Friday, February 13, 2009

WOMAN TELLS A TALE OF TURBINE TORMENT / Samsung market phones for pre-teens / Concerns rise as antennas smother villages / "Doubt is our product,"

From: Barry's Bay This Week (Barry's Bay, Ontario, Canada), Feb. 11, 2009


Retired pharmacist speaks to Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards about the effects industrial wind turbines had on her health

By Heather Kendall

When Carmen Krogh talks about the health effects of wind turbines, she speaks from experience. She shared that experience with the councillors of Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Township at last week's regular meeting. Extra chairs had to be pulled out of storage to handle the large crowd that came to hear her presentation to council.

Krogh has been involved with health care for more than 40 years; she is a retired pharmacist; she was the director of pharmacy at Edmonton General Hospital; when she moved to Ontario, she set up the drug information pharmacy at Ottawa General Hospital, where she researched drug therapies and advised doctors. For 15 years, she was the director of publications and editor-in-chief of the Compendium of Pharmaceuticals and Specialties (CPS); she was an acting director for Health Canada's Pesticides Agency and has sat on numerous boards and committees dedicated to health. She has also lived near wind turbines.

Her symptoms came on quickly, she said. She experienced bad headaches, dizziness, queasiness, a heart rhythm sensation and a vibration inside her body. Her health improved when she and her husband, who was not affected, left the area. She decided to research the issue.

The Canadian Wind Energy Association says there is no evidence that turbines adversely affect human health, Krogh stated, but emerging research to the contrary is building momentum. In 2006, the National Academy of Medicine in France recommended an epidemiology study be done. Epidemiology, Krogh said, is the "holy grail for public health research. It investigates adverse effects in public health and gives doctors guidance on what could be a health risk and what to do about it. It's something the medical community depends on."

Krogh referred to a study of 10 families conducted by Dr. Nina Pierpont, whose book about wind turbines and health effects is soon to be released. She studied the families before the turbines were erected and after their installation; nine of the families have moved away permanently and the other would like to but cannot afford to move. Dr. Pierpont also recommended an epidemiology study be conducted. The Wind Energy Association disagrees with Dr. Pierpont's findings, and raised questions about the scientific validity of her research (even though her book has not yet been released), Krogh said.

Krogh also brought up the findings of Dr. Robert McMurtry, who originally wanted to host a set of wind turbines on his property.

After researching them, he too became concerned about the effects on human health. In November of 2008 he did a deputation to Prince Edward County and suggested the county shouldn't proceed in development until authoritative guidelines are in place -- guidelines based on epidemiology specifically targeting health effects. One mayor in the county stated it didn't mean the county was against wind energy, but it would give council time to get answers to the questions that citizens should be asking.

"We're the citizens and we should be asking questions," said Krogh.

She went on to list the core symptoms people have reported: headaches, unsteady balance, nausea, sleep problems, anxiety, irritability, depression, problems with concentration and memory. Trouble with sleep is very serious, she added.

"Sleep deprivation can lead to serious medical problems," Krogh said. "According to Amnesty International, it is a tool for torture, so it's not trivial."

Though the health issues are not limited to one group, pre-existing health conditions can be made worse by the turbines; for example, more frequent and severe migraine attacks can be triggered; balance can be affected by the visual disturbance of moving blades or shadows of the blades on the ground. Some people are affected quickly and others don't develop symptoms for two or three months. The cause of the effects is low-frequency noise, which, Krogh said, affects the body's neurological system.

There are two types of noise from the turbines, she said: what you hear, which is measured in decibels, and low-frequency noise that you can't hear. She referred to one study, which concluded low-frequency noise up to three kilometres away can cause sleep disturbance, and, from 300 metres away, can cause sleep disruption and serious medical problems. A 27-year study found exposure to low-frequency noise causes the cells in the body to undergo pathological changes. A three-year study added to the long one concluded that turbines in residential areas produced an acoustic environment that can lead to Vibroacoustic Disease. Krogh said the Ministry of the Environment does not measure for low-frequency noise; its guidelines are based on decibels.

"In our haste to capture wind, there is no voice heard for public health, and when it is heard, it's routinely ridiculed," said Krogh.

