Dr. Mercola's Comments:
“Although the evidence is still controversial, I am convinced that there are sufficient data to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use,” says Dr. Herberman. I couldn’t agree more. As far as I’m concerned, the signs that we’re looking at a major public health problem are overwhelming.
- The FDA is Bought and Paid For -- In the United States there are no less than three regulatory agencies that arguably have jurisdiction over cell phones. The first is the FDA, which is responsible by law for regulating any device that emits radiation. But over the past few decades, a series of changes in government policy have for the most part prevented the FDA from being the watchdog organization it was designed to be; these days, it exists mostly to give an imprimatur of government approval to industrial products.
Starting in the mid-1980’s, various industries lobbied Congress to pressure the FDA into speeding up the approval of new drugs and products. Congress was reluctant to pour more money into the organization, so instead they came up with a novel plan: creating a “partnership” between the FDA and the industries it was intended to regulate.
Now, the FDA collects “user fees” from companies, which have grown to account for a significant chunk of the agency’s overall budget. In other words, the FDA now receives corporate sponsorship from the very industry that it aims to regulate. They have been transformed from a corporate watchdog into a customer of those same corporations. They do very little regulating as a result, since they want to keep their “partners” happy.
- The EPA is Now Powerless -- The EPA has responsibility for any building or factory that emits radiation into the environment, such as a cell phone tower. In the early 1990’s, they planned to start regulating these towers.
But the vast telecommunications industry used its lobbying resources to get a highly self-serving provision inserted into the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Since 1996, a cell phone base station is defined as a radiation emitting “device” rather than a building. Since they are now defined as devices, the EPA has lost its authority to regulate them.
- The FCC is Bought and Paid For, AND Has No Power! -- Another result of the Telecommunications Act was to put nearly all regulatory power over cell phones in the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, or FCC. But the FCC is charged only with overseeing the fair and equitable use of the electromagnetic spectrum. They are not a regulatory agency with regard to health, the environment, or consumer safety. They have no regulatory authority to protect you.
Even if they could, they most likely wouldn’t; like the FDA, they are making a great deal of money off of their corporate “partners”. The supposedly “public” electromagnetic spectrum is auctioned off to companies by the FCC.
What’s more, after the dot-com crash of the late 90’s, many technology companies who had purchased the wavelengths found themselves strapped for cash. They owed money to the FCC, and no longer had any way to pay it. So the FCC cut a deal: they took a small percentage of the owed money as a down payment, and then agreed to collect the rest as the cell phone companies earned money from consumers.
Essentially, the FCC is a mortgage holder for the mobile phone industry.
The FCC now actually has a vested interest in the rapid deployment of technology and build-up of the industry, so that they can collect the rest of their money. They are not going to make any efforts to block anything the industry wants.
This is a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse.
- Children Should Never Use Cell Phones: Barring a life-threatening emergency, children should not use a cell phone, or a wireless device of any type. Children are far more vulnerable to cell phone radiation than adults, because of their thinner skull bones.
- Reduce Your Cell Phone Use: Turn your cell phone off more often. Reserve it for emergencies or important matters.
- Use A Land Line At Home And At Work: Although more and more people are switching to using cell phones as their exclusive phone contact, it is a dangerous trend and you can choose to opt out of the madness.
- Reduce or Eliminate Your Use of Other Wireless Devices: You would be wise to cut down your use of these devices. Just as with cell phones, it is important to ask yourself whether or not you really need to use them every single time. If you must use a portable home phone, use the older kind that operates at 900 MHz. They are no safer during calls, but at least they do not broadcast constantly even when no call is being made.
- Use Your Cell Phone Only Where Reception Is Good: The weaker the reception, the more power your phone must use to transmit, and the more power it uses, the more radiation it emits, and the deeper the dangerous radio waves penetrate into your body. Ideally, you should only use your phone with full bars and good reception.
- Turn Your Cell Phone Off When Not In Use: As long as your cell phone is on, it emits radiation intermittently, even when you are not actually making a call.
- Keep Your Cell Phone Away From Your Body When It Is On: The most dangerous place to be, in terms of radiation exposure, is within about six inches of the emitting antenna. You do not want any part of your body within that area.
- Use Safer Headset Technology: Wired headsets will certainly allow you to keep the cell phone farther away from your body. However, if a wired headset is not well-shielded -- and most of them are not -- the wire itself acts as an antenna attracting ambient information carrying radio waves and transmitting radiation directly to your brain. Make sure that the wire used to transmit the signal to your ear is shielded.
The best kind of headset to use is a combination shielded wire and air-tube headset. These operate like a stethoscope, transmitting the information to your head as an actual sound wave; although there are wires that still must be shielded, there is no wire that goes all the way up to your head.