18 Mar “WE ARE NOT SAM” OP-ED BY DR. DEVRA DAVIS ON THE RIGGED CELL PHONE RADIATION TESTS
WE ARE NOT SAM
After the federal government in France determined in 2018 that some cell phone microwave radiation exposures exceeded current standards up to five-fold when tested in body contact positions, that nation issued new rules to “keep radio equipment away from the belly of pregnant women … and from the lower abdomen of adolescents.” Since 2014, Belgium has banned the sale of cell phones designed for young children because of the radiation health risks. France, Israel, and China have banned cell phones from classrooms.
Thanks to the efforts of physician Marc Arazi of Phonegate Association, the world is waking up to the fact that cell phones and wireless devices are not tested the way we use them directly next to our bodies. Phones are tested in an antiquated method using a large plastic bowling-ball-sized head of a male dummy, named Standard Anthropomorphic Mannequin (or SAM for short)—nearly double the size of the head of a toddler and larger than 97% of all people. Typically, manufacturers select a single device that is tested to make sure the syrupy liquid inside the dummy’s thick skull doesn’t heat up. A big guy with a thick skull, SAM is not very talkative as his average test call lasts 6 minutes.
Since 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has repeatedly written to the federal government pointing out that microwave radiation penetrates more deeply into children’s brains compared to adults. Concerned that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has not revised safety limits for cell phone and cell tower radiation limits, the AAP has requested that wireless safety standards be updated “based on protecting the youngest and most vulnerable populations to ensure they are safeguarded through their lifetimes.”
FCC Acts Like We Are the Dummies
Turning a deaf ear to these concerns and to thousands of pages of submitted expert evidence showing damage can occur from current levels of radiation, the FCC in 2019 refused to revise their last-century approach to the issue, insisting that heating is the only effect to be avoided and ignoring evidence that current levels of radiation can be especially dangerous to the developing brains of children.
Children are not the only vulnerable populations. Young adults now in their 20s are the first generation to have grown up with phones, laptops, videogames, and other microwave wireless radiating devices clutched close to their bodies, sometimes throughout days and nights in marathon sessions. Now companies are heavily promoting 5G-Fifth Generation wireless, which will tie together cell phones and billions of new interconnected devices (to coffee pots to dishwashers to air conditioners), all with wireless signals radiating to and from hundreds of thousands of supposedly “small cells.” Sometimes including refrigerator-sized cabinets next to or atop public light poles or newly configured devices in your front yard, these 5G-ready antennas are designed to emit radiation by beam-forming directly to and from the particular devices.
France has launched new 5G monitoring stations to measure the radiation levels of 5G in Paris. Numerous countries publicly post the measured levels of wireless radiation in the environment. As we detail in our scientific letter on the human and environmental effects of 5G, the U.S. has no such program and years ago shut down EPA field offices on microwave radiation. The last survey on environmental levels of wireless radiation was carried out in the mid 1980s.
The U.S. dismisses the concerns of hundreds of experts, as the FCC continues to rely on the outdated and misleading “SAM” dummy for testing cell phones and other microwave radiating devices, including whatever equipment 5G may ultimately entail. That is why I have joined with the We Are Not SAM campaign. Co-creator Rinat Strahlhofer is a former telecommunications insider from New South Wales, Australia.
“Telcos have been getting away with certifying mobile devices as safe for years because the test is rigged,” Strahlhofer explains. The test only measures changes in temperature that occur within fluid poured into the plastic dummy head of SAM. The test cannot evaluate combined effects of simultaneous use of multiple wireless frequencies common today, nor effects on sperm quantity or quality, growth of nerve cells, hearing nerves, and interference with DNA repair—all of which have been documented to occur from current levels of microwave radiation exposure from phones and from cell towers in studies submitted to the FCC by Environmental Health Trust and many other expert scientists.
Rinat spent her career marketing services and technologies for Australia’s largest telco company. During the company’s $1 billion 3G rollout, reasonable community concerns over potential health and safety impacts—including questions she began to raise—were being ignored. . By 2019, with industry prepared to roll out 5G across Australia despite the absence of any safety testing on humans or the environment, and with growing numbers of disaffected industry insiders, Strahlhofer had enough.
Well aware that SAM did not represent most people who used phones, We Are Not SAM was born—as a global campaign to call out the implausible and unrealistic system on which every one of the world’s more than 7 billion phones has been tested.
“In the same way truth and public health suffered at the hands of the tobacco and asbestos industries, 5G phones are being pushed on the market despite a lack of independent, long-term studies to show they are safe,” Strahlhofer adds.
Clearly, we are not SAM. Brain modelling with FDA-approved systems confirms what every parent understands: children are not little adults. Children’s brains contain more fluid therefore absorb more radiation than adults. The relatively thinner bone marrow of their skulls absorbs up to 10 times more radiation than adults. As we document in our historic lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission, even if the radiation exposure were the same, children’s brains are still developing and even small exposures can lead to more serious effects.
To expose the fallacies on which the FCC operates, including the rigged test systems that depend on SAM, EHT has joined @WeAreNotSAM. We are proud to stand with this global effort to call on the FCC to conduct random testing of phone radiation as they do in France and other nations and to develop biology-based safety testing that takes into account the physiological impacts of chronic microwave radiation exposure throughout the lifespan and the environment.