CELL PHONE COVER-UP,
IS YOUR BRAIN AT RISK?
By Byron J. Richards, CCN
April 16, 2008
The latest stone thrown at the 200-billion-dollar-a-year cell phone industry came from a study by neurosurgeon Vini G. Khurana entitled Mobile Phone-Brain Tumour: Public Health Advisory. His meta-analysis of existing cell phone studies may not contain a lot of new information; but his rather alarming message was carried by media around the world: "there is a growing body of statistically significant evidence for a relationship between the overall length of use of a mobile phone and the delayed occurrence of a brain tumor on the same side of the head as the 'preferred side' for mobile phone usage." He claimed a 2-4 fold increased risk following 10 years of regular use.
The cell phone industry mobilized its behemoth defense machine calling the study a select view of existing literature. This meant that his conclusions were not in line with all the studies the industry has been funding around the world called INTERPHONE. Indeed, a casual look through Pub Med and you will see study after study refuting a link between cell phone use and brain tumors. The cell phone industry has excelled at using "scientists for hire" to quell public concern. They have taken a page from Big Pharma's playbook and have learned well from the troubles of previous health catastrophes like international PCB exposure at the hands of Monsanto, Bayer, GE, and Westinghouse.
David vs. Goliath
It is always interesting to watch a handful of people take on an empire. The empire has enough money to buy votes in the governments of countries around the world, fund studies that reach conclusions it likes, suppress the publishing of information it doesn't like (professional blackmail), parade a legion of "experts" before any court when a legal challenge is mounted, and create enough mystery about any potential problem in the minds of consumers that the net result is that nothing much is ever done.
Such strategies also hijack the public health system and use it as a shield. In essence, governments are on the take from industry and the economics of the questionable industry are woven into multiple other economic benefits. In the U.S. other examples of this involve placing fluoride in water, using nerve gas chemicals as pesticides, and poisoning the water supple with perchlorate (playing the national security card to prevent clean up). I bring up these examples because all three are proven to be neurotoxic, and all significantly adversely affecting the health of Americans today, and all are condoned and allowed by our government. There are always a few Davids throwing stones at these Goliaths, without much luck.
Dr. Khurana is not alone in his view. Last summer a relatively small group of concerned scientists calling themselves the Bioinitiative Working Group published a 600 page document after reviewing over 2000 existing studies and came to similar conclusions about the potential risks of cell phones. Even Swedish scientists, in a country with widespread deployment of advanced cell phone technology, have a handful of scientists that have been warning about brain tumors since 2000, with their most recent study published in 2006.
The small voices raising concern are offset by a massively funded machine. Dr. Khurana's public relations work has the cell phone industry on the defensive, proving once again that the court of public opinion trumps all aces.
Why Warnings Are Falling on Deaf Ears
Brain tumors don't develop overnight, excess exposure to radiofrequency radiation may take 10 – 20 years before the full scope of the problem is known. The cell phone industry is just now entering the front end of that time period. If there is a problem, by the time governments take effective action to ensure cell phones are safer the damage to an entire generation will already be done.
The potential problem to our children and current young adults is staggering, since they have grown up attached to cell phones. Any damage cell phones cause will be worse in children, as their brains are still developing.
Nobody questions the fact that cell phone radiation is entering the brain of the user. The debate is on how problematic the radiation is.
There are two factors that are actually quite alarming about this whole issue.
1 - If cell phones can cause brain tumors they would have to, on a lesser scale of damage, cause numerous other disruptions in brain function ranging from cognitive dysfunction to behavioral issues like ADHD, to potentially violent behavior.
2 - Our government is doing nothing to proactively evaluate and ensure the safety of our citizens, not even proving or forcing the industry to prove at what level of cell phone exposure are there no changes in brain cells that correlate to risk.
The cell phone industry will have to have people lining up for brain cancer treatment before they even admit there is a potential problem. By that time they hope to have stalled long enough to have safer phones. And then they will use lawyers to create doubt that any such tumors were caused by cell phones in the first place – blaming multiple other stressors in modern society as the likely problem. This strategy will minimize liability, spread it out over many years, and most likely make it disappear. The only thing that prevents the cell phone industry from escaping unscathed is if enough consumers demand safer phones now.
Smoking Guns Exist
As a health professional, I look at fundamental science as the main predictor of whether a problem will exist or not as the result of the use of anything. I predicted estrogen replacement therapy (horse urine extract) was not safe for 15 years before the medical community finally counted all the deaths. Just as I currently predict that the use of statin drugs to lower cholesterol and bisphosphonate drugs for bones are major health scams not only wasting billions but seriously compromising the health of those taking these pills as currently prescribed.
It is not hard to make such predictions correctly when fundamental science allows for no other possible outcome. Vested interests never want to hear about the obvious. They simply want to continue to make money, regardless of the damage, until they are stopped. And when they own the decision makers within governments, it takes a long time to stop them.
I will now go on record with the prediction that the dangers of cell phones are real and should not be ignored. After an extensive review of the cell phone literature I came upon the smoking gun; an article published January 22, 2007 in Neuroscience Letters entitled "Exposure to cell phone radiation up-regulates apoptosis genes in primary cultures of neurons and astrocytes."
While brain tumors are not always produced in animal models of cell phone radiation exposure, there is little question that free radical damage in the brain is occurring along with alterations in DNA. The researchers sought to identify precise gene-related pathways that would explain why such damage occurs – and their findings are a dagger in the argument that cell phone radiation is harmless.
In their experiments they exposed cultures of neurons (nerve transmitting brain cells) and glial cells (astrocytes that are the main brain structure cells and regulators of overall brain function) to cell phone radiation. Using advanced gene arrays they measured the results.
They documented distinct disruption in how mitochondria (energy producing systems) with brain cells function. Essentially, genes that turn on cell suicide were upregulated – meaning that brain cells will now try to kill themselves. Cells only want to commit suicide when they think the stress they are being exposed to is too great to handle, usually as a result of DNA damage that is not repairable. If suicide fails, then mutations in the defunct cell can lead to cancer.
Additionally, there was an upregulation of NF-kappaB pathways – the key inflammatory gene switch that not only causes massive free radical damage, but when chronically upregulated locks into the "on position" and readily fuels cancer growth. If you would like to understand more about how Nf-kappaB causes problems then read my article on How to Prevent Vaccine Injury.
This study offers clear gene pathways by which brain cells are inflamed, killed, and/or turned to cancer.
The authors, who were obviously "placed in handcuffs" just to get their study published, concluded "Cell phone emissions thus have the potential to cause dysfunction or death through activation of specific intracellular cell death signaling pathways." Dysfunction at least means chronic inflammation with free radical damage. And it also means that such dysfunction follows commonly understood gene activation problems associated with cancer.
Cell phone companies can say anything they want, but they cannot refute that cell phone radiation enters the brain of the user at levels consistent with the above study, and that the above study shows precise gene-alterations that cause brain cell death as well as activation of known genetic pathways involved in cancer.
Cell phones carry risk for micro brain injury with each use, a problem that is magnified by heavy use over a number of years. Damage to children will be higher than damage to adults, though damage at any age is a problem. This means cell phones are a risk for cognitive dysfunction, learning issues, and behavior problems in anyone. After exposure of 10 years or more there is enough fundamental science already known to be very concerned about an increased risk for brain tumors. Immediate steps should be taken by all cell phone users, especially children, to reduce cell phone exposure and to protect their brains from damage.
© 2008 Truth in Wellness, LLC - All Rights Reserved
Community Opposition To Telecom 3G Masts Grows
Communities vs. Big Business:
Telecom, Phone Towers and Profit-driven Agendas
Local residents in Nelson, who organized to block Telecom's proposed 22 meter, 3G phone mast above a play-centre and pre-school, want to kick-start a national dialogue on the safety, standards, placements and even the need for the proliferation of telecommunications equipment in New Zealand.
In a David v Goliath face-off, a group of concerned parents have come together, working day and night, to highlight the utter lack of protection of communities from the profit-motivated agendas of big businesses, in this case, the most powerful corporation in New Zealand.
(Telecom is the largest company by value on the New Zealand Exchange (NZX) and movements in its share price have a great influence on the index of movements in the top 50 companies. Further, it is the 39th largest telecommunications company in the OECD, from Wikipedia)
Ban the Tower was incorporated to prevent the construction of a Telecom mast in a residential neighborhood of Atawhai on the northern side of Nelson. They discovered that this tower was the first of 10 or more proposed for the Nelson area and that dozens more towers are planned throughout New Zealand as Telecom rolls out its new 3G cellphone system. Their objections were based on the uncertain health effects of these masts, their reckless placement immediately adjacent to two early childhood centers, threats from concerned parents that they would withdraw their children from the centers, the disproportionate size of the 22 metre tower compared to the other mainly residential buildings in the area, and reports of an up to 20% drop in property prices in areas where similar towers have been built.
As the residents investigated the approval process for this tower, they found that Telecom had proceeded very quietly, without any community consultation, resulting in approval being sought and granted by the Nelson City Council over the summer holidays. It was only by chance that the group even discovered the plans to build the tower, a situation which they consider completely unacceptable.
Telecom's application to the Nelson City Council is supported by a brief report from Alcatel-Lucent which says the tower will comply with the NZ standards. The residents now understand that Alcatel- Lucent has a contract for several hundred million dollars to install Telecom's 3G system. Ban the Tower questions the impartiality of this report and demands more stringent standards in evaluating the impact of these towers.
The group's ability to mobilize popular support from local residents, the Council, and the media, including a petition with over 2000 signatures, has already forced Telecom to delay the proposed construction of the tower at Atawhai. However to date, while Telecom has agreed to look for alternative sites, it has refused to make a commitment to cancel its plans for a cell tower in that location. This is not enough for the Ban the Tower group who want Telecom to cancel all plans for the tower at Atawhai due to the 'unknown health risks' it may pose to the children, along with other considerations.
In addition to a definitive and unequivocal cancellation of the tower plans on that site, the group will ask Telecom to change its site analysis policies to avoid erecting any mobile phone tower within 1000m of any school or play-centre in the future. They will also ask that Telecom drastically changes its community interaction policy to ensuring an open process where the purpose of the technology, benefits and risk and other technology and site options are discussed before committing to any specific proposal or site. Consultation of this type is already promised by Telecom in its publicized community commitments, but clearly their promises are not currently rigorously adhered to.
The threat of the cell tower in this sensitive location has motivated the group to undertake a huge amount of research to understand all the possible effects of the tower, how other countries deal with this issue, and the legal checks and balances that are available for the community when faced with a threat of this type from big business. It has become clear that the proliferation of telecommunications towers, antennae and other equipment is a worldwide concern as corporations try to outdo their competitors and increase their market share. Even the conservative ICNIRP (The International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection) released a statement last month recognising concerns about the cumulative effects of this proliferation of different types of electromagnetic radiation from new technologies, and calling for more research to be undertaken.
The group is keen to encourage national debate about whether the apparently limited benefits of the 3G technology justify its costs, limitations and adverse effects on communities and the environment. One obvious shortcoming of this technology is the apparent need for towers or other transmitters to be located no more than 800 metres apart. In Nelson, this equates to a requirement for 10 or more sites. Presumably many more will be needed in our larger cities. The group understands that this technology will allow Telecom to offer some additional but non-essential cellphone services to help it match Vodafone competitively. The residents invite debate about whether this is in fact the best use of Telecom's resources, and whether the community would be better served by investment in an affordable high speed fibre optic broadband service.
The group has also explored international literature on health effects of celltowers. All the literature agrees that far more research is required before the full extent of health effects can be known. The key to the different views is whether radiation emission standards should be calculated based on the lowest level where effects are known to be caused, or whether a precautionary approach should be taken in recognition of the current uncertainty. Government responses to this are mixed, with some states such as Australia and New Zealand adopting permissive standards, while others take a much more precautionary approach, with limits in some cases 1000 or more times lower than the New Zealand Standards allow.
With all these uncertainties, the community has in the past gained some protection through the public processes under the Resource Management Act. Public notification, where it has occurred, has allowed consideration of the effects of proposed towers in new locations, particularly where sites are particularly sensitive. In some cases public concern has caused proposals to be changed.
The group has learned however that the Minister for the Environment has recently announced an intention to promulgate National Environmental Standards for telecommunications infrastructure. A current proposal for these standards, prepared by a telecommunications industry working group, provides for most telecommunication infrastructure as of right, without any opportunity at all for public or even Council input on the proposal. The group would like the public to have the opportunity to review the appropriateness of standards of this type, using the conduct of Telecom with the Atawhai Celltower proposal as a case study.
The group has planned a community gathering on Tuesday the 20th between 12:00 and 1:00 at the proposed tower site on Atawhai Cresent, in response to an 'Open Day' by Telecom between 1 and 7 pm. They have invited local politicians, MP's and concerned parents to express their views. They will present their list of requests to Telecom at 1:00.
Given the 'closed-door' approval process for this phone tower and the limited ability of Nelson City Council to protect the health, and address the concerns of it's residents, the Ban the Tower group calls on the New Zealand national media to begin a rigorous and critical debate about the safety and placement of these towers. Numerous highly credible scientific reports have shown that there may be increased risks of cancer, leukemia and other major health problems after prolonged exposure to the radiation from the masts. (see links to reputable sources in the information pack below)
The seriousness of these reports has caused many countries around the world, like Austria, Sweden, Germany, Russia and Italy, to impose tighter restrictions on what radiation will be permitted. In Australia, a rash of litigation has challenged the rollout of 3G technology on health and visual grounds. Taiwan is reported to have decommissioned and removed many towers.
Citing what has been referred to as the 'precautionary principle' by renowned scientists around the world, and even by Sir William Stewart, now chairman of the Health Protection Agency in the UK, and advisor to the British Government under both Blair and Thatcher, the group urge involvement on the national level in this vital area of community concern. The question of whether big business should be allowed to make decisions that potentially adversely affect the health, environment, outlook, and property values of a community, without their involvement or consultation, is an issue of human and democratic rights, and one that is being hotly contested all over the world as we speak.
The Ban the Tower group calls on the New Zealand government to legislate much more stringent controls on the placement of phone masts, and to protect the health of it's citizens from the reckless, profit-driven motives of major corporations. This must include a policy of 'prudent avoidance' of risk by placing the masts over 1000m away from schools.
Ban the Tower asks why our government is stepping out at exactly the moment they should be stepping into this arena of debate, and also why our radiation safety standards are relaxing as other countries around the world are tightening them up.
Ban the Tower calls for a critical evaluation of the National Environmental Standards of Telecommunication. Ban the Tower also intends to offer full support and advice to other groups nation-wide and build a national 'coalition of concern' that will require the government and the multi-national corporations to take greater precaution with the placement of their radiation-emitting technology.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Patrick or Heather ROSE
(Ban the Tower Inc.)
Mon May 19, 2008 10:08 am (PDT): Proposed cell tower by US Cellular on Harbin Springs Road
From: Angela Flynn
Date: May 19, 2008 10:04:11 AM PDT
To: firstname.lastname@example.org, CDD@co.lake.ca.us
Cc: email@example.com, Elke Murphy , firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Proposed cell tower by US Cellular on Harbin Springs Road
Dear Lake County Board of Supervisors,
I write to you in reference to the proposed cell tower by U.S. Cellular on Harbin Hot Springs Road. I request that this application be denied as not only is the proposed cell tower unnecessary and unsightly, but also the microwave radiation from cell towers cause harm to humans, animals and plants and the FCC guidelines for exposure are not adequate.
In addition, the siting of a cell tower so close to the Harbin Hot Springs Resort will result in a loss of business. I go to Harbin to get away from my busy life and for a much-needed break from the high electromagnetic radiation that is found in our cities.
GSM is already available throughout Harbin. http://antennasearch.com/ GSM. There is no need for additional cellular antennas. U.S. Cellular must prove a need for the cell tower and they cannot do this.
The FCC has set a limit for thermal effects for electromagnetic radiation. They deferred the setting of biological non-thermal limits to the nation's health agencies. At the same time they cut the funding of research into these health effects to zero.
The BioInitiative, published in August 2007, reviews over 2,000 studies that show evidence of the non-thermal bio effects from this non ionizing radiation.
Two-time Nobel Prize nominee Dr. Gerald Hyland, a physicist and board member of the International Institute of Biophysics has said that the: "Existing safety guidelines for cell phone towers are completely inadequate." … and , "People living near mobile phone masts "are effectively involuntary subjects in a mass experiment."
Norbert Hankin, of the Radiation Protection Division of the EPA says:
"The FCCs current exposure guidelines…are thermally based, and do not apply to chronic, non-thermal exposure situations… Therefore, the generalization that the guidelines protect human beings from harm by any or all mechanisms is not justified."
Dr. Bruce Lipton, Ph.D., in the "The Biology of Belief", explains that electromagnetic radiation causes the electrons to flip [twist]in our cell's proteins. This interferes with entire biological processes as the receptors in the cell's membranes are not able to function properly. He says:
"… proteins are the most important single component for living organisms…The final shape…of a protein molecule reflects a balanced state among its electromagnetic charges. However, if the protein's positive and negative charges are altered the protein backbone will dynamically twist and adjust itself to accommodate the new distribution of charges. The distribution of electromagnetic charge within a protein can be selectively altered by a number of processes including…interference from electromagnetic fields such as those emanating from cell phones. [Tsong 1989]"
Dr. Henry Lai of the University of Washington has shown that the effects appear to be cumulative and can affect DNA. Leukemia, cancer, sleeplessness and depression are just a few of the effects. Dr. Lai also points out that current U.S. guidelines for electromagnetic radiation exposure are not up-to-date and are based on research data only up to 1985. Dr. Lai has said he would not live next to a cell tower.
And, Dr. Andrew Weil, MD., says that "Electromagnetic pollution may be the most significant form of pollution human activity has produced in this century!"
Many people on this planet, est. 2 – 3%, have Electro-Hyper-Sensitivity (EHS). This makes them extremely sensitive to microwave frequency radiation. Often this occurs when someone has been exposed to higher than normal levels at some point causing them to now be overly sensitive to exposure. Many of these people experience some symptoms of radiation poisoning. Many people are suffering harm from living near cell towers without realizing what is causing the harm.
Recent studies confirm that cell and cordless phone and wireless internet microwave can:
cause headaches and induce extreme fatigue, cause memory loss and mental confusion, precipitate cataracts, retina damage and eye cancer, create a burning sensation and rash on the skin, damage nerves in the scalp, induce ringing in the ears, impair sense of smell, create joint pain, muscle spasms and tremors, cause digestive problems and raise bad cholesterol levels, alter the brain's electrical activity during sleep, open the blood-brain barrier to viruses and toxins, cause blood cells to leak hemoglobin, reduce the number and efficiency of white blood cells, stimulate asthma by producing histamine in mast cells, and stress the endocrine system - especially the pancreas, thyroid, ovaries, and testes.
This "harmless" radiation is beaming at us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is particularly dangerous for children and for people while sleeping, as children are more susceptible to electromagnetic radiation and the body needs to be able to repair itself while asleep.
The microwave radiation from cellular antennas trespasses onto neighboring property. This is a taking of property rights without compensation.
Lloyds of London recently declined to issue insurance for liability to wireless companies. These companies are changing to limited liability corporations to avoid liability. Cell phone users and the owners of the property where the antennas are left as the only ones not protected from liability.
In addition the federal government does not have jurisdiction over local governments on such matters. The rights granted to the wireless companies by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 were not granted to it by the constitution and the local governments did not give up those rights.
Again, I request that this application be denied. I would also like to suggest that Lake County organize a task force to research the issue of microwave radiation.
Thank you for your time on this crucial matter. I have included reference material below.
204 Gault Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
Below are six studies showing adverse health effects from cell phone towers and some reference websites.
1. Santini et al. found significant health problems in people living within 300 meters of a cell phone base station or tower.
2. A Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research study entitled, "Effects of Global Communications System Radio-Frequency Fields On Well Being and Cognitive Function of Human Subjects With and Without Subjective Complaints" found significant effects on well being including headaches, muscle fatigue, pain, and dizziness from tower emissions well below the "safety" level.
3. Gerd, Enrique, Manuel, Ceferino and Claludio conducted a Spanish study called "The Microwave Syndrome" and found adverse health effects from those living near two cell phone base stations. The health effects included fatigue, a tendency toward depression, sleeping disorders, difficulty in concentration and cardiovascular problems.
4. From an Israeli study published in the International Journal of Cancer Prevention, reported a fourfold increase in the incidence of cancer in people living within 350 meters of a cell phone tower as compared to the Israeli general population.
5. In the Naila Study from Germany, November 2004, five medical doctors collaborated to assess the risk to people living near a cell phone tower. The results showed that the proportion of newly developed cancer cases was significantly higher in those patients living within the 400-meter distance and that the patients became ill on average eight years earlier.
6. An Austrian Study released in May 2005, showed that radiation from a cell phone tower at a distance of 80 meters causes significant changes of the electrical currents in the brains of test subjects. Subjects reported symptoms such as buzzing in the head, tinnitus, palpitations of the heart, lightheadedness, anxiety, shortness of breath, nervousness, agitation, headache, heat sensation and depression.
Following are some useful websites with information on this matter.
1. The International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety (ICEMS) held an international conference entitled "The Precautionary EMF Approach: Rationale, Legislation and Implementation", hosted by the City of Benevento, Italy, on February 22, 23 & 24, 2006
2. Wi-Fis Electric Shock _Wireless Net Hoopla Masks Growing Concern over Frequency Pollution
3. Thailand and Vietnam require shielding from emr.
4. Health fears lead schools to dismantle wireless networks
5. EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT _Directorate General for Research-Directorate A
STOA - Scientific and Technological Options Assessment _Options Brief and Executive Summary _PE nr. 297.574 March 2001
THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF NON-IONISING ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION
6. Telecom Towers Tsunami by B. Blake Levitt
7. Nerve cell damage in mammalian brain after exposure to microwaves from GSM mobile phones.
8. ISRAELI RESEARCH: CELL PHONE RADIATION MAY CAUSE VISUAL DAMAGE
9. You Don't Deserve Brain Cancer - You Deserve Facts - Amy Worthington
10. FEB - The Swedish Association for the Electro Sensitive
11. Letter from the EPA (7/16/02) stating that the FCCs guidelines are not adequate.
12. My war on electrosmog: Julia Stephenson sets out to clear the airwaves_How one woman fought back after being diagnosed by her naturopath with overexposure to Wi-Fi and mobile phone frequencies
13. Dr. Andrew Weil, MD
14. The Freiburger Appeal
Websites to Research: