Friday, May 29, 2009

Professor warns of cellphone health hazards / How to get rid of an illegal U.S. law? / Toxic link WHO / High-speed internet policy

Professor warns of cellphone health hazards    

Updated Wed. May. 27 2009 10:24 AM ET News Staff

A Columbia University professor is warning the public about the negative health effects of man-made electromagnetic fields, which come out of cellphones and power lines. 
Dr. Martin Blank, a professor with the school's Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics, compared the EMF waves to the ripples caused by dropping a pebble into a quiescent pond. 
"The water doesn't move, it just carries the energy further and further out," Blank told CTV's Canada AM Wednesday. 
"It's the same thing about these waves. These waves are generated in all kinds of charges that are present anywhere. 
"When you get an electromagnetic field that's coming out of a power line, or it's coming out of a cellphone antenna or a cellphone tower it's going to do things to the molecules in our body." 
Blank says EMFs in the environment may lead to brain tumours, Alzheimer's disease, dementia and breast cancer.
Blank, who is speaking in Toronto Wednesday on behalf of the BioInitiative Working Group, said past research has focused too much on the thermal effects of man-made EMFs. 
"The heat is what everyone has focused on largely because that was an easy thing to measure," he said. 
However, Blank said researchers are now able to measure biochemical changes. 
"The biochemical changes occur long before there are changes in temperature," he said. 
"That's why people who have focused on the thermal effects, which is the measure of the heat, have gotten the wrong answer." 
He said researchers have concluded that there is no real harm because they haven't found any changes in temperature. 
"That's not true, there's a lot of change going on there," Blank said. 
"One of the changes we've found is the stress response. The cells themselves are telling us that they're in trouble." 
In the "language of the cells," they start to make new proteins that they haven't made before and that they only make when they're in trouble. 
"These stress proteins are made with all these different electromagnetic fields (EMF)," he said. 
"They're made with power line EMFs, they're made with cellphone EMFs and there a clear indication that the cell senses this stuff as potentially harmful."
From: Linda Sepp
How to get rid of an illegal U.S. law?
An important development - the Los Angeles Unified School District unanimously passes a resolution calling for repeal of Sectioon 704 of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996 that preempts states and local governments from taking environmental (i.e. human health) effects into account when denying a permit to site a FCC licensed wireless transmitter.  This Resolution was introduced by LAUSD Board member Julie Korenstein who in 2000 got an ordinance in place to ban cell towers at LA City Public Schools. Many individuals and groups endorsed this new Resolution, see below, including the link to the CLOUT Petition, attached.  
Elizabeth Kelley,

Subject: Los Angeles Unified School District Resolution on Cell Antennas
Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 19:44:52 -0700
Nine years ago, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Board of Education passed a resolution opposing the placement of cellular towers on or near school property.
On May 26, 2009, the LAUSD Board unanimously passed a second resolution concerning the ongoing proliferation of wireless antennas near schools that includes a statement in favor of repealing the Telecommunication Act of 1996's preemption of consideration of health and environmental effects of wireless facilities.
To read both resolutions, please visit the CLOUT website at

While your there, please consider signing CLOUT's petition and ask at least 10 of your friends via email to do the same. Thanks.

Toxic link: the WHO and the IAEA

A 50-year-old agreement with the IAEA has effectively gagged the WHO from telling the truth about the health risks of radiation

Fifty years ago, on 28 May 1959, the World Health Organisation's assembly voted into force an obscure but important agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency the United Nations "Atoms for Peace" organisation, founded just two years before in 1957. The effect of this agreement has been to give the IAEA an effective veto on any actions by the WHO that relate in any way to nuclear power and so prevent the WHO from playing its proper role in investigating and warning of the dangers of nuclear radiation on human health.

The WHO's objective is to promote "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health", while the IAEA's mission is to "accelerate and enlarge the contribution of atomic energy to peace, health and prosperity throughout the world". Although best known for its work to restrict nuclear proliferation, the IAEA's main role has been to promote the interests of the nuclear power industry worldwide, and it has used the agreement to suppress the growing body of scientific information on the real health risks of nuclear radiation.

Under the agreement, whenever either organisation wants to do anything in which the other may have an interest, it "shall consult the other with a view to adjusting the matter by mutual agreement". The two agencies must "keep each other fully informed concerning all projected activities and all programs of work which may be of interest to both parties". And in the realm of statistics a key area in the epidemiology of nuclear risk the two undertake "to consult with each other on the most efficient use of information, resources, and technical personnel in the field of statistics and in regard to all statistical projects dealing with matters of common interest".

The language appears to be evenhanded, but the effect has been one-sided. For example, investigations into the health impacts of the Chernobyl nuclear accident in Ukraine on 26 April 1986 have been effectively taken over by IAEA and dissenting information has been suppressed. The health effects of the accident were the subject of two major conferences, in Geneva in 1995, and in Kiev in 2001. But the full proceedings of those conferences remain unpublished despite claims to the contrary by a senior WHO spokesman reported in Le Monde Diplomatique.

