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09 July 2018

Oleg Grigoriev: PhoneGate Confirms Our Worst Fears Regarding Cell Phones

Closer to the body
by Alla Astakhovaalla-astakhova.ru, 8 July 2018 - translation*

Oleg Grigoriev: PhoneGate confirms our worst fears regarding cellular phones

Dr. Oleg Grigoriev
In France, an unprecedented scandal is erupting. Recently, the French consumer association Alert PhoneGate [announced the removel of] 250 potentially dangerous cell phone models from the market. Reasons? The results of tests conducted by the French National Frequencies Agency, which were made public at the request of Alert PhoneGate. It turned out that for every nine out of ten mobile phones sold in France (common models that are popular all over the world), the levels of electromagnetic radiation with close proximity to the human body far exceed the maximum permissible values. This happens when we carry a cell phone in the pocket of a shirt or trousers, and also applies to the ear during a conversation. Activists Alert PhoneGate warn: it's not safe. "Our health is at stake," says the head of the association, Dr. Marc Arazi . Are there any grounds for such statements? I asked Oleg Grigoriev, Chairman of the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and member of the WHO Scientific Advisory Committee on the program "Electromagnetic Fields and Health" .

- Oleg Alexandrovich, it is known that mobile devices are tested before they enter the market. How did it turn out that the maximum permissible power levels of electromagnetic radiation were exceeded?

- Companies conducting tests, can measure the electromagnetic radiation of the device, which is at one centimeter and a half from the human body. But if, for example, you press the phone to your ear, then the power of electromagnetic radiation affecting the body will be different.

- Activists Alert PhoneGate argue that the constant excess of threshold electromagnetic radiation levels when using mobile phones is dangerous to health. Is this true?

- A lot of data on the bioeffects of electromagnetic radiation have been collected. When we put a cell phone to the head, the vector of the field that the phone creates is added to the vector of the natural magnetic field. Our erythrocytes have a charge. If the magnetic field changes, the speed of their motion changes. This affects the circulation of blood in the vessels and capillaries of the head . Hemodynamics is the basis of many things that occur in the body. Another target is the ions of the cell membrane of the nervous system . Even at the end of the 19th century it was established that the action of the electromagnetic field excites the nerve, changes its reactivity. On encephalograms we see that the brain reacts to electromagnetic radiation after 15-30 seconds. Disputes are only about whether the reaction of the nervous system is a consequence of changes in hemodynamics or is a reaction to a change in the magnetic field. If the effect is one-time, the human body quickly returns to normal. This we showed in a direct experiment in 1998. But if the electromagnetic radiation is chronic, there are consequences. At one time in the Soviet Union, the effect on the human body of electromagnetic fields in production was studied. Common complaints of headache, sleep disorders, pain in the heart, increased fatigue, irritability, dizziness were found.

- Alert PhoneGate President Marc Arazi claims that there is growing evidence of a connection between the use of mobile phones and cancer and other diseases ...

- The electromagnetic field of the phone has been attributed by IARC, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, to the class of carcinogens 2B . That is, its carcinogenicity is possible. This decision is based on epidemiology data. For example, recently there were data on a significant - twofold - increase in aggressive brain tumors in the last 20 years in the UK. In order to verify the carcinogenic hazard, experimental data are needed. Now the world scientific community is studying the experiment on rats, which was conducted by ATSDR, the US Agency for Registration of Toxic Compounds and Diseases . Rats were placed for life in conditions of high-level electromagnetic radiation. We made a large sample and obtained a reliable result - immune system reactions. This is reliable data, but it is not yet very clear how to interpret them. It would be advisable to repeat the experiment on more complex models. Now the main hypothesis of cancer on electromagnetic radiation is the connection with immune reactions. But the mechanism is not described. Of course, new research is needed. But already today, since there is a class of carcinogenic hazard 2B, we should have increased the hygienic safety factor and introduced a new maximum permissible level of electromagnetic radiation. This means that you have to do something with the phone. In June of this year, the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection sent a letter to the IARC with a request to consider, in view of the new data, a carcinogenic classification of the electromagnetic field of cellular phones. Since 2011, a significant number of animal studies have been carried out,

- It is known that from September 1, 2018 in France, cell phones are prohibited in the junior classes of schools. There you cannot use WiFi in classes for junior and middle school students.

- Absolutely right decision. In children under 10 years of age, the hydration of brain tissues is an order of magnitude higher than in adults. Hence, at the same power of electromagnetic irradiation, they have more energy absorption. The head of the child is smaller, therefore the contour of the electric field of the phone captures almost all tissues. As a result, children receive a greater dose than adults. In 2008, we in the Russian National Committee on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection made a forecast for children using mobile phones. Among the possible immediate consequences - violation of cognitive functions and diseases of the central nervous system (memory impairment, decreased attention, decreased mental and cognitive abilities, irritability, sleep disorders, propensity to stress reactions, increased epileptic readiness). Long-term effects include brain, auditory and vestibular nerves (aged 25-30 years), depressive syndrome, early manifestation of Alzheimer's disease and acquired dementia, and other manifestations of degeneration of the nervous structures of the brain (aged 50-60 years). By the way, I want to say a kind word about Gennady Onishchenko - back in 2003 on his SanPIN initiative "Hygienic requirements for the deployment and operation of land mobile radio communications" recommended limiting the use of mobile phones for children under 18 years . But almost no one knows about this.

- What measures can be taken?

- First you need to do the simplest thing - put a warning sticker on each phone, like a pack of cigarettes. The sign "attention, electromagnetic field" has long been developed and approved. Secondly, it is necessary to inform people in every possible way that the electromagnetic field can be unsafe and the use of mobile phones should be limited. Thirdly, to intensify research on the bioeffects of electromagnetic radiation. We do not know much and take a lot of risks, going on a technological journey into the unknown. For example, the new format of cellular communication 5G is being actively discussed now . Business plans are long overdue. But there is no research on its safety. It is scary. And, fourthly, it is necessary to introduce a system for recording the individual dose of consumption of electromagnetic energy. In the end, the picture should end with the following: in each phone there must be installed a program that would count the individual dose and limit it. This is not difficult to do. Thus, from the point of view of the individual user, the problem would be solved. And then there are questions with business, with marketing...

How to protect yourself

- Do not wear a cell phone in your pocket
- When using a mobile phone, be sure to use headphones
- During sleep do not put the mobile phone next to the pillow
- Disable WiFi at night
- Children's recreation areas should be removed as far as possible from WiFi, and it's better if shielding is used - even foil under the wallpaper will be enough

Source: Alla Astakhova. Health Blog

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* We have made a few grammatical corrections to this computer translation.   

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