Report: ‘Electrosmog’ is an Emerging Public Health Issue
Monday, July 6, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Cell phones, wireless networks, and the developing "smart grid" utility technologies are being hailed as progress for communication and information, but the downside is an emerging public health issue. A report documenting health hazards linked to wireless radiation, called "electrosmog," is landing on desks in Congress this week, issued by the National Institute for Science, Law and Public Policy (NISLAPP).
The document highlights the independent science on acute and chronic health issues linked to exposure to the radiation, and the report authors call for more scrutiny of federal safety guidelines for exposure. Magda Havas, Ph.D., is a co-author of the report and an associate professor of Environmental and Resource Studies at Trent University, Peterborough, Canada. She has been studying this health issue and says the range of potential public health consequences is wide.
"Some people have no sensitivity, others have mild - might develop a slight headache and recover very quickly - and some have debilitating migraines."
Havas says compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are emitters of electrosmog, too. For those who suspect sensitivity, she recommends removing all CFLs in the home and turning off wireless networks for a few days to see if common symptoms such as headaches, fatigue and insomnia are alleviated.
Not everyone is convinced that electromagnetic radiation can be linked to health problems. The industry argues that the this type of radiation is not hot enough to cause tissue damage. According to Havas, independent scientists report biological damage is done without the heat.
James Turner, chair of NISLAPP and Citizens for Health, says even when state and local governments have concerns about health effects linked to cell phone towers and Wi-Fi, they cannot do anything about it because the Telecommunications Act of 1996 prevents them from taking action.
"These things need to be in the hands of local communities. So the first thing to do is address changing the Congressional policy that was adopted, cutting the local communities out."
Havas says it is time to explore ways to make the technology safer and reduce cumulative exposure.
"We simply cannot continue increasing our exposure and assume that it's going to have no adverse health effects. Adverse health effects are already being documented."
The report, "Public Health SOS: The Shadow Side of the Wireless Revolution," is available at
get more stories like this via email
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
Another controversial move in Florida's education system is a proposal to drop sociology, the study of social life and the causes and consequences of …
There are at least three victims after a shooting incident that happened at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas campus on Wednesday. By afternoon…
There's a new resource for Nebraska communities and organizations facing environmental justice issues: the Heartland Environmental Justice Center (HEJ…