As studies progress, the distance for setbacks of the turbines grows.  The general setback for the turbines now is greater than 250 metres;  more and more researchers say that distance should be 1.5 to 3.5 kilometres.

Krogh gave examples of "victims" of the wind turbines. One was a healthy Shelburne woman who had 11 turbines west and east of her home. Both she and her husband developed health problems -- even their dog was adversely affected.

"They believed the government, they believed the wind companies," said Krogh. "Everyone said, 'Don't worry, we're not going to make the same mistakes as in Europe,' but these people are suffering."

She talked of the HIV blood scandal of the 1980s, where mounting evidence about tainted blood was ignored for a long time.

"Public health scandals happen and I'm almost on the verge of saying the wind issue will be one," Krogh said.

More researchers are calling for an epidemiology study.

"They're not saying stop this; they're saying let's harness the wind responsibly and make sure we get this right about where to put (the turbines) and how far away from people," she said. "In the meantime, we should invoke the precautionary principle."

Krogh has started a letter-writing campaign and said now is the time to voice concerns to federal, provincial and municipal governments. She urged everyone to send out letters as well.

"Maybe it needs a groundswell from the public as a whole to say that we need to look into this further," she said.

Krogh commended council for passing the resolution urging the Province of Ontario to place a moratorium on wind farms until the effects are better understood.

"I think you did a very good job with your resolution," she said. "It raises the concern higher up. It's important municipalities express concern. It's about the politics now."

Copyright 2009 , Sun Media

--------------------------------------------------------------------Samsung market phones for pre-teens

Electronics giant Samsung are the latest company to completely ignore UK government advice and market a mobile phone designed explicitly for children, the S3030 Tobi. Following in the footsteps of the MyMo and Teddyfone controversies a few years ago, this is the first time a large corporation has publicly thrown its marketing weight behind a children's phone. As scientific evidence that mobile phone use is causing a number of serious health issues from neurological effects all the way up to infertility and brain cancer, marketing these phones at youngsters between 4 and 8 years of age is hugely irresponsible. The fact it is also contradicting government advice on the subject is inexcusable.

-------------------------------------------------------------------Click here for the full news story


NEWS | Wednesday, 11 February 2009 


Concerns rise as antennas smother villages

Fifteen brand new mobile phone antennas were installed in various Maltese and Gozitan localities in January, bringing the total of antennas to 426: a 4% increase in the total number of antennas in just one month.

But the proliferation of antennas is being increasingly met by objections from local councils and residents, who are concerned by reports of a possible link between electro-magnetic radiation and certain forms of cancer.

Home to nine base stations, Lija emerges as the locality with the highest density of antennas, followed by Floriana which has six. But Birkirkara is the locality with the highest number of individual mobile phone antennas: 19 in all.

Lija mayor Ian Castaldi Paris has recently presented a judicial protest against the Malta Communications Authority and Melita plc after an antenna was installed in Luigi Preziosi Street, Lija's narrowest road.

Three of Lija's antennas were installed in single road: Ugo Mifsud Street.

The installation of a mobile phone antenna does not even need a full planning permit. Instead, permits are issued on the strength of a development notification order – a fast-track planning procedure normally applied for minor alterations.

Critics say that telecom companies manage to get such permits by finding just one person willing to install the antenna in return of the hefty annual payment.

Although various medical studies suggest evidence of "cancer clusters" around base stations or antennas, the World Health Organisation so far dismisses such claims.

Still, radiation levels in Malta must conform to those set by International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection. According to this international regulator, radiation from mobile phone antennas only becomes harmful when it begins heating tissues.

That happens, ICNIRP claims, when levels surpass 450 Mhz: anything below that level that is fine.
The MCA website contains readings of electro magnetic radiation taken from 411 antennas located in nearly every town and village. The results to date show that radiation levels in all base stations fall within the ICNIRP's limits.

But there are a number of published reports suggesting other, non-thermal effects, resulting from low-level radiation transmitted from mobile phone base stations, which can cause damage to the DNA of living cells.

All over the world, an increasing number of patients are failing victim to electromagnetic radiation sickness, whose symptoms include sleep disturbances, dizziness, headaches and general ill-health. But some studies have suggested that the disease could also be psychosomatic - i.e., physical symptoms induced by a psychological disorder.

But renowned German scientist Professor Franz Adlkofer recently called the mobile radiation and the political justifications for it an "uncontrolled and unplanned field experiment" on humans.

Adlkofer has coordinated a four-year, €3m+ research project, funded by the European Union, to evaluate the risk of potential environmental hazards from low energy electromagnetic exposure. The study concludes that low frequency radiation below levels set by the INCIRP guidelines damage cells.

Mobile Madness

Highest number of mobile masts

Birkirkara 19
St Julian's 16
Valletta 15
Attard 15
Mosta 14
Sliema 14
Qormi 12
San Gwann 12

Density: number of residents per antenna

Valletta 430
Mgarr 424
Xghajra 418
Floriana 359
Lija 304

Mobile antennas


 "Doubt is our product,"

See also: excerpt, references, reviews, interviews and appearances, and more on the "smoking gun" documents behind the book

"Doubt is our product," a cigarette executive once observed, "since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy."

In this eye-opening exposé, David Michaels reveals how the tobacco industry's duplicitous tactics spawned a multimillion dollar industry that is dismantling public health safeguards. Product defense consultants, he argues, have increasingly skewed the scientific literature, manufactured and magnified scientific uncertainty, and influenced policy decisions to the advantage of polluters and the manufacturers of dangerous products. To keep the public confused about the hazards posed by global warming, second-hand smoke, asbestos, lead, plastics, and many other toxic materials, industry executives have hired unscrupulous scientists and lobbyists to dispute scientific evidence about health risks. In doing so, they have not only delayed action on specific hazards, but they have constructed barriers to make it harder for lawmakers, government agencies, and courts to respond to future threats.

The Orwellian strategy of dismissing research conducted by the scientific community as "junk science" and elevating science conducted by product defense specialists to "sound science" status also creates confusion about the very nature of scientific inquiry and undermines the public's confidence in science's ability to address public health and environmental concerns Such reckless practices have long existed, but Michaels argues that the Bush administration deepened the dysfunction by virtually handing over regulatory agencies to the very corporate powers whose products and behavior they are charged with overseeing.

In Doubt Is Their Product Michaels proves, beyond a doubt, that our regulatory system has been broken. He offers concrete, workable suggestions for how it can be restored by taking the politics out of science and ensuring that concern for public safety, rather than private profits, guides our regulatory policy.

Doubt is Their Product can be purchased through and

Next: The "smoking gun" documents behind the book

Advance Praise for Doubt is their Product:

"What a perfect title, 'Industry's Assault on Science.' It's happening. It's real."
-  Erin Brockovich

"This well-researched book by someone who truly knows the system is a must read for anyone who wants to understand the cozy relationship between industry and regulatory agencies on matters that affect the health and safety of our families and neighbors. The cited examples illustrate how, with the help of irresponsible members of Congress and other public officials, corporate greed can trump any sense of ethics, morality, and human compassion."
- Neal Lane, former Science Advisor to the President and former Director of the National Science Foundation

"This brave, shocking book exposes the abuse of science by government and industry in ways that endanger the workplace, the home, the water supply, the air quality—in fact, our planet as a whole. David Michaels speaks authoritatively from his firsthand experience as a champion of occupational safety and health. He tells a terrific story."
- Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo's Daughter

"In Doubt Is Their Product, David Michaels gives a lively and convincing history of how clever public relations has blocked one public health protection after another. The techniques first used to reassure us about tobacco were adapted to reassure us about asbestos, lead, vinyl chloride—and risks to nuclear facilities workers, where Dr. Michaels' experience as the relevant Assistant Secretary of Energy gave him an inside view. And if you're worried about climate change, keep worrying, because the same program is underway there."
- Donald Kennedy, Editor-in-Chief, Science

"We live in an age of unprecedented disinformation, misinformation, and outright lying by those in power. This important book shows who profits by misleading the public—and who ultimately pays with their health."
- Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation