Andrew Goldsworthy is an Honorary Lecturer in Biology at Imperial College London.
His interest in the biological effects of electromagnetic fields dates back over 30 years but has only recently come to fruition with the publication of a new theory that explains many of their seemingly weird effects in simple physico-chemical terms. It was first published (mainly in relation to plants) in Plant Electrophysiology – Theory and Methods, Ed AG Volkov (Springer 2006). This was followed by an Internet publication in 2007 [I have provided the abstract below] entitled ‘The Biological Effects of Weak Electromagnetic Fields’, which deals with their effects on humans and animals and, in particular, the dangers from mobile phones.
1. Well‐replicated studies have shown that weak electromagnetic fields remove calcium ions bound to the membranes of living cells, making them more likely to tear, develop temporary pores and leak.
2. DNAase (an enzyme that destroys DNA) leaking through the membranes of lysosomes (small bodies in living cells packed with digestive enzymes) explains the fragmentation of DNA seen in cells exposed to mobile phone signals. When this occurs in the germ line (the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm), it reduces fertility and predicts genetic damage in future generations. (goldsworthy_bio_weak_em_07.doc 2).
3. Leakage of calcium ions into the cytosol (the main part of the cell) acts as a metabolic stimulant, which accounts for reported accelerations of growth and healing, but it also promotes the growth of tumors.
4. Leakage of calcium ions into neurones [SIC] (brain cells) generates spurious action potentials (nerve impulses) accounting for pain and other neurological symptoms in electro‐sensitive individuals. It also degrades the signal to noise ratio of the brain making it less likely to respond adequately to weak stimuli. This may be partially responsible the increased accident rate of drivers using mobile phones.
5. A more detailed examination of the molecular mechanisms explains many of the seemingly weird characteristics of electromagnetic exposure, e.g. why weak fields are more effective than strong ones, why some frequencies such as 16Hz are especially potent and why pulsed fields do more damage. [Emphasis mine]
Bluetooth is the name of a wireless technology that uses pulsed radio frequency signals.
Lloyd Burrell of ElectricSense.com:
Here is what Dr. Andrew Goldsworthy has to say about pulsed radiation:
“Pulses carried by microwaves are particularly dangerous. This is because their very short wavelength allows the transmission of pulses with extremely rapid rise and fall times, and it is the rate of change of the fields (rather than their total energy) that does most of the biological damage.
It is therefore unwise and arguably dangerous to be exposed for long periods to the radiation from Wifi transmitters, cordless phones and mobile phones (especially their base stations, which run 24/7). They should certainly not be deployed in public places until all the risks have been independently evaluated. Any claims that they are harmless because they do not generate significant heat are completely unwarranted.”
Is All Bluetooth The Same?
Bluetooth transmits at frequency levels in the 2.4 GHz band. There are three power classes and it is these power classes which are your best indicator as to what level of Bluetooth radiation you are exposing yourself to :
Class 1 transmitters — are the most powerful, have a range of 100 meters and peak transmission power of 100 mW (milliwatt)
Class 2 transmitters — are usually found in mobile devices and they have a range of 10 meters and operate at 2.5 mW peak transmission power
Class 3 transmitters — these are the weakest and operate in a range of less than 10 meters and have a peak transmission power of 1 mW
Burrell continues, if you are using a Class 1 Bluetooth earpiece I think the dangers are very real. Firstly because Class 1 devices are 40 times more powerful than Class 2 devices. Secondly because when you use a Bluetooth earpiece device you are exposing yourself to an additional form of radiation compared to a cell phone. Your cell phone acts as a relay between the cell phone tower and your correspondent and your cell phone acts as another relay at the Bluetooth level between your cell phone and your Bluetooth earpiece.
Your radiation exposure with a Bluetooth headset is the sum of cell phone radiation plus Bluetooth radiation. So Bluetooth radiation in itself may be less dangerous than cell phone radiation but when you use a Bluetooth earpiece you are always exposing yourself to both Bluetooth radiation and cell phone radiation.
Conclusion on Bluetooth radiation– are Head Sets Dangerous?
The frequency power of wireless headsets is the same as that of microwave ovens, which also operate at 2.4 GHz, though admittedly microwave ovens use much higher power levels. But the power levels themselves are not the issue it’s the rate of change of the EMF’s, the pulsing, that causes most of the biological damage. Bluetooth radiation is dangerous.
Bluetooth headsets are also particularly dangerous because, unlike a microwave oven, they are held within centimeters of the brain and they are used in conjunction with a cell phone. So you’re getting double exposure. If you use Bluetooth in a car the effects are multiplied due to the Faraday cage effect.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT EMF’s FROM CELL PHONES AND OTHER DEVICES?
There are three classes of power output. Class three being the lowest and for that reason the best choice if you have to use a cell phone. The problem is that there is very little data on these gadgets currently.
