Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poster? A strong message in a few words.

May 27, 2008:

LARRY KING: "Doctor Khurana, you say that the danger of cell phones could have far broader health ramifications than asbestos and smoking. What do you base it on?"

VINI KHURANA: "I base it on the fact, Larry, that at this point in time, there's just over three billion users of cell phones worldwide. So that's half of our world population, or almost half. We've reached saturation points. For example, in Australia, there are 22 million cell phones and 21 million people. And the concern is not just brain tumors, but other health effects associated or reported to be associated with cell phones, including behavioral disturbances, salivary gland tumors, male infertility and microwave sickness syndrome. So we're not just talking about tumors, and I was not just implying brain tumors, but there are other health effects. And with so many users and users starting at the age of three and up now, we should be concerned. And I stand by those comments." [Transcript courtesy CNN]

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cell phone cancer scare poses dilemma / Letter to the reporter

Cell phone cancer scare poses dilemma,By Mary Meehan

Don't hang up just yet.

As has been widely reported, the head of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute recently issued a memo to 3,000 faculty and staff declaring that children shouldn't use cell phones unless there is an emergency because of the risk of cancer.

The researcher, Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, said a yet-to-be released global study will back up his feelings. This is in spite of the fact that many large-scale studies have not shown such a link.

So, what's a responsible parent to do?

Take a breath and look at the whole picture, said Dr. Thomas Tucker, associate director of cancer prevention and control at the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky.

Yes, Tucker said, cell phones do emit radio frequency energy, a type of radiation. And, he said, people should be aware of the potential risk of exposure to any kind of radiation.

But, he said, the link to cancer and cell phones has not been scientifically proven.

And, in short, there is not enough data to say that phones are perfectly safe or perfectly harmful. Cancer researchers continue to research the potential threat.

The thing to remember, he said, is that "cancer is usually not caused by a single thing. It is caused by a complicated set of things. In some cancers all of those things have to happen for the disease to express itself."

It's not uncommon for such media reports to incite public fears, he said. But the best thing that people can do is concentrate on proven cancer deterrents.

"There's actually quite a bit we can do to protect ourselves against cancer," he said. "We know we can prevent primary lung cancer if they quit smoking. A lot of breast cancer can be avoided with a mammogram," he said. "People should be appropriately screened for skin cancer. These things can make an enormous difference in the population."

It can be hard to get people to focus on the day-to-day realities of good health when such stories break, said Kevin Hall, spokesman for the Lexington Fayette County Health Department.

As for the cell phone story, he said, it came across his radar.

"It was getting national attention. It stood out."

And when those kinds of medical threat stories break, he said, "it gets into the collective consciousness."

"There are times when it can be difficult when Expert A says one thing, Doctor B another," said Hall.

But, like Tucker, he said time and energy is probably better spent on things that can yield tangible results.

Giving up your cell phone to prevent cancer, no matter how challenging that might be for some, can seem a simpler solution than, say, eating right, exercising consistently and making sure to get adequate sleep.

"Sometimes," he said, "it's easier to point to an external source than point to something that I could be doing."

Reach Mary Meehan at (859) 231-3261 or 1-800-950-6397 , Ext. 3261.
Mary Meehan
Herald Leader
Hi Mary
I have just read your story about - 'cell cancer scare poses dilemma'.
I am very disappointed by the two cell phone experts you quoted in the story - Dr. Thomas Tucker and Mr. Kevin Hall. Their apparent lack of knowledge and understanding of cell phone health dangers, should dismiss them from being spokespersons on the subject. Cell phones (and several other household devices) transmit and receive microwave radiation. Your quoted experts should be aware that microwave radiation is genotoxic and that a great many studies over many years in many countries, have shown how dangerous this radiation is. Microwave radiation is linked to various cancers and many more serious illnesses.
It is vitally important that you and your readers understand the great danger that they are subjecting themselves to when they use cell phones, cordless phones, WiFi, wireless games and other wireless devices. I recommend that Dr. Tucker and Hall, peruse the information at a scientific report that refers to many scientific studies and the adverse health effects of electro magnetic radiation. In order to understand what microwave radiation is doing to harm animals, birds, bees and the environment, they should visit .
I have attached a document by Dr. Neil Cherry, which may be helpful.
Yours sincerely
Martin Weatherall

EMR News from Newfoundland

Woman receives diagnosis for allergy to electricity
The Western Star

CORNER BROOK — Joanne March-Laberge always knew in her heart that it wasn't all in her head.

She says she now has the documentation to prove it.

In a story published in the Aug. 4, 2007 edition of The Western Star, March-Laberge claimed to be suffering from a form of "electromagnetic and chemical sensitivity," but was unable to get an official diagnosis because she said the illness wasn't recognized or acknowledged by medical doctors in the province.

Through the passage of time, March-Laberge's symptoms have gotten progressively worse, especially since she's been living in St. John's surrounded by electricity producers. However, she says she has finally received the diagnosis from her current doctor, Maureen Gibbons, which advises that she suffers from the illness and will require accommodations in single housing in an area of the province, which is a great distance away from power stations and electrical sources.

That was certainly a better reaction for March-Laberge than the usual "it's menopause, depression, anxiety or it's all in your head" diagnosis she had been receiving from various doctors up until that point.

Through her own research and tenacity, she managed to put the pieces of the puzzle together and came to grips with what she knew she had, and then managed to convince her doctor, thanks to a plethora of information from interviews with others involved with the illness, both researchers and sufferers.

"She wasn't convinced at first, but I had my facts," said March-Laberge. "I wasn't accepting depression or menopause or anything of that as a cause of what was wrong with me."

Anything can trigger it.

Now, the main issue for March-Laberge is successfully moving out of St. John's into an area where her body won't constantly be bombarded by the electrical currents that have crippled her once active lifestyle. Symptoms of the illness include nausea, headaches, shortness of breath, rapid heart beat, chest pain and a burning sensation up the throat and mouth — absolutely anything that emits electric energy can trigger the allergy.

"I now know what I have, what caused it and how to live with it," she said. "But the best thing is avoidance and in St. John's, I'm surrounded. It's like a blanket that continuously gives out signals.

"I had to spend all my savings to find out about this illness," she added. "I cannot work and now I'm considered disabled. I had to put a plea into our government for help and assistance to try to get me out of the city and into a smaller place, but it takes time."

March-Laberge is hopeful her situation may be straightened away sooner rather than later, but she insists her main goal is to force the government and the medical community to recognize the illness as the serious, life-altering illness that she says it is.

"All things go in three stages in life — first is ridicule, then it's morally opposed and then it's accepted," she said. "I hope the government doesn't wait too long to recognize this, for our children and our grandchildren as we use more and more technology and electricity.

"All I need is a place in Newfoundland away from most towers and I'll be fine," she added. "That's not too much to ask for when we have so many forests, but it all comes down to money and politics. So many people have this illness and our government is trying to knock it down."


'Conservative approach to human health'

Green Party supports study into cancer and electricity

By Katie Hyslop
The Independent

A Norris Arm native who has been fighting for eight years to prove a link between electromagnetic frequencies and cancer has the support of federal Green Party leader Elizabeth May.

Electromagnetic frequencies can be emitted by transformers and high-tension transmission wires as well as cell phones, computers, and clock radios just to name a few.

Gerry Higgins, who has been asking for a study into the health effects of prolonged exposure to electromagnetic frequencies since his wife died of cancer eight years ago, says he first contacted May when she was executive director of the environmental group Sierra Club of Canada.

"Gerry's persistence really led me to do the research," says May. "It's not a matter of being superstitious or nonsensical — when you look at the kinds of studies, and they fall on both sides of the fence right now, but that's a long way from saying that (electromagnetic frequencies) don't cause a problem."

Higgins has been contacting politicians on the municipal, provincial and federal levels to try and garner support for an independent study into the correlation between cancer and electricity.

"I have 99 towns in Newfoundland and Labrador, that mayors and councilors faxed me stating that the same thing is happening in their communities as what's happening in Norris Arm," says Higgins, who says the towns include Joe Batt's Arm, LaScie and Port Saunders.

"There's one family in the town of Norris Arm, four people — two died, two lived. The transformer, the pole is seven feet from his door, and the transformer is on that pole. And he's got brain cancer, his wife died at 29 years old with breast cancer. He has a son between 11 and 13 (who) had a cancer tumour removed from his anklebone."

And he lost his mother to cancer, and the two homes were about 25-30 feet apart in the one yard."

Higgins touts the research of Magda Havas, associate professor of environmental and resource studies at Trent University, whose research into electromagnetic frequencies convinced May there was something wrong with assuming electromagnetic frequencies are harmless.

"But the policy of Health Canada on a wide range of issues is to insist that there is not enough known, that there is no reason for changing the status quo," she says. "We should be looking at the evidence in any kind of balanced way, and seeking the truth and being fair and scientific about it — there is absolutely no way to conclude that those exposures are safe."

May says she's not 100 per cent sure that exposure is causing cancer, but says cancer rates are on the upswing despite people taking better care of their health in other ways, like quitting smoking.

"Basically the lifetime risk of getting one form of cancer or another for both men and women is approaching one in two," she says. "It's epidemic. Now that's not because all of us have adopted really bad lifestyles. Some of it, sure, but we should be seeing cancer rates going down as fewer and fewer people smoke cigarettes, but we're not."

May agrees with Higgins that an independent study is needed into the health effects and says the Green Party will be making it part of their policy in the next federal election.

Until then, she recommends people subscribe to Havas' suggestions for reducing electromagnetic exposure in their own home.

"When you have a home computer, put that home computer facing against an outside wall, not facing against a wall where on the other side of the wall there's somebody's bed," she says, suggesting moving clock radios away from beds and not using electric blankets, as well.
"Let's be sensible and take a conservative approach to human health."

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Suspend WiFi in Schools

Suspend wi-fi in schools, says union chief following reports it causes ill-health

By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 9:11 PM on 28th July 2008

Health concern: Wi-fi in schools should be suspended pending a safety inquiry, says a union chief

The rush to install wireless computer networks in schools may be jeopardising children's health and should be suspended pending a full safety inquiry, a teachers' chief said yesterday.

Philip Parkin said he is worried about reports linking wireless technology with loss of concentration, fatigue, reduced memory and headaches.

Mr Parkin, general secretary of Voice, formerly the Professional Association of Teachers, believes a generation of children are effectively 'guinea pigs in a large-scale experiment'.

Wi-fi systems use high frequency radio waves to transmit and receive data over distances of several hundred feet.

Users anywhere within range can surf the internet without needing a cable connection.

A majority of schools have already introduced wi-fi – a typical comprehensive has a network of at least ten transmitters.

Mr Parkin, whose 38,000-strong union is holding its annual conference in Daventry, Northamptonshire, this week, fears wi-fi radiation damages children's developing nervous systems and wants an investigation into longterm health risks.

He said schools should exercise caution until a review by the Health Protection Agency has been published.

But he also questioned the terms of the review, arguing that it does not go far enough in examining all the radiation involved.

Voice is calling for a moratorium on new wi-fi networks and the suspension of existing wi-fi if possible. But wireless technology is likely to be a central feature of schools being rebuilt or refurbished under a massive programme.

A Government advisory body has said investing in hardwired equipment instead of wi-fi could create 'expensive white elephants'.

The Health Protection Agency currently advises that there is no reason why schools should not use wi-fi.

'I was walking into a poison cloud'

Author Kate Figes said she was made ill after installing wi-fi in her Stoke Newington home.

The mother-of-two claimed she was sensitive to the technology's electromagnetic waves and scrapped it after feeling tired and nauseous.

She said: 'The day we installed wi-fi was the day I started to feel ill. When I walked through the front door it felt like walking into a cloud of poison.

'Imagine being prodded all over your body by 1,000 fingers.

'I got rid of anything I thought might be causing the problem, such as cordless phones, but that did not make things better.

'I started to think it might be the wi-fi, so we scrapped that. That was when I felt better.'

Monday, July 28, 2008

Larry King To Revisit Cell Phone Risks

CNN's Larry King Live will devote tomorrow's (Tuesday's) show to cell phone health risks. It was prompted by the last week's alert from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

There was extensive coverage of Dr. Ronald Herberman's warning --much of it based on the Associated Press story. Unfortunately the AP story suffers from a number of serious errors as well as misplaced emphases.

For the Larry King guest list and an analysis of the AP story, go to:


Louis Slesin
Louis Slesin, PhD
Editor, Microwave News
A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation
Phone: +1 (212) 517-2800; Fax: +1 (212) 734-0316
E-mail: <>
Internet: <>
Mail: 155 East 77th Street, Suite 3D
New York, NY 10075, U.S.A.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

EMR cancer and other illnesses

Hi All
These are not news items, but they contain a great deal of information which links electro magnetic radiation and microwave radiation with cancer and ill health. The first item by Alasdair Philips of 'Powerwatch', appears to be about ten years old, yet the information is still of great importance and relevance today.
Please visit the web sites that are linked below, they contain strong scientific information about EMR from USA, Poland and Israel.

This is based on a talk I gave a few months ago. A few of you saw an early copy of it, but I thought it was now worth making it available to the wider EMF community. Please make use of it and freely copy it. IF you leave my name on it please COPY IT ALL. Thanks.

Adverse Health Concerns of Mobile Phones
by Alasdair Philips

EMC Consultant & Director of the Powerwatch Network


When new technology is introduced, with all its advertising hype, a fair number of the public usually get carried along with considerable enthusiasm. Mobile phones were no exception. When they first appeared, many people saw a mobile phone as a sign of success and status.

When I was a child, back in the early 1950s, I was bought a new pair of shoes. The manufacturer had just introduced a wonderful new pedascope machine to check how well your shoes fitted your feet. You inserted your feet into a hole and looked down at a display screen. Even today, I clearly remember the wonder at being able to wiggle my toes and see them move inside my shoes.

The machine used X-rays at quite a high level to give real-time images on a simple screen. It was ten years before Dr Alice Stewart produced research which showed that there was no safe level of X-rays, and even then few listened. In fact she was almost outcast from the medical establishment, and it was about another twenty years before the real danger from medical X-rays was acknowledged.

Now, in the 1990s the U.K. National Radiological Protection Board (NRPB) is fighting a rearguard action, trying to persuade hospitals to minimise patient X-ray exposure.

Asbestos has been strictly controlled since 1970, and the use of most dangerous types banned. Despite this, deaths from mesothelioma (an asbestos induced cancer of the pleura/lungs) are rising consistently and the U.K. death rate is not expected to peak until about 2020. The time between the first exposure and death is now accepted as often being between 20 and 50 years. Most environmental cancers in adults take longer than ten years from initiation to detection.

Mobile phones

The mobile phone growth explosion is only just happening now. If EMFs do turn out to be carcinogenic, even if we backdate it five we backdate it five years, we should not be expecting to see much in the way of carcinogenic effects for another ten years. In the meantime we discover that major phone manufacturers are quietly (and prudently) patenting EMF reducing cases and aerials.

We also find interesting, and not very re-assuring, advice in a Motorola User Manual: [1] DO NOT hold the cellular telephone such that the antenna is in contact with exposed parts of the body, especially the face or eyes, while the unit is turned on. (OK, that is reasonable).

When used with an externally mounted vehicular antenna DO NOT operate the cellular telephone when a bystander is within one foot (0.3m) of the externally mounted antenna. (Hmm. Is it all right to fry your own head, but not someone else's? It is difficult to believe that vehicle antennas are that much more efficient radiators).

Despite the impression that mobile-phone companies give in their literature, little work has been done on the long term human health implications of mobile-phone use. This means that current mobile-phone users are acting as involuntary, and often unsuspecting, test subjects. Past research into microwave radiation effects on health certainly gives rise to concern.

Public awareness

Public awareness of possible dangers was probably triggered originally by the Reynard brain tumour case in 1992. About eight lawsuits alleging that cellular phones caused brain tumours have been filed in the USA. Although these cases haven't succeeded, they have set the stage, and raised safety questions in many people minds. It has raised old spectres such as the thalidomide tragedy - the result of a product being used widely before adequate long term research had been carried out. That resulted in much misery for the families involved, and long drawn out and expensive lawsuits.

Cancer implications

In fact, there is little recent evidence that brain tumours are a likely outcome. If there are long term cancer implications, then they will most likely be myeloid leukaemias and multiple melanomas. Back in the early 1980s Sam Milham reported excess leukaemias among amateur radio operators, with deaths from acute and chronic myeloid leukaemias nearly three times higher than expected.

In 1980, Dr John Holt had a letter published [2]. This showed that between 1951-59, 50% of patients with CML in Queensland survived 55 months. In 1960 and 1961 three large TV broadcast stations were commissioned in the area. In the period 1963-67, 50% of patients with CML only survived 21 months. This dramatic change could not be explained by any medical personnel or therapy changes.

In the mid-1980s Stanislaw Szmigielski reported that Polish military personnel exposed to RF energy showed elevated leukaemia levels. He has just published a 1996 update. [3] This is a study of all Polish military personnel for 15 years (1971-85), approximately 128,000 people each year. Of these about 3700 (3%) were considered to be occupationally exposed to radio-frequency and / or microwave radiation.

The largest increasing were found for chronic myelocytic leukaemia (CML), with an astounding odds ratio (OR) of 13.9 (95%CI 6.72-22.12, p<0.001), acute myeloblastic leukaemia (AML) with an OR of 8.62 (95%CI 3.54-13.67, p<0.001), and non-Hodgkin lymphomas with an OR of 5.82 (95%CI 3.54-13.67, p<0.001).

The 1996 paper by Lai & Singh, showing single and double DNA strand breaks in brain cells of rats exposed to 2.45GHz SARs of 1.2 W/Kg (comparable with levels in the heads of mobile phone users), also gives rise to concern. [4]

If someone is completely healthy, and has a strong immune system, then mobile-phone use may well not give them long-term health problems. Some people can smoke twenty cigarettes per day for fifty years and not develop lung cancer, and yet the dangers of smoking are now generally accepted. It has been repeatedly shown that a few minutes exposure to cell phone type radiation can transform a 5% active cancer into a 95% active cancer for the duration of the exposure and for a short time afterwards. [5]

I postulate that if there is a cancer connection with the use of mobile phones, it is likely to be seen in these leukaemias. Adult leukaemias take many years to appear and be diagnosed, taking maybe between 10 and 30 years after the initial cell transformation. It is therefore unlikely that the trend will start to be seen for at least another five, probably ten, years. I hope the industry has good insurance cover!

Short term exposure of rats is no answer. Cancer is being increasingly recognised as an organisational systems problem, and no short term speeded up animal experiments are likely to give the same results as extended period chronic exposure to the human bio-system.

Are there problems that occur in the short term?

I would answer "Yes, there are". Following the BBC TV Watchdog programme and various media articles, Powerwatch has been receiving calls from mobile phone users who believe that they are experiencing problems.

Following a magazine article, we recently received calls from British Telecom engineers who had been issued with GSM phones. These are people who are generally very sceptical of EMF adverse health effects. They are reporting: Headaches, poor short term memory and concentration, tingling / burning/ or twitching skin on the side of their face nearest the phone, eye problems including 'dry eye' causing irritation with blinking of the eyelid, and buzzing in their ears not only while actually using the phone, but also on waking up during the night.

These symptoms bear a close resemblance to those in a study of a Latvian pulsed radio location station at Skrunda. This emits short 0.8 milliseconds pulses of 154 - 162MHz every 41ms, giving a rate of 24 pulses per second. In a study of 966 children aged 9-18 years old, motor function, memory and attention were significantly worse in the exposed group. Children living in front of the station had less developed memory and attention, their reaction time was slower and their neuromuscular endurance was decreased. The RMS field levels at their houses were typically only 1V/m, and a maximum level of 6 V/m or 10(W/cm2. [6]

Reports linking RF energy with asthenias had been reported by Charlotte Silverman back in 1973, and again in 1980, as what she called "radio wave sickness". [7]

In another study near the Latvian radio station, differences in micronuclei levels in peripheral erythrocytes were found to be statistically significant in the exposed and control groups. This is evidence of genetic changes caused by athermal (non-thermal) levels of pulsed radio-frquency radiation.[8]

Maximum exposure levels

When maximum exposure levels were set in the 1950s, they were based on the field levels the human body could withstand without causing a significant rise (1°C) in body temperature. The possibility of non-thermal effects was discounted. Despite considerable evidence in published scientific literature, this still continues to be the case. However, the conclusions section of the NRPB "Doll Report", on non-ionising radiation effects, states: "Animal studies conducted at frequencies above about 100kHz have provided some evidence for effects on tumour incidence...". [9] At cellular telephone frequency bands of 900MHz and 1.8GHz, the current U.K. NRPB investigation levels had the effect of raising the U.K. permitted levels to 10 Watts per Kg in the head. The 1991 USA ANSI/IEEE C95.1 guidelines set the SAR at 1.6 W/Kg, and the CENELEC pre-standard states 2 W/Kg for the public. It has been shown that cellular-phones can deliver well over 2 W/Kg into head tissue during their output pulses, but they are said to comply because over each second the average power is only one-eighth of the pulse power (GSM and PCN digital phones).

Unlike the earlier analogue-phones, the new digital GSM ones emit a series of 546(s radio-frequency (RF) pulses at a repetition rate of 217Hz. Pulsed microwaves have been shown to be more biologically active than continuous radiation of the same frequency and power level. Take an operating digital GSM mobile-phone near an ordinary medium wave radio and you will hear a "rattle-clatter " buzzing noise. These pulses are also picked up and detected by the cells inside the user's and other nearby people's heads. In fact, up to 50% of the transmitted power can be absorbed by the user's head, which means that their brain cells are being "hit" by these radiation pulses two hundred and seventeen times every second.

The NRPB, and others, average the power from a digital phone over 1 second, and so divide the pulse power by eight. They correctly argue that the tissue has time to cool down between pulses, and then go on to deduce that no damage will therefore take place. This is similar to saying that placing a hammer on a "cell" (an egg, for example) exerting a small steady force, will produce the same effect as hitting the egg, using eight times the force briefly once a second. As well as being an electronics engineer, I am a qualified Agricultural Engineer - and I know that, when trying to loosen a stuck nut and bolt, the effect of constant pressure on the spanner is FAR less than when tapping the spanner with a hammer. At the same time (1993) as the NRPB raised its permitted microwave levels, two military research bases in the USA reduced their permitted levels of radio frequency exposure (30MHz to 100GHz) from 100W/m2 down to 1W/m2, (0.1mW/cm2 or 100µW/cm2 ). This is because they acknowledge that there is now an overwhelming body of published evidence of the positive existence of non-thermal biological effects of high-frequency radiation. [10]

Some non-thermal effects

Important non-thermal biological effects have been demonstrated which could account for the development of cancer, asthma and the lowering of male fertility. Dr John A.G. Holt was the first Medical Director of the Institute of Radiotherapy and Oncology of Western Australia.

Cancerous tissue has increased conductivity compared with normal tissue. In 1974, Dr. Holt and Dr. Nelson were able to show that the specific effect of RF energy on cancer was to radio-sensitise a malignancy. Some cancers could have their radio-sensitivity increased by a factor exceeding 100 times. Since non electrical heating of cancer to 41.8°C increased radio-sensitivity by a factor of 2 to 3 and 434 MHz increased sensitivity by 100 to 150 times at less than 38°C, this is a non thermal effect. Every cancer demonstrated an increase in sensitivity but in those that were normally treated with radiotherapy this was at its maximum, whereas in those not usually treatable by X-ray Therapy it was minimal. [11]

Dr Peter French, Principal Scientific Officer in the Centre for Immunology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia, has been carrying out experiments on a range of human and animal cell lines using 835MHz exposure at 4.9mW/cm2, 3 times per day for 7 days. He has shown effects on cell growth (some cells show an increased growth rate and some, including gliomas, show a decreased growth rate), cell shape, secretion of histamine and on gene transcription. These studies were funded by Dr John Holt, and now Dr French is seeking Australian government funding to continue these early, preliminary experiments. The work is currently submitted for publication to peer-reviewed scientific journals, and more details will be available after it has been accepted for publication. Dr French is the Immediate Past President of the Australia and New Zealand Society for Cell Biology. [12]

These key new areas of work are not being funded or supported by industry.

Microshield Industries launched a new EMF shielding mobile phone case range earlier this year. It received quite a lot of media publicity, and claims of "worthless" from the cellular phone industry. However, it does reduce the power absorbed by the user's head by some 10 to 20dBm (i.e. by a factor of between 10 and 100). Many purchasers of these Microshield cases are now expressing delight at having found a way of using their phones without experiencing the adverse side effects.

Base station masts

There is currently growing public concern about the number of base station masts that are being errected, and the effect these may have on both health and on property values. The field strengths from masts is low and it is unlikely to be more of a problem than any other form of RF data communications, however increasing worries are surfacing about all levels of RF energy, especially when digital signal bursts are transmitted.

In the Australian Government's media release, announcing the $4.5 million project, the Minister for Health and Family Services, Dr. Michael Woolridge states: "While there is no substantiated evidence available to date of adverse health effects associated with RF EME (radio frequency electromagnetic energy) exposure within the standards that apply in Australia and overseas..."

Where is Dr. Woolridge getting the information from?... According to the press release, it must be from the EME (electromagnetic energy) Advisory Committee.

When one looks at what few epidemiological studies that have been done to date on RF/MW human exposure, there is ample evidence of adverse health effects to warrant concern.

The catch word in Dr. Woolridge's statement is "substantiated" evidence. This essentially means proven evidence. To use the term "proven" or "substantiated" is somewhat misleading. Epidemiological studies on human populations do not look for "proof" or "substantiation" but increases in incidence of a disease, or relative risk ratios.

Epidemiological studies on tobacco and asbestos did not "substantiate" that these carcinogens cause cancer, they do show, however, a significant increased risk of developing cancer from exposure. This is not "substantiation", but that did not prevent the health authorities from taking corrective action. It is unfortunate that with electromagnetic radiation however industry and its supporters insist an absolute connection must be found before correction action be taken.

The following recent studies do not "substantiate" anything in relation to exposure to RF/MW; they are dealing with the increase in incidence of adverse health effects such as cancer. These relevant which should be of interest to anyone involved in EME health issues and who is concerned with a possible association with the human population:

a) The recent Bruce Hocking preliminary study compared cancer rates in three municipalities within a 4km radius of Sydney TV towers with rates in adjacent areas further away. The study found children living within the 4km. radius had a relative risk of 1.61 for leukaemia, compared with the control group. The relative risk for mortality was higher at 2.25, and highest at 2.84 for fatal lymphoblastic leukaemia. [13]

The calculated power density levels within the 4 km. area were calculated to be in the order of 0.02 to 8 microwatts/, up to 1000 times less than the Australian RF/MW safety standard of 200 microwatts/

b) In 1987, a similar study identified higher rates of cancer among those living near the TV and radio broadcast towers in Honolulu, Hawaii. Drs. Bruce Anderson and Alden Henderson of the Hawaii Department of Health found in a study of several thousand people in residential areas with about 12 communication towers in the midst, a relative risk for cancer, including leukaemia, of 1.375 (37.5% increase). This study was never followed up. [14]

c) An earlier study in 1982, conducted by Dr. William Morton of the University of Oregon's Health Science Centre in Portland, Oregon found parallel trends in his study of cancer and broadcast radiation in Portland. [15]

d) Dr. Stanislaw Szmigieski, a leading epidemiologist with the Centre for Radiobiology and Radiation Safety at the Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Warsaw, Poland has been the team leader for an on-going study of the health effects of RF/MW exposure of military personnel in Poland for the whole military population. His research found that young military personnel exposed to RF/MW radiation had more than eight times the expected rate of leukaemia and lymphoma. Careful surveys of exposure revealed that 80 - 85% of the personnel were exposed to an average of less that 42 microwatts/sq. cm., with a median point near 7 microwatts/sq. cm. [3]

e) Ouellet-Hellstrom and Stewart (1993) found a statistically significant 3.3 fold increase of miscarriage amongst U.S. physiotherapists using microwave diathermy compared to a non-exposed control group. The incidence increased with the number of monthly treatments, which could suggest a cumulative effect. At an average of about 10 treatments per month the estimated exposure was about 0.04 to 0.56 microwatts/sq. cm. [16]

f) Shandala et. al. (1979) found that calcium ion efflux varies in living animal cells at 10 micro watts/ and this level also produces brain activity changes. [17]

g) von Klitzing (1995) found changes to human brain EEG with a signal of 217 Hz modulation on a 150 megahertz (MHz) carrier with an external exposure of about 2.5 microwatts/ [18]

h) Dr. John Goldsmith, Professor of Epidemiology at Burn Gurion University of the Negev, Israel has collected evidence of several occupational and military exposures to microwaves which produced elevated risks of a wide range of cancers, including childhood leukaemia in children of staff, and cancers in the staff and partners at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow and other eastern European U.S. embassies. These cancers were associated with a reported maximum exposure of between 5 and 15 microwatts. and mean exposures between 1 and 2.4. microwatts/, recorded near the outside walls of the embassy. Exposures inside the building should be somewhat smaller than these readings. [19]

i) To quote from Dr. Neil Cherry's (New Zealand) recent paper of March 1996 Potential and Actual Adverse Effects of Cellsite Microwave Radiation: [20]

"With these and dozens of other epidemiological studies of large populations and large numbers of workers occupationally exposed to RF/MW radiation, showing statistically significant increases of a wide spectrum of cancers, there can be little or no doubt that chronic low level exposure to RF/MW radiation produces increased cancer risk."

j) The Latvian pulsed radar station study mentioned earlier in this talk. [6]

Considering these studies and the evidence of an increased cancer risk, at levels well below the current Australian RF/MW standard of 200 microwatts/, for Dr. Wooldridge to state that "there is no substantiated evidence available to date of adverse health effects..." indicates that he is not getting proper advice.

Who can the public turn to for advice? Part of my remit was to answer the question whether the public should be suspicious of soothing statements from people responsible for advice on these matters.

Dr. Alastair McKinlay, of the UK NRPB, is the vice-Chair of an "Expert Group" set up by the European Commission. He is recently quoted as stating: What is now required is a lot more research in the microwave frequency part of the electromagnetic spectrum, where mobile phones operate. This is not because there is concern about health effects, but that such research makes sense to quell any public concern. [21]

One has to question whether this is the right attitude to adopt when trying to discover scientific truths.

This E.C. Committee is, however, just recommending (due this week) a 24 million ECU (about £20m) funding programme for research in mobile phone safety.

Michael Repacholi, who heads up the W.H.O. programme, has been severely criticised in Australia about the way he has chaired their RF Standards Committee. He is on record as saying that there are no athermal adverse health effects, and saying that the main reason to up the Australian limits by a factor of five is "to provide GATT economic benefits". It has been publicly stated that it is not correct for a single person, who has a long standing financial relationship with the telecommunications industry and who defends their position on the safety of EMR by testifying in court on their behalf, should have so much influence in the setting of RF public health standards. [22]


Powerwatch believes that, although much more research needs doing, regular mobile-phone use is likely to have adverse health consequences in the people who use them.

The newer, digital, ones are likely to have more biological effects than the older, analogue, ones. While we accept that the existing evidence does not yet prove that there are any long-term adverse health implications, on our understanding of published research we need to advise people to use them as little as possible.

Refs: [ 1 ] General Safety Information, User's Manual for Micro T.A.C Ultra Lite, Motorola [ 2 ] The Medical Journal of Australia, Vol.1, No.12 14th June 1980 [ 3 ] The Science of the Total Environment 180, Elsevier, 1996, pp9-17 [ 4 ] Lai & Singh, Int.J.Rad.Biol.,V.69,pp513-521, April 1996 [ 5 ] John Holt, BBC1 TV Watchdog Programme, 3rd June 1996 [ 6 ] The Science of the Total Environment 180, Elsevier, 1996, pp 87-93 [ 7 ] Charlotte Silverman (Am.J.Epi, 1973, & Proc IEEE V79, pp78-84 1980) [ 8 ] The Science of the Total Environment 180, Elsevier, 1996, pp 81-86 [ 9 ] NRPB "Doll Report" (Doc.NRPB V3, No1, 1992) and follow up statements. [10] Microwave News, September/October 1993, pp 1,10,12 [11] John Holt, Powerwatch Network Technical Supplement, May 1996 [12] Peter French, personal communication, October 1996 [13] Microwave News, Vol. XV, No.6, Nov/Dec 1995, p1 & p16 [14] Mobile Phones and their Transmitter Base Stations - EM Facts Info. Service,*p.7 [15] Microwave News, Vol. XV, No. 6, Nov./Dec 1995, p16 [16] Quellet-Hellstrom, R., and Stewart W.F., Am. J. Epi., 138, No. 10, Nov. 1993, pp 775 - 784 [17] Shandala, M.G. & Vinogradov, Imunological effects of microwave action, JPRS 72956, p16, (1979). Also see same authors: Microwave Radiation as Autoimune Inductor. Abstracts BEMS 12th Ann. Meeting, San Antonio, 1990. [18] Von Klitzing,, L. LF pulsed EMF influence EEG of man, submitted to Physica Medica, 1995 [19] Goldsmith, J.R., 'Epi. Evidence of RF Effects...' Int. J. Environmental Health, 1, 1995, pp 47-57 [20] 17 April 1995 paper. Contact Dr. Neil Cherry, Lincoln Univ., N.Z., email Copy is in 'Mobile Phones and their Base Station Masts.....' * [21] Electronics and Wireless World, November 1996, p821 [22] Exposure to RF Radiation - a Growing Concern. ACATT, Australia, 1996. *EMFacts Information Service, PO Box 96, North Hobart, Tasmania, 7002, AUSTRALIA The Powerwatch Network is contactable at:

2, Tower Road, Sutton, Ely, Cambs., CB6 2QA Fax:01353 777646; email:

Alasdair Philips (


Cancer morbidity in subjects occupationally exposed to high frequency (radiofrequency and microwave) electromagnetic radiation

Stanislaw Szmigielski

Department of Biological Effect of Non-Ionizing Radiations, Center for Radiobiology and Radiation Safety at the Military Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, 128 Szaserow, 00-909, Warsaw, Poland

Available online 25 February 1999.


Cancer morbidity was registered in the whole population of military career personnel in Poland during a period of 15 years (1971–1985). Subjects exposed occupationally to radiofrequencies (RF) and microwaves (MW) were selected from the population on the basis of their service records and documented exposures at service posts. The population size varied slightly from year to year with a mean count of about 128 000 persons each year; each year about 3700 of them (2.98%) were considered as occupationally exposed to RF/MW. All subjects (exposed and non-exposed to RF/MW) were divided into age groups (20–29, 30–39, 40–49 and 50–59). All newly registered cases of cancer were divided into 12 types based on localisation of the malignancy; for neoplasms of the haemopoietic system and lymphatic organs an additional analysis based on diagnosis was performed. Morbidity rates (per 100 000 subjects annually) were calculated for all of the above localisations and types of malignancies both for the whole population and for the age groups. The mean value of 15 annual rates during 1971–1985 represented the respective morbidity rate for the whole period. Morbidity rates in the non-exposed groups of personnel were used as 'expected' (E) rates for the exposed subjects, while the real morbidity rates counted in the RF/MW-exposed personnel served as 'observed' (O) rates. This allowed the calculation of the observed/expected ratio (OER) representing the odds ratio for the exposed groups. The cancer morbidity rate for RF/MW-exposed personnel for all age groups (20–59 years) reached 119.1 per 100 000 annually (57.6 in non-exposed) with an OER of 2.07, significant at P < 0.05. The difference between observed and expected values results from higher morbidity rates due to neoplasms of the alimentary tract (OER = 3.19–3.24), brain tumours (OER = 1.91) and malignancies of the haemopoietic system and lymphatic organs (OER = 6.31). Among malignancies of the haemopoietic/lymphatic systems, the largest differences in morbidity rates between exposed and non-exposed personnel were found for chronic myelocytic leukaemia (OER = 13.9), acute myeloblastic leukaemia (OER = 8.62) and non-Hodgkin lymphomas (OER = 5.82).

Author Keywords: Radiofrequency radiation, cancer morbidity; Microwave radiation, cancer morbidity; Military personnel; Poland



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Saturday, July 26, 2008

EMF-Omega-News 26. July 2008

Dear Sir, Madam, Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

for your information.

Best regards,
Klaus Rudolph
Citizens' Initiative Omega

Member of the Buergerwelle Germany (incorporated society)
Protectorate Union of the Citizens and Initiatives for the Protection
against Electrosmog

Setting Prudent Public Health Policy for Electromagnetic Field Exposures

The radiant reflective signature of ice breakup and the natural
atmospheric attenuation of microwave radiation

Danger of Cell Phones

The brains of young children absorb twice as much RF energy from a
cell phone as those of adults

Children's Brain Tissue Gets More Cell Phone Radiation: Health Canada
says that it is safe?

Warning not to sleep with the cell phone when it is being charged

Generaton X-Ray: Child victims of Technological abuse

Pitt's Cancer Institute to warn about cell phone health risks

Scientist tells Israelis: Hang up your cell phones already

Cellphone signal concerns raised again

People are starting to wake up to the issue and we are getting angry



Phone firm refuses to move mast

Parents' phone mast plan alarm

Mobile phone mast protesters vow to fight on

Phone mast row in Laverstock

Residents still fighting for mast's removal

Landowner's bid to remove phone mast

EPA order Westel and Celtel to stop erection of mast

Not so rare plant

News from

UK conference on a precautionary approach for wireless technologies

Bluetooth is watching: secret study gives Bath a flavour of Big Brother

Les vérités qui dérangent

News from Mast Sanity

Omega-News Collection 26. July 2008


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Frying our brains?

Is technology frying our


Posted in By The Way by Eileen Yu on 2008/07/25 02:00:12

Couple of years back, my mother would experience headaches and giddiness whenever she was at her work desk. Her colleague who sat next to her would also suffer similar symptoms when she was in the office.

After a series of checks and tests, her office identified a wireless cellular signal booster--which was mounted on the wall directly above my mother's desk--as the key culprit. The device was immediately deactivated and my mother's headaches promptly disappeared.

Whether there was indeed a direct correlation between the wireless device and my mother's passing ailments is still as yet to be proven scientifically. But, the question remains whether sufficient time has passed for the effects of technology on the human body to manifest and be accurately documented.

Researchers believe that every human body goes through minor DNA mutations and hence, in some ways, carries dormant cancer cells. The fortunate ones among us go through life without any of these cells becoming "active" but for most of us, as statistics show, we're likely to end up with some form of cancer-related ailment at a later stage in our life.

It usually takes years, typically a decade or more, for cancerous cells to manifest. What that means is, to accurately observe the effects of technology such as mobile phones, on the human body, we'll have to run health studies that span at least 10 years.

What that also means is, past reports disputing any links between mobile phones and cancer, could now be wrong. And those Northern Ireland residents in 2002 might have valid reasons to bring down a mobile phone mast, which they said had caused several cancer cases in their area.

This week, the director of a prominent U.S. cancer research institute sent out an unusually strong warning to 3,000 staff and faculty members to limit their cell phone use due to potential cancer risks. The memo from Dr. Ronald B. Herberman was deemed unprecedented as it contradicted past studies, including statements from the U.S. government, which dismissed any association between mobile phones and cancer.

The hubbub raises one key question in my mind: has the mobile phone become like smoking?

By the time the health risks related to tobacco smoking were established, it was too late for those already addicted to the nicotine to turn back. Could the same ring true for mobile phone addicts?

If indeed researchers are able to come up with concrete evidence that mobile phones will lead to brain tumors and cancer, will you be able to give it up?

And will governments have to legislate that mobile users must leave public areas, and make calls in specially assigned "calling zones" so that others in the area won't absorb any second-hand electromagnetic radiation emitting from their phones?

Try pondering over that when you make your next mobile phone call, handsfree, of course.


Cellphones Not Safe For Kids: US Study

Thursday July 24, 2008

Teenagers are known for their ability to chat on the telephone for extended periods of time - take Luca and Jamie, for example.

While strolling in a Toronto mall, they admitted how long they really spend chatting.

"Um, probably about two hours," laughed one.

"About three or four hours," bragged the other.

But an American health official is raising the alarm about young people using mobile devices, echoing an earlier warning issued by Toronto Public Health.

Approximately 61 per cent of Canadians over 12 own a cellphone.

Are they safe or not? While there's no consensus on the potential adverse health effects of cellphone use, including brain tumours, some experts are warning parents not to take any chances when it comes to their kids.

Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, has taken the unprecedented step of sending a memo to all 3,000 of his employees, asking them to curtail their cell phone use, and telling their children to use cell phones only in emergencies

He says young people should only use the devices for emergencies because the electromagnetic radiation they produce could increase the risk of cancer in developing brains.

"This potentially could contribute to increased risk for developing brain tumours," Herberman added.

There's no debate that the cell signal gets into the brain, and it gets more deeply into the brain of children than it does to adults," agreed colleague Dr. Devra Davis

"Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out, but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman explained.

He advises adult cellphone users to keep the device away from their heads by using the speakerphone or a wireless headset.

The Toronto bulletin claims the long-term effects of using cellphones is unknown and advised not taking any chances when it comes to children. Local officials say young people should use landlines whenever possible, or keep mobile calls short or use a headset.

Some European countries have put precautionary policies in place regarding mobile devices, including England and France. India also adopted a similar stance.

Several studies have found no increased risk of cancer in cellphone users, but some scientists say that users should still be cautious as there's also no conclusive evidence that the devices are completely safe either.

Some 20 different groups have endorsed the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute's position.

But, as cellphone user Melanie claimed in frustration, "The reports change all the time!"

"And you need your cell phone, so what do you do?"


US cancer boss in mobiles warning

The director of a leading US cancer research institute has

sent a memo to thousands of staff warning of possible
higher risks from mobile phone use.

Ronald Herberman, of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute,
said users should not wait for definitive studies on the risk and
should take action now

Read More:

Please watch the short TV interview on mobile phones with Dr David Carpenter; he is presenting on the opening panel of the Radiation Research Trust conference in September, go to the RRT website to view his profile.

TV report:

Also watch this 5 minute video featuring Devra Davis, Ph.D., MPH, and Director of the Center for Environmental Oncology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She was formerly an advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.

Shortcut to:

Kind Regards,

Eileen O'Connor

Radiation Research Trustee


Head of cancer centre urges staff to limit mobile phone use

Ed Pilkington in New York,

Thursday July 24 2008

The head of a leading cancer research institute based in Pittsburgh has reignited the controversy over the health risks of using mobile phones by sending a warning to the institute's staff that they should limit the use of the devices because of the risk of cancer.
Dr Ronald Herberman's alert to 3,000 faculty and staff of the Pittsburgh Cancer Institute is believed to be the first of its kind from the director of a major research centre. His call for action stands in contrast to the existing advice from many health authorities that have pointed out that evidence of the dangers of mobile phone use is inconclusive.
In a memo posted to the staff, Herberman admits that the evidence was still controversial and no hard conclusions can be reached, but he goes on to say that he has become convinced that there was sufficient information "to warrant issuing an advisory to share some precautionary advice on cell phone use." He has also had his memo peer reviewed by an international panel of more than 20 experts drawn from America, Canada, France, Italy and elsewhere.
He is likely to arouse considerable interest in his warning by adding that he bases it partly on "early unpublished data" from on-going research projects. It is thought that may refer to new findings from a massive on-going monitoring project across 13 countries known as Interphone.
Herberman advises a 10-point programme to reduce the risks of using the devices, which he calls "precautionary".
Top of his list of advised precautions is that children should only use mobiles for emergencies in recognition of the fact that the growing brain tissue of children is likely to be more sensitive to the electromagnetic radiation emitted by them. That is in tune with advice already given by several European countries and Canada.
The list goes much further than most existing advice by advocating steps that include:
• Avoid using cell phones in public places such as buses as you might passively expose your neighbours to radiation;
• Do not keep phones near your body at night, such as under the pillow;
• Restrict calls to just a few minutes to avoid accumulation of exposure;
• Try not to use it where the signal is weak or when moving at speed say in a car or train, as this raises the power of the device as it seeks to find a connection;
• Use hands-free devices and if forced to hold phones to the head switch sides while talking to avoid concentration on one part of the brain.
Herberman's decision to go beyond current medical orthodoxy and advocate immediate measures to reduce risk prompted a sceptical reaction from some colleagues. A British expert on optoelectronics, Professor Will Stewart of Southampton University, said: "One cannot refute the 'early findings from unpublished data' since we have not seen them. But there is enough published data to make the advice sound alarmist."
The Wireless Association, representing the cell phone industry in the US, said "published in scientific journals around the globe show that wireless phones do not pose a health risk".
The largest study published so far tracked 420,000 phone users in Denmark, thousands of whom had used the devices for more than 10 years. It found no increased risk of cancer.
Herberman insists that he is not motivated by any animus towards mobile phones, praising them as a remarkable invention that is here to stay. But he said that conclusive results may not emerge for a very long time until individuals had been continually using the gadgets for 15 or 35 years, as was the case with smoking and lung cancer.
He also pointed to the example of asbestos mines where had more precautions been taken on the early tentative advice of scientists, lives could have been saved.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Cellphone signal concerns raised again

Cellphone signal concerns raised again
Lesley Stones
Information Technology Editor

FRESH concern is being raised about the potential dangers of cellphone usage — especially as SA begins to roll out higher-power broadband technologies.

The radiation generated by cellphones and base stations has been under scrutiny for years. But for every report proclaiming a health risk, another proves inconclusive or dismisses previous research as scare-mongering.

Now the local branch of the Electromagnetic Action Group (Emag SA) has collated studies from around the world and is calling on network operators and Icasa, the industry regulator, to recognise and minimise the risks.

"This proliferation of broadband wireless is going to cause absolutely catastrophic health problems," says Karl Muller of Emag SA's managing committee.

The operators care more about getting a good signal than they care about public health, he says.

Emag SA has expressed its fears to the national operator, Neotel, which plans to use broadband WiMax wireless technology on its network. "WiMax is a disastrous technology that will do incalculable harm to the health of South Africans," Muller claims.

Handsets communicate with base stations via low-power radio signals, and some of that energy may be absorbed by the body, with potential harm caused by the heating effects. Health authorities have set exposure limits to ensure that energy absorption is far below the level where harm could occur.

Neotel says its equipment complies with the most stringent guidelines so radio wave exposure is well below the limits. Even so, it would be advisable to keep about 60cm away from a base station, its website says.

Neotel's chief technology officer, Angus Hay, says all its equipment is fully tested to be entirely safe to people. "This is one area that the South African Bureau of Standards and Icasa are very careful about," he says.

Emag SA has spoken to lawyers regarding class action lawsuits, and expects future litigation to be rife.

"Given that we have no choice about being irradiated by masts, and that most of the world's population now uses cellphones, our estimate is that this will be much, much, much bigger than tobacco," Muller says.

Yet the World Health Organisation (WHO) is unconvinced. Radio frequency exposure from base stations and wireless networks in public areas, including schools and hospitals, is thousands of times below international safety standards and so low that it does not affect human health, it says.

"None of the recent reviews have concluded that exposure to radio frequency from mobile phones or their base stations causes any adverse health consequence."

In fact, the body absorbs up to five times more energy from radios and TVs than from base stations, WHO says. If people are concerned, they can limit their exposure by making shorter calls, or by using hands-free kits to keep the phone away from their head, WHO says.

The GSM Association, which represents the industry itself, naturally loathes the incessant scaremongering. No ill-effects have been detected from the higher-speed technologies that have rekindled fears among bodies such as Emag SA, says Dr Jack Rowley, its director of research and sustainability.

"There is a concern in some scientist and activist communities that particular signals are more biologically active. Thirty expert reports say there is no scientific rationale to say that. In fact, handsets using newer technologies actually generate less power," Rowley says.

He also denies that health scares will prove well founded in a decade or so. Radio frequencies have been used for communications for more than 100 years, and more research has been conducted on them than on most chemicals. "Studies over five to 10 years of use haven't shown any increased risk. The balance of evidence is that if we comply with WHO standards there is no scientific basis on which to believe there is any risk."

Much of the concern about broadband is based on frightening findings by Prof Franz Adlkofer, who warns of genetic damage and a higher risk of cancer because broadband wireless radiation is 10 times more toxic than ordinary cellphone radiation. Adlkofer heads the European Union's Reflex project, which studies genetic damage caused by cellphone radiation.

He also says there is a higher risk of brain tumours after several years of cellphone use, as the cancerous effects may not become apparent for 10 years.

Yet in May this year, the Medical University of Vienna said one of its laboratory technicians had confessed to fabricating data supposedly showing that cellphone radiation caused DNA breakage.

"The data were not measured experimentally, but fabricated," the university said in a statement asking for the researchers to withdraw their publications.

Undeterred, Emag SA says numerous studies worldwide show increased illnesses around base stations, including sleep disorders, headaches, chronic fatigue, muscular weakness, attention problems, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, mood swings, depression, infertility, lowered immunity, lingering flu, increased allergies and higher cancer rates.

"We have observed this entire spectrum of illnesses around masts in Johannesburg, and also noted that symptoms improve as soon as people move away," Muller says.

Vodacom says radio wave exposure from base stations in public sites is thousands of times lower than the permitted limit.

Its website allows users to click on a map to review the measurements taken at various sites around SA, and to assess the amount of energy their model of handset exposes them to.


News from 2006 - also from South Africa

This week on Special Assignment

SABC 3 at 21h30 on May 16, 2006

"A Different Story" - Broadcast Script

While every attempt has been made to ensure this transcript or summary is accurate, Special Assignment or its agents cannot be held liable for any claims arising out of inaccuracies caused by human error or electronic fault. This transcript was typed from a transcription recording unit and not from an original script, so due to the possibility of mishearing and the difficulty, in some cases, of identifying individual speakers, errors cannot be ruled out.

FENLEY: Cellular phone technology has taken over the world. In South Africa alone, there are thirty million handsets. And dotted all over the landscape are the base stations that carry signals. More and more people who live close to these masts are starting to blame them for ill health. This coincides with a growing body of scientific evidence, linking exposure to electro magnetic frequencies with cancer and leukemia.

UPS: - DINO ANASTASSIOU - If it's killing the plants, what's it doing to us?

UPS: - LESLIE HILTON - I felt like I was literally dying.

UPS: - CORNEE BORNMSAN – I changed colour. I was pale, extremely pale. A lot of time people always used to say are you feeling ok?

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - It sounds so unreal. I f you tell people this I think they away and say what an idiot. Because it's a different story Hey.


UPS: - VOICER - A year ago, electronic technician Meyndert Bornman didn't have the energy to play ball with his dog. At school, he was nicknamed “tomato”, because of his pink complexion. But in 2004, he began changing colour and became grey. He has a lung condition, so he thought it was related to that. Eventually he turned dark blue, and began receiving preferential treatment at medical centres.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - The doctor would walk past and say: “Sister, put that man on oxygen and they would give me special attention because of the colour change that I had. People would say: “what wrong with you?” Because I was getting this ash grey colour and later on it would become real blue like.

UPS: - VOICER - Then his wife began changing colour too.

UPS: - RENEE BORNMAN - I saw gee but I was aldo turning grey and I could really understand what the concern was. But they couldn't find anything they had the water tested because we thought maybe I was a lead pipe, but it was normal.

UPS: - VOICER - At the time, the Bornmans lived in close proximity to a low cell phone mast. They believe it developed a technical fault. First they began hearing a droning sound, particularly at night, when all was quiet.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - When I started hearing it, obviously I didn't just accuse the tower. I started looking for where the noise was coming from. It was so omni-directional, it engulfs you. And when you are really awake you do not hear it.

UPS: - VOICER - The Johannesburg based Electromagnetic Action Group says microwave hearing is a common phenomenon.

UPS: - VICKY BENJAMIN; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - We've discovered quite a few people who are living next to cell phone towers and experiencing physical problems. Early warning are high blood pressure, sleeplessness, anxiety, a lot of them hear the noise from the tower, we call that microwave hearing. We have groups of people in this city who report that they can hear this radiation at night.

UPS: - VOICER - One of these groups is in the vicinity of a cell mast in the Westdene Sophiatown area.

UPS: - LUCRITIA MANKUROANE - In the night when I sleep I hear that noise and my mother says: “What is it?” And I say mummy can't you hear that noise and my mother says no try to sleep maybe you are dreaming.

UPS: - LORRAINE BOSMAN - The people that stay in our house everybody hears it. It says zzwing in your ears.

UPS: - VOICER - Some are packing up and leaving the area because of it. They've had one to many sleepless nights.

UPS: - ALKI KOUTOUVIDES - At the moment I am trying to sell my house just to get away from it. But where do you go? They all over the place, you know. You can't get away from them.

UPS: - VOICER - Meyndert and Renee Bornman lived with the noise and their strange colour until their normally healthy daughter, Cornee, began feeling out of sorts. In fact, they all became tired, aggressive and developed highly sensitive teeth.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - It's like when your nerves are exposed, but not on the ends of he teeth, but where the roots are in the bone. And my daughter started complaining when I am at work there is nothing wrong with me, but I get home and after about half an hour I get this teeth ache.

UPS: - CORNEE BORNMSAN - I started noticing that I was sleeping often. Constant sleeping during the day. Sleeping when I got home until the next morning and still being tired waking up and going to work and eventually it started happening at work.

UPS: - VOICER - She began blacking out, sometimes while driving her car, and she noticed changes in her body.

UPS: - CORNEE BORNMSAN - Even my cycle changed tremendously. Because I stayed in that house from the age of seventeen up to twenty that was the time where my physical body changed and went into womanhood and all that was slowed down by the fact that my body couldn't generate normally.

UPS: - VOICER - Their home, and particularly the rooms facing the mast, began getting warmer. The heat would make wax leak from Meyndert Bornmans ears onto his pillow at night. In winter, their bedroom had always been particularly cold.

UPS: - RENEE BORNMSAN - It became so hot in that room that you couldn't sleep under the blanket. You had to lie on top of the bed in the middle of winter, there was no sign of that cold anymore. So I am sure it was that radiation coming into our bedroom especially.

UPS: - VOICER - Technicians who serviced the mast didn't agree.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - At that stage I felt like getting a truck and driving over it because nobody was responding. It was just “ag man you are an idiot it's just in your head.

UPS: - VOICER - A doctor eventually ascribed their blue colour to hypoxia, a lack of oxygen supply to the blood. But doctors couldn't say for certain that it was linked to the cell mast.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - I am convinced and I am speculating, that what happened to us, happened because of that tower.

UPS: - KARL MULLER; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - The effects are very real and we've spoken to a lot of people staying around base station in Johannesburg. We've found the whole syndrome.

UPS: - VOICER - The independent ElectroMagnetic Action Group says it recorded high radiation levels and unusual hotspots inside and around the Bornmans home.

UPS: - VICKY BENJAMIN; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - I tried desperately to get hold of a government organisation that would actually come in and measure the fields. I have meter and measures but we needed something that was done with authority. So I tried first at local level and got hold of the department of health who said it was not their concern, we should try the department of environment, they said it was not their concern, it was the department of health etc. The buck was passed beautifully in this instance.

UPS: - VOICER - Eventually, the Department of Health admitted that the buck stopped with its radiation division.

UPS: LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - At his point in time nobody checks the levels. If you mean that somebody has to go around to the base stations and check the levels? We are three people in this section and there are twenty thousand base stations out there.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - To me the tragedy of the things is, is that even though they know that these things can be dangerous, government isn't interested in checking. They don't have even have the people that understand these things. They do not even have the instrument.

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - There have been many measurement surveys done internationally and even here a few have been done by some private companies and they've experienced precisely that the levels even at worst would be in the order of a hundredth of a percent of the limit.

UPS: - KARL MULLER; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - But their guidelines are based only on the fact cell phone radiation may heat up your body a bit a bad thing. So they set a guideline to make sure that you don't heat up too much. But they don't recognize all these biological effects which are caused by cell phone radiation.

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - Not to say their illnesses are imaginary but it could be anything.

UPS: - VOICER - The increasingly blue Bornmans decided to move house.

Within months, their health improved.

UPS: - MEYNDERT BORNMSAN - The government was not interested, so where do you go? What we did I spend a lot of money to move away from the house. We are getting our lives together and what worries me is that other people's lives will be turned upside down like ours without anybody learning from our experience.

UPS: - VOICER - Dino Anastassiou lives within metres of a cell mast in Hurlingham, Johannesburg. He and his parents bought the house before the mast went up. Three years after its erection, Dino was diagnosed with lymphocytosis, an abnormal increase of white blood cells. His father developed Alzheimer’s disease.

UPS: - DINO ANASTASSIOU - The cellular mast is sitting right in front of us, spoiling our view, devaluating our home, ruining our health, we can't sleep at night. It's like being in jail for eight years.

UPS: - VOICER - Some of the trees and shrubs near the mast started objecting.]

UPS: - DINO ANASTASSIOU - Four years ago I planted a tree facing the cellular mast normally a tree would carry on it’s growth but this tree actually burnt away like the rest of the trees. This is totally abnormal for a bush to grow like that. You can see these roses aren't happy.

UPS: - VOICER - An assessment by the South African Arboricultural Association concluded that microwave antennas had a definite effect on certain vegetation, depending on its position in relation to the mast. Dino Anastassiou took legal action in terms of city bylaws to have the mast shifted, but was unsuccessful. His lawyer has all but given up on getting it removed on health grounds.

UPS: - SHAUN MITCHELL; ATTORNEY - I think it is going to be extremely difficult to find causality between his health and the ill health of his family and the introduction of that mast. Any reasonable person visiting that house or visiting the family will say something is wrong. If you have a look a tree that is growing sideways - nature wouldn't lie. But I don't believe the community and people specifically affected by these masts are going to be sufficiently protected by the local authority and by the department of environmental affairs

UPS: - KARL MULLER; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - The environmental regulations only take into account the visual impact of the mast. They take no account of the health effects

UPS: - DINO ANASTASSIOU - Where's the health department I want to know? What are they doing?

UPS: - VOICER - The Health Department admits that there are no regulations being enforced. Current legislation was written before the advent of cellular technology.

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - The lack of regulation enforcement is not to the detriment of the public at large. If we had any indication that the health of the public was somehow in jeopardy as a result of this, then obviously we would have taken the necessary steps.

UPS: - VOICER - Others in this street don't agree. Although Dino's house is very close to the mast, it doesn't lie in its direct beam. The property of Ami and Tom Buckle, just up the road, does. Like Dino, they began feeling the effects a few years after the mast went up. It began with insomnia, cluster headaches and that noise.

UPS: - AMI BUCKLE - Definitely aware of a zing-ing noise in your head. Never stops never. Also times that we felt something changed and that the intensity went higher.

UPS: - VOICER - Then the trees in their garden reacted.

UPS: - AMI BUCKLE - They all pulled away from the tower. They really curved away from the radiation and they were burned, brown dead trees and one by one with a little bit of wind we had from time to time, they would just fall over and we had to take them out

UPS: - VOICER - When their pets reacted too, they decided it was time to move.

Their cat was particularly sensitive.

UPS: - AMI BUCKLE - When you touched her, it was just hair coming off her and I took her to the vet, had her treated, tried a lot of things. It never helped. Since we moved eight weeks later the cat is sleeping on my bed, no hair loss

UPS: - VOICER - Now they only use the property as an office.

UPS: - AMI BUCKLE - We just felt we had to make a move. Obviously our life savings you can’t just decide to say it’s dangerous to stay here and move it takes money but we had to wait for the opportunity to get an alternative place to stay and now we are only spending time here during the day. So at least at night we are not exposed to any radiation

UPS: - VOICER - She doesn't believe cell masts should be put up in residential areas. Some studies done overseas recommend that no-one should live within four hundred metres of a mast.

UPS: - AMI BUCKLE - They'll have to look at frequencies, they'll have to look at exposure and they'll have to look at residential areas because putting these things next to schools and churches that need the funds is criminal criminal!

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - I don't have kids but I wouldn't be worried in the least about the cell phone mast. But officially speaking the only thing that I go on is being charged with this responsibility.

UPS: - VOICER - Leslie Hilton lives near a mast on a school property. She too has linked her ill health to exposure to microwaves from the tower.

UPS: - LESLIE HILTON - I had like yuppie flu symptoms. I was going blue menstrual problems, fatigue. I was getting more and more tired and lethargic.

Every time I went for a blood test, my red blood cells were sticking together. I felt like I was literally dying!

UPS: - VOICER - Moving house wasn't an option, so she began wearing a protective device around her neck, designed to harmonize magnetic fields.

UPS: - LESLIE HILTON - Seventy two hours after I had put it on my blood had changed to free flowing red blood cells. So I know with a doubt that it is this and I can I feel within myself that I am steadily improving day by day. Everything is coming right

UPS: - VOICER - Some doctors are sceptical about the properties of the so-called Q-LINK and say it probably has only a placebo effect.

UPS: - DR JOHAN MALAN; HOMEOPATH - Having an object like this with copper wiring and a magnet and a crystal from a physics point of view, that is not really going to have much of an effect on the entire body's exposure to a specific magnetic field.

UPS: - VOICER - He says it's almost impossible for a doctor to link cell phone masts to ill health.

UPS: - DR JOHAN MALAN; HOMEOPATH - The likelihood is that you are going to have a lot of external factors impacting on a complex biological system such as a human being. So to ascribe linear cause effect relationships between things like cell mast radiation and disease within a particular person is very, very difficult because that person may have an enormous range of other influences so we don't know and that's the Difficulty.

UPS: - VOICER - Norman McFarlane lives in Somerset-West, about eighty five metres from where a cell phone mast is due to be erected. He's been doing a lot of reading and has found as many studies linking cell masts to cancer and leukemia, as those refuting any connection to ill-health. He's objected, but feels no-one's taking him seriously.

UPS: -NORMAN MCFARLANE; HERITAGE PARK OWNER’S ASSOCIATION - I see scant regard for the fact that there could well be substantial health risks associated with living in proximity to a cell phone mast. I'm not seeing responses which I want to hear which is we understand there is a potential problem, we will look into it and make a concerted effort to prove to you that there is no risk, but I am not getting that. I am being stone-walled. I am being given reports that are years old and it's a stock standard response and that is unacceptable and it should be unacceptable to every single human being that runs the risk of exposure to living in proximity to a cell phone mast.

UPS: - VOICER - The Health Department admits there is some uncertainty, but says it follows the World Health Organization guidelines. They date back to the year 2000.

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - It is my responsibility to champion the new regulation process and this is the way I have chosen to go about it - to use the WHO as our primary source of information

UPS: - NORMAN MCFARLANE; HERITAGE PARK OWNER’S ASSOCIATION - Since 2000, a number of further studies have been conducted and my argument is if that is the case, why have they not been taken into consideration?

UPS: - LEON DU TOIT; HEALTH DEPARTMENT: RADIATION CONTROL - I am not a research scientist I don't try to evaluate individual studies, I just wait for the WHO to put together a panel or organize a workshop or whatever and come out with a conclusion.

UPS: - NORMAN MCFARLANE; HERITAGE PARK OWNER’S ASSOCIATION - I have a problem with that because at the end of the day, complacency is what leads to domination in circumstances like this and I don't want to discover in five years time that I am one of the statistics that proves that there is a real health problem living in proximity to a cell phone mast. I don't want to be one of those statistics or my wife to be or my daughters to be I'm not interested! I will fight it truth and nail

UPS: - VICKY BENJAMIN; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - I am hearing every week of people with brain tumors, cancers, living near cell phone towers

UPS: - VOICER - Vicky Benjamin, a cancer survivor, has met Dr George Carlo, an American public health consultant who was commissioned by industry to prove that cell phone technology was safe. He was unable to do so.

UPS: - VICKY BENJAMIN; ELECTROMAGNETIC ACTION GROUP - He says: we are at the start of an epidemic, the likes of which the world has never seen and which is going to have an unprecedented effect on every single one of us.

UPS: - VOICER - Dr Carlo was given twenty eight-million US dollars to fund research, but his findings weren't published by those who commissioned him.

UPS: - GEORGE CARLO; SAFE WIRELESS INITIATIVE - I will tell you that there are no studies that prove safety. There are no studies that would give anybody a reasonable measure of assurance that they can use a cellular phone without there being a danger

UPS: - VOICER - Special Assignment put questions to SACTA, the Cellular Telecommunications Association, which represents network operators within South Africa. They referred us to their website, which reiterates the viewpoint of the health department that there is no substantiated evidence of health effects from the radio frequency generated by mobile phones and base stations.

UPS: - GEORGE CARLO; SAFE WIRELESS INITIATIVE - What's happening is your governments act based on politics and politics are determined by money and you have a trillion dollar industry. So if you follow the money, you get the answer. governments are not going to take any steps to protect consumers, children, until they are absolutely forced and that is probably five to ten years away…
UPS: - VOICER - And that will be a different story.