Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Heart scans linked with cancer risk / power bill appeal / new information / Prof ? / Safety fears / Resource for Schools / Cell Phone Kills Man / BC Hydro / surveillance robot / Israel Radiation / Label

W.E.E.P. News

Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News 

8 February 2011


Multiple heart scans linked with cancer risk

CBC News Feb 7, 2011

Temper enthusiasm for heart imaging, procedures that use radiation


Prosecutor takes his power bill appeal to the top

Posted Saturday, Feb. 05, 2011

Power plants across Texas fail. People have to cope with rolling blackouts. That makes the Watchdog long for the good old days when people complained about smart meters and their bills going up. Good old days? That would be the week before last.

Although the Watchdog can't solve the rolling blackouts, we will continue to shine a light on the Texas electricity system.

Today's victims, er, electricity customers: John and Mary Brasher of Wichita Falls. John Brasher is a 25-year veteran prosecutor in the Wichita County district attorney's office who handles appeals. After his smart meter was installed, his next bill came in four times higher than the previous month's. So the couple launched an appeal with TXU Energy.

First, Mary Brasher called customer service. She got no help. "I knew I was talking to someone overseas. His phrases didn't sound right. I felt like he was reading me a canned answer. He kept repeating the same phrases over and over," she said.

Next, the couple wrote TXU. They even diagnosed their own problem, telling TXU that their old meter reading was most likely inaccurate.

Here are excerpts from their ensuing correspondence.

TXU: "Dear Mr. Brasher ... the meter was accurately read."

Brasher: "Did you even read my last email? ... Where is the old meter? Can it be tested?"

TXU: "All bill dates and due amounts are continuing as normal."

Brasher: "You are absolutely wrong. ... That is crazy, and I do not appreciate your canned answer one bit. I am notifying the Texas Public Utility Commission. Additionally, I would appreciate a chance to review and read the old meter myself. I am sure you have it stored some place. I expect to receive a real answer from you, not a canned answer."

That didn't happen, so John Brasher filed a complaint with the PUC: "TXU will provide us no information about whether the 'old' meter can be located and read. ... We would like a reasonable explanation, rather than the arrogant and condescending responses we have been given by TXU."

The prosecutor continues, "If, in fact, the old meter can no longer be read merely because it has been removed, then that is a loophole that needs to be closed. Otherwise, TXU can claim any electrical usage it wants to without the consumer having any recourse. We can only assume that this is in fact what TXU is doing, since it will not provide any answers to us."

His PUC complaint got everyone's attention, and finally the facts came out.

Oncor Electric Delivery says its reader misread the Brashers' meter two weeks before the old meter was swapped for the smart meter. Oncor realized the error and notified TXU. But TXU didn't tell the Brashers.

Turns out the old meters are stored in a warehouse, and photographs are taken showing the final reading. Until PUC got involved, though, nobody bothered to tell the Brashers that. "Seems to be a straightforward question," Mary Brasher said.

TXU spokesman Michael Patterson accepts blame: "Obviously, we fell a little short. ... There was a disconnect here, and I know that's frustrating to the customer." (Yes, he said "disconnect.")

"The rep that responded didn't connect the dots that maybe there was an issue when they changed the meter."

TXU is tracking the error, he says, and spreading the word among its personnel about what went wrong. As for taking the complaint to the PUC, he adds, "We certainly don't want that for a number of reasons."

The Brashers' bill is now reconciled. But the couple and TXU aren't. The Brashers say they're switching electricity companies.

There's good news here. If part of the problem is, in fact, canned answers from overseas customer service reps who don't always understand the complexities of the company they serve, TXU offers a better solution: The company has announced that it is adding new call centers in Abilene and Lubbock and expanding a call center in Irving. The moves are supposed to create and save 500 jobs.

Where are the remaining TXU customer service jobs?

"We don't disclose specific numbers for our customer contact centers, but with this reconfiguration, the company will have a 70 percent domestic, 30 percent Latin America mix," Patterson said.

The Watchdog has previously reported that TXU call centers were situated in Bangalore, India; Krakow, Poland; and the Philippines.

Those overseas outposts are gone -- replaced, Patterson says, by what TXU calls "near-shore operations." These, he said, are "in Spanish-speaking regions, and they consistently provide us with cost-effective and high-quality service for our customers."

The Brashers say they don't care who answers the phone as long as they get correct and honest answers.

The Watchdog column appears Fridays and Sundays.




The website now has new information:


1)  Expert Letters to CCST

2)  RF Studies (a collection of RF studies reporting bioeffects and adverse health effects
at levels similar or lower than smart meters and cell towers.

3)  The Seletun Scientific Statement - the latest international recommendations for
chronic exposures to low-intensity RF (cell towers, WI-FI, smart meters) and
warnings to pregnant women, and for children.

Cindy Sage




Following is a link to a newsletter in which a Prof. Parks (not deserving of the title) from the University of Maryland is mocking Arthur &  Electromagnetic Sensitivity. 

This is not the first time he has expressed his ignorant opinions on the topic on the University's Newsletter.

 Please send an email to the University expressing disgust by his words and the fact that the university is facilitating offensive behavior towards people with disabilities. (email addresses of university officials  are following). 

Please forward this email and ask your friends to write an email. 

University officials email addresses:

Thank you

Herald Sun
As reported by the Herald Sun on January 4, the Coalition is reviewing the rollout of the smart meters. There are fears families will be charged $900 each ...
Wireless Dangers - A Resource for Schools

wifiinschools.org.uk have put together a document for UK schools entitled 'Wireless technologies and young people - A resource for schools', January 2011.  It may be useful for anyone wanting to raise the issue of wireless technology safety with schools. It is available on the www.wifiinschools.org.uk home page.


It contains current guidance from the UK Department of Health and NHS Direct, resources for discussing mobile phone safety with young people, international advice, frequently asked questions, suggestions for best practice in educational settings and extracts from research studies.  Please feel free to pass on to Schools, Parent Teacher Associations and Governing Bodies.








Exploding Cell Phone Kills Man


(Newser) – A man in Guangzhou, China, was killed last week when his cell phone blew up and severed an artery in his neck, the Times of London reports. The young shop clerk is believed to have put the phone in his breast pocket straight after charging a new battery before it exploded. Police are investigating whether the phone or battery were counterfeit and warn that consumers should always use original batteries.

Claiming that this is the ninth cell phone explosion recorded in China since 2002, a local paper offered these other tips on how to avoid being injured or killed by your phone:

  • Never modify your phone
  • Do not expose your phone to high temperatures or direct sunlight
  • Avoid long phone conversations
  • Keep your phone in a bag, not a pocket
BC Hydro's dubious 'green' devices
FEBRUARY 1, 2011 
John O'Connor
News Editor


BC Hydro's latest couple of impetuous techno-ideas reflect its lack of consultation and its apparent allegiance to big telecommunications and the "green" movement.

Last month, the B.C. government's ban on incandescent light bulbs kicked in under the BC Liberals' "green" agenda, backed by BC Hydro and its PowerSmart initiative. The ban forces British Columbians to purchase compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), a more energy efficient bulb.

But it seems legislators and Hydro have handled the matter irresponsibly. Reports over the last two months in several media reports have warned of mercury toxicity (a component in the CFL bulbs) as well as negative health effects from the electro-magnetic frequency emitted from the bulbs.

"Around the world the advice is to change the lights to "green" bulbs—but they are not really green. They pollute much more light," said Abraham Haim, a professor of biology at Haifa University in Israel, in an interview with the London Telegraph this week.

Haim cited studies that indicate an increase in breast cancer as a result of the melatonin-suppressing and heart rate-increasing effects from CFLs.

And then there is the mercury problem: CFLs contain small amounts of mercury encased in the lamp tube. Disposing of these things basically requires an environmental disaster team! Don't think for a minute that there won't be many Joe Q. Citizens out there who will simply throw them in the trash, eventually contaminating our landfills and wherever else they are disposed—the Merritt News found fluorescent lights in the glass recycling bin last year.

It takes only the small amount of mercury found in the average thermometer to contaminate 5 million gallons of water. Mercury is also highly toxic in vapour form.

To top it all off, CFLs cost an arm and a leg compared to the traditional incandescent bulbs.

But don't worry, they are purported to last longer than their predecessor.

Another of Hydro's dubious distinctions is the smart meter device. Hydro says it will, over time, save the utility millions and help lower power rates.

Just when you couldn't possibly imagine another wireless device being thrown into the e-pollution conundrum we all live in, the smart meter is sure to crank up the frequencies in the airwaves, simply so that Hydro can more easily monitor your power consumption without sending a real person.

I got the feeling in talking with BC Hydro spokespersons that they really have not carried out any third-party safety studies on the biological effects of radiation from smart meters and are simply relying on Health Canada's flawed and outdated Safety Code 6, which has been at the heart of much controversy lately.

A U.S. firm, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), has been under fire recently after thousands of complaints from customers regarding the implementation of smart meters and the effects, they say, are making them sick.

Homeowners have requested an emergency moratorium on PG&E's wireless gas and electric Smart Meters.

But in the end, companies like PG&E, BC Hydro, and telecom companies claim their wireless devices are safe, even though there is scant, if any, third-party testing, and federal exposure limitations on radiation in North America are of the lowest in the world.

The outcry in the U.S. provoked Jared Huffman, a California State Assembly member, to introduce a bill that would require PG&E to give homeowners an opt-out from smart metering.
BC Hydro told the Merritt News that homeowners who feel smart meters would affect their health are able to opt out of the smart meter program.

Smart meter installations in B.C. are scheduled to begin later this year. The metering contracts went to Corix Utilities and tech firm Capgemini.




TiaLinx's Cougar20-H surveillance robot can peer through walls, see you breathe

You may be able to outrun it, but you probably won't be able to hide from TiaLinx's new Cougar20-H surveillance robot. While it might not look like much, the bot packs an impressive RF array that's not only able to detect movement within a building (though concrete walls, no less), but is even able to detect a person breathing inside a building at "long standoff distances." Perhaps not surprisingly, complete details are largely being kept under wraps (the bot was developed with some help from the U.S. Army), but this isn't simply a prototype -- it'll be rolling out next month and is expected to be put to use byvarious law enforcement and government agencies. Head on past the break for the official press release.
Israel Radiation Levels Discussed
The Knesset will advance a law regarding the presentation of the radiation level on the mobile phone and a warning when there is low reception.  Prof Sadezky presented data on cell phones and driving, in Russia the phone use was banned, in 21 states in the US young people's use during driving is banned, in Swizterland, France and England it is banned as well.
There is a concern that cell phones damage health, she said in the Knesset, it is needed to be careful even if the relationship on cause and effect were not proven yet. She said that in the case of cell phones, the cost of precautionary principle is minor and so there is no reason not to implement it.  In 2007, she presented, there were in Israel 245,000 12-15 year old youth with cell phones,
they are especially sensitive and there is a need for guidelines for them. Increased risk of 34% of parotid gland tumor in the Interphone, she presented a review of several studies [including Hardell's], which showed that within several years there is no excess of risk but even a protective effect of the phone, after 10 years the risk increased 1.3 fold (acoustic neuroma)
 1.1 fold (benign meningioma), risk of glioma on the same side 1.9 fold,  acoustic neruroma on the same side 1.6 and 1.3 for meninglioma on the same side where the phone is held.
Non-thermal Warning Label
I have the distinct and great pleasure of announcing the first non-thermal language warning label in the world, putting non-thermal effects from cell phones on the table, has been officially filed in the state of Oregon today.  THe beauty of the non-thermal language is it opens the door to the whole entire issue of non-thermal effects to EVERYTHING...not just cell phones!  People are now going to be asking, what is non-thermal?  Why should this be on my cell phone?  The issue of non-thermal, as we all know is the issue of health effects.

Attached is a press release and below is a link to an Oregon News Show on the bill.

The press release has our lobbying sister group,  http://www.AmericanAssociationForCellPhoneSafety.org  as contact info instead of this one as there are legalities with lobbying directly through non profits.  

I would like to also thank David Morrison and Wirelesswatchblog.com for all his relentless hard work and devotion to this serious health issue in the state of Oregon.

Have a wonderful day.

Liz et all.
Cellphones 'a threat to unborn babies'

Times LIVE
Pregnant women should not use cellphones because electromagnetic radiation from them could harm their unborn babies. This was the warning issued last week ...

To sign up for WEEP News: newssignup@weepinitiative.org  (provide name and e-mail address)

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