Environmental Health Trust

Consider the Scientific Evidence on Cell Phone Safety Say Renowned Medical and Public Health Experts in an Open Letter to Senator Rosalyn Baker

 
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Teton Village, WY -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/26/2014 -- Renowned medical and public health experts, released a letter urging Senator Roslyn Baker to reconsider her stance on a senate bill calling for cell phones sold in Hawaii to come with a prominent health warning. Earlier this month, Senator Josh Green of Kona, Ka‘u introduced the Senate Bill titled SB 2571, a measure calling for cell phones sold in Hawaii to come with a prominent health warning -- similar to what smokers see on the sides of cigarette packages to warn them of danger.

Senator Green, a physician who chairs the Health Committee, said he introduced the bill because he thinks consumers need to be directed to radiation warnings already listed within the device. The original version of Senate Bill SB 2571 would have required the label to read, “This device emits electromagnetic radiation, exposure to which may cause brain cancer. Users, especially children and pregnant women, should keep this device away from the head and body.” Green said he took the language from the warning within his iPhone. He said he is open to the size of the label being reduced. In its current form, Senate Bill SB 2571 would require cellphones sold in Hawaii to contain a warning label covering nearly a third of the back of the device.

"We call on Senator Baker to allow a full public hearing on this bill. Democracy rests on the freely given consent of the governed. How can people consent to information that is buried inside manuals or phones about how to use these devices more safely? People have a right to know how to use technology safely. Senator Baker should honor that right,” said Dr. Devra Davis, Founder of the Environmental health Trust, who joins her peers in the open letter to Senator Baker.

Senate Bill SB 2571 has already passed out of the Senate Health Committee and could be heard next by the Consumer Protection Committee in the next 30 days. The group has published a public letter to Senator Baker to consider the studies that back up evidence of cell phone safety.

The letter in its entirety:

The Honorable Senator Rosalyn Baker

February 23, 2014

Dear Senator Baker,

We commend the Senate Committee on Health for having passed SB2571. Recent scientific research conducted affirms the wisdom of this legislation. Therefore, in the interest of the citizens of Hawaii please allow this bill to be heard and hopefully passed. We are not only concerned about brain tumors, but also as phones are currently carried today (in pockets while on) we are concerned about damage to fetuses, female reproductive organs and damage to sperm.

Please consider recently published scientific information:

January, 2014: New International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) document on the Electromagnetic Spectrum released: detailed 1-page visual with reference to cell phone exposure as a possible human carcinogen acknowledged by the National Cancer Institute. http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Publications/Review2014-Radiation-Fatiha.pdf

April, 2013: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization issued its Monograph that addresses whether cellular telephone RF EMF radiation presents a risk of cancer to users. The IARC re-affirmed its official classification that cellular radiation is a Group 2B carcinogen along with lead, automobile exhaust, and other toxic substances including DDT, heptachlor, and styrene and they have now released their 480 page Monograph that provides the details of the basis of the classification in this the most significant health report on mobile phone radiation ever published. The Monograph concludes that:

“Due to closer proximity of the phone to the brain of children compared with adults, the average exposure from use of the same mobile phone is higher by a factor of 2 in a child’s brain and higher by a factor of 10 in the bone marrow of the skull (p. 408),

“Positive associations have been observed between exposure to radiofrequency radiation from wireless phones and glioma and acoustic neuroma. (p. 421),

“Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are possibly carcinogenic to humans” (Group 2B)

Other recent sources:

1. A new study by breast cancer surgeons found a link to unusual breast tumors in young women who keep cell phones in their bras and have no genetic markers for the disease; http://www.hindawi.com/crim/medicine/2013/354682/

2. A December, 2011 study from the Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California found statistically significant annual increases in frontal and temporal lobe grade IV brain cancers (glioblastoma multiforme) from 1992 to 2006. Those are the areas of the brain closest to where the cell phone is typically held. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1878875011006863

3. In October, 2013 the Italian Supreme Court ruled in favor of a worker who developed a tumor in the head due to long-term use of mobile phones on the job. Importantly, the ruling underscored discrepancies between the low evidence of risk found by industry-funded studies and the higher evidence of risk found by independent studies. http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/19/us-italy-phones-idUSBRE89I0V320121019

