Safety Advice for Electromagnetic Fields (PDF)
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Commentary on Newsweek Article: “Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Government Study Reveals 'Stunningly Important' Findings” — August 27, 2018

Voltage Gated Calcium Channels: A Common Mechanism for Chemicals and EMF in Neurodegenerative diseases? — May 1, 2018

Commentary on Newsweek Article: “Do Cellphones Cause Cancer? Government Study Reveals 'Stunningly Important' Findings” — August 27, 2018

Photo: designua / 123RF Stock Photo

NTP Preliminary Results: Heart Tumors in Exposed Rats

Recently, Newsweek publicized the preliminary results of a major $25 million study on the effect of cell phone-like radiation on rats, by the National Toxicology Program. In this study, rats received around 9 hours a day of radiation in 10-minutes on, 10-minute off increments over a period of around 18 hours— the lowest dosage being 1.5 W/kg which is within current official safety standards. Malignant brain tumors and heart tumors were found in the study. The types of cells affected, Schwann cells, are supposedly the same type of cell involved in epidemiological studies on rare brain tumors. Even the chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, called the preliminary findings a “game changer.”

Possibly or Probably Carcinogenic?

Furthermore, the article recalls that in 2011, the World Health Organization concluded wireless radiation to be “possibly carcinogenic.” Now, after the release of NTP's preliminary findings, there is a push for the status of “probably carcinogenic.”

A Puzzle for Physicists

The NTP study used non-thermal and non-ionizing radiation at strengths within safety limits that could be transmitted by a cell phone. But what is the scientific mechanism by which non-thermal non-ionizing radiation can cause cancer? Physicists don't believe the power is sufficient to break covalent bonds. This article claims the mechanism is unknown. However, in my last blog article, I highlighted an indirect mechanism for non-thermal radiation to cause DNA breaks proposed by Martin Pall, via the opening of the Voltage-Gated Calcium Channel, and resulting downstream biological effects, like oxidative stress, which can damage DNA.

Breast Cancer

Additionally, I’m really glad to see the Newsweek article suggest a possible link between young women’s unhealthy practice of carrying their cell phones in their bra to breast cancer. The article highlighted breast cancer surgeon Dr. John West’s finding that young women were getting breast cancer just beneath where they put their phone in their bra. Even if the evidence is only anecdotal at this point, it calls for precaution.

So… It's Not Just About Brain Cancer?

The loud and clear message is: We shouldn’t just consider cell phone radiation's risk of brain cancer while neglecting possible risks of breast cancer, heart tumors, and so on. I imagine some people may use a wired earpiece to increase distance between the cell phone and brain, and yet put the phone in their pocket, forgetting the risks it also presents to other organs. (The print edition of the Newsweek article also warns about the risk of infertility when men put the phone in their pocket, based on research about lower sperm counts and quality. Read more about the scientific studies here.)

Brain Cancer: Making Sense of Statistics

As for the statistics, you may have heard that statisticians can manipulate the data to say whatever they want. However, according to this article, there are a few facts that the statisticians still cannot hide. This article indicates tumor-rate increases in areas where people hold their cell phones to talk, and that heavy users have a higher likelihood to develop tumors. But a heavy user, in this article's definition, is only a lifetime of 896 hours or more. If you were using a cell phone for one hour a day, in three years you would be a heavy user.

Some People Just Can't Be Bothered With Worry

What I found most amusing in the article was the concluding statement:

“In the absence of revised regulations and standards, I called Brawley on his cellphone to see if he had any advice. “Wear an earpiece,” he said. As he spoke those words, he was holding his cellphone to his head.”

Anxiety itself probably contributes to cancer, but just like we wear seatbelts even though an accident might never happen, a little precaution with cell phone use, might just save a life. Why not check out a few basic cell phone safety tips?

Voltage Gated Calcium Channels: A common mechanism for Chemicals and EMF in Neurodegenerative diseases? — May 1, 2018

(Updated May 10, 2018)

Photo: designua / 123RF Stock Photo

Pesticides may interfere with VGCC's: Recently, in March, my district scheduled a pesticide spray against mosquitos and cockroaches. Coincidentally, the evening prior to and the very day of the spraying, two different people brought up the topic of Parkinson’s disease. I then remembered that neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, whose parents died of Parkinson's, once mentioned a likely link between pesticides and Parkinson's. I found an article which not only mentions a likely link between pesticides and Parkinson’s, but also mentions voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC) as one of the underlying scientific mechanisms. This immediately caught my attention, because I remembered Martin Pall had said EMF's could impact VGCC's. Is it possible that chemicals and EMF could both have adverse effects on the nervous system via the same pathway? (See Pall's Powerpoint Slides and The NO/ONOO-Cycle, a New Disease Paradigm.)

Microwaves may interfere with VGCC's to cause non thermal effects: Washington State University Professor Martin Pall has a Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Genetics and a bachelor’s degree in Physics. In 2012, Pall stumbled upon the topic of voltage gated calcium channels (VGCC’s), which he believes is the primary mechanism by which the nonthermal effects of microwave frequency EMF's occur. Most existing safety standards only protect against the thermal effects of microwave frequency EMF's. Despite the later scientific research which also revealed non-thermal effects, the existing standards have not been updated. Previously, taking advantage of the public's lack of awareness of these studies, or the lack of a clear causal mechanism by which these nonthermal effects could occur, industry spokesmen could claim that microwaves lacked the energy to cause direct damage to the covalent bonds in the DNA.

