Arthur Robert Firstenberg (born May 28, 1950) is an American author and activist on the subject of electromagnetic radiation and health. 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).
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.
Campaign against microwave technology
Since 1996, Firstenberg has argued in numerous publications that wireless technology is dangerous and that "the telecommunications industry has suppressed damaging evidence about its technology since at least 1927." In May 2006, the World Health Organization stated that "[there is] no convincing scientific evidence that the weak RF signals from base stations and wireless networks cause adverse health effects." The World Health Organization later reversed itself on May 31, 2011, declaring RF radiation a class 2B (possible) carcinogen.
In 1997, the Cellular Phone Taskforce was the lead petitioner in a challenge to the Federal Communication 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"). 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.
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.
In January 2010, Firstenberg filed a lawsuit against his neighbor, seeking damages of $530,000, for "refusing to turn off her cell phone and other electronic devices." 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. He stated that he was made homeless as a result. The First District Court of New Mexico dismissed the case in September 2012, citing lack of sufficient supporting evidence. Firstenberg filed an appeal of the dismissal in the District Court in December 2012. On March 9, 2015, the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal by the district court.
Arthur also is a member of an organization in Santa Fe, New Mexico called "Once a Forest" which promotes fire suppression on public lands. The group opposes forest management policies such as thinning and prescribed fire. Their views are controversial.
- Electromagnetic radiation and health
- Mobile phone radiation and health
- Wireless electronic devices and health
- U.S. Public Records Index Vol 2 (Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.), 2010.
- Curiel, Jonathan (2007-01-14), Worries cell phones could damage your cells, San Francisco Chronicle, retrieved 2010-02-28
- Firstenberg, Arthur; Molloy, Susan (July 1, 2002), "Electrical Sensitivity", Latitudes, 5 (4)
- Firstenberg, Arthur (1997), Microwaving Our Planet: The Environmental Impact of the Wireless Revolution, Cellular Phone Task Force, ASIN B0030L4IBI
- Firstenberg, Arthur (2017). The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life. Santa Fe, NM: AGB Press. ISBN 978-0-692-68301-9.
- Scheeres, Julia (January 22, 2002), "Mendocino, CA: Microwave Hot Seat", Wired
- Firstenberg, Arthur (January 2006), "The Largest Biological Experiment Ever", Sun Monthly (– Scholar search), archived from the original on August 28, 2008
- Firstenberg, Arthur (Summer 1997), "Microwaving Our Planet, Cellular Assault", Earth Island Journal (– Scholar search), 12 (3), archived from the original on March 18, 2005
- World Health Organization Factsheet (May 2006), Electromagnetic fields and public health, World Health Organization, retrieved 2007-05-03
- OpenJurist 205 F3d 82 Cellular Phone Taskforce v. Federal Communication
- 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
- Schwartz, Gadi; Panas, Joshua (2008-05-20), Group wants Wi-Fi banned from public buildings, retrieved 2008-05-24
- Pein, corey (June 24, 2009), "Tuned Out", Santa Fe Reporter (– ), 36 (25)
- Ray, Bill (January 11, 2010), "Santa Fe man demands half a mill for being near iPhone", The Register
- Sharpe, Tom (January 7, 2010), "Wi-Fi foe sues neighbor for using electronics", The New Mexican
- "Anti-Wireless Activist Loses Lawsuit Claiming Wi-Fi Signals Made Him Homeless". cellular-news. September 19, 2012.
- Hay, Kiera. "Anti-WiFi Activist Firstenberg Back With Challenge to Hotel Cell Tower". ABQ Journal. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
- "Decision against Santa Fe anti-WiFi suit upheld by state appeals court". Albuquerque Journal. 2015-03-09. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- Firstenberg, Arthur (July 25, 2015), "Deforestation: A Crime of the Highest Order", The New Mexican