Monday, September 28, 2009

Porto Alegre Resolution / Youtube Senate hearing / Cindy Sage Interview / Cell phone safety? / Conseil de presse / Not outside their home

Porto Alegre Resolution on Nonionizing Radiation Health and Environment

On behalf of the sponsors and organizers of the"International Workshop on Non-Ionizing Radiation, Health and Environment"  which took place on May 18 and 19, 2009, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, we announce the release of the Porto Alegre Resolution. It was initially dated September 15, 2009. This resolution presents the most recent scientific consensus view on the state of EMF science and gives their call for public policy and other solutions. See resolution attached and inserted below.

Dr. Alvaro A. de Salles and Dr. Geila Vieira, MD were the lead organizers. The conference sponsors included the Pan American Health Organization, the Brazilian Health Ministry and the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety

For more information on the Porto Alegre conference, including a complete record of the proceedings, see under "Workshops."

This resolution and a video recording of the entire conference will be added to the ICEMS website soon.

We invite concerned scientists, advocates, organizations and any members of the general public who want to support this resolution by adding their names to contact ICEMS

Elizabeth Kelley, M.A. International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety

The Porto Alegre Resolution

          We, the undersigned scientists, were honored to participate in a workshop organized by the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul and the Public Ministry of Rio Grande do Sul and sponsored by the Brazilian Health Ministry, the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety, the Porto Alegre Environmental Council (COMAM/PA), the Rio Grande do Sul Center for Health Vigilance (CEVS/RS) and others, entitled, "International Workshop on Non-Ionizing Radiation, Health and Environment" which took place on May 18 and 19, 2009, in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

          This resolution follows several international resolutions agreed to by concerned scientists and medical doctors over the past decade, including resolutions developed by the International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety [1], based on evidence and consideration on documents such as the BioInitiative Report [2] and a special issue of the journal Pathophysiology on electrical and magnetic fields, published in August 2009 [3].

         We agreed that the protection of health, well-being and the environment requires immediate adoption of the Precautionary Principle, which states, "when there are indications of possible adverse effects, though they remain uncertain, the risks from doing nothing may be far greater than the risks of taking action to control these exposures. The Precautionary Principle shifts the burden of proof from those suspecting a risk to those who discount it", until new scientific discoveries are recognized as the only criterion for the establishment or modification of non-ionizing radiation exposure standards;

          We recognize that, in Brazil as well as all over the world, where there has been an unprecedented explosion in the availability and use of non-ionizing electromagnetic fields for electrical and wireless communications technologies (mobile and cordless phones, WiFi and WIMAX networks, RFID, etc,), as well as major electrical grid and wireless broadband infrastructure changes, this assessment should inform risk management to take proper steps to protect the public from long-term, low-level exposure to extremely-low frequency as well as radiofrequency electromagnetic fields that have substantially increased in the ambient environment in recent years.

          We are concerned about the body of evidence that indicates that exposure to electromagnetic fields interferes with basic human biology and may increase the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. The exposure levels at which these effects have been observed are many times lower than the standards promulgated by the International Commission for Non-Ionizing radiation Protection (ICNIRP) [4] and the IEEE's International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety (ICES) [5]. These standards are obsolete and were derived from biological effects of short-term high intensity exposures that cause health effects by temperature elevation and nerve excitation discovered decades ago. Recent research indicates that electromagnetic fields could cause detrimental health effects even at very low levels of exposure. The ICNIRP and IEEE/ICES standards are being supported and promoted by interested parties to avoid precautionary technical planning, precautionary laws, and precautionary advice to the public.

          We are deeply concerned that current uses of non-ionizing radiation for mobile phones, wireless computers and other technologies place at risk the health of children and teens, pregnant women, seniors and others who are most vulnerable due to age or disability, including a health condition known as electromagnetic hypersensitivity. We strongly recommend these precautionary practices:

1.      Children under the age of 16 should not use mobile phones and cordless phones, except for emergency calls;

2.      The licensing and/or use of Wi-Fi, WIMAX, or any other forms of wireless communications technology, indoors or outdoor, shall preferably not include  siting or signal transmission in residences, schools, day-care centers, senior centers, hospitals or any other buildings where people spend considerable time;

3.      The licensing for siting and installation of infrastructure related to electrical power and wireless broadband telecommunications, particularly, cellular telephony, Wi-Fi and WIMAX, should only be approved after open public hearings are held and approval granted with full consideration given to the need to apply the Precautionary Principle. Sensitive areas should be avoided to protect vulnerable populations;

4.      Mankind shall be encouraged to continue to discover new means of harnessing non-ionizing electromagnetic energy, aiming at bringing benefits to society, through definition of new standards of human exposure, which are based on the biological realities of nature and not solely on the consideration of economic and technological needs.