Causal Mechanism Unveiled: EMF→Opens Voltage Gated Calcium Channel→Excess Calcium Influx→Nitric Oxide+Superoxide→Peroxynitrate→DNA Breaks

Excess Calcium Influx→Neurotransmitter and neuroendocrine hormone release

Pall discovered that EMF's could interfere with VGCC's and trigger a chain effect of biological amplification, which could indeed lead to DNA breaks and other non-thermal effects. VGCC stands for voltage gated calcium channel. VGCC's are important in controlling the influx of calcium into the cell. Martin Pall believes that EMF’s act directly on the voltage sensor in these calcium channels, which opens the calcium channel in response to electrical changes. Consequently, this can stimulate [1] an influx of calcium in the cell to a very high concentration, whereas it is usually very low. Additionally, this can lead to excess calcium signaling, and [2] increases in nitric oxide and superoxide which react to form [3] peroxynitrite. The excessive oxidative stress can then cause damage to DNA. Calcium also plays an important role in regulating the release of neuroendocrine hormones and neurotransmitters. In 2015, Pall reported that 26 studies show that calcium channel blockers can be used to prevent the negative effects otherwise triggered by microwave frequency EMF's. Pall published five articles on this mechanism, listed in the References below.

Potential Natural Remedies against Excessive VGCC Activity

To minimize the effects of unavoidable wireless exposures, we can consider which nutrients may help counteract the excessive VGCC activity and excess calcium influx that wireless radiation triggers as well as downstream secondary and tertiary effects from the resulting increases in superoxide, nitric oxide, and peroxynitrate.

Disclaimer: The author is not a physician. Please check with your physician before making any drastic changes to your diet.

For more nutrition recommendations to protect yourself from wireless radiation, see also the article, "Nutrition for Wireless Radiation Protection." Learn also how to adjust your cell phone settings to reduce your wireless exposure.

What role does EMF play in neurological disease, heart conditions, and infertility?

Martin Pall is particularly concerned that EMF's can play a role in the development of Alzheimer's, autism, and depression. However, besides the nervous system, Martin Pall also says that interference with VGCC's can also affect the reproductive system and the heart. In a society with an aging population with fewer births, Alzheimer's and infertility have indeed emerged as growing health concerns. In addition to paying attention to chemicals that can interfere with VGCC's, wireless radiation might be another contributing factor to consider.

So far, we may not have strong enough scientific research showing a link between EMF’s and Parkinson’s. (in fact, some types of EMF’s, like PEMF, are actually being used to treat neurodegenerative diseases.) Martin Pall notes that EMF is indeed complicated--different frequencies, power densities, and pulsation patterns, can have different biological effects. Perhaps, in special cases, these effects can even be positive.

However, voltage gated calcium channels (VGCC’s) do play an important role in the nervous system, so we ought to pay attention to anything which might interfere with its normal operation. Excess calcium, for example, could trigger abnormal release of neurotransmitters and neuroendocrine hormones. Additionally, we know that when radio frequency EMF's open the blood brain barrier, this allows certain toxins to enter into the brain. Hence, EMF's can potentially increase the influence of toxins on the brain. For more information on microwave frequency EMF's effects on the nervous system, see Neurological Effects. For more information on powerline EMF studies that found that industrial sewing machine operators and people living within 50 meters of a high-voltage power line may be at higher risk for Alzheimer's, see Powerline EMF Magnetic Fields Factsheet.



Unplugging Electric Hospital Beds May Accelerate Recovery of the Sick and Elderly — May 25, 2017

Warning: While Simultaneously Charging and Using Cellphones or Tablets, Body Voltage Measurements May be Elevated — May 23, 2017


In search of a Mobile Phone App To Limit Radiation Exposure and Increase Battery Life — August 5, 2016

So much for saying EMF is only as carcinogenic as coffee... the IARC recently removed coffee from its Group 2B carcinogen list. — July 18, 2016


Wired Baby Monitor - January 8, 2013

EMF Safety Tips at the Hospital - January 8, 2013


In Search of “Safer” Wireless — Wi-Fi - July 24, 2012

How to Potentially Save Your Brain - May 21, 2012

Lessons from Anti-Cancer Nutrition - April 20, 2012

Potential Benefits of Vitamin D for Electrosensitivity - February 1, 2012

High Iron Content “In the Brain” – Part II - January 31, 2012

Bad Reception Can Boost Some Cell Phones’ Power - January 27, 2012

Could High Iron Stores be a Risk Factor for Electrosensitivity? - January 26, 2012


Magnetic Fields that Can Be Easily Fixed - December 29, 2011

Acupuncture, Acupressure, and the Body Electric - December 20, 2011

Electrosensitivity/MCS Pitfalls: Optimizing One Health Factor at the Expense of Another - November 30, 2011

Connecting the Dots: Asthma and EMF? - November 25, 2011

Deception, Denial, and the Industry of Doubt - November 21, 2011

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