Saturday, September 25, 2010

Children & Wi-Fi / Texts, phones kill 16,000 / Transmitters & Insurance / Not scientific / Brain tumor / Wi-Fi impact / Eye Cancer / Cellphones

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

25 September 2010

The dangers and risks to children and staff from Wi-Fi in schools

Last night, Citizens for Safe Technology (CST) presented to the Surrey School District (SSD) here in British Columbia on the dangers and risks to children and staff from Wi-Fi in schools.

I am pleased to say that we were very well received and that the trustees were very appreciative of the information we shared with them. CST member Liz Walker (who spoke last night) has been speaking out to and educating the SSD about EMR since she was involved in a successful bid to cancel a cell tower contract on top of her son's school in 2004.

Una St. Clair put together a binder the size of a small phone book full of studies and information. Una is both brilliant and a saint - like all of us she puts in hundreds of hours, fueled by her passion to make a difference on the planet and keep our children safe.

The questions that some of the trustees asked indicated that they were truly concerned by the info we shared. We did our absolute best to build a bridge with them and we offered our expertise and a collaborative approach to dealing with the issue, even if that initially means that there are Wi-Fi free classrooms in part of the school or that a few schools are selected initially to be Wi-Fi free. There was a commitment to get back to me. We shot some video - if it is available, I will post it. Una suggested that if a few schools went Wi-Fi, there should be a study on the impact of Wi-Fi on grade averages.

CST member Lynda Honing, who also spoke last night has done a great job of educating the principal at her daughter's school in the district- the principal followed the happenings in Barrie all summer and put together a hard wired computer lab at the beginning of the summer after school ended. At this point, the principal does not want any publicity about this, which I completely understand - I think it could jeopardize the changes she has quietly made and possibly her position 

One point I made last night was that I was clear that the SSD did not knowingly roll out Wi-Fi with awareness of the risks, and pointed out to them that I used Wi-Fi extensively for five years until I was diagnosed with EHS. There was no finger pointing!

I also told the SSD about my brain tumor during the question period after our presentation. In Jan. 2008 I had an MRI to check my pituitary gland due to hormone imbalances. My pituitary was fine, but a smallish glioma (1.5 x 2.5 cm)  showed up close to my skull on the top left side of my head. I've had followup MRI's - the growth has been slow and my neurosurgeon has said that by all appearances, the glioma is benign and very slow growing. That said, after we noticed some small growth last May (3mm in 2.5 years) I decided to have surgery - I am looking at November. I consider myself blessed - had I not become EHS, I would have never found out about my tumor.

My neurosurgeon has said that he believes that recovery will be complete - that in his experience the surgery is very well tolerated and I should be back to normal in a few weeks.

I will follow up on what future communications we have with the district - I don't know what that is going to look like.

I can tell you that with the relationship we have forged with the BC Teachers Federation, invites to speak at to other school districts I can honestly say that we are gaining ground people are slowly waking up! I had a disastrous experience with the French School Board here in BC in 2008/2009 and learned a lot from that experience.

Carl Katz


Texts, phones kill 16,000: study

Maggie Fox  Washington— Reuters
Published Friday, Sep. 24, 2010

Drivers distracted by talking or texting on cell phones killed an estimated 16,000 people from 2001 to 2007, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday.

The estimate, one of the first scientific attempts to quantify how many people have died in accidents caused specifically by mobile telephone distractions, also suggests a growing number of these drivers are under 30.

"Our results suggested that recent and rapid increases in texting volumes have resulted in thousands of additional road fatalities in the United States," Fernando Wilson and Jim Stimpson of the University of North Texas Health Science Center wrote in the American Journal of Public Health.

Wilson and Stimpson used details on road deaths from each state, on cell phone ownership and data on text message volume from the Federal Communications Commission.

They got reports from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on deaths attributable to distracted driving.

"Since roughly 2001-2002, texting volumes have increased by several hundred per cent," Wilson said in a telephone interview. In 2002, 1 million texts were sent every month; this rose to 110 million in 2008.

"Since 2001 our model predicts that about 16,000 people have died since then that we attribute to the increase in texting volume in the United States."

Just talking on a cell phone can distract a driver, and several studies have demonstrated that, even with a hands-free device. But Wilson said texting and using so-called smart phones that provide e-mail access and other distracting applications take the problem to a new level.

U.S. traffic deaths are down – in 2009 the Transportation Department said they hit their lowest level since the mid-1950s in 2009 at 33,963.

But for every 1 million new cell phone subscribers, Wilson and Stimpson estimate a 19-per cent rise in deaths due to distracted driving.

"Distracted deaths as a share of all road fatalities increased from 10.9 per cent to 15.8 per cent from 1999 to 2008, and much of the increase occurred after 2005," they wrote.

"In 2008, approximately 1 in 6 fatal vehicle collisions resulted from a driver being distracted while driving," the report said. It found 5,870 people died in accidents attributed to distracted driving.

Cellphone ownership and the number of text messages sent rose sharply over the same time, Wilson and Stimpson found.

Wilson said 30 states ban texting while driving, and some cities and states require hands-free devices for drivers using mobile telephones


Radiation-emitting transmitters & Insurance

Dear HESA Committee Members,

Please  find below an article from a major American business magazine by the managing director of New York-based Vogel Capital Management warning that radiation from radiation-emitting transmitters may result in insurance claims similar to those from asbestos.

She advises, "The insurance industry seems oblivious to this emerging risk, as it long ago added exclusionary clauses, installed aggregate limits, or carved out RF radiation risk, but only from telecom coverage. Insurers have never considered RF radiation as it relates to the properties that host RF-transmitting antennas. The real risk to insurers lies in those third-party workers" (residents)  "who are being overexposed to RF radiation at such properties."

It is telling that it seems to be taken for granted that users of cellphones will have high claims, but new to the argument are those people living and working near antennae. She is warning that the insurance companies must insulate themselves against these inevitable future claims as well.

I would ask that you consider this warning, and help prevent these future claims from occurring by requiring Safety Code 6 be discarded and new biologically-based regulations be implemented.

Yours truly,

Sharon Noble


Poor quality reporting

Hi All

Just a warning that this non scientific article is coming out in the October magazine of Scientific American.

I was going to place a comment but I am not willing to register on a site with this poor quality of reporting.


Can You Hear Me Now?: Scientific American
Physics shows that cell phones cannot cause cancer. ... or meningioma [the two most common types of brain tumors] was observed with use of mobile phones. ...


Eleanor Mondale says brain tumor has stopped growing

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Radio talk show host Eleanor Mondale says her chemotherapy regimen has stopped the growth of her cancerous brain tumor.

Mondale recently had a brain scan at the Mayo Clinic. The daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale was first diagnosed with cancer in 2005 and has had two major surgeries and various drug treatments. The 50-year-old Mondale says she'll return to Mayo for another brain scan next month.

The WCCO radio host tells the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the drugs she's taking to fight the cancer make her very tired and that the chemo has been hard on her body.

Mondale says she's looking forward to a February vacation in Mexico with her husband, musician Chan Poling, and her parents.

With information from the St. Paul Pioneer Press/


War of words erupts over Wi-Fi impact on health

Some parents alarmed about effect on their kids

Published September 23, 2010

By Martin C. Barry • NEWSFIRST

Seemingly taking his cue from a British scientist who claims that wireless networks in schools could cause genetic defects, a St. Catharines, Ont. university dramatic arts department head has issued a warning of his own, while denouncing government denials of the problem as "false and misleading statements."

Health Canada: safe

The British scientist, Barrie Trower, who specialized in the development of microwave as a mass weapon during the Cold War, spoke at the University of Toronto on Aug. 25 about his safety concerns over the use of Wi-Fi systems in a public school setting. Prof. David Fancy of Brock U in St. Catharines was among those at Trower's lecture. Since then, Health Canada has responded to Trower's statements, maintaining that the technology is safe.

Trower says that the radio wave frequencies he was experimenting with as weapons are the same as are being used today for transmitting wireless Internet through schools, or anywhere for that matter where a wireless hub has been set up. He is especially concerned that small children are more susceptible to genetic damage, which could lead to deformed offspring when those children grow up.

Kooky claims?

The spreading controversy has made a local impact and prompted Montreal computer pioneer Lorne Trottier, founder of Matrox Graphics Inc., to fire off a "dismayed" letter to this city's leading English-language daily, wondering why Trower's "assertions of a kook" were being uncritically repeated in the media.

On a web page Trottier set up with some colleagues on issues concerning Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) and health, he maintains, "there is no credible scientific evidence that Wi-Fi or any other source of EMF can cause EHS" (Electrohypersensitivity), whose symptoms are similar to those reported by a group of parents in Barrie, Ont.

Children's health

Fancy's assertions on the perils of Wi-Fi, contained in a statement he distributed across the country on Aug. 30 via the Canada News Wire service, came on the heels of demands made by parents with children at a Barrie school about two weeks before, that the wireless Internet service be switched off because they are concerned it is making their children sick.

The parents say their children are exhibiting a multitude of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, nausea and accelerated heart rates. Since the symptoms go away on weekends when the children aren't in school, the parents suspect the wireless system is to blame.

The parents have said they are willing to pay for installing a wired Internet distribution system throughout the school if that would mean shutting off the wireless system for good.

Questions the government

"There have been press reports in the last two weeks with false and misleading statements from government officials that there is no public health risk," Fancy, who sat on a staff and administration committee at Brock U that issued a warning on Wi-Fi to the university's 2,000 employees, said in his statement.

In a phone interview with the Laval News earlier this week, he said the reason he was speaking out about the issue was to respond to statements from Ontario's chief medical officer, Dr. Arlene King, that there are no health threats from wireless. "I think that her assertions are patently false and quite misleading," said Fancy, citing reams of research he has read about the effects of a range of radio frequencies from microwaves to X-rays.


Eye Cancer and EMR

English translation -


The disturbing truth about cellphones
Martin Mittelstaedt
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Sep. 24, 2010

Is that cellphone at your ear giving you cancer? U.S. public-health advocate and epidemiologist Devra Davis takes a close look at the science of cellphones in her new book, Disconnect, and discovers that while researchers haven't yet found a definitive answer, there are chilling clues that these ubiquitous devices are far from benign.

More related to this story

Tumours on the rise

Several studies, including an exhaustive review released this year by the World Health Organization's cancer-research agency, find that people who have used cellphones for half an hour a day for more than a decade have about twice the risk of glioma, a rare kind of brain tumour, on the side of their head where they hold the phone. Glioma is usually fatal. Dr. Davis says brain cancers typically take decades to develop, and the fact that they're being found after 10 years in cellphone users after relatively light exposure by today's usage standards is worrisome. "For such a risk to show up in cellphone users within 10 years given what we know about brain tumours, which is that they can have a latency of 40 years, is deeply, deeply disturbing," she said in an interview.

Your brain on microwaves

Cellphones operate on microwaves, sent and received by antennas on the back of the devices. Some people compare holding these phones to pressing tiny microwave ovens next to our heads. Nearly everyone is exposed to cellphone radiation: There are an estimated five billion subscriptions worldwide.

There is no doubt that more powerful types of radiation – think X-rays – cause cancer. But microwaves, known as non-ionizing radiation, were long thought to be benign because they weren't strong enough to bump electrons from atoms. Nonetheless, Dr. Davis writes that experiments indicate these waves do pack a biological punch. Rats exposed to just two hours of microwave radiation had broken strands of DNA, the damage known to occur in cancer. The rats also had brain-cell alterations, memory lapses and fluids leaking from their brains into their blood, indicating a breach of the blood-brain barrier.

Safe for whom?

Dr. Davis writes that cellphone-safety tests are based on the amount of radiation absorbed into the head of man who is in the top 10 per cent of U.S. military recruits, a 200-pounder with an 11-pound brain standing at 6 feet, 2 inches. The standards were based on early analog phones used no more than six minutes at a time, not the digital models now in use. They were set to prevent the head from overheating. The tests don't account for the smaller head sizes of women and children.

Don't touch that phone

According to the fine print of the safety and product information brochure accompanying every cellphone, pressing the phone to your ear is a no-no, Dr. Davis writes. BlackBerry instructions, for example, couldn't be more explicit. The phones should be used in a hands-free operation if available and people should "keep the BlackBerry device at least 0.98 in. (25 mm) from your body (including the abdomen of pregnant women and the lower abdomen of teenagers) when the BlackBerry device is turned on and connected to the wireless network."

Safer cellphone use

* Using headsets and wireless gadgets such as Bluetooth cuts the amount of radiation to the brain.

* Store your cellphone in a backpack or purse. Or, if you must carry it mounted on your belt, turn the keypad to face your body because the antenna is on the back. Because radiation drops exponentially by distance from the antenna, holding devices away from the body cuts doses dramatically.

* Don't sleep with your cellphone on next to the bed or under a pillow.

* Pregnant women should keep the phones away from their abdomen.

* Talk in an area with good reception. Poor reception increases the radiation dose because the phones must power up to send the signal.

* Children should text instead of speaking on the phone, and limit use to emergency situations.

Tobacco, asbestos and cellphones

"Science on this complicated topic remains uncertain, for two reasons. First of all, science is truly complex and not easily understood by most of us. But a very large part of that uncertainty on this issue has been manufactured by those with deep pockets whose bottom line remains their primary focus. Many of those engaged in efforts to study cellphone radiation have … made up their minds in advance. The fact that ready money has been there to support those who cast doubt on the dangers of radio-frequency radiation certainly plays some role in the perpetuation of their views, as it did with tobacco, asbestos, benzene, and hormone-replacement therapy." – from Disconnect

Out with the old science

"Cellphones have become as essential to modern life as cars and trucks and jet planes. We spend billions of dollars, euros, yen and won making vehicles safer for us to drive or fly in and checking to see if they are safe as used. We need to do the same things with cellphones. Rather than parroting assurances of safety based on old science, outmoded theories of physics, and bullied scientists, we need to invest in cellphones' safety as we do with other modern technologies.

"Of course, more research is needed. On that we are all agreed. But the need for research should not be allowed to become an excuse to carry on as though everything is fine, until we have incontrovertible proof that it is not." – from Disconnect

The two above excerpts are from Disconnect by Devra Davis. Reprinted by arrangement with Dutton, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc. Copyright © 2010 by Devra Davis

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