From the 2006 archives: TV Interview with Dr. Carlo (Campbell Live, TV3)
Dr. Carlo talks about the cell phone industry's marketing towards children and the epidemic projections from cell phone use.George Carlo and Martin Schram are aiming to become information-age Ralph Naders. They ask a question that ought to concern America's 103 million mobile phone users, as well as those who merely come within earshot of these popular devices: Is the wireless future a threat to public health? "Visit any public building, college classroom, courthouse, or commuter train, and look around: You'll see people using not just wireless phones but also wireless laptop computers and miniature palm tops," write Carlo and Schram. "What you won't see are the microwaves that are criss-crossing a confined space where a number of people who are not even using these instruments are bombarded by these waves." It sounds creepy. And Carlo, an epidemiologist who once oversaw a multimillion-dollar research project on health for the cellular industry, believes the news is not good: there may be a link between cell phone use and brain tumors. The research is not conclusive, but Carlo and Schram think it's disturbing enough to warrant government action. Needless to say, the industry that once backed Carlo's work now considers him persona non grata.
Due largely to Carlo's coauthorship, Cell Phones is unavoidably a one-sided story. Key business figures didn't agree to interviews. In fact, this might have been a better book if it were written by Schram, with Carlo as one of several major characters rather than a collaborator. Then again, it would lack the passionate advocacy that will draw many readers to it. And even the most skeptical may want to take a few of the simple safety precautions the authors recommend in a concluding chapter, such as wearing a headset or earpiece when using a cell phone, in order to keep a distance from the radiation-emitting antennae. One look at the x-ray photos reproduced in the book, which show how radiation easily penetrates skulls, will give even the most impervious observer second thoughts. One thing is probably certain: This book is a harbinger of litigation. If Carlo and Schram are correct about their concerns, the cellular industry--as unbelievable as it sounds--may go the way of Big Tobacco. --John J. Miller --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1993, when the cell phone industry's chief lobbyist hired epidemiologist and pathologist Carlo to refute claims that cell phones, which had never been subjected to premarket testing, cause cancer, no one thought he would discover otherwise. But after six years of exhaustive analysis and scrupulous peer review, the results proved, according to this report, that radiation from a cell phone's antenna can cause the formation of micronuclei red flags for cancer in the brain. Children in particular are more susceptible to the radiation than adults. Carlo reported his findings to the industry and the FDA and advocated for continued research, but both parties still maintain that cell phones are safe. Here, Carlo and syndicated columnist Schram retrace Carlo's scientific undertaking and what they cast as a sinister web of corporate greed and masterful PR "spin" that choked his efforts. Schram provides the primary narrative, with Carlo's insights and recollections scattered throughout, a format that grows repetitive. Despite the captivating story, many consumers won't want to slog through the detailed scientific explanations to get to the bottom-line safety recommendations. Journalists, policymakers and consumer advocacy groups, however, will find this no-holds-barred book extraordinarily informative as they continue investigations of the industry. Agent, Ronald L. Goldfarb.
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