Q&A

Q: Are you serious about all this?  Really, Bruce?

A: Yes.  The current exposure safety standards urgently need to consider the many biological effects of long term exposure to electro-magnetic fields and microwave radiation.  These standards are based only on thermal heating effects.   They are simply out-dated and extremely short sighted because they were made before we could look at DNA and genetic damage to cells.

I am aware that most people think this is mostly nonsense, or is simply the anxiety of some “strange” people.   Unfortunately, most people are not prepared to make ANY changes to their environment, or how they use wireless devices - unless (or wait until) they become very ill.   Their reasoning is that they haven’t noticed any problems so far, so all this “paranoia” doesn’t really apply to them.  Above all, the thinking is that if this were truly an issue, the government would be doing something about it.

Approaching a health and safety issue based on “weight of evidence” makes no sense.  Would we allow drinking water from a bottled water company to continue selling if only “some" of the consumers become sick from drinking it?  Of course not.  And even if their own lab tests that show their water is safe, we would get it tested by multiple independent labs… and actually consider the results.

But, when health issues take a longer time to develop, or in the realm of telecommunications, wireless devices and power distribution, it’s different.  Short-sighted thinking doesn’t consider problems that can take many months or years to develop.  Suddenly, “weight of evidence” makes sense, and thousands of peer-reviewed studies are ignored.  Suddenly, good biology and science are ignored.  And suddenly ALL non-ionlizing radiation is said to have no no harmful effects on us unless it is high enough to cause thermal heating — based on the “weight of evidence” and of course the 6 minute exposure guideline in Canada.   We have actually known about the harmful biological effects of microwave radiation  since the 1950s.  In fact, the true weight of evidence actually shows a real problem with our current safety standards!  

There is no longer any debate about what modern science clearly shows.  Single and double strand DNA breaks occur at MUCH lower exposure levels than our current thermal “safety” standards allow.  And the the only real debate is the amount of time it will take for the general public to digest this new information.  History is repeating itself… in the past, it took a long time for most people to believe that the world is not flat, or that the Earth was not the centre of the universe.

Most of the time I actually believe this web site to be a futile effort.  Modern wireless telecommunication systems can be made to operate at much lower power levels, but the cost of that change would be considered too high.  The mass proliferation of electromagnetic radiation will continue for quite some time.  As history shows, people are slow to learn.  We now see wearable items like watches with transmitters in them - to be worn right on the body.  And of course, even a toothbrush needs to be Bluetooth enabled!  The Internet of Things is already planned; the “Smart" power grid is still expanding.  It’s commonplace in education to supply children with WiFi enabled tablets.  Some hospitals even have cell phone transmitter antennas on their roof!   A recent survey of a hospital emergency department showed microwave radiation levels in the >25,000 uW per sq. meter range.   Of course, that’s not a safety concern because our current standards say that you can’t get heated or cooked from it — so, no worries!  Hospitals are filled with WiFi, DECT cordless phones, Bluetooth and WIFi enabled medical equipment, etc.  that all emit potentially harmful amounts of radiation.  This is not to mention the all equipment that emits strong AC magnetic fields.  Why do I bother?

I look at the science.  I look at the research papers.  I then consider if they were completed by independent scientists or telecommunication companies.  I look at the background of the policy makers.  I ask questions.  Are the peer-reviewed studies in the Bio-Initiative Report all wrong?  I then reflect on a time in history when things like asbestos, DDT, thalidomide, mercury, smoking, dioxins, PCBs etc. were considered extensively tested and safe.  A more direct comparison would be the early days of X-rays and nuclear radiation when many people were exposed to what we now know as dangerous levels.

Is it not remotely possible that we are wrong again with our constant exposure to microwave radiation?

Why can we not at least learn from the past and consider a precautionary approach to safety standards and guidelines?


Q: What are DECT Cordless Phones?

A: Most people have them in their homes.  DECT 6.0 (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) is what allows modern cordless phones to work over great distances with little or no interference.  Unfortunately, the base stations of these phones transmit at full power continuously - 24/7.  This is not necessary or tolerated in a growing number of countries.  In Europe, the DECT 6.0 standard is being updated to include the Eco DECT, and Eco DECT Plus modes.

Eco DECT reduces the RF power level by up to 80% when possible AND when only ONE handset is paired with the base.

Eco DECT Plus mode turns off the base station transmitter completely when the phone is not in use.

Unfortunately, the Eco DECT Plus mode is not available in North America.  This function is disabled.

It is my hope that cordless phone manufacturers supplying products to North America will work to give consumers the important Eco DECT Plus option.  Right now it seems that little will change and the manufacturers are pointing to the FCC’s frequency allocations as the reason.  While this may be true, there are other frequency options available to facilitate Eco DECT Plus in North America,  but this would require possible software and/or hardware changes by the manufacturers.  And in the end, they may choose only to provide a product that consumers demand.


Q: How do you install WIFi wireless routers?

A: Wireless routers transmit constantly.  I prefer to use wired ethernet connections when possible.  If WiFi is a must, the router base should be located far from any living or sleeping areas.  If possible, set them to power off at night, or use an AC timer controlling the power supply.  Note that many internet service providers now install a “more convenient” router with built in WiFi.  Note that even if you choose to disable WIFi, the router’s WiFi may still be transmitting to extend your provider’s customer access WiFi network.  Your private internet router is often used as a public intent access point.


Q: Do you believe some people can be more sensitive to electromagnetic radiation?

A: Yes.  Depending on the country, anywhere from 5 to 15% of the population are diagnosed and/or labelled as EHS (Electro Hyper Sensitive).   While it is encouraging to see an acknowledgement of this issue, the “condition” of EHS currently allows policy makers to perpetuate the notion that this does not apply to the mainstream of healthy people.  As the levels of electromagnetic radiation rise, more people will become ill.  The ones that are feeling the effects now are simply the first that are showing the signs of radiation sickness.  The symptoms of exposure to microwave radiation in particular, have been documented over 50 years ago.

If you’re reading this, I invite you to try an experiment for a few weeks...  Turn off ALL sources of microwave radiation inside  your home every night at bed time.  If you have a cordless DECT phone, unplug the base station power and use a regular “old school” corded phone if needed.  If you have a cell phone, turn it OFF or select the Airplane mode.  You might be very surprised at how much better you feel during this time.


Q: Should cellular base station antennas be located close to homes and business areas?

A: No.  At close distances (<500 meters), the current exposure safety standards are unacceptable if precautionary biological recommendations are followed.   These precautionary exposure levels consider continuous, non-thermal biological effects or damage to the body at a cellular level, and not just a measured heating effect over 6 minutes.


Q: Do you use wireless technology?

A: Yes, I have a cell phone and other wireless devices.  I don’t have a DECT phone and WiFi is disabled unless needed for short times.  The WiFi router is kept in an area far away from sleeping or living areas.  I keep the cell phone away from my body and use speaker mode while talking.  How many people do you know keep their cell phone at least 5/8 or 1 inch away from their body or head while talking?  This is an actual warning in your cell phone’s user guide - just look in the fine print sections!  I do not sleep with a cell phone unless it is in airplane mode and WiFi is disabled.  If the cell phone must be on at night, it is kept away from the bedroom.  WiFi is disabled (Airplane Mode) on any mobile devices, tablets, e-readers etc. unless it’s required for short times.  I strongly suggest not having a DECT cordless phone or DECT baby monitor in your home.


Q: I live in an apartment building.  Can my neighbour’s wireless devices affect me?

A: Yes.  Living in a multi unit apartment building often presents more challenges to reduce exposure to microwave energy.  Consider acquiring a microwave field strength meter.  This way you can avoid having your bed inches away from your neighbour’s cordless DECT phone or WIFi router.  Otherwise, it is very difficult to know what is on the other side of your wall, or if it changes with time.


Q: I live close to a broadcast tower or cellular base antennas on my roof or very near my home.  Is this a concern?

A: Yes.  And, I was in your position, twice!  Be honest with yourself and reflect on your health and the health of family members during your time there.  Know the facts about your exposure levels.  Have power density measurements taken and consider  the precautionary levels shown in the guidelines section.  Remember that the current safety standards set by industry and government only consider short exposures that cause a heating effect.  They do not consider the many biological effects of a long-term 24/7 exposure which is now a reality in urban areas.

If you can, spend a few weeks away in a radiation free location.  Note the changes in your sleeping patterns and health.  If you absolutely love your current home, there are effective solutions available for RF shielding.  Otherwise, consider a move.  There will be nothing you can do to have your landlord and/or telecom company re-locate antennas.  If you raise a concern, you will simply be quoted the current thermally based RF exposure “safety” standards of your country.  You will also be told that the antenna(s) of concern fall well within the government’s guidelines and pose no risk to your health.


Q: You mentioned that most of the time, you think this web site is a futile effort.  Why?

A:  It can be frustrating to know that good science is being ignored.  Only a small percentage of people that are curious about this actually do anything at all to make changes - no matter how simple.  The convenience of wireless seems to rule above all, and because it’s invisible and slow to do noticeable harm, people tend to wait and see what happens.  They also believe that not using wireless also means giving up on the best modern technology.

I’ve had many conversations about using cell phones safely for example, only to see the same people answer their own cell phone and talk with it as usual — against their head — and then put it back in their pocket when they're done!   People are unable to comprehend the cumulative effects of radiation.  It seems that EMF is viewed in the same way as some type of dirt that can be washed away from your body in your next bath or shower.  Sadly, the ones that begin to understand and finally listen to this science are often dealing with serious health issues by that point in their lives.

Of course I will continue building this web site, but experience shows that most people, while interested, don’t take it seriously.

© EMF Insight 2017