Per Segerbäck lives in a modest cottage in a nature reserve some 75 miles northeast of Stockholm. Wolves, moose and brown bears roam freely past his front door. He keeps limited human company, because human technology makes him physically ill. How ill? On a walk last summer, he ran into one of his few neighbors, a man who lives in a cottage about 100 yards away. During their chat, the man's cellphone rang, and Segerbäck, 54, was overcome by nausea. Within seconds, he was unconscious.
Segerbäck suffers from electro-hypersensitivity (EHS), which means he has severe physical reactions to the electromagnetic radiation produced by common consumer technologies, such as computers, televisions and cellphones. Symptoms range from burning or tingling sensations on the skin to dizziness, nausea, headaches, sleep disturbance and memory loss. In extreme cases like Segerbäck's, breathing problems, heart palpitations and loss of consciousness can result.
A cellphone has to be in use -- either making or receiving a call, or searching for a signal, when radiation levels are highest -- for it to have this kind of effect on Segerbäck. Phones that are on but neither sending nor receiving usually don't produce enough radiation to be noticeable. But it's not the sound of the phone that sets him off. Once, while on a sailboat with friends, he recalls, he was on the front deck when, unknown to him, someone made a call belowdecks. Headache, nausea, unconsciousness. When Segerbäck is within range of an active cellphone (safe distances vary because different makes and models produce different radiation levels), he experiences the feeling that there is "not enough room in my skull for my brain."
Sweden is the only country in the world to recognize EHS as a functional impairment, and Segerbäck's experience has been important in creating policy to address the condition. Swedish EHS sufferers -- about 3 percent of the population, or some 250,000 people, according to government statistics -- are entitled to similar rights and social services as those given to people who are blind or deaf. Today, local governments will pay to have the home of someone diagnosed with EHS electronically "sanitized," if necessary, through the installation of metal shielding.
SEA OF RADIATION
Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are inescapable. We are constantly exposed to them, mostly in the form of either extremely low-frequency (ELF) radiation from things like domestic appliances and power lines or radio-frequency (RF) radiation from things like cellular and cordless phones, telecom antennas, and TV and radio transmission towers. Our bodies even produce faint EMFs of their own, from the electrical activity in the brain and heart.
Ionizing radiation -- the kind produced by x-rays, CT scans and nuclear bombs -- can do terrible damage to the body. It is classified as a carcinogen. But ELF and RF are types of non-ionizing radiation, which is thought to be nearly harmless. Non-ionizing radiation isn't powerful enough to break molecular bonds, so it cannot directly cause the cellular damage that leads to disease. This type of radiation is everywhere. "We are bathed in a sea of non-ionizing radiation," says John Boice, a professor of medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and scientific director of the International Epidemiology Institute, a biomedical research firm in Rockville, Maryland.
This sea, most scientists agree, is harmless. Cellphones are safe and conditions like EHS cannot exist, they argue, because the EMFs involved are too weak to have any health effect. The non-ionizing radiation from cellphones has almost no known influence on the human body. In fact, the only universally recognized effect of non-ionizing radiation is a very minor heating of nearby tissue. The Federal Communications Commission sets EMF limits for cellphones -- measured as "specific absorption rates" (SARs) -- below which significant heating does not occur. Segerbäck's symptoms and those of other EHS sufferers, according to many researchers, may be either misdiagnosed or imaginary. Some experts suggest that people like Segerbäck perhaps suffer from a psychological disorder, or that their cases may illustrate the "nocebo" effect, in which the expectation that something will make you sick actually does make you sick. A review published last year in the journal Bioelectromagnetics found no evidence that hypersensitive individuals had an improved ability to detect EMFs, and the study found evidence of the nocebo effect in those same people.
The cellphone industry's position on the subject is clear. "The peer-reviewed scientific evidence has overwhelmingly indicated that wireless devices do not pose a public-health risk," says John Walls, vice president of public affairs at CTIA -- The Wireless Association, the international industry body. "In addition, there is no known mechanism for [EMFs] within the limits established by the FCC to cause any adverse health effects." A host of major institutions -- including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization -- agree with this assessment. (Although the ICNIRP says scientific assessment of the health aspects of wireless devices should continue as the technology becomes more widespread.)
Boice points out that data from cancer registries, such as the National Cancer Institute's SEER program, shows that brain-cancer rates haven't gone up since the early 1990s. The trends are also relatively flat from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, where cellphones have been in use longer than in the U.S. If cellphones were causing brain cancer, an obvious uptick in reported cases would be expected. "If you look at the totality of biological and experimental studies," Boice says, "the vast amount of evidence is that there is no association between cellphones and malignancies."
- Your cellphone gives off radiation largely through the antenna when you make and receive calls and when it searches for a signal.
- Cellphones operate in the radio-frequency range of the spectrum, along with radar and FM radio broadcasts.
- Daily life exposes us to radiation from many sources, and electromagnetic fields vary [the circled number is the median field strength]. The combined effect is difficult to determine.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE
Segerbäck was once an elite telecommunications engineer. He worked for Ellemtel, a division of the Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, for more than 20 years, leading an engineering group that designed advanced integrated circuits for prototype telecommunication systems. He used the newest and most advanced computer and telecom equipment available, the kind of stuff only Ericsson and the Swedish military had access to. He was, as a result, up to his eyeballs in a non-ionizing radiation bath, from computers, fluorescent lights and the telecom antenna located right outside his window.
He noticed his first symptoms -- dizziness, nausea, headaches, burning sensations and red blotches on his skin -- in the late 1980s, a decade into his telecommunications research work. All but two of the 20 or so other members of his group reported similar symptoms, he says, although his were by far the most severe. His EHS worsened and now, he says, even radar from low-flying aircraft can set it off. Segerbäck is convinced that the perfect storm of EMFs in his office, combined with potentially toxic fumes from his brand-new computer, were responsible for his condition. "The company doctors didn't understand what was going on," he says.
Agne Fredriksson, who managed Segerbäck's group at Ellemtel and retired from Ericsson in 2006, says a commonly reported symptom was "a feeling of heat in the face," which everyone attributed to the new computer workstations. When members of Segerbäck's group started calling in sick and people from other departments began reporting similar symptoms, Fredriksson recalls, "that's when we started to look into what could be done about it. There was a lot of worry from the groups in which people reported the most symptoms."
