Health Stronghold Podcast – Episode 2
EMF Radiation Research Explained for Doctors by Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe
Welcome and thank you for listening to Episode 2! – Go to previous Podcast – Go to next Podcast
It was a privilege to spent some time with Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe when I was in the UK. There are still so many people and doctors in main stream medicine who have no idea EMF radiation is a problem and that some people can be severely affected by it from prolonged or even acute exposure.
Dr Mallery-Blythe explains the science and enough of the research to make a solid argument.
Find a download link of this episode below, as well as links to websites.
See you back soon.
Patrick van der Burght
Transcript of the interview with Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe on the research supporting the dangers of EMF radiation
Copyright Patrick van der Burght 2019.
You are authorized to quote sections (max 30%) of this transcript provided a hyperlink to this page is included.
Patrick: Hello. Welcome. In this podcast you’ll hear an interview I did with Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe when I was in the UK. Erica has been campaigning for years about the dangers of EMF radiation exposure that is now so common in our everyday lives and schools.
Patrick: Before we did the interview we chatted for quite a while, and it became clear to me how much of her life she has invested in this cause, sticking her neck out, as it were. And she expressed the wish that if only more doctors knew what she knew, or would look at the research that she’s looked at, then the battle that she’s fighting would be a lot easier.
Patrick: When she asked me what the interview should be about, I suggested it could be educational about EMF radiation exposure and the research available to support her views, but it could also be a message aimed at doctors and healthcare practitioners about why they should take notice. And so you may hear explanations that go a little deeper or terminology that would make a lot of sense to healthcare practitioners.
Patrick: We’ll go to the interview now. You’ll be given lots of insights, so you might want to have a pen and paper handy, but of course you can also rewind and replay. If you know of healthcare practitioners that should listen to this, then please forward them a link.
Patrick: Alright. Hello. Welcome everybody. Thanks for joining us today. I’m very fortunate to spend a little bit of time here with Erica Mallery-Blythe, who’s a doctor who’s very active in research in relation to non-ionizing radiation and has been basically getting her teeth stuck into it for the last 10 years. We’re going to spend a little bit of time together, and she’s allowed me to ask her a bunch of questions and let her elaborate. I’m sure it’ll be fascinating to listen to. Thank you very much for your time.
Patrick: I’ve got a few things I want to ask you. Just to make sure that we’ve covered that if we have time. I guess the most obvious question would be, for those people who are not yet 100% convinced or are unaware that non-ionizing radiation or the radiation that we get from phone towers, power lines, electrical wires, which of course I deal with professionally from an assessment point of view … If you’re not 100% sure that this is a problem, what research is out there that you think is exceptionally telling, or maybe some research that people might not have heard of, which you could share with us, that would be great. What mechanisms are in place, how does this interact with the body and with the cells, and why is health affected? That’d be interesting to cover.
Patrick: Are there specific health issues, or symptoms, or diseases that are linked to non-ionizing radiation exposure, or that are common or typical that we should keep or eye out that, hey, hang on, maybe this is going on? I guess, also for the health professionals listening, who may be new to this subject, I think that would be exceptionally helpful. How does, in specifically cancer and electro-hypersensitivity… how does that dynamic work?
Patrick: Then, maybe you’ve got some recommendations in terms of how to lower your exposure inside the house, and also when we’re out, going to school, going to work. I think that would be a nice little list of things, if we’ve got time for it, to go through. Again, thank you very much for spending this time with us, so please, for those that are not 100% sure that this is a problem … Is it a problem?
Erica: I would say that those that aren’t 100% sure is probably 99% of the population, because very much when you’re sat in a café or a train station or whatever, people are on their devices all the time, and there’s a sort of level of acceptance that tells people there is not a problem. What’s particularly sad for me, with my background, is that I would say that level of understanding is the same in the medical community, actually, where this is also … Most doctors don’t think there’s any problem at all.
Erica: I usually dispute that on the basis of probably tens of thousands of papers now. There are certainly thousands, and arguably somewhere north of 20,000 published peer-reviewed research papers. Of course, they’re looking at this subject from all different angles, so some are looking at it from the level of the cell, some are looking at the effect on biological systems, some are looking at end points, like some of the disease processes that you’ve already mentioned. Some are looking at animal groups, some are looking at humans, some are looking at plants. But even with this enormous amount of studies, we can see that taking a step back and looking at the whole, generally the majority of them demonstrate harm. Of course, it depends on if you look at certain subsections, it depends on the strength of evidence in that subsection.
Erica: For example, one of the strongest areas of literature, I would say, lies in oxidative stress. Now oxidative stress is a degenerative process. It’s what makes cells age to some extent and it can affect all the cells in your body, so it can have multisystemic effects that affect every single system in this globally degenerative type of assault.
Erica: When you look at literature specifically analyzing non-ionizing radiation, and when I say non-ionizing, I focus mostly on the radio-microwave portion of this spectrum. Also, of course, there’s extremely low-frequency fields like you get with household wiring. That is also non-ionizing. Now both of them can have biological interaction, but let’s focus on microwaves and radio waves. Those are the one that we’ve had this huge increase in exposure to, really exponential in fact in my lifetime. Since the mid-’70s, there’s just been this explosion of technology in that frequency band.
Erica: When you look at whether that type of radiation can cause oxidative stress, about 80 to 90% plus even of papers published on that say yes, that it is causing that process. Now that’s a small snapshot of the literature, but it’s enough to say to a medical doctor, that’s enough to say that’s a huge problem. That means that it has the potential to affect every single bodily system in a way that we know is destructive.
Erica: Now oxidative stress is something that’s happening and it happens all the time, whether it’s toxic chemicals or sunlight or all kinds of environments and exposures cause it, but to have something that’s driving it the way this is, if you can avoid exposure to that, then of course you should.
Erica: So then you get into the risk versus benefit debate and I think that’s probably beyond the realms of our conversation here, but there are some areas of life where the risk versus benefit argument for this is black and white. I’ll move on, I think one of your later questions was about avoidance and public areas, so we’ll talk about that then.
Erica: In terms of mechanisms, so understanding what oxidative stress is and how it happens, we know that cancer, for example, can be caused by multiple pathways and it’s probably very much the same with this type of radiation, that there are multiple pathways causing different types of body problems.
Erica: One of them has been really well described in the literature by Professor Martin Paul. He has shown that microwave fields can open up voltage gated calcium channels. They’re channels in the cell membrane and they can be triggered to open by these types of fields and that lets calcium influx into the cell in higher concentrations that it should be there. That can set up a cycle of what we call nitrosative stress or something called the nitric oxide cycle. He’s fondly called it the “No, oh no!” cycle because it’s quite destructive. You can end up in this positive feedback loop of causing free radical formation or types of oxidative stress.
Erica: Again, looking at the literature reviews and the different ways in which he’s proven this theory is quite strong and that’s why I often gravitate towards it. It also has huge clinical significant because all medical doctors know about the calcium channel and we use it. We exploit it in medicine sometimes therapeutically and things like that. We have a very high concentration of voltage gated calcium channels in our central nervous system and that may be one of the reasons why we see a lot of the effect in the central nervous system.
Erica: You’ve got two components to your central nervous system. You’ve got your autonomic, which is comprised of your sympathetic and your parasympathetic. Your parasympathetic is your rest, digest, nurture, build your immune system. Your sympathetic is your run-from-the-lions system let’s say.
Erica: Electromagnetic fields can push your sympathetic, your run system. That’s okay for short periods of time, and you’re not necessarily conscious of it. For some people, that’s probably what’s causing some of the increases we’re seeing in anxiety and things like that. But for most people, they probably wouldn’t be aware of this on a conscious level. But on a subconscious level, if your body is running from a lion 24 hours a day, seven days a week,, because a lot of people are exposed to WiFi for example, all the time, then you have to pay for that from your parasympathetic nervous system. You’re not nurturing your immune system, for example.
Patrick: Your parasympathetic nervous system is your maintenance mode, that’s where you repair. That’s kind of the mode that your body should be in all the time, right?
Erica: Certainly when you’re asleep, for example, very, very important. Each nervous system is dominant depending on what we’re doing at the time, so if you’re playing a sport for example, you’re going to be using your sympathetic nervous system and it’s okay to shut down your immune systems for a while when you’re doing that for short periods. But what’s not okay is to have your sympathetic nervous system highly active at night and not have your parasympathetic working correctly. That, over a long period of time, particularly can be extremely damaging.
Erica: There are even more direct effects. For example, this can have affect melatonin production. Melatonin is your body’s most powerful endogenous (from inside the body) antioxidant. Antioxidants are what neutralize some of this oxidative stress.
Patrick: The clean up crew.
