Should Your Cell Phone Have A Warning Label?
March 2nd, 2014 by Holly Cornish
Senator Josh Green of Kona, Ka’u says YES!
He recently introduced Senate Bill 2571 requiring that cell phones sold in Hawaii come with a health warning—similar to the one displayed on cigarettes! Do cell phones really pose that much of a threat? Read on….
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Senator Green, chair of the Health Committee, said he introduced the bill so that consumers would be directed to warnings the manufacturers already provide. “I’m not alarmist,” he said. “It’s what the companies themselves say.”
The suggested warning label would read as follows:
“To reduce exposure to radiation that may be hazardous to your health,
please follow the enclosed safety guidelines.”
This was a modified version of the warning originally introduced, which read:
“This device emits electromagnetic
radiation, exposure to which may cause
brain cancer. Users, especially children
and pregnant women, should keep this
away from the head and body.”
The Senate Committee on Health and Technology and the Committee on Arts voted in support of the shorter, watered-down version.
As proposed, the label would cover nearly a third of the back of a cell phone! But Green said he is open to the idea of reducing the label size.
Cell phone studies paint a murky picture
The senator’s bill is an example of continued efforts to address concerns about the link between cell phone radiation and cancer. But he’s no lone wolf…
In an earlier story (Issue #90), I told you about California businessman Alan Marks. In his 2011 CNN interview1, he said he was convinced that his malignant brain tumor was tied to radiation exposure over 20 years of cell phone use.
Marks pressured lawmakers to provide exactly the type of warning label that Senator Green is suggesting for phones sold in Hawaii.
And the medical and scientific communities are continuing their efforts to study the cell phone/cancer risk as a way to possibly influence policy.
Although some studies reporting on cancer incidence related to radio frequency (RF) radiation have presented negative or inconsistent results—continued research has uncovered some troubling findings.
Here are two such examples reported by Natural News in 2013:
- Brain cancer—A long-term Swedish study found that people who used cell phones and cordless phones for more than a year ran a 70 percent greater risk of developing brain cancer compared to those who used the devices for a year or less.
For those who used these phones for more than 25 years—the risk of brain cancer increased by a whopping 300 percent!
The research team found that brain cancer risk was highest on the side of the head with the greatest exposure to radio frequency radiation; that is, the side where people typically held their phones!
- Breast cancer—Dr. Lisa Bailey, a former president of the American Cancer Society’s California Division and one of California’s top breast surgeons, led a research team that studied four young women.
The participants were aged from 21 to 39 and had multifocal invasive breast cancer. Now here’s the strange part…
All the patients developed tumors in areas of their breasts nearest to where they carried their cell phones!
In some cases the women held cell phones in a bra or pocket for up to 10 hours per day for several years. And NONE of these breast cancer patients had a family history of breast cancer.
Four patients don’t make a significant study. Not even close. But maybe it’s more than coincidence these women developed cancer in areas closest to where they often held their cell phones,
Take steps to protect yourself
from cell phone radiation!
According to the National Cancer Institute, a cell phone’s antenna is its main source of RF radiation.
Newer cell phones have the antenna in the handset, which you typically hold against your head when talking.
It follows that the closer the antenna is to your head… the greater your exposure to RF energy. Conversely, the amount of RF energy you absorb decreases significantly as you increase your distance from the antenna.
Some folks use headsets with their cell phones as a means to distance themselves from the RF radiation. But John Coates, founder of RF Safe—a manufacturer of air tube headsets—said ordinary headsets use wire in the earpiece.
He warns that this wire may also deliver electromagnetic radiation directly to your head!
Coates said his Air-tube Headset lets users talk privately or enjoy listening to music without exposing their brains to microwave radiation. His firm also provides a Flip Case Radiation Shield that provides a barrier between the user and cell phone whenever the front of the phone is facing them. I don’t know whether this device is effective at shielding you… just passing it along.
Another option is to use your phone’s speaker feature to avoid continuously holding the device against your head. And yet another option—my favorite—it simply to spend less time on the phone. I marvel at how many people go around with these things glued to their heads every minute—in the car, in the supermarket, walking down the street. There’s a lot to be said for just being fully present where you are.
Something else you can do to avoid cancer is to eat a delicious tropical oil that’s great for cooking or even using as a spread in place of butter. You may find this easier than cutting back on cell phone use. If you missed this article in our last issue, check it out below.
The Scent of Cancer
This Reeks of Long-Term Health Problems
All the efforts to lace our household products with sweet-smelling synthetics are backfiring. As many of us have found out firsthand, perfumes and fragrances top the charts when it come to triggering allergies and irritations.
Maybe you relate to the headaches, watery eyes, and difficulty breathing that come when you get too close to a manufactured scent. Those reactions — while disagreeable enough — are warning signs of a bigger problem — cancer. Keep reading and I’ll show you what I mean. . .
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The perfume industry’s products are riddled with toxic ingredients. Research increasingly links those toxins to cancer. Just some of the harmful reactions they trigger are allergies, sperm damage, reproductive toxicity, and hormone disruption. Hormone disruption in particular is linked to certain cancers.
Trade secrets more valuable
than human health
As of now, there’s no requirement that perfume makers let us know the ingredients in their fragrances. The industry calls this “brand protection.” What’s worse is that the FDA looks the other way. According to them, non-disclosure is fine because consumers are not “adversely affected.” They make this assumption on the grounds that we don’t eat perfumes. Yet these substances can enter the body when we inhale them or rub them on our skin as perfumes, creams, soaps and so forth.