We, therefore, urge all nations to join Switzerland, Italy, Belgium, Russia China, the U.S. (for the FCC standard for partial exposure of the head) and other countries and regions that have chosen to adopt a more precautionary strategy, aiming to assure more safety to the public while maintaining good service quality.

We make an urgent call to all nations to convene a panel of experts, selected from candidates recommended by civil society groups (not only those preferred by the affected industries) to discuss precautionary technology, laws and advice in order to develop policies that reconcile public health concerns with further development of wireless communications technology such as mobile phones as well as electric power transmission and distribution systems.

[1]    Benevento Resolution (2006) and Venice Resolution (2008) at .
[2]   BioInitiative Report 
[3]   A Special Issue of Pathophysiology on the science and public  health/policy issues regarding Electromagnetic Fields was published in March 2009. It is the only peer reviewed scientific journal referenced on this list and is available online at:
[4]   International Commission for Nonionizing Radiation Protection,
[5]  Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers,

Signed by,
Franz Adlkofer, M.D., Verum Foundation, Germany
Carl Blackman, PhD, CFB, US
Martin Blank, PhD., Columbia University, US
Devra L. Davis, PhD, MPA, University of Pittsburgh, US
Om P. Gandhi, PhD. University of Utah, US
Ms. Elizabeth Kelley, MA, Electromagnetic Safety Alliance, US
Michael Kundi, PhD, Medical University of Vienna, Austria
Henry Lai, PhD. University. of Washington, US
Leif Salford, M.D. Lund Univ., Sweden
Dr. Carlos E. C. Abrahão, medical doctor, Campinas, SP, Brazil
Ms. Adilza C. Dode, MRE, MG, Brazil
Prof. Claudio R. Fernández, IFSUL, Pelotas, RS, Brazil
Dr. Robson Spinelli Gomes, MP/RJ, Brazil
Dr. Sergio Koifman, ENSP/Fiocruz, RJ, Brazil
Dr. Renato R. Liber, UNESP, Guaratinguetá, SP, Brazil
Dr. Anaiza H. M. Miranda, Public Promoter, MP/RJ, Brazil
Dr. Ana Maria M. Marchesan, Public Promoter, MP/RS, Brazil
Dr. Alvaro A. de Salles, UFRGS, RS, Brazil
Dr. Solange R. Schaffer, Fundacentro, SP, Brazil
Dr. Cintia Schmidt, environmental lawyer, OAB/RS, Brazil
Dr. Helio A. da Silva, UFJF, MG, Brazil
Dr. Francisco de A. Tejo, UFCG, Pb, Brazil
Dr. Geila R. Vieira, CGVS/SMS, P. Alegre, RS, Brazil

For further information, or to request that your name or the name of your organization be added to this Resolution as a scientist, a member of the general public or as an organization, we welcome you to contact ICEMS

Additional scientific signers to the Porto Alegre Resolution after September 15, 2009:

Magda Havas, PhD. Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Lloyd Morgan, electrical engineer (retired), US
Wilhelm Mosgoeller, MD, Medical University of Vienna, Austria


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Dirksen Senate Office Building
Capital Hill, Washington, D.C.
Sept. 14, 2009
Appropriations Subcommittee. on Health & Human Services
Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa - Chair
Sen. Arlen Specter
Sen. Mark Pryor
Pt. 1 of 3 - John Ducher, Assoc. Dir. National Institutes of Health
Nat'l Toxicology Program

(from gotemf)


Tuesday Sept. 29 - Cindy Sage Interview on WBAI Radio show

BioInitiative Report Co-Editor Cindy Sage will be the guest on Tuesday, Sept 29, 2009, at 11:00 AM EDT on WBAI Radio's bi-weekly show "Create Your Healthy Home."  The show's host Doug Wood is the Associate Director of Grassroots Environmental Education, a non-profit based in New York, whose mission is to educate the public about the links between common environmental exposures and human health issues.


