Wireless Electrical and Electromagnetic Pollution News
22 June 2010
Evidence mounts on links between cell phones and brain tumors
Sunday, June 20, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A growing body of evidence, dating back to the 1960s, suggests that brain tumors may be only one of the many health problems produced by our new wireless society will produce.
Cell-phone technology "could lead to a health crisis similar to those caused by asbestos, smoking, and lead in petrol," warned the European Union's environmental watchdog agency in 2007.
The most ambitious attempt to catalogue the health risks of cell phones to date is the industry-funded Interphone study, carried out by researchers from 13 different countries (not including the United States). Although the study has been criticized for selecting data in a way designed to play down the risks of cell phone use, it continues to turn up alarming findings nonetheless. Among the findings so far are a 40 percent increase in brain tumor risk among adults who use a cell phone for 10 years (especially on the side of the head where the phone is held); a 300 percent increased risk of acoustic nerve tumors; and an increased risk of tumors of the parotid gland. The risk of a brain tumor increases by 400 percent in people who start using a cell phone before the age of 20.
Other studies, mostly out of Europe, have linked mobile phone and personal digital assistant (PDA) use to DNA damage, sperm death, and brain damage including early-onset dementia. These findings regularly make big news in the international press, but are by and large played down in U.S. media.
The United States has a long history of hostility toward the claim that the microwave radiation used by microwave ovens, cell phones, cell phone towers and wireless internet (Wi-Fi) can be harmful to human health. U.S. law prohibits challenging the placement of cell phone towers on health grounds, and an industry group (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) is highly influential in setting exposure standards.
The first research on the risks of microwave radiation was actually uncovered by a U.S. researcher, Allan Frey, in the 1960s. Frey discovered that "nonionizing" electromagnetic radiation -- previously thought to be harmless -- could still produce biological effects. For example, radar waves can produce "sound" even in the absence of actual sound waves by interfering with the brain's own electromagnetic signals. Frey found that microwaves could damage the organs of lab animals, even stopping their hearts completely.
Yet when Frey published a paper showing that microwave radiation could disrupt the functioning of the blood-brain barrier, the Office of Naval Research ordered him to conceal the work or lose funding. Pentagon-funded scientists claimed they had refuted his work, but refused to share any information on their data or methods.
Frey found that while the primary (or "carrier") wave of microwave radiation can cause health problems, the secondary wave that carries the actual data -- whether sound, text, pictures or other information transmitted via cell phones or Wi-Fi connections -- is far more dangerous. The more data streams carried, the higher the danger.
Modern research supports these early findings, with 75 percent of independently funded studies showing health risks from cell phone radiation (in contrast with only 25 percent of industry funded studies).
Researchers have also documented dramatic rises in the rate of numerous health problems immediately following the introduction of widespread Wi-Fi and cell phone networks across Europe.
Such concerns have led European governments to consider banning Wi-Fi in government facilities, and to the Austrian Medical Association's call for a ban on Wi-Fi in schools. The national library of France has already removed all Wi-Fi connections due to health concerns.
In certain segments of the U.S. population, awareness is also growing. According to an anonymous investment banker speaking to a GQ reporter, rates of brain tumors among financial executives are shockingly high, a fact more and more people are attributing to constant cell phone use.
"I knew four or five people just at my firm who got tumors," the banker said. "Each time, people ask the question. I hear it in the hallways."
Sources for this story include:
Letter to Dr. Kendall -- head of the British Columbia Health Authority, our chief medical officer, reporting directly to the Minister of Health.
Dear Dr. Kendall,
I am saddened, I am disappointed and I am angry with you, Sir, by the way you have allowed the people and agencies who answer to you to lie, deceive and fail to do their jobs. It is your responsibility to ensure that the citizens of BC are treated honestly, yet you have allowed people who work for you to mislead in every conceivable way. Either you are aware of this and are a party to permitting it to occur and to continue. Or you are unaware and, therefore are not doing your job. In either case, I am appalled.
Did you not know that one of your researchers at the BC Cancer Agency was allowing herself to be thought a doctor (PhD? M.D.?). This was not a mere typing accident on the Agency's website as Ms. McBride said. No, Dr. Kendall, for at least 14 years in articles, in interviews, on circulars at the university and announcements for speeches at symposiums. If you didn't know, why not? Do you know that people around the world are wondering if her research is credible, given her lack of integrity? If she deceives about her credentials, what else is she lying about? Why haven't you fired her for committing academic fraud?
Did you know that the same Mary McBride, who works with children with leukemia at BC Cancer, represents the telecommunication industry? Do you know that she misleads parents by telling them that electromagnetic radiation (EMR) from cell transmitters is safe? How can a responsible person such as yourself, knowing that thousands of studies demonstrate that prolonged exposure is especially dangerous for children, allow this type of misrepresentation? If you didn't know she was telling people this, why not? If you did know, why have you allowed it?
Did you know that Dr. Patricia Daly is telling people that there is no evidence of harm from cell transmitters? This is patently false, and she must know it, as you should. I've sent many studies to your department over the years, especially to Randy Ross, as have many others. If Dr. Daly knows this, why is she not warning people? If she isn't aware of current research, why does she say anything at all? Isn't her duty to do no harm? Why, Dr. Kendall, do you allow her to provide false assurances?
Did you know that Randy Ross, head of BC Radiation Protection, keeps telling people that Safety Code 6, Health Canada's guideline, provides adequate protection from wireless devices? He never tells people that it does not apply to non-thermal radiation from cellphones, transmitters, WiFi, DECT phones and baby monitors. He never acknowledges that even WHO and ICNIRP confirm the guideline is for thermal radiation only. He never tells people that this guideline is one of the weakest in the world, with many others being 1000s of times stricter. Did he tell you, Sir, that when I send him new studies showing how EMR causes DNA breaks, blood brain barrier leakage, or neurological damage he demeans the scientists, even though these researchers have many more years of experience and education than he? Why is he allowed to ignore independent science for the sake of inadequate, industry-supported Health Canada standards?
Did you know that Dr. Richard Stanwick feels it beyond his authority to become involved with diseases suffered by those living near transmitters, saying it is a Federal responsibility? When I asked him to catalogue the multiple cancers and other serious diseases of those living on Triangle Mountain, to perform, if you will, an epidemiological study of residents surrounded by FM and cell transmitters, he refused saying it wasn't his job. Since when did the province relinquish its responsibility for the health of its residents? Even though the transmitters themselves are in Federal jurisdiction, isn't it your job to determine if residents are being made ill because of the radiation?
I am saddened that your agents and agencies are not educating the public or implementing the precautionary principle. Instead they are mis-informing, preventing accurate information from reaching concerned persons. I am disappointed that people capable of protecting us either become aligned with the industries they are supposed to monitor, or become lax in the performance of their jobs. But most of all, Dr. Kendall, I am angry that you allow this to occur at all -- and, appallingly, to continue!
Chair, Citizens Against UnSafe Emissions
Victoria, BC V9C 3V5
Environmental Sensitivities and Housing
The Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation (CERA)
Over the past five years CERA has received an increasing number of calls from tenants being made ill from the poor indoor air quality in their apartment buildings. Most of these clients have a condition called Multiple Chemical/Environmental Sensitivities that makes them particularly sensitive to contaminants in the air. In the process of advocating on behalf of these individual clients, we realized that a more systematic approach was needed. With funding assistance from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, CERA launched HomeSafe, an initiative to educate tenants and multi-unit housing providers on strategies to improve indoor air quality and create healthier living environments.
We are currently in the process of developing a voluntary set of guidelines for housing providers and an associated resource guide.
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Sarcastic or not, this cartoon raises awareness!!
Yoga, Health Expert
June 20, 2010
With my car lease due to expire, I had been searching for a new car for the last five to six months. I test drove a vehicle from almost every automaker to get a feel for what I liked. I was looking at a few hybrid cars in efforts to be more eco-friendly, but since I have a clothing line, I need the space that an SUV offers for loading boxes and large bolts of fabric.
I felt that my search ended when I drove the Volkswagen Tiguan. It had everything I needed; safety, strength, space and style. But...it was not a hybrid. Worse yet, it required a medium grade fuel, so I held off on pursuing this as my final purchase. A friend of mine had just leased a 2010 Prius, and offered me to test drive his new car. I liked it. It was quiet, smooth and surprisingly spacious. I put this on my list of contenders.
Then, hours before Earth Day (ironically), the BP oil rigger explosion and subsequent spill ravaged the Gulf of Mexico. I was so disheartened watching the oil gushing into our ocean and contaminating the marine life in that region. I was then even more discouraged watching massive amounts of chemical dispersants being poured on top of this ugly spill. As if we didn't have enough of a somewhat natural mess to clean up? We were now convoluting the disaster with harmful chemicals? UGH! With zero ability to better this frustrating situation, I felt the best thing to do was to purchase a vehicle that would be kinder to our environment. Or so I thought...
