Monday, November 8, 2010

Safety Code 6 and the Safety of WiFi in Schools - Letter to HESA Committee

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

8 November 2010

To: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

Sent: Friday, November 05, 2010 7:39 PM

Subject: [Bulk] Safety Code 6 and the Safety of WiFi in Schools - Letter to HESA Committee

Dear Members of the HESA Standing Committee on Health,

Please find attached my submission on the above-noted subject.


Malini Menon


Whales found dead on Donegal beach

By Nuala McCann BBC News
7 November 2010

Scientists examine the remains of the whales on Rutland Island Environmentalists are trying to establish how 33 whales beached and died off the coast of County Donegal.

They were found on Rutland Island near Burtonport on Saturday.

It's thought they were the same group spotted in the Inner Hebrides at the end of October.

Dr Simon Berrow of the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group said it was one of the biggest mass deaths of whales in Irish history.

He is concerned that Royal Navy sonar equipment could have played a role.

"Thirty or 40 pilot whales were spotted off the Inner Hebrides at South Uist last week," he said.

"It looked like they were going to strand. It was bad weather. They were not seen again."

Dr Berrow said the Royal Navy had been in the area off South Uist and had moved away.

Campaigners were concerned that the latest sonar equipment could have disturbed the navagational skills of this deep diving species of whales.

But a spokeswoman from the Royal Navy said that when the whales were spotted near South Uist, the closest navy ship was 50 miles away.

At that distance, she said, there was no way that the sonar equipment could have affected them.

In the past, the navy has denied that sonar noise from their warships could cause whales to beach.

However, in America, the US Navy was ordered not to use mid-frequency sonar during training exercises from 2007 and 2009, after a judge found in favour of campaigners who argued the devices harmed marine mammals in the area.

A team from Galway/Mayo Institute of Technology travelled to the scene off Donegal at the weekend to see if they could determine what had happened.

Sixty whales died in the 1960s off the west coast of Kerry and 35 to 40 animals died in north Kerry in 2001.



Important review on biological effects of antennas by Levitt and Lai 2010

Posted by inthesenewtimes on November 7, 2010  Magda Havas

Important review of the biological effects for those living near antennas was just published in Environmental Reviews, a Journal of the Canadian National Research Council.

Levitt, BB and H. Lai.  2010. Biological effects from exposure to electromagnetic radiation emitted by cell tower base stations and other antenna arrays.  Environmental Reviews 18:369-395.

This paper written by Blake Levitt, an award winning medical science writer, and Dr. Henry Lai at the University of Washington, one of the first scientist along with his colleague Dr. Singh to document DNA damage attributed to cell phone radiation, follows on the heals of a Private Member's Bill introduced to the Ontario Legislative Assemble by NDP Health Critic, France Gelinas, asking thatwarning labels be posted on cell phones.

Cell phones communicate with cell phone antennas and both devices emit radiation. One you hold to your head or ideally away from your head.  The other may be near your home or on top of your or a neighbouring apartment building sending out microwave radiation each time someone nearby  uses a cell phone.

The scientific consensus is that the more you are exposed to this radiation, the greater the potential for damaging effects even at levels well below existing federal guidelines.  Indeed, many scientists believe that there is no "safe" level for microwave radiation.

The mobile phone studies are showing an increased risk of both benign and malignant tumors on the same side of your head that you hold to the cell (or cordless) phone appearing after 10 years of moderate use.

The cell phone antenna studies are showing that people who live within 400 meters of these antennas experience an increased risk of cancer and symptoms associated with electrical hypersensitivity.

According to Levitt and Lai their review includes "Both anecdotal reports and some epidemiology studies have found headaches, skin rashes, sleep disturbances, depression, decreased libido, increased rates of suicide, concentration problems, dizziness, memory changes, increased risk of cancer, tremors, and other neurophysiological effects in populations near base stations."  These symptoms decrease or disappear when the transmitters are turned off (for repair), when people shield their homes from the radiation, or when they leave their immediate environment and are not exposed to this radiation.

Whether the issue is WiFi in schools, cell phone use, or living near cell phones antennas  . . . in all cases people are exposed to microwave radiation.  This radiation is similar to what is emitted by microwave ovens.  The major difference is that the radiation in the microwave oven is supposed to be contained whereas the radiation from all these other devices is not contained.  Indeed it if were contained the devices would not work.

What happens if you put metal into a microwave oven?  It sparks as it reflects the microwave radiation. The same thing happens in your home.  Metal objects reflect this radiation and can produce hotspot.

So the classroom with the WiFi base station and the bedroom with the cell phone antenna nearby become the microwave ovens with the radiation set on low power.

In years to come we will marvel at our stupidity for holding microwave transmitters to our head and installing WiFi base stations in kindergartens and elementary classrooms and placing laptop computers on our lap connecting wirelessly to the internet.  Just as we marvel at using X-rays to fit children's shoes, or allowing baby power containing asbestos to be sold, or spraying DDT from airplanes over both urban and rural communities with children playing outside we will marvel at our stupidity for using microwave radiation in such a frivolous manner for such a minor convenience.

Levitt and Lai correctly state that "Non- ionizing electromagnetic fields are among the fastest growing forms of environmental pollution."  Non-ionizing electromagnetic fields refers to microwaves (WiFi, Wi-Max, mobile phones and mobile phone antennas, as well as radar and other wireless devices that emit between 300 MHz and 300 GHz), radio frequency radiation generated by radio and television broadcast antennas (1 kHz to 300 MHz) and extremely low frequency radiation (below 1 kHz) from electrical wires and appliances.

Despite this we have virtually no research funding to study the effects of this radiation in North America, in part, because Health Canada and the Federal Communication Commission have established guidelines based on a thermal effect with the flawed assumption that the ONLY effect is one of heating despite thousands of scientific documents reporting biological and health effects at levels thousands of times below these thermal guidelines!

So we now have a Canadian NRC journal publishing this important paper on the biological effects of living near antennas; we have a Private Member's Bill in front of the Ontario Legislative Assemble asking that cell phones carry a warning label; we have HESA Committee hearings on this topic with the first inApr 27 and 29, 2010 and the most recent hearing October 28, 2010; we have mayors in several communities from British Columbia to Newfoundland asking that a month be set aside for ElectroHypersSensitivity Awareness; and we have major media CBC, Global TV, as well as radio stations, newspapers, and magazines across the country covering this important topic.  Our recent paperon how radiation from a cordless phone affects the heart just came out last week in a book called "Non-thermal Effects and Mechanisms of Interaction between Electromagnetic Fields and Living Matter " (more on that soon).

What more will it take for Health Canada to admit there is a problem and that the current guidelines we have do not protect the public?  How many people will continue to suffer and how many children will have to die before Health Canada and the Medical Officer of Health in Ontario and in other provinces will admit they are wrong!


This article doesn't mention the added risk from cell phone use but does state that there are about 4.9 billion mobile phone "connections" every month.

Airline frequency fliers face radiation risk from space solar flare activity

by Andrew Hough

The Daily Telegraph (U.K.)

November 5, 2010

Researchers found passengers faced the "hazard" of space radiation, which created unhealthy levels of exposure while flying at "typical cruise altitudes" of 40,000 feet.

Experts warned passengers could be subjected to increasing risk to cancer due to such radiation levels.

Nasa scientists believe the earth is facing danger from a once-in-a-century "solar flare", a disturbance on the Sun's surface that could cause geomagnetic storms on this planet.

One in the mid-19th century blocked the nascent telegraph system and many scientists believe another is overdue.

Researchers from the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Oxon, warned that the electrical grid, computers, telephones, transportation, water supply and food production faced "huge disturbances" from space storms.

Their vulnerability is also blamed on humans' "creeping dependency" on modern technology. For example there are about 4.9 billion mobile phone "connections" every month.

Scientists found aircrew were "the major occupation group" most exposed to the Sun's radiation with passengers also at risk from the phenomenon.

Because the sun's radiation levels had been reasonably low for the past century, its strengthening power in the coming few years would create new health problems.

"Space radiation is a hazard not only to the operation of modern aircraft but also to the health of aircrew and passengers," said the study, titled Space weather and its impact on Earth – implications for business.

"Radiation from space can reach the Earth's atmosphere and create extra radiation exposure for people travelling on aircraft at typical cruise altitudes (40,000 feet).

"The radiation risk to passengers is usually much less than that for aircrew since most passenger spend less time in the air (and) the radiation doses accumulate with time in flight, especially at cruise altitudes."

The study, published by Lloyds of London, the insurance market, added: "However, frequent fliers whose time in the air approaches that of aircrew are equally at risk. There is, as yet, no legal framework for handling such risks."

During one "major space weather event", in October 2003, the FAA issued a formal warned that all routes north and south of 35 degree latitude "were subject to excessive radiation doses" and the researchers said further airline disruption was almost certain.

In 1990 such health risks to aircrew were recognised by the International Commission on Radiological Protection with EU-based aircrew classified as radiation workers in 2000. Most airlines now monitor levels during safety assessments.

Prof Mike Hapgood, the head of the Laboratory's Space Environment Group, who led the study, told The Daily Telegraph that a person flying from London to the US West Coast would receive extra radiation levels to that given from an chest x-ray, which is fairly low.

But Prof Hapgood, who will give evidence to MPs next week, said that during a big solar storm radiation levels would sharply spike, with a passenger on a long haul flight being exposed to the equivalent of dozens of x-rays at once.

"There is an increased risk of cancer," said Prof Hapgood, who undertakes scientific research into "near-Earth space" activity.

"People would be sensible to think about kind of work they do, how much flying they do and what risk that poses. I don't think that is unreasonable."

The Lloyds study urged business to "plan accordingly" and develop safeguards against the event.

The researchers found "vulnerable" and unprepared British firms could be hit with "widespread disruption".

Between five and 10 per cent of critical infrastructure is government owned and business understanding on the subject was "patchy", which left many facing uncertainty.

A power grid or satellite breakdown would leave a multi-million pound cost to the economy as solar flares trigger "cascading failures across systems".

"Because space weather affects major global systems… a very severe outbreak presents a systematic risk," the report said.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed in September that ministers fear the electricity grid, financial networks and transport infrastructure could be paralysed by a solar flare or a nuclear attack.

Such an event would be similar to the recent volcanic ash cloud disruption to airline travel or the chaos caused by the recent bouts of snowy weather, which left a multi-billion pound bill to firms.

The researchers cited a Quebec power grid failure in 1989 which, following a magnetic storm, caused it to shutdown, leaving five million people without electricity during the winter for more than nine hours and left a damage bill of more than C$2billion (£1.23 billion).


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