article you may no longer want to press your mobile phone against your head, or a have any powered-on wireless device on your body. No, Bluetooth headsets do not reduce your risk, and can increase exposure.

And you may rethink having WiFi in your home, your office – and your Bluetooth car? Yes, those become wireless microwave radiation hotspots.

And after reading this you may wonder why we have WiFi in our schools? And most aircraft? And why government safety standards are failing us?

Now, here is Dr. Moskowitz:

“Why do many scientists around the world believe mobile phone use increases cancer risk?”

“Given the international media attention generated by the City of Berkeley’s proposed cell phone warning law, I have been questioned by journalists and others why I believe that mobile (cell and cordless) phone use increases brain cancer risk. My colleagues and I published a meta-analysis on mobile phone use and tumor risk five years ago (Myung et al. 2009). When we grouped the 23 studies based upon the quality of the research, we found strong group differences. In the 13 studies which failed to meet scientific best practices, we found what appeared to be reduced tumor risk. The 10 higher-quality studies found a harmful association between mobile phone use and tumor risk. The harmful associations were mostly found in studies found for brain tumors in studies where individuals had used mobile phones for ten or more years. The associations were stronger on the side of the head where people predominantly used their mobile phones. The higher quality studies had no funding from the cellular industry whereas the lower quality studies had at least partial industry funding.

In May, 2011, thirty experts were convened by the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization. After a review of the epidemiologic and toxicology research, the expert group classified radiofrequency radiation as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B carcinogen), largely based upon the epidemiologic studies of long-term mobile phone use.

Since 2011, several new, major epidemiologic studies have been published which provide further evidence that long-term mobile phone use is associated with increased risk of glioma, a type of malignant brain tumor, and acoustic neuroma, a nonmalignant tumor of the nerve from the ear to the brain. Moreover, the risks increase with the amount and duration of mobile phone use and are stronger on the side of the head where the mobile phone was predominantly used.

A careful review of the research strongly suggests that long-term mobile phone use increases the risk of glioma and acoustic neuroma. Furthermore, although more research is needed, there is some evidence that mobile phone may increase the risk of other head and neck tumors. (e.g., meningioma and parotid gland tumors). Currently, many scientists in the U.S. and many other nations share this belief. Some, however, will not express this belief publicly in order not to jeopardize industry funding of their research. Many researchers have been funded largely by industry, and some are now conducting 30-year cohort studies.

Industry, of course, prefers we wait until these studies are concluded before governments issue precautionary safety warnings or alter public policies that regulate mobile phones. This is a tactic that was used for decades by the tobacco industry as well as other industries to delay regulation at the expense of public health.

See the three recently published review papers cited below for the supporting evidence that long-term exposure to the non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation emitted by mobile phones increases tumor risk.

JHardell L., Carlberg M. Using the Hill viewpoints from 1965 for evaluating strengths of evidence of the risk for brain tumors associated with use of mobile and cordless phones. Rev Environ Health. 2013;28(2-3):97-106. doi: 10.1515/ reveh-2013-0006.”



Wireless phones, i.e., mobile phones and cordless phones, emit radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMF) when used. An increased risk of brain tumors is a major concern. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) at the World Health Organization (WHO) evaluated the carcinogenic effect to humans from RF-EMF in May 2011. It was concluded that RF-EMF is a group 2B, i.e., a “possible”, human carcinogen. Bradford Hill gave a presidential address at the British Royal Society of Medicine in 1965 on the association or causation that provides a helpful framework for evaluation of the brain tumor risk from RF-EMF.


All nine issues on causation according to Hill were evaluated. Regarding wireless phones, only studies with long-term use were included. In addition, laboratory studies and data on the incidence of brain tumors were considered.


The criteria on strength, consistency, specificity, temporality, and biologic gradient for evidence of increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma were fulfilled. Additional evidence came from plausibility and analogy based on laboratory studies. Regarding coherence, several studies show increasing incidence of brain tumors, especially in the most exposed area. Support for the experiment came from antioxidants that can alleviate the generation of reactive oxygen species involved in biologic effects, although a direct mechanism for brain tumor carcinogenesis has not been shown. In addition, the finding of no increased risk for brain tumors in subjects using the mobile phone only in a car with an external antenna is supportive evidence. Hill did not consider all the needed nine viewpoints to be essential requirements.


Based on the Hill criteria, glioma and acoustic neuroma should be considered to be caused by RF-EMF emissions from wireless phones and regarded as carcinogenic to humans, classifying it as group 1 according to the IARC classification. Current guidelines for exposure need to be urgently revised. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=24192496

Levis AG, Minicuci N, Ricci P, Gennaro V, Garbisa S.Mobile phones and head tumours. The discrepancies in cause-effect relationships in the epidemiological studies – how do they arise? Environ Health. 2011 Jun 17;10:59. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-10-59.



Whether or not there is a relationship between use of mobile phones (analogue and digital cellulars, and cordless) and head tumour risk (brain tumours, acoustic neuromas, and salivary gland tumours) is still a matter of debate; progress requires a critical analysis of the methodological elements necessary for an impartial evaluation of contradictory studies.


A close examination of the protocols and results from all case-control and cohort studies, pooled- and meta-analyses on head tumour risk for mobile phone users was carried out, and for each study the elements necessary for evaluating its reliability were identified. In addition, new meta-analyses of the literature data were undertaken. These were limited to subjects with mobile phone latency time compatible with the progression of the examined tumours, and with analysis of the laterality of head tumour localisation corresponding to the habitual laterality of mobile phone use.


Blind protocols, free from errors, bias, and financial conditioning factors, give positive results that reveal a cause-effect relationship between long-term mobile phone use or latency and statistically significant increase of ipsilateral head tumour risk, with biological plausibility. Non-blind protocols, which instead are affected by errors, bias, and financial conditioning factors, give negative results with systematic underestimate of such risk. However, also in these studies a statistically significant increase in risk of ipsilateral head tumours is quite common after more than 10 years of mobile phone use or latency. The metaanalyses, our included, examining only data on ipsilateral tumours in subjects using mobile phones since or for at least 10 years, show large and statistically significant increases in risk of ipsilateral brain gliomas and acoustic neuromas.


Our analysis of the literature studies and of the results from meta-analyses of the significant data alone shows an almost doubling of the risk of head tumours induced by long-term mobile phone use or latency. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21679472

Davis DL, Kesari S, Soskolne CL, Miller AB, Stein Y. Swedish review strengthens grounds for concluding that radiation from cellular and cordless phones is a probable human carcinogen. Pathophysiology. 2013 Apr;20(2):123-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2013.03.001. Epub 2013 May 7.


With 5.9 billion reported users, mobile phones constitute a new, ubiquitous and rapidly growing exposure worldwide. Mobile phones are two-way microwave radios that also emit low levels of electromagnetic radiation. Inconsistent results have been published on potential risks of brain tumors tied with mobile phone use as a result of important methodological differences in study design and statistical power.

Some studies have examined mobile phone users for periods of time that are too short to detect an increased risk of brain cancer, while others have misclassified exposures by placing those with exposures to microwave radiation from cordless phones in the control group, or failing to attribute such exposures in the cases. In 2011, the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) advised that electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone and other wireless devices constitutes a “possible human carcinogen,” 2B. Recent analyses not considered in the IARC review that take into account these methodological shortcomings from a number of authors find that brain tumor risk is significantly elevated for those who have used mobile phones for at least a decade. Studies carried out in Sweden indicate that those who begin using either cordless or mobile phones regularly before age 20 have greater than a fourfold increased risk of ipsilateral glioma. Given that treatment for a single case of brain cancer can cost between $100,000 for radiation therapy alone and up to $1 million depending on drug costs, resources to address this illness are already in short supply and not universally available in either developing or developed countries.

Significant additional shortages in oncology services are expected at the current growth of cancer. No other environmental carcinogen has produced evidence of an increased risk in just one decade. Empirical data have shown a difference in the dielectric properties of tissues as a function of age, mostly due to the higher water content in children’s tissues. High resolution computerized models based on human imaging data suggest that children are indeed more susceptible to the effects of EMF exposure at microwave frequencies.

If the increased brain cancer risk found in young users in these recent studies does apply at the global level, the gap between supply and demand for oncology services will continue to widen. Many nations, phone manufacturers, and expert groups, advise prevention in light of these concerns by taking the simple precaution of “distance” to minimize exposures to the brain and body. We note than brain cancer is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg”; the rest of the body is also showing effects other than cancers. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23664410

August 4, 2014

This is from the informative website of Dr. Joel Moskowitz – http://www.saferemr.com

FCC: 98 Scientific Experts Demand Stronger Regulation of Cellphone Radiation

Of the more than 950 submissions to the FCC regarding its outmoded, 18-year-old cell phone radiation regulations, almost all call for stronger regulation. Most cite research that finds cell phone radiation harmful to humans.


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., PRLog (Press Release)- Aug. 4, 2014 – BERKELEY, Calif. — In response to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) request for input regarding its radiofrequency radiation regulations adopted in 1996, more than 950 individuals and organizations submitted thousands of testimonials, research papers and scientific publications. Almost all of these submissions supported the need for stronger cell phone radiation regulations.The submissions included four resolutions signed by scientific experts who have published research on wireless radiation and health in scientific journals. These resolutions call on governments to issue stronger regulations on wireless radiation, especially cell phone radiation … (Part III: Why We Need Stronger Cell Phone Radiation Regulations–98 Scientific Experts Who Signed Resolutions”).
[See the website for the full document.]