I went to a Toyota dealership. There, I was offered an amazing deal on a fully loaded Level IV Prius with solar panels. It had beige leather and blizzard pearl exterior color. It was gorgeous. This model had navigation, star system, seat heaters and even floor panel lights. I was thrilled and excited to wean off of gasoline dependence. I leased the Level IV 2010 Prius. Yet, after driving it home that evening, I felt nauseous and I had a massive headache. I chalked this up to that "new car smell", and assumed that a chemical used in the pre-purchase detail was the source of my abnormal irritation.
Yet, it continued to the level that every time I drove the car I would get searing headaches. I literally could not drive it for more than twenty minutes without having to pull over and get out of the car. Since I am not prone to headaches I knew that something was up. I washed down the interior with a non-toxic cleaner and I kept the windows and sunroof open as often as possible. Nothing was helping, and it seemed to be getting worse. My head pulsed and my eyes seemed to cross while I was driving. Sometimes I felt pressure in my chest and found it difficult to breathe.
A man sitting next to me at an airport overheard me talking about this to my mother on the phone. After I hung up he told me that what I was experiencing was not uncommon. He told me that the electro-magnetic frequency emitted from a hybrid battery massive enough to move a vehicle was so strong that many people experience side effects. I had never heard of this, but it made sense. I looked into it, and he was right! I found a 2008 New York Times article suggesting these potential health problems, and I found many blog sites of people sensitive to hybrid cars. A friend of mine owns an EMF meter used for reading the amount of electro-magnetic frequency being emitted in an area. It measures in mG (milligauss.) She was kind enough to let me borrow her meter.
Just to be certain that there wasn't another problem, I brought my Prius into the nearest Toyota service center. I asked them to check for any leaks that could be the source of my reactions. I was driving a Dodge Caliber rental car while my Prius was in service. I tested the Caliber rental with the EMF reader while the car was on.
It registered at 0.2mG. The next day, when I picked up my Prius, the service agent came with me to test the EMF of the car. I turned on the car and the EMF reader.
Without driving, the car read 0.9mG. We continued to take a different kind of test drive around the block. While driving the car without the radio or air conditioning on, it read 2.8mG. When we put all the features on (navigation, air conditioning and radio), it read 4.6mG! This was the proof that I needed that it was the EMF's that were causing my headaches and reactions.
Some studies have shown an association between EMF exposure and an increased risk of childhood leukemia at average exposures above 2 mG, but determining actual health risks from EMF exposure is complex. A growing body of articles and studies suggests that there may be health risks depending on many variables, including length of exposure in the field, actual field strength during the exposure period, a person's age, body mass, general health and perhaps genetic predisposition or vulnerability to cancer. While debate continues, it remains very possible that there are some hazards from EMF. I am a 120 lb vegan yoga instructor sitting in a compact, fully loaded vehicle radiating at levels over 4mG.
I started to wonder about my clients who drive hybrids. Every one of them has an inflammatory issue that baffles me beyond their healthy diets and clean lifestyle choices. I had chalked these issues up to age and genetics, but now I began to wonder if it wasn't related to their driving choices.
I went to a local Toyota dealership where a car salesman and I conducted a little experiment. We test drove several Prius' on the car lot. The Level II (no navigation or sunroof) read in the 2mG's, the level III (with navigation) read in the 3mG's and the higher levels (like mine) read in the 4mG's.
I strongly believe that if I had purchased the base model that I would not have felt as much radiation as I did.
Ironically, the more research that I did about hybrid-electric car batteries, the more I realized they were the farthest thing from green. Apparently, the nickel on the Toyota Prius battery is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, shipped to a refinery in Wales, sent to China to be made into nickel foam, then it is shipped to Japan and made into a hybrid battery, now ready for the 2010 Prius. Once the car is assembled, it is shipped to the United States. The point here is that the Toyota battery consumes a lot of fossil fuel during its development; not to mention these batteries eventually accumulating in landfills.
Thankfully, the dealer whom I leased my car from (Hooman Toyota in Long Beach) was amazing. He was kind and sincere. He expressed that his first priority was to keep his customers safe and happy. I have never been so impressed with any business owner in my life. Brilliant at finding a creative solution, he extended another great offer to get me into a non-hybrid Toyota Highlander without the burden of any negative equity from the Prius return.
The quality of the Highlander speaks for itself, and I was very impressed with my test drive (and the EMF reading.)
Hybrid and electric vehicles are fuel alternatives, but they are not as green as they seem, especially if they are adding health risks to the drivers. I eagerly await a more viable fuel-cell car that can use sustainably sourced fuels, such as hydrogen. Until then, please be wise...and trust what you feel.
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