Monday, October 26, 2009

Survey of Health Symptoms from EMR / Study Links Cell Phones to Brain Tumors / Ont. farmer launches court battle against wind farm plans

European Survey On the biological and health symptoms experienced by people living close to relay antennas.

In the face of the present unprecedented increase in artificial microwave radiation in the environment, there is a vital need to obtain up to date information as a basis for a comprehensive assessment of the impact of this radiation on people's health.

This questionnaire for the general public is easy to fill in and anonymous. For it to be credible and representative it is essential for it to be circulated widely in Europe and worldwide so that we can amass the maximum statistical data.

Designed originally in a printed version by Dr Roger Santini, it has been updated so that people who live close to relay antennas can give the full details of their experience.

The statistics gathered from this enquiry will be sent anonymously to scientists and health organisations for analysis and publication.


Study Links Cell Phones to Brain Tumors

Washington, D.C. (WUSA) -- Many of us can't live without them, but could our cell phones cause brain tumors?

According to the National Cancer Institute, every time we place a cell phone to our ear we expose our brains to a form of electromagnetic radiation. But  is it enough to cause a brain tumor?

Dr. Deepa Subramaniam with the Brain Tumor Center at Georgetown, points to a study released October 13th in the Journal of Clinical Oncology

"They did find a statistically significant association between the development of brain tumors and the use of mobile phones for over 10 years," she said.

And London's Daily Telegraph points to World Health Report set to be released later this year. The 10-year study finds a link between cell phone use and brain tumors.

But Subramaniam says these studies have one major flaw. They look at the past and ask people to recall their use. She says it would be better to conduct an ongoing study that asks people to keep a diary of cell phone use over time and see who develops brain tumors.

Many people believe using a bluetooth headset will protect them. But Subramaniam said that technology is untested as well. Most people say they won't cut back on talk time unless the evidence is concrete.

"I'd want more conclusive information that there's actually health hazards out there," said Mary Praxmarer.

"I would have to know more about how the study was conducted and find out if there was more than just a link-- something that proved causality before it would really change what I did," said Rachel Nelli.

Subramaniam says for now, try to use your speakerphone or a landline. And it's best to keep cell phones away from kids.

Ont. farmer launches court battle against wind farm plans, cites health concerns

TORONTO — A farmer on a small island in Prince Edward County, Ont., who said he fears the constant swooshing of wind turbines will harm his family's health launched a legal challenge Monday against Ontario's wind power plans.

Ian Hanna said his application for judicial review, being called the first of its kind, is his latest appeal to the government after petitions failed to stop plans for five turbines about 900 metres away from his property on Big Island in the Bay of Quinte.

The community of about 100 homes will be overwhelmed by the turbines, he charged.

"My parents taught us when we were growing up that we should stand up for what we thought is good and right and whether that's for my family or for my neighbours, I intend to do that," he said.

Hanna is calling on the courts to strike down parts of Ontario's Green Energy Act and wants an injunction against the approval of turbine projects until independent health studies have been completed.

The application claims there is scientific uncertainty about the effects of wind power on those who live close to the loud and powerful turbines. Documents filed with the court say the province has not taken those concerns into account in application and approval procedures for new wind turbines.

During a press conference to launch the legal action, Dr. Robert McMurtry, former dean of medicine at the University of Western Ontario, said there are over 100 people in Ontario suffering from adverse health effects from the intermittent swooshing of wind turbines and many have had to leave their homes.

Health effects reported from residents living close to the windmills include sleep deprivation, cardiac arrhythmia, nausea, heart palpitations, depression, anxiety and severe headaches, said McMurtry, who added turbines create a level of noise that is more disruptive than traffic or airplanes.

McMurtry, who has been calling for an independent epidemiological study into health effects from wind turbines since November 2008, said it is not known exactly how many residents could be affected by the turbines but added Hanna speaks for thousands of Ontario residents.

Energy Minister George Smitherman dismissed those concerns Monday, saying it's no surprise the vocal anti-wind power groups would take such action.

"For us it's business as usual, which is moving forward to promote more renewable energy in Ontario and provide 50,000 additional jobs."

Wind Concerns Ontario, an amalgamation of Ontario community organizations opposed to wind power in populated areas, is raising money for Hanna's cause.

The group's president, John Laforet, said it's unfortunate that Hanna has had to resort to taking the government to court to get their attention.

"We should not be at point where we need the legal system to protect our health, it should be the job of the government," he said.

The application says the legislation violates a precautionary principle in the Environmental Bill of Rights that indicates human health must be taken into consideration when new turbine installations are proposed.

The government has touted the Green Energy Act as a tool to create jobs and protect the environment as it works to bring more renewable power online and build better transmission lines to move energy where it's most needed.

Premier Dalton McGuinty enacted legislation last month that stipulated that industrial wind turbines will have to be at least 550 metres away from the nearest homes.

Rick James, a noise consultant from the U.S., said at the press conference Monday that adverse health effects have been reported from as much as two kilometres away, meaning setbacks should be increased to more appropriate distances in quiet rural areas.

He called the sound the turbines make "distinctively annoying," adding, "it's like a plane overhead that never leaves."

James said the issues with wind power in Ontario are happening across the world, but this legal action is the first of its kind.

Ontario Conservative MP Bill Murdoch has also called for a provincewide moratorium on wind farms and wants the province's chief medical officer of health to look into whether wind turbines cause health problems for residents who live near them.

New wind energy projects should proceed only after approval from the province's medical and environmental experts, he said.