Cell to Cell: Is Cell Phone Technology Harming Us? | General Wellness | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
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Cell to Cell: Is Cell Phone Technology Harming Us? 

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The Missing Piece We All Have
“You can talk all you want about the data, but that’s not how people get the wake-up call.” This is what Levitt has learned from her extensive experience speaking about emr to the public. The science itself, and the many variables in the studies, are too complex for most people to wade through, including health professionals. “Electromagnetics has been the purview of physicists and engineers. Now it’s the bioelectromagnetics specialists. It’s certainly not a part of education in medicine. Medical experts know virtually nothing about it.”

Levitt braved the thick of bioelectromagnetics herself out of fascination. “It’s where the living and nonliving merge: cell division, genetics, immune systems, wellness paradigms—these all have electromagnetic components. In fact, we are electromagnetic organisms,” she explains, “and that’s the missing component. When people understand that, it wakes them up to the potential danger of the technology.”

Kids learn in biology that cells orchestrate their daily affairs by using electrically charged particles called ions. Calcium is an example: its tightly-controlled, lightening-quick movement in and out of cells, and to different regions within them, is absolutely essential to keep a heart beating, a nervous system signaling, and muscles moving—to name a few of calcium’s functions. Its movements, and those of other ions like sodium and potassium, create electrical fields and currents in our tissues and along the spinal cord. And magnetic fields are generated by electric currents. We are electromagnetic beings.

We also interact every day with emr in the world around us. Visible light is an example: it moves through the tissues of the eyes and illuminates the retina, where its energy changes the structure of light-absorbing molecules. Through several additional steps involving ions and electrical gradients, the brain receives a message about what’s going on. This process also stimulates the brain’s production of serotonin—the chemical that the most popular antidepressants, and “light therapy” for seasonal affective disorder, act to elevate.

The ability of some types of emr to penetrate tissues has made them useful in medical imaging: x-rays (radiograms), mris, and ultrasound are examples. emr is also used in the medical arena to intentionally destroy tissue, as in radiation treatment for cancer or laser surgery. In the kitchen (as well as in surgery), microwaves penetrate plant and animal tissue we call food and transfer their energy to water molecules; in this way, microwave ovens essentially heat food to boiling from the inside out.

So it seems quite reasonable and rather unfortunate that the energy released by cell phones should interact with us. It penetrates the skull and other tissues, and does, in fact, heat the head a fraction of a degree. This “thermal reaction” has gotten special billing because it’s a measurable and predicted response to microwave exposure. Some people claim that all rf effects are thermal, and rf can therefore be dismissed as harmless.
But it’s the non-thermal effects, like those described earlier, that have people either worried or in denial. Cancer clusters have occurred near emr sources, says Levitt and others. “Five neighbors adjacent to a cable tv tower that used to be in California quarry have cancer,” says Dan Schneider of Woodstock. Maybe coincidence, but a haunting reality about cancer is that the majority of people who are diagnosed with it lack any of the currently recognized risk factors. So what’s causing it? Something we’re not yet keeping tabs on.

Towering Over People
At the end of January, Woodstock residents gathered to continue educating themselves about something that every community is going to deal with, if it hasn’t already: where to put the next cellular tower. Hosted by Hudson Valley Technology and Commerce (hvtc), the forum included talks by Levitt, and by environmental engineer and radio frequency specialist, Raymond Kazevich, and Scenic Hudson’s senior regional planner Jeffrey Anzevino, both of whom contributed chapters to Cell Towers.

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