Untouchables: Why are so few people knowledgable about wireless radiation’s health and environmental effects?

Despite the significant body of scientific literature on the adverse health effects of wireless radiation (and EMFs generally) many people are still ignorant as to the dangers. In this guest post Diane Craig explores the way that some corporations exert undue influence. And she shares 6 thought provoking ways you can be proactive and protect yourself [your comments are welcome below]:

I’m a fan of ElectricSense’s tag line, “So we can all live healthy and happy lives in our electromagnetic world.” You too?

To me, “electric sense” includes taking into account the physical effects from the wireless radiation that EMF technologies produce, before making decisions about how and where to use them. So far, thousands of peer-reviewed studies show negative physical effects from wireless radiation for humans…animals…plants…even the soil. Yet these thousands of studies are virtually unknown to the average person.

Have you ever brought this subject up with others? If so, I’m hoping you’ll share, in the comments section that follows this guest blog post, your practical advice and thoughts about the thoughts I share below, because…

Almost every person I’ve spoken with about electromagnetic fields [EMFs] before now has responded with (a) indifference, (b) mild but dismissed concern, or (c) hostility.

I’m used to hostility, because people express strong opinions about almost every other subject these days. But very few seem curious about EMF health studies.

How did we arrive at this point? I started by asking myself five questions.

Are Independent Scientists “Untouchables”?

“Untouchables” once was used in India for everyone who did not belong to a caste – “castes” being the traditional social hierarchy that separated intellectuals, rulers and warriors, traders, and laborers. Anyone doing work that was considered “unclean” (dealing with dead cattle, for example) was “untouchable,” outside of the caste system.

But “Untouchables” was also used by America’s press during Prohibition to describe Eliot Ness and his U S Department of Justice team, after Ness told newspaper reporters how he and his teammates had turned down bribes from Al Capone’s gang. [1] In this sense, “untouchable” means “incorruptible” or “inviolable.” [2]

Untouchables has a third meaning: ”invulnerable”, or “beyond the reach of criticism or attack or impeachment”. [2]

In this third sense, Eliot Ness never was “untouchable”. Ness’s driver was murdered. Ness was nearly shot (more than once), nearly run down in the street and could have been blown up had he started his bomb-wired car. [1] Ness was lucky. It was Al Capone who thought he was untouchable in the sense of being invulnerable, beyond the reach of law.

At this time in history, it seems to me that the independent scientists who conduct original research into health effects of modern technologies (including wireless technologies), also can be considered “untouchables.” (Read more about emf scientific research here)

Like “untouchables” in early India, independent scientists aren’t part of a dominant economic “caste” system. Today, multinational corporate structures exercise powerful influences internationally. As a result, independent scientists’ work becomes, like wireless radiation, somewhat invisible.

Like Eliot Ness, independent scientists are less likely to be corrupted or violated by the temptation of immediate economic rewards than scientists who are employed by industry.

At the same time, independent scientists aren’t invulnerable. Their work is attacked, often by those same industry-paid scientists. Industry itself often either ignores or, without evidence, downplays or dismisses independent scientific findings.

What is “Dark Money” and Who Makes It?

Like “untouchables,” the term “3 R’s” has had several meanings. In the 1907 song, School Days, the “3 Rs” were misspelled words: “Readin’ and ‘ritin’ and ‘rithmetic.” [3]

“Readin’” is one way we learn.

“‘Ritin’” is one way we communicate.

“‘Rithmetic’” means making calculations according to certain rules. It’s one way we think things through.

“Readin’”, Rights, and the Bill of Rights

In school, we read that the United States is officially governed by a Constitution adopted in 1788. In 1791, ten amendments, called the Bill of Rights, were added. [4]

The first “right” stated:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” [5]

“‘Ritin’”, Regulations, and the Supreme Court

Thanks to the Bill of Rights, individuals have freedom to speak their minds. But what about corporations?

A corporation is “[a]n entity such as a business, municipality, or organization, that involves more than one person but that has met the legal requirements to operate as a single person, so that it may enter into contracts and engage in transactions under its own identity.” [6]

The founding fathers didn’t grant freedom of speech or other rights to corporations. After all, the American Revolution started partly because English corporations not only dominated American trade, they took their profits back to England.

Instead, “[c]orporations were forbidden from attempting to influence elections, public policy, and other realms of civic society.” [7]

“in its early days, the United States granted “the privilege of incorporation … selectively to enable activities that benefited the public, such as construction of roads or canals.” [7]

But, over time, corporations grew larger, more independent, and more and more powerful. Along the way, individuals and corporations became subject to taxation.