The fragrance industry uses up to 3,000 ingredients in different scent concoctions. Most of those ingredients are synthetic. At least 900 have been identified as toxic, according to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.
In 1998, Scientific Instrument Services released one of the first analyses to ever look at toxicity in perfumes. They studied six popular brands. Incredibly, over 800 ingredients were identified in each perfume — ingredients that included an alarming range of volatile organic chemicals. Two of the biggest offending ingredients are phthalate esters and synthetic musks, both toxic man-made chemicals.
It’s as bad as second-hand smoke
This issue isn’t without advocates, of course. In 1999, the California Environmental Health Network filed a Citizen Petition asking the FDA to require warning labels on fragrances. The goal was to point out which perfumes make it to the market without undergoing appropriate safety testing.
Then the 2010 President’s Cancer Panel report suggested that hormone-disrupting chemicals, like those found in perfumes, could be the source of many more cancer cases than previously thought. It’s a fact that messing with our bodily systems puts us at risk for being out of balance and increasing our risk for disease — cancer in particular.
Several years ago, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics commissioned tests on top-selling fragrance products. Results showed 14 toxic chemicals, on average, were used in but not listed on the ingredient labels of popular fragrances. In a joint warning statement with the Environmental Working Group, they said, “The majority of chemicals found … have never been assessed for safety by any publically accountable agency, or by the cosmetics industry’s self-policing review panels.”
Worst of all, it’s not just the person wearing perfume who gets exposed to cancer-causing toxins. Fragrance chemicals are volatile and get into the air quickly. When we breathe, fragrance from every scented item used by the people around us enters our lungs.
This means one person’s choice to wear a fragranced product can cause health problems for a lot of unsuspecting people. Most at risk are those with asthma, chemical sensitivities, respiratory illnesses, chronic fatigue, and immunological illnesses.
The leading cancer awareness groups
don’t know how to deal with this
The risks of scents aren’t well known, which is a problem. Even big cancer-awareness organizations like Susan G. Komen for the Cure don’t appear to fully recognize the risks.
A few years ago, Komen launched a well-intentioned marketing campaign, promoting a perfume called “Promise Me” to help raise funds for breast cancer research. But the campaign suffered embarrassment after allegations the fragrance being promoted contained cancer-causing toxins.
The executive director of the group Breast Cancer Action had the perfume scientifically tested after safety concerns were voiced. They found ingredients that were a potential cause of breast cancer.
One of the offending ingredients was galaxolide, a synthetic musk known to accumulate in the body. Trace amounts have been found in the fat, blood, and breast milk of women who wear perfumes. It’s a known hormone disruptor, and some studies show that it may in fact contribute to the development of breast cancer.
When Komen was contacted with this information, the foundation reacted in a strangely contradictory way. Its representatives dismissed the claims, stating their own internal teams had thoroughly reviewed all the current research about perfume ingredients and found no elevated risk. Yet, they also agreed to reformulate the perfume to eradicate concerns about the ingredients.
What to do to protect yourself
Unlike a lot of cancer threats, it’s easy to steer clear of this one. If you want to smell clean and fresh, use soap, preferably fragrance-free or using natural scents. Perfumes are at the top of my list of “avoidable exposures.”
One thing to be wary of: It’s not just perfumes that emit hazardous chemicals. Anything with fragrance is suspect. Thousands of household products contain chemicals not listed on the label, including dryer sheets, scented candles, air fresheners, hair sprays, and shampoos. Manufacturers aren’t required to list the ingredients in fragrance blends, so it’s up to you to protect your health.
By the way, natural scents such as lavender or lily of the valley can cause allergic reactions in some people, but at least they aren’t carcinogenic.
Even if you don’t think fragranced products bother you, it’s a good idea to make sure by giving them up for a few months. Then use them and see if you have a reaction. Bear in mind that a wide range of reactions is possible, ranging from swollen sinuses and headaches to skin rashes and eye irritation.
Here are some tips for getting all the chemical-laced fragrances out of your life:
- Give up perfumes (obviously). Instead, use pure essential oils. Just make sure they’re extracted through a cold-press method and not with solvents.
- Check labels. Fragrances are exempt from labeling regulations, unfortunately, but at least all personal-care products are required to list a general description of ingredients on the label. Avoid anything that has the following: perfume, parfum, linalool, limonene, or fragrance. Blanket terms like “fragrance” and “perfume” conceal a host of petrochemicals and other toxins.
- Go natural when you clean. Use white vinegar and baking soda in place of expensive cleaners and you’ll wipe out a lot of the toxic scents in your house. Better yet, you’ll save money. This is an important step, because air fresheners and other cleaners aren’t required to disclose their inactive ingredients (which are usually toxic).
- Use beeswax candles instead of fragranced candles. Instead of polluting, they’ll actually improve the quality of your air indoors by boosting negative ions.
Chances are, you’ll feel significantly better after taking a hiatus from the airborne toxins in perfumed products.
On a different subject entirely, our last issue had some good news: there are home tests for colon cancer that are nearly as good as colonoscopies. If you missed this important article, check it out below.
Footnotes Article 1:
1 CNN. May 21, 2011. Cancer survivor battles for warning labels on cell phones. Retrieved from
Resources Article 1: