High anxiety over cellphone tower
St. Laurent residents have started an online petition to halt the installation of a cellphone tower in their neighbourhood
By KAREN SEIDMAN, The GazetteFebruary 18, 2010
A group of St. Laurent residents fighting the installation of a cellphone tower in the middle of their residential neighbourhood has discovered that the rights of a communications giant like Rogers Communications Inc. and the federal government appear to trump theirs.
While Rogers is looking for a more acceptable site for the tower, with the help of the borough, the residents were appalled to find they are at the mercy of the good will of Rogers and Industry Canada, which has the final say in such disputes.
"It's really a rights issue - individual property rights vs. corporate development," said Charles Boberg, who lives on Poirier St. and whose home would face the 20-metre tower that was originally proposed to be built behind the Val Royal shopping centre.
"I think people should know that if someone wants to put a tower across from your house, there's not a lot you can do about it."
Last year, a unanimous decision by Charlottetown municipal council barring construction of a cellular tower by Rogers was quashed by Industry Canada, which ruled the city's concerns were unfounded.
Boberg fears there's nothing to prevent the same outcome in St. Laurent.
With the proliferation of such towers because of increasing demand for radiocommunication, Boberg says he's worried the parameters established by Industry Canada favour corporations over people.
"The guidelines probably went through Parliament with very little input from people and lots of input from powerful lobbyists for industry," said Boberg, who has spearheaded a petition opposing the tower in St. Laurent.
The petition outlines the citizens' concerns: namely, the esthetics of the tower, property values, and health concerns, as the long-term effects of electromagnetic radiation are not known.
"They would be putting it smack dab in the middle of a residential area," said Lynda Pilon, another resident in the area.
"There are far more commercial places they could put it."
The city of Châteauguay has been in negotiations with Rogers over a controversial location of a tower there as well.
Mayor Nathalie Simon said the unsightly towers are proving to be a problem for all cities and boroughs.
"Municipalities have very little recourse in these matters," she said Wednesday.
"Everyone wants fast service from their cellphones, but there is a social price we are paying for that."
Simon said her city doesn't have a lot of land to offer Rogers to avoid using the site originally proposed, which would have been too close to residences. Therefore, the city may end up having to put the tower right at its main entrance, which she finds extremely frustrating.
"We work so hard to beautify our cities, but then we have to deal with these towers going up," she said.
Sébastien Bouchard, a public relations manager for Rogers in Quebec, said the company wants to accommodate people as much as possible.
"We want to find a solution that has the least impact," he said, adding that Rogers has 852 towers in Quebec and Industry Canada has had to intervene in only a few cases.
"We don't want the citizens to be angry and hate us. We always try to find a compromise."
St. Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa said residents and the borough can make representations to Industry Canada, if necessary, but he believes Rogers "wants to be a good corporate citizen and find something that will be acceptable to the community."
Boberg worries that even if his little enclave is spared this time, fighting cellphone tower installations will become an increasingly common battle that the little guy will have to keep mounting.
"If Rogers refuses a borough's suggestion, Industry Canada can override the local authorities," Boberg said.
"It is amazing the power these communications companies have."
To see the petition, go to the website
© Copyright (c) The Montreal Gazette
What Your Microwave is Really Doing to Your Health
Did you know the Soviet Union banned microwaves in 1976? Yet, over 90% of American homes have one. For the most part, people aren't aware of the detrimental effects that microwave ovens have on the food being prepared and on your body once ingested. In fact, most casually believe that microwaves were simply invented for convenience and ease of life. I really do wish this were true, but things aren't always what they seem. How many times have you heard the phrase "just nuke it for a few minutes?" That alone screams radioactive (!) to me and I certainly don't want my food being heated by a radio-wave. What ever happened to good old fire anyway?
"Well, if Microwaves weren't safe, then the government would've never allowed them on the market" you might be mumbling. I understand how you feel; I've actually felt the same way before. Here's what I've discovered. As with all controversial issues, there exists two camps, and depending on which scientific report you read will determine which side of the story you're exposed to. This is why it's absolutely necessary to educate yourself by objectively studying both sides in order to make a wise choice. One thing is certain; your body won't lie and in fact knows what's best for you.
