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Nokia's Technology Director, Matti Niemelä: Mobile Radiation Destroyed My Health
23 sept. 2016
Matti Niemelä is one of Nokia's former technical directors, and has been involved in the development of many of the early mobile phones for Nokia. Matti became seriously ill from mobile industry microwave radiation. In addition, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). Some studies suggest that radiation can increase the risk of MS.
Niemelä believes that we have been silent for too long about the risks. He is particularly worried about children. But the Vice President of Nokia claims: ''All Nokia products fulfill international requirements and limits.''
For Tampere-based Matti Niemelä, 44, life was like a movie when he was young. He was recruited to work for Nokia in 1997. The brilliant young man advanced rapidly to become Nokia's chief technology officer in less than ten years and was involved in the development of mobile phones, access memories, and WLAN Wi-Fi solutions.
In 2007, Niemelä's career came to a halt when his health failed. Today he can only move with the help of a walker. Niemelä refuses to use a wheelchair.
- The irony of this is that I can no longer use any of the equipment that I developed, Niemelä says with a smile.
Niemelä is one of the unlucky ones who have experienced severe symptoms of microwave radiation.
- I traveled around the world with a Communicator early model smart-phone in my hand. Exposure to radiation was very strong from morning to night, and even at night.
Few people have had such an overload of radiation, says Niemelä. The first symptoms appeared within a year of his employment at Nokia.
- I played badminton, and I could no longer hit the ball during a serve, even though I had been playing badminton for a long time.
At first, Matti Niemelä did not dare go to the doctor, mainly because of the fear of brain cancer. The symptoms worsened every year.
- I could not walk around where people were talking on mobile phones because it caused coordination problems. The more intense the exposure, the more speechwas slurred. Also, my ear felt warm when I talked on the phone for a long time. I struggled on, using the phone until I could no longer feel my own skin. Then I had to go to the doctor, says Niemelä.
In 2001, MRI images and samples of cerebrospinal fluid revealed the brutal truth: multiple sclerosis.
- I was kind of relieved, because one can cope with MS, but not survive brain cancer.
According to Niemelä, his medical representatives are not willing to take a position on whether mobile phone radiation caused MS. Preliminary results show that the radiation increases the risk of multiple sclerosis.
- I am a layman, not a doctor. The MS may actually be caused by a combination of factors, not only mobile phone microwave radiation. The radiation has increased my MS symptoms.
In addition, the symptoms of disease are easily confused with cell phone radiation symptoms, says Niemelä. During the interview, Niemelä's voice slurs and is bad.
A sign in the hallway asks you to switch off your mobile phone. Even a small radiation exposure is too much.
- I can no longer go to the movies or stay in public areas for long because of lots of radiation. I have not been anywhere for a long time, says Niemelä who, in his forties, has to accept that the four walls of his home is now a prison.
Although Niemelä has lost his health, career and more recently, his marriage, he does not blame anyone.
- I'm not bitter, it was my own choice to work for Nokia.
He also would not scare people too much about cell phone dangers.
- A healthy person can use a cell phone responsibly.
For Niemelä, to go public with his story involves a great risk.
- I'm afraid to talk about this publicly, because I do not want to be labeled as crazy.
Niemelä explains that the issue of mobile phone radiation has always been kept quiet at Nokia.
- You cannot talk about it within the company. But among the staff, it has been speculated whether radiation can cause damage. But no one dared to bring it up, because it can get them kicked out.
Niemelä says he raised the issue with the doctor for the first time in 2006.
- The doctor told me about a number of patients suffering from the same symptoms as mine, reveals Niemelä.
Niemelä is particularly concerned about children and their cell phone use because continuous exposure to the ear and head does not do any good.
- These things have been kept quiet for a long time. I hope it will be possible to discuss the symptoms openly and without fear.
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