Friday, December 10, 2010

Meters and Books for Christmas / Backyard hazards DAS Transmission boxes / Environmental Health Trust / Airport scanner debate / Mobile phones' effect on child behaviour

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News

10 December 2010

With Christmas approaching quickly, I hope that you have considered giving EMF related gifts to family and friends.  There are many EMF detection meters that are educational and may save lives and serious illnesses. 

The two main suppliers in North America are : Canada USA

There are many excellent books that would also make great gifts.

Here are some that you may want to consider:

More Silent Fields - Donna Fisher

Dirty Electricity     - Samuel Milham

Zapped                 - Ann Louise Gittleman

Disconnect            - Devra Davis

Living Safely with EMF - Jim Waugh

The Sick House Survival Guide - Angela Hobbs

Cell Phones           - Dr. George Carlo

Radiation Rescue   - K Crofton

The Electrical Sensitivity Handbook - Lucinda Grant

Electromagnetic Fields - B. Blake Levitt

Body Electric         - Robert Becker

The Great Power Line Cover Up - Paul Brodeur

The Powerwatch Handbook - Alasdair and Jean Philips

Would You Put Your Head in a Microwave Oven - Gerald Goldberg


Garden City residents gird for battle against backyard hazards

By Phil Hecken

December 8, 2010

Residents of Garden City are preparing to face off against NextG, a contractor for Metro PCS, in a fight over the placement of "Distributed Antenna System" (DAS) transmission boxes and antennas recently installed in some backyards.

Residents are fearful of the negative health effects caused by emissions from these devices, as well as decreasing property values in an already depressed housing market.

Given legal status as a "utility" by the New York State PSC, and sweeping powers under the 1996 Federal Telecommunications Act, NextG has installed DAS devices in 275 locations throughout Nassau County, but only nine are located in the public easements located behind residents' backyards. All nine of those are in Garden City.

NextG claims it "provides wireless services where large cell towers don't work." However, this is debatable since Garden City already has several cell phone towers.

The Village, operating through its Trustee-system of Government, originally denied NextG permission to put their equipment on village-owned property, as residents requested. However, because NextG is considered a utility under the law, the Village cannot deny them access to the public easements which contain other utility connections. Although the devices are installed, they are not yet operational, since the actual wireless "nodes" have yet to be activated.

NextG's original proposal to place their DAS equipment on Village property "was unacceptable to the residents," said Mayor Robert Rothschild. "So we made the decision that we would go back to NextG and ask them to come up with an alternate proposal."

Unfortunately for the Village, that was not exactly what residents had in mind.

"We stopped them from the fronts of houses, but they put them on the easements behind homes," continued the Mayor. "They legally have a right to do that."

Residents feel NextG was stealth-like in installing the boxes, often placing them on utility poles without first informing residents, and installing them when residents were at work or on vacation.

"One day I returned from work to find a 'big green box' on the utility pole located in the easement of my backyard," says Garden City resident Mary Timmins. "Sometimes it seems [the Village Trustees] don't address the process and procedures," she said. "It's irritating. Village residents are not informed of the end game. I cannot believe that legislation would allow for this absurd situation."

"Unfortunately, or fortunately, NextG is another utility that has a right to be there," Rothschild said. " I've never had a complaint about Verizon being in anyone's backyard, or Cablevision being in anyone's backyard or LIPA being in anyone's backyard."

"NextG is a public utility," said Peter Heimdahl, Sr. Director of Government Relations for NextG. "We enjoy the same rights and privileges as other utilities."

Elsewhere, other localities have attempted to stop wireless providers from installing equipment close to their homes. "Moms of Merrick" (MOM) was recently formed to try to combat the sudden scourge of cell phone antennas (which are different from DAS) to "create a cell antenna free zone around schools and homes, to more strictly regulate the placement of future cell antennae, not only in Merrick and Bellmore, or even Long Island, but throughout the country," according to its mission statement. MOM and others also recently commenced a $100 million lawsuit against NextG.

The Town of Hempstead this past summer enacted one of the toughest cell tower laws in the country, requiring wireless providers to demonstrate that new installations are necessary because of gaps in service. The new law would encourage providers to locate towers and antennae at existing wireless facilities on public land and prohibit new structures within 1,500 feet of homes and schools.

But this law would not affect Garden City, since it applies only to cell towers. While other localities have DAS units, only Garden City residents have them in their backyards, since Garden City prohibited NextG from attaching them to Village property located on public property in front of their yards.

While FCC studies have examined a possible link between RF (Radio Frequency) exposure and cancer, no causal link has yet been found.

"This is safe technology," counters NextG's Heimdahl. "I wish I had this. I'd have it in my backyard."

As to why it's needed, he said, "This is critical technology that carries 9-1-1 traffic. So if you want to think of it from a safety standpoint, think of it that way."

Heimdahl stated the Radio Frequency (RF) given off by these units is well below what the FCC permits. "We've got two studies. One's empirical and one's an actual cite that shows we're 300,000 times below the FCC (limits)," he said. NextG would be using "the same technology" as in those studies.

"These systems are more common than you'd think," says Gary Fishberg, Village Counsel. "How do you think you get cell phone reception in Roosevelt Field?" Residents say they don't live at the mall. "We might go to Roosevelt Field for a half hour at a time," said resident Lauren Davies. "When (the DAS is) in your backyard, it's there 24 hours a day, seven days a week."

Garden City Trustees aren't giving in just yet. "We will attempt to do what we can," said Mayor Rothschild. "We'll attempt to address the concerns of the residents and get NextG to be cooperative." He cautioned that "we've gotten legal counsel that say the Village has no power to regulate this kind of installation since NextG is a public utility."

The Village Trustees recently unanimously voted to have the systems tested for RF and other possibly harmful transmissions.

"I used to work in this business, not for NextG, but a competitor, actually," said Trustee Dennis Donnelly, who noted has met privately with local Legislators who are taking a wait-and-see approach. "We will still need to find funding to do the testing and hire a firm to conduct the tests," he said, but agrees the Village has an obligation to determine whether the DAS systems pose a health threat.

"One way or the other," Rothschild said, the Village is prepared to take action. "This is not something that will be dropped."


Environmental Health Trust

PO Box 58

Teton Village, WY 83025

December 9, 2010

As we prepare for the  holiday season, I want to thank you all for what you have done to help make 2010 the best year ever for Environmental Health Trust.  It does take a village to promote sensible policies to curb environmental health hazards, and I am very happy that you are part of mine.  We have worked with some of the world's top scientists and local officials ranging from the Mayors of Jackson, Wyoming, Portland, Maine, Philadelphia and San Francisco, to parliamentary leaders or experts in Canada, U.K., Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Brazil and France.

Media response to the launch of my new book, Disconnect, has been amazing.  Stories covering this work have been among the most emailed in both the New York Times, the Washington Post, and TIME magazine, and also the subject of broad radio and television attention from Australia, Japan, Canada, U.K. and the U.S. We are getting tremendous traction and have provided expert testimony to cities in the U.S. and national governments around the world.  CSPAN covered the book's inaugural Maloy Lecture at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and the CBC, NPR and many U.S. television and radio stations have provided coverage.

But while our work is already starting to direct public policy, there is still much more that needs to be done. To this purpose, I am writing to ask if you can help us with a remarkable chance to double our funds for two essential programs. An anonymous donor has offered us $75,000 if we can  match money that we receive by the end of this year, so that we can support cutting edge research with expert scientists in this country, Brazil and Israel, and develop and provide training materials and programs based on this work. EHT cannot continue to protect you or your loved ones without these essential programs:
Critical pilot research projects and public seminars on cell phone science and health will be held at some of the top institutions of the world in San Francisco, London and Boston.  

  • Hands-on training programs for parents, teachers and students will show how cell phone radiation works and how to reduce it in order to promote responsible and safe cell phone use with local contests to produce posters, stickers, and YouTube videos that spread the word.

We are working with experts, schools, and community groups to hold major events in London, Ottawa, San Francisco, Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Washington, DC. This offer of matching funds gives us a tremendous boost.  Most health professionals are unaware of the robust and growing science on cell phone health consequences.  It is appalling to realize that the U.S. has a paltry research program underway in this field, despite the massive growth of this technology.  If cell phones were a drug, there would be a system for recording reports of problems.

Amazingly, no such system exists today.

Our research teams are prepared to carry out cutting-edge studies that will clarify the ways that cell phone affect children and the rest of us and promote appropriate public health policies and research.  These research and major training programs must be carried out and must be begun soon, given the tremendous growth in use of this now universal technology.

We have researchers like Alvaro deSalles, one of the world's top experts in brain modeling, ready to produce clear compelling models of children's brains and bodies, and world-renowned epidemiologists like Siegal Sadetzki of Tel Aviv Medical University, whose work sets Israeli government policy, ready to join us in conducting state of the art training programs, promote surveillance programs to understand how cell phones are affecting health today, and conduct workshops at major institutions around the world to promote better understanding of the issues and recruit new scientists to the field. 

But, we need the funds to support this work now.

Here at EHT we believe your ability to influence your own future should not be delayed while government, industry or the medical community work to provide conclusive evidence and laws.  That can take decades.  If you had a chance to prevent a global epidemic from tobacco by galvanizing research and public understanding on its dangers in the 1960s, would you done so?  We face a similar situation now with one important difference.  Cell phones are revolutionary devices that can save lives, but we must be smart about how we use them.

So, this year, we are focusing on your right to know about how to reduce your exposure to microwave radiation when you use your cell phone.  The need for clear, honest consumer information for people buying cell phones grows every day.  None of the other issues we've worked on has affected such a broad range of people in every corner of the world.   Would you allow your children or grandchildren to be part of an uncontrolled experiment while we wait decades to find proof of  harms in humans that have already been demonstrated in animals?   If you wouldn't, we'd like to help you understand simple things you can do to reduce the amount of microwave radiation you and your family are exposed to every day when you use your phone.   And we need your help in seeing that more and more people become aware that they can lower their risks by taking these simple steps.

A dedicated team of volunteers and I have made real progress this year, exposing the issue to millions across the globe. But we need your help to continue providing information and support free of industry or political influence.

I remind you that the problem we face now is an urgent one. Soon there will be so many using cell phones for so long, we will be unable to study the problem at all. We will have lost all hope of having what science needs for such studies in people—a suitable control group without exposure.  That's why we must advance experimental work on this issue, improve the ability to model the brains and bodies of children, pregnant women, young men who wish to become fathers, and the 98% of all those who have smaller brains and bodies than the big guy model on which all cell phone standards are set today.

Help us to help our scientists and colleagues do what is needed to understand and resolve some of the most vexing and important public health challenges the world has ever faced. With specialists from around the world, including those from nations that have issued precautionary advice to children, like Israel, Finland and France, the Washington Expert Conference that EHT produced last year created a treasure trove of specific research and policy recommendations, and we must act on them now.

My U.S. Senate testimony of last year proposing warning labels on cell phones, a major research agenda, and a one dollar fee on all phones to support that research can still be seen on CSPAN. Since then, important new developments about cell phones and health have taken place in Norway, Australia, France, Israel, Finland and now nationally, in Maine, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and California, making resoundingly clear the value in having EHT's scope extend from the local to national and international levels.  

None of this would have been possible without your support and the tremendous help I've received from our largely volunteer staff of Ellie Marks, Director of Government and Public Affairs and Lloyd Morgan, Senior Science Fellow, our talented young energetic staffer, Nasreen Hosein, the counsel of Susan Eriksen-Meier, Rob Stuart of Evolve Strategies and a number of residents and graduate students who believe in what we are trying to do.  We are working with a Jackson Action team in Wyoming and have other enthusiastic volunteers from Maine to California who are stepping in to spread the word. We've also been able to draw on some of the world's top experts in the field from Australia, Switzerland, Israel and France. While some of them prefer to remain anonymous, we have recently posted the names of those who are serving as our Scientific Advisory Group. Finally, we are pleased to be working with talented collaborators such as Radiation Research Trust, I'm Too Young for This--young cancer survivors group and Healthy Child, Health World.

During these challenging economic times, raising funds to support research and public outreach remains a very tough sell.  Please ask yourself if you can provide something to help us reach our goal so that we can achieve our matching goal of $75,000 by the end of the year.  These moneys will allow experts to advance the modeling of the brain of children, support the collection of vital information on children's uses of cell phones and other wireless devices, promote our hands-on training programs in the schools around the nation to encourage children and teenagers to take simple precautions.

This is not a theoretical hazard—certainly the governments of Finland, France, China and Israel—nations with sophisticated appreciation of microwave radiation—are taking steps.  You can help us now by protecting yourselves and donating to us online or through appreciated assets.

All donations are anonymous, every donor can contact us to specify which projects or campaigns they'd like to donate to, and we can provide you with receipts for taxing reports. Any questions or comments can be sent to  or you can call our office at 202 544 7731.

For my part,  I continue to be blessed with good friends, a loving family, and the generous support of strangers and anonymous donors who are helping me to make prevention the cure for cancer and other chronic disease.  I remain deeply grateful for your support and wish good health and happiness to you and your families in 2011.


Devra Davis PHD MPH


Professor adds to new airport scanner debate

The Daily Athenaeum

... out electromagnetic waves. X-rays give off ionized radiation, he said. ... to sub-nanometers can change cellular mechanisms, which can cause cancer. ...


Mobile phones' effect on child behaviour

The latest research to receive high profile attention in the British national press is a paper studying the affect of pre- and post-natal exposure to mobile phones on young children. The primary author published the only other paper on this issue in 2008, finding that both exposures were associated with an increase in misbehaviour in the children by the age of 7. This association was particularly marked with prenatal exposure (mother's exposure whilst pregnant with the child).

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W.E.E.P. – The Canadian initiative to stop Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution