Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research
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Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research
This collection includes research, updates, and resources related to screen time, wireless, and EMF/RF radiation.  For useful websites with extensive documents for safe technology advocacy, please visit the National Association for Children and Safe Technology (, the Environmental Health Trust ( and EMR Safety ( For additional resources and updates in Education, please visit  
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Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World // Santa Clara County Medical Association Alliance Foundation

Wireless Technology & Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World // Santa Clara County Medical Association Alliance Foundation | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |
On October 10, 2015, the Santa Clara County Medical Association Alliance Foundation sponsored a forum, "Wireless Technology and Public Health: Health and Environmental Hazards in a Wireless World," at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts in Mountain View, California.
The event brought together leading experts from various disciplines who presented current scientific research regarding the health effects of electromagnetic radiation from cell phones, Wi Fi and other electronic devices on biological systems.
The experts presented the science and personal stories behind the recent call for safer wireless radiation standards by over 200 international scientists.  Links to autism, cancer, infertility, adverse effects on wildlife, cell phone safety and Wi Fi precautions were discussed.

The forum was videotaped and can be viewed online. See links below.


Part 1  Joel Moskowitz, PhD // Wireless Phone Radiation Risks and Public Health Policy

Joel M. Moskowitz, PhD, Director, Center for Family and Community Health, U.C. Berkeley School of Public Health, associate producer of the movie Mobilize: A Film about Cell Phone Radiation, discussed new research related to wireless technology, public health and policy. His website is a valuable resource for journalists and the public. In the past year, he helped organize the International EMF Scientist Appeal (EMFScientist.orgsigned by more than 200 EMF scientists and consulted on the Berkeley cell phone “right to know” ordinance
Video (46 mins.):

Part 2  Martin Pall, PhD // How Wireless Devices Cause Cell Harm: Voltage-Gate Calcium Channels

Martin Pall, PhD, Professor Emeritus, School of Molecular Biosciences, Washington State University, author of numerous scientific papers on oxidation and inflammation, discussed the cellular mechanisms of action that explain the adverse biological effects of wireless devices on the human body. 

Video (31 mins.):

Part 3  Suruchi Chandra, MD // Environmental Factors in Autism and EMF Radiation
Suruchi Chandra, MD, Harvard-trained integrative psychiatrist discussed stressors on the developing nervous system, childhood developmental delays, research related to microwave EMF and other toxic exposures, and how this knowledge changed her approach to clinical care.

Video (18 mins.):

Part 4  Peter Sullivan // The Autism Puzzle: Reducing Digital Overload in a Wireless Era

Peter Sullivan, founder of Clear Light Ventures and a Silicon Valley computer scientist, discussed his personal family experience with autism spectrum disorder and how he improved the health of his family through EMF reduction.

Video (16 mins.):

Part 5  Toril Jelter, MD // Health Effects of Non-Ionizing Radiation in Children

Toril Jelter, MD, pediatrician and general practitioner who treats children and adults with electrohypersensitivity, discussed her clinical experience with autism and behavioral changes related to electromagnetic radiation.

Video (20 mins.):

Part 6  Victoria Dunckley, MD // Electronic Screen Syndrome: The Overstimulated Child

Victoria Dunckley, MD, award-winning child psychiatrist and author of "Reset Your Child's Brain," discussed the identification and management of screen-time's physiological effects on mood regulation, cognition, sleep, and behavior in children.

Video (28 mins.):

Part 7  Katie Singer // Electronics in Our Ecosystem: EMF Effects on Wildlife, Birds and Bees

Katie Singer, author of "An Electronic Silent Spring," reported on the impact of exposure to electromagnetic radiation on wildlife.

Video (24 mins.):

Loretta Lynch, JD, attorney and former President of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), discussed corporate influence in government, profiteering and the smart meter issue at the CPUC. Ms. Lynch served the CPUC through California’s energy crisis fighting manipulation of energy sellers.

Video: not available

Part 8 Question and Answer Session

Video (24 mins.):

The forum was organized by Cindy Lee Russell, MD, Vice President of Community Health, Santa Clara County Medical Association.
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Mobile Phone Dependency and Its Impacts on Adolescents’ Social and Academic Behaviors // Seo, Park, Kim, & Park, 2016 // Computers in Human Behavior, Elsevier

Mobile Phone Dependency and Its Impacts on Adolescents’ Social and Academic Behaviors // Seo, Park, Kim, & Park, 2016 // Computers in Human Behavior, Elsevier | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |
Mobile phone dependency and its impacts on adolescents’ social and academic behaviors

Dong Gi Seo, Yujeong Park, Min Kyung Kim, Jaekook Park. Mobile phone dependency and its impacts on adolescents’ social and academic behaviors. Computers in Human Behavior 63:282-292. October 2016.

• The impacts of mobile phone dependency on social and academic behaviors in adolescents were examined.

• Mobile phone dependency negatively predicted attention and positively predicted depression.

• Mobile phone dependency affected social relationships with friends and academic achievement.

• The mediating roles of relationships with friends were found between mobile phone dependency and the academic achievement.


This study aimed to examine the possible intrapersonal (i.e., attention, depression) and interpersonal (i.e., social relationships with friends, social relationships with teachers) problems related to mobile phone dependency and their impacts on academic achievement in adolescents in South Korea using a national sample of 2,159 middle and high school students (1,074 male and 1,085 female).  A structural equation modeling approach with mediation analysis was employed to test the seven hypotheses drawn from conceptual and empirical bases. Results showed that mobile phone dependency negatively predicted attention and positively predicted depression, which in turn, affect social relationships with friends and both Korean language arts and mathematics achievement. Also, the mediating roles of attention, depression, and relationships with friends were found between mobile phone dependency and the academic achievement of middle and high school students in S. Korea. Based on the findings, implications of the current study and future directions for research were discussed."

For link to original research article, please see: 
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The Role of Electromagnetic Fields in Neurological Disorders // Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2016)

The Role of Electromagnetic Fields in Neurological Disorders // Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy (2016) | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

Terzi, M., Ozberk, B., Deniz, O. G., & Kaplan, S. (2016). The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy.   (In press).

"In the modern world, people are exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) as part of their daily lives; the important question is “What is the effect of EMFs on human health?” Most previous studies are epidemiological, and we still do not have concrete evidence of EMF pathophysiology. Several factors may lead to chemical, morphological, and electrical alterations in the nervous system in a direct or indirect way. It is reported that non-ionizing EMFs have effects on animals and cells. The changes they bring about in organic systems may cause oxidative stress, which is essential for the neurophysiological process; it is associated with increased oxidization in species, or a reduction in antioxidant defense systems. Severe oxidative stress can cause imbalances in reactive oxygen species, which may trigger neurodegeneration. This review aims to detail these changes. Special attention is paid to the current data regarding EMFs’ effects on neurological disease and associated symptoms, such as headache, sleep disturbances, and fatigue." 


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12/12/15 Letter from Pediatric Neurologist and Neuroscientist Martha Herbert, Ph.D, MD to Montgomery County School District // Harvard Medical School

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Reported Biological Effects from RF Radiation at Low-Intensity Exposure (Cell Tower, Wi-Fi, Wireless Laptop and "Smart" Meter RF Intensities) // BioInitiative Report

Document can be downloaded at: 

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Kids and Screen Addiction - Damaging their Brains and Strong as Cocaine? // Cheri Kiesecker 

Kids and Screen Addiction - Damaging their Brains and Strong as Cocaine? // Cheri Kiesecker  | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Cheri Kiesecker

"How much money do you think Xbox brings in a year? Or Minecraft? Or Pokémon Go?  Do you love your kids being glued to the screen, playing these games? Would you love if your kids went to school to play these games even more?   Education is a goldmine; there’s money to be made in  collection and analysis of data and selling devices and computers, investing in online “personalized assessments” and now there’s online, and very addictive, edtech GAMES.  Now a well-known addiction specialist has written a book about edtech’s new drug of choice and the harm of online game addiction.


How Screen Addiction is Damaging Kids Brains 

As Vice reports,

A new book out on August 9 called Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids by Dr. Nicholas Kardaras, one of the country’s top addiction experts, details how compulsive technology usage and reliance on screens can neurologically damage the developing brain of a child the same way that drug addiction can. Through extensive research, clinical trials with diagnosed screen addicts, and experience treating a variety of other types of addicts, the author explores the alarming reality of how children could be “stunting their own creative abilities” by constantly turning on and tuning in.


Dr. Kardaras, who grew up playing Asteroids and loved Ms. PacMan, discusses how game developers use tests to measure dopamine and adrenaline levels in order to make video games as addicting as possible. He also explains how technology might stagnate frontal cortex development." ...





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Virtual Reality: Are Health Risks Being Ignored? //

Virtual Reality: Are Health Risks Being Ignored? // | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Doug Magyari, CEO, IMMY Inc., a VR headset maker

"Virtual reality and augmented reality are gaining momentum as promising new technologies. The Samsung Gear VR headset unit sold out in many places over the holidays, and Facebook's Oculus Rift headset was flooded with pre-orders this month.


Despite growing proclamations that 2016 will be "The Year of VR," there has been a troubling lack of focus on the health and safety risks associated with strapping a large plastic brick over your eyes. If not properly addressed, this oversight could well come back to haunt the fledgling industry.


Properly done, headsets for virtual reality and augmented reality have the potential to transform our society and expand the field of human knowledge by changing how we learn, work, play and entertain ourselves. This breakthrough might even extend long-term human memory by creating new neural pathways and connections in the brain.


Virtual reality involves complete immersion in a fully imagined environment (think of a 360-degree video game). Augmented reality involves a see-through headset that allows users to simultaneously interact with their actual physical environment in the real world (think of product diagrams for repair technicians).


Such profound advances come with equally serious threats to our physical and emotional well-being. Consider that large percentages of people experience stress or anxiety after wearing a full occlusion headset for more than a few minutes. Other negative physical side effects can include severe eyestrain, nausea and motion sickness. Recent studies of lab rats at the UCLA Keck Center for Neurophysics have revealed negative side effects including "cybersickness" and abnormal patterns of activity in rat brains, including 60 percent of neurons that simply shut down in virtual reality environments.


People who are strapped into a fully occluded device cannot see anything around them, creating obvious physical dangers. In addition, their eyes must strain to focus on a pixelated screen that uses a single refractive optic element that inadequately addresses the optic issues with near-to-eye devices, and many headsets quickly become uncomfortable after a few minutes."...


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Scientists Urge Google to Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children's Eyes and Brains with Virtual Reality Devices in Schools // Environmental Health Trust

Scientists Urge Google to Stop Untested Microwave Radiation of Children's Eyes and Brains with Virtual Reality Devices in Schools // Environmental Health Trust | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

"Scientific imaging shows how children absorb radiation from Smartphones in Virtual reality cardboard positions. Environmental Health Trust (EHT) scientists are calling on Google to stop the spread into schools of wireless virtual reality system Global Expeditions Pioneer Program where middle-school children hold a cell phone encased in a cardboard box in front of their eyes to take virtual expeditions to Mars, the moon, and other special places.

“Two-way microwave radiation transceivers, in the form of Smartphones, should not be used directly in front of children’s eyes and brains,” cautions University of Utah Distinguished Prof. Om Gandhi, who is one of the original developers of testing to evaluate wireless radiation from cellphones and is a Senior Advisor to EHT.


Prof. Gandhi added, “We have never tested microwave radiating devices directly in front of the young developing eye. The absence of proof of harm at this point does not mean that we have evidence of safety.”


“We want to know why is Google encouraging young children to employ a technology that has never been tested for their use when Samsung has a similar system that explicitly advises that no child under the age of 13 should be using it,” asks Devra Davis, President of EHT, and Visiting Professor of Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School and The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical Center.


EHT collaborating scientist, Professor Claudio Fernandez from the federal university of Canoas, Brazil, used cutting-edge modeling and found that radiation from the virtual reality applied wireless phones could easily exceed levels tested on adults.


“When we began to model cellphone exposures in the brains of toddlers and young children, I never imagined we would see these sorts of uses with devices placed directly in front of the eye and close to the brain,” noted Professor Claudio Fernandez,  whose research employs anatomically-based models of children to modeling cellphone absorption."...


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"You Will Be Faced With Lawsuits” States Chemist to California School Board 11/19/2013 

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"Schools Grapple With the New Divide: ScreenTime or Textbooks?" // Natasha Bita, The Australian 

"Schools Grapple With the New Divide: ScreenTime or Textbooks?" // Natasha Bita, The Australian  | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Natasha Bita

"Veteran science teacher Peter Wilson has sprung students using smartphones to deal drugs in class. One Year 9 boy was text messaging classmates to collect $20 sachets of marijuana. Wilson was almost as incredulous when a Year 12 student confessed, “I never check my school email — it’s ­always full of homework’’.

“I’ve been in countless schools where I am virtually policing appropriate computer use,’’ the Tasmanian teacher told Inquirer.

Wilson — who has taught in 15 schools in four states over the past 20 years — has joined the chorus of educators and parents questioning the wisdom of too much technology in the classroom. Are ­hi-tech schools essential to groom a generation of graduates skilled in the future-proof STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and maths? Or are the 21st century toolkits of computers, tablets and smartphones dumbing down children to be mere consumers, rather than creators, of technology?


“In the light of all the whizzbang technology of today, we seem to think that the younger and younger children are exposed to this wizardry without the rigours of reading, writing and numeracy instilled in their minds, the better learners they will be,’’ says Wilson. “We have an enormous illiteracy issue in society and an increase in attention deficit in students.”

A growing body of research is pointing to the pedagogical problems of exposing children to technology too soon, of over-reliance on computers, and of leapfrogging the old-school basics of reading, handwriting and mathematics that form the foundation of more creative learning.


Even Microsoft founder Bill Gates acknowledged to a summit of ed-tech entrepreneurs in April that “we really haven’t changed (students’ academic) outcomes’’ as a result of technology. He predicted the market for digital instruction materials in schools would grow by $US1.5 billion over the next five years in the US alone.


Sydney Grammar headmaster John Vallance made news internationally after The Weekend Australian revealed his elite private school had never allowed laptops in its classrooms of high achievers. Students must hand write assignments until Year 10. The boys can use computers in tech labs, but Vallance says they distract from teaching, discussion and questioning when used in class.


Sydney Grammar is evaluating the difference between Year 3 students who write stories by hand, or use computers. “They don’t write as much on the keyboard,’’ Vallance reveals. “They’re much more prepared to look out the window, to think, ruminate and write if they’re given a pencil and paper instead of a screen and a keyboard. The act of composing a sentence in your head and physically shaping the letters on a pad seems to provide a different neural process than just having a finger jab at a keyboard.’’


A recent research paper by the US National Bureau of Economic Research found that economics students at the elite US Military Academy at West Point did worse in tests when they were allowed to use laptops and the internet in class: “The results … suggest that computer devices have a substantial negative effect on academic performance … (and use) reduces final exam scores by 18 per cent of a standard deviation. We also find modest evidence that computer usage is most detrimental to male students and to students who entered the course with a high grade point average.’’...


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"Media Rules: Healthy Connections in the Digital Age" // Stanford Memorial Auditorium, Fri. September 30th, 7pm-8:30pm // Challenge Success

"Media Rules: Healthy Connections in the Digital Age" // Stanford Memorial Auditorium, Fri. September 30th, 7pm-8:30pm // Challenge Success | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

Friday, September 30th 7:00 - 8:30pm

Memorial Auditorium | 551 Serra Mall, Stanford University

Open to the Public | Adults: $10 Students: Free


For more information please visit event website: 

For a video of Dr. Steiner-Adair describing impacts of screen interaction on developing minds of young children, please see: 

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Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels? // Wall Street Journal

Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels? // Wall Street Journal | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Dr. Joel Moskowitz

"The Wall Street Journal asked me to write an essay about why cellphones should have warning labels. Dr. Larry Junck, a neurology professor, was asked to write the opposing arguments.

The two essays were published with the title, "Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels?" in the print edition of the Journal on May 23, 2016.  The online version was posted on the Journal's web site a day earlier.  

Prior to publication, the Journal shared with me four of Dr. Junck's assertions. However, my responses were cut due to space limitations. 

My essay below contains additional links and references that do not appear in the WSJ version. I have annotated the article with my comments indented in italics.

Should Cellphones Have Warning Labels?

Wall Street Journal, May 22, 2016


Supporters of warnings say consumers should be alerted to phones’ possible risks. Opponents say the risk, if any, is not great enough to warrant it.


We press them against our ears every day, often for hours. We carry them around with us in our pockets, front, rear and breast.


In short, we do lots of things with our cellphones that we’re not supposed to do, according to the warnings and instructions for proper use that typically come with these products in one form or another.


For now, how seriously one takes warnings about possible risks associated with radio-frequency waves emitted by cellphones largely depends on whether one believes the many studies that suggest there are links to risks of cancer or other ill effects, or the many studies that suggest there is no proof of such risks.


Whatever studies one believes, some concerned observers believe that cellphone companies should make a more assertive effort to warn consumers of the possibilities of such risks. And one way to do that, these advocates say, is with a clearly printed label on the outside of the device.


My Comment: I actually wrote the following, which was edited by the WSJ. “Whether by means of software inside the devices, package labeling, or other forms of communication, cellphone users need better information about the risks and harm reduction options associated with their choices.”


Or would that, as some others argue, just unnecessarily scare customers away from a product whose possible threat to public health is not certain?


Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., a researcher and the director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at the University of California, Berkeley, believes that such labels are needed. Arguing that warning labels aren’t called for is Larry Junck, professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Health System.



YES: Consumers Should Be Alerted to the Possible Risks


By Joel M. Moskowitz


Consumer products from toothpaste to stepladders come with obvious safety-warning labels. Why shouldn’t cellphones?


Cellphone use in the U.S. has mushroomed over the past two decades. But the industry falls seriously short in its efforts to provide cellphone users with information about the health risks associated with their choices and ways they can minimize possible harm.


Exposure to radio-frequency, or RF, radiation is a major risk of cellphone use. Manufacturers have a legal duty to provide warnings that are clear and conspicuous when products raise health and safety concerns. But, typically, RF safety instructions are buried in user manuals with tiny print, hidden within smartphones, or made available on the Internet.


There have been numerous calls for clearer warnings. The Environmental Working Group and 11 other consumer groups in 2013 submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission calling for better disclosure about the risks of RF emissions. The American Academy of Pediatrics, representing 60,000 physicians, submitted a similar letter. Consumer Reports in 2015 recommended that cellphone manufacturers “prominently display advice on steps that cellphone users can take to reduce exposure to cellphone radiation.”


While the research is not conclusive, higher-quality studies show that mobile-phone use is associated with brain-tumor risk and reproductive harm. In 2011, for example, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, declared RF radiation “possibly carcinogenic” based on evidence of increased brain-tumor risk.


By 2016, we have evidence from more than a dozen epidemiological studies that heavy cellphone users, usually over long periods, 10 years or more, face increased risk of malignant and nonmalignant brain tumors(References 1-3)


The U.S. incidence of nonmalignant brain tumors has increased in recent years, especially among adolescents and young adults. It’s unlikely the increase was entirely due to improved detection because, according to one review, we would expect to see a plateau, then a reduction in incidence, which has not occurred. The most serious type of brain cancer has increased in parts of the brain near where people hold their phones. Observations that overall increases in brain cancer were not seen after the introduction of cellphones merely serve to illustrate that there can be a considerable lag between exposure to a carcinogen and the cancer’s diagnosis. (Refs. 4-5)


Skeptics about the risks of cellphones often cite studies that are flawed. They ignore evidence in a 2014 review of 10 studies associating exposure to cellphones with reductions in sperm motility and viability. And while some have argued that the IARC did not have adequate evidence to classify RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic,” the IARC is considered the gold standard for making such determinations. Last year, 220 scientists who have published peer-reviewed research on the effects of electromagnetic fields signed an appeal to governments to strengthen consumer disclosure and RF radiation standards citing “numerous recent scientific publications” showing effects of such fields on living organisms.


As for people who claim there is no mechanism to explain how cellphones cause cancer, in 93 out of 100 laboratory studies, low-intensity RF radiation was found to cause a cellular-stress response which can lead to carcinogenicity. (Ref. 6)


Insurers are paying attention. Lloyd’s, the London insurance market, in a 2010 report on emerging risks, took no position on whether cellphones cause harm, but warned that scientific and legal developments could change the insurance climate, as occurred with asbestos. Similarly, Swiss Re AG in 2013 identified “unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields” as a leading risk for the industry. Concerns about the cost of potential claims against the cellphone industry have led some insurers to exclude coverage for claims related to electromagnetic fields in their commercial general liability policies.


Even before we had scientific consensus about the public health threat from tobacco, Congress mandated warning labels on cigarettes in 1965.


The public has a right to know that cellphone radiation exposure can be reduced by keeping devices away from the head and body, and by using a speakerphone, wired headset, or text messaging.

Dr. Moskowitz is a researcher and the director of the Center for Family and Community Health in the School of Public Health at University of California, BerkeleyDr. Moskowitz, a Ph.D., has a website on electromagnetic-radiation safety. He can be reached at



NO: The Risk, if Any, Is Not Great Enough to Warrant It


By Larry Junck


Each year, about 78,000 Americans are diagnosed with a malignant or benign brain tumor. These lead to about 17,000 deaths—seventh among deaths due to cancer. As a physician kept busy caring for people with brain tumors, I would like nothing more than to see some of these tumors prevented.


Unfortunately, a label warning purchasers of cellphones about an unproven brain-tumor risk would not be a step toward that goal.


Consider that brain tumors have not increased in incidence in correlation with cellphone use. If cellphones were an important cause of brain tumors, we would have seen an increase perhaps starting in the 1990s, when cellphones came into widespread use, or starting several years later, if it took several years of cellphone use to cause a brain tumor. While the number of people diagnosed with brain tumors has risen, the increase has been mainly among the elderly, who use cellphones less than others. The increase started before the 1990s, and the numbers have leveled off. The increase is believed to be largely due to our improved detection of brain tumors using CT scans and MRI.


My Comments: Malignant tumors often require decades to develop before they are detected so one would not necessarily expect to see a strong correlation between cellphone adoption rates and brain tumor incidence.


Brain tumor increases in the 1990s that preceded widespread cellphone use may be accounted for by cordless phone use. Cordless phones were adopted before cellphones; they emit RF radiation, and Hardell's research has found cordless phone use to be associated with increased brain tumor risk. 


Also, there is no known scientific mechanism by which mobile phones might cause brain tumors. For carcinogenic chemicals and other environmental causes of cancer, we can generally show that these cause mutations in DNA or changes in other molecules, sufficient to explain the resulting cancers. However, radiofrequency emissions such as those emitted by cellphones generally pass through tissues without causing these effects. 


My Comments: There is peer-reviewed evidence for several mechanisms that explain how low-intensity cellphone radiation can cause oxidative stress, free radicals, and DNA damage leading to cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. See the papers referenced in #6 below. There are also papers that describe a mechanism for sperm damage.


The research shows that the cellphone's RF emissions are absorbed by the head and body. The young child's brain absorbs twice as much radiation as the adult brain.


Numerous epidemiologic studies considered together do not conclusively show an increase in risk of brain tumors associated with cellphone use. The majority of studies show no association at all. A number of studies do suggest an increase in risk, but some of these studies depend on patients’ recall of their cellphone usage and thus are susceptible to bias. 


My Comments: It often takes decades of independently-funded research before scientific consensus is reached about a health risk. 


Much of the cell phone radiation research has been funded by the telecommunications industry. In our 2009 review of the epidemiological research, we found that studies with industry funding tended to use lower quality research methods. These studies either failed to find increased brain tumor risk or dismissed the significant evidence of risk that was observed. Dr. Henry Lai has reported that the industry-funded studies were also much less likely to report biological effects. 

The higher-quality research on long-term, heavy cell phone use among adults consistently finds increased brain tumor risk. The risk is roughly doubled after 10 years of cellphone use. Although little research has been conducted on children, a few studies suggest that the risk is greater for children and adolescents who use cellphones.


Although a few industry-funded scientists recommend we take precaution about cellphone use, many argue we should wait 25 or more years until they complete their current research studies. In contrast, the 220 scientists who signed the International EMF Scientist Appeal believe that we have sufficient evidence to take precaution now. They argue for stronger regulations and better disclosure.


Regarding bias in studies that depend on patient recall, it is true that people err when they report their cellphone use in these studies. They tend to underestimate the duration of calls and overestimate the number of calls they make. These two biases cancel each other out. The net effect when the data are analyzed for the total amount of cellphone use is to underestimate the association between cellphone use and brain tumor risk.


One of the largest studies, the Interphone study done in 13 countries and published in 2010, showed no increase in risk in its primary analysis. A widely criticized secondary analysis showed that among the 10% of subjects who recalled the highest usage, incidence of glioma (the most common of serious brain tumors) was increased by 40%—of marginal significance due to the small number of tumors in the secondary analysis. Based largely on this study, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified radio-frequency electromagnetic fields as “possibly carcinogenic” in humans, a category that includes coffee and pickled vegetables. Many experts have expressed opinions disagreeing with this classification because of the lack of good evidence supporting it.


My Comments: The 13-nation Interphone Study reported in a 40% increased risk of glioma for heavy cellphone users who used cellphones 1,640 or more hours in their lifetime, which averages to about 30 minutes a day over 10 years (Table 2). This was a primary, not a secondary analysis of the data.


The Interphone Study has been criticized by many scientists for its methodological shortcomings, but most of the biases are in the direction of underestimating brain tumor risk. For example, the Interphone study presented a secondary analysis in Appendix 2 of the paper which corrected one methodology problem. This analysis found an 82% increased risk of glioma for the heavy cellphone users instead of the 40% increased risk reported in the main body of the paper.


In another paper, the Interphone Study reported a 289% increased risk of acoustic neuroma for heavy cellphone users.


The 30-member IARC expert group depended heavily on the Interphone study and research by Lennart Hardell and his colleagues when they decided to classify RF radiation as “possibly carcinogenic” in 2011.


IARC classified Asian pickled vegetables and coffee as “possible carcinogens” because consumption of the first increases risk of esophageal cancer, and the second, bladder cancer. The cellphone industry has cited these findings to diminish IARC’s classification of radiofrequency radiation as a Group 2B possible carcinogen to humans, which is also the same category as DDT and lead.


Other conceivable risks of RF have also been studied. An example is effects on sperm. A meta-analysis of many studies looking for an association of cellphone use with changes in sperm reported that one of three variables studied, sperm motility, shows a small but statistically significant relationship. But the authors do not indicate how sperm development might be affected by RF from cellphones, considering that RF emissions are concentrated near their source and that cellphones are generally held far from the scrotum while in use.


My Comments: The most recent meta-analysis found that cellphone radiation harms both sperm motility and viability -- two of the three effects examined.


Several mechanisms have been proposed for sperm damage (see my post, “Effects of Mobile Phones on Sperm Quality”).


Cellphones emit radiation at least once a minute whenever they are powered on. Since males often store cellphones in their pants pocket, they are exposing their genitals to this radiation. A Cleveland Clinic study of 361 men undergoing infertility examination found that the “decrease in sperm parameters was dependent on the duration of daily exposure to cell phones.”


Most scientific organizations that have studied this issue, such as the World Health Organization and the National Cancer Institute, find no convincing evidence of risk of brain tumors or other harms. The Food and Drug Administration states, “The weight of scientific evidence has not linked cellphones with any health problems.”


My Comments: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found evidence of genotoxicity from exposure to cellphone radiation in the 1990’s. Based upon the research, the EPA advocated for stronger regulations than the FCC adopted in 1996. Congress ended the EPA’s funding for research on RF radiation so the EPA has not conducted any research since the 1990’s.


The FDA called for a government-funded study in 2001 to resolve their concern that cellphone radiation is harmful. The federal government has funded one major study, but fifteen years later the investigators have yet to report any results. Further, the study examines the effects of second-generation cellphone technology which will soon be obsolete as most cellphone use fourth-generation LTE.


The federal health agencies currently have little expertise regarding RF health effects because most federal scientists with expertise have retired or passed away.


The FCC’s cellphone radiation regulations have not changed since 1996. Although the FCC has been gathering input from scientists and the public since 2003, it has never issued a review of the evidence it has received. A recent Harvard publication reported that the FCC has been “captured” by the industries it regulates including the telecommunications  industry.


Before WSJ editing, my original essay contained information about the cellphone industry – their tendency to oppose and lobby against all “Right to Know” legislation that crops up from the grass roots. I know of six states where allegations have been made that proposed regulations to inform about potential cellphone risks have failed under industry pressure.


Meanwhile, supporters of stronger warnings point to reports in the insurance industry citing the possibility of increased liability to claims of health damage from cellphones, but such conclusions appear to be based on fear of liability arising from public concerns that are not based on evidence of harm. I submit that public policy should be based on actual risk, not on popular perceptions that aren’t supported by evidence.


My Comments: Of course public policy should be based upon actual risk, not perceived risk. And insurers are probably worried about both compensating victims of actual harm associated with cellphones, as well as paying for the expense of defending lawsuits regardless of the merits.


The insurance industry has a legitimate concern that the cellphone industry will someday be held liable for cellphone radiation health effects because the scientific evidence has grown substantially over time. Moreover, the cellphone industry funded much of the early research that found evidence of harm which suggests that the industry knew the risks but failed to act responsibly. Although most cellphone companies issue safety information about how to reduce RF radiation exposure, the information is not user-friendly.


Do risks of cellphones require more study? Yes, especially looking for any long-term risk to children who use them extensively over many years. Meanwhile, there is not much basis for modifying our use of mobile phones because of the risk of brain tumors or other risks from RF emissions.


If a risk exists at all, it is not high enough to justify a warning label for consumers. Warning labels are best reserved for risks that are both more clear-cut and larger. Perhaps use of cellphones while driving is an example.


My Comments: Hardell and his colleagues have found a three-fold risk of brain cancer for 25 or more years of wireless (cellphone and cordless) phone use and a four-fold risk of acoustic neuroma for 20 or more years of use. Given how widespread cellphone use is these risk estimates should be of great concern to neuro-oncologists. Some research suggests that children who use cellphones may have greater long-term risk of brain tumors.


I discussed two risks for which we have the most evidence: brain tumors and sperm damage. In addition, there is scientific evidence for other health problems associated with cellphone radiation. These risks include other head and neck tumors, breast cancer, electromagnetic hypersensitivity, and reproductive health risks including miscarriage and fetal effects (e.g., ADHD).


Bottom line: There is less “harm” in warning consumers about potential risks based on what we know or suspect than in failing to do so and later on facing another tobacco or asbestos debacle. Precautionary warnings are the least we can do at this point in time.


Dr. Junck is professor of neurology at the University of Michigan Health System. He can be reached at



  1. Scientific reviews of epidemiological research on cellphone use and brain tumor risk


Hardell, Carlberg (2013). Using the Hill viewpoints from 1965 for evaluating strengths of evidence of the risk for brain tumors associated with use of mobile and cordless phones.


Morgan, Miller, Sasco, Davis (2015). Mobile phone radiation causes brain tumors and should be classified as a probable human carcinogen (2A) (Review).


Myung, Ju, McDonnell, Lee, Kazinets, Cheng, Moskowitz (2009). Mobile phone use and risk of tumors: a meta-analysis.


World Health Organization (2013). IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Volume 102: Non-ionizing radiation, Part 2: Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.



  1. Epidemiological studies that report evidence of increased brain tumor risk associated with long-term, heavy mobile phone use: Malignant tumors (glioma)


Carlberg and Hardell, 2012


Cardis et al, 2011


Coureau et al, 2014


Hardell et al, 2002


Hardell et al, 2004


Hardell et al, 2005


Hardell et al, 2006


Hardell et al, 2006


Hardell et al, 2009


Hardell et al, 2010


Hardell et al, 2013


Hardell et al, 2013


Hepworth et al, 2006


Interphone Study Group, 2010


Lakhola et al, 2007


Schuz et al, 2006



  1. Epidemiological studies that report evidence of increased brain tumor risk associated with long-term, heavy mobile phone use: Non-malignant tumors (acoustic neuroma or meningioma)


Aydin et al, 2011 (child study; unclassified tumors)


Benson et al, 2013 (acoustic neuroma)


Cardis et al, 2011 (meningioma)


Carlberg and Hardell, 2015 (meningioma)


Coureau et al, 2014 (meningioma)


Hardell et al, 2006 (acoustic neuroma)


Hardell et al, 2009 (acoustic neuroma)


Hardell et al, 2013 (acoustic neuroma)


Hardell et al, 2013 (acoustic neuroma)


Interphone Study Group, 2011(acoustic neuroma)


Lonn et al, 2004 (acoustic neuroma)


Moon et al, 2014 (acoustic neuroma)


Schoemaker et al, 2005 (acoustic neuroma)



  1. Evidence of increased brain tumor incidence in the United States: Non-malignant tumors (also see

    Brain tumor increases in the 1990s that preceded widespread cellphone use may be accounted for by cordless phone use. Cordless phones were adopted before cellphones; they emit RF radiation, and Hardell's studieshave found them to be associated with increased brain tumor risk. 


Dolecek et al, 2015 (meningioma in adults)


Gittleman et al, 2015 (brain/central nervous system tumors in children & adolescents)


Ostrom et al, 2016 (meningioma in adolescents and young adults)



  1. Evidence of increased brain tumor incidence in the United States: Malignant tumors (also see


Gittleman et al, 2015 (brain/central nervous system tumors in children & adolescents)


Zada et al, 2012 (glioblastoma multiforme)



  1. Mechanisms that explain biologic effects of low intensity radiofrequency fields


Barnes & Greenenbaum (2016) Some effects of weak magnetic fields on biological systems: Radiofrequency fields can change radical concentrations and cancer cell growth rates.


Behari (2010) Biological responses of mobile phone frequency exposure.


Dasdag & Akdag (2015) The link between radiofrequencies emitted from wireless technologies and oxidative stress.


Juutilainen et al (2011) Review of possible modulation-dependent biological effects of radiofrequency fields.


Pall (2013) EMFs act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects.


Ruediger (2009) Genotoxic effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic fields.


Terzi et al (2016) The role of electromagnetic fields in neurological disorders.


Volkow et al (2011) Effects of cell phone radiofrequency signal exposure on brain glucose metabolism.


Yakymenko et al (2015) Oxidative mechanisms of biological activity of low-intensity radiofrequency radiation.

Zhu et al (2016). The apoptotic effect and the plausible mechanism of microwave radiation on rat myocardial cells." 

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iPad Alert: What Exactly Is Your Tablet Doing to Your Kid’s Brain? Business & Tech Observer

iPad Alert: What Exactly Is Your Tablet Doing to Your Kid’s Brain? Business & Tech Observer | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By John Bonazzo

"Dr. Nicholas Kardaras argues that juvenile tech addiction is a public health crisis."


"Addiction psychologist Nicholas Kardaras still remembers the “aha moment” ten years ago when he realized that juvenile tech addiction was a public health crisis.

A young man who compulsively played World of Warcraft for 12 hours a day came into his office. He had lost touch with reality after spending so much time in the virtual world, and so thought the office was another level in the game. The boy ended up being sent to a psychiatric hospital.


“I saw the digital scourge impact him in a way that looked not only like clinical addiction but psychosis as well,” Kardaras told the Observer. “This digital psychosis is a strange new phenomenon we haven’t really dealt with.”


Kardaras has spent the last decade examining young tech addicts, and the result is the book Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kidsand How to Break the Trance, which will be released August 9.


Video games, computers, cell phones and tablets are all “digital drugs” in Kardaras’ estimation, and there is more and more evidence to back him up—recent studies have shown that electronics activate pleasure circuits in developing brains. The amount of dopamine in the brain doubles (food and sex have the same effect) while the amount of gray matter shrinks, compromising the frontal cortex (the decision-making center of the brain). This leads to delays in neurological development and verbal intelligence.


“An MRI of a tech addict and an MRI of a drug addict are the same—they both neurophysiologically affect the brain,” Kardaras said. “Digital media is a continuum, just as substances are.”


Having observed roughly 1,000 teenagers over 15 years, Kardaras has noticed some societal changes.


“Ten years ago patients could keep their phones in their pockets,” he said. “Now that’s almost impossible. Kids lose their innate sense of curiosity when they’re constantly stimulated.”

One rapidly growing engine of stimulation is elementary schools—many of these institutions have purchased iPads for children to use in the classroom. Educators may think they’re helping children, but Kardaras actually links this increase in digital learning with the statistic that one in 10 children has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

“This false narrative that devices are educational hides the fact that they stunt a child’s neural development,” he said.


One of Kardaras’ patients went into full body convulsions when her mother took her phone and laptop away. She then repeatedly uttered the phrase “I’m gonna be alone” and threatened to hang herself.


Kardaras said that when he confronts parents with this information, they often respond that they grew up watching television and playing arcade games and they turned out fine. But he rejects this comparison.


“An iPad is qualitatively different from a television,” Kardaras said. “TV is passive stimulation, while iPads are immersive and interactive stimulation. And the level of realism is different: Pac-Man is not Call of Duty.


When parents do try to take electronic devices by force, children sometimes get aggressive—one of Kardaras’ patients went into convulsions when her mother took her phone and laptop away. She then repeatedly uttered the phrase “I’m gonna be alone” and threatened to hang herself, at which point she was taken to a psychiatric hospital.


Another danger is that digital addicts will harm others, not just themselves. After Adam Lanza shot and killed 26 people (including 20 children) at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, investigators discovered that he had prepared for the massacre by playing video games about a school shooting, and about a civilian shooting of women and children at an airport. He had notched 83,000 virtual kills, including 22,000 head shots.


“I can’t believe Adam Lanza’s gaming influences weren’t more focused on,” Kardaras said. “He was in a bunker, playing violent video games in which children are crawling in their own blood.”  Kardaras blames the video game industry for not publicizing that its products, like cigarettes, have addictive potential.  “It’s a multibillion dollar industry that has a financial stake in creating addictive product and making sure this information isn’t out there,” he said. “The gaming industry is quick to defend themselves against collateral damage.”


Countries have proposed various solutions for combatting the influence of electronics on young people—China and South Korea offer rehabs for tech-addicted teenagers, though Kardaras described them as “draconian prison camps,” where children wear fatigues and perform military drills. The PBS documentary Web Junkies took an in-depth look at these facilities:


Kardaras instead advocates withholding screens from children until their brains are more developed, at roughly 10-12 years of age.

For children who are already addicted, however, a doctor’s visit will not fully solve the problem.  “Once a child has gotten to a hyper-aroused and clinically addicted state, you just can’t lower the thermostat and fix that in a one hour therapy appointment,” Kardaras said.

While he said that tech addiction protocols are not fully in place in the United States, Kardaras personally advocates nature-based camps such as reSTART in Seattle, where children live tech free for 30 to 90 days.


“The antidote to immersion in the digital world is immersion in the natural world,” he said. “The solution to the Matrix is a reality-based treatment.”  Kardaras is stepping up his own advocacy in conjunction with the book’s release—every copy of Glow Kids will include a School Technology Opt-Out Letter, which allows parents to “take back control over their child’s exposure to digital media.”  He and his team are also lobbying for legislation to put warning labels on electronic devices. These labels would warn that excessive screen usage by children can lead to clinical disorders.


“We want to be the Paul Reveres of digital impact on children,” Kardaras concluded."


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Screen Time Associated With Health Behaviors and Outcomes in Adolescents // PubMed, American Journal of Health Behavior

Screen Time Associated With Health Behaviors and Outcomes in Adolescents // PubMed, American Journal of Health Behavior | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |


Objectives: To study the associations of screen time (Internet / video games / television) with health-related behaviors and outcomes in adolescents.

Methods: Regression analyses were performed to assess the associations of screen time with several health-related behaviors and outcomes in 2425 Dutch adolescents.

Results: Screen time was associated with bullying, being bullied, less physical activity, skipping school, alcohol use and unhealthy eating habits. Compulsive and excessive screen times were associated respectively with several psychosocial problems and being overweight.

Conclusions: Screen time was of significant importance to adolescent health. Behavioral interrelatedness caused significant confounding in the studied relations when behaviors were analyzed separately compared to a multi-behavioral approach, which speaks for more multi-behavioral analyses in future studies.


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ANSES Highlights Possible Effect of RF on Cognitive Functions of Children // Radiofréquences : L'ANSES Met en Lumière un Effet Possible Sur Les Fonctions Cognitives Des Enfants // Le Quotidien du M...

ANSES Highlights Possible Effect of RF on Cognitive Functions of Children // Radiofréquences : L'ANSES Met en Lumière un Effet Possible Sur Les Fonctions Cognitives Des Enfants // Le Quotidien du M... | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

"Les radiofréquences ont un « effet possible » sur les fonctions cognitives des enfants de moins de 6 ans, estime l'Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire, alimentation, environnement, travail (ANSES), dans l'avis relatif à l'expertise collective « Exposition aux radiofréquences et santé des enfants », publié ce 8 juillet en réponse à une saisine de 2011 et dans le prolongement des précédents rapports sur les radiofréquences en 2009 et 2013.

Malgré le faible nombre d'études consacrées aux enfants de moins de 6 ans, cette population est très exposée aux radiofréquences, et le sera a fortiori sur la durée, une fois adulte. L'ANSES observe une « forte expansion de l'usage des nouvelles technologies », pour le jeu (tablettes, talkies-walkies, jouets radiocommandés) ou dans une finalité de surveillance (baby-phones), à domicile ou à l'école et dans les autres lieux publics.

Exposés, et vulnérables

Ils sont en outre particulièrement sensibles, en raison du développement en cours de leurs organes et de leurs fonctions physiologiques. « Dans le cas des expositions environnementales, liées à des sources lointaines, la petite taille des enfants (< 1,30 m) peut, par effet de résonance, engendrer des expositions moyennes sur le corps entier plus élevées que pour les adultes », lit-on. Le dépassement du débit d'absorption spécifique (DAS) peut s'élever à 40 % lorsque l'exposition atteint le niveau maximal autorisé pour les adultes.

Les particularités morphologiques, anatomiques, et la nature des tissus des enfants, les rendent aussi plus vulnérables aux expositions localisées (comme le téléphone mobile)."...


Translation of above section: 

"Radio frequencies have a "possible" effect on cognitive function in children under 6 years, says the National Agency of health security, food, environment, work (ANSES), in the opinion on the collective expertise "Exhibition radiofrequency and children's health", released July 8 in response to a referral from 2011 and in line with previous reports on radio frequencies in 2009 and 2013.

Despite the small number of studies on children under 6 years, this population is highly exposed to radio frequencies, and will be even more so over time as an adult. ANSES has been a "boom in the use of new technologies" for the game (tablets, walkie-talkies, radio-controlled toys) or a purpose of surveillance (baby-phones), at home or at school and in other public places.

Exposed and vulnerable

They are also particularly sensitive because of the ongoing development of their bodies and their physiological functions. "In the case of environmental exposures linked to distant sources, the small children (<1.30 m) may, by resonance effect, lead to average exposures over the whole body higher than adults' , reads. Exceeding the specific absorption rate (SAR) can be up to 40% when the exposure reaches the maximum permitted level for adults.

The morphological, anatomical, and the nature of children's tissues, also make them more vulnerable to localized exposures (like mobile phone)."...


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Is 5G Technology Dangerous? Early Data Show a Slight Increase of Tumors in Male Rats Exposed to Cellphone Radiation // LA Times

Is 5G Technology Dangerous? Early Data Show a Slight Increase of Tumors in Male Rats Exposed to Cellphone Radiation // LA Times | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Jim Puzzanghera

"As wireless companies prepare to launch the next generation of service, there are new questions about the possible health risks from radiation emitted by cellphones and the transmitters that carry the signals. 

Concerns about the potential harmful effects of radiofrequency radiation have dogged mobile technology since the first brick-sized cellphones hit the market in the 1980s.

Industry and federal officials have largely dismissed those fears, saying the radiation exposure is minimal and that the devices are safe. Incidences of and deaths from brain cancer have shown little change in recent years despite the explosion in cellphone usage, they note.

But the launch of super-fast 5G technology over the next several years will dramatically increase the number of transmitters sending signals to cellphones and a host of new Internet-enabled devices, including smart appliances and autonomous vehicles. And the move to the new technology comes after unsettling findings from a long-awaited federal government study of the cancer risk from cellphone use.

National Toxicology Program researchers released preliminary data in May that showed small increases in tumors in male rats exposed to cellphone radiation.

The rats were exposed to nine hours of radiation daily, in 10-minutes-on, 10-minutes-off intervals, over their whole bodies for two years. The researchers found increased incidences of rare brain and heart tumors starting at about the federally allowable level of cellphone radiation for brain exposure, with greater incidences at about two and four times those levels. 


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Malignant Brain Tumors the Most Common Cause of Cancer-Related Deaths in Adolescents and Young Adults // American Brain Tumor Association

Malignant Brain Tumors the Most Common Cause of Cancer-Related Deaths in Adolescents and Young Adults // American Brain Tumor Association | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

"Chicago, Ill., February 22, 2016

new report published in the journal Neuro-Oncology and funded by the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) finds that malignant brain tumors are the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in adolescents and young adults aged 15-39 and the most common cancer occurring among 15-19 year olds. 

The 50-page report, which utilized data from the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) from 2008-2012, is the first in-depth statistical analysis of brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors in adolescents and young adults (AYA). Statistics are provided on tumor type, tumor location and age group (15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34 and 35-39) for both malignant and non-malignant brain and CNS tumors. 

“When analyzing data in 5-year age increments, researchers discovered that the adolescent and young adult population is not one group but rather several distinct groups that are impacted by very different tumor types as they move into adulthood,” said Elizabeth Wilson, president and CEO of the American Brain Tumor Association. 

“For these individuals – who are finishing school, pursuing their careers and starting and raising young families – a brain tumor diagnosis is especially cruel and disruptive,” added Wilson. “This report enables us for the first time to zero-in on the types of tumors occurring at key intervals over a 25-year time span to help guide critical research investments and strategies for living with a brain tumor that reflect the patient’s unique needs.”

Although brain and CNS tumors are the most common type of cancer among people aged 15-19, the report shows how other cancers become more common with age. By ages 34-39 years, brain and CNS tumors are the third most common cancer after breast and thyroid cancer.

“What’s interesting is the wide variability in the types of brain tumors diagnosed within this age group which paints a much different picture than what we see in adults or in pediatric patients,” explained the study’s senior author Jill Barnholtz-Sloan, Ph.D., associate professor, Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Scientific Principal Investigator for CBTRUS.

“For example, the most common tumor types observed in adults are meningiomas and glioblastomas, but there is much more diversity in the common tumor types observed in the adolescent and young adult population. You also clearly see a transition from predominantly non-malignant and low-grade tumors to predominantly high-grade tumors with increasing age,” Barnholtz-Sloan said. 

There are nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. living with brain and CNS tumors and approximately 15 percent of these tumors occurred in the AYA population during the 2008-2012 time frame analyzed in this report. Approximately 10,617 brain and CNS tumors are diagnosed among adolescents and young adults each year and are the cause of approximately 434 deaths annually. 

“The American Brain Tumor Association’s recognition of this understudied population, and their commitment to data and information sharing should be applauded,” added Barnholtz-Sloan. “There are clearly unique characteristics of the 15-39 age group that we need to more comprehensively understand and the information in the ABTA report starts that important dialogue.” 

For link to press release, click on title above or here: 

The full report is available at

To learn more or access additional statistics, go to

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Study Finds Adaptive Learning Education Software Often Doesn't Help Students Learn More // The Hechinger Report

Study Finds Adaptive Learning Education Software Often Doesn't Help Students Learn More // The Hechinger Report | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Jill Barshay

"Even proponents of educational technology admit that a lot of software sold to schools isn’t very good. But they often highlight the promise of so-called “adaptive learning” software, in which complex algorithms react to how a student answers questions, and tailor instruction to each student. The computer recommends different lessons to different students, based upon what they already know and what they still need to work on.


Wonderful in theory, but does it work in practice?

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sought to find out, and gave money to 14 colleges and universities to test some of the most popular  “adaptive learning” software in the marketplace, including products from a Pearson-Knewton joint venture, from a unit of McGraw-Hill Education called ALEKS and from the Open Learning Initiative. Most of the universities combined the software with human instruction, but a few courses were delivered entirely online. Almost 20,000 college students and 300 instructors participated in the experiment over the course of three terms between 2013 and 2015. It’s probably the largest and most rigorous study of adaptive learning to date. Then Gates hired SRI International, a nonprofit research institute, to analyze the data. (The Gates Foundation is among the funders of the  Hechinger Report.) This story also appeared in U.S. News & World Report.


What SRI found was sobering. In most cases, students didn’t get higher grades from using adaptive-learning software, nor were they more likely to pass a course than in a traditional face-to-face class. In some courses the researchers found that students were learning more from adaptive-learning software, but even in those cases, the positive impact tended to be “modest”. The report is here.


“I wouldn’t characterize our report as cynical, just cautious,” said Barbara Means, director of the Center for Technology in Learning at SRI International and one of three authors of the report."...


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Catherine Steiner-Adair on Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age 

Questioning the Safety of Our Children’s Exposure to Wireless
Radiation – An Important Discussion for Parents
Wednesday, June 10th, 2015, Framingham, MA
In this video, Dr. Devra Davis introduces Catherine Steiner-Adair. This is Part 1.
Everyone included in this talk (will be in other videos):
• Dr. Devra Davis, Ph.D – Founder of the Environmental Health Trust and Award-Winning scientist and author of Disconnect--the Truth About Cell Phone Radiation
• Catherine Steiner-Adair – Ed. D, Clinical Psychologist, Consultant, Speaker, and Author of The Big Disconnect: Protecting Childhood and Family Relationships in the Digital Age
• Janet Newton. President of EMR Policy Institute
• Dr. R.S. Sharma, Senior Deputy Director General & Scientist – G, Indian Council of Medical Research. A leader of the Indian federal government research on the public health and environmental impacts of mobile phones and other wireless devices
• Frank Clegg, CEO of Canadians for Safe Technology (C4ST) and former longtime president of Microsoft Canada 


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Study Suggests Wifi Exposure More Dangerous to Kids Than Previously Thought // Forbes

Study Suggests Wifi Exposure More Dangerous to Kids Than Previously Thought // Forbes | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Robert Szczerba

"Most parents would be concerned if their children had significant exposure to lead, chloroform, gasoline fumes, or the pesticide DDT.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IRIC), part of the United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO), classifies these and more than 250 other agents as Class 2B Carcinogens – possibly carcinogenic to humans.  Another entry on that same list is radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (RF/EMF).  The main sources of RF/EMF are radios, televisions, microwave ovens, cell phones, and Wi-Fi devices.

Uh-oh. Not another diatribe about the dangers of our modern communication systems?  Obviously, these devices and the resulting fields are extremely (and increasingly) common in modern society.  Even if we want to, we can’t eliminate our exposure, or our children’s, to RF/EMF.  But, we may need to limit that exposure, when possible.

That was among the conclusions of a controversial survey article published in the Journal of Microscopy and Ultrastructure entitled “Why children absorb more microwave radiation than adults: The consequences.”  From an analysis of others studies, the authors argue that children and adolescents are at considerable risk from devices that radiate microwaves (and that adults are at a lower, but still significant, risk). "....


[Image credit: Adapted from Intel Free Press via Wikipedia]

Do the benefits of immersive learning applications outweigh the dangers of increased cellular and Wi-Fi exposure for children? 

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Lo And Behold: Reveries of the Connected World // Official Trailer 


"Legendary master filmmaker Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams) examines the past, present and constantly evolving future of the Internet in Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World. Working with NETSCOUT, a world leader in-real time service assurance and cybersecurity, which came aboard as a producer and led him into a new world, Herzog conducted original interviews with cyberspace pioneers and prophets such as PayPal and Tesla co-founder Elon Musk, Internet protocol inventor Bob Kahn, and famed hacker Kevin Mitnick.

These provocative conversations reveal the ways in which the online world has transformed how virtually everything in the real world works, from business to education, space travel to healthcare, and the very heart of how we conduct our personal relationships. In the words of executive producer Jim McNiel, “It’s a journey even Werner, with his immense imagination and inquisitive mind, didn’t expect. Unless you have lived in the technology space, you don’t yet fully appreciate what dwells there.” Herzog adds: “It is one of the biggest revolutions we as humans are experiencing.”

See it in theatres, On Demand, Amazon Video and iTunes August 19th. 

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Privacy Scandal Haunts Pokemon Go’s CEO // The Intercept

Privacy Scandal Haunts Pokemon Go’s CEO // The Intercept | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Sam Biddle

"Within two weeks of its release last month, Pokemon Go, the augmented reality gaming sensation, surpassed, by one estimate, Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix in its day-to-day popularity on Android phones. Over on Apple devices, the game was downloaded more times in its first week than any app that came before it.


The suddenly vast scale of Pokemon Go adoption is matched by the game’s aggressive use of personal information. Unlike, say, Twitter, Facebook, or Netflix, the app requires uninterrupted use of your location and camera — a “trove of sensitive user data,” as one privacy watchdog put it in a concerned letter to federal regulators.

All the more alarming, then, that Pokemon Go is run by a man whose team literally drove one of the greatest privacy debacles of the internet era, in which Google vehicles, in the course of photographing neighborhoods for the Street View feature of the company’s online maps, secretly copied digital traffic from home networks, scooping up passwords, email messages, medical records, financial information, and audio and video files.

Before Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke was the man behind an unfathomably popular smartphone goldmine, he ran Google’s Geo division, responsible for nearly everything locational at a time when the search company was turning into much more, expanding away from cataloging the web and towards cataloging every city block on the planet. Hanke landed at Google after his wildly popular (and admittedly very neat) CIA-funded company Keyhole, which collected geographic imagery, was acquired in 2004 and relaunched as Google Earth in 2005. By 2007, Hanke was running basically everything at Google that involved a map. In a 2007 Wired profile, (“Google Maps Is Changing the Way We See the World”) Hanke was lauded as a pioneer (“Led by John Hanke, Google Earth and Google Maps are delivering cartography tools to the masses”) and deified, appearing in photo with an enormous globe across his shoulders.


It was an exciting time for Google. Google Maps had become indispensable, dumping the likes of MapQuest into obsolescence, and Google had great ambitions for turning surroundings into revenue. But before Google could sell the world back to its inhabitants, it needed to digitize it; around the world, fleets of sensor-laden Google cars roamed cities, back roads, and highways, snapping photos of buildings, posts, trees, and other features. Each vehicle was labeled a Street View Car by Google, a reference to the Street View feature their pictures enabled on Google Maps. Google shared Street View imagery widely via an application programming interface, or API, and among the apps that owe a debt of gratitude to Street View Cars is Pokemon Go.


Then, in April 2010, Germany’s data protection commissioner announced that Google vehicles had been illegally collecting Wi-Fi data. Further regulatory scrutiny and corroborating news reports eked out the truth: As they drove, Street View Cars were swallowing up traffic from unencrypted wireless networks. Germany’s federal privacy czar, Peter Schaar, said he was “horrified” and “appalled.”


It eventually emerged that, in the U.S. alone, this collection went on for more than two years. The scandal, referred to as the “Wi-Spy” case as it was unfolding, resulted in:

  • Findings that Wi-Fi traffic collection was illegal by authorities in theUnited Kingdom, FranceCanadaSouth Korea, and New Zealand.
  • A bruising Federal Communications Commission investigation, which followed a director’s comment that Google’s activity “clearly infringes on consumer privacy” and which resulted in a $25,000 fine.
  • A Department of Justice wiretapping investigation.
  • A federal class-action case against Google, ongoing to this day, in which a district and appeals court have both ruled, against the company’s arguments, that the sort of data Google accessed is protected from interception under the U.S. Wiretap Act. (The Supreme Court has declined to hear Google’s appeal.)
  • Lawsuits brought by authorities in Spain.
  • Regulator intervention in Italy and Hungary.
  • And a government investigation in Germany.

(The Electronic Privacy Information Center, an advocacy group and vocal critic of Google’s during the Street View scandal, has a good overview of these actions.)"...


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National Toxicology Program: $25 Million Research Study Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer //

National Toxicology Program: $25 Million Research Study Finds Cell Phone Radiation Causes Cancer // | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

Preliminary Summary (to be updated after the press conference later 5/27/2016)


By Dr. Joel Moskowitz (Director of U.C. Berkeley Center for Family and Community Health)


"Last night the National Toxicology Program (NTP) of the National Institutes of Health issued the first in a series of reports that contains partial findings from their long-awaited, $25 million study of the cancer risk from cell phone radiation. This report summarizes the study of long-term exposure to cell phone radiation on rats. The report on mice will be issued at a later date.


One in 18 male rats exposed to cell phone radiation developed cancer (30 of 540 or 5.5%).  No cancers were found in the 90 male rats that were not exposed to cell phone radiation. The two types of cancer in the exposed rats were glioma and schwannoma. Both types have been found in human studies of cell phone use.


This well-executed study is likely a "game-changer" as it proves that non-ionizing, radiofrequency radiation can cause cancer without heating tissue.


The risk of cancer increased with the intensity of the cell phone radiation whereas no cancer was found in the sham controls—rats kept in the same apparatus but without any exposure to cell phone radiation.


In contrast to the male rats, in female rats the incidence of cancer among those exposed to cell phone radiation was not statistically significant.


The researchers believe that the cancers found in this experimental study were caused by the exposure to cell phone radiation as none of the control animals developed cancer. The researchers controlled the temperature of the animals to prevent heating effects so the cancers were caused by a non-thermal mechanism.


One of two types of second-generation (2G) cell phone technology, GSM and CDMA, were employed in this study. The frequency of the signals was 900 MHz. The rats were exposed to cell phone radiation every 10 minutes followed by a 10-minute break for 18 hours, resulting in nine hours a day of exposure over a two-year period. Both forms of cell phone radiation were found to increase cancer risk in the male rats.


Glioma is a common type of brain cancer in humans. It affects about 25,000 people per year in the U.S. and is the most common cause of cancer death in adults 15-39 years of age. Several major studies have found increased risk of glioma in humans associated with long-term, heavy cell phone use. 


In humans, schwannoma is a nonmalignant tumor that grows in Schwann cells that cover a nerve which connects to the brain. Numerous studies have found an increased risk of this rare tumor in heavy cell phone users. In the rat study, malignant schwannoma was found in Schwann cells in the heart.


For more information about this study see


The NTP report is available at


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Samsung Gear VR: Virtual Reality Tech May Have Nasty Side Effects

Samsung Gear VR: Virtual Reality Tech May Have Nasty Side Effects | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

By Tanya Lewis
"Samsung’s virtual reality smartphone comes with a long disclaimer about possible health effects. How does the technology affect the brain?"


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Even Apple Is Acknowledging That The “iPads in Education” Fad is Coming To An End // Quartz

Even Apple Is Acknowledging That The “iPads in Education” Fad is Coming To An End // Quartz | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |
By Marta Cooper

“A disaster.”


“Largely gaming devices.”


“Students use them as toys. Word processing is near to impossible.”



These were the findings from a survey of high school students and teachers in a district in the US state of Maine on how effective iPads were for learning and teaching. Almost 90% of teachers and 74% of students preferred laptops over tablets, according to the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal.


Even Apple has bent to the will of students and teachers. Following the poll, the tech giant and Maine’s Department of Education are now offering schools in the state the chance to trade in iPads ordered in 2013 for new MacBook Air laptops, at no additional cost.


“If we had known how big a transition it would have been [to switch] from laptops to iPads we would have proactively done some good work with teachers to make the transition easier for them,” Mike Muir, the policy director of the Maine Learning Through Technology Initiative, told Quartz.


Muir said that Apple was “disappointed” by the survey’s results. According to one of the teachers surveyed, tablets provided “no educational function in the classroom.” More than 1,700 laptops will be delivered to two schools in the state later this year. (We have reached out to Apple for comment.)


Integrating technology and learning has been a bumpy ride. Last year, a school district in Los Angeles, the second-largest in the United States, aborted a plan to hand out iPads to every student and educator in the area. Launched in 2013, the $1.3-billion project was marked by poor planning and technical glitches. Other districts in Texas and North Carolina have also shelved their iPad learning initiatives.


One teacher in Virginia thought giving her third graders an iPad would enhance their learning, but found that, for all the device’s benefits in terms of adding more varied activities to lessons, it undermined her pupils’ conversation and communication skills."...


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How Companies Learn What Children Secretly Want // The Conversation

How Companies Learn What Children Secretly Want // The Conversation | Screen Time, Wireless, and EMF Research |

"If you have children, you are likely to worry about their safety – you show them safe places in your neighborhood and you teach them to watch out for lurking dangers.  But you may not be aware of some online dangers to which they are exposed through their schools.


There is a good chance that people and organizations you don’t know are collecting information about them while they are doing their schoolwork. And they may be using this information for purposes that you know nothing about.


In the U.S. and around the world, millions of digital data points are collected daily from children by private companies that provide educational technologies to teachers and schools. Once data are collected, there is little in law or policy that prevents companies from using the information for almost any purpose they wish.


Our research explores how corporate entities use their involvement with schools to gather and use data about students. We find that often these companies use the data they collect to market products, such as junk food, to children.


Here’s how student data are being collected


Almost all U.S. middle and high school students use mobile devices. A third of such devices are issued by their schools. Even when using their own devices for their schoolwork, students are being encouraged to use applications and software, such as those with which they can create multimedia presentations, do research, learn to type or communicate with each other and with their teachers.


When children work on their assignments, unknown to them, the software and sites they use are busy collecting data.


For example, “Adaptive learning” technologies record students' keystrokes, answers and response times. On-line surveys collect information about students' personalities. Communication software stores the communications between students, parents and teachers; and presentation software stores students' work and their communications about it.


In addition, teachers and schools may direct children to work on branded apps or websites that may collect, or allow third parties to collect, IP addresses and other information from students. This could include the ads children click on, what they download, what games they play, and so on.

How student data are used

When “screen time” is required for school, parents cannot limit or control it. Companies use this time to find out more about children’s preferences, so they they can target children with advertising and other content with a personalized appeal.


Children might see ads while they are working in educational apps. In other cases, data might be collected while students complete their assignments. Information might also be stored and used to better target them later.

For instance, a website might allow a third party to collect information, including the type of browser used, the time and date, and the subject of advertisements clicked or scrolled over by a child. The third party could then use that information to target the child with advertisements later.


We have found that companies use the data to serve ads (for food, clothing, games, etc.) to the children via their computers. This repeated, personalized advertising is designed specifically to manipulate children to want and buy more things.


Indeed, over time this kind of advertising can threaten children’s physical and psychological well-being.


Consequences of targeted advertising

Food is the most heavily advertised class of products to children. The heavy digital promotion of “junk” food is associated with negative health outcomes such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes.

Additionally, advertising, regardless of the particular product it may sell, also “sells” to children the idea that products can make them happy.


Research shows that children who buy into this materialist worldview are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and other psychological distress.

Teenagers who adopt this worldview are more likely to smoke, drink and skip school. One set of studies showed that advertising makes children feel far from their ideals for themselves in terms of how good a life they lead and what their bodies look like.


The insecurity and dissatisfaction may lead to negative behaviors such as compulsive buying and disordered eating.


Aren’t there laws to protect children’s privacy?


Many bills bearing on student privacy have been introduced in the past several years in Congress and state legislatures. Several of them have been enacted into laws.


Additionally, nearly 300 software companies signed a self-regulatory Student Privacy Pledge to safeguard student privacy regarding the collection, maintenance and use of student personal information. However, they aren’t sufficient. And here’s why:


First of all, most laws, including the Student Privacy Pledge, focus on Personally Identifiable Information (PII). PII includes information that can be used to determine a person’s identity, such as that person’s name, social security number or biometric information.

Companies can address privacy concerns by making digital data anonymous (i.e., not including PII in the data that are collected, stored or shared). However, data can easily be “de-anonymized.” And, children don’t need to be identified with PII in order for their online behavior to be tracked.


Second, bills designed to protect student privacy sometimes expressly preserve the ability of an operator to use student information for adaptive or personalized learning purposes. In order to personalize the assignments that a program gives a student, it must by necessity track that student’s behavior.


This weakens the privacy protections the bills otherwise offer. Although it protects companies that collect data for adaptive learning purposes only, it also provides a loophole that enables data collection.

Finally, the Student Privacy Pledge has no real enforcement mechanism. As it is a voluntary pledge, many companies may scrupulously abide by the promises in the pledge, but many others may not."


What to do?

The first step toward protecting children is to know that that such targeted marketing is going on while children do their schoolwork. And that it is powerful.


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