Electricity is an element that is more intimate to us than the air we breathe.
—Abbé Nollet, 1746
The relative divergence of my bodily senses….indicates that this body is a form destined to the world; it ensures that my body is a sort of open circuit that completes itself only in things, in others, in the encompassing earth.
Technostress. EMFs. Increased blood pressure and cortisol levels. Decreased immune system function. With each and every swipe; 2,617 to 5,427 swipes per day for the average smart-phone user. We have little idea how high the stakes really are in our Anthropogenic era. Echoing Ivan Pavlov’s Performing Dogs in the late 19th century, contemporary digital technology has “re-programmed” modern industrial humans through conditioned reflex. Digital technologies are more addictive than cigarettes. These digital drugs are narcotics more powerful than morphine and cocaine; and, induce similar neurological effects: “Cocaine and morphine both have profound effects on the flow of dopamine—a neurotransmitter scientists have consistently implicated in our sensations of reward in the brain.” According to Dr. Nicholas Kardaras’, “The Frightening Effects of Digital Heroin” based on his book, Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction Is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance:
Recent brain-imaging research confirms that glowing screens affect the brain’s frontal cortex—which controls executive functioning, including impulse control—in exactly the same way that drugs like cocaine and heroin do. …Thanks to research from the US military, we also know that screens and video games can literally affect the brain like digital morphine. The Navy’s head of addiction research, Cmdr. Dr. Andrew Doan, calls screens ‘digital pharmakeia’ (Greek for pharmaceuticals), a term he coined to explain the neurobiological effects produced by video technologies.
Additionally, cognitive deterioration in young people dependent on digital crutches resembles that of head injury victims. “Digital dementia” is a modern physical condition arising from our ever-encroaching electric toxic soup.
In 2011, the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization issued a public statement that mobile phone electromagnetic radiation is a Class 2B Possible Carcinogen joining DDT, lead, and dry-cleaning chemicals. Since that time, scientific evidence has increased to such a degree that “long-time advisors to the World Health Organization are calling for a reclassification- to Class 1 Human Carcinogen. The $25 million US National Toxicology Program study has linked radiofrequency radiation exposure to cancer.” As of 2017, the US National Toxicology Program determined “clear evidence of carcinogenicity.”
DANGERS OF RADIO-FREQUENCY RADIATION
In the U.S., “radio-frequency electromagnetic fields” (RF-EMF) refer to emission of electromagnetic radiation from radio-frequency waves. Depending on where and how we live and work, many of us are incessantly barraged by RF-EMF sources: radio and tv power and transmission lines, cell towers and antennas, internal building wiring systems, electrical panels, transformers, mobile phones, wireless computer networks/Wi-Fi (WLAN), radar equipment, utility companies’ AMI smart meters, routers, computer monitors, baby monitors, and other motors appliances, and electronics that send and receive visual and auditory data. Even inverters that shift direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) in solar panel systems emit clinically damaging quantities of this dirty electricity.
Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) EMF radiation emits from all electronic devices. According to consumer-protection research, the cumulative impact of cell phone exposure (including iPads and Tablets) is more toxic than asbestos and cigarettes. Long-term exposure exhibits myriad clinical disorders including DNA fragmentation, fertility problems, and neurological effects that can lead to health disorders and behavioral issues. These findings have been corroborated by top international medical research journals. The WHO states that people should not carry cell phones in their pockets. In the safety manual that is packaged with every iPhone, Apple warns that the phone is not supposed to touch the user’s body. It explicitly states that radiation exposure may exceed the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) standards. Most people are unaware of the fine print FCC safety warnings in all wireless devices that state consumers should be a designated distance away from the device (depending on the product) to ensure radiation levels do not exceed FCC limits. Will our refusal to shift basic behaviors, like sleeping with our phones and pressing them to our ears, cause irreparable damage?
Even more insidious, are the ubiquitous cell towers that expose our entire body. 24 hours a day.
HUMAN BIOELECTRICAL SYSTEMS GOING HAYWIRE
Almost all matter in the universe is electrically charged. Cosmic radio waves such as our sun and the stars, x-rays and gamma rays from space, emit infinitesimal amounts of electricity—essential for life on planet Earth. Within the European context, in the late 1700s, the self-taught physicist Alessandro Volta (who invented the electric battery made without the devastating impact of lithium or cobalt extractive mining) “discovered” the electrical nature of nerve signals. All living creatures are electrophysiological beings. Every thought we have, every movement we make reflects invisible, low-frequency pulsations of distributed electricity. The human brain has evolved in concordance with the earth. “Human beings are bioelectrical systems. Our hearts and brains are regulated by internal bioelectrical signals. Environmental exposures to artificial EMFs can interact with fundamental biological processes in the human body.” Melatonin is an antioxidant that regulates the immune system, and is thoroughly disrupted by digital technologies.