Erica: Exactly. They help you regulate healthy sleep, a wake cycle in this case, with melatonin as well. So you can start to get a picture from what I’ve said about these multiple layers of damage occurring.
Erica: So on the one hand we’ve got a high level of damage. On the other hand, it’s also saturating and down regulating some of our repair mechanisms. Life is a balance. As we discussed earlier, cancer something everyone’s fighting every day of their lives on some level and whether you win or lose that battle depends on this balance, so your repair versus your damage.
Erica: It’s a toxic agent and whether or not it pushes somebody into a specific disease state is dependent on a lot of personal factors and their exposures. In terms of their endpoints, we’ve talked about things on a cellular and systemic level, but in terms of identifiable disease processes, there are more and more now in the literature, but to name a few …
Erica: You can divide them in lots of different ways, but to potentially there are acute things that happen to you straightaway and things that take longer, chronic illnesses. So acute symptoms that people might get would be potentially headache, dizziness, tinnitus for some people, behavioral disturbance, heart palpitations. These are all things that some people who are very sensitive, and there’s lots of different names for this condition, but the one I tend to use is electromagnetic hypersensitivity.
Erica: We know that there’s a vulnerable subgroup that have this condition. For them, what that means is that when they’re exposed to … It’s usually, the most aggressive triggers tend to be pulse modulated radiofrequency triggers. So a mobile phone, for example, might give somebody a headache.
Patrick: That’s things that carry information for those listening.
Erica: Exactly. Information carrying waves. It often starts, it’s usually triggered by whatever that person has been most intensively exposed to. Mobile phones are very common triggers. A base station that’s near to somebody’s house might be another trigger. A WiFi router that’s right on their office desk.
Patrick: On the desk, yeah.
Erica: These are the kinds of things that usually trigger a heightened response that starts to make that subject hypersensitive. Now if you immediately reduce their exposure, those symptoms might go away and possibly never come back, but if instead you continued those exposures or even elevate them, then that subject can become more and more sensitive at lower and lower intensities to a broader range of different frequency types.
Erica: To put that in context, you might have a child who complains of a headache on a mobile phone and if she continues those exposures, she might start to get the same headache when she’s near a WiFi router and then when they drive nearby a mobile phone base station, something like this. So it will just get broader and broader and that can end up as an incredibly debilitating condition.
Erica: What’s really frustrating for me is that this is probably going to be quite prolific in children because their exposures are higher.
Patrick: And basically from their conception, they’ve been exposed where you and I, when we were younger, this stuff didn’t exist yet.
Patrick: The phone towers got introduced later, but they have their exposure from the very, very beginning.
Erica: That’s right. They are now exposed from conception to a higher level than any generation has ever seen before. To put it in perspective, people often say when they’re trying to allay fear, they’ll say, “But there’s always been radiofrequency radiation in the environment.” There has, but to put it in context, it’s been measured now in some areas to be a billion, billion. I think that’s technically a quintillion times higher than pre-man natural background radiation levels. We’ve created something that is nothing like anyone’s been involved to deal with.
Erica: As well as being much, much higher in intensity, it’s also in an area, the frequency band that was a natural radio quiet zone. So if you look at background radiation, about one gigahertz. It was very, very low. That’s the sort of area, broadly speaking, that we’ve filled in with these massive new technologies.
Erica: So humans did not evolve to deal with this. Children being born now, the truth is we don’t know what the longterm health consequences are going to be and nobody can say what they are until that generation has gone through and in fact, several more generations because some of the health effects that have potentially genetic effects of eggs and sperm, that could have lasting consequences for some subsequent generations.
Erica: So we know now that is fueling oxidative stress and a number of disease endpoints potentially which are dependent on that as a mechanism. There’s some evidence that this could be fueling neural behavioral disorders, which is obviously rising in children, things like ADHD.
Patrick: Have you got any idea on what the ratio is nowadays? It seems to double every so many years, the amount of children. Just look at a classroom and …
Erica: One of the things that some people would find very compelling is when you look at the graph of increasing incidents of autism alongside the increasing exposure to RF, they’re identical. In terms of a temporal link, it’s almost a perfect set of curves. However, scientifically we would say that a strong temporal link makes you suspicious. There are some very bizarre graphs that coincide that we know common sense tells us have nothing to do with each other, so we can’t rely on that alone. But when you start getting published science, good quality science that also makes sense of those links, you really have to take that very seriously.
Erica: I think autism has become of such huge public health significance now that you would hope this would drive better research into this area. The problem is, a bit like tobacco smoking, if the government make more money from tobacco than they do from the illness it causes, then for them it’s a no-brainer. Not for me, I’m a doctor. I don’t care about the financial implications on that level. That’s one of the problems that we’ve seen with the tobacco industry. This is just another industry but making an awful lot more money than the tobacco industry ever did.
Patrick: Now, whilst around that. I guess this might be a good opportunity to bring up exposure standards. Many governments, at some point in the past, have set a maximum mark where they said, alright, in terms of this radiation, it shouldn’t be higher than this. There’s also countries that still don’t have exposure standards. They just pump it in the air and off it goes. I heard a very chilling account, I may be paraphrasing a little bit, of somebody who was asked to contribute to an inquiry about radiation and the quote was somewhere along the lines of, “The exposure standards are set knowing full well that they can never be set at a level that will protect 100% of the population. Therefore it’s an acceptable economical loss that a small percentage of the population will be affected by whatever standard you set.”
Erica: That’s correct.
Patrick: That sounds chilling.
Erica: That’s correct and it may sound chilling, but it’s exactly what we do every time we get in a car every day to be fair. We know that there’s a rate of traffic accidents that will kill a certain number of people every year and it doesn’t stop most people from getting in a car. So we risk calculate as individuals and as parents every day of our lives. That’s something that’s become very built into society on all levels but people don’t always consciously think about it in that way.
Erica: On a policy making way, it becomes even more sterile. People literally number crunch and say, “Well, is that an acceptable loss,” and if in their world it is, often the population have never been given the ability for informed consent to that acceptable loss. To me, that’s a really important part of this argument because when somebody these days picks up a cigarette and puts it in their mouth, it’s highly unlikely that they haven’t heard that it causes cancer. They are giving informed consent to that risk. That is totally different to putting a child in a car stream with a WiFi router because that child doesn’t have capacity to give informed consent.
Erica: What’s another layer really that feels very wrong about this to me is actually the teachers and governors and staff in that school, they don’t know about the level of risk either. They’ve been given responsibility. So in this country, schools are being told it’s your decision. It’s your decision whether you use wireless internet. You don’t have to. Once they’re given the decision making, they have some degree of accountability and responsibility but they haven’t been informed of the risks correctly either.
Erica: So this risk analysis that takes place, it’s a difficult one. You mentioned some countries have no safety standards. I would say we’re one of them and the reason I say that is because currently what’s being used as a safety standard is not a safety standard. It’s the ICNIRP guideline and that was a guideline that was devised in the ’90s to protect against thermal heating of tissue. That simple, over a very short time period, over six minutes. So during that time period, if you don’t exceed that guideline, then you’re unlikely to heat a cell to a measurable degree with a certain type of instrument.
Erica: That bears no resemblance to the reality of the science which is that so-called non-thermal, but low intensity effects happen orders and orders of magnitude below that level and we’ve known that for decades. There is excellent robust science dating back to the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s which show these non-thermal, low-intensity effects. So they, to some extent, known about before the technology was introduced.
Patrick: But it’s not acute, it’s something often systematic. It affects the whole body rather than…
Erica: That’s right. That may be contributing to these chronic effects we’re seeing. We know that cancer often takes several decades after exposure to manifest. Again, this ability for non-ionizing radiation to damage DNA, that was documented a really long time ago and there’s been some really excellent studies. In terms of disease endpoints, cancer is probably one of the ones that has the strongest literature. We started off with some of the literary studies back in the day. Then the European Union funded the Reflex Study which showed DNA damage and there’s a great graphic that you can see that shows using the chromatosis, where you look at and you can actually see the DNA damage being very comparable to, in this case, it’s 1600 chest X-rays and that was just with exposure that was just one day’s worth of mobile phone radiation at the allowable guideline.
Erica: But then nobody wanted to accept the results of one study even though it was well constructed, so then there were loads more and there have been lots of different studies showing DNA damage and showing elevated cancer rates. So then we had a flurry of epidemiological studies looking at humans who’d used their mobile phones for longer periods more intensively. And yes, they found elevated rates of certain tumor types, especially after 10 years of use. Brilliant literature for people who want to know more is from Lennart Hardell and colleagues. They’ve published a lot on this subject now.
Patrick: Could you say that again slowly?
Erica: Professor Lennart Hardell. They’ve really, I think, focused on this area of the literature and published a great deal and have good methodology in terms of their studies, because if you want to design a study to fail, it’s not hard. But using the best methodology, those are the studies that have tended to genuinely find a link specifically with glioblastoma multiforme, that’s the GBN tumor, which is a virulent tumor. It’s got a five year survival of almost zero.
Erica: And acoustic neuroma which is a type of schwannoma. In the human studies, we’re seeing that in the ear canal, but in animal studies using the same kind of radiation, they’ve seen those tumors, schwannomas in the heart. Acoustic neuroma in humans is normally benign, but actually in the animal studies, they saw the schwannoma, it was actually a very malignant form in the heart. Now, these animals weren’t being tested in the same ways as humans use their phones. They had a whole body of radiation and that’s when they saw these heart tumors.
Erica: But what’s really interesting is when the International Agency for Research on Cancer looked at the possibility for radiofrequency causing cancer, that was in 2011. On the basis of Lennart Hardell’s studies and some others, they said, “We are going to classify this as a Group 2B, possible human carcinogen.” Now even at that point in time, some of that panel were unhappy about that. They felt it should have been a higher category.
Erica: In about 2013, Lennart Hardell used … In science, we’ve got something called the Bradford Hill Causality Criteria or Viewpoints. There are nine criteria and you look through them and it’s to try and help us establish, does A cause B? When he applied these criteria for RF and glioblastoma multiforme and acoustic neuroma, he found that it satisfied those criteria really well.
Erica: Now, I was taught those criteria in med school. They were designed by Bradford Hill in the ’60s and still today, they’re felt to be really reliable. So in terms of science, back then he said this should be a Group 1. This should be up there with asbestos and X-rays and tobacco and he published that. But IARC, the International Agency for Research of Cancer, haven’t reconvened since 2011. So nobody has gotten together, despite this exponential increase in exposure to children, nobody has reconvened to assess the whole pool of literature since then and say maybe this should be a higher category.
Erica: Something very important happened this year. So this year, one of the things that held it back in 2011 was supposedly lack of mechanistic data, so we have to be able to point to all the points in the pathway. When A causes B, what are all the mechanisms by which it creates that? The second thing that they like is not just human data but animal data and vice versa. They had some quite good human epidemiological studies, but they felt they didn’t have enough animal data.
Erica: Mechanistic data has kept coming since then and there’s quite a lot more, but very importantly this year, those animal studies that they were looking for have been … I won’t say published for both of them. One of them is the National Toxicology Program. They published a report of partial findings back in 2016 and the reason they did that was to warn the public because what they found was that they’d started their experiment, they got half way through and they had already seen the same two tumor types that we’ve seen in humans in their animal group and they thought, you know, as exposures go on like this, we’d better tell the public this. They did it. They were commended by the International Agency for Research for Cancer on giving that partial report even though the study wasn’t complete.
Erica: This year, the important step forward was that that study, although it’s not finally published, was peer reviewed and that’s the process in the medical and scientific community that gives strength to data. We say, alright one group has come up with this, but they have to have their fellow professionals critique it. They had a big review panel, I think 11 experts at least. I think the community, including myself, we were all a bit worried that this might get diluted during the peer review process because it’s politically very undesirable. I think everyone understands that. But it wasn’t. It was strengthened, and in fact, they strengthened, I think, seven different categories for different tumor types because although I’ve mentioned glioma and schwannoma, actually several other tumor types were found, but not with such high statistical significance.
Erica: Now for schwannoma of the heart in male rats exposed to mobile phone type radiation, they strengthened the evidence to what they call clear evidence of carcinogenicity. That in itself, it rings for the same kind of evidence that we want to say this is a Group 1. When you say clear evidence, there was nothing ambiguous about it and that was after peer review. Now the final publication, I think, is due to come out maybe later this year.
Erica: The other study that was very important that was published this year was from the Ramazzini Institute in Italy, another really gold standard methodology, highly credible group whose Raison d’être is to assess carcinogenicity. What was really important about this study is that although the NTP used near field exposures like you would get from cellphone, the Ramazzini Institute used a far field exposure and it was designed to be like mobile phone base station radiation. Lots of studies in the past have shown the kinds of symptoms I mentioned with the HS in the general population in dose response fashion depending on how close you lived to a mobile phone base station.
Erica: There’s often criticism of those kinds of studies, but what this study showed was the same tumor types again, in rodents again, from a far field exposure. So what you can see here is we’ve lots of different corroborating evidence which is increasing the consistency of our findings. So experts all over the world have come out since the Ramazzini Institute study was published for example, and said again, this needs to be reclassified as a Group 1.
Erica: What’s frustrating for those of us who read this literature is that none of that information is being filtered down to the public. None of it. They just see more devices and more devices and they can buy more and that gives them the reassurance. They think, well, the government wouldn’t sell them to us if they weren’t safe. But there are these rigorous processes which can take decades to go through and by the time you actually arrive at a reasonable outcome, it’s too late for a whole cohort of people and possibly you could argue for subsequent generations.
Erica: So my perspective at this point in time is that there are situations in life when you do risk assessment and you say this is okay and I do that when I get in my car and moms and dads do that when they put their kids in their car because really, it would be very hard for them to live life without the car, but this is very different. When I said there’s areas where this is black and white. If you take a child in a school setting and you do a risk assessment and you say okay, well what’s the benefit of this? What’s the benefit? What’s the benefit of WiFi in a classroom? Can you think of anything?
Patrick: Well, there’s no wires to install.
Erica: Yeah? So the most advanced organizations on the planet, like the military, have had hardwired systems the whole way through. They don’t use any WiFi at all and they’re not tripping over cables every five minutes because we worked out a long time ago how to make wires safe in an environment. I would suggest walking around with an iPad or a tablet of any description online is a trip hazard as well and that’s what you get from your wireless.
Erica: The answer you gave me is a classic one. It’s about convenience, it’s about convenience for staff because to my knowledge, there’s no evidence of educational benefit. On the other hand, there are arguably hundreds of studies which show detriment to education, and when I say that, I mean things like damage to memory, behavior, cognition, learning. These are the things we want from kids in school. That’s before we started talking about cancer and infertility and dementia risk that are also related.
Erica: So on the one hand you’ve got massive, compelling, in both quality and quantity, evidence of harm to biology. On the other hand, you’ve got convenience for staff. To me, that it utterly black and white. And the kids, they don’t know and they don’t care.
Patrick: It’s not like they can’t … Some simple instructions and learn how to operate anything.
Erica: These days if you want to use iPads, you can have your iPad on a hardwired docking station using a live internet from your docking station. You can keep it in flight mode the whole time. You can then have it detachable so if you want the child to go out and use it as a camera or something you can do that, bring it back and put it on the docking station. The only limitation you have is you can’t walk around and be online at the same time. That is not necessarily on any level. In terms of some schools will argue about particular applications or whatever, but again, most applications can be downloaded to the machine and used offline or just used on the hardwired system.
Erica: So this risk versus benefit in school is black and white. There is no place for RF radiation in schools at all. This is something some countries are clicking on to, so France has banned WiFi in nurseries. They’ve limited it for under six-year-olds, fantastic. You have to start somewhere and I think that makes sense. Cyprus have got amazing awareness campaigns where they’re trying to educate parents and educate schools and say, “This is a risk to your child’s health. So it doesn’t matter how convenient you might think it is. It’s not worth that.”
Erica: Now of course individuals in their own home have a lot more flexibility as well, so if you want to get rid of your WiFi router you can. You just have some hardwired ethernet stations. Most people don’t walk around and use it at the same time anyway. You have certain areas in your house you tend to sit and do your computer work and that’s incredibly easy. Obviously what comes from your neighbors or outside the house, that’s a bit more difficult to deal with and that’s where you’re looking at shielding and potential shielding of rooms or certain areas.
Erica: But I think the biggest step that we need to take as a society is actually about education. The doctors group that I’ve put together called Physicians Health Initiative for Radiation and Environmental, PHIRE Medical, I put that group together because once I started learning and understanding this subject, I was overwhelmed with requests for support and advice. I realized that it doesn’t matter how specialist a doctor is. Almost none of them have been educated on this particular subject. We were given a bit of training at med school about ionizing radiation and how ionizing radiation affects cells and how it creates cancer, etcetera, but not this. To my knowledge, right here and right now, medical students aren’t being taught anything about this at all.
Erica: So the first step really is education and giving people the tools they need, whether it’s some wires or some shielding fabrics to try to lower their personal exposure and then really, getting to the heart of public spaces and saying, well people need to give consent the same way that now, they usually allow to consent when they inhale tobacco smoke or not. We need to move to that kind of paradigm with radiofrequency radiation.
Patrick: There’s a legal liability in there as well. I’ve attended legal brainstorming sessions where the comparison with asbestos is drawn and where the cold hard truth was that if you as a cleaner for asbestos, if you’ve worked for five different companies and they all expose you to asbestos and four of them have gone out of business, they don’t exist anymore … If you contract the cancer linked to asbestos, the fifth company, if it’s still in business, they’re 100% liable for your exposure and the end outcome. That could very well follow the same path for the radiation.
Erica: This accountability issue is a really interesting one because right now there is nobody who’s clearly accountable. We don’t know who’s going to be held accountable. There’s litigation happening, as I’m sure you’re aware. So initially there have been a few cases now of brain tumors caused by cellphones in a court of law. People are reaching out to lots of different directions. Some people are suing the mobile phone industry. Some people are suing their employers in a school because they’ve been given the choice. Could somebody try and sue the governing body or the head teacher? I haven’t seen it happen, I don’t know yet.
Erica: But these are the kinds of cases that I know people are trying to pursue right now because ultimately they just want to protect their child or their loved one and they will do that any way that they can and they will find anyone accountable that they can in order to achieve that process.
Erica: Personally, I think it accountability should lie with advisory health authorities. That is their job. Their job is to assess the technology and say is this safe for the public. They have failed in their realm in many other areas in the past like with tobacco and like with asbestos. You would hope that following those gross failures that they would take a more proactive approach this time. I’m desperately hoping that we’ll start to see that.
Patrick: Yeah. We need some more public pressure, yeah.
Patrick: Okay. Alright, so maybe just to tie things in, do you have some recommendations of what people can do to reduce their exposure? You mentioned some things in the house where of course people have a lot of control. Maybe some things out of the house?
Erica: So I think one of the most important areas in your home is your bed space. There are two important areas: there’s the place where you sit for long periods and do work and there’s the place where you sleep. I always focus on the sleep area first and I think in that environment you want absolutely as natural background radiation level as you can. In some areas, that’s very easy to achieve and in some areas it’s really hard. For the majority of people it’s quite difficult.
Erica: You start by just turning off your own stuff. So if you’re using WiFi, make sure it’s never on at nighttime. Ideally, get rid of your WiFi during the day as well and hardwire it. You can have demand switches fitted to your fuseboxes so that your low-frequency fields, your ELF, is also low which is very sensible because there’s often sockets right by your bed or lamps and conductive things.
Patrick: Allow me to elaborate. Anything with voltage in it emits an electric field which reaches out a good two meters and so even if you unplug things from the pair of sockets, if you’ve got a live wire running behind your bed, your inundated with this electric field exposure of 50, 60 hertz a second.
Erica: Yeah, absolutely. Some people will have metal bed frames or metal springs in their mattress that’s again, conducting that even closer to their body. So I tend to say metal free mattresses and bed frames. Sometimes just moving stuff. It’s very difficult to mitigate something you can’t see and you can’t feel necessarily and so I advocate for people that want to take this seriously, either buying or hiring meters to look at the magnetic component, the electrical component and then your radiofrequency fields. It’s quite easy to do that for short period. Sometimes what people find is actually just moving their bed a few feet can make a massive difference. So if you’re above a lighting circuit in the field below, for example, that’s the kind of thing you can move.
Erica: But generally, turning fuseboxes off at night, turning all your wireless devices off at night. Phones should never ever be active at nighttime, mobile phones that is. Putting them in airplane mode or flight mode allows people to use them as an alarm clock which many people are doing, but leave it by their bed more safely.
Erica: People often ask me about headsets when they’re using their phone. My personal philosophy on it is this: a phone should be an emergency device in an ideal world. I realize that’s very difficult for lots of people. So if you feel you have to use a phone, then I tend to say, the key is you want it as far away from your body as possible. Wired headsets, I believe, can conduct RF up those wires right into your ear canal, so I generally say air tube headsets.
Erica: But what people often do is they feel great because they’re using their air tube headset and then they’ve tucked their phone in their pocket or their bra. There’s a case series of breast cancers related to practices of keeping phones in bras. That’s from John West in the States. So never carry a phone in a bra or a pocket. The other incredibly strong area for damage, in terms of the literature, is in fertility and damage to sperm, so guys should not be keeping them in your pockets.
Erica: The other thing you can do of course is use speaker phone if you’re in a private setting, and again, move the phone as far away from you as you can.
Erica: The problem with this philosophy though, and I always want people to know the truth as best we know it at this point, but that is that low intensity doesn’t negate biological risk. This comes back to this safety standard issue you mentioned. Some people have said there is no safety standard that can be low enough to protect against biology. I completely agree with that statement and that is on the basis that when you do biological studies looking for very, very low intensity effects, we always find them. We haven’t, to my knowledge, found a level, a definite clear level below which there is no biological interaction at all.
Erica: In fact, some studies, and there’s some work by Professor Leif Salford here. He looked at rat brains in response to mobile phone radiation and what he found was that when he dropped the intensity, he got more albumin leakage into the brain of a rat than he did at the higher intensity. This was because it’s demonstrating blood brain barrier damage which is another finding in the literature. But this was demonstrating something very important which is that we have intensity windows where a low intensity can have a worse biological outcome than sometimes a higher intensity.
Erica: There’s some scientific sense in this, but I don’t think we can go into it today, but what that means is that when you push your phone away, you can’t consider that completely protective. And again, we’re finding our way in the dark. We’re at the embryological stages of understanding this new area of science.
Patrick: We’re all in this experiment together.
Erica: We’re all in a massive experiment. So I say to people, try and push it away, try and lower your intensity, but at the same time I say the truth is, the science says you can’t call that 100% protective. It’s just sensible.
Patrick: Alright. Wonderful. I guess maybe in closing, I know you’re very passionate about reaching out to other health professionals because if you can share your knowledge amongst them, then the public is so much more helped when they’ve got a ear that is listening out for the potential of these sorts of mechanisms. Do you have a message to your colleagues?
Erica: I do, I do. Remember your own humility is the biggest message I have because I think what happens to doctors, and I have no doubt this happened to me through the system, is we’re given our textbooks as kids essentially when we come out of school, and if something’s not in our textbook we think it doesn’t exist and to some extent we’re nurtured to feel like we know everything and we have the boundaries. When we can’t make sense of something, we reassure people. That’s what I was taught to do at medical school.
Erica: That’s a terrible way to address health. It should be almost the opposite. We know that we’re learning, we’re always learning. What we do today is prime practice. It will be considered laughable in some decades time. No doctors, in general, have been taught about this. It’s okay to say, “I wasn’t taught. I don’t know. I’m not sure.”
Patrick: You couldn’t possibly be aware of all the research out there.
Erica: That’s right. What is not okay to do is it’s not okay for them to say when somebody comes to and says, “I think I’m getting a headache, I think it might be from this,” they cannot say, “No, you’re not.” There is so much literature now. They need to go and read that literature if they possibly can and if they really can’t, they need to say, “I’m not the right doctor to look after you because I don’t have any knowledge on this subject.”
Erica: But what I keep hearing back even from medical professionals is, “Well, we need a stronger evidence base.” That is not true. That’s a fallacy. It’s just because they haven’t noticed the literature. But if they actually go and research it, they’ll be shocked at how much they find.
Erica: So remember our own humility and work within that framework. Know your limitations. That’s the most important thing.
Patrick: And a good source for them to go to find more facts? They can contact you through the…
Erica: Yeah, I’m contactable through PHIRE Medical, which is my group, PhireMedical.org. That is a charity that umbrella-ed by the Radiation Research Trust and they also have a website. Then an excellent resource, I think, for information is the Environmental Health Trust. It’s an American group and they just have a really great website with loads of information on there.
Erica: For people who are specifically interested in schools, there’s a Wifiinschools.org.uk as well, as that’s run by neuroscientists and again it’s got science and good science.
Patrick: Wonderful. Alright. Thank you very much for your time. It was lovely to spend some time with you and behalf of those people that have joined us, thank you very much for all you’ve shared with us.
Erica: Thank you.
Patrick: Alright. Thank you.
Patrick: Okay. That was it for the interview with Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe in the UK. She shared some interesting points of view and information and so we can only hope that other doctors will take this to heart and investigate the issue of radiation exposure with a lot more interest.
Patrick: Useful information about this episode and links you can find on our website by going to www.healthstronghold.com/doctorerica, and Erica is with a ‘C’.
Patrick: I’d love you to stay in touch, so please subscribe to this podcast and you can also register for our newsletter on our website.
Patrick: I’m Patrick Van der Burght. I look forward to having you back soon for other episodes.
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