More Bans on Cell Phone Use by Drivers

Microwave Tower.
Microwave Tower.

January 30, 2000 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – First an Ohio town banned cell phone use by drivers. Now, the borough of Conshohocken west of Philadelphia has become the second community in Pennsylvania to prohibit motor vehicle drivers from using cell phones while driving. Pennsylvania’s governor is even considering a legislative proposal to ban cell phone use by drivers throughout the state. Recently a 2-year-old girl was killed in a collision caused by a driver dialing a cell phone. Another child was recently killed by a distracted cell phone user. Conshohocken Police Chief James Dougherty added, “We’ve had problems with people driving through town talking on cell phones where they’ve almost hit people. They’re not paying attention.”

Dozens of medical research studies have also concluded that the microwave frequencies coming into the heads of cell phone users are enough to cause neurological changes in brains that can produce fatigue, dizziness and loss of concentration. Recently I talked with Neil Cherry, Ph.D., Biophysicist at Lincoln University in Christ Church, New Zealand. Dr. Cherry considers the proliferation of cell phones, microwave towers and microwave pollution to be a serious contributor to cancer, brain tumors and increasing neurological problems among the human population.


Neil Cherry, Ph.D., Biophysicist, Lincoln University in Christ Church, New Zealand: “Cell phone users in Sweden ­ 11,000 Scandinavian cell phone users were studied and they showed significant neurological effects in a dose response manner.

Such as?

Such as headaches, fatigue, tiredness and dizziness and a study in Australia also showed nausea. So, neurological effects, hormone effects, show that all these exposures are damaging cells, are changing the cell to cell communication in the brain causing neurological effects. And we now also have studies showing chronic neurological problems of depression, arteriosclerosis and Alzheimer’s” in electrical industry. So, this is not a surprising result with the soup of electromagnetic radiation we are living in these days.

Are you saying that people who work in the electrical industry or are an electrician or working on power lines or in microwaves will have a higher incident of neurological problems?

That’s right. That’s what these studies show. There is also a higher incidence of cardiac problems. A recent study showed a definite dose response manner in terms of the timing function in hearts. You get more heart attacks and more heart disease. So, we now have a very large body of science showing that brains and hearts and bodies in across the spectrum exposure from power lines, from appliances and electrical industries, military personnel working with radio and radar get sickness which is associated with cell deaths and accelerated aging towards cancer, accelerated aging towards neurological problems. It has now been shown in many studies.

Looking at this from your perspective as a biophysicist, what can be done to protect animal, plant and human life from a proliferation of microwaves and extreme low frequency waves?

We can design houses to reduce the exposure to people living in them. We can design appliances like cell phones and microwave ovens, televisions and computer screens so they are not exposing the users as much as present devices do. We can have corridors for utilities like power lines. In New Zealand and other countries, power lines go right over houses. That shouldn’t happen.

We have a very big push around the world at the moment to go mobile, to use mobile phones, to not use the wired telephone. The wired telephone is much more benign than the mobile phone. And we should be wiring up our cities with fiber optic cables to provide internet, FAX, telephone, radio and television at very high quality to houses and cities, rather than saturating our cities with the microwave, radio wave and low frequency signals all the time. There are plenty of ways of fixing the problem.

So, a shift from microwave transmission to fiber optic cable would diminish this negative impact a great deal?

Yes. So instead of having a very large tower like in San Francisco with dozens and now probably hundreds of antennas on it radiating people in the Bay area; or in Golden, Colorado there is an antenna farm that radiates people in the Denver and Golden area – all those signals could be put in fiber optic cable at far higher quality and there is no electromagnetic radiation from that cable. But it would also be more expensive. The situation is: the carriers, the telecommunications companies, are using the atmosphere and polluting it just like the factories and nuclear power stations have in the past, rather than putting their pollution in pipes. In this case, fiber optic pipes so there is no emission from them.

Given the fact there has been enough research documenting these negative effects ­ neurologically and in other ways ­ after exposure to microwaves and extreme low frequencies (ELF), why wouldn’t industry and political systems want to push for fiber optics to reduce harm to people?

Money drives the system, doesn’t it? And the companies are based on shareholders’ profits and if a company is allowed in one part of the world to use the atmosphere and another country tightens up and says, like the United States established this policy of going from wireless to fiber optic cables, then they would carry the cost. And it’s a cost-driven system that is not driven by the public health system. That’s how you get these decisions. Just like in the tobacco industry, for decades the industry will deny the evidence of these effects. They would deny that these studies exist or they deny the quality of these studies because it is far cheaper for them to make profits by polluting the air rather than the higher cost technology.

But in the long run, those industries that move into this area (of fiber optics) first and the same with the oil companies and those who are moving to have more efficient energy, those who move to more efficient telecommunications will probably make the biggest profits in the long run as these studies get more and more strength behind them and the public hear about them and say industry is ignoring them. Hopefully, governments eventually will take the independent advice – not industry advice – and will protect the public health and move to lead the world in this area of finding new clean technology. It’s an old fashioned term, clean technology. Telecommunications currently is dirty technology, not clean technology.

Except for those areas that are trying to convert over to fiber optic cable?

Yes, those are the leading industries and they will find that they can get far higher signals down those cables, with far bigger bandwidth, far faster cleaner data transfer than you can through the atmosphere with thunderstorms, geomagnetic activity and all sorts of activity does interfere with the signals.

For example, the telecommunication operators in the Southwest Pacific have just made a very expensive cable from Australia and New Zealand to the United States because they can’t rely on satellites. And they thought they could.

For people who have cell phones, what is the current state of the art on the most recently manufactured cell phones in terms of protecting users from microwave radiation?

There are the hands-free kits available and there are also information on the internet on the levels of exposure of each of the cell phones manufactured. But people should be choosing cell phones that have low emissions, they should be choosing hands free, they should also choose not to use a cell phone when an ordinary telephone is available. And that way, the cell phone companies will be encouraged to put shields around their cell phones before they sell them and to make sure the antenna is pointing at the cell site, mobile phone site, not at your head.

For people who were some of the first users of cell phones and exposed to microwave frequencies over the past decade or so, what is the increased risk of cancer or neurological disease in those people?

The risk is extremely high. I have established that there are 66 epidemiological studies showing that electromagnetic radiation across the spectrum increase brain tumors in human populations. Two of those studies are for particular brain tumors from cell phones. I am expecting because these cell phone exposures of the head is far higher than even the highest military exposures for which we find very large increases in cancer – then cell phone users will be showing these symptoms. But the latency of cancer is decades. And so we need a large population for about two to three decades using these cell phones for a large increase in brain tumors to be observed.

The neurological effects, though, are coming earlier and we’re already seeing those as acute effects that are noticed within minutes of using a cell phone. But the neurological disease requires a good portion of the brain to be damaged. That takes time because our bodies are working very hard to repair the damage and the continuing accumulation of damage over decades will show a very large increase in neurological effects, memory loss, headaches and the concentration problem. So when people, for example, start to have those affects, are driving the car and are using their cell phones so their attention is diverted, there will be a large increase in road accidents and that is already starting to occur. It’s been noticed in some areas that the use of cell phones while driving is being looked at very carefully. But it is also the actual neurological effects of reducing the concentration, of producing neurological dysfunction while you are driving which is a very scary thing on our very busy roads.

It is not simply the distraction of talking to somebody on the phone as much as it is that you and others have been able to verify that the very act of talking on a cell phone and being exposed to microwave frequencies does have a deleterious effect on the brain’s ability to concentrate?

That’s right. The Univ. of Washington exposed rats, for example, to a microwave signal and ELF signal having learned the task of swimming and finding a way to get out of a pool. When they were exposed, they couldn’t find their way out. So, that showed that microwaves in rats produce these problems. The experiment of using cell phones has shown similar effects that cell phones changes your way of recalling information.

And some frequencies, we know from electromagnetic radiation, interfere with their brain frequencies and speed up a reaction time and other frequencies slow down our reaction times. This has been known now for 30 years. The work was done at the Max Planck Institute and the Munich Technical University in the 1950s and 1960s, where you could change peoples’ reaction times at will using low frequency signals. So, we are exposing people to a thousand times higher signals using cell phones than that signal; therefore, I’m not surprised that we’ve seen these neurological effects.

Do you think it will come to the point that political systems will begin to move to banning the use of cell phones in automobiles in general?

That I think will be an early political response to the growing data. It will be part of a series of political responses. There is now a strong move that is being opposed strongly by industry to put health warnings on cell phones. We should get information out to the public about driving because that’s a very clear risk. And then, the use of the cell phones about the neurological and brain tumor problem is another one to put a health warning on. And we can see the history of pattern in the tobacco industry being followed quite precisely in the cell phone industry because the effects were known and shown very early. And that’s true with the cell phone.”

More Information:

“There is strong evidence that extreme low frequency (ELF) and radio frequency microwaves (RF/MW) are associated with accelerated aging (enhanced cell death and cancer) and moods, depression, suicide, anger, rage and violence, primarily through alteration of cellular calcium ions and the melatonin/serotonin balance.”

– Dr. Neil Cherry, Lincoln University, New Zealand from his June 1998 report, “Actual or potential effects of ELF and RF/MW radiation on accelerating aging of human, animal or plant cells.”

See the book Electromagnetic Fields, A Consumer’s Guide to the Issues and How to Protect Ourselves by B. Blake Levitt © 1995 for an excellent overview of the problems, medical research and unknown consequences of global electromagnetic pollution that is placing all earth life in a soup of microwave and radio frequencies.


© 1998 - 2018 by Linda Moulton Howe.
All Rights Reserved.