Arthur Firstenberg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Arthur Robert Firstenberg (born May 28, 1950)[1] is an American author and activist on the subject of electromagnetic radiation and health.[2] He is the founder of the independent campaign group the Cellular Phone Task Force. His 1997 book Microwaving Our Planet: The Environmental Impact of the Wireless Revolution was published by the group. He is the author of The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life (AGB Press 2017).[3]


Born May 28, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York, Firstenberg was a Westinghouse scholar who received a BA in mathematics from Cornell University in 1971 and continued into medical school from 1978 to 1982. Firstenberg did not complete medical school due to illness, which he attributes to electromagnetic hypersensitivity brought on by receiving over 40 diagnostic dental x-rays.[4]

Campaign against microwave technology[edit]

Since 1996, Firstenberg has argued in numerous publications that wireless technology is dangerous, and "the telecommunications industry has suppressed damaging evidence about its technology since at least 1927."[citation needed]

In 1997, the Cellular Phone Taskforce was the lead petitioner in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission's RF radiation exposure limits, which was joined by dozens of other parties including the Ad Hoc Association of Parties Concerned About the Federal Communications Commission Radio Frequency Health and Safety Rules ("AHA").[5] The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled for the FCC. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was supported by an amicus curiae brief written by Senators Patrick Leahy and Jim Jeffords, was denied.[6]

In May 2008, Firstenberg and other groups accused the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, of discrimination against those allergic to EM radiation for having free wireless networks in city buildings.[7][8] The case was dismissed in 2011.[9]

In January 2010, Firstenberg filed a lawsuit against his neighbor, seeking damages of $530,000,[10] for "refusing to turn off her cell phone and other electronic devices."[11] He claimed that because of shared wiring, electromagnetic fields from his neighbor's electronic devices were keeping him up at night and destroying his health.[10] He stated that he was made homeless as a result.[11] The First District Court of New Mexico dismissed the case in September 2012, citing lack of sufficient supporting evidence.[12] Firstenberg filed an appeal of the dismissal in the District Court in December 2012.[13] On March 9, 2015, the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal by the district court.[14]

Arthur also is a member of an organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico, called "Once a Forest",[15] which promotes fire suppression on public lands. The group opposes forest management policies such as thinning and prescribed fire. Their views are controversial.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Operations, Inc.), 2010.
  2. ^ Curiel, Jonathan (2007-01-14), Worries cell phones could damage your cells, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved 2010-02-28
  3. ^ Firstenberg, Arthur (2017). The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life. Santa Fe, NM: AGB Press. ISBN 978-0-692-68301-9.
  4. ^ Scheeres, Julia (January 22, 2002), "Mendocino, CA: Microwave Hot Seat", Wired
  5. ^ OpenJurist 205 F3d 82 Cellular Phone Taskforce v. Federal Communication
  6. ^ O'Connor, Jared (2003), "National League of Cities Rising: How the Telecommunications Act of 1996 could expandTenth Amendment jurisprudence", Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 30 (2): 275–314, retrieved March 2, 2010
  7. ^ Schwartz, Gadi; Panas, Joshua (2008-05-20), Group wants Wi-Fi banned from public buildings, retrieved 2008-05-24
  8. ^ Pein, corey (June 24, 2009), "Tuned Out", Santa Fe Reporter, 36 (25), archived from the original on June 28, 2009, retrieved June 25, 2009
  9. ^ "ARTHUR FIRSTENBERG v. CITY OF SANTA FE, 11-CV-08 JAP/WDS | Casetext Search + Citator". Retrieved 2021-04-30.
  10. ^ a b Ray, Bill (January 11, 2010), "Santa Fe man demands half a mill for being near iPhone", The Register
  11. ^ a b Sharpe, Tom (January 7, 2010), "Wi-Fi foe sues neighbor for using electronics", The New Mexican
  12. ^ "Anti-Wireless Activist Loses Lawsuit Claiming Wi-Fi Signals Made Him Homeless". cellular-news. September 19, 2012.
  13. ^ Hay, Kiera. "Anti-WiFi Activist Firstenberg Back With Challenge to Hotel Cell Tower". ABQ Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Decision against Santa Fe anti-WiFi suit upheld by state appeals court". Albuquerque Journal. 2015-03-09. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  15. ^ Firstenberg, Arthur (July 25, 2015), "Deforestation: A Crime of the Highest Order", The New Mexican

External links[edit]