Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mass power-line protest / No-texting-while-driving law / An Experiment in Microwave Sickness / Fibromyalgia = Microwave Sickness?

Mass power-line protest
By Hanneke Brooymans, edmontonjournal.comNovember 25, 2009 7:33 AM
The Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans group drew about 2,000 people to Rexall Place on Tuesday.
Photograph by: Shaughn Butts, edmontonjournalcom
EDMONTON — More than 2,000 people showed up at Rexall Place on Tuesday to demand the province bury proposed electrical transmission lines.
The rally was the largest yet organized by a group called Responsible Electricity Transmission for Albertans or RETA. The group was hoping to demonstrate that it has large public support for its stance.
There are four potential routes for the double-circuit 500 kilovolt line to connect the Heartland region northeast of Fort Saskatchewan to existing transmission facilities either west of Edmonton or in southern Edmonton.
Many of the residents living near the four routes are worried about health, safety, environmental, esthetic and property value impacts.
"We need to tell our elected officials it's time they reflected our wishes, that they did what we want," RETA president Bruce Johnson said to applause.
Power-line proponents say it could cost four to 20 times more to bury the line than to string it from 20-storey high towers They aren't sure burying it is warranted or possible.
There are two ongoing studies-- one commissioned by Alberta Energy and one by the Alberta Electric System Operator and the proponents AltaLink and Epcor--to determine if burying the line is feasible. The difficulty is that there aren't many examples of buried double-circuit 500 kV lines to study.
Stephen Kane of AltaLink provided the meeting an update on their feasibility investigation. He said they visited the existing system in Tokyo and found that it had been in service for nearly 10 years with no major operational problems. It had similar cable technology and operating voltage to what would be required for the Heartland project.
One of the challenges, though, is that Alberta has extreme winters, Kane said, and no similar 500 kV system worldwide operates under such cold conditions.
That means prototype testing would be required. The team is collecting prices from major civil contractors with experience in constructing underground facilities to find out how much it might cost here.
If the AESO does determine that using underground transmission presents a technically feasible option, then the Heartland team will include an underground option in its facility application, Kane said.
Johnson said their studies indicate it would cost an extra 50 cents per month per household to bury the Heartland line. "You wonder why we're even having a debate."
He noted that Alberta Energy Minister Mel Knight had suggested that only affected people should pay, not everyone in province. But that's like saying people who don't drive cars shouldn't have to pay for roads, he said. "Society doesn't work like that."
Brian Gettel, a real estate expert and member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada, told the meeting that large transmission-line projects began to affect property values in the late'70s, when a study came out noting that a cancer cluster was located next to a line.
He said a U.S. court awarded damages to claimants whose property values dropped due to fear about construction of nearby lines. The court said it didn't matter if the basis for the fear was provable or not, Gettel said.
RETA also brought in Magda Havas, a Trent University associate professor of environmental and resource studies, from Peterborough, Ont., to speak about the effect of electromagnetic energy on health, particularly the health of children.
If the line is not buried, Havas predicted there would probably be an increase in cancers, primarily in young children, but that there would be more cases of cancer among adults, as well. Others would have trouble working and would feel ill
She said she's not sure how many would be affected, but added that one-third of the general population is sensitive to electromagnetic fields. The number affected depends partly on how close to homes the lines would run.
"It's absolutely critical they not be placed near schools," she said.
That was on the mind of Norm Larsen of Sherwood Park. He said he was at the meeting because he has a daughter at Colchester, an elementary school along one of the proposed routes. "She'd be attending that school and she has the potential of coming into contact with electromagnetic radiation."
Larsen wants the line buried. "That seems to be a solution. I'm not an expert, but I haven't heard anything indicating it's not a reasonable solution."
He doubts anyone would want to live next to the lines if they're overhead. "I'd like to know where the people who want this are living. Will they live under the lines?"
Derek and Stacey Waldie came with their two young children, ages six and four. They, too, were worried about their children "I don't think you can put a price on safety," Stacey said.
This will likely be the last public meeting held before the Heartland project team announces its preferred and alternate routes for the transmission line.
RETA says it has a registered membership of close to 4,000 people who live along the potential four routes.
© Copyright (c) The Edmonton Journal

No-texting-while-driving law goes into effect Dec. 1

Wednesday, Nov 25th, 2009

Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Don't hold the phone. On Tuesday, Dec. 1, it becomes a crime for a 16- or 17-year-old driver to use any cell phone — handheld or not — in Colorado. And no driver may text while behind the wheel.

Patrick Sims, a Colorado high school senior, killed a 63-year-old man because Sims was sending a text message while driving. Nine-year-old Erica Forney in Fort Collins was killed by a cell-phone-using distracted driver. A truck driver who was distracted by his cell phone ran his truck off I-76 during rush hour, causing secondary accidents from flying debris. One week after five girls graduated from high school, they were killed in an accident attributed to texting while driving. A young mother lost her leg in Colorado Springs, impaled against her car by a driver on a cell phone.  

  • 66% of drivers 18 to 24 years old are sending or receiving text messages while driving.  
  • Motorists on cell phones exhibit the reaction speed and coordination of drivers with blood alcohol levels exceeding 0.08 — that's like getting behind the wheel after 4 drinks!
  • Drivers on cell phones are four times more likely to be in an accident.
  • A 2002 study showed that talking on a cell phone was the cause of at least 2,600 deaths and 330,000 injuries annually.

House Bill 09-1094 was sponsored by State Representatives Claire Levy (D-Boulder), Randy Fischer and John Kefalas and State Senator Bob Bacon (all D-Fort Collins).  

"It is inherently dangerous to multitask while you drive. This bill is aimed at the most dangerous distraction commonly engaged in: text messaging and e-mailing while driving. If this new law prevents just one more senseless death or injury, HB 1094 will have done its job," said Rep. Levy.

Rep. Fischer said, "When presented with the sobering evidence documenting the risks of texting while driving, the legislature took decisive action to address this growing public safety issue. I'm pleased to have worked alongside Rep. Levy and others to get this bill enacted into Colorado law. It will save lives!"

Starting Tuesday, any driver who has been sending text messages, tweets or e-mails while driving can be charged with a secondary offense if pulled over by law enforcement. Because it is not a primary offense, drivers will not be ticketed only for texting but can receive two charges if they have, for example, exceeded the speed limit (primary) and are texting (secondary).

However, any driver under the age of 18 using a cell phone, even a speakerphone, to talk or text, can be pulled over as a primary offense.
First offenders will be required to pay a $50 fine, but phone-addicted teens and chronic texters will face a $200 penalty if ticketed again. 




An Experiment in Microwave Sickness
Saturday, November 14, 2009
A friend gave me a subscription to Bottom Line- Personal for Christmas last year. It gives advice on consumer issues, investing and health. Most of the time I read it and wonder why it isn't a well-known publication. Tonight it may have changed my life. The headline on this issue (November 15, vol. 30, number 22) reads, "Don't Stand In Front of the Microwave", written by Magda Havas, PhD, Trent University. Dr. Havas writes that "Radiation levels up to 1,000 times lower than the FCC guidelines have been shown to affect our health".

A 2007 study reported that cell phone users who spend more than 22 hours per month on their cell were 58% more likely to develop tumors on their salivary glands. Another study determined that 2 types of brain tumors had doubled on the "phone side" of the head after a decade of cell phone use. The studies funded by telecom companies typically lasted 6 years or less, not long enough for tumors to develop; and most of the studies defined "heavy usage" as using a cell a few times a week, far from the ubiquitous times it's come to be used.

Cordless phones (this is where my mental lightbulb came on) pose the same risks. Cordless phones with DECT are even worse. Dr. Havas' recommendation is to replace your household phones with corded phones.

So the dots started connecting in my brain. Since 2001 I have had swollen lymph glands on the left side of my head, neck and clavicle. Twice, surgeons have removed and biopsied these abnormally large glands. No cancer, no explanation. My former GP actually said to me, "Maybe you're just a person who gets large glands." For the last four years a gland just above my clavicle has remained swollen and here and there, a gland or two will swell and go down. Always on the left side. I've had a cordless phone since 2000. Being pretty much a social person, and now homebound, I spend more than 22 hours a week on my cordless phone. Much more. And it's always on my left side, often cradled in my neck and shoulder.

Luckily I own two corded phones and have connected them both tonight. I'm going to go without the cordless for 6 months and see if my glands return to normal.

As for the microwaves, most ovens leak a fair share of electromagnetic radiation. The Dr. suggests: "Put your cell phone inside the oven and close the door (do not turn on the microwave), call the cellphone number. If you hear the phone ring, the cell signal was able to pass thru the walls of the oven- meaning that microwaves are able to pass out". She has tested the levels inside her home, and detected electromagnetic radiation from 20 feet away. So leave the kitchen when the microwave is on. I also recommend that everyone read this article. It may be available online, but I haven't looked. Consider it homework.

I will blog on this experiment. It'll be nice to return to the old tethered way of using the phone. I suspect it'll cut my phone time, too, as I won't be doing other things when I'm talking. Like being on the internet. And maybe I'll get my nice neck back...

And thanks again, Amanda, for such a great gift. :D
Fibromyalgia = Microwave Sickness (from Cell Phone and Wifi Signals)?
I've been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and couldn't help but notice that the symptoms of fibromyalgia are identical to those of Microwave Sickness???

Well, Microwave Sickness or Radiation Sickness is what it used to be called. Today it is referred to as Electrosensitivity, Electro Hypersensitivity, or Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity. This IS a recognized illness and disability in other countries, such as Sweden, where they are taking this environmental health threat seriously.

Also, fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome weren't even on the map until the number of cell phone and wi-fi towers and antennas went up exponentially, some time in the mid 90's following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

Please check this out and compare the symptoms for yourself. Do you think is possible?

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Last edited by hb-mod; 10-28-2009 at 09:43 AM. Reason: Please don't post disallowed websites as per Posting Policy. Thanks.