A new office space was created for the worst-affected employees; about half a dozen people shared this fully shielded room. Others switched to different computer workstations, while others managed by spending less time in front of their screens. No one had ever encountered anything like it before. "Why are we so special?" Fredriksson remembers wondering. He later learned that other companies faced similar situations at the time, although that information remained internal.
Ericsson went to great lengths to keep Segerbäck, a key member of the firm's design team, on the job. In the early 1990s, the company installed metal shields around his bedroom and study at home so he could sleep and work without radiation exposure. To enable him to go outside, medical authorities gave Segerbäck an EMF-resistant suit like the ones worn by engineers working in close proximity to live telecom towers and high-voltage power lines. The firm even modified a Volvo so he could travel safely to and from work. His commutes ended when cellphone towers began to spring up around Stockholm in the mid-1990s, eventually forcing his retreat to the woods.
In 1993 Ericsson produced a report, "Hypersensitivity in the Workplace," about what happened at Segerbäck's lab. In the foreword, Ellemtel's vice president Örjan Mattsson and administrative chief Torbjörn Johnson wrote: "A new problem in the work environment has appeared: hypersensitivity. When dealing with traditional occupational injury, as a rule you can establish a cause and effect relationship. Not so with regard to hypersensitivity. When the first serious cases occurred at Ellemtel at the end of the 1980s, we were not prepared. Soon, we came to look upon hypersensitivity as a serious threat to the company business. . . . We started wondering if we were faced with a modern-day scourge."
Ulrika Aberg, a Swedish physician specializing in EHS who treated Segerbäck in the early days of his condition, has worked with more than 800 hypersensitive patients. She says she's seen a sliding scale of symptoms, from sleep disturbance and dizziness on one end to the more severe effects experienced by Segerbäck on the other. "There is electrical activity going on in all cells all the time, so it's no wonder the whole body [of an EHS patient] is affected," she says.
For those reporting milder symptoms, Aberg suggests removing any wireless electronics from the home, including cell and cordless phones and wireless Internet connections. But that still leaves people exposed to the wireless devices of others. There are several hundred EHS "refugees" in Sweden, she says, people who have had to move, some more than once, to escape the effects of EMFs. She describes one hypersensitive couple that lives in a mobile home so they can quickly relocate if their symptoms worsen. "EHS is a controversial diagnosis, and many people don't know or care about it," Aberg says. "But many [EHS sufferers] can't feel safe where they live. We shouldn't produce more and more EMFs without taking account of how people react to them."
WHAT WE KNOW
The main source of EMFs from cellphones is the antenna, located inside the handset. When sending signals and held against the side of the head, the phone produces radiation that can penetrate into the brain. The precise depth depends on the frequency of the EMFs; the higher the frequency, the lower the depth of penetration. Cellphones typically operate in a range of frequencies between 800 and 2,200 megahertz. Radios and TVs operate at slightly lower frequencies, and microwave ovens and radar operate at higher frequencies.
Research into the health effects of EMFs started in the 1950s, when scientists began studying medical applications and radar. As microwave ovens started appearing in kitchens in the 1960s, EMF research entered the mainstream, and with the proliferation of computer display terminals in the 1970s and cellphones in the 1980s, the research really took off. "With every new device, people worry," says Michael Repacholi, the former coordinator of the World Health Organization's Radiation and Environmental Health Unit and now a visiting professor at the University of Rome. Repacholi launched the WHO's International EMF Project in 1996 in response to growing public concern. That group's conclusion: There is no evidence to indicate any health effects from cellphone EMFs. There was a clutch of lawsuits in the mid-1990s alleging that cellphones had caused brain cancer in specific individuals; none succeeded.
The Interphone project, a collaboration among 13 countries that carried out studies between 2000 and 2005 coordinated by the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer, was set up to settle the matter of whether cellphones cause brain cancer. It, however, has been plagued by controversy over methodology, bias and contradictory results. Interphone spans a period during which cellphones and their use have changed greatly. Children were not included in the study, for instance, because cellphone use by kids was low when it began in 2000.
Bias is a concern for all studies of this type, says the head of the Interphone study, Elisabeth Cardis of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona, Spain. "We have from the beginning made efforts to minimize bias as much as possible, to identify and quantify any remaining bias, and to try and take it into account in the most scientific way," she says.
The results are inconclusive. A Danish Interphone study of 106 cases of acoustic neuroma, a kind of brain tumor, showed no elevated risk from long-term cellphone use, although only two cases were long-term users. A Swedish Interphone study of 148 cases found a slightly elevated risk.
When the Interphone results are finally released, after years of closed-door debate, they are not expected to settle anything. In the end, Cardis says, "further studies will be needed to confirm the Interphone results, particularly with regard to the use of phones by children."
CAUSE VS. PROMOTER
Let's be clear: Cellphones are not like cigarettes. There is a proven mechanism by which cigarettes cause cancer, even if you live an otherwise healthy life. There is as yet no proven mechanism by which cellphones do the same. Most experts say there is no such mechanism. "There is no dramatic evidence of a health effect," says Michael Kundi of the Institute of Environmental Health at the Medical University of Vienna. "Otherwise, we all would be terribly sick." But, he says, there is another crucial distinction to understand. Even though EMFs are in all likelihood not cancer initiators -- they don't cause cancer the way that tobacco does -- the radiation might well be a cancer promoter, allowing precancerous cells time to grow and metastasize, especially in concert with other factors.
While most of the rest of the scientific community argue that cellphones pose no health risks at all, Kundi and others suspect that radiation from prolonged cellphone use may indeed lead to an increased risk of brain cancer. As to electro-hypersensitivity, among the limited studies of EHS sufferers (who are reluctant to subject themselves to hours in an electronics-laden facility), some have shown that cellphone-frequency EMFs do produce physiological effects in some people, both those who report EHS symptoms and those who do not (although the EHS patients performed no better than chance when asked whether they were being exposed).
A growing number of studies show that we may not understand the effects of EMFs at all, especially the ones that emanate from cellphones. We may have been asking the wrong question. Research is beginning to shift from asking, "Do cellphones cause cancer?" to asking, "What mechanism, if any, could cause an adverse health effect?"
In 2001, doctors diagnosed Catherine Woollams, a 22-year-old Briton, with a glioblastoma, a brain tumor of the type studied in connection with EMF radiation. Her father, Christopher, had studied biochemistry at Oxford, specializing in viruses and cancer, before going into advertising. In the early 1990s, he helped develop the launch campaign for Mercury One-2-One, one of the first digital cellphone services in Great Britain. After Catherine's diagnosis, he founded CANCERactive, a charity that provides information on cancer treatments. Catherine died in 2004.
