Mobile Headache

In the middle of a meeting in Westminster Silvia Wilson stood up, in tears, pleading for a doctor that could diagnose and treat her daughter’s health problem.

Silvia’s daughter has grown up next to a cell phone tower, and over the years she has suffered from a severe rash, fever, headache, nausea, and strong buzzing noises in her ear. Ms. Wilson has recorded the times of day during which the cell phone tower is active, to find that it corresponds directly to when her daughter suffers from these symptoms.

In the US today, seven lawsuits are pending against the cell phone industry, brought by sufferers claiming to have been affected by the radioactive waves created from wireless and cell phone technologies. However, with the growing popularity of cell phones and wireless internet technologies across the world, who is responsible for addressing these health problems, funding treatments, and preventing the increased risks?

The Safe Wireless Initiative is a foundation in the United States which investigates the relationship between wireless and cell phone radiation and human health. They have found evidence that the information carrying waves associated with all of these technologies can form tumors in the human brain and eyes. Their work also suggests that the waves may help break the blood brain barrier, causing other serious health problems.

The increase in popularity of wireless internet technologies has led to concern over the correlation between cell phone radio waves and areas with wireless internet. Both areas with cell phone towers and areas with installed wireless internet contain information carrying radio waves. Dr. George Carlo, a leading expert in electromagnetic radiation, argues that proteins in the human body recognize the information carrying radio waves as an unnatural intruder.

In the 1990s, several cell phone companies commissioned Dr. Carlo to research the relationship between wireless radioactive waves, such as those in cell phones, and human health. The research determined a direct correlation between tumors and radio waves, and eventually led to the foundation of the Safe Wireless Initiative. However, despite the fact that the findings of Dr. Carlo were peer reviewed by the Harvard Medical Journal, the cell phone industry rejected his papers. It was claimed that the research was ‘non-conclusive’ on the basis of its theoretical approach.

Today wireless and cell phone companies are not held responsible for emitting these radio waves across cities, schools, and natural landscapes. Dr. Carlo is calling for the UK to establish a foundation similar to the Safe Wireless Initiative in the US, which would attempt to regulate the emission of harmful electromagnetic radiation. Carlo urged UK citizens to write to their local MP, asking him or her to support the establishment of a foundation that will protect the lives of UK citizens from the potential health effects of wireless and cell phone technologies in the future.

Dr. Carlo told the Ecologist: “We know enough about the disease process to be able to intervene to prevent these conditions. That’s what we need to do.”

This article first appeared in the Ecologist March 2007

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