Thursday, February 11, 2010

LF withdraws litigation / Radiation Gone Wrong / "Chan's confession" / Transformer substation buzz annoys / Google's fast track / Artists Against WiFi

LF withdraws litigation against T-Mobile

Thursday, February 11, 2010
Passaic Valley Today

LITTLE FALLS – The township council has said they will withdraw from litigation with T-Mobile for building a 110-foot cell phone tower at Great Notch Fire Company No. 4. Instead they are launching an internal investigation into the matter.

Councilman Paul Huggins said at the Feb. 1 council meeting that fighting to have the tower taken down was a losing battle that could cost the township more than $1 million. Instead, Huggins said, the council is conducting an internal investigation to determine how township officials allowed an unwanted cell tower to go up.

"The power of the council to investigate is no casual thing. We have the power to give people sworn affidavits and call them before us," Huggins said.

The councilman said they had found there was "a great deal of correspondence" between township officials and T-Mobile, indicating that township officials knew the monopole cell tower, the design of which township residents have widely criticized as unattractive, was going up.

"We had a lot of people that knew, at least seemingly, that it would be a monopole," he said. Huggins also said the council was at fault, because when they negotiated contracts with T-Mobile, council members they were not concerned with design of the tower. Rather, he said, they focused on keeping emergency communications antenna intact and allocated $7,000 to do have them mounted on the new cell tower.

Local planning board members denied responsibility for the matter in interviews conducted after meeting last Thursday.

Bernard B. Montalbano, attorney for the planning board, said the board twice denied applications for the cell tower. The first one was for the monopole design that is now on Long Hill Road and the second was for a "stealth technology," that would appear as a flagpole, he said.

Montalbano sees it as a simple matter that was taken out of the planning board's hands by Superior Court Judge Anthony Graziano, when the judge ruled against the board's denial of T-Mobile's application to build the cell tower in 2008.

"We said no and the judge said yes," Montalbano said.
Huggins said the judge said yes because an ordinance that would have prevented the cell tower from being built was improperly published.

William Van Houten, chairman for the planning board, said that a "communications problem," led to the confusion.

And it is this problem that township residents are eager to see fixed by the investigative committee, Huggins said, the council has formed to deal with the matter.

Community activist Arnold Korotkin told the council he wants that and more.

"I hope this will mark a new era in township transparency and accountability regarding this and future issues in the municipality," he said, adding that he would like involved parties to explore whether the tower can be painted green.

Huggins replied that this is unlikely as pai

nting the tower would be costly.Korotkin further said that he cancelled his T-Mobile cell phone service in protest of their building the cell tower and he encouraged others to do the same.

Ray Klepar, president of Great Notch Fire Company No. 4, likewise encouraged transparency, but had little else to say about the cell tower.

"I would like to see all the evidence that both sides have compiled as part of the investigation," he said.

A spokesperson for T-Mobile said last week that the company does comment on matters involving litigation.

Radiation Gone Wrong

Posted by: Dr. Mercola
February 11 2010 | 14,228 views

Americans today receive far more medical radiation than ever before. The average lifetime dose of diagnostic radiation has increased sevenfold since 1980, and more than half of all cancer patients receive radiation therapy.

Often, patients know little about the harm that can result when safety rules are violated and ever more powerful and technologically complex machines go awry.

The complexity of medical radiation technology has created new avenues for error—through software flaws, faulty programming, poor safety procedures or inadequate staffing and training.

When those errors occur, they can be deadly.

Regulators and researchers can only guess how often radiotherapy accidents occur. Accidents are chronically underreported, and some states do not require that they be reported at all.

Last year a Philadelphia hospital gave the wrong radiation dose to more than 90 patients with prostate cancer—and then kept quiet about it. In 2005, a Florida hospital disclosed that 77 brain cancer patients had received 50 percent more radiation than prescribed because a powerful linear accelerator had been programmed incorrectly for nearly a year.

  New York Times January 23, 2010
  New York Times January 22, 2010
  New York Times Blog January 23, 2010

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

    When the treatment is worse than the disease, it's time to find another treatment.

    If you haven't read the entire NY Times article, I would encourage you to do so as they provide graphic details of the complications that have occurred during these types of x-ray "accidents."

    As the article makes clear, anyone receiving x-rays for treatment of cancer is particularly prone to these fatal mistakes, since the doses involved are massive.

    If you or someone you know is receiving this type of therapy, you need to print the NY Times article out and bring it to your doctor and DEMAND that they explain in CAREFUL detail how they are going to prevent this from happening to you.

    If it were myself, or my family member, you can be darn sure I would be in the room with the technician double-checking them to make sure that the correct dose was administered.

Is Non-Accidental X-Ray Treatment Safe?

    Setting aside the problem of medical errors for a moment, even x-rays that are used "as directed" can expose you to significant risk.

    A host of epidemiological studies have strongly suggested that x-rays and other ionizing radiation are a cause of most types of human cancer. X-rays may even be responsible for most of the deaths from cancer and ischemic heart disease, according to John Gofman, MD, PhD, a professor at U. C. Berkeley and one of the leading experts in the world. Gofman is a nuclear physicist and a medical doctor who wrote a book on the subject.

    Ionizing radiation is a uniquely potent mutagen due to its ability to wreak havoc upon your cells and their genetic code.

    Your cells are unable to repair the very complex genetic damage done by x-rays. Some of the mutated cells die, but others do not, and the cells that go on living have a proliferative advantage—giving rise to the most aggressive cancers.

    Unlike some other mutagens, x-rays have access to the genetic molecules of every one of your internal organs, if the organ is within range of the x-ray beam. Even a single high-speed, high-energy electron, set into motion by an x-ray photon, can bounce around and cause you irreparable damage.

    That is why there is no safe dose of x-rays.

    X-rays are 2 to 4 times more mutagenic than high-energy beta and gamma rays, per rad (R) of exposure. Fluoroscopy is particularly damaging because the x-ray beam stays "on" during the procedure.

Radiation Overload

    Radiation was introduced into medicine almost immediately after the discovery of the x-ray by Wilhelm Roentgen in 1895. Since then, imaging technologies like CT, MRI and nuclear medicine scans have exploded.

    According to a study by the Government Accountability Office, the amount spent on medical imaging doubled between 2000 and 2006, reaching about $14 billion a year from Medicare alone.

    And a 10-year study by University of California, San Francisco, found the use of CT scans doubled between1997 and 2006.

    CT scans and mammograms emit far more radiation than conventional X-rays. A CT scan of the chest delivers 100 times the radiation of a conventional chest X-ray, and a mammogram delivers 1,000 times more radiation.

    According to David Brenner of Columbia University, about one-third of all CT scans done today are unnecessary. He predicts from his study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine[i], that overuse of diagnostic CT scans may cause up to 3 million cancers over the next 20 to 30 years.

    Even the American Cancer Society lists high-dose radiation to the chest as a medium to high risk factor for developing cancer.

You're being Needlessly Over-Exposed

    There is no doubt that the use of radiation in medicine has many benefits—that's indisputable.

However, you may not be aware that you could be having the same x-rays done for a fraction of the radiation exposure.

    We've had the technical know-how for years.

    Within the professions of radiology and radiologic physics, there are mainstream experts who have shown how the dosage of x-rays in current practice could be cut by 50 percent—and much more—without any loss of information and without eliminating a single procedure.

    The potential for dose-reduction may far exceed 50 percent without loss of quality, and in fact with an improvement in quality due to uniform exposure:

        * Radiation can be reduced at least 5-fold for some common x-ray exams

        * Radiation can be reduced at least 8-fold for abdominal exposures

        * Mammogram radiation can be reduced 55- to 69-fold for various breast images

    But do you think radiologists are jumping at the chance to turn down their dials?

    Not by a long shot. You might as well ask your physician to drive his new Corvette 50 miles per hour on the highway.

    Think about it. By dialing down X-ray machines, they would last longer, needing fewer supplies and less frequent replacements, and patients would stay healthier. That doesn't sound like a plan that will generate any big year-end bonuses for the x-ray device company reps.

    And the oncologists would be much less busy.

Alternatives to CT Scans and Mammograms

    There may be times when a CT scan might be warranted, depending on your condition. But in general, I suggest avoiding CT scans as much as possible. An MRI can often be substituted for a CT, with far fewer harmful side effects.

    Most physicians continue to recommend mammograms for fear of being sued by a woman who develops breast cancer after he did not advise her to get one.

    Despite what you have heard, there is no proof that mammograms will reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer. Although mammography does leads to the discovery of smaller, earlier stage tumors, it does not improve breast cancer survival rates over examination alone.

    And mammograms produce a lot of false positives—as high as 89 percent—increasing your chances of being damaged by an unnecessary mastectomy, more radiation, and chemotherapy.

    But I encourage you to instead consider a much safer and more effective alternative called thermographic breast screening.

    A thermographic screening measures infrared heat from your body and translates this information into anatomical images. It uses no mechanical pressure or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of breast cancer up to 10 years earlier than either mammography or a physical exam.