He argues that research should not focus solely on brain cancer. "It is very, very hard to prove a direct link," he says. "The evidence is tenuous at best." Woollams believes researchers should also pursue the possible mechanisms by which EMFs might impair the body's overall defenses. He suggests that the daily sea of EMFs -- combined with other environmental factors, such as toxic chemicals and poor nutrition -- may have a collective influence on our health. "I am far, far more worried about how [cellphones] could lead to a diminution of the immune system," he says. "Mobile phones add to the problems that bring about brain tumors. Phones should carry a warning, the same as cigarettes."
Investigating the relation between cellphones and health risks remains terribly difficult and inconclusive. Brain-cancer studies are particularly hard to conduct -- the tumors are rare and can take decades to develop -- but they do exist. Most studies have addressed either malignant tumors such as glioma or benign tumors such as meningioma or acoustic neuroma. Some studies have also focused on salivary gland tumors. The majority have found no link between cellphones and these types of cancer. But a few have. Lennart Hardell of the department of oncology at University Hospital in Örebro, Sweden, found increased risk for glioma and acoustic neuroma after 10 or more years of regular cellphone use. He concluded that current radiation limits for cellphones are unsafe.
Other developments are also unsettling. According to a 2004 report from the U.K. Office of National Statistics, the rate of childhood brain and spinal-cord tumors in Britain rose from just under 20 per million in the early 1970s to just under 30 per million in the late 1990s. Citing concern over "continuing uncertainties about possible health risks" of EMFs, the European Parliament has suggested an awareness-raising campaign geared toward young people between the ages of 10 and 20; the French Ministry of Health, Youth and Sports has warned against "excessive" cellphone use among youngsters; and U.S. senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, who survived a brain tumor, has held Senate hearings on the issue. State legislators in Maine are debating whether cellphones sold there should display warnings about brain cancer, and the municipal government in San Francisco is considering requiring information about radiation levels on cellphone packaging.
Study results are invariably criticized for methodological failings, such as insufficient sample size (many people need to be studied to get a meaningful result) or recall bias (people often incorrectly remember their past cellphone use). A recent review of 23 cellphone/cancer papers found that studies the authors rated as of the highest methodological quality (mostly by Hardell) reported an increased risk of tumors in long-term cellphone users, whereas in studies the authors rated as of lower methodological quality the results actually showed a decreased risk among cellphone users. Yet a different review singled out Hardell's results as most likely the result of poor methodology.
What, then, should we study? Kundi points out that according to current research, cellphone radiation does have "non-thermal effects" -- biological effects beyond the mere heating of tissue -- that could influence human health. Identify the mechanisms behind these effects, he urges, and design phones that don't produce them. There are three main lines of investigation into non-thermal effects: the potential influence on melatonin production, gene expression and intracellular signaling.
Melatonin is mostly known as an antidote to jet lag. Produced in the pineal gland of the brain, the hormone regulates much of our sleep-wake cycle. But it also has a crucial role as an antioxidant, protecting against the DNA damage that can lead to cancer and the neurological damage that can lead to diseases like Alzheimer's. EMFs have been shown to suppress melatonin production in rats. If suppression also occurs in humans, one of the body's defenses would be weakened.
Epidemiological studies have found an increased risk of leukemia in people living near high-voltage power lines. The IARC now classifies extremely low-frequency EMFs (such as those from power lines) as a possible human carcinogen. Denis L. Henshaw, a physicist at the University of Bristol in England, cites evidence that power-line EMFs disrupt melatonin production, thereby impairing the immune system's ability to prevent and repair genetic damage.
Power lines operate at lower frequencies (around 50 hertz) than cellphones. But cellphones produce regular pulses that fall in the extremely low-frequency range of 1 to 300 hertz. It is therefore possible, according to Henshaw, Kundi and others, that cellphone EMFs could also have an effect on human cells and, potentially, on melatonin production.
While acknowledging that some researchers have found alterations in melatonin levels, former WHO coordinator Repacholi says, "It must be something else, because [power-line EMFs] hardly penetrate into the body. There is no mechanism by which the fields could cause melatonin change." Counters Henshaw, "There are thousands of papers documenting the effect of power-line EMFs. We don't know yet if this is true for cellphones, but for power-line EMFs there clearly are non-thermal effects."
Research by Igor Belyaev, an associate professor in the Department of Genetics, Microbiology and Toxicology at Stockholm University, has shown that EMFs can affect gene expression -- the mechanism by which genes are activated and "speak out" -- in human and animal cells. Belyaev exposed human lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell involved in the body's immune response, to EMFs at 915 megahertz, a common cellphone frequency. The samples were taken from healthy people and those reporting EHS symptoms. In cells from both types of subjects, Belyaev observed a stress response that altered gene expression. The stress response induced by EMFs at 915 megahertz disrupted the body's DNA-repair machinery, he concluded, thus making it harder to fix the kind of cellular damage that can lead to cancer. In other research, Belyaev has found that cellphone-frequency EMFs inhibit DNA repair in stem cells; DNA breaks in stem cells are critical to the onset of leukemia and some tumors, including gliomas.
Stress response does indeed cause changes in gene expression; however, says Repacholi, "lots of experiments can find effects, but that doesn't translate into the whole organism, because the whole organism compensates. The gap between a biological effect and an adverse health effect is a big one."
Rony Seger of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, has found that EMFs in the 900-megahertz range also influence intracellular signaling pathways -- how cells talk to each other. Working with rat cells, Seger and his colleagues found that cellphone radiation changes the activity of certain enzymes, prompting them to start producing free radicals. Free radicals are rogue atoms that can cause damage when they interact with DNA and other crucial cellular components.
Seger emphasizes that the effect "produces a small amount of free radicals, which in themselves are not harmful." But he also says that intracellular signaling could be part of a more general cancer-inducing mechanism that is not yet understood. "It is possible that this system could cause the activation of another system," he says, which could in turn create a cascade of intracellular events whose cumulative effect could be harmful. He cautions, though, "The amplification [of the free radicals] has to be much stronger in order to induce these adverse effects." Boice points out that free radicals are produced all the time as a by-product of our metabolism. "The body has processes that take care of them," he says. "You can't extrapolate from a petri dish to humans."
