Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
13 August 2010
Local doctor shares his views on dangers from electromagnetic field radiation
by Lillian Cox
Dr. Dan Harper, M.D., was among the first to arrive at the Encinitas City Council meeting the evening of July 21. Carrying a 12-inch stack of medical journal articles about the health risks of electromagnetic field, or EMF, radiation, he was there to speak on behalf of his patient, Michael Schwaebe.
Schwaebe was appealing the placement of WiMAX towers on the site of the former Cabo Grill at Coast Highway 101 and La Costa Avenue. WiMAX is often referred to as "a cell tower on steroids."
Harper directed his initial remarks to the Sprint Clearwire representatives in attendance when he quoted author Upton Sinclair: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon him not understanding."
Harper said he was frustrated, but not surprised, that he was unable to complete his presentation.
It would have been illegal.
The wireless industry is protected by Article 704 of the Telecommunications Act signed by President Clinton in 1996 which prohibits arguments of potential health risks from communications towers to be made at public hearings, even if they are legitimate.
Consequently, Schwaebe and his fellow presenters were forced to fall back on a secondary argument, declining property values as a result of placement of the WiMAX towers.
Had Dr. Harper been able to complete his speech, following are points he would have made.
Today, there is an indisputable parallel between the wireless and the tobacco industry, which was not required to post warning labels on cigarette packaging and in advertising until 1965 — after generations of families suffered from respiratory illnesses, cancers and even death due to smoking.
"It took 50 years to get warning labels and they are still selling the product," Harper wrote in his notes.
In addition, he would have cited studies since the 1970s that show an increase in many cancers of those living within 300 meters of power lines. "Despite being a class 1B carcinogen, they are still building schools and houses on cheap land under power lines," his notes read.
He would have made the argument that if we post the addresses of sexual predators, why then can't the location of concealed or stealth cell tower antennaes also be posted.
Harper is a proponent of the need to develop safe neighborhoods for chemically sensitive and EMF-sensitive individuals such Michael Schwaebe by burying powerlines, having no wi-fi in a minimum of a half-mile radius, and no cell towers or pesticides or herbicides sprays in the area.
Finally, Harper would have made an argument that the EMF radiation controversy should actually be a state's rights issue.
"Even though the FCC has said to ignore the potential health risks to humans and have a 150-day limit on the request to locate their wireless units, you are the wall of protection," he wrote in his comments to City Council. "This is a federation of states with the states regulating the insurance, medical, dental and mortuary industries.
The sheriff of this county has more rights of executive power than the FBI since the sheriff is elected and accountable to the voters."
So, is he a whack job? Who is Dr. Dan Harper?
He graduated magna cum laud from Baylor College of Medicine, which today ranks No. 13 in research behind Stanford and before UCLA according to
He is board certified in holistic medicine and family medicine; and board eligible in emergency medicine with more than 35,000 hours of ER experience.
Before moving to San Diego five years ago he was licensed in Oregon, Wyoming, Montana and Texas. Currently he's licensed in California and Arizona.
It was changes he noticed in his own system and in his patients in his Solana Beach medical practice that prompted him to investigate environmental factors that impact health here on the coast.
"I did not have problems in Montana since no cell phone towers were there at the time," he said. "I got here and things were blazin' hot and people were ill due to the EMFs. There was catatonic schizophrenia, depression, autism, arrhythmias of heart, seizures — all related to EMF exposure. I hit pubmed.com (National Institutes of Health research website) and the Internet to find out why."
He also took several courses on EMFs offered through the American Academy of Environmental Medicine and studied under Dr. William J. Rea, who is considered one of the fathers of environmental medicine.
Harper learned that San Diego is the second-highest radiated city in the nation, behind Washington, D.C.
"There is 10 million times the background radiation in San Diego compared to 1970," he said. "It is caused by technology such as cell towers and high-powered transformer lines; military telecommunications; Doppler radar and sonograms shot into earthquake faults. It is also generated by wi-fi communications for computers and games, SDG&E smart meters and transformers on poles and on the ground of local neighborhoods (camouflaged) as green boxes."
Harper warns that EMF radiation even interferes with meditation at the Self Realization Fellowship.
Ultimately, he says this is leading to a generation of older Americans with pre-senile dementia being cared for by a younger generation with a disproportionate amount of brain cancer.
Beyond our own world, he warns that extremely low frequency, or ELF, radiation used to communicate with submarines is impacting ocean life.
"They interfere with the vestibular apparatus of the brains of the whales," Harper said. "It messes up their navigation and seems to impair cognition."
Frustrated, Dr. Harper walked out of the council meeting on July 21 after a woman representing the wireless industry said she had no closing remarks except to say that the city of Encinitas had no legal leg to stand on.
"My heart sank as I saw big business once again put the FCC knife to the throats of the City Council and tell them they would have to sit and watch as they raped and ravaged the community and there was nothing they could do," he said. "Every citizen is being blasted at a cellular level by this radiation. It may take two or three decades to manifest the cancer or dementia, but it is adversely affecting us all."
He said that 3 percent of the population is severely and rapidly affected with symptoms such as headaches, confusion, tachycardia, anxiety, skin burning and hives.
"Sixteen percent will only feel the fatigue, insomnia, 'brain farts' and memory issues, and the other 81 percent will look at that 19 percent and recommend a good psychiatrist until 30 or 40 years down the road (medical) articles will begin to report that cell phones and wi-fi are more dangerous than cigarettes, asbestos and leaded gasoline put together," he said.
After members of the Encinitas City Council explained that they had no choice but to deny the appeal, for fear of losing money in legal bills in a futile battle with the federal government, Deputy Mayor Maggie Houlihan called on citizens to write their congressmen and senators to demand that Article 704 be repealed.
The Coast News contacted Rep. Brian Bilbray and his opponent Francine Busby to ask if they would lead such a movement to repeal Article 704. To date, only Bilbray's office had responded.
Following is the statement from Bilbray's office: "Congressman Bilbray holds health and safety standards in the highest regard.
The standards used in the 1996 Telecom Act to support Article 704 were, at the time, the most stringent health standards available in the United States. A review of these standards has been scheduled by the Federal Communications Commission and Congressman Bilbray will make a determination on further action upon completion of the review."
Dr. Dan's Advice
Dr. Dan Harper offers a few tips on how to protect yourself from EMFs:
- Purchase a Trifield Meter to measure EMF radiation in your home. The price is about $125 online.
- In homes, make sure the grounding is done correctly at the junction box of the circuit breaker and of the switch box inside that grounds to the hot water. EMF-sensitive patients have to have a 3-foot section of nonmetallic pipe between their water meter and the house, or all the grounded negative energy comes from neighboring homes into their house and onto them when they shower or do dishes.
- Keep children more than 4 to 5 feet from the front of the TV and away from any alternating current devices such as air filters, computers and stereos.
- Use a large computer monitor, with a corded mouse and key pad that can be set 3 to 4 feet away from the monitor and tower to prevent the strong EMFs from entering your body. Stay away from laptops.
- Turn off electrical equipment at the surge protector when not in use. Turn off routers on wi-fi and computers so EMF radiation is not shot through the house and neighborhood.
- Don't use a cordless phone. Get a speaker phone or land line.
- Limit cell phone texting and talking, turning off the phone when not in use. If it is kept turned on, it is broadcasting microwaves into the tissues of the person carrying it and those around them. Second-hand radiation is more dangerous than second-hand cigarette smoke in my opinion. The further one gets from the cell tower, the stronger the cell phone blasts into the tissues trying to reach the tower. The closer one gets to the tower, the more the tower blasts the person there, whether they have a phone on or not.
- Bluetooth phones triple the amount of negative energy entering your body.
- Finally, don't live near a cell tower unless you have your life insurance policy and your medical insurance covers cancer, autoimmunity, dementia (including Alzheimer's and presenile dementia), heart disease, diabetes, and a large number of so called chronic diseases that have been shown to increase in the presence of harmful EMFs at low doses.
See the video at
Written by Todd L. Michaud
August 12th, 2010
Edge on Health Blog
Shedding a Little Light on Pollution
August 11th, 2010
What you don't know about lighting can hurt you.
Global warming may still be up for debate. But there's no question that the world's getting brighter—due to the proliferation of both indoor and outdoor lights.
"Darkness is as essential to our biological welfare, to our internal clockwork, as light itself," writes Verlyn Klinkenborg in a recent National Geographic article. Sleep scientists find that bathing our world in artificial light not only disrupts our body clocks but also disturbs hormone production.
One recent study links higher rates of breast cancer in women with night-time brightness in their neighborhoods. And numerous studies find an increased risk for cancers—prostate as well as breast—among night-shift workers. Experimental evidence suggests that the antioxidant hormone melatonin, critical for sound sleep and healthy immunity, plays a major role in increased cancer risk.
One interesting investigation published in Medical Hypotheses suggests that artificial—versus natural—light not only inhibits melatonin production but also increases the circulating estrogen levels, increasing the risk for melanoma. French researchers note the therapeutic effect of melatonin in metastatic diseases, and seasonal patterns in melanoma are consistent with seasonal melatonin production in the body.
A 2009 New York Academy of Sciences conference paper implicated artificial lighting in cancer, depression, diabetes, and obesity. And certain types of fluorescent lighting can be particularly damaging.
In addition to health problems—ranging from headaches and eye problems to electromagnetic radiation—linked to fluorescent lighting, a new study at the University of Pennsylvania finds that long-term exposure can cause cumulative skin damage in people with lupus and other photosensitive skin disorders. Those new energy-efficient compact bulbs add even another risk—the potential for mercury pollution.
Dr. Ann Louise's Take:
Light pollution may be the easiest environmental hazard to remedy. But it's all too easily overlooked in today's 24/7 world where people text into the wee hours and when global climate change seems a far more pressing issue.
I've been concerned about light pollution for some time now. The typical American gets only about 7 to 8 hours of darkness every night—and probably only secretes melatonin 6 to 7 of those hours. Without today's light pollution, though, we'd be producing this critical hormone for 9 to 10 hours a night!
Most indoor lighting ranges from 100 to 1,000 lux (a measurement of how light illuminates). Studies show that as little as 100 lux at night can inhibit melatonin production—and 500 lux (easily achieved in our brightly lighted homes and urban centers) can impair melatonin production up to 98%.
The Right Light
Then there are specific risk factors depending on the type of artificial light you're exposed to. For example, energy efficient fluorescents—whether those long tubes or the compact fluorescent lights (CFL)—create elevated magnetic and electric fields whenever they're on.
Research at University of Oklahoma College of Medicine also finds that compact fluorescent bulbs—unless they come with shields—leak ultraviolet B radiation, which is key in promoting skin cancer. Is this the lighting you want next to your—or your child's—head?
Break one of these corkscrew-shaped CFLs—and you've got a Hazmat crisis right in your own home! That's because the mercury in just one bulb can contaminate a whole room. Recycling them isn't easy, either. In a landfill near your home, they leach mercury in groundwater and soil.
In addition to fluorescents, halogen lights (which generate a lot of heat and require ventilation) and even the electrical wiring in your home can produce significant amounts of electromagnetic fields (EMFs), increasingly found hazardous to human health. A low voltage DC halogen light that's set into the ceiling is safe if you're beneath it, but it can radiate high magnetic fields about three feet into the floor above, so don't place them underneath rooms where children sleep or play. In addition, the AC magnetic fields produced by lights and ceiling fans are greater in the rooms above them because you are closer to the source.
For safety's sake, the classic incandescent bulb and LEDs are best. There's a new generation of these lights coming to market that meets the tough 2012 efficiency standards, and Philips makes an energy-efficient incandescent bulb (really a halogen lamp in incandescent clothing) that's already available at Home Depot and on Amazon.
Up Your Melatonin
This hormone enhances the power of the immune system's lymphocytes to fight cancer cells that slip by the body's other defenses, so it's hardly surprising that low melatonin levels have been implicated in breast cancer, melanoma, and malignancies of the ovary and prostate. Low levels of melatonin are also linked in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
Even low levels of EMFs can depress melatonin production, so I advise trying some of the detection devices I've found useful in my own home. Go to
for handy, reasonably priced ways to discover—and if necessary, re-mediate—dangerous radiation in your home or office.
Room-darkening drapes and shades won't reduce your exposure to electrical and magnetic field radiation. But keeping your room darker longer can help your body produce more melatonin, which is also diminished by exposure to EMFs.
In studies of older people (who tend to have lower than normal levels of melatonin and consequently have trouble sleeping), those who were exposed to about two hours of sunlight a day had higher levels of melatonin—and slept better—than those who didn't spend as much time in the sun. Even being outside on a cloudy day or sitting in the shade appears useful.
Blue light helps keep you alert, but it also suppresses melatonin production in the evening. Researchers with the Lighting Innovations Institute at John Carroll University in Ohio have developed reasonably priced blue-blocking glasses, light bulbs, and night lights that their studies found helped promote better sleep and reduced symptoms of ADHD in people who wore them a few hours before bedtime (see resources).
LowBlueLights.com has special glasses and nightlights that block out blue light that inhibits melatonin production. I own a pair of these glasses and wear them an hour before bed, which helps me sleep through the night without waking.
Because melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle and supports other antioxidants as well as vital immune system components called natural killer cells, also consider melatonin supplements (1 to 3 mg in a time-release formula). Tart red cherries are an excellent food source of this antioxidant hormone.
VW / Audi, What were you thinking?
Are they trying to produce the world's most dangerous car?
"Audi's A8 luxury sedan will be the first vehicle with a factory integrated mobile hotspot when it ships this fall with an adapter capable of connecting up to eight devices via WiFi or Bluetooth. Audi integrates a WLAN module and antenna on the roof, using technology from chip-maker Marvell and Harman Automotive.
The company says its WiFi software architecture is optimized for extremely low power consumption on battery-powered consumer electronics, enabling passengers to connect to the vehicle's network without affecting the battery life of their connected devices. The Audi system, called the Marvell Mobile Hotspot, will support any combination of smartphones, tablets, laptops, digital cameras, and gaming devices."
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