National Academies of Sciences: Pulsed-microwave radiation likely caused brain damage in US Diplomats

In these worrying times, when a highly contagious virus has ended life as we once knew it, we increasingly rely on wireless gadgets. Without a doubt, our capacity to respond to crises is enhanced, but life is now lived as if each moment is an emergency. So just how safe are these now-ubiquitous, 2-way microwave-radiating essential devices and the networks on which they rely?

Few parents or teachers appreciate that buried in all these devices are manufacturer statements that they are not to be used on the bodies of adults or that children absorb proportionately more microwave cell phone radiation.

Now a bombshell analysis from the National Academy of Sciences has added fuel to the fire, concluding that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms, and observations of puzzling permanent brain damage reported by American diplomats in Cuba and China “are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radiofrequency (R.F.) energy [microwave radiation].”

Of course, the devil is in the details. The extensively reviewed Academy report does not speculate on who may have directed what pulsed electromagnetic weapons against American and Canadian diplomats. Still, a few matters are clear: phones and brain-damaging weapons can employ the same microwave frequencies.

The cold reality is that the fastest-growing markets for microwave-radiating devices in America today are infants, toddlers, and schoolchildren. Of course, exposures from phones and tablets are not as high intensity as weapons, but that does not ensure their safety. Because children have immature brains, skulls, and immune systems, we take certain steps to protect them from bike or car crashes. We should do the same to minimize the impact of any microwave radiation on their young, fast-growing bodies or brains.

Professor of medicine at the University of California San Diego, Beatrice Golomb MD Ph.D. published an important paper on this topic in 2018, concluding that “A tremendous number of physicians and scientists and entities and scientific studies and government reports, in many nations, over many decades, have identified that RF/MW causes symptoms consistent with the spectrum now described for diplomats.”

This is not mere speculation. New reports from a respected European consortium found that teens that use cell phones the most absorb the most radiation into their brains and have relatively smaller brain caudate volumes. Another replicated European study also found just one year of cell phone use damaged memory in teens.

Patterns of cancer in young adults provide suggestive and disturbing evidence that microwave radiating devices may underlie unexplained surges in cancer of the kidney, cervix, thyroid, colon, and rectum in young adults — parts of the body that are most exposed to cellphones and wireless devices today. One paper speculates that phones in pockets could in part account for the quadrupled risk of rectal cancer in the past decade in those under age 40 in both the U.S. and Iran.

Despite our growing dependence on the technology and long-held assumptions of safety, the reality is that research links current levels of wireless radiation to memory deficits, behavioral problems, brain cancer, breast cancer, DNA damage, and headaches. Ignoring repeated calls from the American Academy of Pediatrics to strengthen U.S. regulations to protect children’s unique vulnerability, federal exposure limits have remained unchanged since 1996.

So what does our government say about all this now? Just prior to our last normal winter of 2019–20, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — deemed a captured agency by a Harvard review — quietly issued a ruling abruptly ending a decade of official inquiry on the matter. Asserting that microwave radiation from phones can safely rely on 24-year old standards, the FCC ignored massive scientific evidence, including extensive Soviet and other studies evaluated in the newest NAS report.

A group of global doctors is challenging the FCC for its failure to provide reasoned and rational consideration of several feet of relevant peer-reviewed publications submitted to the FCC.

Especially disconcerting is the fact that the FDA and FCC rejected and disputed findings of the federal study that the FDA had originally requested — a 30 million dollar, extensively reviewed multi-year controlled animal study on phone radiation, by the U.S. National Institutes of Health. Male rats developed clear evidence of cancer, and rats and mice developed DNA damage in multiple organs.

Last year an independent Chicago Tribune investigation showed that when tested directly next to the body, some of the most popular phones released up to five times more radiation than the FCC’s two-decade-old limits would allow. When the government of France examined phones close to the body, radiation levels were found to be 4 to 11 times more than obsolete FCC standards allow.

In sharp contrast to the FCC’s stale position, France is recalling phone models that emit excessive radiation, and Ministers are now calling for cell phones to be tested with zero spacing between the phone and the body. Moreover, a 2019 law stipulates that consumers be informed to “Keep radio equipment away from the stomachs of pregnant women…[and] from the lower abdomen of adolescents.”

Online or onscreen in the United States, cellphones and other wireless devices are heavily marketed to the young. In Belgium, Turkey, and France, direct advertising to kids is banned. Along with Cyprus, France has removed Wi-Fi from kindergartens, restricted Wi-Fi in classrooms, and banned phones in schools.

Among the many priorities facing the next Administration will be restoring public trust in all of our institutions, including most notably the FCC and FDA. As many developed nations are doing, America’s government should initiate and conduct major educational efforts to explain why and how to reduce radiation to protect children and promote the development of safer hardware and software that restrict or eliminate microwave exposures. Our children need toys and tools to grow and learn, not those that could permanently harm them.

Devra Lee Davis, PhD MPH President of Environmental Health Trust, Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School

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