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
Henshaw, Belyaev and Seger do not argue that their work proves that EMFs either initiate or promote cancer. They do insist, however, that these non-thermal effects cannot be dismissed and that they merit further study. "We need to decide now if there is a risk," Kundi says. "If we know the mechanism, then we can design phones not related to increased risk."
Another study, the International Cohort Study of Mobile Phone Users (COSMOS), might help determine what, if any, future research is needed. COSMOS will be monitoring some 250,000 Europeans over the next 20 to 30 years, looking at potential links between cellphones and brain tumors as well as EHS-like symptoms such as headaches, sleep disorders, and neurological and cerebro-vascular diseases. But results are not due until 2029 at the earliest, and between now and then, the technology will change and proliferate in ways we cannot predict. A study under way at the IIT Research Institute in Chicago, examining the effects of EMF exposure on rats and mice over several generations, should also provide important evidence. A similar experiment, in which mice were exposed to cellphone EMFs 24/7 across four generations, found no harmful effects on the animals' fertility or development. "If [the IIT Research Institute in Chicago study] doesn't find an effect, then we're unlikely to find anything at all," Repacholi predicts.
In a recent report on EMFs and health effects, the ICNIRP concluded, "Whilst it is in principle impossible to disprove the possible existence of non-thermal interactions, the plausibility of the non-thermal mechanisms . . . is very low." Still, Seger says, "there are more and more indications that [non-thermal effects] must be real. What is the mechanism? No one knows. If there is an effect, the mechanism is absolutely new to science. We have to start thinking about it in a different way."
THE DISCONNECTED LIFE
Segerbäck is convinced that cellphones are dangerous. "I'm an engineer, and even I don't know how to design a phone that doesn't affect health," he says. Radiation limits "are all based on thermal effects, and that's wrong." In the early stages of his condition, Segerbäck was still able to lead a fairly normal life. His daughter, Anna, was just a child when he became ill. She used to run ahead of him at home switching off all the lights in every room before he entered. It is everyday family life that Segerbäck misses the most, something as simple as the chat and laughter on the morning drive to school.
Today he cooks all his meals on a wood-burning stove. The fireplace is his only source of heat. He has electric lights, a phone and a computer, but their power source -- a 12-volt battery -- is buried in an underground cellar about 30 yards from his house, far enough away that the EMFs can't reach him. His computer and his mouse are both surrounded by metal plates so no radiation escapes. His neighbors all know about his condition and (with occasional, painful exceptions) know not to carry cellphones near his house.
Segerbäck is surprisingly sanguine about his situation. "Of course it's a very sad thing that happened to me," he says, "but it can only be regarded as an accident. I am a positive person, from a line of very stubborn people able to survive under tough conditions." He is determined, in his affable, soft-spoken way, to gain greater recognition and greater credibility for EHS. Not by banning cellphones -- he's still too much a telecom engineer for that -- but by somehow making cellphones safer. In fact, he even takes some responsibility for being part of an industry that designed devices he now believes are hazardous to people's health. "Guys like me were so far ahead of society," he says. "We didn't know medicine. We didn't think what we were developing could harm anyone. It's hard to admit we've been wrong for so long."
How about the researchers? Do the people who study cellphone radiation use their phones with caution? On the next page.
Cellphone Habits of the Experts
Weizmann Institute of Science
"I try not to exceed a half hour or an hour a day," Seger says of his cellphone use. "Everything is a matter of dosage." He suggests keeping cellphones at least 12 inches from the body and using the speakerphone.
Founder and CEO of CANCERactive
Woollams uses his cell sparingly and puts it on speakerphone. His older kids -- aged 14, 23 and 26 -- "are encouraged to only text at most. I don't want them to carry the phone on their bodies when they are on."
Former coordinator of the WHO's Radiation and Environmental Health Unit
Repacholi owns two cellphones and says he has no concerns about using them. For those who do, he recommends using a hands-free kit, which can reduce exposure levels by a factor of between 10 and 100.
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and the International Epidemiology Institute
Boice makes approximately five cellphone calls a day. He uses a wired earpiece -- not for fear of EMFs but because "I'm getting older and don't hear so well anymore," he says.
Aberg removes her phone's battery when she visits patients. She advises against wireless phones and wireless computer connections at home because, she says, "you are exposed to EMFs all day and all night."
Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology and head of Interphone
Cardis is not a heavy talker ("I have little time!") but says, "If consumers are worried about a possible risk, the use of hands-free kits or earpieces is a very good way to reduce exposure."
Institute of Environmental Health, Medical University of Vienna
Kundi dials on a landline whenever available and suggests not using cellphones where reception is weak, because they boost their signal to maintain connectivity, thus increasing EMF exposure.
Voices on the Line
Opinions from the researchers, interviewed by Christopher Ketcham
"We really cannot say for certain what the adverse effects are in humans, but the indications are that there may be—and I use the words 'may be'—very serious effects …The biggest concern about cellphones is the evidence coming out of studies in Northern Europe, where cellphones were invented and where they have been used for a longer period of time than in the U.S. These studies are pretty consistent in showing an increased risk of brain cancer and tumors of the auditory nerve in individuals who have used cellphones for more than 10 years, but only on the side of the head where the cellphone is used. Studies from Israel have also found tumors of the parotid gland, the salivary gland in the cheek, but again only on the side of the head where the cellphone is used."
—David Carpenter is director of the Institute for Health and the Environment and founding dean of the School of Public Health at the State University of New York at Albany. He co-edited the 2008 Bioinitiative Report on cellphone risks.
"The Interphone study was initiated by the WHO agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, to have 16 case-control studies conducted in 13 countries to determine whether use of mobile phones is associated with head or neck cancers. Until the Interphone study results are published, the best indicator of the likely result is shown in the combined British and Nordic country study, which has over 60 percent of all the cases and controls that the full Interphone study has. In this study, they found little evidence of any head or neck cancers among people who have used their phones for less than 10 years ...It is not possible to make any conclusions at present about the risks of mobile phones for more than 10 years."
—Michael Repacholi was coordinator for the Radiation and Environmental Health Unit at the World Health Organization from 1996 to 2006.
"When a nerve is stimulated—say, the optical nerve stimulated by light—all sorts of electrical activity goes on. The nervous system uses electrical fields to function. It would be expected that certain extraneous electromagnetic fields would affect the nervous system. If you apply a correctly tuned EM field, you're going to affect nervous-system function, which is going to affect all sorts of functions and behaviors. Some of my research in the 1970s found that when you expose a frog's heart to EM frequencies that were modulated just so, you can produce arrhythmias in those hearts and even stop the hearts. I also showed that EM frequencies could open the blood-brain barrier. This means that substances in the blood can leak into the highly stabilized systems in the brain."
—Allan Frey is a neuroscientist formerly with the GE Advanced Electronics Center at Cornell University who conducted some of the first experiments showing the biological effects of radio-frequency radiation.
"In the 1940s, kids' shoe shops were equipped with shoe-fitting machines that used strong x-rays, and wristwatches in the 1950s glowed in the dark because they were coated with radioactive paint. At the same time, scientists and doctors started to realize that the warm and beautiful sunshine actually can harm our cells and their DNA, leading to the development of skin cancer ...We don't know what will happen when, 24 hours around the clock, we allow ourselves and our children to be whole-body irradiated by new, man-made electromagnetic fields for the rest of our lives. This question is more valid and important than ever, and it is up to our society, with its governments, parliaments and authorities, to answer it."
—Olle Johansson is an associate professor at the Karolinska Institute and the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and has been investigating the health effects of man-made electromagnetic fields since the 1980s.
Nice article... though either the author is schizophrenic or he had some "help" from the ad sales department. Those paragraphs that appear to be added by someone else are wrong: there is a clear risk of brain tumors from cell phones. See Lloyd Morgan's recent analysis of the literature. The figure showing can opener emissions to be the worst is terribly misleading: can openers are only on for a few seconds and don't emit microwaves (unlike cordless & cell phones, microwave ovens, and Wi-Fi).
And indeed there are published studies where at least some people could tell if they were exposed way better than chance (Rae's paper on "electromagnetic field sensitivity", and Kwon et al's "Perception of the electromagnetic field emitted by a mobile phone"... the latter had a p-value of 10^-25). The other papers I've read did not pre-test the subjects to weed out the psychosomatic cases, and did not control the exposure carefully--they don't even report the background magnetic field in the testing room or waiting rooms.
And why no mention of the evidence that Repacholi was accepting money from the industry? Still thanks for the info... almost as revealing as the impressive piece in last month's GQ on cellphones...
Uhh.. ok. Am I supposed to believe this guy actually feels excruciating pain every time a cellphone rings.It wasn't mentioned in this article if anyone tested this individual to figure out if this phenomenon is real or not. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It should be easy enough to figure out if his symptoms are real. Sit him (or someone else like him) down in a room clear of elecromag. interference and see if he can tell if and when electromag. energy is being emitted from a device inside the room. It sounds to me like this guy and his buddies are making up this story to try and win some sort of lawsuit against their previous employer. Either that or this article was totally made up by the author. I think its borderline irresponsible for wired to print an article like this.
excuse me popsci
I feel sorry for Mr. Segerbäck. But I have a hard time understanding how he could be so sensitive as to be affected by lights, yet not be affected by the continuous transmission of mobile telephony base stations / towers, and the continual transmissions from mobile phone themselves, even when they are not transmitting. Then there are all the other services in the same frequency bands, like TV, paging systems, GPS signals, Digital Audio Broadcasting, public safety communication systems, etc.? And why risk any electric lights, when there are non-electric alternatives like candles or oil lamps?
The style and depth of this article makes me think that Popular Science magazine should soon be renamed to Tabloid Science. What's next, claims of alien abduction?
Sensing low power electromagnetic radiation is very paranormal experience indeed.
There may be space aliens and cell phone may cause cancer but until something can be replicated or observed by multiple independent observers, it can not be considered real or the process of obtaining the answers as science.
If someone can have such an immediate and violent reaction to electromagnetic radiation it should be trivial to prove whether it is even possible. In the best case, EHS sufferers require psychiatric help, in the worst case they are committing fraud.
If Sweden is the only country to recognize EHS as a disorder they should pay for a trip, in a Faraday cage, for one of EHS sufferer to visit the James Randi Educational Foundation (not-for-profit organization founded in 1996)
to take paranormal challenge for a chance to win $1,000,000.
Maybe anyone who believes that microwaves are safe should throw a grape in the microwave, microwaves do not naturally occur. (at least not in the quantity that they are produced by man) Microwaving food destroys large amounts of antioxidants, (eg broccoli) and if you're still not convinced take 2 identical plants, one gets microwaved water that has cooled , the other water boiled on the stove. I'm not convinced about microwaves ability to cause cancer, but as a contributor to mental illness , parkinsons, alzheimers, and other disorders of dopamine and serotonin producing cells, killed off by cooking during long cell phone conversations. (cordless homephones are no better, pushing more microwaves out at higher power)
Until last summer I was, like most people nowadays, very fond of all my modern communication gadgets from wifi to mobile, from Palm to laptops and all their advantages.
From 2006 onwards I went several times to see a doctor for heart palpitations, but they couldn?t find anything wrong with me.
Then in July 2008 I suddenly started experiencing dizziness on numerous occasions, till it got so bad one night, suffering even from speech problems, that I ended up in A&E thinking I had a stroke or heart attack; in the following weeks I underwent many tests. The results showed I was absolutely fine, but the symptoms stayed. The doctors told me I just had been stressed, but the thing is I wasn?t stressed at all prior to this.
To my own shock and confusion I realized that my dizziness always occurred, when I was in close vicinity to Wifi, mobiles, Blackberries and mobile masts.
Other symptoms added themselves to the list: Headaches, excessive sweating during the night, memory and concentration problems, a pain in my head, and discomfort either side of my neck [Glands] pins and needles in my hands, a feeling of being static (I gave people electric shocks in that early period, when I shook their hands), prickly skin and even skin rashes. The latter, when I was sitting in front of my computer or the tv. Even certain light sources (energy saving light bulbs and neon lights) caused the skin problem to occur.
After medical professionals weren?t able to help, I started my own research and found many websites and blogs by people, with exactly the same problems as mine. They are sufferers of electro-sensitivity (ES), a condition fully recognized in Canada and Sweden as a medical impairment (with 250.000 sufferers in Sweden alone) but unfortunately ridiculed in the UK. I had never heard of it (this to show I am not a hypochondriac), but once I realized that this was the source of my problems, I started clearing my home environment from Wifi, DECT phones and non-essential electrical items. My problems immediately started to get noticeably better.
Since I am suffering from this condition, I have spoken to many people about it and even if not everyone has fully blown symptoms of ES, I have encountered many people who have some of the described symptoms.
So the problem might lie on a bigger scale than the assumed 3-5% of sufferers worldwide. This is the main reason of me contacting you, as I have the feeling that more awareness needs to be raised, as many many people suffer of a small portion of ES symptoms. Especially prevalent seems the following:
Most men carry their mobile in their jacket or trousers for easy access. I used to carry mine in my motorbike jacket?s front left pocket. When I stopped doing that the unexplained palpitations I suffered from for 2 years vanished immediately.
In conversations with friends, colleagues and fellow bikers I heard that many of them experience similar symptoms like pain or tremors in the chest area or what the American media refers to as ?phantom text messages?. Every now and then I?d think I had a text message, when carrying my phone in my trouser pockets, but when I checked there was nothing there.
According to Swedish scientist and ES expert Olle Johansson this is caused ?by high intensity bursts of extremely-low frequency electromagnetic field charges that your phone is producing and (that are) affecting your nervous system.?
This seems to affect mainly men, as men are more likely to carry their phone on their body than women, who mainly carry them in their handbags.
Of course I don?t know, if carrying your mobile is a cause of ES or if these phantom text messages are just another symptom and the causes could lie somewhere else, like problems with your immune system for example, which could to make you more susceptible to all the electromagnetic radiation around us, but in any case I guess it can?t be good to have heart palpitations.
I know: I have heard every joke about ?vibrating pockets? and have been many times referred to Ben Goldacre?s ?Bad Science? column. There are definitely pseudo-scientists out there making a lot of money from scaremongering, but we have to distinguish between those and the victims in all this.
Retrospectively I am convinced that my heart palpitations were an early warning sign for what was happening later on. I might have been able to avoid to come to down with electro-sensitivity, if I had known more about it. And believe me: ES is not an easy thing to live with.
During all this happening I thought for a short period of time, that it might just be my ancient phone causing trouble, so I opted for an iphone, but that just made things far worse, which brings me to another issue of widespread problems nobody seems willing to be talking about.
Now I know that the radiation emitted from an iphone/ Blackberry is far higher than the one of my old Nokia. (Measured in SAR ratings: iphone a whopping 2.0, the ancient Nokia a mere 0.57) In the US for example the guidelines are much tighter, the iphone on the market there has a lower rating.
Since then I have spoken to many proud owners of their Powerful 3G Phones.
Many of them experience sleep problems (most of them seem to wake up in the early hours of the morning (around 4.30 am) and find it difficult to get back to sleep) and/ or feel ill. Even though some of them admitted, that their problems started shortly after acquiring their new gadget, they are of course unwilling to put two and two together. As I was when it all started happening to me.
Our fast communication tools are just so wonderfully convenient, that we are very reluctant to think, there might be a problem.
And I?m not talking about some weird conspiracy theory. Just the reluctance to let go of something making our lives so much easier. But maybe the price we are all paying on the long run will be too high?
Even though it should be said, that of course the revenue of the communications industry is vast.
But smoking used to be a relaxing pastime, didn?t it?
If you are still sceptical, while reading this, maybe you can suspend your disbelief and convey an easy test: Maybe ask around in your office, if people are experiencing sleep problems and/ or the phantom text messages? Maybe ask willing participants to switch off their mobile and Wifi during the night, remove the DECT phone from the bedroom and not to carry the mobile on their bodies for a period to see if it makes any difference?
The phones, if kept switched on by your bed (i.e. used as an alarm clock) will not let your brain go into a proper sleep pattern and thus not allowing for your body?s necessary recuperation process to work over night.
There should be warnings on phones: Do not keep by your bed.
I am sure that the results of such a test will be very convincing.
Since all this has happened to me I have spoken to many fellow sufferers, as well. Many people, completely left alone by the NHS, forced to leave their jobs and in some cases even their homes. I am in writing contact with a woman who is now living in a tent, as it is the only place, where she can be symptom free. A desolate and lonely existence.
The people I have spoken to come from all walks of life: lawyers, bankers, actors, lighting technicians, librarians etc. They all suffer the same symptoms. If they were all hypochondriac, how come they all have the same set of symptoms? Surely this can?t be some sort of mass hallucination or hysteria.
Even the though numbers are growing ES sufferers and anyone trying to ask for more research are being ridiculed.
So far research hasn?t come up with any conclusive results, but as a sufferer of ES I know, that has just to do with the fact that the scientists undertaking the trials don?t understand (or worse don?t take it seriously) and so the lab environment is a problem in itself for most sufferers.
The whole scenario reminds me very much of the case of ME (especially because of some of the similarities in symptoms between the two illnesses). Sufferers of ME were ridiculed for years as having ?yuppie flu?. Maybe there is even a link?
For more information:
2 British websites about ES:
A Canadian website about ES:
The Swedish website about ES:
The following website and articles are about the (proven!) negative effects of energy saving lightbulbs (for everyone, not just ES sufferers) and the planned ban of tungsten bulbs by the government this year:
Recent articles in the press.
Other problems to come include the widespread ideas of rolling out wifi over whole cities and the installation of so-called smart-meters, that will send your electricity usage reading wirelessly to the providers.
I am already scared, how I will be able to live my life and cope at my job with the increasing EMFs and Wifi everywhere.
Looking back it would have been great, if I had known more about the possible problems of overexposure to modern communication.
We all should be more careful until it is really proven that there are no dangers involved in using wireless technology to the extent we do at the moment.
Personally I'm really worried for the future of all my friends and family living in this country. I believe we are sleep walking into a really big problem for our health.
Please take the time to look at the sites above, and talk to others!
I read about per sergerback many years ago, when I myself became EHS, caused by a mobile phone mast with multiple transmitters on it, next to my house, there are many people like me who suffer phyical painful symptoms due to the constant 24/7 exposure from these transmitters, I now have to live with screening materials covering the roof and walls in order to be pain free, I do not have reactions to electricity, only to microwaves, I can detect WiFi and Dect base stations,in houses even when i cant see them.
I read in one of the comments a suggestion that James Randi should take this up, I have conntacted his organisation, they wont touch it, he might lose the $1 mil, however if he reads this, I am willing to take up the challenge.
