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NEWSLETTER: In Her Own Words: Ellie Marks on the Faces Behind Bill SB 932

Apr 17, 2012


 Environmental Health Trust voiced its strong support for California State Senator Mark Leno’s introduction of statewide cell phone legislation this week. If passed into law, SB 932 would require a specified notice relating to radiofrequency energy emitted by a cell phone to be prominently displayed by the retailer of the cell phone immediately adjacent to the displayed purchase price at the physical retail location and on the retailer’s websites, and on the cell phone’s exterior packaging.

In her own words, Ellie Marks, EHT’s Director of Government and Public Affairs shares her story.

I am honored to be here today to support Senator Leno’s important bill giving us all the right to know the truth about microwave radiation from cell phones.  For more than a quarter century, my husband, Alan, did not have that right.

Today our family is struggling with his brain cancer that arose because he and we neverimagined that his heavy use of cell phones could prove dangerous.  He is one of many Californians whose lives have been destroyed because manufacturers failed to give us simple and clear information about safer use of cell phones.

Today, I am proud to represent Environmental HealthTrust—a nonprofit research and policy group that is leading a global campaign for safer cell phones—that is releasing Doctors Advice to Patients and Their Families, written by some of the world’s top neurosurgeons. EHT fully endorses Senator Leno’s important bill. We are thrilled to be working with EWG and this legislature to ensure that Californians have the right to know about safer use of this valuable technology.
What in the world is going on? How can it be legal to hide safety data in tiny print in guides that few read, to “reduce the amount of time spent on the phone”, while promoting commercials featuring children using phones as mini-business executives and giving them unlimited minutes.

The American people deserve better than this hypocritical deception and marketing hype.

My family and I are the reasons why you must support this bill. Let me tell you about just a few others who, like me, know first hand that cell phone radiation can destroy lives.
  • Dan Brown, was a feisty Fresno state football coach who spent two decades glued to his cell phone as a recruiter. This father of 6 children ages 8 to 22 went from knocking fullbacks on their rears to praying with them to be strong as they watched him die from primary stage 4 brain cancer at age 50.
  • Long-term cell phone user and father of two young children ages 6 and 3, Paul Prischman of L.A. died from primary stage 4 brain cancer at 42, leaving two young children ages 6 and 3. His neurosurgeon, the renowned Dr. Keith Black, chief of Neurosurgery at Cedar Sinai, told his family that “cell phones” were the culprit, just as had been the case with another of his patients — famed attorney Johnnie Cochran.
  • Rich Farver, a 28 year old grad student at San Diego State, could not be parted from his phone starting as a teenager and died of primary stage 4 brain cancer that his physician Dr. Tanuwaya of Poway attributed to “cell phones”.
  •  Bret Bocook, is a 43 year old Palo Alto attorney, former Olympic-level rower, father of a kindergartener, whose incessant cell phone use has left him with a primary stage 3 brain cancer.
  • My own husband of 30 years, Alan Marks is also an otherwise healthy guy with a brain tumor, paying the price now for his years of heavy cell phone usage.


Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle editorial page has quoted outraged civic leader and newly diagnosed brain tumor survivor, Milton Marks III, who had been a heavy cell phone user for a decade, Milton has primary stage 4 brain cancer and three young children—ages 8 year old and twins aged 4. He, like my family, does not have time for pussyfooting around,  “I find it strange that people are so afraid of the cell phone industry that they don’t stick up for what’s right.”

Had my husband, Brett Bocook or Milton Marks had access to this vital data, they never would have risked their lives.

So I beg you. Do not be bullied by this callous industry. Stand up for the right to know so that others will not have to suffer as my family and so many others are today.

Ellie advocates for safer cell phones and for legislation for warnings. Ellie was involved in San Francisco’s successful cell phone legislation, which she is now taking nationwide. Hundreds dying from brain cancer have contacted Ellie; and describe how their tumors are on the same side of their heads to which they held their phone. For more information, log on

As seen in the May 12, 2011 issue of our Newsletter.
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Other Links Found in this Issue:

EHT in the News:
Forbes Article: Cell Phone Radiation? Text, Don’t Talk Advises FCC
SAR vs. EMR: An Expert Clarifies His Stance on Cell Phone Radiation
Featured Articles:
Sacramento Should Take Up Cell Phone Safety

Featured Links:
Doctors’ Advice to Patients & Their Families