4. Environmental and Human Health Inc. “Cell Phones: Technology, Exposures, Health Effects” http://www.ehhi.org/reports/cellphones/

5. On July 12, 2012 the American Academy of Pediatrics sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging the FCC to open a formal inquiry into radiation standards for cell phones and other wireless products adding “The FCC has not assessed the standards for cell phone radiation since 1996 and that “children are… disproportionately impacted by all environmental exposures, including cell phone radiation”. http://wifiinschools.com/uploads/3/0/4/2/3042232/american_academy_of_pediatrics_letter_asking_for_government_review_of_levels.pdf

The state of Hawaii faces potential major liability costs for employees that may be diagnosed with a brain tumor who use cell phones as part of their work. Also, with the pending epidemic of brain cancers and other diseases attributed to wireless radiation, this will have an impact on public health care costs in Hawaii. It is estimated that a single case of initial treatment of one brain tumor averages $500,000.

It is also relevant to note that on February 26, 2013 Verizon Communications Inc. reported the following liability risk in its Annual Report to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,

“…our wireless business also faces personal injury and consumer class action lawsuits relating to the alleged health effects of wireless phones or radio frequency transmitters, and class action lawsuits that challenge marketing practices and disclosures relating to alleged adverse health effects of handheld wireless phones. We may incur significant expenses in defending these lawsuits. In addition we may be required to pay significant awards or settlements.”

In the light of the evidence above we impress upon you to allow SB2571 to be heard toward the goal of informing consumers as to safer use of this ubiquitous device. People deserve the right to know about safety information currently embedded within the phones or printed in small type in pamphlets few read. We do not advocate against this valuable technology. We want users to be informed at point of sale how to use the device as intelligently and safely as possible. We applaud your efforts to ensure consumer protection by promoting this basic right.

Very truly yours,

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Professor, Department of Medicine, American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor in Tobacco Control and Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, Founder and President of Environmental Health Trust. Presidential Appointee.

David O. Carpenter, MD, Director, Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany

Morando Soffritte, MD, Professor and Scientific Director Ramazzini Institute, Bologna, Italy and General Secretary Collegium Ramazzii, Bologna, Italy

Anthony B. Miller, MD; former dean of the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto; Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology, and IARC expert advisor

Annie Sasco, MD, MOH, ScM, DrPh, Director of Research Epidemiology for Cancer Prevention Inserm (French NIH) , Bordeaux University France, former IARC Unit Chief, and former Acting Chief, WHO program for Cancer Control

Dariusz Leszcynski, PhD, IARC expert advisor

Elihu Richter, MD, Hadassah Medical Center, School of Public Health, Israel

Yael Stein, MD, Hadassah Medical Center, School of Public Health, Israel

Prof. Nesrin Seyhan , Medical faculty of Gazi University, Founding Chair, Biophysics Dept., Founding Director, GNRK Center, Panel Member, NATO STO HFM, Scientific Secretariat Member, ICEMS, Advisory Committee, WHO EMF.

Prof. Dr. Suleyman Kaplan, Editor of Journal of Experimental and Clinical Medicine,President of Turkish Society for stereology,Board member of Journal Chemical Neuroanatomy (Elsevier),Director of Health Sciences Institute

Ondokuz May?s University,Head of Department of Histology and Embryology Ondokuz May?s University, Turkey

Dr. Igor Beliae, Cancer Research Institute at Slovak Academy of Science, Slovak Republic

Nancy Alderman, President, Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Ellen Marks, Director, California Brain Tumor Association

Cynthia Franklin, Director, Consumer for Safer Phones

About Environmental Health Trust
Environmental Health Trust (EHT) educates individuals, health professionals and communities about controllable environmental health risks and policy changes needed to reduce those risks. A lead author of the Intergovernmental panel on climate change awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, EHT President and Founder, Dr. Devra Davis has authored a number of popular books, including National Book Award Finalist, When Smoke Ran Like Water, a National Book Award Finalist, The Secret History of the War on Cancer, and Disconnect—the truth about cell phone radiation, which was awarded the Nautilus silver medal award for investigative reporting. The foundation’s website is the go-to place for clear, science-based information to prevent environmentally based disease and promote health, and will have portals for the general public, children and health professionals. For more information or to get involved in the numerous special projects spearheaded by EHT, please visit http://www.ehtrust.org and find EHT on Facebook.