We think of tax-exempt non-profit organizations as being the charities, formed to benefit the public good. In its Section 501(c)(3), the U S Internal Revenue Service imposes several restrictions on tax-exempt non-profit charities. The IRS states, “In general, no organization may qualify for [charity] status if a substantial part of its activities is attempting to influence legislation (commonly known as lobbying). A 501(c)(3) organization may engage in some lobbying, but too much lobbying activity risks loss of tax-exempt status.” [8]

However, there are other types of tax-exempt non-profit corporations. A 501(c)(4) organization, for example, “must be operated exclusively to promote social welfare” but can “further its exempt purposes through lobbying as its primary activity without jeopardizing its exempt status.” [9]

Opinions about what constitutes “social welfare” may differ, among both persons and organizations, so I think it’s fair to say that 501(c)(4) non-profit organizations are, by nature, politically-minded.

It was a 501(c)(4) organization that took its case to the U S Supreme Court, claiming that a government regulatory agency didn’t have right to enforce a regulation that restricted that organization’s “freedom of speech”.

The regulation imposed time constraints to prevent powerful parties from unduly influencing public opinion in a brief pre-election window, when opposing parties would have no chance to effectively respond.

But instead of focusing on the regulation itself, the Supreme Court, in a narrow 5-4 decision, extended First Amendment “freedom of speech” rights to this and other politically-minded social- welfare non-profit corporations.

A website blog post [10] included these words:

“It ha[d] been understood, for decades, that corporations are ‘persons’ under the Constitution.” However, the Supreme Court decision “conferred new dignity on corporate ‘persons,’ treating them — under the [Bill of Rights’] First Amendment free- speech clause — as the equal of human beings.” [11]

‘Rithmetic’, Responsibilities, and Dark Money

Corporations still are not ‘persons’ in the sense of being allowed to vote directly. However, the Supreme Court’s decision allowed certain tax-exempt non-profit corporations (those governed by IRS Section 503(c)(4) for example), to grow their ‘personal’ political influence.

A 2016 study titled Secret Spending in the States [12] examined election spending in six states, from four years prior to the Supreme Court decision to four years afterwards. The study analyzed dark money, money that was spent by nonprofit groups who are not required to disclose their donors, The study reported that dark money spending multiplied, from a minority of outside election spending to a strong majority eight years later. [12]

The study coined the term gray money to describe donations from such dark money groups to State Super PACs. That’s because, while the Super PACs have to disclose their donors, the original donors in the dark money groups remained hidden. Not surprisingly, the study found that gray money also had multiplied over the eight year period. [12]

Would disclosing dark and gray money donors matter to voters? In a 2015 poll, 3/4 of the respondents supported full donor disclosure by groups who raise and spend money in elections. [13]. The study also noted instances where disclosures appeared to have made a difference to voters. [12]

Full disclosure seems like a really good idea, especially since dark money can originate not only from domestic special-interest groups and individuals but also from unknown foreign sources.

Regulations provide rules, like the rules that govern “‘rithmetic”. The Secret Spending in the States study authors suggested ten regulations that could close loopholes in state election laws that allow dark money donors to remain hidden.

Enacting such reforms would require corporate ‘persons’ to exercise the same responsibilities that individual citizens must abide by in civic life when they exercise their “right to free speech.”

As the study pointed out, “The goals of disclosure are to deter corruption and inform the voting public, not to chill political speech.” [12]

What Other Ways Do Corporations Influence?

Did you know that for-profit corporations have shorter average “lifespans” than human ‘persons’? [14] But shorter corporate “lives” don’t diminish their influence. They have much- greater-than-individual effects on the economy and, through advertising, on the culture.
Their shareholders have limited liability. The corporations themselves have nearly unlimited means.

Corporations’ total tax burden has shrunk, from about 25% of federal tax revenue at the end of World War II to about 7% in 2019. [15] This percentage reduction has been offset by increases in individual income and payroll taxes.

“By law, employers and employees split the cost of payroll taxes, but research has shown that employers pass their portion of the cost on to workers in the form of lower wages.” [15]

Corporations often donate to both political parties, knowing that elected representatives make time to meet with their major donors.

Theoretically, corporate lifespans can be infinite.