The topic for the Sept. 29 show is cell phones.  Doug Wood has prepared this show in order to give the New York audience an update on recent developments in this emerging public health issue.

Go to to listen to the live stream of this show.

P.O. Box 117 | Marshfield, VT 05658 US

(From The EMR Policy Institute)


Is Cell-Phone Safety Assured? Or Merely Ignored?

As Americans rely more heavily on mobile phones, mounting data hint at long-term cancer risks. Concern and research have been sparse

By Olga Kharif

updated 8:00 p.m. ET, Tues., Sept . 22, 2009

Russ Faulkner isn't worried about whether talking on his cell phone might harm his health. He uses his Apple (AAPL) iPhone even more these days, spending more than 1,000 minutes a month on business and personal calls. "A few years ago there was a study that claimed your alarm clock caused cancer," jokes the 36-year-old, who owns a corporate training company in Columbus, Ohio, and has used a cell phone for 12 years. "Didn't ditch that then, either."

Like Faulkner, most Americans rely heavily on their cell phones and do not expect health problems to result, despite several recent reports that raise concerns about potential risks. Because cell phones emit electromagnetic radiation to make calls, many people worry that radiation can seep into brain tissue, damaging cells and stimulating the growth of tumors.

The amount of time each month that the average wireless subscriber spent talking on a mobile jumped 430%, to 12.6 hours, between 1998 and 2008, according to the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Assn. [CTIA]. As handsets gain additional capabilities, people are increasingly using them not only to make calls but also to check weather forecasts, watch videos, and play games. "The weight of scientific evidence has not linked cell phones with any health problems," the Food & Drug Administration states on its Web site.

The National Cancer Institute echoes that sentiment a bit more tentatively. "Studies have not shown any consistent link between cellular telephone use and cancer, but scientists feel that additional research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn," according to NCI.

Mobile radiation: Like tobacco smoke?

Many oncologists say they limit their own cellphone usage, don't hold mobiles against their ear, and instead use speakerphones, headsets, and hands-free setups. Columbia University associate professor Martin Blank, who has studied the effects of electromagnetic radiation -- waves emitted by devices like cell phones -- on living cells, doesn't own a cell phone. His wife uses hers only in emergencies.

Such precautionary measures haven't caught on with most U.S. consumers, who are using mobiles more than ever. But a growing number of voices in the scientific community and even in Congress suggest that maybe Americans should take precautions because it's better to be safe than sorry. "I am reminded of this nation's experience with cigarettes," Senator Tom Harkin [D-Iowa], said at a Sept. 14 hearing, which coincided with an international conference in Washington on the health effects of cell phone use. Said Harkin: "Decades spanned between the first warning and the final, definitive conclusion that cigarettes cause lung cancer."

On Sept. 9, advocacy organization Environmental Working Group released an analysis of more than 200 scientific studies that examined cell-phone usage and health risks. "It suggests a potential for serious health concerns," says Olga Naidenko, a senior scientist at the Washington group. "We [at EWG] are still using cell phones; we are just taking precautions."

Another advocacy outfit, International EMF Collaborative, released a paper on Aug. 25 entitled "Cellphones Cause Tumors." After assessing the results and methodology of industry-funded and independent studies, it concluded that "studies, independent of industry, consistently show there is a 'significant' risk of brain tumors from cellphone use." The report, endorsed by 43 scientists from 14 countries also warns that "children have larger risks than adults for brain tumors" because their thinner skulls allow radiation to penetrate deeper. Om Gandhi, chair of the department of electrical engineering at the University of Utah, has found that children absorb twice as much energy from a cell phone as do adults. The French government already encourages banning cell phones in elementary schools.

mixed results so far in pending study

CTIA's members include such handset makers as Motorola (MOT) and Nokia (NOK), which have sponsored numerous studies into the issue over the years. The group still maintains that there's no danger: U.S. governmental agencies "have all concluded that the scientific evidence to date does not demonstrate any adverse health effects associated with the use of wireless phones," according to CTIA's Sept. 14 statement. In August, the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection [ICNIRP], which consists of independent scientists from various countries, issued this statement: "It is the opinion of ICNIRP that the scientific literature published has provided no evidence of any adverse effects" from cell phone use.

More data should become available this fall, when the International Agency for Research on Cancer is expected to release the results of the most ambitious epidemiological study on the issue to date. The so-called INTERPHONE study, which included 13 countries such as Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Israel [but not the U.S.], looked at whether exposure from cellular telephones poses increased risk of malignant or benign brain and other head-and-neck tumors. Component studies already released by the participating countries have shown mixed results. A component Danish study showed no increased risk of acoustic neuroma -- a benign tumor of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain -- in long-term cellular telephone users, compared with short-term users. But a Swedish study found a slightly elevated risk of acoustic neuroma in people using mobiles for more than 10 years.

Some experts believe that conclusive evidence as to whether cell phones are safe or not could take decades to gather. A witness at the Sept. 14 Senate hearing pointed out that while a nuclear bomb exploded in Hiroshima in 1945, the first report that confirmed a cause-and-effect relationship between radiation and brain tumors came out nearly 50 years later, in 1994. Certain cancers can take 10 to 50 years to mature, said Siegal Sadetzki, director of the Cancer & Radiation Epidemiology Unit at Gertner Institute in Israel, whose 2008 study suggests a link between heavy cell-phone usage and higher incidence of salivary gland tumors. "At least 10 years [of cell-phone usage] is needed for solid results," she said. Most Americans are just starting to bump against that benchmark.

begun: U.S. study on pregnant rats

Studies of the issue in the U.S. have been rare because funding has been scarce. "I do not have any funds for the last six years because I told the industry [that] children should not be using [mobile] telephones," says Gandhi. Most of the research to date has been conducted in Europe, where patterns of use and wireless technologies differ from those in the U.S. In Europe, for instance, wireless networks use a technology called GSM. In the U.S., carriers use two different technologies, GSM and CDMA, and are quickly migrating to newer ones. "I'd certainly suggest there should be a study on humans," John Bucher, associate director of the Office of National Toxicology Program, said at the Senate hearing -- the second time in two years that Congress has held hearings on cell phones and human health. Harkin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, promised to find research money.

The National Institutes of Health is currently funding five academic studies on wireless radiation, while the Office of National Toxicology Program is finishing the initial stage of a multiyear study in Chicago that will examine the effects of cellular radiation on rats, some of which will be pregnant. "Animals tend to begin to spontaneously develop cancer as early as 15 months of age," Bucher says. "The whole process is sped up." The rats will be subjected to up to 20 hours of radiation per day, with initial study results available in 2010, and full results three or four years later.

What should consumers do meanwhile? EWG's Naidenko recommends buying cell phones that emit the lowest amount of radiation. Although all of today's phones adhere to standards set by the Federal Communications Commission, some cell phones emit radiation levels eight times higher than others, according to EWG, which examined more than 1,000 cell phones.

Other experts suggest that people shouldn't use their phones when reception is poor, as the devices crank up energy levels to compensate. They also recommend that callers wait a moment after dialing a number before placing the device to their ear, and not to talk while driving, when a phone signal must jump between wireless towers. [Radiation is highest when a connection with a wireless tower is first established.] Naidenko also recommends that consumers lobby the FCC to review the issue and change its technical requirements for mobile devices.


Communiqué de presse

Conseil de presse du Québec vs le «Pouvoir Infini» ( Vidéotron-Quebecor)

Le SEMO avait porté plainte auprès du Conseil de presse à l'effet que la publication à la première, deuxième et troisième pages du Journal de Montréal de photos d'enfants utilisant des téléphones cellulaires constituait de la publicité pour des téléphones cellulaires auprès des enfants.

Le Conseil de presse, dans la décision D-2009-03-056 du 18 septembre 2009, ne considère pas que cela constitue de la publicité auprès des enfants, le lien entre la direction du Journal de Montréal et Vidéotron n'ayant pas été établi à sa satisfaction.

Ce faisant le Conseil a refusé la plainte du collectif SEMO dénonçant la publicité déguisée, le conflit d'intérêts et l'absence de mention des risques pour la santé des enfants. Le Conseil a refusé de défier le «Pouvoir Infini» de Quebecor…

La convergence médiatique au service de «distractions culturelles» est une chose. La convergence pour la négation d'une problématique sanitaire sérieuse en est une autre (effets des micro-ondes des communications sans fil sur les enfants) et se doit d'être dénoncée haut et fort.

