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“Radiation” Replaced With “Energy” Wordsmithing of the California Department of Health Cell Phone Advice.

Jan 27, 2018


“Radiation” Replaced With “Energy”

California Department of Health Cell Phone Draft Advice Edits

January 2018: The California Department of Health released more documents to Environmental Health Trust (EHT) under the Public Information Act. EHT asked for Drafts of the cell phone guidance after 2015. The Department only released drafts from part of 2017.

They show more edits, notable, the removal of the word “radiation”.  In fact, if one looks at the edits over the last 9 years, one sees that the word “radiation” was wordsmithed away. See this example from 2017. Early drafts from 2009 clearly use the word radiation several times in the document.

The first CDPH drafts had a “Definition”  section that stated, “electromagnetic fields are forms of radiation created whenever electricity is generated or used.” Later drafts continued to maintain a highlighted section on “What are EMF’s”  defining it as as a type of “radiation”. However the word radiation was fully edited out by the time the document was released.

Notably there is a 2017 draft page  (released under FOIA) that shows how the word “radiation” was crossed out and replaced with the word, “energy”. The  2017 draft stated, “Cell phones also emit RF radiation when using Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, but at lower levels.” This was changed in the final published advice to state  “Cell phones also emit RF energy when using Wi-Fi and/or Bluetooth, but at lower levels.”

In the final 2017 PDF entitled “How to Reduce Exposure to Radio frequency Energy from Cell Phones” the word “energy” is found 27 times. The word radiation is present only 4 times in the text but it is framed in a way that de-emphasises the fact that cell phone signals are radiation. The final document states, “These signals are a form of electromagnetic radiation called radiofrequency (RF) energy.”

As another example of the de-emphasis of the word radiation in the final published PDF,  it is notable that in 2017 there were drafts which has the second sentence stating, “These phones put out radio frequency (RF) energy (a kind of radiation).”  The phrase  (a kind of radiation) was removed and the sentence now reads,  “These phones put out radio frequency (RF) energy.”  

The final published 2017 document has edited language that conveys that RF is more “signals” and “energy” rather than radiation.  See the draft document with edits here.

Radiation To Energy California Dept of Health Advice 2017 Drafts



26 pages of Edits in 2017 to the California Department of Health Cell Phone Advice

27 (over 100 pages) Versions from 2009 through 2015 of the CDPH Cell Phone Guidance Document Released Under Court Order