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Cell Phones: Invisible Hazards in the Wireless Age: An Insider's Alarming Discoveries About Cancer and Genetic Damage Hardcover – January 5, 2001
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George Carlo and Martin Schram are aiming to become information-age Ralph Naders. They ask a question that ought to concern America's 103 million mobile phone users, as well as those who merely come within earshot of these popular devices: Is the wireless future a threat to public health? "Visit any public building, college classroom, courthouse, or commuter train, and look around: You'll see people using not just wireless phones but also wireless laptop computers and miniature palm tops," write Carlo and Schram. "What you won't see are the microwaves that are criss-crossing a confined space where a number of people who are not even using these instruments are bombarded by these waves." It sounds creepy. And Carlo, an epidemiologist who once oversaw a multimillion-dollar research project on health for the cellular industry, believes the news is not good: there may be a link between cell phone use and brain tumors. The research is not conclusive, but Carlo and Schram think it's disturbing enough to warrant government action. Needless to say, the industry that once backed Carlo's work now considers him persona non grata.
Due largely to Carlo's coauthorship, Cell Phones is unavoidably a one-sided story. Key business figures didn't agree to interviews. In fact, this might have been a better book if it were written by Schram, with Carlo as one of several major characters rather than a collaborator. Then again, it would lack the passionate advocacy that will draw many readers to it. And even the most skeptical may want to take a few of the simple safety precautions the authors recommend in a concluding chapter, such as wearing a headset or earpiece when using a cell phone, in order to keep a distance from the radiation-emitting antennae. One look at the x-ray photos reproduced in the book, which show how radiation easily penetrates skulls, will give even the most impervious observer second thoughts. One thing is probably certain: This book is a harbinger of litigation. If Carlo and Schram are correct about their concerns, the cellular industry--as unbelievable as it sounds--may go the way of Big Tobacco. --John J. Miller
From Publishers Weekly
In 1993, when the cell phone industry's chief lobbyist hired epidemiologist and pathologist Carlo to refute claims that cell phones, which had never been subjected to premarket testing, cause cancer, no one thought he would discover otherwise. But after six years of exhaustive analysis and scrupulous peer review, the results proved, according to this report, that radiation from a cell phone's antenna can cause the formation of micronuclei red flags for cancer in the brain. Children in particular are more susceptible to the radiation than adults. Carlo reported his findings to the industry and the FDA and advocated for continued research, but both parties still maintain that cell phones are safe. Here, Carlo and syndicated columnist Schram retrace Carlo's scientific undertaking and what they cast as a sinister web of corporate greed and masterful PR "spin" that choked his efforts. Schram provides the primary narrative, with Carlo's insights and recollections scattered throughout, a format that grows repetitive. Despite the captivating story, many consumers won't want to slog through the detailed scientific explanations to get to the bottom-line safety recommendations. Journalists, policymakers and consumer advocacy groups, however, will find this no-holds-barred book extraordinarily informative as they continue investigations of the industry. Agent, Ronald L. Goldfarb.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Brief summary: in 1984, FDA allowed cell phones to be marketed w/o any premarket testing. In 1993, when woman died of brain tumor exactly underneath where cell phone antenna was located while she used cell phone, her husband and doctor told about the tragedy on national TV. This led to worldwide panic.
Tom Wheeler, president and chief lobbyist of wireless trade assoc (CTIA) made an offer to the FDA. The industry would agree to fund and conduct a large, postmarket study on the safety of cell phones, if the FDA would agree not to regulate cell phones until this research was complete. Not having done its job back in 1984 before allowing cell phones to be marketed, the FDA potentially had as big a problem as the industry. Putting its own self interest before that of the public, the FDA accepted Wheeler’s offer.
Tom Wheeler hired an epidemiologist and public health scientist named George Carlo to head the industry’s $25 million dollar research program intended to reassure the public that cell phones are safe.
Carlo hired close to 200 leading scientists from around the world to perform the research that he would oversee. In addition, he created a peer-review board chaired by Harvard University School of Public Health’s well-respected Dr. John Graham.
In 1995, Carlo discovered that his projected costs for the year were more than $6 million dollars over what the industry said was available. Eventually Carlo would learn that the $6+ million dollars had been spent on public relations by Wheeler.
By 1996, Carlo’s research program was running a deficit. The financial crisis triggered a dispute between Carlo and Wheeler that became known throughout the industry, government, and among trade press journalists.
That same year, the FCC began auctioning off radiofrequency bands in the microwave portion of the RF spectrum. The FCC agreed to finance a major part of the costs in exchange for a portion of the revenues from cell phones – and later Wi-Fi, which in 2000, would begin to be rolled-out on a massive scale.
This extremely profitable arrangement, which cost the government nothing, secured the infrastructure for wireless technology, rather than fiber optic – which is almost 900,000X faster than wireless and has no health risks.
On December 21, 1998, Carlo had his first alarming finding: 2.4GHz microwave radiation (used with cell phones, Wi-Fi, and other devices) appeared to cause micronuclei in human blood samples.
This was particularly alarming in view of the strong correlation between micronuclei and cancer. After the Chernobyl accident in 1986, the presence of micronuclei in the blood was used to identify children at high risk for developing cancer.
Not long after the startling results came in, Dr. Carlo’s house burned down. The authorities concluded that it was arson, but were never able to solve who did it.
The following month, the micronuclei results were reproduced, providing conclusive evidence that radiation from a cell phone’s antenna causes cancer.
At the February 9, 1999, wireless trade show, Carlo reported his findings, and urged the industry to take appropriate steps to protect the public. Although a voice vote was taken pledging to do the right thing, the vote was never recorded.
In late October, Carlo shared the results of his research with the American public on national TV. He also informed viewers that, if they used a cell phone, they were twice as likely to suffer from brain cancer and rare tumors as non-users.
Wheeler, who was given an opportunity to express his view, told 20/20:
Our industry has gone out and aggressively asked the question, ‘Can we find a problem?’ And the answer that has come back is that there is nothing that has come up in the research that suggests that there is a linkage between the use of a wireless phone and health effects.
The industry’s response to what it viewed as “Carlo’s betrayal” was to try to discredit the scientist – no small task, given that the actual research had been conducted by close to 200 leading scientists from around the world, and peer-reviewed by a board that was chaired by Harvard University’s Dr. John Graham.
Two things the industry still had in its favor, however, were (1) the support of the US federal government, and (2) a lot of money.
Despite accusations that the health effects of cellular phone radiation were being withheld from consumers by the wireless industry and the US government, the FDA proposed a collaborative project with the wireless industry to investigate the issue of whether cell phones presented a danger to the public.
The “Cooperative Research and Development Agreement” (or CRADA agreement) that was subsequently signed had been rejected by the FDA back in 1993 as a “conflict of interest.”
On May 13, 2013, President Barack Obama – apparently having forgotten about his 2008 presidential campaign promise “to close the revolving door that brings major industry players into positions in government that regulate those industries” – nominated Tom Wheeler to head the FCC.
This is the same man who, in 1993, hired Dr. Carlo to conduct research to investigate the safety of cell phones— and then, in 1999, lied to the American people about the results of Dr. Carlo’s research.
You can watch Dr. Carlo's videos on youtube.
What Carlo gives in this book is more of a novel, and a poorly written and confusing one at that. The author italicizes entire pages for emphasis, which leaves the reader straining his/her eyes for much of the book. Perhaps if he'd have written it in first person - since it was about him - it would have been a better book, and I could have overlooked that.
Add to this numerous grammatical errors - something I think an author who was not in a rush to get a book published quickly (to save face) would have hired a competent editor for - and I lost some respect.
Google "An Interview with Louis Slesin" to learn more about why I'm disappointed in this author/researcher. I'm not saying the book lacks accuracy. What I am saying is that it appears this researcher was trying to portray himself as a martyr, when, in fact, he may not have been as honest at the get-go of his research as he implies. I'm not sure what changed that, but I truly hope this author is sorry.
And if you've googled "An Interview With Louis Slesin", he, too, is disappointed in this researcher's refusal to disclose where the $25,000,000 that once was there for this critical research was spent on. Now the money is gone, and we are no closer to an answer.
I pray this researcher is truly sorry. I really do. I wanted to give him only 3 stars, but I'll give him 4 with that in mind. Levitt's book is a better choice.
Thus far clinical studies have shown:
1) Cell phone radiation penetrates deep into the developing brains of children.
2) Cell phone radiation results in chromosomal damage to blood exposed to wireless phone radio waves. There is a link between chromosome damage and brain cancer.
3) Cell phone radiation breaks down the blood brain barrier. Think of the blood brain barrier as an immune system for the brain. As it breaks down, other environmental toxins more easily enter the brain and cause damage.
4) A number of studies showed a statistically significant correlation between brain cancer deaths and cell phone use.
5) Cell phone radiation can cause pacemakers to malfunction is they (pacemakers) are not properly insulated from cell phones that are within 6 inches of the pacemaker.
The above are based on elaborate human, animal, and laboratory experiments that examine the effects of cell phone radiation. The experiments in the book focus primarily on cell phone use - when the phone is near the head. If cell phone radiation is able to penetrate the human skull, the effects may be even more dramatic on soft tissue such as reproductive organs that may be continuously exposed to radiation by a phone carried in a pants pocket.
Based on the scientific evidence in the book you should avoid using a cell phone or being around one to be perfectly safe. Since that is not likely, the following precautions can be taken:
1) Despite the aggressive marketing practices of the industry towards children, keep cell phones out of the hands of your kids, they are particularly susceptible to the radiation generated by cell phones.
2) Use a hands free model and keep the phone away from your body.
3) If you put the phone up to your ear, point the antenna away from you.
4) If you have one of those cool little phones with a built in antenna, the whole phone is an antenna and you are getting a heavier dose of radiation. GET A HEADSET OR A DIFFERENT PHONE.
5) A cell phone has to pump out more radiation when the signal strength is low, try not to use the phone unless the signal strength is near 100%.
Initial studies show a clear link between cell phone radiation (especially associated with digital phones) and adverse health effects. In the next 10 to 20 years the effects will become apparent with the general public serving as the test subjects. Tread carefully on those wireless stocks over the long term, and take precautions today so you don't become a statistic. Many thanks to Dr. Carlo and Martin Schram for timely well written book packed with critical info for all wireless customers.
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