Note: This letter was sent by Dr. Curry to the editor of the Glen Ellyn News, Glen Ellyn IL, in response to the statements by an environmental engineer in a previous letter to the editor. That letter questioned whether there were any reputable scientific studies supporting the notion of cell phone related health issues.


I am a former staff physicist at Argonne National Lab. This letter is in response to the letter of Jeffrey Gahris in the Oct. 9, 1998 issue, titled "Water tower heats up." Jeff Gahris stated "An Internet search revealed that 'studies' have found dangers, but the evidence put forth has not been accepted as good science." I challenge that statement.Gahris should read the FAQ by Dr. John Moulder at the Medical College of Wisconsin, (as I think he did) but disregarded Moulder's comments and read his references instead.

I have been investigating this issue since early spring, have read numerous papers from refereed journals, some of which I shall cite here, and have attended two scientific meetings dealing with this and related subjects, and I think a consistent picture of vulnerability is emerging.

There are some electrosensitive individuals who have allergy-like responses when exposed to microwave radiation and some other forms of electromagnetic radiation, as well. I have personally met a number of these people, and a journal article about their plight to which I have just been referred is C.W. Smith, R.Y.S. Choy and J.A. Monro: "The Diagnosis and Therapy of Electrical Hypersensitivities," Clinical Ecology 6:119-128 (1989).

In vitro studies in the laboratories of Professors Martin Blank and Reba Goodman at Columbia University have shown that low level sinusoidal magnetic fields can affect biological enzyme reaction rates, and cells go into a protective mode when bombarded with AC magnetic fields and generate "heat shock proteins", which are nature's way of protecting cells against lethal and environmental stresses. The fluctuating magnetic field intensities in which these events occur are quite low and the frequency range extends over several thousand Hz, incorporating the frequency range of audio modulation of cell phones and the pulsing rate (approximately 200 Hz) of PCS phones. Their work is cited in Cell Stress and Chaperones, 3: 79-88 (1998) and Bioelectromagnetics 18:111-115 (1997) 3)

In four different laboratories (Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, University of California Riverside, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Lab, and Battelle Pacific National Lab) investigators have found low level sinusoidal magnetic fields can block the ability of Melatonin and Tamoxifen to inhibit breast cancer cell growth. This work is too recent to be published yet, but I heard papers on it in a recent meeting in Tucson. Also, Mice that were genetically predisposed to have lymphatic cancer were found to be more likely (by a statistically significant ratio) to develop cancer in the presence of fields simulating pulsed cell phone radiation than predisposed mice not exposed to the radiation. M.H. Repacholi, A Basten et al: "Lymphomas in Eľ-Pim1 Transgenic Mice Exposed to Pulsed 900 MHz Electromagnetic Fields" Radiation Research 147:631-640 (1997).

DNA strand breakage and failure of DNA repair mechanisms upon exposure to electromagnetic fields have been reported in several articles, one of which is H. Lai and S.P. Singh: "Acute low- intensity microwave exposure increases DNA single strand breaks in rat brain cells," Bioelectromagnetics 16:207-210, 1995. Another is H. Lai and S.P. Singh: "DNA Single and double strand breaks in rat brain cells after acute exposure to low-level radio frequency electromagnetic radiation." International Journal of Radiation Biology 69:513-5216. Microwave fields were found to increase the mutation rate of DNA in the presence of a carcinogen over that due to the carcinogen alone. A Maes, M Collier et al: "954 MHz microwaves enhance the mutagenic properties of mitomycin C." Environmental Molecular Mutagens 28:26-30, 1996).

Epidemiological studies have shown that Children living near a certain radar installation were more prone to leukaemia than the general population, S. Milham: Leukaemia clusters, Lancet 2, 1122 (1963). In ham radio operators classified by age and license class (experience level), the technician class (experience level just beyond novice permits more powerful transmitters) has 60% higher standardized mortality rate due to leukemia than the general population, in S. Milham: Carcinogenicity of Electromagnetic Fields, European Journal of Oncology 3: 93-100 (1998). c) Epidemiological data from all over the world showing an association of cancer and other maladies are analyzed in J.R. Goldsmith: "Epidemiologic evidence relevant to radar (microwave) effects," Environmental Health Perspectives , 5:1579-1587 (1997). Also, Dr. Goldsmith has compared microwave radiation, including cell phone radiation, with other public health issues in J.R. Goldsmith: "From sanitation to cell phones: participants and principles involved in environmental health protection," Public Health Reviews 25: 124-149 (1997).

Bill P. Curry, Ph.D.
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This letter was published on Oct. 16, 1998 under the title (assigned by the editor) "Scientist Warns of Antenna Radiation."

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