A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

“The Man Who Was Allergic to Radio Waves”

March 4, 2010

Time magazine has posted a piece on "Cell-Phone Safety," which will appear in next week's print edition (March 15).

Also, in its March issue, Popular Science offers a detailed look at the EMF controversy. "Disconnected" runs a full ten pages, with a promo on the cover: "Killer Cell Phones: The Real Science Behind the Health Scare." The magazine's Web site pitches the story as an exploration of electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS): "The Man Who Was Allergic to Radio Waves." The "man" is Per Segerbäck, a former Ellemtel telecom engineer who now lives deep in the Swedish countryside.

To see, once again, how little has been learned about EMFs and health over the last generation, take a look at David Kirkpatrick's article, "Do Cellular Phones Cause Cancer?, which ran in Fortune magazine 17 years ago this week (it too was promoted on the cover). In a sidebar, "Maybe the Swedes Are Right," Kirkpatrick cited Segerbäck's case of EHS —though not his name. Years later, Kirkpatrick reported that his 1993 article "caused quite a ruckus," adding that, "Motorola was not thrilled." That was an understatement. Motorola got so ticked off, it pulled all its advertising from Fortune for a long time. The magazine lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.