Meanwhile, the 2005 report of the IAEA-dominated Chernobyl Forum, which estimates a total death toll from the accident of only several thousand, is widely regarded as a whitewash as it ignores a host of peer-reviewed epidemiological studies indicating far higher mortality and widespread genomic damage. Many of these studies were presented at the Geneva and Kiev conferences but they, and the ensuing learned discussions, have yet to see the light of day thanks to the non-publication of the proceedings.

The British radiation biologist Keith Baverstock is another casualty of the agreement, and of the mindset it has created in the WHO. He served as a radiation scientist and regional adviser at the WHO's European Office from 1991 to 2003, when he was sacked after expressing concern to his senior managers that new epidemiological evidence from nuclear test veterans and from soldiers exposed to depleted uranium indicated that current risk models for nuclear radiation were understating the real hazards.

Now a professor at the University of Kuopio, Finland, Baverstock finally published his paper in the peer-reviewed journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival in April 2005. He concluded by calling for "reform from within the profession" and stressing "the political imperative for freely independent scientific institutions" a clear reference to the non-independence of his former employer, the WHO, which had so long ignored his concerns.

Since the 21st anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster in April 2007, a daily "Hippocratic vigil" has taken place at the WHO's offices in Geneva, organised by Independent WHO to persuade the WHO to abandon its the WHO-IAEA Agreement. The protest has continued through the WHO's 62nd World Health Assembly, which ended yesterday, and will endure through the executive board meeting that begins today. The group has struggled to win support from WHO's member states. But the scientific case against the agreement is building up, most recently when the European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR) called for its abandonment at its conference earlier this month in Lesvos, Greece.

At the conference, research was presented indicating that as many as a million children across Europe and Asia may have died in the womb as a result of radiation from Chernobyl, as well as hundreds of thousands of others exposed to radiation fallout, backing up earlier findings published by the ECRR in Chernobyl 20 Years On: Health Effects of the Chernobyl Accident. Delegates heard that the standard risk models for radiation risk published by the International Committee on Radiological Protection (ICRP), and accepted by WHO, underestimate the health impacts of low levels of internal radiation by between 100 and 1,000 times – consistent with the ECRR's own 2003 model of radiological risk (The Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses and Low Dose Rates for Radiation Protection Purposes: Regulators' Edition). According to Chris Busby, the ECRR's scientific secretary and visiting professor at the University of Ulster's school of biomedical sciences:

"The subordination of the WHO to IAEA is a key part of the systematic falsification of nuclear risk which has been under way ever since Hiroshima, the agreement creates an unacceptable conflict of interest in which the UN organisation concerned with promoting our health has been made subservient to those whose main interest is the expansion of nuclear power. Dissolving the WHO-IAEA agreement is a necessary first step to restoring the WHO's independence to research the true health impacts of ionising radiation and publish its findings."

Some birthdays deserve celebration but not this one. After five decades, it is time the WHO regained the freedom to impart independent, objective advice on the health risks of radiation.


From: Janet Newton < >
Date: May 28, 2009 11:18:40 AM CDT
Subject: Help with FCC Notice of Inquiry

To All -  Please forward to others who share your concern for stronger wireless safety policy in the United States.

The EMR Policy Institute is preparing comment to submit in the current Federal Communications Commission proceeding to develop the policy for providing high-speed internet service throughout the country -  FCC 09-31

A National Broadband Plan for Our Future.

We are asking for your help as we prepare our comment.  We want to submit to the FCC a substantial list of individuals who express concern that they will be required to live and work in close proximity to wireless internet infrastructure, i.e., transmitters/antennas is close proximity to homes, schools, day care facilities, senior living centers and nursing homes, etc. while the FCC's radiofrequency radiation exposure guidelines do not apply to this kind of long-term, continuous exposure to low-intensity radiofrequency radiation.

In the Notice of Inquiry at page 26, paragraph 68, the pertinent question is asked:

What aspects of broadband policy have improved consumer welfare, promoted competition, and led to technological innovation? Are there negative aspects of broadband that should be considered when assessing consumer welfare?  How can these aspects be minimized while maximizing the potential benefits?

The EMR Policy Institute's comment will include an in-depth discussion of the inadequacy of the FCC RF exposure guidelines based on the current science.  You do not need to address that in your individual statement.

What we need from interested individuals is a brief statement that you are concerned about having to live next to antennas and transmitters if wireless internet is built out in your local environment.  If you already live or work close to a cell tower site or antenna site on a neighboring building, be sure to tell us that.  Let us know if your children are is a school that is close to antennas.

Right now send us a brief statement by e-mail expressing your concern for your long-term health and safety.  You can note a specific issue such as electrohypersensitivity if it applies.

Include your name, physical address, mailing address if that differs, and phone number and the date.

We will call you and e-mail you a formal affidavit which will require your signature and needs to be notarized.

Please e-mail your brief statement as soon as possible.  Our comment has to be filed by June 8th.  We need to get your finished statement sent back to us during the first week of June.

Don't depend on someone else to participate.  We need as many statements as possible.

Thank you for your willingness to participate.

Best regards -  Janet Newton