What are the alternatives? Www.Electricsense.com gives us some suggestions.
- You can use an airtube device with earbuds made of wood. Go to Amazon.com and check out the variety they are less than ten bucks up to over thirty dollars and more. They probably leave something to be desired in terms of fidelity but they work well at what they are supposed to do which is to completely eliminate EMF’s entering your ear. This is the type Dr Davis suggests we use.
- The other option is try a Retro Phone Handset such as Native Union Moshi Moshi Retro POP Handset for iPhone, iPad, iPod. (Sentence taken right off Amazon) for about $20.
Native Union claims to eliminate 99% of the radiation from your cell phone. Try not to use Bluetooth in your car because all metal cars act as a Faraday Cage which will concentrate the radiation within. Same with a regular cell phone. If you have to have a Bluetooth get the Class 3 (best) or Class 2. Otherwise stay away from them or make very brief calls only, they are NOT the answer to our problem.
- Keep a bunch of cactus on your desk where your computer is. NASA did a series of experiments and found that the five headed type tend to absorb a lot of EMF’s. Who would have thought to use a cactus for Pete’s sake (see below).
- For your desktop get a radiation filter to go over the screen.
- A salt crystal lamp for desk to offset the other EMF’s.
- Take 15 min eye breaks.
- Wash face to remove ions that collect on skin surface.
- Take antioxidants and eat organic foods only to avoid dangerous dysergies.
NASA studied 19 different plant species for two years to find out what plants were best to filter the air of the space station. They reported that household plants were able to reduce up to 87 per cent of air toxins in as little as 24 hours. NASA recommended the use of 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six to eight-inch pots for an average 1,800 square foot home.
Earthship.com, a website dedicated to building radically sustainable buildings made of recycled materials, have come up with its own list of the top 10 plants and how they can help your indoor environment.  Here’s a few:
Adiantum: absorbs radiation from computers and printers. Also said to absorb 20 micrograms of formaldehyde per hour.
Aloe: absorbs formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and carbon monoxide. It’s truly an air-cleaning expert.
Ivy: claimed to be the most effective indoor plant in absorbing formaldehyde. It also absorbs benzene, some claim it can absorb up to 90 per cent in 24 hours.
Cacti: strong in eliminating radiation and bacteria. Cacti also absorbs carbon dioxide at night to release oxygen, which is a great aid in sleeping. [As do all plants. After extensive research NASA concluded that the best device for absorbing EM radiation were Cereus cacti – preferably with 5 heads. This is thought to be because they have evolved self-protective mechanisms to defend themselves from the harsh radiation of the desert author’s note]
Below is a brief summary of NASA’s results provided by Matt Leppard (http://www.allthatwomenwant.com/houseplants.htm) since I was not able to find the original NASA document.
Aglaonema sp.(Chinese Evergreen). As well as a general purifier, Chinese Evergreens have large leaf areas that allow them to tolerate full shade, so you can place them anywhere in your home.
Aloe barbadensis (Aloe Vera). Aloe has been shown to be very efficient at the removal of formaldehyde and it is also known for its healing properties.
Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant). Spider plants are on of the best plants for cleaning formaldehyde from the air. They thrive in bright but indirect light.
Chrysanthemum sp. (Chrysanthemum/Mum). These colorful flowering plants have been shown by NASA to be highly effective in the removal of benzene.
Gerbera sp. (Gerbera Daisy). Like Chrysanthemums, Gerberas are effective in the removal of benzene from indoor air, and like most flowering plants, they prefer bright light.
Philidendron sp. (Philidendron). These are among the best plants for cleaning formaldehyde from indoor air, especially at high concentrations. However, they are poisonous, so exercise caution.
I should note that the last plant almost anyone can grow. You remember the one that no matter how much you neglected it, it still grew-no thrived-in your college dorm room? You remember the same one that was watered weekly with old beer and once a month with someone’s vomit?
From the looks of this list I’d say that pretty much any plant is good at cleaning the air. After all that’s what plants do. As for computer radiation it seems the cactus is the best choice. I think I need to get a few of these plants. I have a two screen setup on my computer where one screen is quite big. I am now finally feeling the effect after spending about 8 months so far writing this book. My head gets a little spacey and my eyeballs are feeling a bit dry and irritated.
Personally I’m not nuts about cell phones. I know but let’s be honest for a second. Here you have a device that’s certainly convenient to use which is its best and only feature. You are trading convenience for crappy reception and transmission, toxic EMF’s, horrid external speaker technology, bad MP3, poor quality camera and video, in fact everything about them is second rate. Yet, we flock to them like bees to honey because they’re “cool” gadgets. But remember I would probably love these things just like you do even with all of the second rate performance features if they didn’t kill you while using them!
I view cell phones more like holding a brick of depleted uranium in my hands or near my head and you should too. Try to follow my advice listed here and remember these deadly cancers and the like don’t just happen to someone else. For the sake of completeness I love computers and all of that high-tech stuff related to them. Thank goodness they appear to be much safer but who knows that will probably change.
The book Disconnect is appropriately named. Dr Davis aptly points out that there appears to be a huge disconnect between the actual science which demonstrates the dangers of cell phones and the business and scientific communities reaction in general. Everyone seems to be happily dancing on the deck of the Titanic.
Cell phones could easily be made much safer. In fact, I remember hearing that a one dollar addition to their phones could render them much safer (I do not know what that device would be) but they won’t do it and I can’t imagine why. Perhaps it’s just an urban legend.
AUNT ENNA’S CUPBOARD
In addition to cell phones we now know with some degree of certainty that strong, artificial EMFs like those from transformers, power lines, and cell towers can scramble and interfere with your body’s natural EMF, disturbing everything from your sleep cycles and stress levels to your immune response and DNA. Except for anything relating to cell phones many of these are more aptly called ELF for extreme low frequency radiation. Since the frequencies from all of your indoor power, power lines, towers, transformers, etc., are much lower than for cell phones which are many orders of magnitude higher.
Static magnetic disturbances, powerful EMF’s from cell towers and high tension lines amplified by your box spring mattress can be like lying on top of a battleship antenna array according to one expert I heard during a radio interview. I would strongly recommend that you dump your traditional box-spring bed for a futon if you have a “mysterious” illness that nobody can figure out. It’s worth a try. But remember to get a futon that won’t be off-gassing some horrendous industrial solvent when you get home either. That means you have to get an organic one or some similarly clean product. The organic futons are about twice as much as the traditional ones but probably well worth the price considering how much time you will be spending on it.
Living as far away as 2,000 meters (one mile is 1610 meters) from a high voltage power line can produce numerous health effects such as stunted growth and increased rates of some cancers if you live within 50 meters of a high tension line.
In Medical News Today the biggest ever publicly funded UK study into power lines and child cancer has found that children under the age of 15 living within 100 meters of high-voltage power lines have close to twice the risk of developing leukemia. Children aged 0-5 are the most vulnerable so their risk is likely to be even higher.
This result from the Oxford Childhood Cancer Research Group Study, headed by Gerald Draper analyzed and compared 33 years of data (from1962 to1995) on 35,000 children diagnosed with cancer, with their distance to the nearest electricity transmission line. These latest findings from the Draper study of a direct effect on childhood leukemia from U.K. power lines follow from the acknowledged International studies that the risk of childhood leukemia is doubled for magnetic field exposures above 0.4 microtesla, which is well below that seen under high voltage power lines.
Researchers found that children living within 650 feet of power lines had a 70% greater risk for leukemia than children living 2,000 feet away or more. (British Medical Journal, June, 2005).
“Several studies have identified occupational exposure to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF) as a potential risk factor for neuro degenerative disease.” (Epidemiology, 2003 Jul; 14(4):413-9).
There is “strong prospective evidence that prenatal maximum magnetic field exposure above a certain level (possibly around 16 mG) may be associated with miscarriage risk.” (Epidemiology, 2002 Jan; 13(1):9-20)
Transformers perched on top of telephone poles are EMF foundries. The further you are away the better. A persistent problem needs definitive treatment such as constructing a physical barrier between you and the source.
This holds true for the transmission substations, a veritable transformer farm, located near a power line which look like a fenced in patch of large metal structures festooned with exotic looking electrical “things.” These can produce tremendous amounts of EMF’s up to ¼ mile.
At the risk of sounding alarmist (tee hee) even your alarm clock if it’s not spring powered or battery operated will give off significant EMF’s. Go figure, this is certainly one of those occasions where your neighbor was right. Everything is bad for you.
Consider these others as well: home wiring, computers, TV especially plasma big screen, electric blankets, electric anything (any appliance), compact or other fluorescent lights, and the microwave oven.
However, not everyone thinks these things are all bad. The below article which has no date concludes there are no health risks. What I found in many of the “we conclude no risk” camp was that their sources were all from the early 90’s or earlier. What I am seeing now is an emerging body of evidence within the last 15 years that suggests great health hazards. Even with high tension lines which some claim the data are inconsistent and certainly with cell phones, cell towers, home microwaves, etc.
Gary Zeman, ScD, CHP Writing for the Health Physics Society (which is often referenced) had this to say:In conclusion, there are no known health risks that have been conclusively demonstrated to be caused by living near high-voltage power lines. But science is unable to prove a negative, including whether low-level EMFs are completely risk free. Most scientists believe that exposure to the low-level EMFs near power lines is safe, but some scientists continue research to look for possible health risks associated with these fields. If there are any risks such as cancer associated with living near power lines, then it is clear that those risks are small.
 (http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/13440.php) 06/18/2012
Category: CELL PHONE RADIATION