do cause Cancer
THE MOSS REPORTS - Sept.
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This newsletter is one of the few places where
scientific controversies and official contradictions are routinely examined in a truthful, objective way.
Abstracts concerning the safety of devices such as cell phones that
emit radiofrequency energy fields -
Do Radiofrequency Energy Fields Cause Cancer?
Do these energy fields cause or
predispose to the development of cancer? Controversy still swirls around the issue. While some
researchers have concluded that the risk is minimal, others are less sanguine.
A weak but statistically
significant link has been established between residential exposure to energy emissions from nearby power lines
and the development of a small percentage of childhood leukemias, for example (Greenland 2000; Ahlbom 2000).
Researchers have repeatedly
demonstrated that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields are capable of disrupting physiological processes at the
cellular level, leading, among other things,
. . . to the accumulation of free
radicals within the cell, and have proposed that such disturbances may in turn create conditions in which
malignant change can more easily take place.
While the regulatory agencies
charged with protecting the public’s safety insist that there is nothing to worry about, research suggests
cause for concern and this research is still in progressing.
All too often the attitude of these
agencies can suggest at best a wilful complacency, and at worst a stubborn and paternalistic refusal to
acknowledge even the need for a continued dialog on the subject.
DNA damage possible
Exposure to radiofrequency energy brings about damage to DNA
indirectly, through subtle physiological effects on cellular functions. It has been established, for
example, that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can induce a wide variety of physiological changes in cell
membranes, signaling pathways, cell growth cycle regulation, and other metabolic processes within the cell.
Epigenetic changes to genes
It has also been suggested that
radiofrequency electromagnetic fields may cause what are called 'epigenetic’ changes. Epigenetic changes
are minute alterations in gene expression, which are brought about by environmental influences. Such
alterations in the settings of individual genes can have far-reaching results – as, for example, when a
protective gene is deactivated, or a dormant gene switched on.
Epigenetic changes, in other words,
even though they do not involve direct damage to the DNA, can cause radical alterations in gene expression and
cellular functions that can last a lifetime, and that may result in a significantly increased risk of an
individual developing cancer and other diseases.
Effects on Melatonin
electromagnetic field exposure may possibly exert a disruptive effect on the body’s hormonal systems, with
wide-ranging consequences. As researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have
shown, RF EMF is capable of suppressing pineal gland production of the hormone, melatonin. Melatonin may
exert a protective effect against cancer, and depressed melatonin levels may in turn predispose towards the
development of cancer (Davis 2001).
Other subtle changes in metabolic
norms may also be induced by radiofrequency emissions. This summer, Turkish scientists at Suleyman Demirel
University published a paper showing that exposure to 900 MHz electrical fields (the kind typically emitted by
cellular telephones) suppresses production of TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and thyroid hormones in rats
They have also shown that long term
RF EMF exposure can lead to chronically increased levels of free radicals, which, coupled with a concomitant
decrease in key antioxidant systems in the brain, can lead to a heightened risk of brain cancer.
Interestingly, these researchers found that the increased risk of brain cancer could be substantially offset by
administration of the dietary supplement, Gingko Biloba (Ilhan 2004).
A weak but consistent association
between exposure to RF EMF and the development of childhood leukemia has been demonstrated. In 1999, the
US National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) concluded that although the evidence was not
strong, there were still reasons for caution.
The NIEHS rationale, according to
its own website, was that "no individual epidemiological study provided convincing evidence linking
magnetic field exposure with childhood leukemia, but the overall pattern of results for some methods of
measuring exposure suggested a weak association between increasing exposure to EMF and increasing risk of
The small number of cases in these
studies made it impossible to firmly demonstrate this association. However, the fact that similar results
had been observed in studies of different populations using a variety of study designs supported this
Clearly therefore, even though the
association between RF EMF and disease is still very much under investigation, there are definite grounds for
Scientific Studies do Find a Link
While many scientists [still] dismiss the possibility that RF EMFs
can cause cancer, others disagree. Briefly, here are just three of the current and recent studies that
have indicated a link between radiofrequency electromagnetic fields and malignancy.
In the eyes of some researchers, in
fact, "there is a growing amount of evidence about the harmful effects of EMFs [electromagnetic fields,
ed.] on the human body, the most dangerous of which is the possible carcinogenic effect." So wrote
Israeli scientists in reviewing the overall field in the spring of 2005 (Beniashvili 2005).
... pro-industry researchers
would on the whole be less likely than more independent scientists to warn of the potential risks of EMF
exposure, so the fact that these researchers acknowledge the possibility of a breast cancer/EMF link is very
... in a meta-analysis
performed at the University of Cologne, Germany, Prof. Thomas C. Erren found a 12 percent increased risk of
cancer in women and a 37 percent increase in men that seemed attributable to EMF exposure [from electromagnetic
field exposure emanating from power lines]. Yet, like most scientists in the field, he adds a note of
caution, noting "probable misclassification of exposure and the possible misclassification of the disease
> > > > >
Scandinavian researchers have
identified an increased risk for acoustic neuroma (i.e., a benign tumor of the eighth cranial nerve) in cell
phone users, and a slightly increased risk of malignant brain tumors such as astrocytoma and meningioma on the
same side of the brain as the cell phone was habitually held. However, the authors of this latter study
have acknowledged some methodological concerns, and further investigations are planned in order to determine
whether such an association can be definitively established with statistical significance. (Hardell 2004
Most recently, the aforementioned
Dr. Djemal Beniashvili and other scientists at the Edith Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel postulated a link
between exposure to power frequency fields and breast cancer in elderly women. They made an extensive
study of medical records extending over a period of 26 years, involving the analysis of over 200,000 biopsy and
surgery samples. They then compared the breast cancer rates in elderly women from an earlier period
(1978-1990) to a more recent period (1991-2003), which has been characterized by a much more extensive use of
personal computers (more than 3 hours a day), mobile/cell telephones, television sets, air conditioners and
other household electrical appliances.
Among the elderly women who developed breast cancer in the first time
frame, 19.5% were regularly exposed to power frequency fields. But in the more modern period 51.1% were so
exposed, mainly through the use of personal computers. The authors conclude: "There was a
statistically significant influence of EMF [electromagnetic fields, ed.] on the formation of all observed
epithelial mammary tumors in Group II." This represented a more than two-fold increase, which was
considered highly significant (Beniashvili 2005).
Of course, many other environmental factors have changed since the
period 1978-1990, but increased environmental exposure to power frequency fields is among the more conspicuous
changes to have taken place.
The senior author of the Israeli paper [mentioned], Dr. Itzhak
Zusman, is himself the author of 139 PubMed-listed articles, 80 of which relate to cancer. S. Ozen, who
co-authored the paper on EMFs and thyroid function, is similarly well established, with 212 PubMed-listed papers
to his credit.
What To Do
In this, as in other matters, I think the Precautionary Principle
applies. If the consequences of an action concerning the use of technology are unknown, but are possibly
highly negative, then it is better to limit exposure rather than risk the uncertain, but possibly very negative,
I ... limit my exposure to ... electromagnetic fields. And I
take supplemental antioxidants with the intention of reducing free radical damage.
Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.
Tim Leitch recommends daily use of Usana Health Sciences "
Mega Antioxidants" and "Multi Minerals.
Phone Tim for access to these on +64 9 4491750