SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After keeping it hidden for years, California’s Department of Public Health has released a draft document outlining health officials’ concerns about cellphone radiation exposure.

UPDATE 3/13/17: A Superior Court Judge ruled that the “document advising the public of the risks associated with Cellular Phones” is not a draft. She ordered the state to release an unaltered version of the public record without the text that it added indicating the document was a “Draft and Not for Public Release.”

The previously unpublished document was released this week after a judge indicated she would order the documents be disclosed in the case Moskowitz v. CDPH.

Joel Moskowitz, Ph.D., who is the director of the Center for Family and Community Health at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health, sued the state in 2016 under the California Public Records Act to get the document released.

The document is dated April 2014, but Moskowitz says the document was originally prepared seven years ago and updated several times, but never released to the public.

ALSO READ: Berkeley’s Cellphone Radiation Warning Law Disputed Before Appeals Court

He previously told KPIX 5 why he decided to sue the state.

“I would like this document to see the light of day because it will inform the public that there is concern within the California Department of Public Health that cellphone radiation is a risk, and it will provide them with some information about how to reduce those risks,” Moskowitz.

The two-page document, which the Department of Public Health first emailed to the San Francisco Chronicle on Thursday afternoon, looks like any other fact sheet released by the state, except that this one has, in big bold letters “Draft and Not for Public Release” stamped across the pages.

ALSO READ: Court: California Officials’ Emails On Private Accounts Are Public Records

Among the information in the document, which is titled simply, Cell Phones and Health, are summaries of scientific studies that suggest long-term cellphone use may increase the risk of brain cancer, among other health problems.

The draft fact sheet states that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs), a type of radiation, are emitted from cellphones and that because they are “used frequently and kept close to the head and body, cellphone EMFs can affect nearby cells and tissues.”

In the draft fact sheet, state health officials list their recommendations for members of the public who wish to reduce their exposure to the radiation emitted from cellphones, but state that as more studies are done the recommendations on the fact sheet may change.

ALSO READ: San Francisco Signs Immigrant Protection Memo With Mexican Consular General

Health officials’ overall recommendation is to “increase the distance between you and your phone” by using a headset, the speaker phone function and text messaging. Health officials recommend not sleeping near your phone and not carry it in your pocket or directly on your body, unless it is off.

The fact sheet also states that “EMFs can pass deeper into a child’s brain than and adult’s” so suggests parents limit their child’s cellphone use to texting, important call and emergencies.

But there are also some in Silicon Valley who say the science doesn’t support the fact sheet. David Witkowski leads Joint Venture Silicon Valley’s Wireless Communications Initiative and says “it’s very weak on details, references to existing peer-reviewed journals and studies…”

Moskowitz, however, is not yet satisfied.

He said with the release of the document, the CDPH has violated the Public Records Act, saying it “stamped new lettering in huge dark letters across the face of the document,” essentially creating a new document rather than producing the document as-is.

Moskowitz says, “that lettering states that the document is ‘draft and not for public release’ when the judge’s tentative ruling stated exactly the opposite — that the document was not a draft, and must be publicly released.”

By Hannah Albarazi – Follow her on Twitter: @hannahalbarazi.

Comments (115)
  1. If this came from California bureaucracy, you can bet it is alternative facts (e.g., b.s.).

    1. Cancer comes not from Cell Phones…..go to my Webpage on Facebook ,search,, ,the cure for any cancer, ,its free, the cure itself is so easy you can do it yourself at home, and it works 100%, cost 2-3$…..People spending over 100.000$ for a cure, at the end they still DIE….. plus many more information you never heard of. GOD created Human Beings 1+billion years ago out there in our Universe, learn how they live and travel, they are far, far ahead of us, why 1/3 of the Angels rebelled against GOD, no Man has seen GOD, I did, find out what happen, it is a must read, you will be glad you did

      1. Carl Quick says:

        Yes, cancer does come from cell phones.
        This is old news. Doctors in Australia were saying cell phones cause cancer over 10 years ago.
        Other doctors were saying same thing over 15 years ago. Are there still people who didn’t know this?
        The New World Odor wants you dead, and they are using vaccines, pesticides, GMO, pharma, and their healthcare system to reduce population of world, especially USA. Hell, the healthcare system of just doctors, pharma, and hospitals is Number 3 cause of death due to “mistakes”, and they admit it themselves. This doesn’t even include doctors offices and clinics where most of the sheeple use.
        FYI: the cell phone is your animal ID tag. You are a tax slave and property of your master who gave you a phone to monitor your movements and ideas by including a music player, camera, and internet so you, the dumb sheeple will carry the ID tag, until they can manage to implant them permanently in your body, as planned long, long ago.
        Stop funding NEw World ODOR with your taxes, and the corruption vanishes.
        WHAT IS TAXED d ot c om

    2. MH Thomas says:

      Exactly! I’ll wait until a reliable report is released.

      1. Mike Knox says:

        In the meantime you shouldn’t put the phone against the side of your head for very long and might want to consider ditching the Bluetooth because they emit the same EMR except it’s inside your ear.

  2. Patrick Cash says:

    But it’s perfectly okay to ride around in a vehicle with one the size of your washing machine…

  3. Carrying a cell phone that’s turned off would be like carrying a gun without bullets.

  4. Everything is hazardous to the state of California except for the government bureaucracy.

    1. Jim Namalias says:

      You’re so right! I recently replaced the heavy duty chains on my RV weight-distributing hitch. The chain kit box sported a conspicuous label direly warning that the state of California deems the contents carcinogenic. Hard for me to believe that people actually choose to live in California.

  5. theotherhanddude says:

    If there is any truth to this study, we’re in for a worldwide brain cancer epidemic in the years ahead. I’ve also read that cordless phones release exponentially more radiation than today’s cell phones.

    1. Just wait until people ask how much radiation is coming from the millions of self driving cars

  6. Joyce Maurer says:

    Really? Who cares about the lettering, we should be more concerned about the information! Why has this been withheld for so long?

  7. Rocco Tool says:

    As soon as I read “California Health Officials” I couldn’t take this article seriously.

  8. Hopefully they didn’t publish it because it isn’t backed up with anything remotely close to actual science.

  9. Ho Jo says:

    The WHO leaked the second hand smoke study from way back. There is absolutely no evidence linking cancer or any other disease to 2nd hand cigarette smoke.

  10. Tony Konte says:

    The fact this came from California make the fact a FAKE

  11. Chris Brooks says:

    Since radio waves are lower energy than visible light or even the infrared radiation emitted by the human body, I’m skeptical that they can cause cancer.

    1. When I put a hat on my head it warms up x100 more than any heating from cell phone radiation. This is complete irrational or even willful ignorance of basic physics.

  12. There have also been studies and research suggesting living near high power transmission lines do the same thing…cause cancer.

  13. John Smith says:

    IF THE MAJORITY of people do not carry a cell phone everywhere, then what will the government mandate to continue tracking your every move? CHIPS inserted under your skin. The obvious end goal for controlling you human cattle is chipping you. No more cash $$$. No credit or debit cards. You swipe your chipped hand to pay debts, get gas, get food & water, etc. You cause a problem, the government dictators turn off that part of your CHIP and hunt you down.

  14. Tom Matiska says:

    It won’t be long before cell is becomes the new tobacco. We sill soon need punitive taxes on the industry to fund a warning program. etc… etc….

  15. Carl Ball says:

    the minute i saw california i knew the dooms day article would appear! when will liberals understand everything is dangerous and we live through it daily and whether it’s genetic or from over use we want to live our lives the way we want without help from people like you! live in a box let us live in the real world!

  16. Craig Buck says:

    Junk science. Radio waves are non-ionizing. They do not contain sufficient energy to disrupt cells. They *may* cause tissue warming but at the low power levels of cell phones, that is very dubious.

    1. It has nothing to do with ionizing waves. Cell phone waves scramble your brain waves not by heating but by exciting them like a microwave oven heats food. A microwave heats food by exciting water molecules in food and the vibrating molecules make the food heat up

      1. Craig Buck says:

        A microwave operates at 600 watts or more. Your cell phone is 1/2 watt to 3 watts. Such low power is incapable of heating anything.

  17. timefortrump says:

    I have a Trifield Meter and tested my Samsung Galaxy phone and the magnetic emissions in the 0-3 range are very low like 1-2 milligauss with the tester pressed right up to the phone while it is turned on but not using the phone. If I move it away even an inch it drops to nothing so this scare article about sleeping near your cell phone is BS – just don’t use it as a pillow – and that’s common sense! I carry mine in the outside pocket of my purse which puts it about 6 inches from my body while walking around – no biggie – no radiation risk at all… so this article is a scary article with no facts to back up what they are saying. When was the study done also???

    1. Tim Chandler says:

      Please, no common sense or facts or actual measurements and observations allowed! The “science is settled”, others have already done the thinking for us and will tell us what we should worry about!

  18. timefortrump says:

    I measured during a phone call and with the phone right up to my ear during a call I’d get 2-3 milligauss radiation to left side of my head. Recommending using speakerphone is probably the only useful advice here and especially kids should not hold phone to side of their head and talk for a long time

  19. Ginny Foos says:

    As a reminder, this was the Jerry Brown and Democratic Super Majority that intentionally withheld and then fought the disclosure of key public safety information. It is a reminder that politicians, Democrat, Republican or Other, have no issues sacrificing health of individuals, if it maintains key state revenue funding (taxes from Apple and App makers) and personal political contributions. They will tell you that you come first, but you will ALWAYS come after their campaign coffers. This is one more example why control of our schools, teachers, resources and police need to be LOCAL, where the decision makers are 100% accountable for their decisions to the people they serve rather than 95% of decisions being made by those who are funded and elected by LA, SF and San Diego.

  20. Europeans have been reporting these risks for over a decade. Alex Jones is right again.

  21. Nota Newsa says:

    Great! Now I have the perfect excuse for not answering my phone. All we need now are some of those warning labels like cigarette packs.

  22. A single study proves nothing. Where are the dozens of corroborating studies?

  23. Steve Hollar says:

    “Health officials recommend not sleeping near your phone and not carry it in your pocket or directly on your body, unless it is off.” So basically you might as well leave it at home, making it useless. Maybe you can drag it behind you on a rope.

    Sorry, too many maybe’s, if’s, and perhap’s in this report. Now if you are one of these addicts who keep it glued to their ear all day long, it could be a problem. I don’t do that so am not worried about it.

  24. California has already cried wolf. When you get a prop 65 warning on lumber, flatware, cups, cars, food, every business you walk in, etc etc etc, it’s hard to take the CDC and Health Departments seriously.

  25. Ed Gruberman says:

    Every cell phone in California will require a label that states it is known to be cancer causing. That will fix the problem.

  26. Mike Rice says:

    I never use mine during the day, rarely call out on it, just use it with the bluetooth in the car. Still, it is in my pants pocket, ,should I worry?

  27. Maury Greco says:

    “I ran into the Surgeon General the other day. He offered me a free cell phone.”

  28. Andy Howe says:

    Finally an explanation: cellphones have turned liberal brains into mush.

  29. David Owens says:

    Next up: Fluoridated water — Communist threat or Fascist menace?

  30. The other half of the equation is the cell phone towers. Cell phones do not talk to one another they talk to towers which relay the call. The phone and tower (nearest or best signal selected out from others) negotiate a “handshake” based on range and power. Further away=more power. So I kinda question a one-sided study which looks only at the phones. They are also transmitting in the milli-watt range. The local AM station is 50,000 watts. Frequency is also important. Lotsa stuff seems missing. Too much for my simple contribution.

  31. Don’t sleep near your wifi router… Since it’s always on, and near the same frequency as some of the cellular bands, you might get cancer…

    Soon, CA will require Prop 65 stickers on phones… “Known to the State of California…” blah blah.

  32. Rusty Harris says:

    Oh boy! Here we go again! “so and so said 10 years ago cell phone radiation can cause cancer”…yeah, and 10+ years ago cell phone output power was in the 3 watt range.
    Most modern cell phones, unless in a “one bar” signal area, radiate less than 1milliwatt of power. Considering some of the high end (apple/samsung) phones have to be “stylish” and come with smaller battery packs, if they output a high power, you’d notice it by the phone heating up, and the battery DRAINING QUICKLY. The ERP (effective radiated power) at 1/2 wavelength from the antenna is so small, it is hard to read. PLUS there is a reason the antenna on 99% of phones is on THE BOTTOM of the phone. Your HEAD being full of LIQUID is not a good antenna, so it would block most of the signal if your head was between the tower and your phone. With it being at the bottom, it’s not blocked as much as it was if it was at the top.
    This is just another scare tactic that they hope will allow some lDIOT law group to set up a “if you or a love one has been injured or killed by using a mobile phone, you may be entitled to compensation”.

  33. If it came from Mexifornia, its already suspect.

  34. Bokshil Kim says:

    Wait a few years and you will read a report on the heath benefits of cell phones.

  35. Noam Sayen says:

    OK, these things are being used by billions of people, starting from “early adopters” 20 years ago.

    By now there must be some evidence. Where is the supporting data on the growing incidence of head/brain cancers?

  36. “The fact sheet also states that “EMFs can pass deeper into a child’s brain than and adult’s” so suggests parents limit their child’s cellphone use to texting, important call and emergencies.”

    Grammatical errors (or typos) in so-called “journalists” work is unacceptable. Either they are ignorant or willfully ignorant in order to continue the dumbing down of the readership.

    1. Paul King says:

      Psst………………….mobile phone use is dangerous. After you cut through all the clutter this is the truth. Follow the money. The same goes for politicians who won’t pass laws to stop mobile phone calling and texting while driving. We all know it’s dangerous.

  37. For the 38 years I knew my sister-in-law, she always carried her cell phones in her bra, a year ago she had breast cancer and had to have one removed (Mastectomy) and started to carry her phones in her remaining breast. As of today, she is no longer, she died last October!

    Cell phones does not only harm us humans but also our environment. The radiation and the frequencies or microwaves contribute harm in the communication between bats, bees and birds and their species. You don’t have to be an educated idiot to know that; you can see it in plain daylight!

  38. Hugh Tjardon says:

    This involves the People’s Republic of California, right? Case closed.

  39. John Dunshee says:

    This explains the spike in brain cancer in teenaged girls and young women.

  40. Warnings to reduce exposure to children have been out for over a decade. Dr. Devra Davis, founder and president of the Environmental Health Trust, and Dr. Ronald Herberman, founding director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, issued recommendations in 2007 calling for reduced exposure and providing precautionary advice.

    In 2008, Dr. Herberman presented a report to the oversight and government reforrm committee titled “Tumors and Cell Phone use: What the Science Says.” In addition, Dr. Herberman presented advice regarding cell phone use in a memo to his staff in 2008, stating, “Do not allow children to use a cell phone, except for emergencies. The developing organs of a fetus or child are the most likely to be sensitive to any possible effects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.”

    Environmental Health Trust has promoted safe use of technology and reduced exposure for over a decade. Look to for more information.

  41. Thank you for sharing this information. It’s a shame that the risks of cell phone radiation are being hidden from us behind a corporate veil.

    Anyone interested in a convenient way to block radiation from all your devices should check out SafeSleeve. They make high quality and great looking products that are lab tested to block 99% of radiation.