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(TETON VILLAGE, WY, SEPT 15, 2023) – Devra Davis, Founder and President of Environmental Health Trust (EHT), a scientific non-profit, released the following statement regarding the French government ban on Apple iPhone 12 sales due to excessive radiofrequency (RF) radiation:

Because they do not test cellphones against the body, current cellphone tests are rigged. The French government found that when phones are tested against the body, such as in a pants pocket,  they exceed current regulations.  France has pulled or required software updates for 42 other cell phone models that emit excessive radiation. Unlike the US, the French government has tested hundreds of cell phones. 

In the US, cell phones are not tested in body contact, but with a system that is 27-years-old and allows up to an inch away for a holster.  When cell phones are tested as they are used  – directly in the pocket or on the body – they emit radiation that far exceeds outdated U.S. government safety limits.

France is the first country pulling phones off the shelves to test fo radiation when the phone is in the pants pocket. The United States isn’t just lagging behind; we lack any oversight. We do not independently radiation-test cell phones or have up-to-date safety standards. We have no premarket or post-market surveillance programs. 

The Federal Communications Commission ( FCC) –  the primary agency tasked to ensure regulations are followed  – has failed to do so. The EPA program to evaluate phones was defunded in 1996 -long  before the rise of cellphones and many other wireless devices.  Two years ago, the FCC was ordered by the U.S. Court of Appeals DC Circuit in EHT et al. v the FCC, 2021, to address volumes of scientific research that shows harms caused by wireless radiation. The agency was also directed to explain the relevance of its outdated cell phone compliance tests that allow distances between the phone and body, when many keep phones in the pockets. Some two years after this court order, the FCC has not responded. 

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In 2019, the Chicago Tribune reported that independent tests of iPhones found excessive RF that violated federal rules when used in direct body contact.  With Apple’s concurrence, the FCC simply repeated outmoded tests of those phones allowing distance from the body, and concluded they were safe.  They are not. 

The United States has not properly tested phones for RF levels. Published research has found wireless radiation increases the risk of cancer, memory damage, and impacts to sperm and lowered testosterone. The US has also failed to consider that children are not little adults and require special protection for their rapidly growing brains and bodies, as well as growing science finding serious damage from wireless radiation on wildlife and our environment. 

We at Environmental Health Trust call for robust regulatory oversight with testing of phones after they are marketed as they are used, as well as multidisciplinary scientific research and training programs to protect children and future generations. The government should do its job of protecting public health and the environment by developing RF radiation safety standards to address impacts on the environment, long-term exposure, and children’s unique vulnerabilities and carrying out the following: 

    • Review the totality of the latest research to ensure RF limits are evidence-based.
    • Evaluate and implement policies to reduce children’s RF exposure and educate families about how to use technology more safely
    • Label cell phones and other wireless devices so that families know cell phones emit RF and should not be in direct body contact
    • Launch a nationwide RF monitoring system inside and outside buildings (schools, daycares, parks) nationwide, as exists in France and Israel.
    • Implement a compliance and oversight program for towers, base stations, cell phones, and devices.
    • Cell phone radiation compliance tests should be revamped to mimic real-world use positions of phones in direct contact and include child models.
    • Initiate a post-market surveillance and reporting system for health impacts. 
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Dr. Devra Davis, founder and President of Environmental Health Trust 

Dr. Devra Davis is the founder and President of Environmental Health Trust, a scientific think tank that publishes research and educates policymakers and the public on environmental health hazards. She is currently a Visiting Professor of Medicine at The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel, and Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School, Samsun, Turkey. Davis was the Founding Director Center for Environmental Oncology and the  University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the founding director of the Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology of the U.S. National Research Council, National Academy of Sciences. 

Davis was Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health in the Department of Health and Human Services and was appointed to the US Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board by President Clinton. She served on the Board of Scientific Counselors of the U.S. National Toxicology Program and various advisory committees to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was part of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change team of scientists awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with the Honorable Al Gore as she was the lead author on research assessing climate mitigation policies. 

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She has also authored more than 200 peer-reviewed publications in books and journals ranging from the Lancet and Journal of the American Medical Association. Her three popular books include When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution, Disconnect: The Truth About Cell Phone Radiation, What the Industry Is Doing to Hide It, and How to Protect Your Family and the Secret History of the War on Cancer.

Davis testified in the 2009 Senate hearings on cell phone radiation, published numerous studies on the health effects of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, and organized numerous national and international scientific conferences. EHT’s scientific publications were submitted to the FCC record, and EHT submitted thousands of pages of evidence to the FCC in the years leading up to the court’s decision.

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