Thursday, November 5, 2009

District of Columbia Court / Birds, Bees, Mankind / Ever-increasing human exposures to RF / Powerwatch News / Minimize your exposure

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals

The District of Columbia Court of Appeals has returned a partial procedural legal victory for those seeking claims against cell phone manufacturers for brain tumors.  

The link above and the attached file contain the United States District of Columbia Court of Appeals decision regarding six plaintiff cases where brain cancer was allegedly caused by cell phone use.  The cases have been referred from court to court since 2001, with many procedural victories achieved under the competent work of the Morganroth firm. Most recently, in 2007, these six cases were dismissed by the District of Columbia Superior Court on the basis of federal pre-emption (The notion that federal regulations administered through the Federal Communications Commission bar any state court claims against cell phone companies for health damages allegedly caused by the phones.)  This District of Columbia appellate court has clarified where federal law does and does not preempt state actions.  Overall this is good news for those who believe their suffering is caused by cell phones in that it provides a roadmap to potential recovery. 

The Court of Appeals summary statement:

".... For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that plaintiffs' claims that are premised upon 
allegations that defendants' FCC-certified cell phones are unreasonably "dangerous" because of 
RF radiation are barred under the doctrine of conflict preemption.  Plaintiffs' claims with respect to their pre-1996 cell phones (or other allegedly non-FCC-compliant cell phones), and at least some of their claims under the CPPA that defendants have made affirmative misrepresentations or 
material omissions with respect to plaintiffs' cell phones, are not preempted.  Accordingly, the 
judgment of the Superior Court dismissing the Complaints is Affirmed in part and reversed in part, and the matter is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion."

The practical meaning of this complex decision is that those suffering ill effects allegedly caused by cell phones that were purchased prior to 1996, and cell phones purchased after 1996 that can be proven to be in violation of the FCC SAR guideline, have potential pathways to recovery of money damages.  In addition, the appellate court rejected the notion that federal law supersedes a state's right to require cell phone companies to make full disclosures regarding the potential dangers of cell phones.  The court further decided that state regulatory actions with respect to cell phone emissions are not preempted, leaving open the door for state-based legislative actions regarding warnings and notifications.

The cases have been remanded back to D.C. Superior Court and the litigation will now move forward. 


Dr. George L. Carlo
The Science and Public Policy Institute
Washington, D.C.

Birds, Bees, Mankind

Ever-increasing human exposures to RF
There may be another way to approach the problem of the ever-increasing human exposures to RF.

At an Australian Occupational Health & Safety Conference last week I gave a presentation on the state of the science for cell phones (Interphone) and after the meeting had a chat with an experimental scientist working with breast cancer cells. We discussed the possibility of brain tumours and breast cancer being influenced by cell phone use and came up with an interesting experiment. which a medical lab could do without too much effort.

Take samples of human brain tumour and/or breast cancer cells and expose them to environmental level RF, say from a DECT phone or WiFI, and observe whether or not there is a proliferation of the cells over a period of time. The problem in Australia is that Telstra and Motorola have a firm grasp on research and any research proposals that threaten the industry are unlikely to gain funding or official approval.

If this line of research was to be conducted and no difference was observed (or even a protective effect found) the industry could use it as evidence that the technology was safe.(GOOD NEWS for them)
If an increase was found however, that would be an entirely different matter. (PANDORA'S BOX-which the industry is loathe to open)


From an official joint statement, Safety of Mobile Phones and Towers - The Answers (Nov.1995) by the Australian Radiation Laboratory, Spectrum Management Agency, Austel and the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), (under the heading, Is Cancer an issue?):

"There is yet insufficient scientific knowledge of many aspects of health effects of radio waves. One common question is: Do radio waves from mobile phones increase the risks of cancer? The answer is that there is no experimental evidence that radio waves directly cause cancer. Laboratory studies on animals suggest that where cancer exists, radio waves may accelerate its growth."

This last sentence, inserted by the CSIRO caused the telcos to complain to the government and they dutifully removed the fact sheet from circulation.

This may be an important line of scientific inquiry, especially for people who have cancer, and I would like to hear from anyone who may be in a position to initiate actual research that could later be submitted for peer review.

Don Maisch

Powerwatch News

October 2009 - Science Update

The following is a quick summary of another twenty papers that have come out over the last few months related to effects of electromagnetic radiation. Some of the papers are notable papers that have been published very recently, others are papers that were published a few months ago that have not yet made it to one of the Science Updates

Click here for the full news story



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