The FDA proudly affirms its safety, while independent studies distinctly show that it isn't. I challenge you consider the FDA's track record when it comes to keeping the public safe. On average, 106,000 Americans die each year from FDA approved medications. The former FDA Commissioner Dr. Herbert Ley had this to say: "The thing that bugs me is that people think the FDA is protecting them. It isn`t. What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it`s doing are as different as night and day."
Inside the Microwave
Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic energy and are commonly used to relay long distance telephone signals, television programs, and computer information. However, most of us are familiar with the Microwave that cooks are delicious "Hungry Man" TV dinners. Here's a run down of how they work: electric and magnetic pulses are created inside the microwave, which then emit a micro-wavelength radiation at about 2.45 GHz. The micro-waves bombard the food, creating polarity reversals at a rate of over a billion changes per second. It's the friction and heat caused by this process that can destroy the fragile structure of vitamins and enzymes in the food. Once the structure of a particular food is altered, it becomes incapable of performing the proper and desired function within the body. Microwaves from the sun are direct current (DC) and operate in a wide frequency spectrum which doesn't create frictional heat. While Microwave ovens use alternating current (AC) creating frictional heat and produces a spiked wavelength of energy with all of the power going into one narrow frequency. Through a process called induction, the food itself often becomes a carrier and secondary source of technically generated radiation.
What's So Bad About The Microwave Anyway?
In 1991, Norma Levitt was admitted into an Oklahoma hospital for hip surgery. During the procedure, a blood transfusion became necessary. Now, it's common for physicians to warm the blood prior to a transfusion, but in this case the nurse unknowingly used a microwave oven to do so. Norma Levitt died shortly after the procedure. An investigation shortly thereafter determined that the microwave altered the blood and killed Norma. How would the nurse have known the microwave was dangerous, when all she'd ever been told is that it's an easy and convenient way to heat things up?
Covering an Inconvenient Truth
Micro-wave Radiation creates molecules and energies that weren't present in the food prior to being cooked. That being said, one of the basic principals of medicine today states that anytime we ingest something containing energies and molecules foreign to the body, the odds are that it will create more harm than good. Are you willing to trade safety and food quality for a little energy efficiency and convenience?
Dr. Hans Hertel of the University Institute for Biochemistry in Switzerland conducted a study in which serious changes within the blood were found in those participants who consumed microwaved milk and vegetables. Hemoglobin levels decreased while white blood cells and bad cholesterol levels increased. These changes have been linked to anemia, thyroid deficiency, and rheumatism. The study also revealed that microwaving increased free radical production which is shown to interact with enzymes and disrupt biological processes.
Dr. Hertel was a food scientist employed by a major Swiss company and was fired not long ago for questioning certain procedures that denatured the food being processed. Immediately following the publication of his study, he was placed under a gag order. In March-1993, he was convicted for "interfering with commerce" and prohibited from further publishing his results. He went on to fight the order and in 1998 won in an Austrian court where the European Court of Human Rights ordered the gag removed and that Switzerland pay Dr. Hertel accordingly.
One Russian study found that 60-90% of food value was lost when cooked in a Microwave. They determined that the bio-availability of vitamin B, C, E, essential minerals and lipotropics all significantly decreased. They also found that meats heated in a Microwave caused the formation of a well-known carcinogen-d-Nitrosodienthanolamines. The Russians also studied thousands of workers who were exposed to microwaves during the development of radar in the 1950's. Their research showed health problems so serious that a strict limit of 10 microwatts of exposure was set for workers and 1 microwatt for civilians.
Dubbed, Microwave Sickness by the Russians, the first signs are low blood pressure and a slow pulse. The later and more common signs are chronic excitation of the sympathetic nervous system (stress syndrome) and high blood pressure. This stage can also include anxiety, dizziness, eye pain, hair loss, headache, irritability, nervous tension, reproductive problems, sleeplessness, stomach pain, and cancer and can be followed by adrenal exhaustion and the development of Coronary Heart Disease.
The Dilemma and an American Tragedy
Most of our daily schedules don't seem to allow anything less than the convenience of a Microwave Oven. But it really doesn't take that much longer to heat something in an oven or to boil a pot of water. Besides not taking much longer, you're sparing yourself plenty of unneeded radioactive exposure in the process. Our ancestors survived thousands of years without the Microwave Oven; and though it's true they may not have been as busy as we are today, that still isn't an excuse to compromise your health for a little convenience. Toaster ovens are a great alternative to Microwaves and work nearly as quickly. Slow and low is generally a good rule of thumb to go by when cooking. Regardless of the mountain of unshakeable science in this area, those in power, in combination with Microwave manufacturers, and good old human nature have submerged the facts and evidence for quite some time. It's simply astonishing what little has been done to protect the public from this radio active rectangle and regardless of the solid evidence pointing to the dangers, the Microwave remains a staple in most American homes.
Note re story below - One of the symptoms that I suffer when I am exposed to microwave radiation is asthma like symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms will continue for many hours and even days, even after a relatively short exposure.
How many 'asthma' victims are there who are being continuously exposed to Wi Fi, DECT cordless telephones, cell phones, antennas and other strong sources of microwave radiation?
How many of them would suffer the terrible effects of asthma, if they were not exposed to electro magnetic radiation?
1 in 3 likely to get asthma, study says
One in three people can expect to be diagnosed with asthma at some point in their life, according to a new Ontario study that is the first to quantify lifetime risk for the disease.
Using a novel approach for measuring asthma risk, researchers tracked the medical histories of 9,041,085 Ontarians over 16 years, using data collected between 1991 and 2007 by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, the Canadian Institute for Health Information and the province's Registered Persons Database.
Researchers were surprised to discover that the lifetime risk of being diagnosed with asthma is 33.9 per cent, a probability comparable to that of being diagnosed with diabetes or cancer, the study's authors noted.
While the study supported earlier research that asthma is more likely to develop during childhood – data shows most people develop the disease before age 10 – it also showed that the risk of being diagnosed with the disease "persists" into adulthood. Those who have yet to develop asthma by age 10 still face a 20 per cent risk of eventually being diagnosed, and those who have not been diagnosed by 30 still have a 13 per cent chance of developing the respiratory disease.
Researchers defined lifetime using the average life expectancy for Canadians of 80 years, said principal researcher Dr. Teresa To, a clinical epidemiologist with the Hospital for Sick Children.
"This is really the first time we can put a number to the risk of asthma developing in a person's lifetime," said To. "What (the study) means is that asthma is really a public health issue because it affects so many people."
The researchers also found that the risk of developing asthma is higher for women, although the cumulative risk is higher for males in early years. Those living in urban areas or lower-income neighbourhoods are also at greater risk.
The study was a joint effort by researchers at Sick Kids, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES). It was published in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Asthma is the most common chronic respiratory disease in Canada and study co-author Dr. Andrea Gershon sees proof of this reality all the time as a respirologist at Sunnybrook.
Gershon, who is also a scientist with ICES, said the technique of studying cumulative life risk has been used before in studying cancer, but never for researching respiratory disease. She explained that ICES has a unique ability to link large administrative health databases together, which enabled researchers to track such a large group of Ontarians over a long period of time.
Gershon says that while people can still be diagnosed with the disease at 80 or 90, asthma tends to strike during childhood so most of its victims suffer for a lifetime. "In that sense, its burden is even larger."
Note - The alternative title to this very important article (below) could be 'How the ICRP fidled the figures'. The deception about the number of people killed by radiation from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima is still happening today. Some of these same people are those who are also denying the health harm caused by non ionizing, electro magnetic radiation!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
the Trial of the Cult of Nuclearists: Exhibit C Continued
By Paul Zimmerman
What follows is the continuation, in serial form, of a central chapter from my book A Primer in the Art of Deception: The Cult of Nuclearists, Uranium Weapons and Fraudulent Science.
Exhibit C continued
The country that dropped the atomic bomb is the same country that funds and controls the Life Span Study. In 1950, five years after the bombing of Hiroshima, an excessive incidence of leukemia began appearing in the exposed population. In response, the Government of the United States established the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission (ABCC) with the mandate of monitoring the health of the surviving population. In 1975, control of the study was passed to the Radiation Effects Research Foundation in Japan. Continued funding is divided between the government of Japan and the government of the United States through the National Academy of Sciences under contract with the Department of Energy.
To fully appreciate the controversy that has arisen over the Life Span Study, it is necessary to revisit the horrific events of Hiroshima and its aftermath. At 8:16:02 AM on the morning of August 6, 1945, the "Little Boy" atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. At the moment of detonation, a flash of gamma radiation and neutrons showered the target area and irradiated the entire population. In a microsecond, a thermal pulse baked the city and ignited a conflagration, and a pressure wave smashed most structures to smithereens. Exact casualty figures are not known. Perhaps 100,000 people died from combined injuries from the direct effects of the blast: immense quantities of irradiation, burns, and a vast array of trauma injuries. It is estimated that by the end of 1945, total casualties had climbed to 140,000 people. By 1950, the death toll had reached over 200,000. What had once been Hiroshima was left in radioactive ruin. Radiation contaminated the soil and the water. This created an environment where internal contamination became possible for all who entered the area for years afterward. In the immediate aftermath of the bombing, people who had either lived outside the city or who had left the city center prior to the detonation reentered the city looking for family and friends. These people, not exposed to the detonation, subsequently became contaminated by internal emitters. Nevertheless, they were later included in the control group of the Life Span Study representing people who were not exposed to radiation.
This brief portrait provides all the information the reader needs in order to understand the overwhelming number of errors inherent in the atomic bomb survivor study. Never lose sight of the fact that, in the hands of the ICRP, this study provides the foundation for current models of the risks to health from radiation exposure, and via extrapolation, the hazards of low-dose exposure to internally emitting radionuclides. At a meeting of the European Parliament in February 1998, a number of attendees expressed criticism of the ICRP and the Hiroshima data on radiation effects. These were summarized in the first publication of the European Committee on Radiation Risk .
1) Professor Alice Stewart faulted the Hiroshima research on the grounds that the study and control groups were not representative of a normal population. Those included in the study were survivors of the stresses of war who had endured an overwhelming atrocity. Between the end of the war and the establishment of the Life Span Study, as many as 100,000 people succumbed as a result of blast injuries, irradiation, conventional illnesses, and internal contamination from fallout and tainted food and water. As a consequence, the study omits tens of thousands of radiation-induced deaths that took place in the first seven years after the dropping of the bomb. Thus, any results of the LSS will inevitably underestimate the hazards of radiation exposure. Due to the multiple stressors of the bombing and its aftermath, a natural selection process was set in motion whereby unfit people, the physically and psychologically weak, succumbed and were weeded out of the study population. A "healthy survivor effect" thus biased the study. By the time the Life Span Study got underway, those studied made up an atypical population that could not adequately represent the delayed effects of radiation exposure for the entirety of mankind.
2) Several participants at the meeting of the European Parliament criticized the ICRP for failing to adequately address the subject of internal contamination. The surviving Hiroshima population was modeled on the basis of everyone receiving an instantaneous barrage of gamma and neutron irradiation at the moment of detonation of the bomb. Completely ignored by the study is the fact that the surviving population was exposed to fallout that compounded external radiation from beta and gamma emitters. Further, soil and water were contaminated by radionuclides creating the opportunity for the ongoing accumulation of internal emitters through the diet. As a consequence, dose estimates, upon which the whole study rests, are meaningless. To make matters worse, when those outside the city during the time of the bombing entered the city to see what had happened and to look for families and friends, they likely received internal contamination. Thus, the "control" population was also contaminated with radioactivity. What effect does this have on the Life Span Study if both the study population and the control population were exposed to radiation? It will make the incidence of cancer among the study population appear much lower than if a valid comparison were made between those exposed and another suitable control population totally unexposed. By basing the study on an inappropriate control population, radiation is made to appear less hazardous than it actually is.
3) Dr. Chris Busby argued, as has been revealed previously in this chapter, that the model used by the ICRP to model the physiological impact of high levels of external radiation is totally inappropriate for accurately predicting the effects of internal contamination delivered in low doses at a low dose rate. And yet, this is exactly how the Japanese data is used to estimate health risks and derive permissible levels of exposure from internal emitters. According to Busby, by relying on faulty models to assess the risk of internal emitters, the ICRP has failed to accurately determine the true hazards of internal contamination.
4) Dr. David Sumner criticized the ICRP for utilizing the Sievert (equivalent to 100 rem) as a unit of measure. According to his argument, the quality factors introduced into equations to account for differences in the physiological impact of different types of radiation are value judgments and not physical units. To say, for instance, that alpha radiation produces ten times as much biological effect as electromagnetic radiation is not sufficiently rigorous to be used to evaluate the risk from different types of exposure.
5) Dr. Rosalie Bertell challenged the very legitimacy of the ICRP to represent before all mankind the hazards to health of ionizing radiation. "The ICRP is profoundly undemocratic and unprofessionally constituted. It is self-appointed and self-perpetuated" . Since its inception with some original members drawn from the Manhattan Project, the ICRP has been filled with people who are biased in favor of the nuclear establishment. "ICRP is organized by its By-Laws to include only users and national regulators (usually coming from the ranks of users) of radiation" . Membership has remained balanced between 50% physicists and 50% medical doctors. About 25% of the doctors have been medical administrators in countries possessing nuclear weapons who set radiation protection standards in their respective countries and another 15% have been radiologists. The remaining 10% of doctors has consisted of one pathologist, two geneticists, and a biophysicist. Women have been completely excluded. The rules of the main committee responsible for making decisions explicitly exclude participation of an epidemiologist, occupational health specialist, public health specialist, oncologist or pediatrician. According to their own mandate, the job of the ICRP is not to protect workers or public health. Rather, their self-appointed purpose is solely to make recommendations as to what represents a sensible — i.e., "permissible" — tradeoff between the benefits and risks to society of pursuing technologies that result in people receiving exposure to ionizing radiation. Thus, the standards set by the ICRP for what constitutes acceptable exposure are infused with value judgments made by a select few with ties to nuclear weapons and other nuclear technologies.
"In terms of its own claims, ICRP does not offer recommendations of exposure limits based on worker and public health criteria. Rather, it offers its own risk/benefit tradeoff suggestion, containing value judgments with respect to the "acceptability" of risk estimates, and decisions as to what is "acceptable" to the individual and to society, for what it sees as the "benefits" of the activities. Since the thirteen members of the Main Committee of ICRP, the decision makers, are either users of ionizing radiation in their employment, or are government regulators, primarily from countries with nuclear weapon programs, the vested interests are clear. In the entire history of the radiologist association formed in 1928, and ICRP, formed when the physicists were added in 1952, this organization has never taken a public stand on behalf of the public health. It never even protested atmospheric nuclear weapon testing, the deliberate exposure of atomic soldiers, the lack of ventilation in uranium mines, or unnecessary uses of medical X-ray" .
"The ICRP assumes no responsibility for the consequences attributable to a country following its recommendations. They stress that the Regulations are made and adopted by each National Regulatory Agency, and it merely recommends. However, on the National level, governments say they cannot afford to do the research to set radiation regulations, therefore they accept the ICRP recommendations. In the real world, this makes no one responsible for the deaths and disabilities caused!" .
In reference to the Hiroshima research, Dr. Bertell made similar observations as the other presenters to the European Parliament:
"It [the LSS] has focused on cancer deaths, is uncorrected for healthy survivor effect, and is not inclusive of all of the radiation exposures of cases and controls (dose calculations omit fallout, residual ground radiation, contamination of the food and water, and individual medical X-ray), and fails to include all relevant biological mechanisms and endpoints of concern" .
"It is normally claimed that the biological basis of the cancer death risk estimates used by ICRP is the atomic bomb studies. However, these studies are not studies of radiation health effects, but of the effects of an atomic bomb. For example, the radiation dose received by the Hiroshima and Nagasaki survivors from fallout, contamination of food, water and air, has never even been calculated. Only the initial bomb blast, modified by personal shielding, is included in the US Oak Ridge National Laboratory assigned "dose." This methodology is carried to an extreme. For example, one survivor I know lived within the three kilometer radius of the hypocenter, but was just beyond the three kilometer zone, at work, when the bomb dropped. As soon as she could, she returned home after the bombing and found her parents and brother dead. Then she stayed in her family home for the three following days, not knowing where to go and filled with grief. Although she suffered radiation sickness and many subsequent forms of ill health, she is counted as an "unexposed control" in the atomic bomb data base. By using the "not in the city" population which entered after the bombing as "controls", many of the cancers attributable to the radiation exposure in both cases and controls are eliminated from the outcomes considered related to the bomb" .
Testifying before the United States Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs in 1998, Dr. Bertell dropped a bombshell. The team that had assigned dosages in 1986 to Japanese survivors assigned a dose of ZERO to anyone with a calculated dose less than 10 mGy (1 rad). This represented a total of 34,043 participants in the study: 37.3 percent. These people, purely by definition, were assigned to the "not exposed" control group. This decision effectively destroyed the possibility of any detection of heightened incidences of illnesses from those who actually received low-level exposure. Further, by lumping those exposed into the unexposed control group, the LSS is weighted to underestimate the health effects of radiation due to an unsuitable control population. These irreparable errors invalidate any possible conclusions of the LSS as they pertain to low-level exposure. Radiation protection standards are grounded on the research from Japan. What is thought to be the effects of low doses of radiation are extrapolated mathematically from the observed high dose effects discovered by the Life Span Study. As a result of Dr. Bertell's revelation, however, it is clear that the Atomic Bomb research can have no relevance to any discussion about the health effects of low doses of radiation. Those who supposedly received low doses had their exposure nullified. If honesty prevailed, this fact alone would shake the radiation protection community. A cornerstone of current approaches to radiation safety holds that the hazards posed by low doses of radiation can be inferred from the effects observed in Japan from high doses.
"The atomic bomb researchers assumed (but did not demonstrate or prove) that below 1 rem exposure from the original bomb blast no radiation related cancer deaths would occur. Therefore this data base can tell us nothing about such low-dose exposures because the researchers assumed their exposure was "safe" and did not test for an effect. In philosophy, we call this "begging the question" and it results in an invalid 'proof'" .
There is other evidence available in the public domain that seriously questions the structure of the Life Span Study in regards to the assignment of dosages received by Japanese survivors:
"Detection of radiation risks depends upon the ability of an epidemiological study to classify persons according to their exposure levels. A-bomb survivors were not wearing radiation badges, therefore their exposures had to be estimated by asking survivors about their locations and shielding at the time of detonation. In addition to the typical types of recall bias that occur in surveys, stigmatization of survivors made some reluctant to admit their proximity . Acute radiation injuries such as hair loss and burns among survivors who reported they were at great distances from the blasts [4,5] suggests the magnitude of these errors, which would lead to underestimation of radiation risks" .
 European Committee on Radiation Risk (ECRR). Recommendations of the European Committee on Radiation Risk: the Health Effects of Ionising Radiation Exposure at Low Doses for Radiation Protection Purposes. Regulators' Edition. Brussels; 2003. www.euradcom.org.
 Bertell R. Limitations of the ICRP Recommendations for Worker and Public Protection from Ionizing Radiation. For Presentation at the STOA Workshop: Survey and Evaluation of Criticism of Basic Safety Standards for the Protection of Workers and the Public against Ionizing Radiation. Brussels: European Parliament, February 5, 1998a.
 Lindee M.S. Suffering Made Real: American Science and the Survivors at Hiroshima. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1994.
 Neriishi K., Stram D.O., Vaeth M., Mizuno S., Akiba S. The Observed Relationship Between the Occurrence of Acute Radiation Effects and Leukemia Mortality Among A-bomb Survivors. Radiation Research. 1991; 125:206-213.
 Neriishi K., Wong F.L., Nakashima E., Otake M., Kodama K., Choshi K. Relationship Between Cataracts and Epilation in Atomic Bomb Survivors. Radiation Research. 1995; 144:107-113.
 Wing S. Statement to the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science. United States House of Representatives. July 18, 2000.
Posted by Paul Zimmerman at 7:20 AM