Playing in the High-Beam

    Medicine has made some huge errors of judgment over the past several centuries, one of which involved a complete disregard for the power of the x-ray. The creation of the Shoe Fitting X-Ray Machine or Shoe Fitting Fluoroscope was one of the most laughable scientific blunders in history.

    The shoe-fitting fluoroscope was the brainchild of Clarence Karrer of Milwaukee around 1924, who worked for his father, a dealer in x-ray equipment and surgical supplies.

    This dangerous device was a common fixture in shoe stores during the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. By the 1950s, about 10,000 units were operating in stores all over the U. S. A typical unit consisted of a vertical wooden cabinet with an opening near the bottom into which a person's feet were placed.[ii]

    When you looked through one of the three viewing ports on the top of the cabinet, you would see a fluorescent image of the bones of your feet inside the outline of your shoes. It was common for the child being fitted, the parent, and the shoe salesman to all be peering through the ports at once.

    Most units had a push-button timer that could be set for the desired exposure time, from 5 to 45 seconds. The most common setting was 20 seconds.

    Sounds like fun, doesn't it?

    It WAS fun, except for the folks who were exposed to and damaged by rather large doses of radiation—particularly the machine operators and shoe salesman, who were in and out of the machine all day, every day.

    Measurements of the amounts of radiation given off by these machines ranged from 7-14 R for a 20 second exposure, to 16-75 R/minute. There were also significant exposures for those standing several feet away from the machine while it was running.

    In 1960, these machines were finally banned in the US, largely due to increasing pressure from insurance companies. There is some evidence that these machines continued to be used in Canada and the UK until around 1970.

    Not one of medicine's brighter ideas, to say the least!
      - WHO (Part. 1): "Chan's confession" by Serge Sargentini
    Transformer substation buzz annoys

        * Source: Global Times
        *  February 12 2010

     By Sun Yongjian

    A Beijing resident has concerns for the health of her family after she found a power transformer substation was installed in a basement under her bedroom, fearing long-term radiation would cause health risks.

    "Every day over the past two years, especially at night, I have been annoyed by the buzzing noise. At first I thought it was from the refrigerator, but later I found that it's from the basement," said the homeowner surnamed Ren. She said the home developer, the Beijing Shengdaxingye Realty Development Company, installed a transformer substation when the building was finished.

    Ren bought the first-floor apartment in 2007 in the Wei'erxia residential compound in Fengtai district.

    Ren fears electromagnetic radiation from the substation will probably give her two-year-old girl leukemia.

    According to a document on grid planning and design principles offered by Ren, which was issued by the Beijing Electric Power Company (BEPC), substations are not allowed to be installed under residents' homes. "The developer promised the BEPC that the first floor would be rented only to shops and for commercial use, then the company approved the plan to install the substation underground," Ren said.
    In December 2008, the BEPC put shock absorption materials under the equipment, but the noise in her room from the substation was 26 decibels, still higher than the regulation 24 decibels.

    According to the service line of the BEPC, substations are not a source of electromagnetic pollution as the substation in the compound is 10 kilowatts and generates only minimum radiation, but normally they should be installed outside of apartment buildings, so as to avoid noise disturbance to the residents.

    Li Shangxin, a director of the BEPC, said the company had selected three places in the compound for the substation, but the developer refused the plan, as it would have to spend 100,000 yuan ($14,684) on the construction. The developer claimed they have no money to do this, according to Ren.
    Google's fast track into US homes

    Rory Cellan-Jones | 17:29 UK time, Wednesday, 10 February 2010

     Is there no limit to Google's ambitions? The day after it launched its Buzz social networking operation, the search giant has unveiled a plan to build high-speed broadband networks, with one-gigabit-per-second fibre connections right into homes.

    Before UK readers get excited about hooking up to Google's mega network, this plan is purely about the United States.

    What's more it's in the nature of an experiment, with something of a political flavour. Just as in Britain, there's a vigorous debate in the US about the need for faster broadband and the cost of supplying it. Some are pressing for an end to the principle of net neutrality - treating all kinds of web traffic equally - on the grounds that it costs a fortune to build fast networks and those who clog them up with bandwidth-hungry services like streaming video should pay for the privilege.

    Google says it now plans to find out just how expensive it is to build a fast network, and to experiment with different technologies before passing on the lessons learned to others. It's stressing that its networks will be operated in an open and non-discriminatory way. The company is inviting communities to apply to become test zones, and I'm sure there'll be an eager queue.

    A word of caution - Google's earlier plans for large-scale municipal wi-fi don't appear to have got much further than its home town of Mountain View. But its fast-fibre project will be watched around the world - and here in the UK, fibre campaigners will see it as more evidence that this country risks being left behind in the fast broadband race.
    Artists Against WiFi