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Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences
L. Lloyd Morgan, Santosh Kesari, Devra Lee Davis. Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences. Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmau.2014.06.005. In press. Published online Jul 15, 2014.
• Children absorb more microwave radiation (MWR) than adults.
• MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen.
• The fetus is in greater danger than children from exposure to MWR.
• The legal exposure limits have remained unchanged for decades.
• Cellphone manuals warnings and the 20 cm rule for tablets/laptops violate the “normal operating position” regulation.
Computer simulation using MRI scans of children is the only possible way to determine the microwave radiation (MWR) absorbed in specific tissues in children. Children absorb more MWR than adults because their brain tissues are more absorbent, their skulls are thinner and their relative size is smaller. MWR from wireless devices has been declared a possible human carcinogen. Children are at greater risk than adults when exposed to any carcinogen. Because the average latency time between first exposure and diagnosis of a tumor can be decades, tumors induced in children may not be diagnosed until well into adulthood. The fetus is particularly vulnerable to MWR. MWR exposure can result in degeneration of the protective myelin sheath that surrounds brain neurons. MWR-emitting toys are being sold for use by young infants and toddlers. Digital dementia has been reported in school age children. A case study has shown when cellphones are placed in teenage girls’ bras multiple primary breast cancer develop beneath where the phones are placed. MWR exposure limits have remained unchanged for 19 years. All manufacturers of smartphones have warnings which describe the minimum distance at which phone must be kept away from users in order to not exceed the present legal limits for exposure to MWR. The exposure limit for laptop computers and tablets is set when devices are tested 20 cm away from the body. Belgium, France, India and other technologically sophisticated governments are passing laws and/or issuing warnings about children’s use of wireless devices.
1.4. Exposure limits
In 1996, the FCC adopted the IEEE 1991 standard with some details from the 1986 NCRP Report  as exposure limits in the United States. Nineteen years after the FCC exposure limits were published, based on documents published 24 and 29 years previously, the legal exposure limit has remained unchanged. Yet during these decades an enormous body of scientific studies was published reporting risk well below the legal exposure limit.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is an industry professional organization, as is the National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). Neither organization had medical or public health expertise.
In European countries and a few other countries, the exposure limits are based on the 1998 “Guidelines” of the International Commission for Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) . These “Guidelines” were based on publications from 1984, 1987, 1991, and 1993 [page 494]. That is the “Guidelines” were based on publications up to 31 years ago, Similar to the IEEE and NCRP, ICNIRP is an organization without medical or public health expertise. It is accountable to no government and its funding sources are not transparent.
1.4.1. The 19 year old IEEE and 17 year old ICNIRP exposure limits are based on a false premise
The exposure limits are premised on an assumption that the only biological effect from MWR exposure is acute (short-term) heating sufficient to cause tissue damage. There is no consideration of the effects from chronic (long-term) exposures. There are many scientific papers that report biological impacts tied with non-thermal (no measurable temperature change) effects. Indeed, the 480-page IARC Monograph 102 that documents the science that led to the declaration that MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen is a virtual compendium of such papers .
1.4.2. FCC compliance requirements do not comport with current testing systems
The FCC requires “For purposes of evaluating compliance with localized SAR guidelines, portable devices should be tested or evaluated based on normal operating positions or conditions” . But phones are not tested in pants or shirt pockets. As a result every cellphone manual has warnings that the phone should be kept at various distances from the body otherwise the human exposure limits can be exceeded …
4.3. Increasing brain cancer incidence
There are studies showing an increased risk of brain cancer from wireless phone use. It is a current problem. The worst brain cancer, glioblastoma, has increased in the United States, and Denmark. Brain cancer incidence has increased in Australia in recent years. These results are based on brain cancer incidence from each country’s cancer registries.
A United States study examined 3 cancer registries (Los Angeles County, California and SEER 122) . It examined incidence rates between years 1992–2006 and reported the Average Percent Change (APC) during those years. “RESULTS: Increased AAIRs [Age-Adjusted Incidence Rates] of frontal (APC +2.4–3.0%, p ≤ 0.001) and temporal (APC +1.3–2.3%, p ≤ 0.027) lobe glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumors were observed across all registries … The AAIR of cerebellar GBMs increased according to CCR (APC +11.9%, p < 0.001).”
The Danish Cancer Registry issued a press release that stated, “The number of men who are diagnosed with the most malignant form of brain cancer (glioblastoma), has almost doubled over the past ten years” .
The Australian study reported, “an overall significant increase in primary malignant brain tumors was observed over the study period from 2000 to 2008 (APC, 3.9; 95%CI, 2.4–5.4), particularly since 2004 (overall AAPC, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.6–5.2)” .
The risk to children and adolescent from exposure to microwave radiating devices is considerable. Adults have a smaller but very real risk, as well.
- Children absorb greater amount of microwave radiation (MWR) than adults;
- MWR is a Class 2B (possible) carcinogen as is carbon black, carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, DDT, lead, nickel, phenobarbital, styrene, diesel fuel, and gasoline. It seems clear that we would not expose children to these other agents, so why would we expose children to microwave radiation?
- Fetuses are even more vulnerable than children. Therefore pregnant women should avoid exposing their fetus to microwave radiation.
- Adolescent girls and women should not place cellphones in their bras or in hijabs.
- Cellphone manual warnings make clear an overexposure problem exists.
- Wireless devices are radio transmitters, not toys. Selling toys that use them should be banned.
- Government warnings have been issued but most of the public are unaware of such warnings.
- Exposure limits are inadequate and should be revised such that they are adequate.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety