Do cell phones pose a health risk?

Posted on Thu, May. 25, 2006

Herald Staff Writer

They're all but attached to the businessman walking through the airport, the teenage girl window shopping at the mall and the expectant mother in the waiting room of her doctor's office.

They're cell phones, and they're taking over. Like mosquitoes in summer, we can't get away from them, even though some think they pose a bigger health hazard than those pesky insects.

Radiation that comes from cell phones is more permeating and more dangerous than smoking or industrial pollution, but most people are in denial because radiation is invisible, said Jaclyn Tredway.

Tredway, who's been a teacher and a nurse, now administers holistic massages as part of her Body & Soul Wellness Island in Bradenton's Village of the Arts.

"I've always been in a mode of discovering, promoting, implementing things that have a positive effect on people's well-being," Tredway said.

It was with that motivation that she in January attended a conference in Carlsbad, Calif., where she learned about electropollution and, for the first time, heard about a public health scientist's research on cell phones and the danger of their electromagnetic fields.

However, not everyone agrees that there is a problem. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association in April issued a release stating that there's no scientific evidence showing a connection between cell phone use and adverse health effects.

The FDA said there's no proof that they don't. Either way, cell phones emit low levels of radio frequency when they're in use and very low levels when they're on and in standby mode.

"I had no idea until that conference how big a problem it is," Tredway said. In California, she and about 200 others saw George Carlo get emotional about the health risks associated with cell phone use. It's a topic that Carlo is passionate about.

An epidemiologist, he began a multiple-year, $28.5-million study in 1993 to determine whether cell phones are harmful to our health. The research was funded by the cell phone industry.

After conducting four years of testing and finding nothing out of the ordinary, Carlo started doing biofield testing, Tredway said. "That's when everything hit the fan."

A person's biofield is a part of wellness that was discovered about 12 years ago, Tredway said. It's an aura, an invisible halo around the body, according to balancingcenter.com. The biofield is intensified when a person is happy, and is diminished when the person is going through a difficult time, the Web site said. Tredway, a cell phone user who said using one is a way of life, wears a copper-colored medallion on a black string around her neck to strengthen her biofield.

In researching cell phones' affect on a person's biofield, Carlo discovered that cell phone use is dangerous and refused to go on with the study, Tredway said. He found that cell phone radiation disrupts pacemakers, seeps through children's skulls, weakens the blood-brain barrier - which controls the movement of substances from the blood into the central nervous system - and inflicts "genetic damage that is a known diagnostic marker for cancer," according to EMF-Health.com.

While Carlo found risks associated with cell phone radiation, he didn't have any solutions for the problem, Tredway said. Then he partnered with BioPro Technology, a company with the mission of enhancing the quality of life the world over, and formed the Safe Wireless Initiative in the hopes of exposing the hazards of cell phone use to the public.

"The mobile phone industry continues to deny the existence of a problem, and governments around the world continue to sort out both legal and ethical entanglements with the industry that render them impotent in terms of protecting consumers. Now, new science clearly shows that a radio frequency radiation related disease epidemic has begun - the brunt of which will be borne by our children and grandchildren," he's quoted as saying on SafeWireless.org.

Electropollution is caused not only by cell phone radiation, but also by radiation from microwaves and the electricity running through our homes, Tredway said. "We're swimming in this sea of electropollution."

Tiffany St. Martin, features writer, can be reached at 745-7080, Ext. 2035, or tstmartin@HeraldToday.com



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