Our neural networks are designed in relation to Nature. In order to thoroughly investigate this topic, we should be conducting our research in connection with Nature—literally surrounded by Nature. Yet in 2022, most R&D takes place in a laboratory using laboratory animals.
THE ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF EMFS
Like the mycelium of the earth’s body, the approximated 30,000 miles (50,000km) of nerves that snake through the average human body are electrically charged. Like DNA strands communicating with each other at the same frequency, the earth’s lowest electromagnetic frequency is identical in resonance to the alpha waves generated by a human brain. This frequency is known as Schumann Resonance 7.83Hz. Schumann resonances, which occur in the airspace between the earth’s surface and the ionosphere (80 km or so above the ground), “function like a giant spherical flute for electromagnetic waves.” We are constantly immersed in these seven frequencies—all part of the electromagnetic spectrum. Almost all matter in the universe is electrically charged—including our thoughts and movements. In The Invisible Rainbow: The History of Electricity and Life, Arthur Firstenberg recounts in exquisite detail the interdependent intimacy between our animal (human/ non-human) bodies and the earth’s body. Simply put: being in sync with the earth keeps us in sync with ourselves. Without the earth’s electromagnetic influences, our bodies’ internal rhythms (sleep cycles, body temperature, potassium, excretion, speed of mental processes) become erratic. When we are out of sync, we become inflamed.
Cell phone technology propagates some of the most insidious impacts on both our environments and our bodies. The sea of human-made EMR pollution (electromagnetic pollution or electro pollution) generates electrical impulses in the air and water that disrupt animals’ ability to navigate. Migrating animals such as whales, eels, locusts, terns, caribou, monarch butterflies use electromagnetic frequencies to find their way. Magnetite is a metalloid substance in humpback whale brains that help them navigate using the earth’s magnetic field to orient themselves. Because it severely disrupts electromagnetic fields, electro-pollution is creating havoc on animals’ capacities to follow their migration routes.
Given the onslaught of wireless and radio transmissions, birds and bats are frequently unable to navigate, and bee-colony collapse disorder is rapidly accelerating. Bees sense minute variations in the earth’s magnetic field—“a sense that can be rendered useless under the assault of wireless transmissions with their constantly changing magnetic fields. The quickest way to destroy a bee hive, investigators have found, is to place a wireless telephone inside it.”
The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Project (HAARP) is responsible for the 2006 worldwide outbreak of Colony-Collapse Disorder. Colony-Collapse Disorder, during which Europe’s honey bees vanished, is another horrific example of geomagnetic electrical pollution—now known as “power line harmonic radiation.” Physicist Richard Williams called the project “an irresponsible act of global vandalism..[R]unning continuously for one hour, [HAARP] would deliver a quantity of energy equal to that of a Hiroshima-sized atomic bomb.” Used for military communications, HAARP “has turned the ionosphere itself—the life-giving layer of sky to which every creature is tuned—into a gigantic radio transmitter.” Geomagnetic activity-pulsations: “the harmonics from all the worlds’ power grids leak continuously into the magnetosphere, where they are greatly amplified as they bounce back and forth between the northern and southern hemisphere.”
Albert Einstein warned: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live.” Humans’ physical safety is dramatically at risk if we extinguish pollinators’ ability to properly function. We are becoming more dependent on genetically engineered “food” products that do not require natural pollination and have serious nutrient deficiencies. Again, the medical establishment produces illness remediation, not health care.
CHILDREN AS COLLATERAL DAMAGE
Contemptible, deadly, and inhumane misapplication in many of the federal regulatory agencies’ testing procedures–in particular the FCC—run rampant. For example, recently the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recently urged the FCC to recognize the devastating implications of child cellphone users. Perversely, the AAP recommends no more than one hour daily for children ages 2-5. We now know that these early habits have led to the average U.S. child ages 8-10 spending 8 hours a day in front of screens; and, 11 hours a day for the average U.S. Teenager. According to a 2011 Pew Research report, 66% of all U.S. children acquire a cell phone before the age of 7, and 87% of teens sleep with them under their pillows while connected to the network emitting microwave radiation into their heads throughout the night. These statistics have increased exponentially over the past decade.As I wrote in last month’s Mother Pelican, “Techno-Dystopias Breed Children as Collateral Damage:” When we discuss the risks involved with mobile and other wireless technologies, we too often disregard the fact that a child’s growing body goes through rapid cell division—when DNA is most susceptible to mutation and carcinogenesis. Children’s brains absorb up to two times as much microwave radiation from cell phones as adult brains; the FCC standard does NOT protect children and most teens as their exposure standard is based upon an 220 pound, 6’2” mannequin. We neglect this enhanced risk at the peril of our children’s health later in their lives. In 2009, to protect vulnerable bodies from the dangers of accumulated radio wave frequencies, France, Russia, Israel, Germany, UK, Belgium, India, Finland, and Toronto’s departments of health outlawed or issued warnings against cell phone usage by pregnant women and children under eighteen. Predictably, in the U.S., Sprint signed a $2 billion contract with Disney to market cell phones to children under twelve—unabashedly ignoring the known dire health impact on neurological and physical development.
HEALTHWASHING: THE NEXT PHASE OF INSTITUTIONAL MISINFORMATION
And, health is co-opted by Big Tech/ Big Wireless. Over the past year, my Mother Pelican articles have explored greenwashing, slowashing, techwashing, and now healthwashing. In the article, “Smartphones May Be the Key to Better Health Care”, Dr. Eric Topol, a pioneering figure in “wireless medicine”—the practice of using apps and devices in health care tells us: “The best tool to improve and keep track of your health may be in your pocket. …These days, I’m prescribing a lot more apps than I am medications,” says Dr. Topol. “The smartphone will be the hub of the future of medicine.”What the article neglects to mention is that the smartphone is becoming the hub of corporeal and planetary disease.
THE LINK BETWEEN LOCAL-GLOBAL ATROCITIES
There must be individual and corporate accountability for the links between human rights, exported environmental racism, ecocide, and local biological destruction and disease. Electronic waste (e-waste that may contain lead, cadmium, beryllium, brominated flame retardants) is, of course, another deleterious factor. Battery e-waste (including every link in the solar and wind technology supply chains), as well as most electronic devices exorbitantly replaced due to planned obsolescence, are dumped throughout Asia, South America, and Africa.In addition to the downstream havoc wreaked on our ecologies, human, and non-human bodies and psyches, the total embodied energy of digital “conveniences” must be halted. Whether generated from fossil-fuel industries or specious “renewable” technologies, from production to disposal—upstream and downstream economics in the context of human rights must be considered. “The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs” is Mike Daisy’s Off-Broadway performance addressing the slave-labor conditions of Apple product factory workers in Shenzhen, China. Because of the daily attempts of workers to commit suicide—jumping off the roof—Apple installed a net across the tenements where millions of workers live. The iPhone Suicides have not impacted sales.In next month’s installment, I will continue to explore the possibilities of overcoming industry-funded science by embodying our potential as bioelectrical beings on a bioelectrical planet.
 Blocking exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produces significantly reduced symptoms in 90% of patients with autoimmune disease such as Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Celiac disease—those who are even more susceptible to the noxious effects of EMFs. Decreasing exposure to EMFs strengthens everyone’s immune system.
 https://www.networkworld.com/article/3092446/we-touch-our-phones-2617-times-a-day-says-study.html https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/11/21/is-social-media-addiction-worse-than-cigarettes/?sh=43dfbb455d64 https://www.latimes.com/science/la-xpm-2012-oct-04-la-sci-sn-morphine-cocaine-addiction-20121004-story.html https://nypost.com/2016/12/17/kids-turn-violent-as-parents-battle-digital-heroin-addiction/ https://www.vimeo.com/17251471: “How to protect yourself from EMFs, ‘Smart Meters’: The Shortsightedness of New, Radiation-Emitting Utility Technologies,” Elizabeth Kelley, director of Electromagnetic Safety Alliance). https://ehtrust.org/educate-yourself/ipads-tablets-health-risks-safety-risks-practical-solutions/ https://ehtrust.org/clear-evidence-of-cancer-concludes-the-expert-panel-to-the-us-national-toxicology-program-on-cell-phone-radiation-study-findings/ https://www.activistpost.com/2016/01/environmentalrefugees-electromagnetic-hypersensitivity-ehs-sufferers.html. A 2014 study also found that cellphones kept in men’s pockets could be negatively affecting their sperm count, according to CNN. Mobile phone exposure was associated with reduced sperm motility and viability. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412014001354 Yet absurdly, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent each year in fertility clinics. https://ehtrust.org/educate-yourself/ipads-tablets-health-risks-safety-risks-practical-solutions/; https://nypost.com/2016/12/17/kids-turn-violent-as-parents-battle-digital-heroin-addiction/. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies document lethal health effects connected with cellphone radiation exposure. Dr. Davis’ Environmental Health Trust: https://ehtrust.org/. https://www.newsweek.com/iphone-6-bendgate-apple-says-your-iphone-shouldnt-go-your-pocket-avoid-273313 See also “Captured Agency: How the Federal Communications Commission Is Dominated by the Industries It Presumably Regulates” published by Norm Alster at Harvard University’s Center for Ethics. Very little research has been conducted on EMF pollution emitted from the batteries in electric vehicles. Once again, we must question if and how we are exchanging one physiological and planetary disaster for another. See my series of investigations of the fallacious “Renewable” Energies Movement. https://bioinitiative.org/. See also An Electronic Silent Spring: Facing the Dangers and Creating Safe Limits. Katie Singer MA, Porter Books, an imprint of Steiner Books, Anthroposophic Press. See Endnote 21 in Cara Judea Alhadeff’s Zazu Dreams: Between the Scarab and the Dung Beetle; A Cautionary Fable for the Anthropocene Era. Berlin: Eifrig Publishing, 2017, 89. https://www.vimeo.com/54189727 Sonifications created for the Rhythms of the Universe, a collaboration among Mickey Hart, George Smoot and Mark Ballora, Pennsylvania State University 2015. See also Patient Zero Productions, “Resonance: Beings of Frequency,” directed by James Russell and J. Webster. See the 1967 experiment—shielding humans from electromagnetic fields, Firstenberg 122. In my Mother Pelican‘s “Ecological Justice Border Crossings~ Part 2, When the cure becomes the disease: Climate Crisis Inflammation,” I wrote: Inflammation is our corporeal bodies’ and our earth body’s response to overstimulation—includinginformation overload (whether being inundating by electronic screens—ranging from gas stations and doctor’s offices to social media to an app-for-everything) and exponential forms of pollution (greenhouse gas emissions leading to ocean acidification, desertification, as well as the toxic soup of food, water, and soil poisoning through chemicals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and EMFs).” https://www.hbelc.org/about/about-emr-emfs See Endnote 310 in Zazu Dreams for a detailed discussion of various planetary effects of EMFs, 142-143. Popp, Fritz Albert, Ulrich Warnke, Herbert L. Konig, and Walter Peschka, eds. Electromagnetic Bio-Information, 2nd ed. Miinchen: Urban & Schwarzenberg, 1989. This form of alternating current (AC electricity) is discussed throughout Arthur Firstenberg’s The Invisible Rainbow: The History of Electricity and Life. Chelsea Green Publishing: White River Junction, VT, 2017: 128. Ibid., 350, 349, 128. “If screens are indeed digital drugs, then schools have become drug dealers. Under misguided notions that they are ‘educational,’ the entire classroom landscape has been transformed over the past 10 years into a digital playground that includes Chromebooks, iPads, Smart Boards, tablets, smartphones, learning apps and a never-ending variety of ‘edu-games.’” See Dr. Kardaras discussion of 7-year-olds addicted to their glowing screens in Glow Kids. https://www.consumers4safephones.com/ Ibid. See also Environmental Health Trust: https://ehtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Children-and-wifi-FAQs.pdf Upstream/downstream, like the intricacies of the social scientific concepts of embodied energy, true cost, life-cycle analysis, and cradle-to-grave, designates local and global industrial and digital production (extractive mining, agribusiness, physical and economic wage slavery, data mining), consumption (advertising and the construction of desire), and disposal (greenhouse gases and electronic-waste). This includes extraction> transportation> manufacture> installation> demolition> decomposition> contamination. See the conclusion in my Viscous Expectations: Justice, Vulnerability, The Ob-scene for details on this post-human phenomenon: Think Media: EGS Media Philosophy Series. State College: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2013.
Previously Published on Mother Pelican
Image courtesy of author
Such an excellent, well-resourced article, thank you! Please know Massachusetts has bills to investigate wireless harm, and New Hampshire is the first in the nation to issue a groundbreaking report reflecting much of what you have written here. Folks are welcome to see Massachusetts for Safe Technology for inspiration on what you can do in your own homes and communities toward safe technology: https://www.ma4safetech.org/. Thank you for your time and consideration.