La problématique des effets des micro-ondes est réelle dans notre société moderne. Le constat scientifique d'effets néfastes sur la santé existe et les appels à la prudence des autorités sanitaires viennent de partout. Le dernier en lice provient de la directrice de l'agence européenne de l'environnement, Mme. Jacqueline Mc Glade, (conférence «Cell Phones and Health: Science and Public Policy»- 15 sept. 2009 Washington)

«… The evidence is now strong enough, using the precautionary principle,  to justify the following steps: 

1.     For governments, the mobile phone industry, and the public to take all reasonable measures to reduce exposures to EMF, especially to radio frequencies from mobile phones, and particularly the exposures to children and young adults who seem to be most at risk from head tumours.…»

À défaut du Conseil de Presse, le collectif SEMO espère que la Santé publique du Québec, dénoncera prochainement cette situation, dans son rapport à venir cet automne, en émettant une mise en garde concernant l'utilisation des technologies de communication sans fil par les jeunes, et du même souffle limiter la publicité directe et indirecte pour les enfants.

Au cours des derniers mois, seules des publications indépendantes ont abordé ce sujet:

· Le journal La Semaine (!) a publié le 5 septembre un bon dossier intitulé «Le danger des ondes qui nous entourent».

· Le SEMO salue le courage de la rédaction du Quotidien MÉTRO qui a publié le 10 septembre un excellent article sur le sujet; à l'intérieur des 24 premières pages de cette édition où on retrouvait pas moins de sept pages de publicité pour les cellulaires…

· De plus dans cet article, les responsables de la partie canadienne de l'étude internationale Interphone avouaient qu'il travaillait très fort pour invalider le lien prouvé par d'autres pays entre l'utilisation intensive du cellulaire et le cancer… (Cette étude est financée par les cies de cellulaire et la publication des résultats est retardée depuis 4 ans par le Canada...)

Voici un résumé des dossiers pour des cies convergentes:

  • Le Devoir, distribué par Quebecor, n'a jamais publié un seul article faisant état de cette problématique;
  • Dans La Presse, un éditorialiste a ridiculisé le Principe de Précaution pour les enfants utilisant les communications par micro-ondes; (Mario Roy, 25 mai 09)
  • La revue Actualité, propriété de Rogers, n'a jamais publié un dossier sur la contestation au Québec des antennes relais près des maisons et des écoles., écrit en avril 2009 par leur chroniqueuse régulière en matière de santé.

Enfin, voici un lien pour un excellent article de l'émission de CBC Market Place : «Aucun Principe de Précaution pour les enfants au Canada»

La société du Québec est-elle d'accord avec cette situation ?

Les leaders d'opinion de notre société doivent-ils se prononcer sur ce sujet ?

Décision du conseil de presse, références et autres nouvelles sur le site Internet " "

---Merci de faire circuler ce communiqué aux personnes intéressées---

Pour plus d'informations,

François Therrien

450 471 8371

Porte-parole du collectif SEMO

Site internet


Not outside their home

Monday, 28 September 2009




• Howick and Pakuranga Times

FOUR years of house renovations and $10,000 worth of building extension planning have come to nothing for a devastated couple who say they're forced to move now that a cellphone mast is to go in front of their house.

Manukau City Council's approval of a 2degrees site outside 145 Clovelly Road, Bucklands Beach has left Rowan and Tina Hegley "extremely upset".

"We're devastated that we can't go ahead with our building extension," says Mr Hegley. "Our children's bedroom would end up 12m from the antenna.

"It's a disgrace," he says. "The vote should have been done on moral grounds, but [Manukau Mayor] Len Brown ignored his public.

"They [the city councillors] have destroyed our lives. We've got five children we're trying to accommodate. We're gutted. How can humans do that? They don't care."

While health issues around cellphone masts are in a grey area, Mrs Hegley says many studies have shown implications.

"We can't extend because I will never take that risk with our children. So the council's decision forces us to move.

"We have five children who all walk to school. Now the dynamics of the family will change. We can't afford a six-bedroom house on the peninsula."