When corporations’ “lives” are cut short, the reasons often involve mergers and acquisitions – just changes in corporate form. Corporations also can “choose” whether or how they’ll “die.” For example, if they’ve incurred liabilities, whether from misconduct or ignorance or otherwise, they can ask for and often receive government bailouts. If that doesn’t happen, they can declare bankruptcy and/or distribute assets to shareholders or related corporations before they leave the scene.

For-profit corporations also have managed to largely regulate themselves, by arranging for regulatory agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission and the Food & Drug Administration to be headed by former industry leaders.

Do Other Forces Discourage EMF Health Science Knowledge?

Toxins we can see, hear, taste, touch or smell get most of our attention. Radiation, whether it’s from wireless radio-frequency radiation [RFR], radon or nuclear accident fallout, is invisible to our senses, so it takes us longer to notice the dangers. Fortunately, meters that measure RFR intensities and frequencies allow us to make the invisible visible.

Earlier-known toxins other than RFR haven’t yet been eliminated. Many people have worked tirelessly, for years, to curb toxins (like the fossil fuels that contribute to climate change) and to educate consumers (about harms from cigarette smoking, for example). These dedicated folks are still in the trenches, fighting for our health and our rights. They must be tired. More help is needed.

The rate of technology change is speeding up. Home movies, for example, became possible with film projectors, then VHS or Beta video tapes, then DVDs, then streaming. Technology advances also have advanced “digital addictions.”

Since technologies will continue to change, the question becomes: How well will we survive the health and environmental dangers from wireless communication technologies? The answer may depend on how well we can communicate their radiation dangers now.

So what are our proactive steps?

I’d like it if I could interest others about negative wireless radiation health effects before their personal health is negatively affected. For my own health’s sake, I’d like to be more effective. Maybe we can:

(I) Practice self-care – control our internet use

Three researchers studied what they termed “FITSBY” — “six apps that account for much of smartphone screen time: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, web browsers, and YouTube.” [16]

More than 2,000 people participated in the study. Groups receiving “bonus” or “limit” incentives “reduced their social media use.” [16] The control group did not.

Hub and I don’t own a smartphone, but our wired computer also allows for FITSBY. Because we share that computer, we have less FITSBY time available than most. FITSBY sometimes tempts us though, despite our knowing that “[r]ecent experimental studies find that social media use can decrease subjective well-being,” [16]

The study “suggest[s] that social media are habit forming” and “that self-control problems cause
31 percent of social media use.” [16]

(II) Educate – share the most immediate concerns

My most immediate concern is that few know of a peer-reviewed study by the Environmental Working Group (aka EWG, a nonprofit, non-partisan organization) published in July 2021 [17]. Based on its study results, EWG developed guidelines, “the first…in the U.S. to focus on children’s health.” [18] EWG “…recommend[s] that children’s exposure overall be 200 to 400 times lower than the whole- body exposure limit set by the FCC in 1996.” [18] [emphasis added]

“The EWG recommended limit for so-called whole-body Specific Absorption Rate, or
SAR, for children is 0.2 to 0.4 milliwatts per kilogram, or mW/kg. For adults, EWG
recommends a whole-body SAR limit of 2 to 4 mW/kg, which is 20 to 40 times lower than
the federal limit.” [18]

“The FCC has not set a separate standard for children.” [18]

My second concern is that a number of recent California fires have raised “lashing wire” and
other wireless telecommunication facilities (WTFs] issues.

What about telecommunications corporations’ responsibilities to provide reliable and safe equipment and maintain them? Fire codes don’t seem to address these matters.

(III) Develop Perspective – focus on changes likely to happen and sooner rather than later

When can we hope to see results?

Some have suggested that we could amend the Constitution to prohibit “[c]orporations and other for-profit institutions” from “attempting to influence the outcome of elections, legislation or government policy….” [19]

While I like to think the founding fathers would agree, it’s unlikely to happen anytime during my lifetime.

Legislating reforms, or developing codes and regulations to protect against wireless WTF, RFR and other dangers also will take time, but such efforts may succeed.

(IV) Advocate for Safety and Common Sense – lead by example

Where can wired applications replace wireless ones?

Wireless radiation occurs both outside and inside buildings. According to a study titled Building science and radiofrequency radiation: What makes smart and healthy buildings,

“There is an urgent need to implement strategies for no- or low-RFR emitting technologies, and shielding, in building design and retrofitting. These strategies include installing wired (not wireless) Internet networks, corded rather than cordless phones, and cable or wired connections in building systems (e.g., mechanical, lighting, security). Building science can profit from decades of work to institute performance parameters, operationalizing prudent guidelines and best practices. The goal is to achieve RFR exposures that are ALARA, ‘As Low As Reasonably Achievable.’” [20]

Wired options “for computers, laptops, tablets, printers, gaming consoles and handsets, mouse, keyboards, video cameras, speakers, headphones, microphones and other accessories” [20] already exist. We can demonstrate our passion for safety and common sense by purchasing these wired options for ourselves and our businesses, and by recommending our choices to others.

In addition, we can advocate for legislation that requires proof of safety, proof of insurance and proof of disability opt-out options before new or expanded wireless infrastructures are chosen in our outside environment.

(V) Support Solutions

As I write this, the House of Representatives’ proposed bill 3684, the INVEST in America Act, and the Senate’s substitute bill both allow for both “fixed and wireless broadband” infrastructures.

However, it’s only fixed-and-wired broadband from fiber-optic-cabled infrastructures that won’t create more RFR than what’s already here.

Remember what we know about the fixed-and-wired broadband infrastructure FTTP (“Fiber to the Premises”) compared with new wireless applications:

 


When we support wired broadband infrastructures and FTTP, we support everyone’s healthy future.

As the Building science and radiofrequency radiation article highlights,

“Scientific evidence identifies adverse effects from RFR below regulatory limits” [20] and

“Globally, some governments and public health agencies are reducing [their citizens’] RFR exposures.” [20]

(VI) Create Change

“This above all, to thine own self be true.” [21] Is this advice what’s best for us?

The character in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who says so is Polonius. Polonius desires control, whether it’s controlling the actions of his children, Laertes and Ophelia, or the affairs of state where he’s been appointed head counselor.

The phrase’s common meaning rings truer for us with reference to Hamlet, as he struggles to reconcile concepts involving love, duty, even the nature of truth.

In a similar manner, the song “School Days”, contrasts the “hick’ry stick” used as an educational “tool” within “good old golden rule days.” [3]

The golden rule itself, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” originated long before “School Days” and Shakespeare’s England.

To create change, we modern humans can choose to set aside our controlling hickory sticks and act with compassion and kindness with others.

Can for-profit corporations do the same? Or are they, like Polonius, capable of recognizing only certain human traits that fall within a narrower worldview, one that values only control and profits?

Given corporations’ power, we can support regulations designed to prevent corporate ‘“persons”’ excesses before they happen. When corporate excesses do happen, we must rely on litigation, to right wrongs after damage has been done.

Regulations and litigation change corporations’ reality.

But individuals, like Hamlet, continue to struggle, to reconcile concepts involving love, duty, even the nature of truth.

Fortunately, life on earth doesn’t have to end as a tragedy. We can choose to create change.

The golden rule is a good place to start.

Many thanks to Diane Craig for this guest post.

Headshot Diane CraigFor more than 30 years, Diane Craig has advocated for persons diagnosed with celiac disease. From 2013 to 2018, among other activities as a board member for the California non-profit Celiac Support Group, she helped draft a petition to the FDA to label gluten in drugs and wrote blog posts to help publicize research regarding the then-new concept of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.


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Sources and Bibliography

[1] Ness, E with Fraley O. (© 1957 Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley). The Untouchables. Hardcover. Publisher Julian Messner, Inc. Accessed August 5, 2021.

[2] untouchables. (n.d.) WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. (2003-2008). Accessed July 30 2021 at https://www.freethesaurus.com/untouchables.

[3[ Cobb, W D. School Days, School Days. (1907 by Gus Edwards (Music) and Will D Cobb (Lyrics). National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Kids Environment Kids Health. At https://kids.niehs.nih.gov/games/songs/childrens/school-days-school-days/index.htm. Accessed August 5, 2021.

[4] National Constitution Center Staff. The day the Constitution was ratified. Constitution Daily. June 21, 2021. At https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/the-day-the-constitution-was-ratified/. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[5] Center for Legislative Archives, National Archives and Records Administration. No date. At www.archives.gov/legislative. The Bill of Rights. Handout 3. No date. At https://www.archives.gov/files/legislative/resources/education/bill-of-rights/images/handout-3.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[6] corporation. (n.d.) American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). At https://www.thefreedictionary.com/corporation. Accessed July 27 2021.

[7] Reclaim Democracy! Our Hidden History of Corporations in the U.S. No date. At https://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate-accountability-history-corporations-us/. Accessed July 30, 2021. Reclaim Democracy! is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) charity organization.

[8] Internal Revenue Service. Charities and Non-Profits. Lobbying. Last reviewed or updated july 1, 2021. At https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/lobbying. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[9] Internal Revenue Service. Charities and Non-Profits. Exempt Organization Types. Other Non Profits. Requirements for Exemption. Social Welfare Organizations. Last reviewed or updated April 2, 2021. At https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/other-non-profits/social-welfare-organizations. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[10] SCOTUSBlog. About Us. No date. At https://www.scotusblog.com/about/. Accessed July 30, 2021. SCOTUSBlog is “devoted to covering the U.S. Supreme Court comprehensively, without bias and according to the highest journalistic and legal ethical standards.”

[11] Denniston, L. The Personhood of Corporations. SCOTUSBlog. January 21, 2010. At https://www.scotusblog.com/2010/01/analysis-the-personhood-of-corporations/. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[12] Lee C, Valde K, Brickner B S, and Keith D (© 2016 by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law). Secret Spending in the States. At https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/secret-spending-states and https://www.brennancenter.org/sites/default/files/2019-08/Report_Secret_Spending_in_the_States.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2021. The Brennan Center for Justice is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Its mission as a nonpartisan law and policy institute is to “work … to build an America that is democratic, just, and free — for all.” At https://www.brennancenter.org/about/mission-impact. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[13] I couldn’t access the poll results the study mentioned, because the online webpages cited as “Americans’ Views on Money in Politics, The Associated Press-NORC & Ctr. for Pub. Affairs Research (2015), at http://www.apnorc.org/PDFs/PoliticsMoney/November_Omnibus_Topline_FINAL.pdf” and “Nicholas Confessore & Megan Thee-Brenan, Poll Shows Americans Favor an Overhaul of Campaign Financing, N.Y. Times, June 2, 2015, at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/03/us/politics/poll-shows-americans-favor-overhaul-of-campaign-financing.html” appear to no longer exist.

[14] Garelli S. Why you will probably live longer than most big companies. December 2016. At https://www.imd.org/research-knowledge/articles/why-you-will-probably-live-longer-than-most-big-companies/. Accessed August 5, 2021.

[15] This material was created by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (www.cbpp.org). Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Policy Basics: Where Do Federal Tax Revenues Come From? Updated August 6, 2020. At https://www.cbpp.org/research/federal-tax/where-do-federal-tax-revenues-come-from. Accessed August 5, 2021. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is “a nonpartisan research and policy institute.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. About. No date. At https://www.cbpp.org/about.

[16] Allcott H, Gentzkow M, and Song L. Digital Addiction. July 8, 2021. At http://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/DigitalAddiction.pdf. Accessed August 5, 2021.

[17] Uche, U.I., Naidenko, O.V. Development of health-based exposure limits for radiofrequency radiation from wireless devices using a benchmark dose approach. Environ Health 20, 84 (2021). At https://doi.org/10.1186/s12940-021-00768-1; also https://ehjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12940-021-00768-1. Accessed September 19, 2021.

[18] Environmental Working Group. Study: Wireless radiation exposure for children should be hundreds of times lower than current federal limits. July 20, 2021. At https://www.ewg.org/news-insights/news-release/2021/07/study-wireless-radiation-exposure-children-should-be-hundreds. Accessed September 19, 2021.

[19] Denniston L. Challenges to Citizens United begin. January 24, 2010. SCOTUSBlog At https://www.scotusblog.com/2010/01/challenges-to-citizens-united-begin/. Accessed July 30, 2021.

[20] Clegg F M, Sears M, Friesen M, Scarato T, Metzinger R, Russell C, Stadtner A, Miller A B. Building science and radiofrequency radiation: What makes smart and healthy buildings. Building and Environment. Volume 176. 2020. 106324. ISSN 0360-1323. At https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106324. At https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360132319305347. Accessed August 5, 2021.

[21] Getproofed.com. How to Cite Shakespeare in APA Referencing. October 26th 2018. At https://getproofed.com/writing-tips/cite-shakespeare-apa-referencing/. Accessed August 7, 2021. This reference recommended this citation: Shakespeare, W. (2016). Hamlet, prince of Denmark. B. Mowat & P. Werstine (Eds.). https://www.folgerdigitaltexts.org/html/Ham.html#line-1.3.0 (Original work published 1599). When I attempted to access this webpage, I was rerouted to https://shakespeare.folger.edu/shakespeares-works/hamlet#line-1.3.0. Readers can find the actual quote several other places online or in any edition of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, at Act I, Scene III. I couldn’t cite find my own edition because I couldn’t find it in advance of submitting this guest blog post.

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