Thursday, October 14, 2010

Ann Louise Gittleman, author of Zapped: Why Your Cell Phone Shouldn't Be Your Alarm Clock and 1,268 Ways to Outsmart the Hazards of Electronic Pollution, talks about what she sees as the negative health effects from increased electromagnetic exposure and what we can do to protect ourselves.    


Ann Louise Gittleman

Comments [40]

marty from NY

Radiation ? Recently I was at an emergency room at a hospital and observed x-rays being taken of patients. The operators of the x-ray machines set it up then stood outside the room as the picture was taken. They said they stood outside the room so they wouldn't be exposed to the radiation ! No amount of radiation is good for you and any way to avoid it is beneficial.

Nov. 10 2010 06:02 AM

In light of some of the comment made here, I'd like to what Paul Rosch, MD, clinical professor of medicine and psychiatry at New York Medicine College has to say: "It's erroneous that the only harm that could come from cell phone radiofrequency emissions would be thermal or heating action." He cites the work of the late Dr. Ross Adey, who disproved this 30 or so years ago. Not only do "radiofrequency fields with certain carrier and modulation frequencies that had insufficient energy to produce any heating" cause release of calcium ions in the cells, but Dr. Rosch also adds that "a 2-minute call can alter brain function in a child for an hour." That may explain why other countries ban sale and/or discourage use of cell phones to anyone under 18.

Oct. 22 2010 01:57 PM
Frosted about cell phones

Opposing the cell phone industry isn't easy. Read what one researcher at the University of Washington says about this,
You might also want to read,

AT&T is trying to push three new cell towers in a tiny village of 1600 people, where we spend our summers, even though residents here have adequate service. Ma Bell is interested in "drive time," even though using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is illegal in our state. Go figure!

If radiation from these antennae, mobile phones, and wifi is so safe, why are parents trying to get wireless out of schools? And why did two conservatives Republicans (who fortunately are no longer in Congress) place a last-minute rider to the Telecommunications Act of 1996, stating that communities can't oppose towers for health/environmental reasons if there are no dangerous effects?

Israeli research finds much higher cancer incidence near cell towers, which are now hidden in steeples and placed on roofs of schools and apartment buildings. Go to to learn more.

Oct. 18 2010 05:26 PM

Don't we need to put kids first? A study at the University of Utah shows that radiation from cell phones—which even elementary school kids seem to have today—penetrates far more of 10 year-old's skull than adults. The same research points out that children absorb more energy from these phones than adults, plus they'll be using them for far longer than the rest of us.
I read recently that 80 percent of the research on cell phones and other forms of what your guest calls electropollution is funded by the telecommunications industry. They're far more powerful than the tobacco companies were in the '50s and '60s, and the government wisely used the "precautionary principle" in labeling cigarettes. So far only San Francisco even requires radiation labels on phones!

Oct. 18 2010 04:46 PM
Ted in NH

To Mike From Manhattan
It's clear that cell phones impact semen quality in men. A 2008 study at the Cleveland Clinic's Reproductive Research Center links cell phone use with decreased semen quality, lower sperm count and viability.

Even laptop manufacturers (at least Apple, Dell, and others) recommend against putting your computer on your lap. Laptops connected to AC adaptors can cause high AC magnetic and electric fields. Perhaps the bigger concern is "steath stress" from 24/7 exposure to cell and microwave antennae, cell phones, faulty wiring, PDAs, power lines, WiFi. It all adds up, so maybe you urbanites have found the perfect birth control method. No comment on ED.

BTW, looks like Gittleman got her Masters at Columbia.

Oct. 18 2010 04:01 PM
Edward from NJ

Many of the comments here confuse this author with Devra Davis who has also been selling a book about cell phone radiation. While I'm dubious of both of them, Gittleman's "science" makes Davis looks like a Nobel Laureate by comparison.

Oct. 14 2010 12:17 PM
Jake from Nassau County

@Mike from Manhattan -the difference is that the skin blocks light (including UV), whereas microwaves penetrate into body tissues. There is abundant research on cellular effects of microwaves, albeit too weak to ionize or mutate.

Oct. 14 2010 12:11 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Mike, I was going to cite the same Scientific American column (Michael Schermer's "The Skeptic"). Although I have some questions about that too, such as why microwave ovens need to be shielded if that type of radiation isn't dangerous (maybe it does something other than cause cancer, & of course cell phones emit far less microwave radiation than microwave ovens).

And to SuzanneNYC, Leonard's guest was Devra Davis. They're saying the same thing, but they're not the same person. Gittleson wrote "The Four Flush Plan"--oh, 'scuse me, "Fat Flush." The Center for Science in the Public Interest called its "science" a "kooky mishmash of old detox lore and new good-carb theory" in its rating of diet books in 2004 (

Oct. 14 2010 12:11 PM
Jake from Nassau County

She mixes real concerns based on serious research (eg, cellphones held against the head for extended periods) with utter nonsense (eg, home wireless router many feet distant, nutrional supplements to counteract EMF cell damage, etc, etc). It occurs to me that cellphone companies could conceivably fund nuts like this to drown out the serious critics.

Oct. 14 2010 12:07 PM
Jim McGee from Bradley Beach, NJ

A "website access fee" of $2 just to look at the Bioinitiative website? I think we know what this woman and her cause are about.

Plus, her "PhD" is from now-defunct Clayton College of Natural Health, an unaccredited degree mill.

I'm surprised that WNYC gave her airtime to sell her book.

Oct. 14 2010 12:06 PM
Tim from Tappan

Wow Brian, you really gave her a pass on this "publicity" spot. As many have stated here, it's junk science of the worst kind. She could say the name of her book enough times during the segment. I've heard her on almost every show on NPR... She's particularly fond of frightening young moms.

Oct. 14 2010 12:03 PM
Shar in AZ from Arizona (MS in SW)

How about getting someone on the air who has appropriate scientific credentials. WNYC programs are beginning to resemble Coast to Coast, not the balanced information source I access via the Internet. I live in Phoenix, anything but ultra right is difficult to find (there is a resurrection of Progressive Radio on AM, poorly reception), and I have depended on WNYC for years. Is there such a field as bio-physics. Somebody who can explain and differentiate "radiation" which doesn't mean x-radiation!!!

Oct. 14 2010 12:02 PM
Ken from Little Neck

I'm all for good nutrition, but the suggestion that diet changes can protect you from EM radiation is patently ridiculous.

The whole idea is, as so many here have already said, junk. Cell phones, WiFi, ect. simply do not put out enough energy to affect life, period.

Oct. 14 2010 12:02 PM

Oh I cannot believe she just promoted protein powders as a nutritionist! My poor sister had an MD prescribe one of these that was full of soy protein -- not realizing this is very bad for the thyroid. She had radiation therapy and this protein powdered caused a goiter. What is wrong with simple plain food, turning the lights out at a reasonable hour and turning off the electronics? Plus we know that there is danger from the processing of these so-called "healthy" powder. Does she have an RD? Where did she get her nutrition degree?

Oct. 14 2010 12:00 PM
Fallen Acorn from Babylon, NY

Everyone spouting "junk science," I don't think is taking into consideration the main point: this is non-stop.


Oct. 14 2010 12:00 PM

this is bunch of hooie.

Oct. 14 2010 11:59 AM
Jim McGee from Bradley Beach, NJ

A "website access fee" of $2 just to look at the Bioinitiative website? I think we know what this woman is about.

Oct. 14 2010 11:59 AM

GEORGE the caller: It could very possibly be the position you're sitting in. If you keep your hips in flexion for SEVERAL hours a day on a couch with your lap top on your lap, you're not doing your posture any favours. I would not assume it's from the machine itself, though, especially for a man, having that much heat around the groin area is not healthy.

Forget the protective material, and consider setting up a work station for yourself with the hip angle at 45 degrees and not 90, as well as raising the lap top up on a stand and investing in a keyboard, and place everything on a desk!


Oct. 14 2010 11:58 AM
Gary from NY

This is junk science without sufficient peers studies. From physics standpoint, it doesn't make sense. Besides, how is she going to separate the effects from environmental toxins from the effects from microwave? Brain, please get a real physicist to talk about this.

Oct. 14 2010 11:58 AM

Seems like your author is just latching onto a hot topic to cash in on book sales. A nutritionist is an expert on electromagnetic radiation? I find that hard to believe.

Electrosensitivy has already been debunked, here's an excerpt from an article regarding it:

"A variety of studies that we have covered in the past show that people who claim to be electrosensitive are incapable of determining whether there is an active wireless signal in their vicinity. In multiple blinded studies, they did no better than random chance when asked to identify whether equipment that broadcasts on WiFi or cellular frequencies is active."

Full article at:

Oct. 14 2010 11:58 AM

More from Bob Parks:

No link to brain cancer was found in a 10 year, $14 million epidemiological study of cell phone use in 13 countries (the US was not among them); the study was led by the World Health Organization (WHO). So is it safe to use cell phones? Uh, the report doesn't exactly say, instead it concludes that "more study is needed." On the contrary, the WHO study itself was not needed. I remind you that flawed epidemiology led to the great power-line scare more than 20 years ago. Publicized by a series of ignorant articles in the New Yorker , it was a costly diversion that morphed into the cell-phone scare on Larry King Live . Epidemiology is a useful tool for identifying possible environmental hazards, but it is not science, or a substitute for science. The science of electromagnetic radiation is clear: photons with energies below the photoelectric threshold (extreme blue-end of the visible spectrum) are not cancer agents. The energy of the photoelectron threshold is about 1 million times the energy of a microwave photon. Blueberry consumption would have a greater chance of being linked to cancer. Even as I send this off, however, my mail is full of warnings from nonscientists about the dangers of cell phones.

Oct. 14 2010 11:58 AM
Nic from New York NY

This woman is spouting alarmist clap-trap.

There were also studies that tried to contact cancer to people living under power lines, or cooking on an electric stove or with a microwave.

All this vague talk about 'radiation'. It should be noted that your conventional gas stove cooks with radiation: the heat from a flame is a form of radiation.


Oct. 14 2010 11:57 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Where is her "nutritionist" credential from? An online diploma mill?

Oct. 14 2010 11:57 AM
Dirk from Babylon, NY

"catch-all threat" -- you mean, like Terrorism? LOL.

Oct. 14 2010 11:57 AM
J. Luis from Crown heights

This woman is completely nuts. She's probably wearing a tinfoil hat right now so the aliens can't read her brainwaves.

Oct. 14 2010 11:56 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Putting you laptop on you lap can overheat your thighs. That is a real concern. Radiation is not.

Oct. 14 2010 11:56 AM
Fallen Acorn from Babylon, NY

"catch-all threat" - wait, you mean like terrorism? lol.

Oct. 14 2010 11:55 AM
Chuck from Brooklyn

What about the European studys on tumors? In Sweden especially.

Should we always use head phones? How far from our head? Where should They be on our bodies.

I have been using mobile phones for about 10 years at least.

What about the mobile phone antennas all over buildings in the city?

What so do?

I still wonder what microwave cookers do. Aren't we still waiting for that?


Are wireless router really that bad? People in my building have have 10 going on right now. Hare far do these waves travel?


Oct. 14 2010 11:55 AM

This lady was recently on Lopate's show. This cell phone radiation thing is junk science. Go here for an explanation by a real physicist Robert Parks at his blog What's New:

Quote: In short, microwave photons do not have enough energy to create a mutant strand of DNA. That cant happen until you get to the blue limit of the visible spectrum.

For more go to his website:

Oct. 14 2010 11:55 AM
Mike from Manhattan

Her saying it doesn't make it so, but if she say it enough times on enough radio and television shows, she can can sell a lot of books.

It is physical impossibility for the energy levels of cell phones to affect any living thing.

Oct. 14 2010 11:55 AM

This is idiotic. I'm tired of this unscientific bulls--t.

If you can't find a real scientist to discuss these things, don't bother.

Oct. 14 2010 11:54 AM
BJ from Texas

Junk science.

Oct. 14 2010 11:53 AM
Mike from Manhattan

This woman's arguments are completely BOGUS!
Take a look at the discussion in this month's Scientific American Magazine:

"A cell phone generates radiation of less than 0.001 kJ/mole. That is 480,000 times weaker than UV rays and 240,000 times weaker than green light!"

It is physical impossibility for the energy levels of cell phones to affect any living thing.

Oct. 14 2010 11:52 AM

Me: I do the same. I USED to place it under my pillow, but started hearing all that stuff. I always feel that my cell phone is THE most accurate time and there's little chance of the alarm not going off.

Oct. 14 2010 11:51 AM
Edward from NJ

She may want to have a distinct website for this book tour. The fact that she's "Fat Flush for Life, Weight Loss/Detox Expert, Bestselling Author" doesn't lend much credibility. Keep fear alive!

Oct. 14 2010 11:51 AM
Tim from Nyack

This is nothing more than fear mongering. What about TV signals, radio signals, microwave, satellite signals, and on and on for the last 100 years...

Show me a "study" that says A and I'll show you a "study" that say B.

You guest is just trying to sell her book here. Junk science.

Oct. 14 2010 11:51 AM
Ken from Soho

Question: Wireless phones also work with microwaves. Do they generate radiation all the time, or only when the handset is taken off the base?

Oct. 14 2010 11:50 AM
me from NYC

Why not?

Why shouldn't you use your mobile phone as an alarm clock, it is not like I am sleeping on it. It is on a shelf within reach. And, I am reducing my footprint by not having another battery operated or electric alarm clock.

Oct. 14 2010 11:48 AM
Witheld from NY/NJ

I blame my aggressive testicular cancer on my ThinkPad, which I always used on my lap at work as a website designer. I just want people to know this is for real.

Oct. 14 2010 11:48 AM
The Truth from Becky

Too late for this info.

Oct. 14 2010 11:39 AM

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