Cell Phone Use and the Risk of Brain Cancer

The use of cell phones has taken the world by storm. From the old to the very young is using cell phones. Many households are without a home phone entirely because the cellular has taken its place. People use cell phones so much that the device has taken on a life of its own. Television networks, movie studios, music industry, and giant internet companies have all capitalized on the cellular telephone to further their objectives.

A few years ago, a multitude of mobile program developers were hired by many companies to build the next generation of mobile phones that would interact with the internet. We are now seeing this come to pass with the high level of performance of today’s wireless mobile units. We can say then that the cell phone is here to stay or is it?

Most would argue that the mobile phone is here to stay but at what cost to our health. Yes, the cellular phone is convenient; that is why we use it. We use the cellular telephone so much that it is causing motor vehicle accidents left and right. That is one of the ways it is affecting our health, negatively of course. Anyone can attest to seeing someone driving while blabbing on the phone; most of the times these drivers are so involved with their conversations that they don’t even know what’s going on around them, in regards to the road and traffic.

It is not rare to see a near-miss and a cell phone talker being at the helm of one of the vehicles. A rule of thumb is to always lookout for drivers on their phones. Make sure the horn works on the vehicle being driven because it may be needed at moment’s notice. Accidents are common among people who talk on their phones and drive at the same time, but is this the only threat cell phone use pose on human health? No! Not according to a National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) study.

Some in the scientific community say cell phone use pose a great risk to human health because it emits radiation in the form of radiofrequency (RF) energy, which has the potential of causing cancer. In fact, no one knows for sure how much radiation is completely safe for the human body. The wireless spectrum is a fairly new technology, so radiation from cellular telephone’s effect on the human body has not yet been extensively studied, (NCI). There simply hasn’t been enough time to see long-term effects of cell phone use-not enough data available.

Why is all the fuss about cell phone use and brain cancer? Well, the answers are here. According to the NCI, cellular telephones emit radiofrequency (RF) energy, which is another name used for radio waves. Exposure to high levels of RF energy causes heating of body tissues, ever wondered why your cell phone becomes hot against the ear when talking for an extended period, enough said! According to the NCI study, the RF energy produced from cellular telephones is too low to cause significant tissue heating and tissue damage.

Studies are currently being conducted of tumors of the brain and central nervous system and other site of the head and neck because the side of the head is where people place their cell phones when speaking. Cell phones are held next to the head when being used. At the moment though, studies have not shown any consistent link between cellular telephone use and cancer. Additional research is needed before firm confirmation can be made, (NCI).

A cellular telephone user is exposed to RF energy through the phone’s antenna. The fact that the antenna of a hand-held cellular telephone is in the handset, it will most likely affect the brain and subsequently the nervous system because it is held against the head. So, the closer the antenna is to the head, the greater the danger of RF exposure. Therefore, a person will absorb less RF energy when the cellular unit’s antenna is at a significant distance away from the user, (NCI).

An important point is that the amount of RF energy increases the farther away the communication tower or base is from the cell phone and its user. In other words, the cellular telephone has to increase its RF energy output when the main tower is far away; thus, introducing a higher degree of radiofrequency radiation to the user. So, the closer the tower to the cellular phone, the less energy is generated by the phone, and therefore, the less radiation the cell phone user will be exposed to. This raises an important question. How can a person avoid dealing with cell phone towers that are too far apart?

One should not be a penny wise and a pound foolish. In general, the cheaper the cell phone plans and services of a new and less establish cell phone company are the lower the overall quality of the service is going to be, in regards to drop calls and such. This means that the towers are going to be farther apart. When the towers are farther apart, the amount of RF energy that will be required to maintain a connection will be tremendously high. All this high degree of radiation will be transmitted directly into the user’s body, especially if the wireless device is held close to the body, such as the head.

It cost wireless phone companies millions of dollars to put up communication towers. So, if a company is going to always offer half price of the going rates of cell phone services, this company will not have the revenue to build many communication towers; thus, the towers that such companies will have will be dramatically less than that of companies with traditionally high levels of cellular telephone services and whom have been around for a long time.

A person will therefore be exposed to more RF radiation with phones from less well-known companies rather than phones with more well known companies because less well-known companies will not have the capital to build many towers as does the more establish and major companies. Yes, the company may be able to offer great cell phone plans and deals; however, the rate of radiation exposure will be much higher. One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist to see the idea! Therefore, the more popular a less well-known cellular telephone company becomes, the more communication towers it will have and the higher its cellular phone plans will become!

There are more factors that determine how much RF energy a cellular telephone user experiences. Some of these are: number of calls; duration of calls; amount of cellular phone traffic; the size of the cell phone unit itself; and the extended distance of the unit’s antenna, (NCI). In fact, many people speak on the cell phone for very long periods and this definitely is not a good practice. It is best to keep cell phone calls to a minimum. A cell phone should only be used sparingly.

How about the long term effect of cellular telephone use on children and teens? Researchers at the NCI conducted a study to see if children would be more at risk for brain cancers by using cell phones. Persons 18 years and older were used in the study. The study found that there were no possible risks among children who used cell phones. In fact, very few children used cell phone prior to the date of the study. Therefore, there are no data concerning possible risk. Nevertheless, there was concern that certain agents such as ionizing radiation and other chemicals pose great risks in children because they can affect the developing brain and nervous system. However, the study found that the radiation emitted by cell phones has not been demonstrated to cause brain cancers in humans of any age at this present time. More studies are still needed to fully rule out the possibility of cell phone induced cancers.

The bottom line is that wireless phones should be used sparingly because no one knows for sure if they cause cancers in humans. A rule of thumb is to always use a head set or put the cell phone on speaker when speaking, and keep it away from the body at all times when it is turned on. It is always better to be safe than sorry!

The cellular telephone is a great tool for communication. However, it poses great risks to our health-accidents and brain cancers. Accidents have increased dramatically as a result of people talking on their cellular phones and driving. Although, there is no solid evidence to support the claim that cell phones cause cancers, one should still be cautious when using this mode of communication. After all, cellular telephones do emit radiofrequency (RF) energy, a form of radiation that heats up body tissues, which can be harmful at very high levels. Children could also be at great risks for brain cancers from exposure to the radiation emitted by cell phones because certain radiations do cause cancers of the brain and nervous system in children. However, at the present time, there is no evidence to support that cellular telephones cause cancers in children of any age. One should proceed with caution though because although there isn’t any evidence as yet, there could be some in the future. Therefore, to completely rule out such idea more research is needed. The cellular phone technology is very new at this time; therefore, there isn’t enough data available to conduct a conclusive study! The rule of thumb is to use cell phones with extreme caution by limiting the length of time one spends speaking on them. One should use speaker or a hands free device when speaking on cellular phones to limit the amount of (RF) radiation being introduced to the body.

Killer Cell Phones: Why Honeybees Are Dying Worldwide

Have you heard the news? In just the last ten years or so, the world’s honeybee population has taken a huge dive-and nobody seems to know why. I found this out myself recently by reading an article called “Bees Feel the Sting: The buzz on the worldwide decline in honeybee populations,” which appeared as the lead story in the September/October 2011 issue of Science Illustrated. According to this article, a group of French biologists is attaching tiny microchips to honeybees to track their daily behavior patterns in an effort to learn what’s killing them. Suspected causes of the unprecedented global honeybee dieoff include pests, predators, disease, pesticide sprays, climate change, and mobile phones. One single factor can be enough to do the bees in, as researcher Cedric Alaux of the Laboratoire Biologie et Protection de l’abeille admitted to Science Illustrated: “We cannot rule out that there is one single factor behind it all that influences the bees in a negative way.”

To identify that factor, the key question we should ask is: What on earth has changed so drastically in the last ten years that would cause billions of honeybees to perish? There has been no drastic change in nature or the global environment that can adequately explain this occurrence. Honeybee pests and predators have been around for centuries, and although their numbers have fluctuated, their populations have not exploded recently as far as I know. Diseases have similarly come and gone. Our climate has been changing recently, but not so drastically or in such a short time period as to explain the mass disappearance of a single insect species.

Thus we can reasonably rule out any natural causes for the world’s honeybee population plunge, and it makes sense to look for the culprit among possible artificial (i.e. manmade) causes. Although pesticide sprays have been in use for decades, their worldwide use has not increased dramatically in recent years; if anything, it has declined as the popularity of organic farming continues to grow.

The only other suspected manmade cause of the honeybees’ death is mobile phones (i.e. cell phones)-or, more precisely, the radio waves emitted by cell phones. Here we’re on to something, because in the last ten years the world’s use of cellular telephones has exploded dramatically, and an ever-growing global network of transmitter towers established to meet this demand now continuously fills much of the Earth’s air with a thick invisible web of electromagnetic radiation. Moreover, the negative effects of this artificial radiation on living organisms are already well known and documented by scientists. (Take, for example, the well-established link between increased cell phone use and increased rates of human brain cancer.) Furthermore, the steepest declines in honeybee populations have been observed in the United States and Europe-where use of mobile phones is greater than anywhere else in the world.

Nothing matches the worldwide decline in honeybee population like the worldwide increase in cellular telephone transmissions during the same time frame. Thus, it is reasonable to draw a link between the two and theorize that the former is the main cause of the latter.

But, some might say, the basis for this supposed theory is rather circumstantial. Is there any real, convincing evidence for it? Yes, there is. In a study conducted last year, researchers at Panjab University in Chandigarh, India fitted cell phones to a beehive and activated them twice a day for 15 minutes each. Within three months, honey production had ceased, the queen laid half as many eggs, and the hive population had fallen significantly.

But the effect of mobile phone towers on bees is even more drastic than that of individual phones. Barbara Hughes, a columnist for the Catholic Virginian who has been visiting the Franciscan monastery at Mission San Luis Rey in California, recently visited a Benedictine abbey near the mission. She related the following in the August 22, 2011 edition of the paper:

One of the monks, who has been a bee keeper at the Abbey for 40 years, explained how until numerous cell phone towers were constructed on the back of their property, he had been collecting 100 gallons of honey a week.

But as the use of cell phones expanded, all of his bees died within a few weeks until he discovered a small area near the base of the hill where he could not get cell phone service. Once he moved his hives to that particular area, the bees once again began to thrive and reproduce.

This anecdote is a graphic example of the danger that mobile phone radiation poses to honeybees. The radiation may be interfering with the bees’ built-in navigational systems, disorienting them and preventing them from finding their way back to their hives, as many researchers think. Or it may be killing them in a more direct fashion. However it works, it’s clear that radio waves from cell phones are lethal to bees. Additional future studies will continue to confirm and bear this out.

The typical cell phone transmitter tower is a veritable beehive of electromagnetic activity. At any given moment it can be sending and receiving the radio transmissions of 10 to 25 different phone calls. A whole row of transmitter towers can process thousands of calls simultaneously. Try to imagine what all the radio waves from all the towers just in your local area would look like, filling the air all around you. If we had the capability to see radio waves, we would be blown away. Thus cell phone towers pose a much more serious threat to living organisms than individual phones because they emit much more concentrated doses of radiation. When we consider that the radiation of a single mobile phone can cause brain cancer in a human being at an early age, it’s not difficult to imagine the deadly effect that thousands of times that radiation would have on a much smaller living creature.

In fact, the gradual, slight decline in world honeybee populations observed over the course of the twentieth century (which preceded the current precipitous decline) was probably due to the gradual establishment of radio stations and transmitters all over the world. Moreover, it is possible that radio waves crisscrossing our atmosphere from Earth-orbiting communications satellites as well as from more recently developed GPS satellites, satellite radio systems, and especially wireless Internet systems, all play minor contributing roles in the current honeybee population crisis. The lesson to be learned from this is that radio waves kill bees–and the world’s more than five billion mobile telephones combined generate more artificial radio emissions by far than all other currently operating high-tech inventions on Earth put together. See “List of countries by number of cell phones in use,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use

The typical modern handheld cell phone is a staple of globalized twenty-first century life-and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s a technological wonder, a marvel of electronic miniaturization and digital engineering, and a powerful tool of communication and entertainment whose convenience can’t be beat. With it we can not only send and receive calls but also text messages and emails; we can take pictures, make audio recordings, store textual information, listen to music, access the Internet (and all that that entails), watch videos, read e-books, play games-the capabilities are endless. Cell phones allow us to stay connected like nothing else. Who ever thought this nifty little multi-purpose gadget would pose a threat to the environment?

It’s unfortunate, but true: Within just the last ten years, the increasingly widespread and heavy global use of these handy devices has placed the world’s honeybee population at risk. We are literally buzzing the bees out of existence. Meanwhile, the global pace of construction of new mobile phone towers continues unabated, and worldwide cell phone transmissions continue increasing by the day, filling the Earth’s atmosphere with more and more artificial radio waves. If this trend continues into the next few years, we can expect further drastic reductions in the global honeybee population.

What would happen if honeybees became extinct? We would lose a lot more than just good-tasting natural honey. Honeybees play a critical role in the world’s food chain: they pollinate 75 percent of all the crops consumed by humans, many of which are also consumed by animals. Thus the extinction of honeybees would precipitate a global food crisis of almost unthinkable proportions. I don’t think any of us want to see that happen! Human survival is dependent on the survival of honeybees.

Given the enormity of the stakes involved, it is imperative that we take decisive measures soon to protect the endangered honeybees. This is not like trying to save the Pyrenean Ibex, the Golden Toad, the Javan Tiger, or the Alaotra Grebe (a bird of Madagascar that was officially declared extinct last year). All of these animal species have become extinct since the conservation movement began, but due to their isolated habitats and limited distribution, their extinction had little if any impact on the overall global food chain. The extinction of the honeybee would be an entirely different matter. Because of its worldwide distribution and the key role this little insect plays in crop growth, its demise would be catastrophic for a large percentage of life on earth.

So what can we do to save the honeybees? Here are a few ideas:

1) Spread the word. Tell everyone you know about what you’ve learned in this article. The more people who know about it, the better.

2) Use your cell phone less. Keep it turned off most of the time if you can. Note that you don’t have to make a call to send destructive radiation through the air-just turning the unit on will do that.

3) Buy land phones, which don’t emit harmful radio waves, for your home and office, and use your mobile phone for calls only when away from those places. A cordless land phone offers the best of both worlds-it allows more mobility than a traditional corded land telephone but emits less harmful radiation than a cell phone.

4) At the local level, cities, counties and states could pass ordinances and laws preventing the construction of additional cell phone towers in certain areas (as long as this does not conflict with federal law).

5) Since honeybees continue to flourish in areas without mobile phone service, it would make common sense for the governments of individual countries (especially in the United States and Europe) to review their existing communications policies and enact stricter nationwide regulations for cell phone transmissions.

6) Since more than 9 in 10 Americans now own mobile phones See “List of countries by number of cell phones in use,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_mobile_phones_in_use, a permanent nationwide moratorium on the construction of new cell phone towers should be seriously considered.

7) Our federal government could build on the model of the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area straddling the Virginia-West Virginia border that was set aside in 1958 to protect the National Radio Astronomy Observatory from unwanted manmade radio interference. Within this zone, artificial radio transmissions, including cell phone services, are limited but not entirely eliminated. Similar protected zones could be established in America’s sprawling, thinly-populated agricultural regions (such as in the middle states and parts of California) where cell phone services are less in demand and where honeybees are especially needed to pollinate the crops that feed much of the world.

Such efforts to curtail cellular phone transmissions, for the good of honeybees and for our own good, will likely be met with powerful opposition from the big mobile phone companies like AT&T and Verizon. These huge businesses make a killing on cell phones, netting hundreds of billions of dollars annually, so their multibillionaire kings will not take kindly the least threat to the continued expansion of their global empire. They don’t really care what happens to the bees (or to us) as long as they can keep their annual profits swelling. Thus they’ll conveniently deny any connection between cell phone use and declining bee rates (just as they denied that there was any connection between cell phone use and brain cancer). But such opposition shouldn’t discourage us–because denying an inconvenient truth doesn’t make it go away.

Is Your Company At Risk Without A Cell Phone Policy?

No Cell Phone Policy = The Potential For Serious Disaster

“A Cell Phone Policy…Really?”

FACT: Cell phone litigation is one of the newest types of litigation springing up all around the country. Whenever there is an accident or harassment, wage disputes, or other privacy violations, and a cell phone is involved you can bet a law suit may not be far away.

As a Wireless Management Consultant who has written numerous policies in the past, I am always amazed when companies tell me they do not have an active and up to date policy. Some business owners find the average Attorney’s price of $2,500 for a company cell phone policy a little too steep for their budget. Others try to write one themselves, which can be a daunting and overwhelming task. Still others are just unaware of how vulnerable their company is without one.

Why would you want to create a policy for every employee in your company sign? Other than the fact that we live in the most litigious nation on the Earth, you also need to protect your business in other areas as well.

Traffic and Safety Laws

Employers that have employees driving company owned vehicles during the course of business are very much at risk at being held liable if the employee is involved in an accident while using a company mobile phone.

FACT: Employers can incur liability whether or not the call is personal or business related if it is made on a company phone.

FACT: Employer liability in cases involving a third party is based on a legal principle called vicarious liability. It provides that an employer is responsible for the harm caused by its employee if that employee, using a company cell phone, was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment at the time that the accident occurred.

FACT: Plaintiffs often claim that their employer is directly negligent for its own conduct in encouraging or permitting employees to use mobile devices for business without adequate policies and training of those policies.

FACT: It doesn’t matter if the call is being made during regular office hours or not; what matters is that the call is somehow work related and the device they are using belongs to YOU! Employers can be found liable for any damages caused by an employee acting within the scope of his or her employment. Employers can now be found negligent if they fail to provide an adequate policy and proper training.

– Recently, in the state of Virginia, a sales rep returning home from work, was talking on her cell phone with a customer. She accidentally struck and killed a teenage girl. The family of the girl filed a $30 million lawsuit against the employer, claiming the company was negligent in providing cell phones to their employees without providing a company cell phone policy or a safety policy. The family won that suit.

•In Arkansas, a jury found a lumber company liable after one of their employees struck another car, gravely injuring the passenger. At the time of the accident the employee driving the vehicle was using the cell phone for a business call. This particular case ended up being settled for $16 million. They had no cell phone policy.

-The large investment firm of Salomon Smith Barney paid a $500,000 settlement to the family of a motorcyclist killed by one of its employees making a work-related call after hours on his company cell phone. No policy in place.

FACT: Employers can be liable for problems or accidents created by an employee’s use of cell phones while driving if a company provides the phones, or if cell phone use is a necessary or an encouraged option as part of their job.

IRS Regulations

FACT: IRS guidelines require company issued cell phones and wireless data devices be used only for business purposes; otherwise, personal use of these devices must be claimed as a taxable benefit. Your company could be penalized and audited for non-compliance of this rule. The IRS can declare that all undocumented use of a cell phone in your company is personal and can treat the monthly cell phone charges as wages even if the calls were for business purposes.

FACT: The IRS and state auditors have become very aggressive in their requirements regarding personal cell phones being used in the workplace. Companies are being audited more often and as a result they are paying serious penalties and fines for non-compliance. You need a policy in place not only to guide company employees regarding the use of cell phones but also to protect your company from these audits. If you have set policies in place that your employees have signed, then you are protecting your business.

-A company was audited by the IRS for cell phone compliance and fined over $19,000 for not have a clear enough policy about employees making personal cell phone calls on their company phones and for making business calls on their personal phones.
Federal and State Labor and Wage Laws

FACT: Deducting the cost of a wireless device from an employee’s final paycheck violates most state and federal wage laws. Federal and State law restrict and prohibit an employer from making pay deductions for damaged mobile devices or for failing to return company issued cell phones or for damaging equipment. In most states if you are found at fault for deducting money from an employees paycheck for a lost or damaged phone, and unless your policy is worded correctly, you can be sued for triple damages.

The FLSA

FACT: The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that non-exempt employees must be paid for all hours worked. If, for example, a non-exempt employee checks work email from home or takes calls from a customer on his company mobile phone, the time must be counted as hours worked.

Monitoring and Tracking

Do you have your employee’s consent to track the whereabouts of your company’s mobile devices? Without consent you walk a fine line concerning privacy rights. You need a policy that is very clear and specific about tracking the whereabouts of your cell phones so that you are not infringing on any one’s privacy.

-A Florida Roofing company was sued by an employee when he discovered his company cell phone was still being tracked after hours without his knowledge. He had visited a friend the night before at a drug rehab center and the next day his employer questioned him about his own drug usage. This was considered an invasion of privacy because the company had no policy in place that informed the employee that his cell phone could be tracked at anytime. The employee was awarded $500,000 in a civil suit.

Other issues

FACT: Employers are now facing increasing claims by employees for health problems allegedly associated with cell phone use. This is happening even though the science appears inconclusive and contradictory. Workers who use cell phones while on the job have now begun to file workers compensation claims and lawsuits based on the theory that radio frequency radiation from cell phones may lead to various forms of brain cancer or other maladies.

Employers should protect themselves with a policy that informs employees of the potential health risks associated with the use of a cell phone, and even suggests or requires using a hands-free device. The policy should state that employees will not hold their employers liable for any suspected health issues that may result from using a company-issued mobile device is critical.

Privacy Concerns

Are you concerned about privacy? Do you have a policy in place that addresses the misuse of cell phones in your company? Does it address confidentiality, security, privacy and harassment? Are you concerned about privileged or confidential material such as trade secrets or information about your customers? Do you have a policy that includes a provision governing camera phones, which present an increasing risk to companies? Intellectual property, trade secrets, personal customer information, or other confidential data can be captured and used easily with a camera phone.

FACT: Employees may have their picture taken in private areas, and can file suit against your company for invasion of privacy or harassment. Do your employees have cell phones with cameras and video features or Smart Phones with scanners? Do you have a policy in place that covers ownership of images taken with your company-issued mobile devices? Do your employees have broadband or Internet cards? Do you have a policy in place that prohibits your employees from connecting their personal phones to USB ports on their computer?

-An employee of a Delaware company decided it might be fun to play a joke on a fellow employee and take a picture of him relieving himself at a urinal. He snapped the photo on his company cell phone and showed to others back at the office. When that got a few laughs he posted it on the Internet. The company is out of business today after losing a $1.4 million dollar lawsuit for negligence. The employee said there was no written policy in place on cell phone misconduct in the workplace. The Judge had no other recourse.

Can you afford to be without a policy?

The answer is NO. You can’t afford the risk!

FACT: Having a policy prepared for your company is a small price for a document that could possibly save your company from an expensive lawsuit. It’s really a small price to pay for such a powerful defense, should you need it. So why put your company in a vulnerable state by not having one?

Wouldn’t you rather have a signed document in hand when an employee decides he wants to sue you? A signed document that says he has given his permission on the very thing he is trying to sue you for? Sure you would. Without a sound policy in place… you are a sitting duck!