Dementia could cost Canada $1 trillion: report
OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadians are developing dementia at such a rapid rate that dealing with the problem will cost a total of more than C$870 billion ($830 billion) over the next 30 years unless preventive measures are taken, a report released on Monday said.
Canada's Alzheimer Society said more than 103,700 people developed dementia in 2008 in Canada, a country of around 33 million. By 2038, 257,800 new cases per year are expected, with almost 3 percent of the population affected.
"If we do nothing, dementia will have a crippling effect on Canadian families, our health care system and economy," said the report, entitled Rising Tide. "It is the most significant cause of disability among Canadians over the age of 65."
Dementia such as Alzheimer's are progressive, degenerative diseases that destroy vital brain cells. There is no cure and are few treatments, although drugs can relieve some of the symptoms for a while.
An international report issued in September said more than 35 million people globally would suffer from Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia in 2010. By 2030, the number would be almost 66 million.
In 2005, a study from Sweden's Karolinska Institute estimated dementia cost global economies $315 billion a year.
David Harvey, spokesman for Rising Tide, said the Canadian campaign against dementia is hampered by the peculiarities of the country's health care system, which is partly funded the federal government but administered by provincial governments.
"This problem is already with us but over the period of this generation it is going to be very significant. And if we don't address it can overwhelm things like emergency rooms and hospitals," he said.
"This disease flies under the radar of much of the health system and that's why we're issuing this kind of report."
The report recommended that all Canadians over 65 without dementia should increase their physical activity by 50 percent.
It also called for the development of a National Dementia Strategy to be adopted by all levels of government as well as educating Canadians about the importance of risk reduction and early diagnosis.
"We need to refocus research on chronic diseases," said Harvey. A spokeswoman for Health Minister Leona Agglukaq said she was unaware of the report.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Peter Galloway)
"… the 20th century epidemic of the so called diseases of civilization including cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes and suicide was caused by electrification not by lifestyle. A large proportion of these diseases may therefore be preventable."(i)
Released in the year 2000 a study of 44,788 sets of twins from Sweden, Denmark and Finland concluded that environmental factors were the initiating event in the majority of cancers.(ii) The strongest contender and most likely culprit is artificial (man-made) electromagnetic radiation.
The pieces of the puzzle were finally pieced together by a ground-breaking study in 2008. Two highly qualified men aided by a school teacher were given unauthorised access into a school where there was a cancer cluster. Threats of unlawful trespass to the distinguished doctor and a letter of reprimand to the teacher were issued. When the teachers from the school filed a complaint, the progressive California Department of Health intervened. Finally, a study was conducted with the highest integrity, and able to break through the red tape and politics that usually accompanies dirty electrical environments. The study showed that dirty electricity – a potent universal carcinogen – caused the cancers in the school and that the high levels of dirty electricity measured at the electrical outlets in the classrooms accurately predicted a teacher's cancer risk.
Of no surprise, breast cancer was amongst the 18 cancers in the 137 teachers at this school as breast tissue is the most sensitive tissue in the body and the most sensitive to artificial (man-made) radiation. Being a very high risk disease today one would assume that a possible cause of this disease, let alone a probable cause – would be widely disseminated and acted on promptly. Sadly this is not the case.
Why is it that an associate professor can submit testimonies for women for court cases in Canada reporting how a dirty electrical environment can cause breast cancer yet women continue to remain uninformed on the involvement of dirty electricity with this potentially deadly health issue? Dirty Electricity (DE) is taking away women's breasts with working at computers a high risk factor.
Are our experts really so uninformed or is it because breast cancer affects so many women that the information is so widely resisted with suggestions of 'random change' and 'coincidence'? Breast cancer today affects 1 in 7 women yet when individual cases of breast cancer or breast cancer clusters in women occur, various reproductive factors are also taken into account which makes it easier to discount role that EMFs play in causing breast cancer.
When Professor Bruce Armstrong who led the breast cancer cluster investigation at the ABC TV studios in Brisbane Queensland was questioned on national television in August 2007 on the frustration of some of the women who felt that the proper investigations were not carried out before all the equipment was taken out, he admitted: "It is very important to do the investigations properly, and indeed we did have a problem with the ABC with the fairly quick decision to remove people from the site. It did mean that some of the measurements we wanted to do were not complete, and I do understand how the women feel in that respect; they don't feel that it's been done satisfactorily…"(iii)
When, in 2001, three men in one small office developed breast cancer, Dr Sam Milham testified for the men in their 2003 court case, arguing that their cancers were caused, in part at least, by EMFs emanating from an electrical vault next to a basement office where the men worked.(iv) In 1997, Dr Thomas Erren, MPH, had noted that an association between ELF EMFs and breast cancer is supported in men.(v) Breast cancer in men is rare, usually 1:100,000.
In 2008, it was reported that there were 108 breast cancer clusters in the USA with another currently in San Diego. In Australia, currently I am aware of breast cancer cluster occurrences at the ABC TV studios Brisbane, Concord Hospital Sydney, Adelaide Women's and Children's Hospital Adelaide, in Gin Gin Western Australia, and possible breast cancer clusters at Sydney Airport and many other locations where I have been informed by women who are worried but are too scared to bring attention to it for fear of losing their employment.
It was virtually impossible for a woman in the South of the United States of America in the 1940s to develop breast cancer but when she moved to a city that had electricity, her risk increased. These cancer clusters serve to show us what is happening silently on a daily basis in everyone's lives. The adults and children of today have already been affected by EMFs. It is not only the fields from power lines and substations that are of concern; dirty electricity is running through virtually every building on the planet. This potent carcinogen is invisible and silent, secretive and subtle.
Many different types of artificially created radiation have been woven into our daily lives. Dirty electricity explains why professional and office workers have high cancer incidence rates.(vi) People in their own homes must also protect themselves.
There have been thousands of studies of EMFs, more so than with any other health issue. In 1997, Dr Erren commented that there are more epidemiological studies that link cancer to these fields than to environmental tobacco smoke.(vii)
History has shown that the western world with its vested interests is slow to inform citizens about toxic agents and help protect them. The 'dirty electricity' pandemic is no stranger to inaction, as were the asbestos, lead, acid rain, DDT, PCB and tobacco-smoking public health issues before it. Illness from asbestos was first seen around 1900, recognised as an occupational hazard in 1936 yet it was not until 1995 that its production, use, and import was banned in Australia.
Prevalent even more so in our personal environments since the oil embargo of 1973 – which changed the way our electrical equipment operated – and the rise of the computer age, the latest research indicates that dirty electricity is the underlying cancer menace and has been since the beginning of the electrical distribution system.
The contention that the fields from electricity can harm has a history replete particularly in the area of breast cancer with destroyed careers and tarnished reputations involving scientists who have sought to help the people, and with so-called experts who have colluded with the forces going against the precautionary principle of public health: first, do no harm.
In his assessment for the journal of the Royal Institute of Public Health in the UK, Dr Stephen J. Genuis reported that vested interests have been effective in delaying restrictive EMF legislation. He also noted that claims of environmental harm have been challenged by researchers who fail to disclose covert ties to industry, that economic interests exert undue influence on medical journals, and that some editors and journal staff have suppressed publication of scientific results that are adverse to the interests of industry.(viii)
Today it is quite widely accepted that the electromagnetic fields (EMFs) from electricity(ix) can cause childhood leukaemia. (The reason why childhood leukaemia has been studied is because the strongest evidence for a cancer is that the same cancer is significantly elevated in children). The WHO conservatively classified these EMFs as a Class 2b carcinogen in 2001 based on 6 epidemiological studies for childhood leukaemia.
Why is it though, that authorities continue to resist so heavily the contention that EMFs can cause breast cancer? There are 18 epidemiological studies (not 6 as in the case of leukaemia), showing an increased risk of breast cancer with occupational EMF exposure and unlike for childhood leukaemia where experimental studies neither support nor refute the association the magnetic fields, for breast cancer experimental studies (both in vivo and in vitro) show a cause and effect relationship and point to possible mechanisations of action which leukaemia does not.(x) Any study into breast cancer has significant ramifications for all of us.
Louis Slesin comments that the important papers documenting the effect these EMFs have on the hormone melatonin and the drug Tamoxifen were left out in the WHO EMF Project – a 365-page document with over 1000 references.(xi)
The outcome of the report on the current breast cancer cluster at the University of California, San Diego will be of interest as Louis Slesin, editor of 'Microwave News' comments that Leeka Kheifets – professor-in-residence, Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, who has a position at the University of California, Los Angeles – has spent most of her professional career either directly or indirectly working for the Electric Power Research Institute, an arm of the electric utility industry.
There is no doubt dirty electricity is taking away our breasts.
All females should be informed about the different types of radiation.
All females should be informed about why we should not voluntarily irradiate our breast and how not to remain an unsuspecting recipient.
All females should be informed how to protect themselves in their workplace and in their homes.
All females taking the drug Tamoxifen should be informed on the EMF research.
All females should be informed as to the importance of moving to a lower voltage area in their workplace to prevent breast cancer, if they already have breast cancer or are recovering from breast cancer. Two of the three women who developed breast cancer in the Bell Canada workplace court case died on returning to the workplace. The one who refused to return to work survived.
All females should be informed as to why working at computers puts them more at risk of breast cancer. Little did women realise that burning their underwire bras in the 1970s women's movement could have saved many breasts from being removed. Was this an instinctive move as the rise of the computer age has coincided with the dramatic increase in breast cancer?
~ Donna Fisher
Editor's Note: This article comprises edited extracts from Donna Fisher's two books, "Silent Fields: The Growing Cancer Cluster Story When Electricity Kills…" and "More Silent Fields: Cancer and the Dirty Electricity Plague The Missing Link…" available from the publisher Joshua Books at http://www.joshuabooks.com
(i) Milham S, Historical evidence that electrification caused the 20th century epidemic of "diseases of civilization" Med Hypotheses (2009), doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.08.032
(ii) Lichtenstein P, Holm NV, Verkasalo PK, Iliadou A, Kaprio J, Koskenvuo M et al., "Environmental and heritable factors in the causation of cancer: Analyses of cohorts of twins from Sweden, Denmark, and Finland", N Engl J Med 2000; 343:78-85
(iii) Professor Bruce Armstrong, interviewed on 9am with David & Kim, Channel 10, Australia, August 7, 2007
(iv) Slesin L, News & Comment, Microwave News, July 22, 2004, also see Milham S, MD, MPH, "A cluster of male breast cancer in office workers", Am J Indust Med 2004 Jun10; 46(1):86-87
(v) Erren T, MD, MPH, "Epidemiological Studies of EMF and Breast Cancer Risk: A Biologically Based Overview", in: Stevens, Wilson and Anderson, The Melatonin Hypothesis, op. cit., p. 731
(vi) Milham S, Historical evidence that electrification caused the 20th century epidemic of "diseases of civilization" Med Hypotheses (2009), doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2009.08.032
(vii) Erren, in: Stevens, Wilson and Anderson, The Melatonin Hypothesis, op. cit., p. 729
(viii) Genuis SJ, "Fielding a current idea: exploring the public health impact of electromagnetic radiation", Public Health 2007, doi:10.1016/j.puhe.2007.04.008
(ix) Extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields – ELF EMF
(x) Havas M, Report to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal, Breast Cancer and Occupational Exposure to Electromagnetic Fields, Expert Testimony: Breast Cancer and EMF November 18, 2008 Pages 4-7
(xi) "When Enough is Never Enough: A Reproducible Effect at 2mG-12mG