16. “Electronic Smog”

by Project Censored
Published: Updated:

“Studies have linked sustained microwave exposure to headaches, dizziness, fatigue, irritability, loss of judgment, leukemia, cataracts, changes in the blood-brain barrier, heart trouble, and central nervous disorders.” Yet a cover-up exists.

The food industry uses microwaves to roast peanuts and coffee beans; freeway call-boxes use microwaves; burglar alarms and automatic garage door­ openers use microwaves; TV transmitters, CB radios, police radios, cab radios, telephone relay systems, and at our airports, radar, all consume microwave in some form. And these are only civilian related uses of microwaves and not military.

People who are exposed to potentially harmful effects of microwave radia­tion have no way of knowing it. Microwave radiation, studies show, has a cumulative effect upon humans, much like x-rays. So what may appear to be safe today may result in some harmful effect 20 years later.

The biggest user of microwaves is the U. S. military. It is the focal point on our nuclear weapons guidance systems. Radar tracking devices are dependent upon microwaves. Communication and spy satellites are also linked with microwave usage.

The same people who make microwave ovens, G. E. and Litton, also are in the radar device making business.

If low-level exposure to microwave radiation were ever to be proven dangerous, the cost to modify its usage would be staggering. Publicity regard­ing military usage of microwave has been stifled in the past. Research projects conducted by the military and showing adverse effects of low-level exposure to microwave radiation has been covered up. The U. S. government allows microwave oven leakage to be five milliwatts and considers ten milliwatts a safe level for human exposure. The Soviet Union, which did the most complete study on microwave dangers to humans, believes that the safety factor for microwave exposure should be 1000 times less than what the U. S: allows.

There has been no U. S. research to date on the long-range effects of microwave radiation on humans: The military wants no part in any conclusive research on this matter. As a result, this story, due to its lack of public airing, is nominated as one of the “best censored stories of 1977.”


Zapping of America, by Paul Brodeur, W. W. Norton Publishing, 1977.

“Microwaves,” by Paul Brodeur, The New Yorker, December 13, 1976, pp. 50-75, 88-106, December 13

“The Air Pollution you Can’t See,” by Scott Kaufer, New Times, March 6, 1978, pp. 30-36, 60-64.