Last updateMon, 10 Aug 2020 4pm

New Expert Study Confirms NY Times Questions on Wearable Tech

New studies demonstrate that microwave radiation from cellphones and other devices constitutes a (Group 2A) probable human carcinogen

Wearable technology is raising health concerns worldwide. A recent New York Times article by Nick Bilton is raising important and unanswered questions about the safety of wearable tech, according to the non-profit research group, Environmental Health Trust (EHT). EHT believes, that in response to the article, several national media outlets such as Slate, Wired, and Medscape rushed to dismiss concerns raised by the NY Times piece and have each failed to report on growing evidence of harms linked with cell phones and other devices.

EHT President and Founder Dr. Devra Davis notes that, "Wearable tech has never been tested for safety. Period. No one can say it is safe, because there have been no long-term studies into the health effects of these devices. Quite to the contrary, wireless wearables operate with the same microwave radiation as cell phones—that have been tied with many poor health outcomes including cancer. Our new website www.showthefineprint.org includes specific manufacturers' warnings that advise keeping phones away from the body. It makes absolutely no sense to assume that wireless wearables (that are often used in tandem with cellphones) are safe."

Davis and other EHT scientists with ties to the World Health Organization (WHO) released a new updated analysis of the increased cancer risks of cell phones. The International Journal of Oncology just published their conclusion that radiofrequency (wireless) radiation from cellphones and other devices constitutes a (Group 2A) probable human carcinogen. Quickly changing technologies and intensive uses of radiofrequency electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) emitting phones pose "a challenge to public health" according to the authors.

The paper was penned by two leading members of the Environmental Health Trust, Lloyd Morgan and Devra Davis PhD, MPH, along with Anthony B. Miller, MD and Annie Sasco, MD, PhD, who have over 50 combined years of expertise with the WHO's International Agency for the Research on Cancer (IARC). Dr. Miller participated in the IARC Monograph 102 on RF-EMF, detailing IARC's 2011 finding of RF as a Group 2B (possible) Carcinogen. In her 22 years with the WHO, Dr. Sasco has served as Chief of Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention and Acting Chief of the Cancer Control Programme of the WHO.

The authors note that exposures to wireless transmitting devices (WTDs) have increased exponentially in the past few years— a trend that shows no signs of abating. They cite CERENAT, a national study in France, which found an up to 8-fold increased risk of brain cancer tied with cellphone use. "The CERENAT finding of increased risk of glioma [a specific type of tumor of the nervous system] is consistent with studies that evaluated use of mobile phones for a decade or longer and corroborate those that have shown a risk of meningioma from mobile phone use."

"As a physician and epidemiologist with decades of experience working with the World Health Organization, I am deeply concerned with what the data are showing. We have to take precautions with these devices now - especially to protect our children," says Dr. Sasco.

The authors urge that additional data should be gathered on exposures to mobile and cordless phones, other wireless transmitting devices (WTDs), mobile phone base stations and WiFi routers to evaluate their impact on public health.

They conclude with recommendations that the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle be adopted for this technology while a major cross-disciplinary effort is initiated to train researchers in bio-electromagnetics and to provide monitoring of potential health impacts of RF-EMF.

Peer-reviewed research has demonstrated adverse effects of wireless radiation, including immune dysfunction, cognitive processing effects, stress protein synthesis, sleep and memory disturbances and sperm dysfunction. For example, research just published in the International Journal of Toxicology showed cognitive impairment and neurotoxic effects in exposed animal subjects, concluding that "chronic low-intensity microwave exposure in the frequency range of 900 to 2450 MHz may cause hazardous effects on the brain." Other new experimental studies from the German government have recently shown that cell phone radiation promotes tumors in animals.

In light of these recent studies, they recommend that the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) principle—currently used to set standards for diagnostic radiation for children-- be adopted for this technology. At the same time they urge that a major cross-disciplinary effort be initiated to train researchers in bio-electromagnetics and to provide monitoring of potential health impacts of RF-EMF.



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