New Documentary Claims Cellphone Radiation Is Tied to Brain Cancer
“Mobilize” asks us to consider what electromagnetic radiation might do to kids growing up with devices. (Mobilize)
We all have a sneaking suspicion that our cellphones are bad for us. You hear it every day: They erode our attention span and keep us connected to social media when we should be paying attention to the people right in front of our eyes. But what if cellphones are actually physically bad for us?
Mobilize, an upcoming documentary from filmmaker Kevin Kunze, is the first feature-length documentary to examine the possibly harmful effects of cell phone radiation. The production value is shoddy at best — Kunze started the film as a student, and paid the production costs himself — but the film is dense with professors and researchers who testify that the effects of cellphone radiation on the human brain are very real.
The film zeroes in on a specific phenomenon — the effects of the radiation in cellphones when they are held against the side of your head. Cell phones emit a small amount of electromagnetic radiation when they transmit a signal, and the film asks whether or not that radiation has any effect on the human brain, the most sensitive area cell phones come in contact with.
As the film shows, most cellphone manufacturers include ass-covering disclaimers in their phone manuals, suggesting you keep your phone about an inch away from your face — an absurd request for someone who needed to, say, make a phone call. The radiation is real, but unlike health risks from tobacco, certain medicines, or cars, the warning has been relegated to fine print in small books that almost no one reads.
The FCC regulates both cell phone radiation and the media, and is heavily influenced by the cell phone industry’s powerful lobbying group. (Mobilize)
The biggest trouble with getting accurate research, Kunze said, is a tale as old as time in politics: lobbying money. For every independent research report that says there’s a tie between cellphone radiation and brain tumors, there’s an industry-sponsored report to refute it.
Additionally, CTIA-The Wireless Association has a tight grip on the FCC, which regulates both the media and cellphone radiation. When lawmakers in California tried to increase the visibility of radiation warning labels, the CTIA withdrew its annual convention from San Francisco and brought in executives from the top cellphone companies to block the legislation.