I was surprised to see EMF, radiation, wave frequency and other terms used interchangeably in the article. In my case, I seem to have trouble with fields over .4 milligauss at any frequency around 60 hz, as far as I can tell. The higher the field strength, the quicker and stronger my reaction. I do not become unconscious, but sometimes get a headache, many times get nauseous and always become paralzyed with floppy muscles and collapse while remaining fully conscious. MRI machines and metal detectors (such as the ones used in airport security) turn me into a rag doll, unable to speak or sometimes even move my eyelids, within seconds to minutes depending on how close I am to the field. What I want to point out is that in my case the waves from radio towers, wireless routers, etc. do not bother me unless I am close enough to the tower or router that the magnetic field from its power source (electrical current) can effect me. I can only assume that is because the wave frequency of the radio waves themselves are too high. Power lines or florescent lights, on the other hand, quickly collapse me into a puddle on the ground until I am moved far enough away. I seem to have an ion channelopathy similar to hypokalemic periodic paralysis, and although medication and management help my symptoms and I am less sensitive than I was prior to medication, I still need to avoid chronic low level and/or acute strong EMF fields in the 50-60ish hertz range as they are a major trigger. Other neurological channelopathies include migraine and epilepsy. I have seen studies that show that EMF can effect cellular ion concentrations as well as cell signal transduction. I am guessing that those of us with cell membrane channel disorders, whether inherited or acquired, diagnosed or not, would be among the ones so severely affected by EMF. I hope to see this line of research followed in the future not only to help explain why some of us are 'allergic to electricity,' and what we can do about it, but also to help elucidate the effect of EMF on biological systems in general - for better or for worse.
This is an interesting story, but I wanted to hear more science. There's just so many questions that should be answered in the article.
Did he have these symptoms as a child or did it manifest over time?
When did he move to the nature reserve or has he always lived there?
What was his parents account of his childhood?
Do other people do his shopping?
Has he been tested?
What symptoms do the other 250k swedes have? Do they pass out too?
They could've randomly alternated between playing a recording of a ringing phone in close proximity to him and actually having a call go through and see if he passes out.
This is an interesting story, but where's the science?
I read the article.
And I read the comments.
I remembered an old BBC article about a woman who had her house plated with metal because of EHS.
I'm keeping an open mind-- but the Skeptic in me still hasn't heard an argument or evidence that firmly closes the door on a kind of Hypochondriacal nuerosis as an explanation, with the condition ratcheting itself into serious Phobia Territory where it becomes near impossible to reverse course from.
I mean it's only a lay, joe-smoe analysis-- but the first stages of the age of Electrification did not produce massive outbreaks of paralytic collapse in large portions of the populace in the cities. I would figure that before the 1900's since Man only experienced EM in Electrical storms that AC/DC current all over the place would have had an effect on the population as a whole if we had the tendency to be deleteriously sensitive to it.
It's like people who say they can 'feel' when lightning flashes-- except their eye and the edge of their vision saw that characteristic actinic flicker. Even on an unconscious level, the eye is VERY sensitive.
The same argument go against people who say they can't sleep with a cellphone next to them. If anything, most people have "Pavlov'ed" themselves into a twitchy state in anticipation of any and every chirp from their Blackberry or iPhone. Of Course you can't go to sleep! For that reason, I NEVER use the alarm function of my phone. And I turn the thing OFF at night. Nor is it by my bed. That Twitchy Trigger Response Arousal is DIRECTLY connected to your heart rate. It's called Stress. Too Much Stress WILL lead to Heart conditions like palpitations.
To actually test someone's claim to 'detect' an electronic device in action--WITH their knowledge-- is almost a garantee of positive detection every-time with a lot of false positives. While to do the same thing WITHOUT their knowledge-- they would construe as abuse.
On the slightly humourous side-- imagine. . . A Woman who CANNOT abide any electronic device! Is that a Blessing or a Curse?
I wonder what happens to him when solar storm activity rises?
The author,James Geary, starts his article out, "Your cellphone does not in itself cause cancer." How misinformed can one be or the better question is how deep into the pockets of the cell phone industry is he?
Anyone who could take this position hasn't done any recent research on what researchers are discovering:
Watch Video: U.S. Senate Hearing: "Cell Phones and Cancer" (Source: www.bit.ly/c4zPke)
Watch Video: Columbia University Law School - Wireless Hazards Panel (NOTE: This is a 60min. video, but pay special attention to Dr. Martin Blanks presentation on EMF/DNA/Biology (Source: www.vimeo.com/8521392)
Watch Video: Australia's Dr. Khurana (Brain Surgeon - Cell Phones/EMF) (Source: www.bit.ly/9RliCg)
Read: "Cellphones and Brain Tumors 15 Reasons for Concern " (Source: www.bit.ly/bu1MTj)
Look at him. His hair is grey. It is a sign of increased free radicals in his body. Consider this FACT. They have shown the body contains a substance known as ferritin. This substance stores IRON. When the radio waves hit this ferritin this ferritin releases its load of iron and this iron causes .. ? .. free radicals .. rust .. oxidation.
Pretty simple solution. Target the iron for removal by bloodletting and a very low iron diet .. vegetarian diet without added iron IE: fortified foods .
EMF-cancer link: the ferritin hypothesis.
by Shao T
published in: Med Hypotheses 1993; 41 (1): 28 - 30 ( PubMed Entry )
Here is a man that lives in the cold dry air (lots of static charge), under the northern lights, within all the over horizon radar from Russia and Sweden, all the telluric currents underneath his feet, all the radio traffic beaming around him, and I am expected to believe that this is not psychosomatic?
So now Apple is attacking electronics companies so that when they unveil their telekinetic-powered cell phone, people will snap it up.
If energy (EMF here) interacts with the matter in a system (human body here) it will affect that matter in some way and that will change the way the system works (even in a small scale). That’s why I don’t get people who say EMF has no adverse affect on people when will live in a world where too much of anything has adverse affects on the human body.
So EMF my not have a direct connection like ionizing radiation does but even secondary effect can cause problems. I mean even a drop of water will wear a hole in stone over time.
everything in connected and so will effect everthing else.
uh, there seem to be more than a few comments here by people who claim to have EHS.
Well if you have EHS, how are you able to post a comment (or even use your computer in the first place, wifi or not)? FUD
MIT must have low standards these days, any motor that uses brushes will emit rm radiation all over the spectrum, think of it like a spark gap transmitter going off several times per revolution.
I don't know about "cell phones don't cause cancer" but they certainly cause a fair amount of stupidity in those addicted to their phones.
Example one: the idiot who simply must check his phone every other minute while in the darkened theater watching a movie. Yeah, I really enjoy being blinded by your blue LCD display.
Example two: the idiot who talks LOUDER in the elevator when the doors close, cutting off the radio waves clearly playing havoc with his (few remaining) brain cells.
Example three: the idiot who must tell half of the known world about all of his problems because the cell phone killed all sense of propriety and inhibition within his deep-fried brain. True story: I was standing in line at the bank and this fella was barking into his phone: "I'm at the bank because you can't stop spending money!"
The FCC should grow some balls and allow selective jamming. The world would be a better place. Or, at least a quieter place.
Radiation causes nausea and dizziness. I know. I've experienced it myself.
When IR remotes where new (and I was little) I knew radiation was something terrible dangerous. But thrill seeking as I was I experimented with a TV remote and directed it to my head. Immediately I felt nauseous and dizzy. I stopped the experiment at once.
Later I learnt that the IR radiation is not "so" dangerous. The remote didn't make me nauseous any more...
Don't underestimate hypochondria. The feelings are real.
I'll bet he could detect earthquakes 48 hours before the actual event. FEMA should pay this gentleman to relocate to a rural part of the San Andres fault and provide a flare gun to fire when he feels the earth's static start to crackle and snap, if such could be a warning of impending doom.
This belongs in the grocery store checkout lane.
I wonder if the guy has tried putting a circle of crystals around his home and grounding his tennis shoes with titanium spikes yet? That would most certainly cure it -- although, he wouldn't be getting $$ from the socialist government that has listed this supposed issue as a disease, would he?
So far none of these nutjobs have managed to pass a double-blind test, where neither they nor the research assistant knows when the device is turned on.
In other words, these people have something seriously wrong with them but it is more in the mental health department.
Ironjustice; that's a load of crap. Chemical bonds are strong; the amount of energy they contain is roughly on the order of the amount of energy in visible or UV light.
Radiowaves and microwaves contain a million times less energy that required to directly break bonds. Even 2-photon reactions are very rare and require enormous illumination levels; you're certainly not going to have a million-photon reaction. These tiny quantities of energy per quanta correspond to various vibrational states of molecules, i.e. if you microwave something it will heat up. Don't linger in RF fields strong enough to cook your inards and you'll be fine.
As long as there is no double-blind apporach to verify the paranormal "senstivity" of this person, I dont believe a single word.
This is complete nuts.
(Please excuse my english as I am from germany.)
This magazine is turning into a rag. What a crock. What kind of testing was done to corroborate this? None. They took his word for it. I have this guy's diagnosis right here: L.U.D.D.I.T.E.
I typically don't comment on many articles, however, I will to this. The nay Sayers to the effects of EMF exposure need to wake up and become more open minded before they find themselves subject to the pain and inconveniences that can seriously handicap, cripple and endanger an unsuspecting individual. Heightened or hyper reactions are not uncommon. The hypoglycemic has a reaction to the lack of sugar. Big deal right? I'm pretty certain it can kill and in the right (or unfortunate) context could kill many. It doesn't matter how the reaction comes about or whether one knows the true origin, the fact that it is makes it what it is. Absence of detail doesn't lessen the fact that it's present. There are a lot of unknown and unexplained bodily reactions that warn of impending danger.
So what's my story? I've got a condition wherein the skin on fingers and hands dry and crack. Its very painful at times to the point that it is certainly a handicap. How many doctors I have seen…several. Dermatologists, Neurologists, my primary in addition to a vet have no clue. Its been going on for years and, up until a recent revelation, was progressively getting worse. That revelation, my cell phone. I'm not talking about reading about it. I seen and felt it first and then did the research.
My condition started shortly after a divorce. One finger tip just simply started peeling. No matter what I did I could not get it to heel. After a year it was just about all fingers including thumbs. I looked at many factors beyond the typical dietary deficiency recommendations. The following year I'm on an extended conversation with my gal friend and my phone, holding it in my hand, is getting warm. It happens I noticed the progressive rash that was plaguing now most of my fingers and parts of my palms was predominantly worse around the antenna. I even have some on the side of my face. There was a Tira Banks beauty show where one of the models had a similar rash on her face. I swear you could almost read the numbers from the dial pad on her cheek.
Sadly, the exclusive use of the cell was to cut costs. I ponied up for another land line and put the cell phone away and my condition subsided significantly. Knowing this I proceeded to turn it (the rash) on and off basically at will by virtue of using my cell.
Its not just my cell. To get the ails of the rash to go completely I'm afraid I have to isolate myself from not only mine but other cell phones as well as wireless routers, laptops and networks. How do I know… my wireless router in combination with my laptop imparts similar results.
Does this concern me? Hell yes it does. I am a component analyst that spends approximately half of his waking day in front of a tube. In my environment I'm still on a hard line network but its only a matter of time before a wireless system is put in place. I got a radio broadcast tower peppered with cell transponders less than a mile away. I can't go visit my club wherein there could be any of three to thirteen of us sitting in close proximity watching a hockey game… all with cell phones. I literally feel the tingle. Its not paranoia. Its real.
I commend the Swede government for taking it seriously. I need to have somebody on this side of the pond do the same. I've got date with a occupational dermatologist guru at the Cleveland Clinic soon. I hope that this group doesn't laugh me out of the office like the nay Sayers. I'd like to see any one of them try to type with third degree paper cuts on the tips of their fingers. Without years of endurance I'd bet they only get out one word… help! Keep posting. I'm going to use this article as a push for cause.
Hard to tell the veracity of this story…but in the comments someone mentions "phantom texting" from cell phones; I had never read about that, but feel I have experienced it. I often have my cell phone in a cargo pocket and have had unexpected, unexplained "buzzing" on that leg. I in fact chalked it up as psychosomatic...just having some little twitch and associating it with the cell phone vibrate. But, it certainly never has occurred on the other thigh.
And as I recall, there is proven association between intense power line fields and cancers (leukemia, I think?) My only point is, this may be an unreliable story, but I think it's dangerous to assume "everything's OK" just because we're addicted to electronics and want to think everything's OK.
"I typically don't comment on many articles, however, I will to this. The nay Sayers to the effects of EMF exposure need to wake up and become more open minded..."
Sorry, my mind is not a public lavatory.
"...before they find themselves subject to the pain and inconveniences that can seriously handicap, cripple and endanger an unsuspecting individual."
If I ever suffer from a non-existant illness; delusional parasitosis, EMF sensitivity or any other load of bilge; I certainly don't want to indulge me, I want you to point me to a mental health professional so they can figure out what's going wrong in my brain.