Open Letter to Ira Flatow

January 2, 2018

Mr. Ira Flatow
National Public Radio’s Science Friday
19 West 44th Street, Suite 412
New York, NY 10036

Dear Mr Flatow,

In the 12/22/17 episode of Science Friday, I was disappointed to hear that this National Public Radio program participated in such misleading and one-sided coverage of the proven hazards of exposures to Wireless pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation — at the same time that the Trump-FCC is attempting to vote on setting Wireless data transmission of 10M Mbps download/1 MBps upload as the new standard for Broadband for rural America — replacing the current FCC Broadband minimum of 25 Mbps download/3 Mbps upload, which can be easily achieved via fixed, Wireline connections (copper, coaxial and fiber optic).

I will refute much of what was said in this episode in my comments, below that include links to the primary research and analysis that NPR’s Ira Flatow should be referencing and discussing with experts from both sides of the issue: whether or not it is appropriate to allow/encourage 24/7/365 exposures to a proven toxic agent (RF Microwave Radiation) in our homes, workplaces, schools, other public buildings, parks and wilderness areas.

Read my additional comments (with links), below.

12/22/17 Science Friday Episode

Original transcript here. | Original Popular Science article by Sara Chodosh here.


This is Science Friday. I’m Ira Flatow . . . Look down at your hand. Are you holding a cell phone right now? If it’s not there, it’s probably in your pocket or at least within arm’s reach. Right?

These days, most people are never more than a few feet away from their phones, sometimes just a few inches. And scientists have studied whether long-term exposure to cell phone radiation could have an adverse impact on human health, even though there’s no strong evidence to suggest that these devices are unsafe.

But last week, the California Department of Public Health issued guidelines that seemed to alarm people. With me to discuss the ramifications of the California guidelines, as well as other short subjects in science, is Sophie Bushwick, Senior Editor for Popular Science. Hi, Sophie. Welcome back.

Comment: Flatow starts off with his conclusion: “there’s no strong evidence to suggest that these devices are unsafe” , citing no evidence at all. Mr. Flatow, please consider the following evidence in the public record: evidence produced by the US Federal Government:

Dr. Paul Dart @ 5:35 in the video — Cell Phone Tower Health Hazards; Dr Paul Dart Eugene Oregon December 2014:

“From 1953 to 1978, the Russians beamed microwave radiation into the US Embassy and researchers found that the US embassy personnel had a statistically significant increase in depression, irritability, concentration problems, memory loss, ear problems, skin problems, vascular problems and other health problems. The longer they worked there, the worse these problems were likely to be . . . the exposure levels inside the building were measured at between 20,000 to 280,000 µW/m²

Dr. Neil Cherry:

“A highly remarkable result is the dose-response relationship for a range of illnesses. Despite the small numbers, the lack of long latency period and dilutionary factors, the Lilienfeld data shows significant increases in:

  • Cardiac problems
  • Neurological and psychological symptoms
  • Altered blood cell counts
  • Increased chromosome aberrations, and
  • Elevated cancer in children and adults
  • Sickness increasing in a dose-response manner with years of residence”

Christine Flowers, Michael Wyde, Ph.D., Ronald L. Melnick Ph.D.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
National Toxicology Program (NTP)

  • The NTP anticipates that complete study findings from the Carcinogenesis Studies of Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation will be available for peer review and public comment in late January 2018.
  • This $25 million, 16-year study is the largest study that the NTP has ever conducted — it’s the largest of this kind on cell phone radio frequency radiation that’s been done to date. Our studies are targeted not just at brain cancer, as many other studies have been targeted; our studies also address effects in other parts of the body
  • [The NTP] tested the hypothesis that [RF Microwave] radiation could not cause health effects and we feel that the hypothesis has now been disproved because these results clearly show that that [radio-frequency] radiation can cause adverse health effects.
  • The finding of increases of gliomas and schwannomas of the heart in rats exposed to the radio-frequency radiation provides consistency with the epidemiological reports of increases of gliomas and acoustic neuromas, which are tumors of Shwann cells among humans exposed to [radio-frequency] radiation. Those were the findings that provided the basis for the IARC evaluation of 2011, because the same cells that became cancerous in rats are the cells that have been reported to develop into tumors in [human] epidemiological studies.

To summarize, the NTP has proven statistically higher rates of brain cancer, heart cancer, pre-tumors and DNA damage in test animals exposed to RF Microwave Radiation vs unexposed control animals. These results were reported in May, 2016. Additional results from this NTP study will be released in late January, 2018.




So California guidelines about how to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation. Doesn’t say that it definitely causes cancer or other illnesses, but people have sort of interpreted it that way.


Right. I mean, the fact that they’ve issued guidelines saying, here’s how to reduce your cell phone exposure, seems to indicate that cell phone exposure is a problem. Whereas in reality, I think the scientific consensus right now is they haven’t found a strong connection between exposure to cell phone radiation and brain cancer or other health problems. But they have said that we need to keep studying this issue in the long term.

Comment: Bushwick’s personal opinion about ‘scientific consensus’ is refuted by the evidence in the public record, cited above, as well as by the statements and published studies of hundreds scientists in tens of thousands of non-industry funded studies, which reach similar conclusions: long-term exposures to pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation at power levels far below the current US RF Microwave Radiation Exposure Guideline is hazardous to living organisms of all kinds: humans, animals, insects and plants. No additional research is needed before we set Federal, State and Local policy to reduce unnecessary exposures to RF Microwave Radiation. Here are some more links to explore, Mr. Flatow:


So the people who are anti-cell phone radiation exposure — they jumped on this to say, see, we’re right?


Right. Some people I think have. They’ve said, look, this is vindication. But I think that for that reason, the guidelines are a little misguided. Because it’s creating a lot of fear around an issue that we’re not sure people actually need to be afraid of.

And I think really, the biggest health hazard that cell phones cause is a real health hazard, and that’s texting and driving. And texting and driving has killed and will kill far more people than brain cancer caused by cell phone radiation. So I think that if people are trying to find an issue to worry about, then that’s what they should be focusing on.


A bigger issue, yeah.

Comment: Flatow brushes the entire issue of 24/7/365 exposures to RF Microwave Radiation aside and allows this misdirection to stand. It does not follow that the fact that irresponsible people texting and driving has any connection to exposures to a known toxic agent. The conclusion offered by the author of the 12/19/17 Popular Science article, whom Ms. Bushwick is parroting, is utter nonsense. As a result, scientists are calling for this irresponsbile article’s retraction.

Thousands of people die every year because a driver decided to text or talk on the phone. . This is the single biggest danger phones pose. Not brain cancer, not infertility—distracted driving is the real problem. So go ahead and leave your phone in your pocket. Talk on it for hours. Heck, you could duct-tape it to your face if you so choose. Just put it down when you get in the car, and you’ll be fine.

Comment: The existence of one problem (texting and driving) does not dismiss the evidence for the other problem (unnecessary 24/7/365 exposures to pulsed, data-modulated, Radiofrequency Microwave Radiation). Both need to be treated seriously and responsibly, Mr. Flatow.