Thursday, March 11, 2010

CBS News video / Microwave expert / Kortin residents / Microwave regulation / Wi-Fi / Cell Phone Health Warnings / Brain Tumors

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News 

CBS News video

CBS News

Maine Considers Warnings for Cell Phones

(CBS) In the summer of 2008, 58-year-old Alan Marks was diagnosed with a brain tumor. "They took out a golf-ball-sized tumor," Marks said. ...


Microwave expert raises alarm over mobile phone antennae

Thursday, 11th March 2010

Fiona Galea Debono

The battle against mobile phone antennae stepped up a notch as a foreign microwave expert highlighted their health hazards, yesterday.

Women, children and the elderly may be especially sensitive to microwaves emitted by mobile phone antennae and need particular consideration, according to an expert on the matter.

Barrie Trower, an independent research scientist who spent 11 years questioning captured spies involved in microwave warfare during the Cold War, described as "frightening" the effect of genetic damage to the ovaries of young girls, which, he claimed, could be caused by the antennae.

"If these women have girls, the genetic damage could carry on from generation to generation because it is irreparable. This is what we are gambling with," he said.

Although there was a gap in the research on children, Mr Trower said it was known that they were more vulnerable to microwaves by virtue of their size: "Being the size of their wavelength, they can act like aerials, vibrating inside and undergoing some sort of stress."

Having less dense bones, the microwaves penetrated them easier and they did not have a fully developed immune system to fend them off, he said.

Mr Trower was brought over by the Kortin Residents' Association, which has two mobile antennae in the area and claims residents have been suffering from their harmful effects.

A woman with an antenna 25 metres from her bedroom has constant migraines and another suffers from electro sensitivity and has contemplated suicide, depression being one of the many adverse affects, according to Mr Trower.

In fact, he said, between three and 15 per cent of the population suffer from electro sensitivity.

The association is setting up a movement, in conjunction with the Lija mayor and with Mr Trower as advisor, to raise awareness of the harmful effects of the antennae and remove them from public areas, its president, Andrè Catania, said.

Legal action has already started with a letter to the mobile phone operators and the residents who accepted money to have the antennae on their roofs, holding them responsible for any damage.

So far, however, the only response was that they were in accordance with the law, Mr Catania said.

The next step was to see the government's reaction, he said, auguring that it would plan to move the antennae to the coastline.

"We do not want to destroy them. Our ultimate aim is to reduce their power to harmless levels or move them away from residents," he said.

Mr Trower said there were legal precedents, quoting three court cases that proved mobile phone transmitters caused cancer.

He said it was often overlooked that two neighbouring transmitters could piggyback on each other, causing multiple effects. This meant that what was within the guidelines could suddenly not be any more. Mr Trower urged decision-makers to read scientific literature to set the correct safety levels. "When they say they are within international guidelines, they are quoting the maximum levels, not the safe levels," he warned.

Mr Trower said it had been known since 1932, when microwaves were used for the first time, that they could make people sick, including severe headaches, fatigue, cancer and susceptibility to infection. "And we knew everything there was to know about their harm by 1971," he said.

Mr Trower is on his way to South Africa for talks with ministers on the fact that, for the first time in its history, it has childhood leukaemia clusters and suicides around transmitters.

Together with Daniel Massa, from the Kortin Residents' Association, he made a presentation to the Social Affairs Parliamentary Committee yesterday, auguring that the government would step in to move the antennae away.

Prof. Massa said the "short-sighted, reprehensible lack of adequate planning to protect the Maltese is that thousands of electro-sensitive persons continue to suffer from an array of adverse health symptoms of a predominantly neurological kind".

He said the Department of Health Information had not issued a single statement about emerging and newly-identified non-thermal biological health risks from electromagnetic radiation. Then it presumed to inform the planning authority that the antennae did not generate any adverse effects


Kortin residents complain about electromagnetic radiation

by Chiara Bonello

The adverse effects of electromagnetic radiation, which lead to a rise in health problems for those living in the vicinity, were known as early as 1932 but still some 2,200 mobile base stations dot the Maltese Islands.

This was said yesterday during a press conference by the Kortin Residents Association, together with Professor Barry Trower, an expert in the field. Yesterday evening they also raised this issue during a Social Affairs Committee meeting.

People suffered fatigue, headaches, migraines, dizziness, anxiety, susceptibility to diseases and cancer among others. The first known effects of this radiation were recorded during the Cold War, Professor Trower said.

The research was truly complete in 1971, he said, when the US Naval Medical Research Institution carried out some 2,300 research studies on the matter. Soon just about everything that could be learned about the topic was known.

In all his years in the field, he said, he had not once met with a decision maker in the field who had read the international certification, which the International Commission on Non-Ionising Radiation Protection had come up with.

This states that women, children and the elderly are particularly susceptible to this electromagnetic radiation and need specific consideration. It also advises decision makers to read current scientific literature and set the safety level well below what is known to cause illness.

Too often the maximum level is taken into consideration and then they say things are fine since they are below that level, when in fact they are not. Those responsible must look at what is causing illness, and then go well below that.

Children are more vulnerable by virtue of their size, Professor Trower said, since it could cause them distress. Since their immune systems were not completely developed and their bones were less dense this also made them much more vulnerable.

A number of cases of clusters of children suffering from leukaemia had been found in the United Kingdom. Furthermore in South Africa, he said, a number of clusters of childhood suicides had been found.

There has been research into the genetic damage of the ovaries in young girls, for example, he said, which is worrying as once this damage is done it is irreversible and will be passed on from one female generation to the other.

A study in Estonia studied the cancer rates before the mobile phone base stations were put in place, and again after. The results revealed that the cancer rate had shot up, which led to the conclusion that the theory held ground. There were also legal cases where it was proven that these cause cancer.

Professor Trower described this as "intentional ignorance", as those responsible did not have to prove it was safe, but the people had to prove that it wasn't. He noted a number of insurance companies had written this exclusion into their policies, eliminating coverage for illness caused by electromagnetic radiation.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has made a statement where it recognised the fact that some people suffer from electrosensitivity, which is an unhealthy sensitivity to particular sources of electricity.

Experiments have established that some three per cent of the Maltese population suffers from electrosensitivity, and some sources have said that this may even be as high as between seven and 15 per cent.

A member of the audience also spoke of her experience of suffering from electrosensitivity, and described the effects as very real indeed. Steps were necessary to protect the house from this radiation.

Professor Trower said that during his years in the field he had also come across some research which was applied to how this radiation affects bees, mice and ants among other insects.

Considering that pollination contributes some $33 million to the global economy annually, and bees contributed some £200 million in the United Kingdom, one had to ask whether these antennae could be afforded.

Ignoring this would see the cost of living increasing, as without a shadow of a doubt would the health bills of a country, he said. It also had serious defence implications.

The solution, he said, lay in sticking to the safe levels. These had been presented when a group of prestigious international scientists had come together and presented them in a report.

The antennae should be moved, he said, because the levels had to be brought down and because for some people even the constant worry of seeing them outside their house was enough to make them ill. They had to be at least a hundred metres from nursing homes, schools and similar buildings.

A spokesman for the Kortin Residents Association said that they have been speaking up about this issue for almost two years, as there were two antennae in an area which was supposed to be protected from things of negative visual impact.

Despite various efforts they have got nowhere as yet.


Group wants microwave regulation tightened

By BRYN WEESE, Parliamentary Bureau

Last Updated: March 11, 2010 7:45pm

OTTAWA — The federal government needs to tighten regulation on microwaves from cell phone towers, according to a concerned group of citizens.

Save our Children from Microwaves was on Parliament Hill Thursday to lobby the government to reduce the allowable microwave exposure limit from 1,000 microwatts per square centimetre to 1,000 microwatts per square metre, limits they say are in place in some European jurisdictions.

"Why should Canada be last to protect its citizens?" asked Francois Therrien, a spokesman for the group. "Across the country Canadians are being exposed to constant microwave radiation while a great many international experts say this is dangerous."

But Health Canada has confidence in the current limits.

"As long as exposures respect the limits set in Health Canada's Guidelines, the department has no scientific reason to consider exposure to low-level radiofrequency fields, such as those from cell towers, dangerous to the public," a spokesman for the Health Minister wrote in an e-mail Thursday.

In addition to the reduced exposure limits, Save our Children from Microwaves wants the government to set up a House of Commons committee to study the effects of microwaves from communications towers.

Luc Malo, a Bloc Quebecois MP, presented a petition to the House of Commons Wednesday with 1,100 signatures asking for the reduced limits.


Wi-Fi – Why I Don't Think It's As Safe As We Are Led To Believe

I spend several hours each day on my computer and have to admit I often feel really "weird".

When I've explained my symptoms to various family members they've dismissed me as neurotic and humoured me when I wear my bio guard pendants around my neck to protect me from electro magnetic fields.

If I use my mobile phone the left side of my face burns, my tongue and lips tingle, I feel a tightness in my chest as though I can't breathe properly and I get a strange pain in my left temple. I also feel sick and disorientated.

I get the same effect if I use my computer for any length of time particularly if I am in the room where we have the Wi-Fi box installed. For those of you who don't know Wi-Fi is an acronym for wireless fidelity and is a means by which people with laptop computers can move around and still be able to access the internet.

We used to use a broadband cable but because there are sometimes three people wanting to be on a computer at the same time we found wireless so much easier.

However, last night on the television there was a programme about Wi-Fi. which made me sit up and take notice because it featured some other people who experienced exactly the same problems.

It seems likely I suffer from electro sensitivity. Of course, I'd suspected that for a long time which is why I wear the bio guards but I had never made a connection with the wireless set up before. I always thought it was the computer.

In Sweden the problem is recognised as an official disability and affects about 3% of the population. If a similar figure exists in UK then I have approximately another 2 million fellow sufferers. It's strange therefore that the government currently insist there are none.

I don't believe them.

Of course my scepticism could come from the fact I've already been personally affected by two procedures which the government also insist are "safe". I've written books about both issues so you can tell I don't believe them either – at least not now.

Both mercury dental amalgam and the MMR are controversial issues and despite the fact they affect millions of people worldwide, the government insist any evidence is "anecdotal".

Who am I to argue?

Anyway, the government rely on international guidelines when they issue their statements and the World Health Organisation (WHO) who are one of the leading public health bodies in the world have said that as far as WI-FI and the radiation emitted from mobile phone masts are concerned, there are "no adverse health effects from low level long term exposure".

I don't believe them either.

After all, how do they know? I'm certainly no expert but WI-FI and mobile phones are relatively new so I don't imagine anyone has yet lived from the cradle to the grave being exposed to them which begs the question – How long is "long term exposure"?

Again in Sweden experiments have been carried out using lower levels of radiation than emitted from WI-FI and the result has been chromosome damage, a decrease in short-term memory, electro hypersensitivity and an increase in cancer.

I gathered from the programme that government guidelines are pretty much influenced by the industry and are based on the "thermal" effect as opposed to the "biological" effect these radio waves have.

That means that they would have to actually heat up your organs before they would be considered sufficiently dangerous to require restrictions on their use.

In most cities you will find WI-FI hotspots where you can use your computer. Most people have no idea when they are walking along that they are being exposed to radiation.

Even when I switch on my computer in my house I am told I am in range of various wireless connections other than my own so clearly I am not safe indoors either. Infact when I was still connected to the internet via broadband my neighbour came round with his laptop computer and was able to log on using his Wi-Fi from next door!

At the time I thought it was fantastic. Not any more!

In schools too it is becoming increasingly common for wireless networks to be installed, and currently approximately 70% of secondary and 50% of primary schools have them.

Now parents are expressing concern about the possible long term dangers to their children's health. After all their skulls are thinner and still forming so until there's conclusive evidence to the contrary, the "no known adverse health effects" statement is not very reassuring.

Protests are regularly made about siting mobile phone masts next to schools but most people do not realise WI-FI is equally as dangerous. Apparently in UK when this programme was produced (2007) there were 3000 WI-FI hotspots and 50,000 mobile phone masts.

In the programme a radiation monitor was placed next to a laptop computer in a classroom at approximately the exact position where a student's head would be. The result was the student would have been exposed to between 3 and 4 times more radiation there than if he or she had stood in the main beam of a mobile phone mast.

Scary, eh?

People have a choice whether or not to use a mobile phone but wireless networks in the classroom remove that personal decision. The programme makers did say this level of exposure would not be all the time but especially during downloads. However, since most people use computers for internet access that could most likely be a considerable amount of time.

Despite all this "anecdotal" evidence the government still insist WI-FI is safe. Until detrimental health effects have been established in a laboratory and science can PROVE there is a risk that will most likely remain their stance.

I don't believe them. Do you?

Jean Shaw is the author of I'm Not Naughty – I'm Autistic – Jodi's Journey and Autism, Amalgam and Me – Jodi's Journey Continues see


Cell-Phone-Radiation : Cell Phone Health Warnings

Andrea Boland the Maine state representative has a very good habit and that is of keeping in touch with the rest of the world via e-mails rather than talking on the Cell Phone. She does her business and arranges her work through e-mails. Politicians generally are seen attached to their Mobile phones but this is a different case.

She has even submitted her debate issue in Maine Legislature that cell phones should be sold with a warning label declaring that the device emits electromagnetic radiation. Her warning is that children and pregnant women should keep this device away from their head and body.

It is worth looking at the report of the National Cancer Institute and the World Health Organization which states cell phones are a public health threat. However, scientists accuse industrialists that they have turned the cell market into their own and that's the reason why it has been still declared safe.

An analysis from neurologist Henry Lai who is associated with the University of Washington has showcased the biological effect of cell-phones. Many countries which includes, Finland, Israel and France have issued guidelines against excessive cell phone usage. What's more San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom is hoping that his city will also adopt the legislation. With 270 million Americans and 4 billion people around the world signing up as a cell phone user every day the risk of Mobile cancer is increasing day by day.

As people take calls low frequency radio-frequency radiation is emitted. Though the wireless industry contradicts that such low frequency radiation hardly affects the human body, the Federal Communications Commission have stated their point of view that human cells get damaged. But the research at higher levels has proved that cell phones can emit radiation which can cause damage to the brain cells of a rat and in-turn lead to death of the concerned. Now the big question remains whether the wireless industry can be made to understand this.


Cellphones and Brain Tumors, Reduce Your Exposure Today

Jack Bauer Uses A Wired Headset; You Should Too

Published on March 11, 2010

Psychology Today

In a gutsy move, the Maine legislature is currently considering requiring warning labels on cellphones--much like cigarette packets--about the increased risk of brain cancer from electromagnetic radiation emitted as part of the radio signaling technology of all cellphones. The mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, also wants to mandate new cellphone labelling. And a similar bill was introduced this year to the California legislature. While these initiatives raise disturbing health issues that many people would prefer not to think about, and although the media has met these developments with tepid interest, this may prove to be a watershed moment for public health advocates and the cellphone industry.

[Note: If you don't have time to read the shocking details about the potential health impact of cellphones, cut to the recommendations at the end of this blog....or go out and buy a wired earpiece for your cellphone, use the speakerphone as much as possible and learn to text if you don't already know how. In short, do everything you can to keep the cellphone away from your and your children's heads. For a list of the ten latest cellphones that emit the least radiation see the Enviornmental Working Group report on cellphone radiation.]

The health hazards posed by cell phone usage are getting increasingly hard to ignore. They include, but are not exclusive to, an increased risk of brain cancer for people who have been using the phones for more than a decade. Numerous European countries, Israel and Canada are already pursuing guidelines for safer use of cellphones. A year ago a group of surgical neurologists at the University of Pittsburgh called for access to industry data. Even the FCC is beginning to drop hints of a problem.

I was shocked to learn that this past November (following close on the heels of an epidemiological review confirming a link between long-term cellphnone use and brain cancer in the journal of Surgical Neurology) the FCC quietly issued the following statement regarding concerns about radio frequency (RF) exposure from cellphones: "Keep wireless devices away from your body when they are on. Do not attach them to belts or carry them in pockets. Use the cell phone speaker to reduce head exposure. Consider texting rather than talking." A link to this statement is now published in the fine print that accompanies a new cellphone, but any thinking citizen has to wonder, why has this crucial health information not been publicized?

Separating fact from fiction in the debate over health risks posed by cellphones has not been easy.

On one hand a growing body of solid scientific evidence links long-term heavy cellphone use to an increased risk for brain cancer, especially when a person begins using a cell phone prior to age 20 (as much as 5-fold increased risk of brain cancer.) On the other hand there is a rather rabid group of nuts who excoriate cellphone usage along with most other modern conveniences even as they travel along the extraterrestrial highway spotting UFOs and little green men. These competing messages leave the average purchasing public feeling confused and ready to tune out the naysayers in favor of unbridled access to cellphones.

The debate, however, is beginning to be dominated by evidence-based science. There are several large peer reviewed analyses of data from as far back as 2007 (in the well respected Journal of Occupational Health) and as recently as September 2009 (in the gold-standard Journal of Surgical Neurology) establishing a link between heavy cell phone use of longer than 10 years and increased risk of brain tumors. While there are many telecom sponsored studies that show no correlation between short-term use of cell phones and brain cancer, there are no studies that refute the link between long term cell phone usage and brain cancer.

Vested industry interests, of course, have done their best to cast anyone raising the issue of cellphone safety with the nut-jobs. At the same time, the industry has consistently devised safety studies guaranteed to show no harm from their products (tumors take at least 10 years to develop, and the industry studies are all short term.) There's been a pattern of obfuscation of science, the latest example of which is constant delays in reporting results from the $30 million, 12 country WHO Interphone Study (heavily industry funded) that was supposed to be completed by 2005, but has yet to disclose findings after missing multiple deadlines. Several individual scientists who have participated in the studies in Sweden, France and Israel have published their own results and warned their citizens of the risks.

A cellphone is a radiation-emitting device. It has as much in common with a microwave oven as it does with a home telephone. A microwave uses electromagnetic radiation to heat food, a cellphone uses the same radiation to send and receive signals to a microwave tower miles away. We know that when a cellphone is used for a prolonged period it can heat up your brain, this is because the electromagnetic waves can pass through your skull and into your brain, where they are capable of altering your DNA. The FCC has set a standard for how much radiation (known as Specific Absorption Rate or SAR) a cellphone can emit: It is currently set at 1.6w/kg. In Germany since 2008 regulators recommend people use cellphones with SAR values of less than 0.6 w/kg--that's less than half of what's allowed in the U.S.

Children are particularly vulnerable. Research published two years ago in the journal Physics in Medicine and Biology revealed that some parts of the brains of children absorb twice as much radiation from cell phones as that of an adult. I was distressed to learn from environmental scientists, Dr. Devra Davis, that the original radiation absorption data presented by the cellphone industry to the FCC was based on research performed on a 200 pound 6 foot tall man with an 11-pound head. It's as simple as it sounds; a thick skull provides more protection to the brain. Children have thinner skulls they simply are more at risk of damaging their DNA with cellphone usage than the average adult. Some adults are more susceptible than others based on the thickness of their skulls, and their susceptibility to DNA damage.

What is a safe exposure level for a large, sturdily built man is not necessarily safe for many people of varying sizes or stages of development.

Regulatory action is underway or already in place to warn consumers of cell phone radiation in many European countries, Canada, Israel, and South Korea.

In most cases the first step has been to establish prominent labeling, as the Maine legislature hopes to achieve, warning consumers of the hazards of electromagnetic radiation from cellphones, especially for children.

The next step is to require the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR)--the amount of radiation emitted by a device--be prominently displayed on product packages. Our FCC issued the following statement in November: "Buy a wireless device with lower SAR."

However, most of us can't find that information on our cellphone packaging. SAR labeling is part of the Maine and California initiatives, and is at the heart of Mayor Newsom's proposal. Prominently displayed SARs would at least allow consumers to make smarter choices while at the same time providing incentives for manufacturers to develop new technologies that reduce exposure levels.

One way to reduce exposure today is to use a wired (not wireless) earpiece with microphone or speakerphone in order to keep the phone away from your head. Again, the FCC says, "Note that the variation in SAR from one mobile device to the next is relatively small compared to the reduction that can be achieved by using an earpiece or headset." California is considering requiring that cellphones come with such earpieces. I recommend you buy one and use it if you talk on your cellphone a lot.

There are other strategies for reducing your exposure. Parents should instruct children to text rather than talk on the phone, unless of course there is an emergency and a brief call is necessary. It's key to recognize that radiation is highest both when the phone is seeking a connection to a call being made, and when the signal is weak (ie. when in an elevator, or in a fast moving car) and the phone is working harder to keep a connection. (For this reason it's recommended when driving to use an installed wireless device with an antenna located outside of the vehicle.) Whenever using a phone, wait until the call is connected to put it to your ear, and if the signal is weak, hang up and wait for more bars.

It is very likely that the legislation underway in Maine and California will push cellphone manufacturers in the US to make safer products.

People will also begin to handle cellphones as the radiation emitting devices that they are. The author of the article in the journal Surgical Neurology, which found adequate epidemiological evidence to link prolonged cellphone usage to ipsilateral brain tumors, wrote that because of their much broader use today cellphone use "has far broader public health ramifications than asbestos and smoking." I hope this isn't true. Let's make sure it's not by using phones wisely and pushing our legislatures for more protective action.

For more information, and details on the latest scientiic research, visit environmental scientist, Devra Davis' website:


Columbus Dispatch

Cancer that reached next door scrutinized

In June, months after meeting President Barack Obama, Tanea died of a malignant brain tumor. She was 12. Just days before, Aaliyah told her mother that her ...

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